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Jeff May
May-24-2009, 4:29pm
This book has probably been discussed before, but I just recently started working through it and am finding it incredibly useful. I learned to read music playing in band in high school, but haven't read standard notation since then (a long time ago). I played the guitar forever with nothing but tab. There are so many good resources out there in standard notation that I really wanted to learn to read on this instrument. I've always been able to look at sheet music and eventually figure out the right notes on the fret board, but it was pretty slow and painful. This little book has enabled me to "see the note, play the note" without really thinking about where it is on the neck. Just what I was after. I recommend it highly for any others with a "tab-addiction".

wildpikr
May-25-2009, 8:20am
I've found the same thing with that book. It's been a big help. I just got her follow-up book for the mandola because I want to get a good start reading the correct music notation on that instrument. Good, helpful, well-explained information in both books. Thanks to Debora Chen!

Roger Kunkel
May-25-2009, 9:59pm
Me too! I've wanted to improve my reading for a long time and this book has been the ticket. I can now site read easy fiddle tunes at a slow tempo and it's getting easier all the time. Highly recommended!

Tobin
May-26-2009, 11:29am
Where did you find this book?

wildpikr
May-26-2009, 11:51am
Try here:

http://www.stringthingm.com/

tallmike
May-26-2009, 9:15pm
Purchased this yesterday, thanks to this thread. Looking forward to reading it!

mandroid
May-26-2009, 10:07pm
I keep losing my place on the page, so my sight reading is still no good :disbelief:
always slow like frozen treacle.

now my eyesight is going :crying:

Pete Braccio
May-26-2009, 10:48pm
This is a great book. It's laid out in a very logical way and gets you look beyond the individual notes and see the whole picture of a piece.

Pete

emitfo
Jun-03-2009, 7:25pm
It's funny you should say that. You see our library has "The Parking Lot Pickers Song Book" by Dix Bruce...but only in banjo & dobro form--go figure! Well I'm a so-so sight-reader* but I grabbed the dobro version and since the songs are simple melodies I can fairly easily play them and I thought to myself "Note reading is easier on the ol' e-balls than tab--I could get used to this!" Even with the best tab you have to see what NUMBER is printed though the string is positionally indicated. The notes are ALL positionally noted so it's easier to read. But that book does have HUGE NOTE FONTS:)

*Rhythmically is the tough part, when the subdivisions get to be mixtures of 16th notes & 8th notes and such. Of course I play it slower than heck so I'd never be able to sight read for an orchestra! Plus I wasn't raised on bluegrass/old-time so I can rarely cheat either!
:mandosmiley:


I keep losing my place on the page, so my sight reading is still no good :disbelief:
always slow like frozen treacle.

now my eyesight is going :crying:

Sandy Beckler
Jun-11-2009, 8:40pm
Based on reviews here and an earnest desire to improve my skill set, I bit the bullet and ordered the book from Debora...I am hoping to see it delivered tomorrow, so I can spend the weekend with it.:grin:

Sandy

Dave Weiss
Jun-12-2009, 1:37am
I got my copy about a week ago, read through section one. So far so good. As suggested in the book I bought a metranome (wind up,pendulum,tick-tock, Wittner mini). Section two, down pick on the open G course, no sweat; until I try to do it with the metranome :disbelief:. This may take a while. I'm determined to do this right. This is hands down the best mando related investment that I've made so far.

gda(v)e
Jun-12-2009, 3:48pm
Dang you guys!!! I have been trying to teach myself to read standard notation for a few weeks now by reading/playing fiddle tunes. So I read you all RAVING about Debora Chen's book and I decide to check it out. Her website convinces me that her method is better than my method of learning from fiddle tunes, so I ordered the book. YOU GUYS ARE COSTING ME A LOT OF MONEY! STOP IT!! ;)

MLT
Jun-12-2009, 4:06pm
I got my copy about a week ago, read through section one. So far so good. As suggested in the book I bought a metranome (wind up,pendulum,tick-tock, Wittner mini). Section two, down pick on the open G course, no sweat; until I try to do it with the metranome :disbelief:. This may take a while. I'm determined to do this right. This is hands down the best mando related investment that I've made so far.

