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  1. #1
    What book(s) would you recommend for a student who knows the pitch notation pretty well, but who needs to work on rhythmic notation?

    Thanks!

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    The Jazz Guitar Chord Dictionary
     
  3. #2

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    The Real Book(s)- sight read through the whole thing. I do it when I'm too tired to really practice anything else.

  4. #3

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    The Omnibook? plenty of those crazy bop rhythms.

  5. #4

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    Carol Kaye has a new book out called "Guitar Sightreading Studies". She spent decades as a top studio player (-she actually started studio work as a guitarist, switched to bass and became quite famous---for a studio bass player---but still teaches guitar as well as bass.)

    It's a small book with a CD that stresses fingerings and reading rhythms. I just got it, so I haven't been through it yet but I feel comfortable saying she's expert at sightreading with thousand of recording sessions to her credit.

    Book and CD come to around 13 bucks (US). The book is around 8 bucks (-you can buy it without the CD) and the CD is under 6 (-you can order it without the book), and the pair is $12.60 plus shipping. She ships fast too, usually the day you order.

    The Official Carol Kaye Web Site

  6. #5

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    Steve Carter has some suggestions on his web site.

  7. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Carol Kaye has a new book out called "Guitar Sightreading Studies". She spent decades as a top studio player (-she actually started studio work as a guitarist, switched to bass and became quite famous---for a studio bass player---but still teaches guitar as well as bass.)

    It's a small book with a CD that stresses fingerings and reading rhythms. I just got it, so I haven't been through it yet but I feel comfortable saying she's expert at sightreading with thousand of recording sessions to her credit.

    Book and CD come to around 13 bucks (US). The book is around 8 bucks (-you can buy it without the CD) and the CD is under 6 (-you can order it without the book), and the pair is $12.60 plus shipping. She ships fast too, usually the day you order.

    The Official Carol Kaye Web Site
    Thanks for the HU.. just ordered

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by SamBooka View Post
    Thanks for the HU.. just ordered

    Great. Another member here gave me heads up last week and that's when I ordered it. And then there were three....

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by SwingSwangSwung View Post
    What book(s) would you recommend for a student who knows the pitch notation pretty well, but who needs to work on rhythmic notation?

    Thanks!
    here are my thoughts


    https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/getti...tml#post492414

  10. #9
    Bellson's Modern Reading Text in 4/4

    Reg mentioned it in the other thread. Kind of the traditional standard text for reading rhythm. I got a copy. It's great because it's progressive and systematic. Rhythm-only text. Each new exercise builds on the last. Cheap too. Less than $10.00?

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt.guitarteacher View Post
    Bellson's Modern Reading Text in 4/4

    Reg mentioned it in the other thread. Kind of the traditional standard text for reading rhythm. I got a copy. It's great because it's progressive and systematic. Rhythm-only text. Each new exercise builds on the last. Cheap too. Less than $10.00?
    I remember Reg mentioning that. I made a note of it. Now I'll move it up the list of things to get.

  12. #11

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    there's no single book that will work for sight reading. The reason is that in order to get good at sight reading, you have to continually read new material. Working from a single book will allow your memorization skills to take over and then you're not really sight reading. One solution to this is to use the soloist feature of band in a box to generate new material for you.

    NOTE - There's a huge difference between being a good reader and being a good sight reader. Concrete example, when I studied with Pat Martino he was writing out complex lines with octave displacement. Yet, a couple times I witnessed him struggling mightily to sight read relatively simple things. Obviously, his musical knowledge of melody and rhythm were vast but his ability to sight read was limited.
    Last edited by jzucker; 06-11-2015 at 03:51 PM.

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    ...there's no single book that will work for sight reading. The reason is that in order to get good at sight reading, you have to continually read new material. Working from a single book will allow your memorization skills to take over and then you're not really sight reading.
    Agree. That's why the Bill Leavitt (Modern Method for Guitar) books have sight-reading exercises that are particularly un-melodic and wander all over the place. Few people will remember how these terrible lines go and end up playing them by ear. Nevertheless, Leavitt strongly still advises to only play them a maximum of twice in a row before moving on to a different exercise, lest your brain try to remember them at all.

    I do like the suggestion of using the soloist function on BIAB, though. Thanks for that idea, Jack.

  14. #13

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    regardless of what leavitt attempted to do, the reader will still remember things and then it's no longer sight reading.

