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Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 79connvictor, Aug 8, 2008.
What advice could one offer to help someone learn to sight-read other than read read read?
Read some more
Well, I can give you some advice from my undergrad days. I was in the jazz band at FIU as an undergrad and played the lead chair during my time there. I had some problems reading very tough patters at times. My prof at the time for the ensemble was Ed Calle (whom I play with now) and he advised me to get drum sticks and a percussion book and just play the patterns, and not to stop till I finished the book. Doing that helped me to recognize patterns much better and in a short period of time. I have my young students doing that now and it has helped them with their studies. Like the old saying goes, we are all drummers in the band. So hope this helps a little.
A couple other books for reading rhythm, Colin Rhythms complete, Rothman Teching Rhythm (When kids forget their instrument for lessons I have them count and clap rhythms out of this, they hate it, but it is good for them)
Get a hymn book and play it cover to cover. Find something unknown EVERY day for the next 6 months.
There is no replacement for DOING IT.
Make sure you have a good diet of scales and interval studies too.
Practice making things harder for yourself. Transpose, play two part pieces while playing piano with left hand, try sight reading on piano, play non-trumpet music too, it just looks different. Then when you have to sightread something traditional, it's much easier.
I think Cartman givesw great advice in regards to going through a percussion book.
As a comeback player, I can attest to the fact that I can easily recall all the fingerings for the notes, what I struggle with is quickly recognizing the rhythmic pattern of the measure.
It's kind of like typing. I don't think of the individual letters I'm typing, rather, I'm thinking of the pattern needed to type the word.
And yep, read, read, read. And always listen to Robin (Rowuk).
Thanks for all the good tips. The rhythm patterns are definitely the most difficult for me. I'm in a band now that plays just a tremendous amount of music. If I stick with it I guess I'll get better just trying to keep up, but I hope to do better than just keep up when we get back together this fall.
In addition to the other advice I've seen posted on this subject over the past few weeks I can recommend a little 'away from the practice room' exercise I used to do a lot (still do as a matter of fact).
Part of any musician's regimen should involve a certain amount of 'active' listening. Meaning listening to some of the music of your choice (players of your choice, etc.) as non-background listening. Paying close attention to matters of aesthetics, playing style, etc.
One thing I do that helps my reading stay sharp is that when I listen to music (I listen to a lot of jazz) I try to envision in my head, what the written music would look like for a tune or solo I'm listening to. This sounds silly, but think about it. A huge part of being a good sight reader is recognizing things (patterns, rhythms, etc.) that you've played before. If you can hear a snippet of music, a head, a riff, a lick, and visualize how it would be written, then you're kind of 'reverse engineering' sight reading. I'm not proposing that doing this by itself will make you a good sight reader. But I think it is just one more mental exercise that can help build up your arsenal of playing skills.
I have started doing that and i think it is worthwhile.
The best thing to do to improve sight reading is to sight read. I play in a band that i have had to sight read for every piece we have played cos all the other musicians are older than me n i have to keep up. It was difficult at first but now its more natural and it helped me to get my grade 8, i got 18 out of 21 for sight reading. So all you have to do is to keep sight reading when you practice.