I am in the same place with the same metronome...Looking forward to progressing to the next lesson right after I patch the drywall where my metronome now is a part of the wall. Oh yea, and buy a new metronome as well...:redface:
But really--this is a great book and a great investment.

Rob Gerety
Jun-15-2009, 8:04am
I started working with the Chen book about a week ago. I like it. Like anything else it is going to take some sustained effort to work through it. But it seems like a very well thought out method to get you sight reading without too much pure memorizing. The key is sticking to it every day and working methodically through the book without skipping any steps.

I also think that there are some good habits - like finding strings and frets without looking at the fretboard - that come along with the whole process of learning to sight read. Also, working with a metronome daily can't be bad for you.

Truth is I think the best way to learn a tune is by ear, but there are times when I feel at a huge disadvantage not reading music and I'm determined to learn. Its just one of those basic skills I want to have.

Caleb
Jun-17-2009, 11:35am
I bought this book as an absolute beginner, and being unfamiliar with any "musical language" I couldn't make sense of it and sold it. There are some very fundamental things that I suppose the author assumes the reader will know before coming to the book; I didn't know those things and was lost at about page 2.

I wish there was more in the way of introducing fundamental language and understanding before moving into the rest of the book. After all, if someone is "tab-addicted" that would mean they only read the numbers on the page and know nothing of time signatures, whole vs half notes, etc, etc. That was/is me, so I was pretty clueless from the outset and remained so.

I only speak up on this because I know there are other tab/by-ear players like me who might come to the book expecting the lights to all of a sudden come on, only to be met with vague musical language that they don't/won't understand without some prior training. And then finding themselves firmly back at square one, they'll likely end up disgusted by the whole enterprise. I know people always say that reading music is the easiest language to learn, etc, etc, but nothing is easy at square one when you don't have a clue. For the people who have no one to show them how to read music, it may as well be brain surgery.

I ended up finding a person who explains all the things I would have needed before progressing in the "Tab Addicted" book and now might be able to make some sense out of it though.

So, if you already have some basic, fundamental knowledge of music, I recommend the "Tab Addicted" book; if not I think you'll be disappointed.

gda(v)e
Jun-18-2009, 4:45pm
After all, if someone is "tab-addicted" that would mean they only read the numbers on the page and know nothing of time signatures, whole vs half notes, etc, etc.

That isn't really true. Reading tab (correctly) requires knowledge of, and adherence to, timing rules just as much as reading standard notation. But you're right that Debora Chen's book shortcuts the basic theory somewhat, and she even says so early on. But I wouldn't despair if I were you ... the theory that is missing is very readily available in many, MANY books and you should have no trouble finding it and picking it up. Really!

Rob Gerety
Jun-18-2009, 9:30pm
I am working with her book every day and I must say I think it is truly excellent and that I will indeed be able to sight read standard notation at a reasonble - maybe slow - pace in a few months if I stick with this about 15 minutes a day.

gda(v)e
Jun-18-2009, 10:34pm
I am working with her book every day and I must say I think it is truly excellent and that I will indeed be able to sight read standard notation at a reasonble - maybe slow - pace in a few months if I stick with this about 15 minutes a day.

I completely agree. I have had her book exactly one day and already I've learned some things I never would have figured out on my own by studying fiddle tunes. A brilliant little book, in my opinion.

Tosh Marshall
Jun-19-2009, 1:47am
[Caleb posted]I bought this book as an absolute beginner, and being unfamiliar with any "musical language" I couldn't make sense of it and sold it. There are some very fundamental things that I suppose the author assumes the reader will know before coming to the book; I didn't know those things and was lost at about page 2.
[/QUOTE]
I bought the book hardly understanding a note at all but I found it a big help. I was an absolute beginner and am only 2 years in now and still learning (modes,scales, etc) but it is a long haul and not a short hop. There is no quick fix. I think it is how you approach it and how much you want to understand the topic. You have to want to learn the subject and there are a lot of teaching aids out there that don't come close to Deborah Chen's work. I would heartedly recommend this book even if you are a beginner because even if there are things that are not crystal clear you can always return to it with a little bit of experience a month or so on. Thanks to this book I now enjoy standard notation fiddle tune books and that is a big plus.
Tosh Marshall