  15. #14

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    I read what ever I can get my hands on. My current reading routine consist of: real book 6 (goal is to read entire book), leavitt's books, guitar position studies by Roger Filiberto (Melbay publication), my transcribed solos and heads , transcribed solos by other people, and whatever else I feel like reading.

  16. #15

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    Like Jack said it's better to learn how to read well by reading lots of new material.
    Last edited by smokinguit; 06-11-2015 at 05:12 PM. Reason: writing clarity

  17. #16

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    I guess it depends on how often you come back to it and how much of an audiogenic memory you have. In my case, I would only look at the same exercise maybe once a week maximum, rotating it among a bunch of others. Leavitt's lines are (deliberately) so unmusical that there is no chance that I would remember anything substantial of them at all. Of course YMMV. And BIAB soloist guarantees you a new line every time so that is indeed better still. What's missing, IMO, is the feedback loop to confirm that you got it right. When you don't know what something is supposed to sound like, it's easy to play it wrong unwittingly if you're not yet a great sight-reader.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    When you don't know what something is supposed to sound like, it's easy to play it wrong unwittingly if you're not yet a great sight-reader.
    I agree with this wholeheartedly. When I'm reading out of the real book and I don't know a tune I make sure to listen to a definitive version of the tune to get a feel of what the song is all about.

  19. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jzucker View Post
    regardless of what leavitt attempted to do, the reader will still remember things and then it's no longer sight reading.
    In any case, the leavitt sight reading books are not random or atonal, he repeats the same melodic material over and over again in different keys, etc. and the meolies are somewhat predictable. Those books are good to go through once or twice to get different positions under control etc, but you have to keep finding fresh material to improve. Some atonal books are useful for several passes, e.g. joe allard's advanced rhythms and tom bruner's book. I've been working hard on reading for about 6 months now and I go to the music library every few weeks and get new violin/clarinet/trumpet/etc etudes. I'm also now reading through the Bill McCormick books that I hadn't read through before, and those are also good, as they have lots of cool ideas in them.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by jasaco View Post
    When you don't know what something is supposed to sound like, it's easy to play it wrong unwittingly if you're not yet a great sight-reader.
    I can't agree with this. The point of being a sight reader is to get from the notes on the page to the sound, without knowing what it should sound like. The rules of music notation are not that difficult to understand, and then it is just a matter of getting from sheet to instrument. Stuff has to be really complicated rhythmically before it gets tricky to figure out. But if you know what something is supposed to sound like when you read, you aren't sight reading.

  21. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk View Post
    The point of being a sight reader is to get from the notes on the page to the sound, without knowing what it should sound like.
    Oh, I agree completely with that. It is the point. I'm just saying that, until one gets good at it, it's easy to make unwitting mistakes. It would be cool to have an app that scores you for accuracy, or beeps when you make an error... maybe I'll invent one of those...


    Quote Originally Posted by pkirk View Post
    But if you know what something is supposed to sound like when you read, you aren't sight reading.
    Agree with that too. If I need to learn a specific song for a gig, then I'll listen to a bunch of versions, but if it's supposed to be sight-reading practice, then I won't.

  22. #21
    Again, I think the term "sight reading" is always a problem in its misuse and misunderstanding with guitarists. I've never picked up on this with horn players or pianists. (If you like long-winded, see previous bloviating here: https://www.jazzguitar.be/forum/getti...tml#post495813

    Technically, sight reading is reading something cold, which you've never seen, as a performance. No stopping, slowing down for mistakes, difficulties etc. That's what Jack and others are talking about when they say that it has to be something you've never seen before, or it's not sight reading. But the same term is also used a lot by people who are talking about "reading music" otherwise, or the process of "working through" material to learn music-reading skills.

    I really thought the OP was talking about the 2nd one, learning to progressively read rhythms better. Maybe I'm off there. You can "read" things multiple times, work them out, stop and count etc., and you should, if you don't yet have that stuff together. But that's not sight reading.

    Anyway, if they can read basic rhythms and are looking for something to work through, which systematically progresses through more difficult material, the Bellson book is pretty good for that.

  23. #22

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    IMO, for the basics, Roger Filiberto, Guitar Position Studies . . (Mel Bay). For fun, Bugs Bauer Etudes for Clarenet, in the key of C. For a challenge, Omin Book for C instruments. Could be a progression from easy to near impossible. :-)

  24. #23

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    I'm working through the Wohlfahrt etudes which is really helping my reading.

