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#1935785 - 08/01/12 11:36 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: maduro]
Troubledclef Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 28
Loc: North Carolina
This is a bit difficult but it does seem to work. I'm wondering how you go about saying the notes when you are playing flats and sharps...and playing eighth notes. There isn't much time to say or sing d, d flat, c, b flat. Any suggestions on how you do this? And how you say the two handed notes together.

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#1936208 - 08/02/12 07:15 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: maduro]
Troubledclef Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/12/12
Posts: 28
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: maduro
the best method for sight reading I have ever done was to take a Bach invention and sight read measure by measure or half bar by half bar (looped) ie you just keep playing measure one over and over. then do measures one and two until up to tempo
then measures one two and three etc

while singing and saying the letter names of first right hand then left hand then both.
all while playing hands together. you may spend a half hour saying just left hand while playing both hands then you will sing and say letter names of right hand while playing both

it is incredibly difficult and grueling but after a few months you will literally hear the music in your head when you see the notes.

truly amazing and your ability to sight read even complex material will improve dramatically

you should do this in conjunction with playing simpler pieces at sight.


This is a bit difficult but it does seem to work. I'm wondering how you go about saying the notes when you are playing flats and sharps...and playing eighth notes. There isn't much time to say or sing d, d flat, c, b flat. Any suggestions on how you do this? And how you say the two handed notes together.

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#1936448 - 08/02/12 04:42 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Jeff Clef Offline
4000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/05/08
Posts: 4581
Loc: San Jose, CA
"...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..."

It's ok, malkin, you can buy an actual hymnbook if it comes to that. There are church supply stores where heathens are welcome--- they may even especially like heathens who buy hymnals; you've heard the saying "Preaching to the choir"--- or your local music store can order one for you. You could even write to the publisher, and I'm sure they would be glad to fill even a small order. There's that other saying about "the ninety-and-nine," which means that the shepherd goes out and finds the lost lamb which is bleating in the backcountry, with hungry wolves and no hymnbook.

Oh--- you would think I'd been in a choir; maybe I should take that thing about bleating out. Never mind, I calls 'em like I sees 'em.

I have noticed that some of the various denominations have hymnal print jobs that are much easier to read than certain others. Better print, better paper, better editing. They shall remain nameless; you'll have to do your own comparison shopping.

One little tip for sightreaders. I've found it is helpful to play a few times through the scale in which the piece is written, before I tackle the piece itself. It helps the fingers and ears know where they are going, and a little warm-up is not a bad idea anyway. Some of these hymns are trickier than you think; they are scored for the SATB voices and not the piano. So I just get out my pencil and help the notes go to the hand that will be playing them. Some are surprisingly worthwhile, as music--- take a look at the index of authors' names and you will find some that are already very familiar.
_________________________
Clef


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#1936484 - 08/02/12 06:03 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Nicholas Mihaila Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 155
Loc: United States


Quick question: According to what I read there, she's saying that sight reading entails very rapid eye movement, going forwards and backwards (up, down, etc.); however, I've always read that it should be done by "reading up," from the bass to the treble. How do these concepts fit together?
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#1936498 - 08/02/12 06:22 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
tangleweeds Offline

Silver Supporter until Jan 11 2012


Registered: 12/21/08
Posts: 1275
Loc: Portland, OR
The very rapid eye movements are pretty much involuntary -- you also make them when you're reading a book without even noticing them happening.

The conscious eye movements are larger, and purposely bottom-up and forward directed (though of course your eyes might regress to catch things you've missed).
_________________________
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#1936518 - 08/02/12 07:17 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: tangleweeds]
Nicholas Mihaila Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/27/12
Posts: 155
Loc: United States
Originally Posted By: tangleweeds
The very rapid eye movements are pretty much involuntary -- you also make them when you're reading a book without even noticing them happening.

The conscious eye movements are larger, and purposely bottom-up and forward directed (though of course your eyes might regress to catch things you've missed).


Oh, I see. Thank you.
_________________________
Follow my mixed gaming and musical ambitions through my YouTube channel:

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#1937496 - 08/04/12 08:58 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
John Dickinson Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/04/10
Posts: 51
Loc: California, USA
I've tried some of the iPad apps, but haven't found them very useful. The best guidance I've seen came from Keith Snell: Try to read and play a new piece of music every day. That doesn't mean the whole piece, and it doesn't mean play it to a level you'd want for recital. It means that you can become comfortable reading and playing music if you do it often enough with pieces you are reading and playing for the first time.

