advice for sight-reading?

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by 79connvictor, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. mazzrick

    mazzrick Pianissimo User

    Sep 16, 2005
    Berlin, Germany
    I just found a ton of free sheet music online (The Mutopia Project) most of it not trumpet music, but that's fine. I've been getting really into the Bach Cello suites and Violin Sonatas and Partitas, so I got all the music for those and read along with the recordings I have. Something I noticed is that I was tripped up in the big intervals where the music is harmonically based. I think we all develop a great eye for detecting scales when we're sight reading, but not necessarily other patters such as really simple things like dominant chords or inverted chords even. I know it sounds simple, but chord or arpeggio exercises will probably help your sight reading a lot.

    If you see a C major scale in a piece in eighth notes, you don't have really read it, you just see it and look ahead because it's a given, just like we don't have to think of which fingers to push down after a few years of playing. That's the mental connection you're trying to build with sight reading, making as many things as possible as easy as pushing down three buttons.

  2. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    I'm with Cartman and BigTiny... double right on.

    My dad (a retired band director) started me in the 4th grade with a practice drum pad, sticks and a percussion book. I learned rhythms that way for over a year. That was an invaluable lesson. There are only 12 different notes...and an infinite combination of possible rhythms.

    The second part Big Tiny mentions...listening...also terrific. You might even consider doing some actual transcription (as opposed to thinking about what it would look like in your head)...but even just the listening part is a great step for getting your mind/body acclimated to more and more possible rhythms and feels. Note the word "feels". Many genres end up being more about being accustomed to typical rhythms associated with a particular feel or style (R&B, Latin, Swing, etc) by listening will also prove invaluable.

    Best of success to you!
  3. SuperTrumpetDude

    SuperTrumpetDude New Friend

    Aug 15, 2008
    Seattle, WA, USA
    I'm not the best at sight-reading, but some advice I can give you is to play percussion. I have recently volunteered to play percussion in my school's orchestra, and I can tell you my sight-reading skills have improved a lot. I'm having a much easier time with rhythms.
  4. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    Anything we read is a combination of scales and rhythms, and knowing both is a huge help. The ideal is to know a key so well that we can play it with our eyes closed, and be able to plug a rhythm between two beats.
  5. Al Innella

    Al Innella Forte User

    Aug 9, 2007
    Levittown , NY
    Read as much as you can play in as many different bands as possible if you can get printed copies of you`r parts and play along with recordings of them it will help you see and hear the rhythmic patterns.
  6. Wlfgng

    Wlfgng Piano User

    Aug 15, 2008

    Go for the Hymn book, all the keys and time signatures you could want can be found in a Hymnal
    Play the Melody
    Play the Alto line
    Play the Alto line a 8va up
    Play the Tenor line( invloves reading Bass Cleff)
    PLay the descant if the Hymn has one.
    Transpose up on the fly(eg Bb to C)
    Transpose down on the fly (eg C to Bb)
    Even play it backwards.

    Anything to exercise the mind while playing.

    If you play with other trumpets, play from the Hymnal. There are easy songs which let you work on tunning to each other.

    IMO a Hymn book is a great addition to any practice.
  7. limbo

    limbo New Friend

    Aug 1, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2011
  8. skankin'dan

    skankin'dan Pianissimo User

    Mar 14, 2007
    Something you can do that helped me was practise rythms. The more you practise, you'll get familiar with patterns and in the end you'll be a better sight reader.

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