Keeping the Bass Guitar Beat in San Ramon
I was giving a guitar lesson to one of my bass guitar students from San Ramon who has been reading Hal Leonard’s Bass Method Book I. He had not been practicing his reading assignments regularly for two months because he was rehearsing a 35 song playlist for a paying gig and only had so much time for practicing.
So today, we were back to the work on reading music for bass guitar. Bass guitar uses the bass clef as compared with regular guitar that uses the treble clef. We started where we left off two months ago on techniques taught to music majors at the college level where you practice sight reading daily.
Before you play a new exercise for the first time, make sure you speak it out loud without out picking up the guitar and say each note from left to right. You should say the name of the note and the fret location. For example, on a 4 string bass if the note was string 4 fret 1 you would simply say F1. This programs your built in computer that God gave you known as your brain to remember the note locations on the fretboard.
THEN SLOWLY AT ABOUT 75 B.P.M. on the metronome tap your right foot, if your right handed, or left foot if left handed and count out loud 1,2,3, and 4 and try to play the exercise without stopping. Try not to keep looking at your fret board and hand but keep your eyes on the music so you don’t get lost. If you are still not making it through the exercise without making lots of mistakes, try naming each note out loud as you play instead of counting each beat and just say the name of the note and not the fret location. More to come.
To get started with learning to read sheet music for guitar, I highly recommend Hal Leonard Method Books.