Sight Reading course on Sale

Mark Smith just released Volume 3 of the Sight Reading course, and has put the entire course on sale for the next week. You can purchase the entire course, or just individual Volumes.
I’m partially through Volume 2 (I finished Volume 1), so I’m just going to purchase the newly released Volume 3.
It’s a great course for those who want to be sight readers, or just have a better understanding of written music.
Here’s the link…


Just purchased part 3 as well


It is a great course.
Unfortunately, I only got thru 1/2 of volume 1.
I am on all access pass. I got thru
2/3 way thru chord tones
2/3 way thru walking bass
1/2 way thru vol 1 of sight reading
He is doing away with the All access pass on the 1st of June, so I only have a little time to rush thru the chord tones and walking bass.
Not ideal
but I rather review them quickly, before losing them, then doing nothing at all.
I decided not to continue the sight reading one when I learned it was going away, because you simply can’t rush thru any part of that.

The Chord Tones and Walking Bass line, I am just finishing with everything in C-major, not practicing thru all the other keys, so I can kind of rush thru those, but impossible to do the sight reading in that amount of time.

No regrets, Mark is a great teacher, and his courses are really good, so I am happy to have had the time I had. Moving forward, I would love to continue them, just can’t afford to purchase any of them at this time.


Swamped with Ari’s Theory and Ear Training courses for awhile, but this sounds like a great course for me to take after I’ve completed those. Thanks for the info!


I was really on the fence about this course.
I taught myself how to sight read the trebble clef for sax, and long ago learned (and now forgot) the bass clef while I dabbled in sousaphone.
So I thought, why not just teach myself again, $152 is a lot of money.

But, I bought the course today for a few reasons.

  1. I have been relying on tabs and foresee it as an ongoing crutch unless I bite some bullet.
  2. I am really weak on reading rhythm. If I don’t know how the song should sound, it takes me a long time to figure that out. I see this course focuses on this as well, and, as a bass player, this is HUGE.
  3. It will also help with my sax playing for #2 above.

Breaking away from the shackles of tab is the number one reason I started the sight reading course over a year ago (yes, I am still in the middle of Volume 2). Even having only gotten as far as I have in the course has helped me immensely and is well worth the investment in money and time.


Thanks for sharing this.
Bought the course.

Gonna write what I thought/think about it after a few weeks here but right now it probably helps me with the “pick up the bass every day” resolution I made and already broke. No reason to not keep trying though.


Awesome! It’s great hearing from you @juli0r, and I look forward to your comments.


I found the beginning probably 8-10 lessons to be EXTREMELY A_HA inducing. I have not gotten as far as you, but the first module of volume 1 to just be incredible, eye opening even for tab readers.


I bought Vols 1 & 2 during the Spring sale - guess I’ll just wait until I complete those and buy Vol 3 on it’s own.

I was kind of hesitant to buy the course at all - I know how to “read music” from playing trumpet many decades ago in school, I can read the bass clef - I just don’t know the fretboard at an automatic level so that my fingers “know where to go” when I read a note. I guess I’m hoping the course helps me with that…


That’s where I am at too. I can read music, have since junior high school. I just haven’t put in the time to practice until it is at sight reading speed level on the bass.


Yes. I have not completed the first volume (1/2 way thru) and won’t get a chance to move further for now, but I can tell, just like he does in all his courses, he breaks up the fretboard. Scales, Chord Tones, Walking Bass lines, and sight reading.
His first focus is learning notes and scales, tones, walking lines, and sight reading in the 1st position, that is frets 0 to 5.
After covering it pretty thoroughly, he continues tot he 2nd position, Frets 6-11.
he focuses on shifting between the two positions (remembering that it is a repeating pattern at fret 12, so, he covers it, but most of the detail is in the first two positions.

This method starts engrining the fretboard into your brain, a section at a time.

I found a few good videos with exercises that also really help to engrain the notes into your brain on YT last night.
Here is the first one, if you like the exercise, you can look at the other 4 videos.

