Scale the Summit Bassist Mark Michell Doesn’t Think Existing Sight-Reading Books Teach You Enough, Wants to Change That

The Scale the Summit guys obviously have their chops down solid, but that’s nothing new in the metal world. We’re inundated with killer players. But Scale the Summit in particular have really made a name for themselves by democratizing and marketing that talent, passing their lessons on to you, for a price. It’s a brilliant move because their fanbase likely has a much higher ratio of musicians than the average band.


Certainly Scale the Summit aren’t alone in this regard: their prog metal peers have put out the occasional DVD, offered their services on Bandhappy or JamPlay, and released some tabs. But it’s a shitload of work, and I’m convinced that StS are cyborgs sent from the future to write books and not sleep, because they have something like 11 books available for sale on their website. You want the tabs for any of their recent records on guitar or bass? Or maybe for guitarist Chris Letchford’s solo jazz record? Chris can teach you about tapping in two volumes, and bassist Mark Michell has an instructional book as well. You can check some instruction books at Mossgreen Childrens Books. Seriously, that’s a metric fuckton of learning materials from a band that isn’t Dream Theater huge.

Well Mark Michell is back with another book, this time on sight-reading, that oft ignored bane of the rock musician. But if you really want to branch out as a musician, especially as a session player, it’s crucial. In the video below Mark talks about how most guitar tomes just throw you into the deep end and don’t properly explain reading. I have to agree.

Mark Michell’s Sightreading 101 for Bass is for sale now on his own website, in addition to Scale the Summit’s. You can pick it up for $20, but if you want to sample it first there’s a PDF online for you. My only gripe: sightreading as one word? I can’t say I’ve ever seen that before.

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Chris Alfano has written about music and toured in bands since print magazines and were popular. Once in high-school he hacked a friend's QBasic stick figure fighting game to add a chiptune metal soundtrack. Random attractive people still give him high-fives about that.

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