How to become a monster reader

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by obeedge, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. obeedge

    obeedge New Friend

    May 18, 2011
    What is the best way to go about improving on sight-reading skills? Are there any good books out there
  2. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    sorry to be so simplistic -- but you need to just do it.
    take different styles, jazz, classical, big band -- look over the piece before you play it, and take note of the dynamics, the repeats, etc. It will help (in my opinion) to play it in your mind, and finger the notes on the horn - without playing -- the first time or so. then just play man --- and enjoy it, and try not to get frustrated --- this whole trumpet thing takes time and effort -- there are no shortcuts -- -but that is cool, otherwise everyone would play it.
  3. JediYoda

    JediYoda Mezzo Piano User

    Sep 25, 2010
    State of Confusion
    there are no short cuts to being a monster reader.....just lots and lots of practice and lots and lots of materials. Also it really helps to have some theory under your belt. That way when you see say the something written and already transposed in the key of Db,,,without even thinking your mind will tell you there are 5 flats.......Bb,Eb.Ab,Db and Gb.......

    Also part of being a monster reader is to recognize patterns of notes....that helps a whole lot regardless of the key.

    But as a vocalist and a returning trumpet player I can tell you that you need to jump in head first and just go for it as kingtrumpet stated!!
  4. kingtrumpet

    kingtrumpet Utimate User

    Sep 20, 2009
    New York State USA
    oh - yeah that is a good point -- learn your scales!!!! that will help with the key signatures
  5. Branson

    Branson Piano User

    Jan 16, 2011
    Sight reading involves several issues and the most overlooked is the ability to recognize and understand rhythmic patterns. When we see the note G second line, we instantly recognize it, but when we view a rhythm which is unfamiliar, our eye/brain hesitates for a split second in order to interpret it. Good sight reading requires an ability to see and understand rhythms.

    That’s why big band players are so good at sight reading shows. There are very few rhythms which they have not seen, played and memorized.

    Just my view…
  6. Trumpet Dreamer

    Trumpet Dreamer Mezzo Forte User

    Aug 14, 2010
    Jazz Town, USA
    Mark Ponzo - The Complete Sight Reading Etude For Trumpet

    It starts out easy, progresses to intermediate, and then on to advanced. Just what you need. But my instructor told me that ANYTHING will help as far as picking up a book and reading through it.

    You need to practice this every day! Use a metronome, and do not stop once you get going.
  7. flugelgirl

    flugelgirl Forte User

    Jan 20, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I had an instructor who recommended singing and fingering through audition sight reading pieces. He said that meant when you played it, it was like you were playing it for the SECOND time instead of the first! great advice - worked well for me! Norman Smith's march book is a good one to read out of - lots of marches you see, as well as some you don't, and marches can be complicated to play. For Jazz reading, if you can't get hold of actual charts there are some books of lead parts available - you should be able to google them. There are also some good Jazz etude books out there, and transcriptions are always good reading practice.
  8. Phil986

    Phil986 Forte User

    Nov 16, 2009
    Near Portland, OR.
    Branson is right, rythmic patterns are CRUCIAL. At the very beginning of my learning (I was 26 years old), I worked with a drummer's method widely used in Europe, called Dante-Agostini. Now, I'm begging my dad to go up in his attic and spend a few hours there in my stuff so he can fetch it out and ship it to me. No luck so far (considering I couldn't convince him of such important things like to stop smoking, success in this one is unlikely).

    Seriously though, rythm is extrememly important. Then it's all about practicing, acquiring and combining patterns (notes and rythms). Arban is helpful. So is Herring.
    This one is good too: "Le debutant trompettiste" by Vannetelbosch. Make it realistic: 5 min to look at a number, then an all out try like you're auditioning for the Berlin Philarmonic or something.

    Now of course, I have to confess that I am quite weak at sight reading, so don't listen to me too much :D
  9. trickg

    trickg Utimate User

    Oct 26, 2003
    Keeping in mind that I'm not a great sight reader by any means, one of the things that helped me the most was playing a lot of different music in different styles in ensembles where the people either already knew the music, or were better readers than me. By working with people who play so well, it helps you to start to better recognize certain types of figures because you hear them played correctly as they go by.

    Some of the most nerve wracking gigs I've played is subbing a big band book for a band where I'm only familiar with a portion of the charts, but as the night would wear on, I'd go from being pretty hit or miss at the top of the gig, to nailing almost everything by the end, regardless of whether I knew it or not. I think part of that though is that in swing and big band, the same kinds of figures present themselves, so it's just getting familiar with how they lay from a rhythmic perspective - then it's just hitting the partials and fingerings. Same thing with Latin band.

    Having said all of that, to pile on top of what everyone else said, just doing lots and lots of reading of all different types of music helps too.
  10. jiarby

    jiarby Fortissimo User

    May 7, 2011
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011

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