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#1282232 - 10/07/09 08:14 AM sight reading skills and dexterity
Nasael Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Philippines
Hi, I'm a new member here. I'm 17 years old. I am our church's official pianist. I know my way around chords very well, but i have a problem. I do not sight read that well.

Are there any techniques to improve my sight reading skills and my fingers' dexterity? Thanks! smile

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#1282297 - 10/07/09 09:58 AM Re: sight reading skills and dexterity [Re: Nasael]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4669
Loc: Seattle area, WA
To improve your sightreading: do it a lot.

To improve sightreading and dexterity - learn Bach.
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1282448 - 10/07/09 01:08 PM Re: sight reading skills and dexterity [Re: gooddog]
keyboardklutz Offline
Yikes! 10000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/21/07
Posts: 10856
Loc: London, UK (though if it's Aug...
Yeh.
_________________________
snobbyish, yet maybe helpful.
http://keyboardclass.blogspot.com/


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#1282862 - 10/08/09 07:53 AM Re: sight reading skills and dexterity [Re: keyboardklutz]
Nasael Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 10/06/09
Posts: 4
Loc: Philippines
Thanks for all your help!

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#1282883 - 10/08/09 08:38 AM Re: sight reading skills and dexterity [Re: Nasael]
cardguy Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/17/08
Posts: 977
I never thought my sight reading would get better. I just figured
I was a plodding picker for life. But after a year and a half of consistent practice I'm definitely better.

You're a young pup and no doubt much more talented than I. Practice, practice, practice as the others have said. Doubt there are any shortcuts.

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#1282916 - 10/08/09 09:33 AM Re: sight reading skills and dexterity [Re: cardguy]
Nikolas Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4994
Loc: Europe
Sight Reading: Stop studying and attempt to trick your teacher that you have! (This actually did work for me in the early days of learning the piano. Never studied, so tried to pick it up there and then. Probably why I wasted several years on the same class). laugh

Dexterity: Well... Bach. Sorry!


Edited by Nikolas (10/08/09 09:33 AM)
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1282924 - 10/08/09 09:44 AM Re: sight reading skills and dexterity [Re: Nikolas]
marimorimo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 05/02/09
Posts: 429
Loc: Kingdom of Nodame
Originally Posted By: Nikolas
Sight Reading: Stop studying and attempt to trick your teacher that you have! (This actually did work for me in the early days of learning the piano. Never studied, so tried to pick it up there and then.


Funny enough, this was almost the same answer my teacher gave me when I asked her how she became such a good sight reader. She said, "I was lazy, so I didn't practice and played pieces impromptu." laugh It also helped that she was forced to be an accompanist (who didn't study the pieces in advance, of course).
_________________________
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30th Week Playing Piano
--------------------------------------------
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#1282932 - 10/08/09 10:12 AM Re: sight reading skills and dexterity [Re: Nikolas]
gooddog Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/08/08
Posts: 4669
Loc: Seattle area, WA
Originally Posted By: Nikolas

Dexterity: Well... Bach. Sorry!


Why the "sorry". Bach is gorgeous and fun, (and hard).
_________________________
Best regards,

Deborah

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#1283123 - 10/08/09 02:44 PM Re: sight reading skills and dexterity [Re: gooddog]
Nikolas Online   content
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/26/07
Posts: 4994
Loc: Europe
Originally Posted By: gooddog
Originally Posted By: Nikolas

Dexterity: Well... Bach. Sorry!


Why the "sorry". Bach is gorgeous and fun, (and hard).

Well for two reasons.

1. It was already mentioned, so it wasn't much help.
2. Most of my students don't like Bach (exactly because it's hard) and thus whenever I propose a new piece by Bach to them, in or out of the ciriculum, I also have to apologize...! laugh
_________________________
http://www.musica-ferrum.com

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#1284080 - 10/09/09 10:00 PM Re: sight reading skills and dexterity [Re: Nikolas]
caracantabile Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/02/08
Posts: 65
Loc: USA
Read and play a lot --- it's really the only way. It sucks but my reading has improved vastly from 8 months of spending at least an hour a day / several hours on weekends wading through various pieces sight-reading (an abundance of Czerny, whose multitude of short exercises and ever-changing fingerings prevent me from memorizing accidentally).

I can *almost* play slow early-advanced pieces at speed just from sight-reading now, whereas when I first started I could barely read 2nd grade pieces at speed. I'm not a fast or good learner so I'm betting anyone else can do the same.

I thought there had to be a trick to it, but it seems to be just like reading text -- just do a lot of it and it becomes natural to read it faster and more of it at a time.
_________________________
- C.C. -
"It is dreadful when something weighs on your mind, not to have a soul to unburden yourself to. You know what I mean. I tell my piano the things I used to tell you." - Chopin

Currently memorizing for class: Debussy Prelude #8

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#1284715 - 10/11/09 07:12 AM Re: sight reading skills and dexterity [Re: caracantabile]
Naku Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/17/09
Posts: 24
Sight read a lot, slow down and get every note right, do it hands separate and hands apart. I have done this for a year and my ability has increased from finding the pathetique first movement challenging (it is technically very easy now to sight read not due to familiarity, I hadn't memorized it at all) to being able to sight read all of it with no problem (not necessarily play fully musically), and having no trouble at all reading either hand alone of, say, Rach's op 39 no 3 or almost any other piece for that matter with a handful of no mistakes. It is tremendously helpful, you just have to stick with it and you will notice a definite improvement.

Also practice technical exercises. They tend to improve sight reading as well when you know proper fingering and fingering techniques.


Edited by Naku (10/11/09 07:15 AM)

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