Anthony Vitti - Professor - Berklee College of Music
Odd Time Sight Reading: (eBook)
The concept for this book was very easy to come up with. The fact is that there just is not a lot of material out there for bass players to read in odd meters. A problem I think most players face, is the fact that you don't see certain meters very often. But, then you find yourself playing a show or recording a song and you are expected to be comfortable reading and playing in 7/8, 9/8, 5/4 or any number of odd meters. We spend most of our time playing in 4/4. Meters like 3/4, 6/8 & 12/8 are fairly common, but you still may not find yourself as comfortable feeling these times as you do 4/4.
Players from around the world may be more familiar with odd meters, because they grow up hearing them as popular music. For example, if you grow up listening to Greek or Bulgarian Music, you would most likely be much more comfortable playing in odd meters.
One thing to look for when playing in odd meters, is the break down of the beats in the measures. Very often a time signature like 7/8, is phrased so that you will feel 4/8 and 3/8. It could be broken up any number of ways, but look for how the bass line is being felt. This can make things a lot easier to count and feel.
The point of this book is to get you comfortable reading and feeling a variety of different time signatures. I have written the bass lines so that they are consistent, but have enough variation to keep you from memorizing lines. There are a variety of tempos and feels. You will see how I develop each line throughout an example. I will increase the rhythmic depth and many times, the technical difficulty in playing the line. If you read through these examples many times, I think you will start to feel a lot more comfortable about playing in odd meters. I am also providing drum grooves at two tempos that you can download. This way you will hear the feel I had in mind when writing the bass lines. Good luck!