Berklee Bass Reading:
This reading book came about because of a series of bass department meetings at Berklee College of Music. We all agreed that there was a need for more emphasis on the importance of reading with our students. The more difficult thing to agree on, was our expectation of students reading abilities at various levels within the department. We came up with the idea of having all the teachers write an example of reading material and submit it. This way we could get an idea of different teachers expectations of students at different levels. This idea evolved into a number of us wanting to put those materials and more together into a book we could recommend to our students to work on their reading skills. Thats how this book evolved. The teachers in the bass department at Berklee are so diverse stylistically, that I was able to compile a book of a great variety of styles, time signatures, key signatures and difficulties. The teachers names appear next to the examples. The name of the song is included if a bass line was written to a specific standard. The examples are loosely arranged from easiest to most difficult.
Most bass and guitar players learn to play by listening to recordings and copying what their favorite players do. Bass players often dont start playing the instrument until they are 15 or 16 years old, when their hands are big and strong enough. Horn players often start in school bands at a young age. The first thing they do is read music. It seems that is usually the last thing the bass player does. Its easy to understand why reading skills are generally lower among bass & guitar players. With that said, we are here to tell you that reading is a necessary part of being a musician. If you cant read music, you limit the number of gigs you will be able to do. I know that my ability to read has led to all the variety of work that I have done. Being a good reader makes your practice time much more productive. You can quickly read through a large amount of material and pull out the things that apply to what you need to work on.
Its a real honor to work with all the great bass players at Berklee College of Music. I hope you enjoy the music they have contributed to this book. I would like to thank them all for their support. It was fun putting it all together.