reading music

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by chenzo, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. chenzo

    chenzo Piano User

    Jul 18, 2008
    Hi guys
    I am interested any comments on how to improve one's reading of music while playing with an ensemble. Are there any hints?
    cheers chenzo
  2. gwie

    gwie New Friend

    Jan 7, 2009
    Overall, strong sight-reading is dependent more on the ability to read and interpret rhythms quickly, rather than notes.

    I use a book by Robert Starer called "Rhythmic Training" that has just been absolutely invaluable, both for me and my private students. Working through the different chapters trains recognition of rhythmic patterns, and hones reaction time.

    After all, the right note in the wrong place is a wrong note, and the wrong note in the right place is just out of tune. ;)
  3. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    just start playing anything you can get your hands on that is white paper with black spots. Just do it, and lots of it! There is no better or cheaper way!
  4. Nerf

    Nerf Piano User

    Dec 7, 2008
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I agree with everything said so far. Play anything & everything you can get your hands on! It shouldn't matter what clef it's in either! Like Robin said...if it's black dots on white paper...PLAY IT!!!

    Once again Robin you've proven why you're the prophet you are!
  5. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    About a year and a half ago I started playing with a couple of friends (trombone and clarinet) we practice out the the ""Authentic Dixieland" book from Big 3 Music (copyright 1950!! I imagine out of print). TONS of syncopation. Starting out we sounded horrible, but now we sound much tighter. We've all mentioned how these tunes have helped our sight reading and general musicianship. I think the key is we kept the rehearsals moving. We might run through a particular passage a few times to get the rhythm, but we wouldn't beat it to death. We would run through the tune a couple of times then move on to the next one. This way we kept seeing new rhythm patterns and note combinations. So I suggest grabbing a couple of friends and running through any music you can get. It's more fun with a crowd:-)

    As Gwie said, it's more picking out the correct rhythm. I've noticed that too. I'm not a pro by any stretch, but I have noticed the improvement.

  6. Pete

    Pete Piano User

    Nov 17, 2007
    "The Art Of Phrasing" section in the Arban's book is a great section to practice sight reading. Practice 10-15 minutes a day flipping through these pages. Stop at a page, and pick a selection. The goal is to keep time first, and play all of the rhythms correctly. Don't stop for wrong notes.Keep time! Flip to another song that you have not played. Keep doing this until you can go through just about any of the tunes.

    There are different time signatures, rhythms, tempos, etc. None of them are really too difficult as far as range. You can focus exclusively on sight reading practice. Don't practice these. If you do, then it isn't sight reading. And don't play any song two days in a row. Varying what you read each day really improves the skill of sight reading.

  7. Bob Grier

    Bob Grier Forte User

    May 4, 2007
    Greensboro, NC
    I respectfully disagree with Pete. Would you cold read words out loud and mispronouce some of them. No you wouldn't. Take a tune in the Arban's. Stay with it until you've figured out how it goes. This will improve your reading skills just do a lot of it. A lot of the time, in professional situations we only get one rehearsal sometimes on the day of the performance. we are expected to not only get the right notes, rhythms and play in tune but observe dynamics, style and expression, articulations. ie. we are expected to play it like we've rehearsed it for a week.
  8. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    You learn to sight read by sight reading. Therefore, Robin is right read anything and everything you can get your hands on.
  9. operagost

    operagost Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA
    I classify all uncorrected errors as "microbes" which, although invisible to the naked eye, are deadly-- even more deadly than an animal as big as an elephant. One can run away or hide from or dodge an elephant, but not so with a microbe. These minute organisms multiply rapidly and in large number if not immediately driven out of the system.
    - Herbert L. Clarke
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  10. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I agree with most of the above. If you are going to learn to "read" music proficiently, you have to practice each day, just like learning to read literature in school. The more you read, the better you get. Start with elementary music and work your way up.

    May I suggest getting: Develop Sight Reading by Gaston Dufrensne. Great book, but use it with an instructor so that they can guide and correct you.

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