  25. #24

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    I don't know if anyone else experiences this, but over the years I've found that reading unaccompanied, or with a metronome, is very different than reading with an ensemble. Alone, I'm thinking about what I'm reading, or counting or maybe not thinking at all, but with a group, my ears kick in and I automatically start listening, comparing and adjusting, particularly when playing lines with other instruments. It's not harder or easier, it's just different. I think Jack's suggestion of using BIAB is a good way to prepare.

  26. #25

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    not too modern, but every teacher here goes through thiese books with students:

    Walter Götze: Solostudien für Plektrum und Konzertgitarre Heft 1-2-3

    I think these are very good books, goes from 0 really, but in the end of Heft 3. You will feel You can read sheet music.

    If finished with these, let the C.P. Omnibook come ;-)

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblues View Post
    not too modern, but every teacher here goes through thiese books with students:

    Walter Götze: Solostudien für Plektrum und Konzertgitarre Heft 1-2-3

    I think these are very good books, goes from 0 really, but in the end of Heft 3. You will feel You can read sheet music.
    Hhm. I'd never heard of those books. Amazon doesn't seem to have them. I wonder if my local music store does....

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkRhodes View Post
    Hhm. I'd never heard of those books. Amazon doesn't seem to have them. I wonder if my local music store does....
    Mark!

    Here is the 1st Book:

    Walter Götze: Solostudien für die Plektrum- und Konzertgitarre Heft 1 | bookline

    Its not that expensive thing, goes around 7 usd...

    I got these books in pdf format, because I couldnt buy them, if need just pm me. But now that I found the 1st book, I am going to buy them.

    MrBlues

  29. #28

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    Some often overlooked alternate resources:
    Classical flute and oboe pieces, Telemann and Bach (JS and sons) among others. They are melodic, use a wide range, and as woodwinds, will give you a linearity that breathes. Bach violin sonatas and partitas too. These are not as rigorous as you may need, rhythmically, but you can combine these with modern jazz phrasing and feel and the harmonic contour holds up.

    As you progress Modus Novus is a book of atonal melodic studies. These have really good rhythmic, thematic and motivic ideas in chapters that emphasize interval studies. Great for the ear, as well as keeping you on your reading toes. No faking it by ear here! Because they're atonal and have great sense of melody, it's all in the rhythmic phrasing. Highly recommended.

    Greg Fishman Jazz Etudes.
    Studied diligently, these can provide you with the aural/kinesthetic/visual link between you and the language of jazz. They are a multi volume set of melodic etudes with specialization on certain jazz vocabulary devices. They are melodic and when used with an awareness of theory, a player can hear, read and recognize essential aural vocabulary and techniques in playing.
    They are graduated and not easy to sight read off the bat but by learning these pieces with and without the CD, they helped me learned to instantly recognize complex bebop and improvisational language at a glance; the rhythmic phrasing is essential in these etudes.
    As pointed out by many, anything learned by rote will not accomplish nearly as much, but these studies, used as a lexicon of jazz can be really helpful not only in recognizing sounds by sight (key to sight reading) but will also teach you a lot about solo construction.
    My opinion and experience anyway.
    David


  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrblues View Post
    Mark!

    Here is the 1st Book:

    Walter Götze: Solostudien für die Plektrum- und Konzertgitarre Heft 1 | bookline

    Its not that expensive thing, goes around 7 usd...

    I got these books in pdf format, because I couldnt buy them, if need just pm me. But now that I found the 1st book, I am going to buy them.

    MrBlues
    Thanks!

  31. #30
    I haven’t read through these posts yet but I’d like to share something:
    Make sure you include reading rhythms in your Study / preparation.
    I was marching along with my sight-reading: Bach, duets, Real Book tunes. when suddenly I found Desafinada in front of me. I couldn’t play the rhythms.
    I needed to practice quarter-note triplets. The guitar fretboard is so challenging that one can forget about reading rhythms.
    My suggestion: Studyvreading rhythms.
    Louis Bellson’s “Modern Reading Text” is highly regarded for rhythm study.

  32. #31

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    Rhythms Complete (Treble Clef) - Charles Colin and Bugs Bower.

    Also, Sight Reading Factory(R) for an infinite stream of material.

