For Bass Players Want To Ditch The Tab And Learn How To Deal With Notation in 2024!

Real World Sight Reading Level 1

(Note This Programme is In Beta)

The bass guitar is only 70 or so years old...

Unlike other instruments, a detailed, from the ground up  musical curriculum has never been built. And there's no formalized system that everyone can follow that will lead them to acquire skill.

That applies to everything from technique to bass line development to sight reading.

But there's tab right? Why do I need to use notation?

Notation is a system that's been developed and refined over hundreds of years. It's so much more useful for bass players than tab.

Plus if you go online and check out online tabs....the accuracy often leaves A LOT to be desired.

Plus notation has  other musical benefits. E.g. greater understanding of theory, greater perception of rhythm (most tabs have no rhythm), easier to play a line accurately 'cold,' more accurate notation of articulations. Tab can become a crutch: if you've ever needed to learn a song and had to look for the know what I mean.

Notation opens up lots of musical doors for you that are slammed shut when using tabs.

Note: Using notation is so difficult that when primary school kids have music lessons they use notation and not tab.

With the right system, learning to read music is similar to learning to read letters to make words from which you can make sentences and communicate.


The problem for bass players - that system doesn't really exist.

There are Sight Reading Programs out there.

But to my knowledge there's no sight reading program out there that combines pitch recognition with rock and pop rhythms, the kind of lines that you find in rock and pop songs AND with the kinds of chord progressions used in rock and pop.

What If There Was A Better Way ...?

Here's how you can work out if you need this program:  Imagine you are asked to play the example to the left as part of an audition or similar, or you have a gig and this is part of the song. Could you play this cold at 150 BPM? If not....this is for you.

This is the kind of example that features towards the end of the course.

It doesn't start out like this though. The first lesson features exercises with simple rhythms and simple pitch recognition built in:

Doesn't This Look More Managable? What's required is to be able to go from this kind of example with simple, whole note rhythms, to working with pitches (up to octave G on the G string), accidentals (flats and sharps and naturals), all 12 key signatures, enharmonic equivalents, real world quarter note and 8th note rhythms....all taught using chord progressions found in songs by all your favourite artists!

Up to now such a course hasn't existed.

But now I'm building out such a course - REAL WORLD SIGHT READING LEVEL 1 - and invite you to join me during the beta run.

Why Should I Listen To You?

I've been teaching bass online since 2009. In the last three years I've been turning my years of unique teaching into books on Amazon - here's a screenshot of just 15 of them (at time of writing I have 23 and #24 and #25 are both due for release soon):

The easiest way to check out if I know what I'm talking about is to head to and check out my book LEARNING FROM JAMES JAMERSON VOLUME 1 and read the reviews. Here are a couple of screenshots of reviews I really like:


Of course there are the odd 1* and 2** reviews too! But if you read the main 1* review that Amazon shows you, and then read the sample of the book, you'll quickly come to same conclusion that I did: that Amazon user "CURRENT RESIDENT" doesn't understand simple English.

Anyway....the point is that I'm closing in on combined sales of 20,000 books....and you can find my Author Profile on Amazon and read reviews at random on different books to get a feel for what bass students like you think about working with my teaching material.


What Will I Learn?

Real World Sight Reading Level 1 is created using sequential learning.

That means every lesson, and every part of each lesson, is a stepping stone. And those stepping stones form a path from learning the locations of your first pitches to being able to read (and write) sophisticated lines in any key using quarter note and 8th note rhythms. (More complex rhythms are for future levels.)

Here's how the learning sequences built into the Program work:

  • From Lesson 2 or 3, each subsequent lesson starts with a review of what was learned in the previous lesson.
  • Each lesson introduces two or three new concepts.
  • These new concepts are taught with 'real world' style examples. That's real world progressions, real world 'band styles' on the MP3 practice tracks (as well as slower, chordal metronome tracks) and real world bass line ideas using the pitches and rhythms learned.
  • From Lesson 9 longer, song style, exercises are introduced. These are based on chords of well known songs, but often explored in multiple key centres.
  • Each exercise has its own practice tracks that go from 60 BPM or 80 BPM through to 120 or 140 BM. So you can use those practice tracks to create a tempo sequence.


One of the big problems in most education - not just bass education - is avoided by careful sequencing. That problem is starting out basic and then suddenly jumping to a level that throws the student out of the course. By only handing two or three new ideas per can progress at a constant and consistent rate.

What Other People Say?

Because Real World Sight Reading Level 1 is still in beta...I haven't formally asked for reviews or testimonials.

But here's what one student just like you - a bassist called Jeff - sent me 100% unsolicited:

What Do I Get?