I have a pattern of looking at a new piece of music, scanning it quickly to see if it looks at all reasonable for me to learn. Then I try to play through some, or even all of it to see if I like it. If that much sight reading gets me interested, I'll work on the whole experience of the piece, using a method similar to what Deborah uses.

As far as I can see, the real point of her method is to develop finger memory out of the experience of sight reading the piece. Most music doesn't come completely naturally, and developing finger memory is important, but so is the sight reading that ultimately drives you to it.
_________________________
John Dickinson
www.jdickinson.com
Kawai K8, Kawai ES6

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#1979247 - 10/27/12 10:49 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: John Dickinson]
cheeseandpepper Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 04/22/10
Posts: 3
Check out our new sight reading iPad app. It can generate new material and evaluate your performance and give you a score. Supports 7 instruments including piano!

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/sight-reader/id541763153?mt=8

Try it for free!

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#1987212 - 11/15/12 06:51 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014


Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1389
Loc: Cameron Park, California
When practicing sight-reading and there are complicated rhythms (well, they're basic beat sub-divisions, actually, but complicated for me to sight-read prima vista), is it detrimental to your practice and progress to figure out the rhythms by clapping before starting playing? It's as though the sound of the music/notes distracts me from feeling the beat whenever the pulse gets subdivided, and then I get lost. Truth be told, the problem is with single-voice reading (hands together) so I can't yet even imagine dealing with similar or more complicated two-or-more-voice rhythms simultaneously. If it's relevant, I tend to feel the beat by either tapping my foot along with it and/or instinctively feeling it. I try to orally count the beats, but lose track whenever its subdivided; it sounds silly, but because I wear headphones when I play, the closely-timed sounds of eighth-or-smaller notes overpower my voice when trying to count solely by vocals and I lose track of the pulse this way.

Also, I've yet to read much on the topic of the metronome and its part in sight-reading. How do you all employ it in your practice regimens?


On a side-note, Mark Phillips suggests in his Sight-Read Any Rhythm Instantly that you count aloud (along with every other text I've come across), but disagrees with most everyone else I think I've heard in that you should NOT subdivide the beat when counting and I was curious what you all thought of this - see his exact quote below.

Click to reveal..
Here's something extremely important to remember. When you're playing rhythms involving eighth notes - as in the example below, for instance - count only the beats ("one-two-three-four"). In spite of what anyone else may have told you or what you may have read in other books, never say and (that is, don't count "one-and, two-and, three-and, four-and") Why? Because you need to keep the steadily flowing beat numbers in your semi-conscious mind while the sound of previously memorized combinations of notes (the whole point of his book is to memorize the sounds of rhythmic patterns so that they can be easily recalled) that can occur in each beat are up front in your conscious mind. If you say and, or - even worse - if, for playing sixteenth notes, you say the popular phrase one-ee-and-uh, you can't help but bring the underlying beat from your semiconscious into your conscious mind - and if you do that, those extra syllables, instead of helping matters, will only interfere (or even clash) with the execution of your various (previously memorized) one-beat note combinations.
_________________________
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#1987667 - 11/17/12 12:13 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Devrie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Florida
Is there a suggested level for reading music vs. learning a more difficult piece?

I took piano at my high school for four years, then I took two blocks of piano lessons from my community college (back in 1997).

I have an electric piano, and I've played here and there, but I really, really want to progress. I feel I've stagnated. I spend much of my time trying to read easy pieces, but I would like to know what type of pieces I should try?

So far, I can play Moment Musical by Schubert and Solfeggietto by C.P.E Bach. (I also play Burgmuller's Arabesque and Ballad).

I can sort of sight read level 1 and 2 pieces, though not perfectly.

Should I try to learn a new piece, or am I lagging behind too far in my sight reading? Suggestions?

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#1987669 - 11/17/12 12:17 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Bobpickle]
Devrie Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 11/16/12
Posts: 13
Loc: Florida
I wonder if subdividing the rhythm is bad because the bass and treble don't always jive that way. I have the HARDEST time trying to read contemporary music such as rock and roll. It looks easy, but I keep trying to count out the beats, but the left hand doesn't match up correctly when I do that.

