Getting sight reading back

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Rick Chartrand, Jan 20, 2005.

  1. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

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    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Dear Manny

    Firstly I'd like to take this opportunity for all of us that post on Trumpet Master.com to thank you for all of the help you give us all. Its rare that a musician of your calibre is willing to take the time to help others. That shows compassion for your fellow person and isnt that what its all about?

    Here's my Problem/Question. I have 15 years of playing under my belt and got my classical training. In those early days of my playing my sight reading abillities were great and I could sight read very well anything out of the Arban's method etc. However at that time since I wasnt studying Jazz yet my improvisational skills were lacking. After playing for about 10 years I turned to Jazz and now my improvizational skills and ear training are great. Heres the problem. I do solely improv work and I recently picked up a book of simple Jazz tunes, My funny valentine, Skylark etc and found that my sight reading abillities have deterirated to a point where I have to run through simple songs like this several times before I can get the 'feel' of them.

    As a musician of your calibre what do you do in your daily practise method to keep your reading up? And what do you think I should do to get mine back up?

    Thanks Manny

    Sincerely Rick AKA Trumpet Man
     
  2. JackD

    JackD Mezzo Forte User

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    Nov 30, 2003
    Manchester / London
    Hi Rick, why don't you see if there any local big-bands that you could play with?

    The single greatest help to my reading has been having new parts thrown at me in a big band I go to every week, and then counted in at a very fast tempo. You quickly learn to nail the rhythms or you end up sticking out like a sore thumb and getting very embarassed!
     
  3. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

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    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Hi Jack

    Now theres an Idea. I was actually considering volunteering for the Salvation Army big band around Christmas time. I guess when you are under fire you learn pretty fast...LOL which reminds me of my days of long ago when I was first studying trumpet.

    Thanks

    Rick AKA Trumpet Man
     
  4. Manny Laureano

    Manny Laureano Utimate User

    5,915
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    Sep 29, 2004
    USA
    Dear Rick,

    Jack has an excellent idea. Since you have the capability to earn bucks in a relatively short amount of time by busking, you could get your reading back by playing with community bands or reading bands that get together once a week to blow down charts. Does your wife play piano? Maybe you could get a collection of solos and just learn them for fun. Playing with a piano is just about the best thing for your playing you can do. It straightens out time and intonation primarily.

    ML
     
  5. Rick Chartrand

    Rick Chartrand Piano User

    386
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    Nov 22, 2004
    Toronto Canada
    Dear Manny

    Thanks to both you and Jack. I am looking into community playing with the Salvation Army in my area :-) Unfortunatly my wife doesnt play piano but my Aunt who passed in 1998 was a great classical pianist who regularly performed with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. She was responsible for a lot of my training. (Ahhhh beautiful memories there.)

    By the Way Manny, I'd like to hear some of your work. Any particular CD's you are promoting right now?

    Thanks

    Sincerely Rick AKA Trumpet Man

     
  6. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    Question: are there any books or methods that are specifically designed with the purpose of improving your sight reading? I'm talking about a book that starts off easy as pie and then gradually starts adding complexity in both rhythm and keys.

    If so, it sounds like it would be a good tool to keep around to dust off from time to time.
     
  7. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    609
    1
    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona
    Patrick,

    When I think about the building blocks of sight-reading I think about interval relationships (which are developed through scales, arpeggios, interval studies, and/or solfege), internal pulse, and rhythmic identification. I know that most of us have had our scales under our belts (in all different forms) for years. I made significant strides in sight-reading when I targeted internal pulse and rhythmic identification in short, dedicated practice sessions (during my rest breaks).

    There is a wonderful book called Rhythmic Training by Robert Starer that specifically targets internal pulse and immediate rhythmic identification.

    [​IMG]


    Please go to a post called A Rhythmic Challenge and then follow the link to A Rhythmic Epiphany in that first post. If you purchase the Starer book and work out of it for only several minutes a day, you will target both pulse and rhythmic identification. In about a month you will be able to see tangible differences in the way that you see and “feel†the music on the page.




    AverageJoe (Paul Poovey) suggested a book in a recent sight-reading post on TH:

    I looked Dufresne up on Wikipedia to learn more about him and this is what they said:

    I think I’m going to get a copy of this one myself and spend some time with it!

    I hope some of these ideas are helpful!
     
  8. trumpethack

    trumpethack Pianissimo User

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    Jun 1, 2006
    Massachusetts
    One thing that I do that really made my sight reading improve alot when I started it was transposition. Take easy beginner type etudes (I love the Getchell books for this) and practice them in lots of different keys. Never play as written! This mental exercise not only helps your transposition (obviously), but then when you have to sight read something and NOT transpose it, it feels like easy street....! Another thing along these lines is to transpose your warm up studies. For example if you warm up with clark 2 even though you have it memorized pull out the book and when you are playing it in F look at the one in G. Kills two birds with one stone... Over time little things like that can really make a big difference.

    Matt
     
  9. Dave

    Dave Guest

    :::deleted:::
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2007
  10. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

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    Oct 26, 2003
    Baltimore/DC
    Thanks - that's the kind of stuff I was talking about - specifically with the Starer book, which will be on order soon after I finish this post.

    For the last week or so I have been reading just about everything I can get my hands on in the house, mostly things that I either have never seen, or things that I haven't played or read in a long time. The purpose for this is so that when I do the sight reading part of my college audition in a couple of weeks, my reading is better than it has been, however, my reading has always been one of those things that could be improved upon, but that I have never specifically worked.

    Somewhere along the line was the mention of scales and arpegios - to be quite honest, until the last month or so I have never even had all of my major scales solid. I had most of them, but there were always a couple, C#, F# and B to be specific, that were always hit or miss.

    Now that I'm preparing to go back to school for music, I want to really focus on the areas of my playing that have always been weaker, and sight reading is right up toward the top of the list. That's why I used the "Search" feature and found this old thread. :)
     

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