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#1915359 - 06/18/12 05:33 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Bluoh Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/20/11
Posts: 421
Loc: Canada


Edited by Bluoh (06/18/12 05:34 PM)

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#1917138 - 06/22/12 09:05 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
More stuff to download but it isn't free.
If you register over on the "Darkside" (Pianostreet.com) they have a large number of downloadable scores.

These are ranked Easy, Intermediate, Advanced. But they also have "Levels" there seems to be Level 1 to 8 (and an 8+) so around 9 levels in total. You can sort searches by Level.

When I last looked there were about 3000 pieces:

Easy*: 403
Intermediate*: 1310
Advanced*: 2244

*There are several levels to each category so 9 in total

What's fun though, is that you don't have to be a member to search the system, and it shows a preview of the score, many also have a audio track. So you use this for some mental practice, read the score preview, try to imagine how it sounds, then play the track as a check.


Edited by EJR (06/22/12 09:09 AM)
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#1917244 - 06/22/12 01:01 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: piano_deb]
maduro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
you would need to try it before intellectualizing it.

you will be surprised how difficult it is to sing and say the notes while playing them by the time you feel you are memorizing then you go to the next measure

you do the same invention until it is finished
this is an exercise to increase your speed at completing the three neurological connections
eye to brain brain to hands

Inventions are chosen because it is two linear lines
so it is easy to sing both right and left hand
other types of song have the occasional stacked notes which make the exercise more difficult then it already is

by forcing yourself to sing you are training ear and adding another neurological connection by inserting your mouth (singing_) you are increasing the difficulty
when you go to play a regular piece you wil be amazed at how easy it will be to play a piece

this method is to be done in conjunction with other sight reading drills
such as reading a piece of music from beginning to end then moving on to the next

look at this exercise like doing stretches or push ups before doing a sport
the pushups are not the sport they make you better at doing the sport


Edited by maduro (06/22/12 01:08 PM)

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#1917293 - 06/22/12 02:22 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: maduro]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: maduro
look at this exercise like doing stretches or push ups before doing a sport
the pushups are not the sport they make you better at doing the sport


well actually it's debated whether stretching before exercising holds any non-detrimental value and the same could be argued about the pushups depending on the type of exercising

that being said, though, I liked the rest of your post smile

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#1917490 - 06/22/12 08:49 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2754
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
I can't get anything from the LDS music site to print. I get a header and footer only.

I guess they know what a heathen I am.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1917524 - 06/22/12 10:23 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Bobpickle]
maduro Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/07/11
Posts: 276
show me a tae kwon do or northern shaolin martial artist that doesent stretch their legs and he will pale in comparison to his equally trained peers who do

show me a mma guy or boxer who does not do push ups or some other similar exercise and you will see a guy who lacks core and punching stamina

every art whether it be music or kung fu
has its exercises that although preparatory in nature or basic in function hold the keys to mastery.

I used to stretch 2 hours per day before throwing 800 kicks per work out
I used to do 100 pushups before commencing with my punching drills

would I have been equally as competent without these drills I wouldnt have wanted to find out I am 45 now and still rather flexible and can still throw a mean double kick

and can still pound out some push ups
and throw a pretty hard punch


so to will this drill give you abilities that will be long lasting.

whatever you do

Dont suck

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#1917724 - 06/23/12 12:54 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Germany
Originally Posted By: Veelo
Originally Posted By: Andy Platt
Originally Posted By: Veelo
Thank you for the links and recommendations! Please post more laugh

Meanwhile, here is an interesting thesis on sight reading:

A survey of the development of sight-reading skills in instructional piano methods for average-age beginners and a sample primer-level sight-reading curriculum
by Dirkse, Scott, M.M., UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 2009

Chapter 4 (page 47) with an actual sight reading curriculum is a must read!




Thanks for the link; I'll have to study it a little. Glancing at chapter 4 it seems they emphasize keyboard topography. I believe that is my weakest area ... I have very little spacial acuity - at least down the accuracy of a single key.


Andy, that is indeed an interesting topic. I would like to discuss this below:

Tip #4a: Keyboard topography (for beginners)
As a beginner try this: Close your eyes and create a mental image of the keyboard. Now, in your imagination hit the keys C,B,A,G,F,E,D,C and name them. Do you see the geometry of the black and white keys? In the beginning I couldn't do it.