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#2415431 - 04/29/15 05:35 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 53

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#2415507 - 04/29/15 10:39 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
rpw Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/04/14
Posts: 140
Thank you. Good resources. Bookmarked.

Have you discovered any more tips sight reading tips in these past three years?

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#2451361 - 08/17/15 08:47 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: rpw]
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 53
Here is something that is quite important. Recognize patterns! I believe that this is one major key (no pun intended) to sightread successfully.

Take for example the notes "e g f e" on the upper staff. Instead of reading the notes one by one you recognize the pattern of this four note block, and you only have to read the 'e'.





Here is some material:
1. Pattern cards (I discovered them via Tim Buckland's blog)

2. Sight Reading Exercises, Op.45 (Sartorio, Arnoldo)

3. Czerny exercises have a lot of repeating patterns
a) The Art of Finger Dexterity, Op.740 (Czerny, Carl)
b) 30 Etudes de Mécanisme, Op.849 (Czerny, Carl)
c) 100 Progressive Studies, Op.139 (Czerny, Carl)
d) Kleine theoretisch-praktische Pianoforte-Schule für Anfänger, Op.584 (Czerny, Carl)
e) 160 kurze Übungen, Op.821 (Czerny, Carl)
f) 6 Leichte Stücke, Op.842 (Czerny, Carl)
g) Practical Exercises for Beginners, Op.599 (Czerny, Carl)
h) The School of Velocity, Op.299 (Czerny, Carl)

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#2486478 - 12/01/15 11:20 AM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 53
I've just found a free Android app called Rhythm Teacher.

The game shows you notes and you have to tap the rhythm. It starts with the right hand only and later adds the left hand, so it emulates a treble and bass clef. You pass a level only if you scored enough points by tapping accurately. The higher the level the more difficult it gets.


Edited by Veelo (12/01/15 11:22 AM)

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#2488875 - 12/08/15 05:32 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
tludwig Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/15
Posts: 42
Veelo, thanks for sharing so many great resources. I'm going to give several of them a try. In your experience, what is the most important aspect of learning to sight read well?

My experience has been that knowing where one's hands are without looking at the keyboard is the most critical aspect. I played piano for a number of years in middle and high school, and my teacher stressed the importance of not looking at the keyboard. This allowed me to focus all of my attention on reading the music without taking my eyes off the page, and I had no problem sitting down and playing any hymn in all four vocal parts, including adding my own improvisation. The great thing is that this aspect of sight reading can be practiced anytime one plays the piano, not just during dedicated sight reading drills.

I have recently returned to the piano after 20 years, and while I can read the music almost as well as I could before, I have no idea where my hands are supposed to be on the keyboard, and as a result, my sight reading is nowhere near where it was. Slowly, but surely!
_________________________
Schimmel I-208

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#2488896 - 12/08/15 06:59 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: tludwig]
Veelo Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/07/12
Posts: 53
Hi tludwig, glad that you like the thread. I think that being aware of where your hands are is definitely an important aspect. It let's you focus on the sheet instead of having to look down.

Beside that I would say keeping the rhythm is the most important. I think people are not aware that playing a few wrong notes is ok. Compare that to someone who tries to sightread a piece and stops at the slightest mistake, repeats the section, stops again at a mistake, repeats the section etc. These hiccups are quite unpleasant for the ears.

From your description it sounds that you were a good sight reader, and I'm pretty sure you just need a little refresh to bring back your skills.

And welcome back to piano playing ! grin

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#2488948 - 12/08/15 09:46 PM Re: Let's sight read - material and tips [Re: Veelo]
tludwig Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/14/15
Posts: 42

I agree about keeping the rhythm and not letting a mistake interrupt either one's reading or playing. For those who do it well, many untrained or unfamiliar ears might not even know a mistake was made.

It's definitely not like riding a bike. More like trying to converse in a long unused second language -- it's coming back, but not as quickly as I would like. No big deal though; I'm just really, really happy to be playing again. Once our new piano arrives in a week or so (currently playing wherever I can find a piano), I'll really be able to practice in earnest.
_________________________
Schimmel I-208

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