These are some pretty simple, but very effective exercises you can start to incorporate into your practice. even doing these for just a few min a day will help to quickly learn the fretboard. THE WHOLE BOARD.


It’s a good strategy. Another good one is to memorize the names of the notes on the dot markers. We all probably know the 5th and 12th fret ones and use that regularly to hop around. If you learn some of the others that will help as well until the whole fretboard is learned.


There were a few useful tips for me but I did not even finish the course.

It helped me a bit in a way as I started using yousician but overall I completely stopped the course when I discovered yousician.

On the one hand, for me personally, not worth the money and on the other hand it fulfilled the reason I bought it. I wanted to force myself to regular playing again and putting money into it was enough of a motivator to get me on the right track again.

I’m not convinced of this course overall as there are certainly useful tips but in my opinion sightreading is something that has to be more practiced than taught.


Yeah. I haven’t even considered buying this course, for the same reason. I can read music just fine, I just haven’t put in the time to practice it on bass until I am at sight reading speed level.

And frankly - I don’t need to. I can already use it to figure out songs and communicate; frankly I don’t care if I can’t play a song at full speed right off the page. That’s not what I use my music reading skill for; I use it to learn a piece and as a reference, not as real-time instructions.

It would be useful for fretboard memorization, but I don’t need a class for that either, just practice.


The intent of the course is to get you to read AT SPEED, ie, get music put in front of you and play it. Being a sight reading musician is different than being able to read music.


Right, I understand that - and like I said, I don’t need a course for that, just practice time to put in to it.

Were I to have a desire to do it that is. It’s not a skill I would use often; the number of good bass scores out there for genres I am interested in is not large. I would almost call it a nearly useless skill for me.

I really should work on it for keyboards though as it would be useful there. I am a pretty slow reader there too.


I don’t have the link, but a few years back I found and downloaded a pdf of pages of nothing but rhythm patterns four measures at a time.
Then I purchased Carol Kaye’s reading bass book.
I love her technique of using a pencil to mark the beats then tapping with your right hand on your leg for the downbeats then up against your left hand held above your leg for the upbeats.
I combined her techniques with the rhythm patterns and used a metronome to work through the patterns first starting slowly then speeding up to improve my timing.
When I got comfortable with that, I then started writing out baselines for each of the rhythm patterns, marking the downbeats with a pencil, and playing slow to fast.
After that, I started to combine patterns for longer baseline sight reading practice.
I’m still spending time each practice session doing this. It makes my time on bass very productive when I’m not working on specific jazz standards.
What I have discovered for myself is that identifying the actual notes is not difficult, it’s reading the rhythm patterns fluently that is a struggle for me.
What I have described has greatly improved my “in the moment” reading and playing.


There’s a huge difference between knowing how to read music and being a sight reader. This course is all about laying the foundation for what and how to develop that skill. It takes many hours of practice, well beyond this or any other course. Sight reading is the skill to be able to look at a score of which you’ve never heard before, and just play it without having to ponder or practice it. Studio musicians such as Carole Kaye and Leland Sklar are masters of this skill.
A tremendous side benefit is developing the ability to know instinctively where a note is on the bass without thinking about it or having to look for it. You see a note on the sheet and just play it, as naturally as reaching up and scratching your nose. This course is a tremendous aid in breaking away from reliance on tablature.


Yes, I understand that.

Actually, no it isn’t, if there are few sheet music scores for what you want to play. Which for bass is common for lots of genres.

Additionally, you say “reliance on tab” as if people were tablature junkies or something. Tablature is just another tool for communication. Shunning it is silly; it’s available for a whole lot more songs on guitar and bass than sheet music is. Unless for some reason you want to restrict yourself to a tiny fraction of the available music resources out there, tablature is a valuable tool.

And of course few if any people sight read tab at speed; that is not what it is for. It’s for learning, not reading in real time while playing.

Setting aside professionals who need the skill, without ready availability of bass scores for the types of music you want to play, sight reading at speed is a nearly useless skill on bass. It becomes useful in proportion to the sheet music available. If you find you are in a situation with a lot of sheet music for what you generally play, it’s useful. If not, it isn’t.