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 Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick) 
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Post Re: Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick)
Lots of different options. I like the scalar better, but maybe that's just the bass player in me talking ;) thanks Scott


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Fri Jun 23, 2017 7:17 pm
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Post Re: Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick)
All equally terrible on a first pass, lol but maybe it gives an idea of what's doable, and what is perhaps above one's ability "reading-wise". For me, anyways heh

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Fri Jun 23, 2017 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick)
When I was learning to read on guitar, I started by memorizing the notes on the board, which made reading go more smoothly. I never got really good at reading, but here's the exercise I used for learning the fingerboard.

You'll need your instrument, a metronome, and the circle of descending fifths (aka the circle of fourths). If you don't have the circle memorized, you can keep it in front of you until you do.

Image

I like to work clockwise around this circle.

If you prefer the classical circle fifths, you can use that instead or work counterclockwise around the circle above.

1. Set the metronome for a comfortable tempo -- 60 BPM is a good starting point.

2. Start with the note C, at the top of the circle.

3. Count yourself off in 4/4.

4. On beat 1 of each subsequent measure, say "C" out loud.

5. On beat 3, play the note C nearest the nut on the first string of the melody side of the Stick.

6. In the next measure, you'll again say "C" out loud on beat 1. On beat 3, play the next C on the same string (an octave higher).

Beats 2 and 4 are rests. So the exercise goes like this:

Beat 1: Say the note name out loud

Beat 2: Rest

Beat 3: Play the note

Beat 4: Rest

7. When you've played the C's on the first string, move to the second string. Then the rest.

By reciting each note name before playing the note, you're both declaring your intention and establishing muscle and ear memory.

It's OK to skip the notes in the nether regions of the board that you'll likely never play, such as the really high ones on the lower bass stings or the ones on the first fret of the melody side. The idea is to become proficient and efficient. If a note is not practical to play in the course of normal reading, let it go.

8. Once you've said and played the C's on the melody side, in tempo, move on to the F's, then the Bb's, then the Eb's, etc. When you've done all the G's, you've completed the circle.

9. Do the same on the bass side.

10. Increase the tempo gradually as you get better. Around 200 BPM is a good target, but feel free to set your own pace.

Variation 1

Instead of playing the C's (or any other note) on one string before moving on to the next string, play the next nearest C on an adjacent string. This way, you can divide the board into regions and learn the positions vertically as well as learning each string horizontally. It helps to learn both.

Variation 2

Play through all notes around the circle on one string before moving on to the next string.

Variation 3

For maximum reading benefit, try doing all of this blindfolded or while looking away from the instrument.

Variation 4

Get both hands going at the same time, reciting and then playing each note around the circle on both sides of the Stick at once. Get creative and mix things up.

The most important thing is to stay in tempo at all times and always keep moving. This goes for reading too. If you miss a note or space out once in a while, let it go and nail the next one. Again, stay in tempo and keep moving. And when doing the circle exercise, always say the note name first, out loud, then play the note.

Once you've learned all the single notes like this, you can use the same exercise for chords, in various inversions, as well as for standard progressions like II-V-I, etc.


Sat Jun 24, 2017 10:44 am
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Post Re: Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick)
Jayesskerr wrote:
...because it forced me to become a beginner again...


...so it is for all of us...
...but for me playing (and learning) the stick gives a new view on the
instruments already played...

...the main thing is once started with the stick, nothing will be again like before...


Sun Jun 25, 2017 1:39 pm
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Post Re: Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick)
Balt-A-Sar wrote:

...the main thing is once started with the stick, nothing will be again like before...


Ain't that the truth! Everything is changing in my musical life: less and less bass playing, more and more stick... who can tell where all this is going to end?


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Sun Jun 25, 2017 2:08 pm
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Post Re: Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick)
Balt-A-Sar wrote:
Jayesskerr wrote:
...because it forced me to become a beginner again...


...so it is for all of us...
...but for me playing (and learning) the stick gives a new view on the
instruments already played...

...the main thing is once started with the stick, nothing will be again like before...


So true!

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Sun Jun 25, 2017 5:23 pm
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Post Re: Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick)
I learned piano first and then bass guitar and now Stick. For piano, it is relatively easy to find the keys once you have the Staff down. For bass, I found it easiest to know the string names ((B)EADG) and based on different pieces, find critical string/fret combinations that are notes. Knowing the 4ths relationship, the notes find themselves. With different / more complex pieces, more notes commit to memory.

Stick is a different beast. So now instead of 4-5 strings (6 for you guitarists), there are 10-12. Still, the same approach works. On the bass side, we learn certain root notes and use the 5ths (4ths as you desire) relationship to find notes that are not root. On the melody side we can find certain useful starting notes and use the 4ths relationship to find new notes, which then lead to the repeating shifting pattern between dots/lines. It works, but there is more to do, and we are all older with possibly less time to devote to the instrument. It's a process.

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Mon Jun 26, 2017 8:31 am
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Post Re: Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick)
john.e wrote:
When I was learning to read on guitar, I started by memorizing the notes on the board, which made reading go more smoothly. I never got really good at reading, but here's the exercise I used for learning the fingerboard.

You'll need your instrument, a metronome, and the circle of descending fifths (aka the circle of fourths). If you don't have the circle memorized, you can keep it in front of you until you do.

Image

I like to work clockwise around this circle.

If you prefer the classical circle fifths, you can use that instead or work counterclockwise around the circle above.

1. Set the metronome for a comfortable tempo -- 60 BPM is a good starting point.

2. Start with the note C, at the top of the circle.

3. Count yourself off in 4/4.

4. On beat 1 of each subsequent measure, say "C" out loud.

5. On beat 3, play the note C nearest the nut on the first string of the melody side of the Stick.

6. In the next measure, you'll again say "C" out loud on beat 1. On beat 3, play the next C on the same string (an octave higher).

