Simple Steps To Sight Reading Volume 1

(24 customer reviews)

$79.00 $55.30

The Ultimate Step-By-Step Music Reading Method For Bass Guitar.

Progressive lessons to guide you along the road to pro level sight reading, made simple every step of the way!





Simple Steps To Sight Reading Volume 1

The Ultimate Step-By-Step Music Reading Method For Bass Guitar

Click Here For Full Course Info PDF

‘At the end of the first section I was able to sight read the songs in the test. It put a HUGE smile on my face and really instilled a sense of accomplishment.’ Andrew Goldstein – USA

‘I couldn’t read any charts at all and found the course really worth every penny. Easy to understand and lots (and I mean lots!) of exercises, materials and backing tracks’ Ben Kwakman – Holland

‘The course was exactly what I needed. The personal satisfaction when I was able to look at a new piece of music and play it first time was marvellous.’ Paul Wright – UK

Check out more reviews of the course in the Reviews tab above!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Simple Steps To Sight Reading Course?

Simple Steps To Sight Reading is the ultimate guide to reading music on bass guitar. It is a multimedia course using a combination of video lessons, PDF workbooks and MP3 backing tracks to provide the most comprehensive, step-by-step approach to sight reading available today.

What level of player is the course aimed at?

The course is aimed at any player from beginner to advanced level. Many advanced bass players are lacking in this very specialized area of playing so the number of playing years and experience is irrelevant. If you cannot read music – you cannot read music and this course serves to take you from the absolute basics of reading through to an advanced professional level whatever your standard.

What Will I Learn?

After completing Level 1 you will have acquired an understanding of the following areas of reading music

  • The basics of written music notation
  • Complete familiarity and the ability to read every note in the first position of the fretboard. Natural, sharps and flats.
  • All rhythms from whole note through to quarter notes including rests and ties
  • The Cycle Of Fifths and how to read Key Signatures
  • The specific keys G Major and F Major.
  • Many common symbols used in written music from the basic Clef and Time Signature markings through to Dynamics and Coda signs.

How Long Are The Lessons?

The lesson lengths vary but volume 1 of the course has a combined video length of 7.5 hours. Plenty of material to keep you practicing for weeks, months or years.

How is the course presented? Do I Download Anything?

The course is hosted on the Talkingbass website so there are no video files to download. There is a lesson material zip file containing all of the course material arranged in appropriate folders.

24 reviews for Simple Steps To Sight Reading Volume 1

  1. Megan . (verified owner)

    The advice I’ve read elsewhere is that the ability to read sheet music isn’t necessary or even used that much for the typical bassist, and tab is easy to grasp, so don’t bother. I started working through the chords course here first, but I still had this nagging thought that I wanted to read bass clef, and I guessed that studying sight reading would help with fret memorization (understatement of the year). Now that I’ve finished volume 1 and started volume 2, here’s my humble advice: the sight reading series is the most important course here, bar none, and after you get your beginner bass techniques squared away, please try the first volume. Reading bass clef will free you from tab, and by the end of the first volume you will know the first position and all its notes (naturals/sharps/flats) without looking at your hands, and that is an amazing confidence booster.

    Take your time, don’t expect perfection, and keep going. Some chapters are quick, others will take a lot more time and repeats, but the challenge is worth it and the other music theory courses mean a lot more when you can read sheet music.

  2. Ian W. (verified owner)

    Excellent sight-reading course!

    I always had an inferiority complex because I couldn’t read music but under Mark’s positive and straightforward guidance, it’s a lot easier than I expected. I also appreciate not being bombarded with marketing emails at every turn!

    When I’ve finished this course, I’m going to check out the Scales Essentials one. I know my scales but, looking at the course outline, there’s still an awful lot that could benefit my playing.

  3. Dan C.

    I have been playing bass for over 30 years, but never really learned to read because it wasn’t a requirement for what I do, which is play jazz standards at jam sessions. I’ve always felt a bit embarrassed when a tune did have a written-out bass line, and I would have to very slowly read each note and memorize the phrase. This reading course started challenging me in level 2, so I can see this will take some time to get through, but I look forward to the journey that has been long overdue for me.

  4. Bryan W.

    This course was outstanding! Mark is such a gifted instructor, every module builds upon itself and you are reading before you know it. “Simple Steps” is such a perfect title, it is so well laid out you can’t help but succeed! But the course is also incredibly comprehensive! I highly recommend anyone interested in learning to read take this course! I started the volume 2 as soon as I finished volume 1 and look forward to finishing the whole series.

  5. Scott P. (verified owner)

    Hi Mark,
    I just completed this course. I still have many hours of practice to do, but I love how you presented this material and I love that I can go back and watch a lesson over and over again until I feel comfortable.

