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Topic Options
#2286831 - 06/07/14 01:02 AM Reading sheet music advice
LeviathanMusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/16/14
Posts: 7
Loc: KS
Hello, I have been playing all my life but have always had terrible troubles trying to read sheet music. I have never been able to get my eyes to see both staves at once and register what I am supposed to do. One staff is almost doable, but two at once i find my self looking at one then looking at the other. By the time I figured out what to do i forgot what the other staff said and i just fail.. Are there any tips on sight reading any one has to offer? I often look at individual notes and try to register what that note means then move on. Is that bad? I can play very well by ear and memorization but sheet music is just... Next to impossible but I absolutely HAVE to improve! I have bad vision but I wear glasses. Should I be approaching the music differently? Should I focus my eye in some way I've never done or what the heck is my problem?

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#2286838 - 06/07/14 01:26 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1487
Loc: Australia
as a beginner I managed to trick myself into thinking I could miss the early stages of sight reading or at least jump ahead before I was ready. I had a very frustrating year before returning right back to the start. I have seen more improvement since just by building on very small steps. First was reading very simple material, five finger position stuff starting with pieces that alternate between treble and bass. Then moving on to preliminary material and just going very slow. A daily routine is the other key, I set aside 20mins a day for this and never miss a day.

A couple of things I find useful.

Denes Agay books Joy of First Classics 1 & 2. I also use a program to be found at sightreadngfactory.com but I always stress this is not a substitute just an aid
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2286877 - 06/07/14 04:51 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 352
Loc: India
I had the exact same problem as you not too long ago.

This link helped a lot:
http://www.pianostreet.com/smf/index.php?topic=2713.0

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#2286921 - 06/07/14 09:43 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
dmd Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 04/15/09
Posts: 1817
Loc: Pennsylvania
Originally Posted By: LeviathanMusic
I can play very well by ear and memorization but sheet music is just... Next to impossible but I absolutely HAVE to improve!


I am wondering ...

Since you can play very well by ear and memorization, what is so important to you about sight-reading ?

And let's be sure you mean SIGHT-READING. To me, and others, sight-reading means being able to pick up a music sheet and play it without having seen it before. Is that what you find important to you ?
_________________________
Don

Current: ES7, Focusrite Scarlett 2i2 audio device, SennHeiser HD555 Phones, Racvenscroft275, Ivory II American Concert D

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#2287104 - 06/07/14 08:22 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
LeviathanMusic Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 02/16/14
Posts: 7
Loc: KS
Thanks I will definitely check out those links and heed to that advice.

As for dmd's question...
I am a music major, and composer. I find it very frustrating how long it takes me to learn material because I cannot sight-read efficiently. Also being a music major, it is required that I sight read pieces in order to pass my piano proficiencies. I can compose on staff paper no problem, but then playing it is a different story. I can improvise quiet well because my understanding of theory.

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#2287125 - 06/07/14 09:17 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
bolt Offline
Full Member

Registered: 11/23/09
Posts: 186
Originally Posted By: LeviathanMusic
Hello, I have been playing all my life but have always had terrible troubles trying to read sheet music. I have never been able to get my eyes to see both staves at once and register what I am supposed to do. One staff is almost doable, but two at once i find my self looking at one then looking at the other. By the time I figured out what to do i forgot what the other staff said and i just fail.. Are there any tips on sight reading any one has to offer? I often look at individual notes and try to register what that note means then move on. Is that bad? I can play very well by ear and memorization but sheet music is just... Next to impossible but I absolutely HAVE to improve! I have bad vision but I wear glasses. Should I be approaching the music differently? Should I focus my eye in some way I've never done or what the heck is my problem?


Well I am not the best natural reader, more of a ear player and memorizer, but I am slowly getting better at reading. Have a long way to go, but two things I have picked up:

1) don't read one note at a time or you are doomed. You have to be able to read the phrase not the notes one by one. So for instance I might read "four notes each going up by one" etc. etc.

2) scan ahead, read ahead. That gives you time to plan what you are going to do, and also gives you time to scan both lines one at a time.

So, combine those two and it helps a lot.
_________________________
"There is more to this piano playing malarkey than meets the eye" - adultpianist

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#2287141 - 06/07/14 09:52 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: bolt]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 352
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: bolt
1) don't read one note at a time or you are doomed. You have to be able to read the phrase not the notes one by one. So for instance I might read "four notes each going up by one" etc. etc.
One tip on how to do this is to study intervals. If you know your intervals in and out, you just need to read the first note, and then noticing the intervals between the successive notes is easy. This allows you to read ahead more easily.

