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Sight Reading Archives

How to Read a Lead Sheet
Ask Damian Erskine

How to Read a Lead Sheet

A reader asked Damian, “Can you explain how to read a lead sheet?” Damian offers up a in-depth column, complete with example charts and more.

Preparing for a College Bass Audition
Ask Damian Erskine

Preparing for a College Bass Audition

Q: I am thinking about entering a music program when I get to college. How should I prepare for playing bass in a college program? What will I need to know? How good do I need to be? A: Whenever I speak with younger players getting ready to enter a collegiate music program, my first instinct is usually to tell...

Mark Michell Releases Sightreading Instructional Book for Bass
Sheet Music & Instruction

Mark Michell Releases Sightreading Instructional Book for Bass

If you’re looking to beef up on your sight reading, listen up. Scale the Summit bassist Mark Michell has just published his second instructional book entitled Sightreading 101 for Bass, Reading Standard Notation, Vol. 1. Michell was motivated to write the book after having to learn to read music notation and seeing the gaps in other method books. “Most of...

Sight Reading for Auditions: Tips for Bass Players
Ask Damian Erskine

Sight Reading for Auditions: Tips for Bass Players

Q: I’m a bassist starting my last year in high school now. I really feel that I need to become a sight reader as quickly as possible due to an upcoming audition for the music university I wish to attend. A friend of mine did the audition and they ended up handing him some crazy bebop tune – not close...

Progressive Scales: A Bass Player’s Guide to Learning Scales and Improving Reading Ability
The Lowdown with Dr. D

Progressive Scales: A Bass Player’s Guide to Learning Scales and Improving Reading Ability

I’ve written in the past about the importance of scale work to solidify instrumental technique (see the Lowdown archives for those columns and more). If we are new to learning a particular scale it is probably wise to start by playing from root to root (e.g. C-C in C major) until we are comfortable. This may prove helpful at first,...

Bowing Fun: A Look at the iOS App for Bowing Exercises
Apps

Bowing Fun: A Look at the iOS App for Bowing Exercises

Bowing Fun offers up exercises for bowed instruments – double bass (violin, viola and cello too) – designed to develop sight-reading skills and agility. A friend recommended that I check out this app, as he’s enjoyed it thought might be worthy of a review here. I have mixed feelings about it, but decided it was worth sharing the good and...

Improving Your Sight Reading: A Guide to Better Reading on the Bandstand
Ask Damian Erskine

Improving Your Sight Reading: A Guide to Better Reading on the Bandstand

Q: I’m at the point where I’m handling lead sheets better on gigs, but I sometimes get lost and/or second guess myself, usually resulting in me getting lost. Do you have any tips for becoming a good sight reader? A: Reading chord charts, and especially written notation, is one of the most useful tools you will develop as a working...