How to sight read

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

  1. Paul Du Bourg

    Paul Du Bourg Pianissimo User

    Oct 27, 2006
    Hey guys,

    And then you THINK you're getting really good so you tackle a few Clifford Brown Transcriptions.

    Daahoud,,,,,, Joy Spring,,,,, etc.......etc........etc.......

    Oh my word.............can't cope,,,,,,can't cope.......... drowning.............



  2. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    Like everyone else said, just keep doing it. Eventually you will just recognise patterns that recur in dfferent pieces and so know how it goes from the start. Mind you, composers get wise to that, so throw in damned accidentals all over the place, just to mess with you.

    A teacher I know never tells his students this is easy or this is a hard piece. It's just a piece. So they never get frightened by the parts that are covered in black notes. He showed me some of the parts he gives them to sight read and I would struggle to play them straight off, and I've been sight reading (trying anyway) for nearly 30 years.
  3. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Do you have more of a problem recognising the rythm, or recognising the notes? I used to have greater trouble with rythm rather than notes until I started using a metronome (or a decently tapping foot) when faced with new music. I also slowed the tempo down a lot to help get the pattern before playing faster. If I heard the music played first I was fine. Perhaps this is the same with you? If it's the notes rather than the rythm then I can't relate to that, sorry.

  4. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    Why reinvent the wheel? There is enough research out there about how good reading habits are built.
    Good readers of books recognize patterns, they don't read individual letters.
    Our patterns are scales and intervals. That is also why the Arban and Clarke books are full of them.

    If you want to site read better, you increase your currently weak collection of patterns. There is no other way.
  5. Doug1951

    Doug1951 New Friend

    Dec 23, 2011
    North Carolina
    This is food for thought rather than a suggestion...since I have no clue of your trumpet or music skill level.
    The common "thread" of consensus in the posts to this thread is that it takes time...(which is very true)..
    Sight reading being somewhat similar for all intruments (since that is what allows us all to play...together) consequently
    I might suggest the purchase of keyboard (used casio or some inexpensive equivalent). Once you you find the
    3 Cs on the keyboard and "see" the same notes you play on the trumpet on the piano keys, the learning curve
    for "site reading" one finger music (which is what trumpet sight reading is) can practice sight reading
    without wearing your lips out......
    You dont necessarily have to be playing a trumpet to increase sight reading skills.....but the road to success in sight reading is the same as the road to good trumpet sound delivery.>>>practice practice practice.........
    and you can practice longer and achive more experience sight reading on a keyboard than at the mercy of your lips and emboucher......
    Just a thought.............for food....
  6. photosnapper

    photosnapper New Friend

    Jun 26, 2010
    You could be dyslexic. Coloured lenses often help but you have to pick the correct colour. Try an optician to find out.
  7. Satchmo Brecker

    Satchmo Brecker Piano User

    Jul 19, 2010
    One trick wasn't mentioned...write your own music. Learning to write your own exercises, little songs, etc. will work wonders for sightreading. You can even sing random melodies to yourself and try to transcribe them onto paper using correct key and time signatures. Start simple, but then as you learn more about notes, key signatures, rhythms, etc. get more complex. The act of trying to figure all this out will make you less afraid of music in general too. (Oh, of course don't just write the music, but play what you've written too!)
  8. gchun

    gchun Piano User

    Dec 10, 2003
    Find simple tunes, play them slowly WITHOUT stopping. Use a metronome set with accent on the downbeat (beat 1) to a make sure you aren't jumping beats. After playing through the piece, THEN go back and fix things (wrong notes, wrong rhythms.)

    Do at least one new tune a day. Keeping doing it. It'll get better.

    As mentioned before, get your eyes used to reading rhythms. Build a "vocabulary" of basic patterns. You'll never know all the possible combinations, but in certain styles of music, such as big band, there are many repeating figures.

    Last edited: Apr 13, 2012
  9. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    It was an English class somewhere in very early elementary school ( first grade???) where we use to sing the alphabet, "A B C D E F G" ... stop. These are the basic notes of music! If any remember this, the tune was NOT sequentially ascending. It moved upward in pairs until the G which was lower. Well, I doubt if if I every sang the rest of it the way I first heard it, and know I didn't in a teacher's training class to introduce myself. Perhaps, you all can now predict my finale knowing that my name rhymes with Z. What was refreshing, and the strangest coincidence, was to encounter one of those students again many years later in a distant city who remembered my name. The point I'm making is that once you learn these 7 musical notes well, you'll never forget them and you can set them in any arrangement you want, almost anyway you want and put that same youthful lilting happiness in the clarity and tone of your music. However, mostly you'll identify each when you see them irregardless of what octave they are in and know their fingering as well.
  10. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    To improve music sight reading, read more music. When I was very young (12) I would get bored playing exercises. Hey I was just 12. Anyway I would go back to the 150 phrasing studies in the Arban book. I liked them because they were short. I would look for a couple of songs that didn't look too hard and go "I wonder what this sounds like?". I would spend the time on the song to figure it out until I thought I knew what it sounded like. Then I would find a new one. I didn't know it at the time but I was learning how to sight read. I just thought I was having fun. Hey simple pleasures. Sight reading became one of my strongest skills all because I read a lot of music.

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