I learned it the hard way: I tried to sight read without(!) looking down the keyboard. The only way I could do this was to use my tactile sense, e.g. when I had to play a G, I would try to feel the group of 3 black keys and I knew that G is next to F#. As you can imagine I was very frustrated at the beginning since what I played did not resemble music at all but rather stuttering. I already wanted to give up but I am glad that I didn't.

I think this helps me with relative position. Consider this example with the left hand: if I had to play a C with my thumb and F# (to the left of C) with my pinky, I know immediately where F# is.

Someone has compared this with the Braille method for blind people.
---

Tip #4b: Keyboard topography (advanced)
Advanced means you have an absolute sense of position. If I told you a note, for example G, you could hit the right key with your eyes closed.

Examples:
Have a look at Tom Brier's left hand. It's godlike! Look at those jumps.

Tips on how to acquire this advanced skill? Unfortunately, I don't have this absolute sense of position. My guess is that ragtime or stride piano is a good way to achieve it since it involves large jumps.

Here is another video of Tom Brier where a woman covers his sight to the left to check whether he peeks down (@4:25). Tom also explains "how" he does it (@3:25) laugh

Another example is the amazing blind pianist Derek Paravicini. In this video he plays the Maple Leaf Rag also involving large jumps.
---

Now here is a question for you:
a) Has anyone taken the same (frustrating) route as me with respect to the "Braille" method
b) Does anyone here have this absolute sense of position? If yes, how did you practice it?



Just a short bump on keyboard topography. I found this interesting blog post: Fear, Part II which discusses why large jumps are so difficult. One reason seems to be our fear of hitting wrong notes. It is further described that a good exercise to enhance body awareness is to play with eyes closed.

This reminds me of a Schaum piano book that had a big piece of paper in it. The paper had a hole through which you could slip your head. The purpose of this paper was to block your sight to the keyboard. I don't know the English name for it but in German it's called "Schaum Tastenfinder".
_________________________
I started playing the piano 2010. I enjoy sight reading.
My blog: http://pianobeginner.wordpress.com/

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#1918343 - 06/25/12 01:32 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: malkin]
supertorpe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 110
Loc: Spain. Cadiz.
Originally Posted By: malkin
I can't get anything from the LDS music site to print. I get a header and footer only.

I guess they know what a heathen I am.


Try this URL to download the pages of Children Songs Book.

If you have access to Linux/Unix, you can get all the PDF's with this command:

Quote:
wget -U "Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; rv:15.0) Gecko/20120427 Firefox/15.0a1" -r -l1 -A.pdf http://www.lds.org/cm/display/0,17631,7329-1,00.html


...and join all the pages into one PDF with:

Quote:
gs -dBATCH -dNOPAUSE -q -sDEVICE=pdfwrite -sOutputFile=children_book.pdf *.pdf


This is the URL to download Hymns made easy.


Edited by supertorpe (06/25/12 01:35 AM)
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- Ex: Yamaha P-85, Kawai ES-4
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#1920165 - 06/28/12 02:47 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: mcasl]
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Germany
Tip #5: Be patient and have fun
I think this is the most important tip. How many times have we gotten frustrated because we expect our sight reading skills to suddenly make a leap. Nope, it's not going to happen. I compare sight reading to actual reading. Think back and remember how many years it took you to become fluent in reading a book. You were first learning about letters, then words and then sentences. With sight reading it's the same.

I consider myself to be in "elementary school" level with my sight reading and I am willing to work on it. Also, I just enjoy it. I love playing a new piece of music and suddenly recognizing the melody. My sister has this thick book with folk songs with the melody line and the chord symbols above it. I could play the chords on the guitar but I didn't know the melody which bugged me for years. Guess what, now I play them on the piano, and it's super fun!

Tip #6: Read at the right level
We should read pieces that are not too hard and which we can read with comfort. Don't be too proud to take easy pieces. Just to give you an idea, I started by grabbing a children song book and playing only the melody line.

Here is a nice video where Valery Lloyd-Watts talks about a woman who is an excellent sight reader. And the woman became so good because as a child she played 50 books of level 1 and 50 books of level 2.