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#2287144 - 06/07/14 10:03 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: bolt]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1487
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: bolt


1) don't read one note at a time or you are doomed. You have to be able to read the phrase not the notes one by one. So for instance I might read "four notes each going up by one" etc. etc.

2) scan ahead, read ahead. That gives you time to plan what you are going to do, and also gives you time to scan both lines one at a time.

So, combine those two and it helps a lot.


I spent a lot of time last year reading every website, every forum post, every youtube lesson, etc etc on this subject and the above two tips came up again and again. That and do plenty of sight reading.

Most educators in the field have a checklist for sight reading such as this one here. For myself at the start the temptation was there to think there was something more than this. The reality though is there is gold in those words and usually a fair bit of work involved which again is just practice.

I also found a blog from one of the members here "trombone al" very enlightening, which you can read here
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2287151 - 06/07/14 11:01 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: earlofmar]
EM Deeka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/08/13
Posts: 148
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
..
Most educators in the field have a checklist for sight reading such as this one here. ..[/url]


Thanks for this interesting link. But could not understand this tip

3) The ledger line notes above and below the treble clef use the same letter name. This is also true for the bass clef.

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#2287162 - 06/07/14 11:38 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: EM Deeka]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1487
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: EM Deeka
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
..
Most educators in the field have a checklist for sight reading such as this one here. ..[/url]


Thanks for this interesting link. But could not understand this tip

3) The ledger line notes above and below the treble clef use the same letter name. This is also true for the bass clef.


Not quite sure what they mean by that either it is not plain
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2287167 - 06/08/14 12:16 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 352
Loc: India
It shows the relationship between ledger lines above the clef and below the clef.

The 2nd ledger line above the treble clef is C. The 1st ledger line below the treble clef is also C.
Now go one note lower. Both notes become B.
If you keep going one note lower, the relationship continues. This helps memorizing ledger lines.
It's Similar for the bass clef.

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#2287194 - 06/08/14 01:39 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
peterws Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/21/12
Posts: 3518
Loc: Northern England.
Having bad vision and glasses could mean you have to live with this. I`ve had the same trouble, but I read books and stuff OK. I wonder what the difference is?
_________________________
"I'm playing all the right notes but not necessarily in the right order." Eric Morecambe

""

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#2287264 - 06/08/14 08:56 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: noobpianist90]
EM Deeka Offline
Full Member

Registered: 10/08/13
Posts: 148
Originally Posted By: noobpianist90
It shows the relationship between ledger lines above the clef and below the clef.

The 2nd ledger line above the treble clef is C. The 1st ledger line below the treble clef is also C.
Now go one note lower. Both notes become B.
If you keep going one note lower, the relationship continues. This helps memorizing ledger lines.
It's Similar for the bass clef.


Thanks earlofmar and noobpianist for the inputs.

But rather than a tip isn't it just simply stating the obvious ?? Just the fact that the sequence of notes will always be ABCDEFG. Or maybe they are stressing this point for the benefit of beginners regarding use of ledger lines.

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#2287319 - 06/08/14 11:32 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: EM Deeka]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 352
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: EM Deeka
But rather than a tip isn't it just simply stating the obvious ?? Just the fact that the sequence of notes will always be ABCDEFG. Or maybe they are stressing this point for the benefit of beginners regarding use of ledger lines.
Not entirely. Since the pattern repeats, reading the ledger lines is similar to reading from a clef. So, you don't have to memorize the ledger lines as a separate thing, you just extend the clef and read them.

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#2287349 - 06/08/14 01:42 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: noobpianist90]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3473
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Originally Posted By: noobpianist90
Originally Posted By: EM Deeka
But rather than a tip isn't it just simply stating the obvious ?? Just the fact that the sequence of notes will always be ABCDEFG. Or maybe they are stressing this point for the benefit of beginners regarding use of ledger lines.
Not entirely. Since the pattern repeats, reading the ledger lines is similar to reading from a clef. So, you don't have to memorize the ledger lines as a separate thing, you just extend the clef and read them.


This is really interesting, but I don't get how it would make it any easier for someone to read ledger lines that way than having a few "landmarks" and counting up if necessary.

In other words, I learned a long time ago that two ledger lines above the treble clef is a C. I also know the relationship between C and E on the keyboard, so I could just intuitively "know" that three ledger lines up would be E. For notes that don't fall on a line, I use my understanding of the keyboard to "read" or maybe "intuit" when the note is B, D or F.