  6. Bruce M.

    Echoing some of what others have already said, this is a great course for learning to read. I decided to start on this course soon after completing the basic starter pack because I heard Mark say 1) of all the courses he offered, he was most proud of the sight reading courses, and 2) the origins of the course. As I recall it, Mark said he was admitted into a music academy to study music without, unlike his peers, knowing how to read music well – so he knew his success as a music student depended upon him acquiring reading skills. He taught himself how to read by breaking the process of reading into basic skill elements and dedicating himself to learning those elements. The sight reading courses are, in part, a refinement of his own method of teaching himself to read. I also think that reading music is a gateway to so much more in music education. So I’m using this course to learn to read music to a minimum standard. I can repeat this course (and the others in the sight reading series) to increase my reading proficiency to the level of a “sight reader”. By the time you complete this course, you will be able to read a straight forward and fundamental bass line in standard notation. It’s hard work, but most everything in life that is worth anything requires hard work. I can’t think of a better starting point in your music educational journey than this course. Go for it!

  7. Tim A. (verified owner)

    Great course, establishes a foundation for your playing, enjoyed completing it and I’m still working on it! Worth investing your time and effort!

  8. Barney K.

    Very effective path to reading and understanding music theory. I learned to read the treble clef on guitar and some on piano, but that was 50+ years ago. Having played in touring rock bands in the small venue, night club and hotel circuits reading and theory were not a requirement. Having said that theory would have made learning by ear easier if I knew the mechanics better. The structure of this Method is well suited for my learning style and I now can read the simple sheet music fairly well. Ready to star the second module and looking forward to more complex keys and faster play. I set aside an hour a day for these courses and truthfully it is the shortest hour of the day. Mark drops in many tidbits regarding sight reading jigs, playing with bands and the practice tracks are very functional for the material. The PDF material is extensive so be prepared to buy some ink or toner for your printer.
    Now on to the next module

  9. Allan A. (verified owner)

    I’ve played bass in my younger days back in1980, and never learned any music-theory, played only by ear and some knowledge from chords on guitar.
    I think this course is just the right for me. I’m 64 years old and hope to find some musicians to play with. I’ve also started the course: The Chord Tones Essentials. The way Mark has builded the courses is very, very good for me. I live in Denmark, somtimes there is a language issue, but I understand the most or I’ve have to replay :-)

  10. Nick N. (verified owner)

    Once again you deliver a first class product. Reading music will be the key to success.
    Really has helped to develop the ear as well. Explanations and video tutorial along with tons of practice material, hits the target. Feel like a freshman again.
    Looking forward to Sight Reading 2 and continued success,
    Thank You Nick.

  11. Anonymous (verified owner)

    I have just completed this Level 1 course and it’s been a real eye opener. The approach Mark takes in teaching the content is second to none. I feel confident in what I’m learning and at a good steady rate. I have recommended to all my bassist friends who may be interested in learning sight reading. Thanks a bunch Mark.

  12. Carl H. (verified owner)

    This course is by far the best investment I have ever made in my bass education. The way Mark breaks down everything into bite pieces, is what makes his courses stand alone. My only regret is not investing in them sooner.

  13. Bob Z.

    For many, many years I studied bass ad-hoc, and without a solid curriculum, I never really felt comfortable calling myself a “bass player.” One of the missing pieces was a solid knowledge of the fretboard and the ability to sight read. Mark breaks things down in such a way that fairly quickly you’re reading very simple pieces and feeling accomplishment. I can finally comfortably refer to myself as a bassist!

  14. Emily M.

    Mark gets to the point, gets across the knowledge, and you have access to lots of lesson materials to practice with. Great course for learning to read music.

  15. Paul D.

    I couldn’t read music at all before starting this course. Mark’s instruction videos are a model of clarity and the supporting workbook provides all the information you need.

  16. Matt W.

    I’ve always understood the concept of reading music but tab made it all too easy for me to ignore this important part of playing bass. But, these lessons have helped me no end! Within the first week I was really happy with the noticeable progress I could see and felt like sight reading was something totally attainable for me! There are places where the lessons become more challenging so this isn’t something that is going to drop into place quickly… but, it doesn’t claim to be. Throughout, Mark explains that this is something that takes practice and time. But, if you’re up for the challenge then this is a fantastic course with excellently presented lessons. Worth every penny and it makes me excited for the future of my bass playing again. Thank you :D

  17. ian j. (verified owner)

    I really can’t fault this course. Very easy steps, clear instruction. With regular practice success is just about inevitable. Mark is an exceptional teacher.