Tip #7: Sight read on a daily basis
Do it regularly. I try to sight read at least for 15 minutes a day.
_________________________
I started playing the piano 2010. I enjoy sight reading.
My blog: http://pianobeginner.wordpress.com/

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#1920192 - 06/28/12 03:52 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1383
Loc: Cameron Park, California
Originally Posted By: Veelo
Tip #5: Be patient and have fun
I think this is the most important tip. How many times have we gotten frustrated because we expect our sight reading skills to suddenly make a leap. Nope, it's not going to happen. I compare sight reading to actual reading. Think back and remember how many years it took you to become fluent in reading a book. You were first learning about letters, then words and then sentences. With sight reading it's the same.

I consider myself to be in "elementary school" level with my sight reading and I am willing to work on it. Also, I just enjoy it. I love playing a new piece of music and suddenly recognizing the melody. My sister has this thick book with folk songs with the melody line and the chord symbols above it. I could play the chords on the guitar but I didn't know the melody which bugged me for years. Guess what, now I play them on the piano, and it's super fun!

Tip #6: Read at the right level
We should read pieces that are not too hard and which we can read with comfort. Don't be too proud to take easy pieces. Just to give you an idea, I started by grabbing a children song book and playing only the melody line.

Here is a nice video where Valery Lloyd-Watts talks about a woman who is an excellent sight reader. And the woman became so good because as a child she played 50 books of level 1 and 50 books of level 2.

Tip #7: Sight read on a daily basis
Do it regularly. I try to sight read at least for 15 minutes a day.



quoted for truth

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#1920335 - 06/28/12 11:52 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Maechre Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/01/12
Posts: 254
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Veelo: That video you linked (I don't even have to follow the link to know it's the right one) has my favourite sight-reading tip/anecdote of all time. The one you mentioned -- read 50 books at level one, 50 books at level two.

Now if only I knew how to get 50 books at each level, I would actually commit to reading all of them level by level.
_________________________
I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee

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#1920968 - 06/30/12 07:32 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Maechre]
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Germany
Tip #8: Play in a duet
Playing in a duet has two effects:
- It forces you to keep going. You can't just stop while your partner is still playing.
- You will learn to listen to the rhythm of your partner.

Also, playing duets can be so much fun. Have a look at the following videos:





I wish I had a duet partner. Alas, the only partner that I have at the moment is the metronome.

Tip #9: Learn how to count
You must be able to count while playing. At first it will be awkward but once you can do it the reward is a better sense of rhythm. Have a look at this teacher-student duet where both are counting



I learned how to count with the help of this book:
Music Reading For Keyboard: The Complete Method (Essential Concepts) by Larry Steelman.
It's available on amazon for $13.

Tip #10: Learn to tap your foot
My guitar teacher used to say this to me, and it's true. Tapping your foot helps to keep the right rhythm. Look at Oscar Peterson:


Here's another video of three guitar gods tapping their feet:


And here an interview with Al di Meola who stresses the importance of tapping your foot.


Edited by Veelo (06/30/12 07:52 AM)
_________________________
I started playing the piano 2010. I enjoy sight reading.
My blog: http://pianobeginner.wordpress.com/

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#1920978 - 06/30/12 08:05 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Klaviersüchtig Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 05/22/12
Posts: 10
Maybe the method of Leonhard Deutsch is a little bit extreme, but I am sure you will find some useful tips in his book:

Piano Guided Sight Reading

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#1921190 - 06/30/12 05:44 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
I ran across the Deutsch book at our public library years ago -- he seems a odd duck and quite opinionated (my favorite part is where he says that individuals for whom is method doesn't work are mentally defective). But he suggest some interesting ideas along the way.

Though I was inspired to try this by another book, I've decided to attempt to work on something which parallels his method, which is to do more sight reading either playing along with a recording, or working from method books with accompaniment tracks (for the latter I may uses transposition software to spice things up, since early method book tunes are always in easy keys).

I'm not up to accompanying anyone yet, but that's a goal of mine, and I want to approximate the experience by playing along with something (for now, something non-animate, and thus incapable of exasperation at my frequent stumbles).

I'm also hoping that this will help break my incorrigible habit of stuttering to fix my mistakes.