Beats 2 and 4 are rests. So the exercise goes like this:

Beat 1: Say the note name out loud

Beat 2: Rest

Beat 3: Play the note

Beat 4: Rest

7. When you've played the C's on the first string, move to the second string. Then the rest.

By reciting each note name before playing the note, you're both declaring your intention and establishing muscle and ear memory.

It's OK to skip the notes in the nether regions of the board that you'll likely never play, such as the really high ones on the lower bass stings or the ones on the first fret of the melody side. The idea is to become proficient and efficient. If a note is not practical to play in the course of normal reading, let it go.

8. Once you've said and played the C's on the melody side, in tempo, move on to the F's, then the Bb's, then the Eb's, etc. When you've done all the G's, you've completed the circle.

9. Do the same on the bass side.

10. Increase the tempo gradually as you get better. Around 200 BPM is a good target, but feel free to set your own pace.

Variation 1

Instead of playing the C's (or any other note) on one string before moving on to the next string, play the next nearest C on an adjacent string. This way, you can divide the board into regions and learn the positions vertically as well as learning each string horizontally. It helps to learn both.

Variation 2

Play through all notes around the circle on one string before moving on to the next string.

Variation 3

For maximum reading benefit, try doing all of this blindfolded or while looking away from the instrument.

Variation 4

Get both hands going at the same time, reciting and then playing each note around the circle on both sides of the Stick at once. Get creative and mix things up.

The most important thing is to stay in tempo at all times and always keep moving. This goes for reading too. If you miss a note or space out once in a while, let it go and nail the next one. Again, stay in tempo and keep moving. And when doing the circle exercise, always say the note name first, out loud, then play the note.

Once you've learned all the single notes like this, you can use the same exercise for chords, in various inversions, as well as for standard progressions like II-V-I, etc.


I am a big cycle of 4ths/5ths fan, I practice everything I do using it in some way or another... Cool post. I think that getting familiar with where the heck the notes are is a huge first step, whether you plan to be a "reader" or just want to get a start on figuring this crazy instrument out!

sagehalo wrote:
I learned piano first and then bass guitar and now Stick. For piano, it is relatively easy to find the keys once you have the Staff down. For bass, I found it easiest to know the string names ((B)EADG) and based on different pieces, find critical string/fret combinations that are notes. Knowing the 4ths relationship, the notes find themselves. With different / more complex pieces, more notes commit to memory.

Stick is a different beast. So now instead of 4-5 strings (6 for you guitarists), there are 10-12. Still, the same approach works. On the bass side, we learn certain root notes and use the 5ths (4ths as you desire) relationship to find notes that are not root. On the melody side we can find certain useful starting notes and use the 4ths relationship to find new notes, which then lead to the repeating shifting pattern between dots/lines. It works, but there is more to do, and we are all older with possibly less time to devote to the instrument. It's a process.


I was never much of a keyboardist, but I play bass and guitar, and drums pretty not too bad! I wish I had spent more time with keys, it would have made Stick a lot easier... Ahhh well, that's the cool thing about it, there's always time to learn!

As for the notes "finding themselves" on a bass, I guess it depends on what kind of bass playing you're working out. I know a lot of bass players and guitarists who can't find the notes on their instrument, and Stick it's something I have really worked hard at. Like guitar, reading on bass is a positional endeavour with a kind of 4 frets for 4 fingers and a first finger, or pinky stretch to grab various accidentals. Geometric shortcuts, visual aides, etc are not so useful when dealing with notation exactly, but the best cure for unfamiliarity is immersion in my opinion. Do a lot of arranging, transcribing, and scoring and it will come together. The nice thing about reading, is that although it's a slow grind, the progress is measurable and the impact of reading on your other musical attributes (The ability to communicate) is highly useful in my opinion.

The nice thing about 4ths tunings; every 4th note you need is geometrically straight across the string to the next string. That means scalar work works out to be 3 notes per string, and scalar and chord systems "jive".

Stick is indeed a process, and man... there is a lot going on there. It can be overwhelming. The simultaneous nature of it is really the biggest challenge/greatest reward in my opinion... It's a really great instrument, it really is.

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Fri Jun 30, 2017 2:35 pm
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Post Re: Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick)
Chris Crain's e-Lessons are useful for sight reading.
Especially for beginners. http://www.thecrains.net/stick/

I also like the Cipher website for general Stick info.
http://www.thecipher.com/stick-3_minute_intro.html
http://www.thecipher.com/stick-string-numbers.html
http://www.thecipher.com/stick_formula-tables.html
http://www.thecipher.com/stick-5and7degree-calc-line.html
http://www.thecipher.com/stick-demonstrations_1.html
http://www.thecipher.com/stick-octave-pattern_1.html
http://www.thecipher.com/stick-fretboard_note_spellers.html
http://www.thecipher.com/stick_free_pdfs.html


Sat Jul 01, 2017 7:01 pm
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Post Re: Sightreading pointers and guidelines (for Stick)


Cool stuff, thanks for sharing! Definitely a resource!

Me, I am a lot more interested in solving music that I love, not necessarily the music that comes with the instrument. I think the guys that write for the instrument (The Stick) are great, but I want the option of Paganini, Coltrane, Yngwie, Tool, Dixie Dregs, Soundgarden, Bach, etc... and In my own arrangement style if possible. Understanding and using the language of notation certainly keeps the doors open to anything that is written...

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Tue Jul 11, 2017 5:17 pm
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