How to sight read

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by hhsTrumpet, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. hhsTrumpet

    hhsTrumpet Piano User

    Dec 3, 2011
    I am absolutely HORRIBLE at sight reading. The main problem is that I cannot read the notes off the page. I've been practicing a lot of sight reading on a program called SmartMusic, but I'm not getting any better. I guess I'm not very talented at reading music. What should I do to get better? Even if I have pretty decent technique, I cannot get anywhere with my horrible sight reading skills.
  2. the newbie

    the newbie Pianissimo User

    Jan 27, 2011
    San Francisco
    Try this, its not really reading music more learning the fingering. Might help.

    Brass Trainer
  3. codyb226

    codyb226 Banned

    Mar 9, 2011
    Florida, US
    Look at key signature, sing the piece out loud or in your head, get motivated to play it, HAVE CONFIDENCE! That is the most important part. If you are going to make a mistake, make it bold. Yeah, im a trumpet and I just screwed up! Now I will think nothing of that mistake and keep playing and have fun!
  4. Chuck Cox

    Chuck Cox Forte User

    Oct 3, 2008
    Cary NC
    I can't read the notes off the page either. Put the notes back on the page and try it again. Just kidding.
    Is it the notes or the rhythm. If it's the notes, get that key signature in your head and keep it there. I can really get lost
    if I forget the key signature. If it's the rhythm that's messing you up, look the page over for 30 seconds for unusual rhythms
    before you play a note.
  5. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    It likely took you 8 to 12 years of school to become proficient in reading English. Don't expect to become great at reading music overnight. Try to sightread a piece or two every day. There are some things you can learn to do to make it a little easier -checking key signature, looking through the piece, singing a little of it etc. But the main gains will com from practice. Also, be careful to vary the difficulty. Some easy, some moderate, a few really challenging. There is a lot of research on reading. Bet a lot of it would apply to reading music too.
  6. AKtrumpet

    AKtrumpet Piano User

    Jun 4, 2010
    Lots of people aren't very talented at certain aspects of trumpet, if not most aspects. As with anything, TIME/EXPERIENCE and PRACTICE will get you there.

    The more you sight read the better you'll become at sight reading - seriously - the brain will make the connections.
  7. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    A word of advice. Firstly get your eyes checked to make sure that you do not have Astigmatism, or an eye issue that is the root cause.

    Then it is just practice, slow and easy with a metronome on slow, and go easy tunes. It is just like sight reading a book, you start by reading letters, then words, then phrases, then paragraphs...

    Like everyone else says, the more you do it, the better you get. Maybe a teacher will help at the start to get you on the right track - a very good investment.
  8. LiquidSean

    LiquidSean Pianissimo User

    Nov 7, 2010
    I'd highly recommend getting the book "First Book of Practical Studies for Cornet and Trumpet" by Robert W. Getchell (It's on Amazon for $8).
    It has around 64 short tunes to play, and I think it partially attributed to my excellent sight reading skills. The most important thing to get out of sight reading is to make sure you're playing the song musically.... If it doesn't sound musical, no one wants to hear it.

    But basically, as with the rest of trumpet playing, the more you do it correctly the easier it gets.
  9. stumac

    stumac Fortissimo User

    Oct 19, 2008
    Flinders Vic Australia
    The best thing for my sight reading when learning French Horn was to play duets with my teacher, he seemed to have an endless supply, although after 3 months I would not remember if I had played one before or not. We would play each one once only and then go on to the next, he maintained going back and playing again was rehearsing and that was not what sight reading was about. If I made a mistake there was no going back to correct it. After 2 years of doing this for 1/2 hr per week during lessons this improved my sight reading remarkably.

    Regards, Stuart.
  10. chenzo

    chenzo Piano User

    Jul 18, 2008
    I kinda agree with all above posts.....................
    Another trick is try to read ahead of were you are in the music by this I don't mean the next line but try and anticipate what is coming.
    After years of practicing scales and routines a lot of the music will reveal its self in mussel memory and brain working together.

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