Real World Sight Reading Level 1 Is Still In Beta.

At time of writing (May 2024) I'm working on Lesson 19.

There will be 40 Lessons in total by the time the course is finished. One lesson goes live every 21 weeks to go!

Here's what's in each lesson:

  • PDF Of The Lesson

    Each lesson has its own PDF that you can download. This is to read on your tablet or computer, familiarise yourself with what’s being taught…and get ready to print out the Examples PDF and start practicing!

    Each lesson (so far) is between around 18 and 25 pages long.

  • PDF Of The Examples

    There’s a seperate PDF to download which just features the Examples. That’s so you can print this out and save paper! Each Examples PDF is around 10 to 12 pages long.

  • Website Version Of The Lesson

    If you prefer to do the initial reading of the lesson material on your computer or tablet, there’s a website version of each lesson too.

    This version also has the downloads page where all the downloads are housed.

  • Practice Tracks In Mp3 Format

    For each exercise I provide MP3 tracks with either chordal metronome or band style backing at between 4 and 6 different tempo levels.

    So far I’ve generated over 500 Practice Tracks…each lesson has its own set of tracks to download. Though some lessons use tracks from previous lessons.

    If you’ve got the program BAND IN A BOX though….

  • Band In A Box Files

    On the downloads page you’ll also find all of the Band IN A Box files you need to use that program in your practice. I’m also adding in some ‘STYLES’ that I’ve generated that you can use to create your own etudes, exercises and bass lines.

    That’s not all though….

  • Review Lessons

    From Lesson 3 or 4 (I’ve already forgotten!!!) each lesson starts with a mini review lesson that’s published two or three days before the main lesson is published. The review lesson – anything from 10 to 15 pages long) gives you more exercises to do to ensure that you’ve mastered everything previously taught.

    And now that the course is getting into serious territory, these mini review lessons add extra Song Style Etudes….

  • Song Style Etudes

    This is the biggest hole in bass literature for sight readers. To keep improving and practicing, you need a diet of song like etudes and exercises in multiple keys and styles.

    By the end of the program not only will you have hundreds….but if you have Band In A Box you can generate your own at the touch of a button. (Full tuition on how to do this included, along with custom styles. But I don’t supply a copy of the Band IN A Box program. That would be a seperate – but recommended purchase!)

As well as the Band In A Box Styles added in the program, there will also be a 500 Page PDF of random quarter note/8th note rhythms for rhythm practice available to download at the end of the program.

I'm sure other material will occur during the writing of the remaining lessons.

Each lesson contains:

  • Approx 20 page lesson
  • Approx 12 page 'Examples PDF' to print out and use on your music stand
  • Approx 10 to 15 pages 'Review of Previous Lesson'

Each lesson is approx. the size of a mini book. I've seen these go for around $15 - and I've thought of repackaging each lesson into book form (though have made no final decision on this yet). If so, the investment needed to buy all the books would be $600. (40 lessons x $15 a shot.)

That doesn't factor in the practice tracks. Or the Band In A Box files. Or - more importantly - the Band In A Box styles so you can generate your own edudes in any key at the push of a button!

As the program is in beta, it's still on offer at a reduced price.

When the program gets to 25 Lessons - scheduled for the end of June the price will go up to $177.

When it gets to 30 lessons - around mid August - it will go to the final price of $197.

For now can enroll for....

...only $157

If you enroll now then you'll get a new lesson every you can work on getting through the lessons already in the program and then check out each new lesson to build your sight reading chops.


NOTE: Level 1 covers quarter note and 8th note rhythms, all notes up to G at the 12th fret of the G string and all 12 keys.

Swing 8th notes and triplets plus 16th notes will be covered in future levels.

There are few guarantees in life...but I guarantee that if you DON'T take a program designed to build your sight reading chops, that you'll be stuck to using tab for the rest of your bass playing days! (Note: if you have great hearing, you can get away without being able to read music. If you don't....not so much.)

To my knowledge there's no other Sight Reading Program out there that's either as detailed as this one or based on real world rhythms, real world chord progressions and real world style bass lines. The good news - once you can sight read, then you can sight read. Once you've invested the time to learn how to use notation, it will be with you for life.

So take REAL WORLD SIGHT READING LEVEL 1 for a test drive....if you're not happy within 14 days of purchase just let me know and I'll give you a 100% no questions asked, no hassles refund. Deal?

To Get on the big yellow CONTINUE button below and you'll be redirected to the enrollment page on the website. If you've never registered there before, you'll need to register with your best email and then proceed to enroll....

If you've got any questions....  drop me an email and ask away. I'd rather you were 100% sure BEFORE you enroll. And if it's not for you, I'll tell you.