  18. Djim R.

    Mark is a stellar teacher! He knows how best to share his knowledge with a player, no matter what the skill level. This Simple Steps to Sight Reading Vol 1 is a great introduction to the subject. He covers all the basics, but doesn’t just dump a bunch of exercises in your lap and leave you to figure it all out for yourself. Taking small steps, he helps a beginner grasp the rudiments and by the end of this first course, you will have a pretty impressive skill set, especially if you practice the material faithfully and honestly. I’ve already purchased a few of Mark’s courses, because i think he does an amazing job of helping you to push yourself musically, while not forcing you to buy more content and he doesn’t feel the need to be ostentatious or gimmicky. kudos to you Mark! thanks for providing us with this material!

  19. Pat H. (verified owner)

    Really enjoying this course. Here’s the deal w/ Mark, he gets to it. He gives you instructions so you can get on w/ the lesson and progressing. Yes, he’s personable, funny and gives hints and tips here and there, but a majority of the time is spent on the ‘main course’. Thank you Mark!
    – Pat

  20. Michel M.

    When I decided to pick up the bass, I was determined to learn how to read music as well. It was a personal goal and I could not play or read a single note on the bass clef. So I decided to buy Mark’s course “Simple Steps To Sight Reading”; and I am so glad that I did. The course is simply great and effective, and I cannot recommend it enough. The lessons are progressive, they start simple and allow fast learning, which makes the whole experience just fun. Now I am able to also read Jeff Berlin’s lessons (Etudes) and Phil Mann’s, in addition to Mark’s. But Mark’s method was the starter –and still is– if I want to recommend a course to anyone. If you are thinking of learning to read music (bass clef), do not hesitate to grab this course.

  21. Agustín M.

    What can I say of this course? I give it 5 stars because I hasn’t more. I’ve been playing bass for about 30 years and I can say without doubt that this is the course that every bass player MUST do. You will learn very fast to read music for bass. You will learn to read while playing from second one. You will get a lot of indirect benefits like understand the music for better compositions, learn scales, learn all the fretboard, learn the rhythm…..I have a lot of old bass books and now I can read them with a huge smile in my face. I love this course. I enjoy a lot all the exerecises and I also extrapolate those exercises playing them with slap, double thumb…. Mark’s methodology is game changer and he is the best online teacher with very clear english; something critical for foreign students like me. With this course, you will feel quickly how to jump to other dimension in bass playing. Actually I’m at 16% of Sight Reading volume 2, 70% slap vol 2, and bought the walking bass course (not started yet)
    Mark’s courses are no brainer the best inversion in knowledge.

  22. .

    This is something everyone needs if they want to progress as bass players and general musicians. You’ll learn to read sheet music, and play without watching your hands which is a big plus.
    I am only a few lessons in on this course but already can feel that my playing is progressed, I am much more confident in getting the right notes.

  23. Anthony M. (verified owner)

    I needed to learn the base as an instrument that plays bass clef notes. When I discovered this course I was excited and it did not disappoint me. I’m only through level 2 but already can play most of the songs our church uses on the bass clef with lots of practice. It’s only been six months since I started but diligent practice of at least one hour per day will get you there. By the time I get to through the next levels I will be very proficient in being able to play almost anything out there which gives me the utmost confidence in my playing. I would not have believed six months ago that I would be this far as seeing other musicians learn their instruments over years of work to play well I figured that was my road. Not so.

    In addition to learning the notes I’ve learned a lot about music composition what those notes mean. I’ve been playing chords for 40 years but there is more to them than I thought. Being able to go back and forth between notes and chords is a whole new experience that does leave me scared or wondering any more what I’ve been missing. I’d say learning the notes is a must for almost anyone as it will give you the fundamentals and confidence to go farther in your career as a bass musician. No wonder so many rock and roll stars learned classical piano – note theory that took them behind the scenes and gave them a grounding they use everyday in music. You can’t go wrong in this course at all and the beauty is with all the levels you can easily spend a few years becoming super proficient and not run out of material to practice.

  24. Antonio P. (verified owner)

    You want to progress as a bass player more effectively, rapidly, and have more fun playing? Learn to read. This course is the only resource that makes sense, and I searched extensively. The value for the money is VERY high. The course itself is exceptionally well-constructed, thorough and detailed. I am almost done with Vol 1. It takes work and time, but it is worth the money and effort. The videos are detailed, the course material is impressively effective. As always, Mark explains every topic with clarity and professionalism. I am a hobbyist, not a pro, and I’ve been playing for decades–just not very well–because I’ve never understood what I was playing. It got to be no fun to just make sounds and play fast or do covers and playing entirely by ear.

    Learning to read has improved my understanding of music, my confidence, and my enjoyment of the bass tremendously. I will never play professionally, but I have finally found that reading is essential. For example, I have several amazing books recommended by my bass teacher, and all require reading to complete the exercises.

    If you want to learn to read, get this course. Be prepared to work. This is a real course, and it requires commitment and time, but it is also fun and you will see results. There is a steep (meaning good) learning curve at first, then there is a bit of a plateau, but once you reach rhythms, things take off again.

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