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#1088627 - 09/13/04 04:22 AM Help Me!
Mesa_Grande Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/13/04
Posts: 1
Loc: Singapore
Whenever I play a new song, I have to take time to recognise what notes to play. I can't recognise the notes straight away, why??? I have to think first before I can play. But once I get used to playing a particular piece, I find that I can play it continuously without stopping to think what note that is... I want to learn how to play without pausing to think about what note this is, what note that is. Is this what they call sight reading? What's sight reading? Somebody plz help me. Hope you guys understand what I am saying.

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#1088628 - 09/13/04 06:54 AM Re: Help Me!
Bob331 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/11/04
Posts: 135
Loc: NY
I understand exactly what you are saying.

I, too, am a beginner. I often have to work on recognizing the notes before I start to play. But not as much as I used to. Just keep at it and the notes (and chords) will become familiar.

It may help if you start out by playing each hand separately.


#1088629 - 09/13/04 07:32 AM Re: Help Me!
Cindysphinx Offline

Registered: 02/14/03
Posts: 6416
Loc: Washington D.C. Metro
You know, it's a lot like reading. At first, it is hard to recognize the letters quickly, but after a while you don't even think about it. I used to have trouble recognizing the notes on the staff (especially bass clef), but now it's automatic. I still struggle with some ledger lines.

You might play around at musictheory.net, which has a thing that will drill you endlessly on the grand staff. It is very helpful.

Vote For Cindy!!


#1088630 - 09/13/04 09:25 AM Re: Help Me!
MitchE Offline
Full Member

Registered: 08/27/04
Posts: 271
Cindy is right, reading music is like reading a book.

Whatever you do, though, do *not* buy "Super Sight-Reading Secrets" by Howard Richman. I tried it and it's a waste of time and money. If you have any question, chances are there will be someone here who can answer it.

#1088631 - 09/15/04 03:39 PM Re: Help Me!
LudwigVanBee Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/18/04
Posts: 83
Loc: USA
You may be looking for the easier softer way. Learning to instantly recognize notes takes years and years. If you do technical exercises, one way that helps is Schaum's Finger Power, similar to Hanon from what I've heard. You practice these exercises with the metronome, gradually increasing speed. Then you do them in different keys. This is tedious and boring but no question it helps in note recognition is additon to other benefits. Do it only 10 minutes a day and after six months you will see the difference.
_ _ ___________________________ _ _
"There are no shortcuts to anything worth doing." Beverly Sills

#1088632 - 09/15/04 06:54 PM Re: Help Me!
Sushi Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/29/03
Posts: 52
Loc: East Bay, CA
My teacher had me practice the technical exercises using the Schaum's Finger Power book. I don't think it's boring, I do it for 10 minutes a day and really help me to recongnized the notes much easier, been doing it for 3 months.

#1088633 - 09/20/04 10:48 AM Re: Help Me!
teachum Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/19/04
Posts: 2918
Loc: idaho
I agree with Mitch - I also have Super Sight Reading Secrets and don't find it that great! Everyone is so right about "reading" and "music sight reading" I am a teacher and I use my music reading as an example to my kids. We want them to be fluent readers and the only way they can be that is to read, read, read at things that are at their independent reading level. When we want to improve their sight-word recognition or phonics we use what's called reading at their instructional level. This is material at which they can be successful with support as opposed to independent, where they do not need help. Becoming a better sight reader of music is the same. Practice simple things (independent level) to improve your sight reading ability. Work on more difficult things (instructional level) with a teacher. Gradually, the levels move up in music reading as in reading reading.
You will be 10 years older, ten years from now, no matter what you do - so go for it!

Estonia #6141 in Satin Mahogany


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