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarStudent View Post
    I haven’t read through these posts yet but I’d like to share something:
    Make sure you include reading rhythms in your Study / preparation.
    I was marching along with my sight-reading: Bach, duets, Real Book tunes. when suddenly I found Desafinada in front of me. I couldn’t play the rhythms.
    I needed to practice quarter-note triplets. The guitar fretboard is so challenging that one can forget about reading rhythms.
    My suggestion: Studyvreading rhythms.
    Louis Bellson’s “Modern Reading Text” is highly regarded for rhythm study.
    Desafinado can be challenging for the American reader because the rhythms are not typical of Tin Pan Alley tunes. Much of the melody is off the beat. So, while you're trying to read something which is visually unfamiliar, you may also be struggling with your impulse to put some of the notes on the beat. In fact, one of the charts that's floating around does that, in error, I believe.

    As your ear gets more familiar with heavily syncopated music, it gets easier. I don't know what to recommend for a graded reading book. For listening, I'd suggest the original bossa nova artists, especially Joao Gilberto and including the songs Stan Getz played with a Brazilian rhythm section. Those recordings were brilliant.

  34. #33

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    I ve really enjoyed this one,

    https://www.amazon.com/Reading-Conte.../dp/0634018299

    But, before the real book and the omni book, which are great, i was always bored with reading studies material cause it wasnt interesting musically, so i would get classical music pieces, mostly violin and flute. Much more fun, but you have to remember to work on rhythms as well..

  35. #34

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    The Guitar Lesson Companion, Volume One begins with open position and goes up through 12th position, and it also includes many pages of pure rhythm studies along with combination studies. All of the pieces are original and have an audio backing track, so students also do not learn to play songs they already know, which means it truly helps with reading music. Most of my students who go through it can read Real Book tunes after a couple of runs though (to decide on the best position/fingering.)

    The book also has lots of chords and basic music theory, and all the material is presented in a way that makes fretboard mastery part of the plan. It was designed for students who are studying with a teacher (there's been such a need for a flexible book like this), but there is also a free online course that covers both books and includes a 5 year lesson guide.

    Full disclosure: I wrote the book and I used it with my students when I taught at Seattle University for 12 years. It's used by thousands of guitarists now, and if there were a better book out there that fit the needs of my students, I'd switch!

  36. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by whiskey02 View Post
    The Real Book(s)- sight read through the whole thing. I do it when I'm too tired to really practice anything else.
    AMEN, Brother. Or any other book of music. Read Bach sonatas. Get a classical Sax or trumpet book and read the exercises. Just read, read, read.

    For pure rhythm learning, any of the Bellson rhythm books has good samples.

    Also, the Berklee rhythm guitar reading book is good because it has complete pieces. LEARN them. Don't worry about not repeating yourself. Learn the pieces front to back. Then move on to the next. READ.

  37. #36

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    Reviving an old thread.... Many years ago I read that Metheny would write out pages and pages of random notes, with octave leaps and diverse rhythms. He would do this over a few days. He would then sit down and try to play through them in one go....only once. Over time he would have stacks of these and could grab them at random and re-challenge himself.

    Leavitt's melodic rhythms for guitar is helpful in recognizing rhythms.

    Way back when dinosaurs roamed the earth (and I was at college) I went through Odd Meter Etudes for All Instruments in Treble Clef by Everett Gates and found it very helpful. I did that just as fusion and prog rock were dying so, although I could read stuff in 11/8 I never really had to use those skills.

  38. #37

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    Yea...sounds great. But I'm going to throw in what I've noticed .... Most musicians who sight read well, have good technique on their instrument. They have some chops... which leads to where I'm going, I sight read well, have forever, that's part of my job.... who cares.

    So what make sight reading easy is the ability to be ahead of what your playing. Just like when you memorize heads, or at least phrases...your able look ahead of the section, phrases, notes... what you recognize, or already have memorized and look ahead to see whats coming.

    I'm talking past the point where you know what notation implies, the notes, rhythms, articulations etc... I was taught to work on the different aspects of notation separately, and it worked.... years ago.

    So with most things in performance of music... you start with rhythm. Matt had already posted about Bellson's books... they were one of the standards, still work.

    The same approach works with notes.... being able to recognize, scales, arpeggios and patterns. As you get better, your able to also recognize what's implied. You know the harmony and what relationship the melodic figures have with the changes etc...
    It takes some time to get to the point where you need new material all the time. For me it's always through analysis becoming aware of new material and incorporating that into my recognizable skill.

