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#2033532 - 02/15/13 05:06 AM Sight Reading Books - Level 1
Vince R Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 20
Hello everyone smile

I am an older adult beginner and would like to know if you can recommend some good sight reading books.

Vincent

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#2033536 - 02/15/13 05:41 AM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: Vince R]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Well, I guess there are special sight reading books, but you can just buy for about 10 dollars a beginners learning to play the piano book 1 from any music store and work through it playing and reading the simply music and you will learn to read the music. It is that simple, just read and play the little tunes. It took me about 6 months of playing and reading the simple piano book 1 and then I was able to read the music of the treble and bass clefs easily. It is the old story, just sitting down at the piano and playing little tunes at the piano hour after hour, day after day, week after wekk, month after month. It all happens slowly. The reason I stress a piano beginner book is that you can concentrate on the reading and playiing as opposed to something where it is too complicated and there would be lots of complicated counting of the measures.
I am much older than you are, so I have been there. Cheers, and good luck.

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#2033554 - 02/15/13 07:03 AM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: Vince R]
fizikisto Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 02/13/12
Posts: 512
Loc: Hernando, MS
Vince,
I can commend "Basics in Rhythm" by Garwood Whaley. This is dedicated to just reading rhythmic values. You clap them out, and there's a CD that comes with it so that you can be sure that you're matching them correctly. Rhythm is one of the hardest things for beginners to get down (at least to get it down well). Part of the problem is that when you're trying to read the score, move your fingers to the notes, play the notes with the correct force (as indicated by the score) and keep time, it can be too much to coordinate all at once.

By separating the rhythm practice and mastering reading just rhythms by sight, you take away a lot of that confusion. Then you can take that skill to your actual sight reading practice and you'll have a lot less stress and confusion.

I haven't seen them in person, but the "Improve Your Sight Reading! Piano:" series by Paul Harris looks like it might be exactly what you're asking for. It's a series of 8 books with sight reading exercises that start out very simple but get progressively more challenging.
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#2067313 - 04/19/13 08:12 PM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: Vince R]
thorn_was_taken Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 95
I have what may be a similar question, but: I would prefer to skip books with lots of chit-chat and cute drawings. That is, does anyone know of a book intended for adults, or maybe simple compositions for 19th-century French or German children? With familiar folk tunes I find myself falling back on playing by ear. I generally prefer (unfamiliar) music originally intended for the piano to pedagogical transcriptions of well-known material. (I have nothing at all against pedagogical original compositions for the purpose. Just no cute pictures.)

I've browsed JW Pepper a bit, but no search engine cares about this. I hope a human or two does...!?

e/t/a I'm an intermediate student, but more or less a beginner at sight-reading.


Edited by thorn_was_taken (04/19/13 08:18 PM)
Edit Reason: to add clarification
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#2067366 - 04/19/13 10:40 PM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: Vince R]
earlofmar Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1587
Loc: Australia
I am a beginner sight reader I have been practicing this dark art for five months now. Like Thorn was Taken I wanted books for adults with o cute drawings.

First the free stuff
Bartok's Mikrokosmos Vols 1 & 2 & Czerny Practical Method for Beginners are useful books. Although designed for finger exercises I think they double as good early sight reading books

Joy of First Classics by Denes Agay is a good easy sight reading book most of the pieces are completely unknown so you can't play by ear. I have seen other books by this author recommended as good sight early reading material.

Also local libraries have books generally carols of folk songs that you can use.

I also like the following site because it has a range of graded pieces, some with midi files, or sound clips and it's free

http://gmajormusictheory.org/Freebies/freebiesP.html

Lastly I am also using Paul Harris (UK author) Improve Your Sight Reading - they are typical sight reading exercise type books, separate book for each grade. My teacher thinks these are good books and I tend to agree.

In order to sight read better I find no one books or series is the answer. It is true what everyone says that you need a bulk of material
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#2067805 - 04/20/13 10:05 PM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: earlofmar]
thorn_was_taken Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/07/13
Posts: 95
Thank you! I will acquire as many of these as I can. I like the 'bulk of material'-theory very much. It has the ring of truth, since playing a piece through once is sight-reading, but a second time starts moving one into 'learning the piece'.
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thorn

-- Sometimes I poke. Even if I like you.

1920's Mason & Hamlin A

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#2068377 - 04/22/13 01:42 AM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: Vince R]
sinophilia Offline

Gold Supporter until Sept. 05 2014


Registered: 06/26/12
Posts: 984
Loc: Italy
I'm currently using Hannah Smith's Progressive Sight-Reading Exercises and I'm loving it! No cute drawings, just notes, notes, and more notes. It's a reprint of an old book and it shows, but there are something like 500 exercises in it.

The Improve Your Sight Reading series has separate rhythm and melody exercises and it's nice too, but these books are very very thin. I'm alternating these with Hannah Smith.
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#2068428 - 04/22/13 02:52 AM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: Vince R]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
Been through hannah smith.. recomend for beginner...

Next book i just completed had dynamics... what a struggle!
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#2068436 - 04/22/13 03:03 AM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: sinophilia]
Mete Offline
Full Member

Registered: 03/13/13
Posts: 45
Loc: Turkey
Originally Posted By: sinophilia
I'm currently using Hannah Smith's Progressive Sight-Reading Exercises and I'm loving it! No cute drawings, just notes, notes, and more notes. It's a reprint of an old book and it shows, but there are something like 500 exercises in it.

The Improve Your Sight Reading series has separate rhythm and melody exercises and it's nice too, but these books are very very thin. I'm alternating these with Hannah Smith.


I just ordered H. Smith and Alfred's Adult All-In-One series No 2-3 for sight reading. I plan to start H. Smith's Progressive Sight-Reading Exercises and then continue with Alfred's, whichever is appropriate for my level.

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#2068523 - 04/22/13 08:52 AM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: UK Paul UK]
Andy Platt Offline
2000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/28/10
Posts: 2391
Loc: Virginia, USA
Originally Posted By: UK Paul UK
Been through hannah smith.. recomend for beginner...

Next book i just completed had dynamics... what a struggle!


Although I would routinely ignore dynamics (oops, I mean miss them!) when sight reading, that part has become almost second nature now. I still find my biggest problem is reading both staffs at once. Even if I try to follow along in church when the organist plays the hymn "once through" before we sing, I just cannot keep up. Of course it improves slowly each day. And I keep moving my goalposts further too ...
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#2068539 - 04/22/13 10:02 AM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: Vince R]
dmd Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1865
Loc: Pennsylvania
Here are some free sight-reading opportunities ....


HYMNS MADE EASY:



http://www.lds.org/bc/content/shared/eng...ng.pdf?lang=eng
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Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i4 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Focal CMS 40 Powered Monitors, Ravenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D, Pianoteq 5

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#2068559 - 04/22/13 10:23 AM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: Vince R]
Randalthor Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/22/13
Posts: 35
Loc: UK
This site is super useful.

Following some advice from dmd and the others here and in an effort to contribute....

I found the following online tool to practice sight reading:
http://thesightreadingproject.com/

(I'm not associated in any way with them, but I believe it is entirely free and doesn't require an account).

Regards.

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#2068642 - 04/22/13 12:36 PM Re: Sight Reading Books - Level 1 [Re: Andy Platt]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
Yeah it seems to be finding the balance that i am having a problem with... i think focusing less on the dynamics and putting in the next few months on hands together work may get better results.... taking one bite of the apple at a time so to speak :-)
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