To me it seems like in order to use this new idea, you'd still have count, in fact you'd have to count up, not down, from middle C and then count the number of lines and spaces above the treble clef to figure out the note that has more than one or two ledger lines. This doesn't seem any easier, and almost seems like it's adding a step.

Maybe I'm missing something?? I've been reading music for a long time now, so I might just be too set in my ways to grasp how this is a trick that would improve sightreading.

Also, I think people should memorize a few landmarks for notes above and below the staff (i.e. two lives above treble clef = C etc), then as you play more, those memorized ones become more automatic, and you can add more memorized ones.

for LeviathanMusic, are you primarily talking about sight-reading in the strictest sense, IOW reading a piece of music you've never seen before? Or are you talking about playing from the score (IOW music you have seen before but don't have memorized).

I call the latter (playing a piece you've been working on and playing or performing it from the score) "read-playing" (I don't think this term is catching on here however! smile I think the tricks/methods for improving read-playing are different than those for improving sight-reading, and if you're interested in read-playing, I'll try to make a list of some of the things I do. I consider myself very good at read-playing, and not very good at true sight-reading.

In any case, on the subject of sight-reading a never-before seen piece of music, if you follow the recommendations (given by just about everyone who says anything about sight-reading), one of the things you do first is quickly look through the score. If you know that notes above and below the staff are tricky, write them in before you start to play. Obviously, if you're having to write everything in, then you need to go back and do something different with some targeted practice before.

But for me, I know that I don't do so well with anything above F above the top of treble clef (so that's three ledger lines and a space). I also have trouble reading bass clef notes below... hmm, well I've been getting better with the bass clef and can probably handle down to B below the bass clef (two ledger lines and a space). Granted, that's not that far down...

Anyway, if I spot something above or below these, I'll write them in. One less thing to think about while playing. And if this helps you to play a brand-new piece more quickly, then why not take advantage of it. Again, if you're writing in everything, that's a problem. But if you can spot a tricky spot before you start to play, and write in one or two things to make that less tricky, I think that's a very good thing to do.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#2287351 - 06/08/14 01:49 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: ShiroKuro]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3473
Loc: not in Japan anymore
P.S. Earlofmar, I just ordered several books to use for sightreading practice. I thought they were books you'd recommended, but they're not the Agay books. Hmmm... I ordered 4 of the Hal Leonard Classics to Moderns series (Very Easy, Easy, More Easy, and Intermediate). Did you recommend those some where else? -- If not I just totally bought them on a whim! crazy
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#2287461 - 06/08/14 07:24 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
Charles Cohen Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/12
Posts: 1227
Loc: Richmond, BC, Canada
Quote:
. . . I have never been able to get my eyes to see both staves at once and register what I am supposed to do. One staff is almost doable, but two at once i find my self looking at one then looking at the other. . . .


PMFJI --

That's a problem, right there at the beginning.

. . . How do you expect to read two staves, when you can't read one
. . . _perfectly_, _quickly_, _automatically_ ?

When one staff is "doable" -- _really_ "doable", so you can read _one hand_ (on piano) reasonably fast, _then_ you might try two staves.

Until then, you've got a brain that's overloaded, and you're trying to force-feed it even more.

That won't work.

. Charles

PS -- "the best way to learn to sight-read is to sight-read". If you're into classical music, get some piano sonatas -- Mozart, not too hard -- and read _one hand only_. Just keep turning pages -- the goal isn't to learn the pieces, it's to "groove" the link from eye, to brain, to hand.

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#2287532 - 06/08/14 10:22 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: ShiroKuro]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 352
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
This is really interesting, but I don't get how it would make it any easier for someone to read ledger lines that way than having a few "landmarks" and counting up if necessary.
Maybe it is easier, maybe it isn't. It would depend on the person trying to learn. I was just trying to explain what that website is trying to say.

For sight reading, you have to
1)Read ahead
2)Process what you're reading
3)Play
4)Listen
These steps keep happening simultaneously. That's why sight reading isn't easy and it takes a lot of practising the right way to be good at it.

When you're "read-playing", you aren't actually reading all the time, you just have the score in front of you for reference and you play mostly from hand memory. So you only actually go through steps 3) and 4) and occasionally 1) and 2) if you lose track.

Quote:
But for me, I know that I don't do so well with anything above F above the top of treble clef
Maybe you could try my way of learning the ledger lines:
Take out a piece of paper and a pen and draw a treble clef. Now, instead of drawing individual notes on the ledger line, extend the treble clef and draw more lines above it, and you'll see the ledger lines fitting on this extended clef. Extend the treble clef until the note you need to learn, and then learn the entire extended treble clef.