Edited by tangleweeds (06/30/12 05:54 PM)
Edit Reason: some people do typos. i do word-o's
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#1921349 - 07/01/12 07:15 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
I've posted this previously, but checkout the iPad sight-reading app from WessarInternational. It comes with a 1000 graded pieces. Importantly it hides the bars played, forcing you to move forwards - so no going back or restarting..

You can find it here

Video of it in action:



Search these forums for further info and reviews (now if only I had an iPad!).


Edited by EJR (07/01/12 08:04 AM)
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#1921351 - 07/01/12 07:42 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
Checkout Anki

This is a multi-platform computer based 'flashcard' system... You can down load "Decks" of cards (and yes there's many music centric such as notes and key signatures), or create your own.

Oh it's free (for Mac & PC platforms).

The exciting bit is that under the hood it uses a Time-Spaced-Repetition algorithm. When you complete a test card you always have 4 possible answers (from very hard to very easy), it logs both the time it took to answer and how many attempts. On first use a card that's answered easily will not appear for another 3 or 7 days (depends on answer). But these periods increase with each review cycle. A very hard card will appear again in that study session a hard one in one day.

The "cards" can support many media file types and can include images and mp3 files.

I spent some time yesterday making up a set of 52 cards for all notes from 0 to 6 ledger lines above and below the treble and bass staffs (I'm pants at reading these).


Here's the first of seven demos...

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#1922254 - 07/03/12 03:32 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: EJR]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
I've been using Anki for nearly a week now. The set of ledger line notes & key signature study tasks are improving greatly. It has a useful set of analysis tools and even in less than a week, you can see that harder tasks are getting flagged up and studied more regularly, and the easier ones are already getting pushed 7-9 days into the future before the next review - so it seems to make efficient use of study time. This can also be seen from the stats in that the daily time spent completing the set of required reviews is falling. However, a 'Card' (study task) is not considered "mature" until they have review intervals of >=21 days - so it's still very early days...
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#1922277 - 07/03/12 04:26 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
DaseinSelbst Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 7
I love Anki, got around 4000 mature cards for various things. The android app is really nice.

Not sure how well it would work for sight reading though, since part of sight reading requires looking ahead and recognizing entire note groups. I think Anki is better suited for learning tons of stuff really efficiently rather than mastering a skill.

That's kinda why I made my android app. It displays random notes as they would be in a piece of music, but increments how many notes are possible each level so that you can focus on learning a few notes directly. Learning to sight read by playing is slow because of that lack of focus. I can recognize all the ledger lines instantly now taking only a fraction of the time

It also has different key signatures, and a mode that will switch between key signatures and clefs randomly, once you've learned them individually.

In the future I'm going to include a mode that requires recognizing patterns/groupings almost instantaneously.

I don't want to spam so I won't link to it, just thought that the learning theory I used making it might be valuable to you. Unfortunately I don't have a web-only version to help you out if you don't have android.

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#1922294 - 07/03/12 05:02 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: DaseinSelbst]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
Hi DaseinSelbst,

Originally Posted By: DaseinSelbst
I love Anki, got around 4000 mature cards for various things. The android app is really nice.

Not sure how well it would work for sight reading though, since part of sight reading requires looking ahead and recognizing entire note groups. I think Anki is better suited for learning tons of stuff really efficiently rather than mastering a skill.


I think that Anki is very well suited to building skills that support sight-reading either directly or indirectly.

"...than mastering a skill..."

I have to disagree. I'm also using Anki for realtime practicing and polishing of Scales (with good results). I'd been stuck in a rut with these and it seems to be getting me up out of it. I think Anki can be used for internalising and gaining fluency in any skill or knowledge process, provided there's a means of testing/audit involved and that upfront self-assessment standards can be defined. The only thing is that the "flashcard" concept pigeon holes it a bit and I prefer to think of these as a more generic "study task" or "knowledge element".

I'm interested in your app and will take a look once I've recovered my tablet from the son whose made off with it ;-)
But an Android version of that Wessar ipad app would be cool!
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#1922307 - 07/03/12 05:27 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Plowboy Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/26/08
Posts: 2398
Loc: SoCal
That Oscar Peterson video is fantastic.
_________________________
Gary

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#1922388 - 07/03/12 11:13 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: EJR]
DaseinSelbst Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 7
Originally Posted By: EJR


I'm interested in your app and will take a look once I've recovered my tablet from the son whose made off with it ;-)
But an Android version of that Wessar ipad app would be cool!