    And then again where I was starting.... technical skills, chops etc... good technique make performance much easier.
    If your struggling to find where to play what your reading... your somewhat dead in the water.

    Yea...Roberoo, odd meters, or mixtures of simple and compound time, is tough, although sight reading odd time personally is easier than playing sometimes. When it's already notated out.... it's already somewhat subdivided, nothing to figure out. Whereas when your just playing etc... you need to have the feel, at least rhythmically have some type of accent pattern(s) etc..

    I don't have perfect pitch and haven't touched an instrument for months... But when I see music, you sight read it right...mentally or sing it if it's just melodic... anyway when I can check to see how far I've slipped.... amazingly, my relative seems to almost be perfect. Go figure. I always knew practice was over rated.

  39. #38

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    I’ve been enjoying Adam Levy’s sight reading book for jazz guitar. The exercises are really musical (can help you with ideas for improvising) and much more appealing to me than the exercises in Leavitt etc.

    I often get students who have been taken through Leavitt’s books and those books at once impress and frustrate me as a teacher. Leavitt was a genius at organising a logical guitar method but I never go to his books for a bit of fun reading I have to say.

    (His books are also stylistically old fashioned, hardly his fault! Probably not such a problem with learners on JGO, but with child students in always aware that I want to keep the enthusiasm up or I end up getting into problems of not practicing etc.)

    Also, I think, methodology is overrated, and legitimacy or real world applicability is underrated.

    TBH I think reading actual, good, music is always a good idea. The challenge is of course finding music at the right level of difficulty.

    But that’s maybe not that much of a big deal, provided the music isn’t massively too hard or too easy. I’d always rather introduce new notes and rhythms as we go through music than follow the methodology of - here’s a thing, now we will apply.

    Real world music isn’t structured in a linear way. You learn ‘on the job.’ Music can vary from laughably easy to very hard; and fair amount of sight reading in the profession is based around highly developed ‘survival’ skills - knowing what to prioritise (often rhythm and dynamics above complete pitch accuracy) ignoring small mistakes in difficult music, keeping going above all else and not losing your place, quite different from reading text. Also good readers in a certain style learn that style and so on....

    Furthermore, real world guitar reading, for instance in a Big Band, small jazz band with originals and written out arrangements or in a session, presents a diversity of challenges. A typical jazz or pop/rock chart may swap between chord symbols, written notation (that might be in either treble or bass clef) including single notes and written out voicings, sections of improvisation and so on. I don’t think there’s a single book that teaches you to do that? If there is I’d love to know the title.

    From those I’ve talked to about the subject I don’t think there’s a better way to learn reading than actually doing it. So in the long term, skill at reading is less about pedagogy and more about experiential and informal learning, for example, in ensembles.

    I teach reading to all my beginning child students, as I see no compelling reason not to learn notation along with the rudiments of the instrument. For them, Guitar Basics is a lot of fun and represents diverse stylistic material (i.e. not just classical) that you can play with backing tracks either fingerstyle or with a pick. It has a few slightly annoying quirks, and it’s for kids, but I have so much fun with it above and beyond any other introductory method I’ve used that maybe adults would get something out of it as well.
    Last edited by christianm77; Yesterday at 05:48 AM.

  40. #39

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    Bellson's book looks pretty thorough, based on the reading I've had to do over the years.

    The negative is that it's all one note. Bug or Feature?

    I liked Complete Rhythms by Colin and Bower when I first learned to read, because the music sounded good to me. Still does, although it's very old fashioned swing, now.

    I don't know if I could make it through Bellson's book playing that one note for a year or whatever.

    Once I knew, more or less, how to read, the next major lesson was playing charts where the guitar was treated as part of the horn section.
    I already knew to strike the note at the right time, but I needed to learn to release it at the right time too. Also to pay attention to articulation marks and volume notations. I had to stop sliding into notes. I also had to develop more confidence in the printed page -- that if I just focused on it and played what was there, it would come out right; that may sound odd, but it was significant. If you need to hear what others are doing, you're going to be late. Also, when not to try -- better to lay out than play clams.

    There are a bunch of other things you learn over time while trying to become a horn in a horn section. You hear the horn players complain about the charts -- and start to realize what they're concerned about -- which is always clarity in the writing. What if you can't read something? Ask a better reader to play it or sing it. You learn how to deal with multipage charts with miserable page turns. You notice when you really melt together with the horns and when you don't, which has implications for volume and tone.