If you have trouble with something, then keep doing that over and over until you don't have trouble with it. Practising what you already do well doesn't have any benefit. Practising what you can't do is what is necessary to improve, right?

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#2287548 - 06/08/14 11:15 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3473
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Quote:
When you're "read-playing", you aren't actually reading all the time, you just have the score in front of you for reference and you play mostly from hand memory.


Well mostly yes, except if you do that all the time, you end up running into the same problems as with pieces that are just played from muscle memory. So with pieces that I want to keep in my active repertoire, but that I don't have memorized, I make sure I *read* as I play, instead of letting myself go on autopilot staring at the page like it was a picture. That's why I use the term read-play, because it's still active reading.

Thanks for the suggestion re ledger lines, but I was sharing that as an example, not as a request for tips. I don't encounter notes that far up very often, which is why I always feel the need to double check the first time I see them in a piece. My point was more that if the goal is sight-reading (i.e., play-through on the first time ever seeing the music), then you need to know your own weak points, so you can quickly scan the score and confirm them *before* you start to play.

My goal with sight-reading is just to make overall improvements so that I can bring my sight-reading up a little closer to my general playing level. That's why I purchased the new books I mentioned above, because I think at this point the thing I need most is just to sight-read a lot of pieces and get back into the habit of doing that a little bit every day.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#2287562 - 06/08/14 11:59 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: ShiroKuro]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1487
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
P.S. Earlofmar, I just ordered several books to use for sightreading practice. I thought they were books you'd recommended, but they're not the Agay books. Hmmm... I ordered 4 of the Hal Leonard Classics to Moderns series (Very Easy, Easy, More Easy, and Intermediate). Did you recommend those some where else? -- If not I just totally bought them on a whim! crazy


Yes they are the same books. Agay is the editor and I guess Hal Leonard is a distributor. Hope you find them useful.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2287563 - 06/09/14 12:05 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3473
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Earlofmar, whew, good to know my meory's not slipping! smile

I'll let you know what I think. I'm kind of ticked off because I had a Barnes & Noble gift card and splurged on "express" shipping, and they're schedule to arrive a full week after I placed my order. I should have stuck with Amazon or SheetMusicPlus, I would already have them. grrr.
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#2287566 - 06/09/14 12:28 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: ShiroKuro]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 352
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
My goal with sight-reading is just to make overall improvements so that I can bring my sight-reading up a little closer to my general playing level. That's why I purchased the new books I mentioned above, because I think at this point the thing I need most is just to sight-read a lot of pieces and get back into the habit of doing that a little bit every day.
You can also consider getting "Super sight-reading secrets" by Howard Richman. He has many drills and exercises which directly facilitate improvement of sight reading. I highly recommend it.

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#2287580 - 06/09/14 02:09 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: ShiroKuro]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1487
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: ShiroKuro
Earlofmar, whew, good to know my meory's not slipping! smile

I'll let you know what I think. I'm kind of ticked off because I had a Barnes & Noble gift card and splurged on "express" shipping, and they're schedule to arrive a full week after I placed my order. I should have stuck with Amazon or SheetMusicPlus, I would already have them. grrr.


Spare a thought for us antipodeans, I have to wait four to six weeks sometimes for books from the US.
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2287582 - 06/09/14 02:10 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: noobpianist90]
earlofmar Online   content
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 1487
Loc: Australia
Originally Posted By: noobpianist90
You can also consider getting "Super sight-reading secrets" by Howard Richman. He has many drills and exercises which directly facilitate improvement of sight reading. I highly recommend it.


I have the book but cannot get into the drills. Any of them that you find particularity helpful?
_________________________
I thought I understood endurance sport; then I took up piano
XXXV-6-XXX

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#2287583 - 06/09/14 02:27 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: earlofmar]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 352
Loc: India
Originally Posted By: earlofmar
I have the book but cannot get into the drills. Any of them that you find particularity helpful?
Yes, very helpful. Especially the Basic drills and the Keyboard orientation drills. I can find my way across the keyboard without looking at the keys. This is not done by touch. This is done by a sense of how far the keys are spaced. This is absolutely essential for one who wants to be a proficient sight reader.

The drills are fairly tedious, especially the rhythm separate and pitch separate drills. I make sure to do them twice a day for 5 minutes each. Now, they don't feel tedious anymore.

I've already seen progress in the short time since I started doing them regularly.