Make sure you give me some feedback! Unfortunately I don't have a tablet device for testing right now (should work the same though, and better with a big screen). frown

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#1922587 - 07/04/12 12:46 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
;-)



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#1922591 - 07/04/12 12:50 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2754
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
EJR, I agree!
_________________________
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#1922619 - 07/04/12 01:55 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1269
Loc: Portlandia
...perhaps because of experience reading spines of books?
_________________________
Oops... extremely distracted by mandolins at the moment... brb

neglected piano blog

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#1922649 - 07/04/12 03:13 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: tangleweeds]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
...perhaps because of experience reading spines of books?


Could be? or do you think we may be hard wired one way or the other?
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#1922785 - 07/04/12 10:09 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: EJR]
malkin Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/18/09
Posts: 2754
Loc: *sigh* Salt Lake City
We read English left to right and top to bottom.

The only experience I have reading bottom up is word search puzzles.
_________________________
A good student is one who makes the teacher feel like a good teacher.

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#1923675 - 07/07/12 07:39 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Germany
Tip #11: Learn chords and their inversions
I recommend learning chords and their inversions. This helped me recognizing shapes faster and my hand moves automatically.

I'll give you an example: Let's say we have the chord consisting of the notes (E,G,C) in the bass clef. I will recognize the shape and I know immediately which fingers to use in the left hand.

The idea is that you don't want to waste time deciphering the chord but use "muscle memory". Also, your hand will get used to forming different "finger patterns":

Example 1: C chord in the right hand
root position (C,E,G) => fingers (1-3-5)
1st inversion (E,G,C) => fingers (1-2--5)
2nd inversion (G,C,E) => fingers (1--3-5)

Example 2: C chord in the left hand
root position (C,E,G) => fingers (5-3-1)
1st inversion (E,G,C) => fingers (5-3--1)
2nd inversion (G,C,E) => fingers (5--2-1)

On the right hand side I tried to depict the shape of our hand with the usual finger notation (1,thumb) (2,index) (3,middle) (4,ring) (5,pinky).

To get used to playing chords get a book with lots of folk songs. I have one with only the melody and the chord symbol above it. I will first play them all in root position then try to figure out how to play "economically", i.e. without much hand movement, by using chord inversions.

Here are some videos explaining chord inversions:





Edited by Veelo (07/07/12 07:49 AM)
_________________________
I started playing the piano 2010. I enjoy sight reading.
My blog: http://pianobeginner.wordpress.com/

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#1923709 - 07/07/12 09:57 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
Article to read (Pike, Pamela D; 2012,Feb): Sight-reading strategies... A fresh look at a familiar topic
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#1923710 - 07/07/12 10:08 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
EJR Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/20/06
Posts: 861
Loc: Bristol, UK
I've posted this before, but thought it worthwhile to stick under this umbrella thread...

The Diagnostic Prescriptive Sight-Reading Program

Take the "Diagnostic Prescriptive Sight Reading Test" to get your level of fluency. Call this level 1.
Then:-

Sight read 2 pages daily at "Level 1".
Study 1 page of a piece 1 level higher than Level 1 for 1 week.
Study a piece "for several weeks" two levels higher than Level 1.

So this approach roots the study of pieces firmly to that of the level you can sight-read. You take a DPSRP test every 3-4 months and then crank all the levels up (if passed). See linked article for full details. I like this approach and doing daily, weekly & monthly pieces means you cover a large amount of ground at a range of levels...
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Daily ramblings....

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#1933622 - 07/28/12 02:30 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: EJR]
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 24
Loc: Germany
I just learned that there is a term for the "absolute sense of position", namely proprioception. Proprioception is body awareness and in sight reading this means you know where your fingers are without looking at them.

Here are some links:

Playing Without Looking at One's Hands

8 Essential Piano Sight Reading Tips: for exams, or learning a new piece

I guess that one way to practice this is to put the sheet music high enough. This prevents peripheral vision.

Does anyone have any experience with this?


Edited by Veelo (07/28/12 02:30 PM)
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I started playing the piano 2010. I enjoy sight reading.
My blog: http://pianobeginner.wordpress.com/

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