He states right in the beginning that the basics could take a person anywhere from 3 months to 3 years. I think that time frame is acceptable to me.

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#2287886 - 06/09/14 11:10 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: noobpianist90]
ShiroKuro Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/26/04
Posts: 3473
Loc: not in Japan anymore
Originally Posted By: noobpianist90
You can also consider getting "Super sight-reading secrets" by Howard Richman.


OMG this book! I bought when we were still living in Japan, which was a big deal because, first I think it was out of print (or something??) and then I had to order it and get it sent to me etc. And then I never used. Then, I decided I should probably use it, but I couldn't find it. So I bought another copy. Which I used a little bit but got out of the habit. Then, maybe a year ago I found the original book, so I now have 2 copies!! grin

Maybe I'll take a look at it again, I remember the orientation drills seemed beneficial but I didn't do much beyond that. And I think I originally set the book aside because I wanted to play things that were actual pieces, not drills or exercises (that's why I ordered all the classics books, which are supposed to be arrived tomorrow!)

Anyway, Noobpianist90 thanks for reminding me of the Richman book. Maybe I'll use a little more this time.

BTW, have we totally lost the OP?
_________________________
Started piano June 1999. My recordings at Box.Net:
https://app.box.com/s/j4rgyhn72uvluemg1m6u




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#2287890 - 06/09/14 11:19 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 352
Loc: India
The major problem with the Richman book is its organization. It's quite painful. I suggest reading the book once completely before beginning the exercises and drills. Also, he suggests doing the exercises for only about 5 minutes a day. This is completely manageable.

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#2287900 - 06/10/14 12:09 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
Zach Evans Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/28/13
Posts: 27
Most Efficient Process to Learning to Sightread

Sight-reading was something that didn't come very naturally to me, I grew up memorizing everything or playing by ear, so when I had to learn as an adult it was extremely frustrating and difficult. Here's the best way to do it IMO.

Get a Sight-Reading Method Book
You NEED something with a logical progression when your learning, trust me, otherwise its going to be either so easy it won't help you at all, or so difficult you'll quit out of frustration. I personally used "Improve Your Sight-reading" but any company's system should do. I've heard good things about "4 Star Sight-reading" as well.

For each exercise in the book, use the following system:

1. Prepare the exercise
Go through this checklist:
1. What key is the piece in?
2. What is the time signature?
3. Scan through the piece and look for repeated patterns.
4. Scan for any tough rhythms and clap through them
DO THIS EVERY TIME! It'll seem pointless sometimes but you have to get in the habit of doing this, it helps a ton.

2. First time through: Normal Sight-reading
Do this SLOW. As in, pick a tempo you think would be easier and than go even slower than you think you need to. Accuracy is wayyy more important than speed. If you're having to stop and start you're going too fast.

3. Second time through: Sight read without looking at hands
A big part of Sight-reading is learning to feel your way around the keyboard. If you watch any great sight-reader, they hardly ever take their eyes off of the music. You have to get used to feeling intervals by feeling the space between your fingers and finding jumps by feeling out black keys. So second time through don't take your eyes off of the music.

4. Third time through: Read the chords
Reading chords instead of notes is the equivalent of reading words instead of individual letters. So the third time, go through and before each chord change, say out loud (saying it out loud discourages you from cheating). Don't worry too much about it if you can't figure one or two out. Sometimes it's just a weird chromatic chord.

Anyways, this is the best method I've found to improve your sight-reading, but at the end of the day, it still just takes consistent practice over a long period of time. Don't beat yourself up about it, just keep doing this procedure and results will come.

Hope this helps,

-Zach Evans

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#2287934 - 06/10/14 02:58 AM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
noobpianist90 Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/23/13
Posts: 352
Loc: India
Good tips Zach. Only, in step 4) I think you mean "phrases", not "chords".

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#2288148 - 06/10/14 03:23 PM Re: Reading sheet music advice [Re: LeviathanMusic]
JohnSprung Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 1291
Loc: Reseda, California
Originally Posted By: LeviathanMusic
I have never been able to get my eyes to see both staves at once and register what I am supposed to do.


You might want to see a neuro-opthalmologist, to check whether it's a retina or optic nerve issue. I have a slight amount of optic nerve damage in one eye, it's detectable, but doesn't impair the way I live at all.

If there's nothing wrong with your eyes, then the issue is just that the human brain doesn't work in parallel mode, it's a serial processor. You have to be able to see the notes in the two staves one at a time, figure out what to do, and all just before you actually need to do it -- in other words, reading ahead.
_________________________
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

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