Sight reading needs work

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by songbook, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    I know it's going to happen again this year. Last year, just before Ecumenical Easter Sunrise services, the Jackson Baptist played my CD rendition of Christ the Lord is Risen Today over the external loud speakers of the church. Reportedly, it could be heard all over Jackson last year, but my wife and I were then in Virginia with my in-laws for services. This year they will be here.
    Peter McNeill likes this.
  2. Dave Mickley

    Dave Mickley Forte User

    Nov 11, 2005
    one thing that helped me was playing in a quintet, you are playing your own rhythm and it better be right or it messes up everyone.
  3. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    Thank you for all the feedback. All your advice is greatly appreciated.
  4. Sethoflagos

    Sethoflagos Utimate User

    Aug 7, 2013
    Lagos, Nigeria
    Play all your Arban exercises backwards.
  5. SteveRicks

    SteveRicks Fortissimo User

    Aug 15, 2009
    I hear you. My home church does the same thing. Key always seems to be lots of flats or sharps and it changes key about every 8 or 16 measures. It isn't a level 5, but tricky enough that sight reading is really tough. No melody. Just background licks. And we rarely get it in advance. As part of my normal practice routine I spend a good bit of time reading through books of big band solos etc. to work on sight reading and read fairly well. However, in terms of practicing sight reading for church, it is hard to find what to practice to get ready for this non melody accompaniment stuff.
  6. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
  7. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    Afterward, turn Arban's upside down and play it again as you see it then. Ha! Ha! Except for 40+ year hiatus, I've been including Arban's in my practice routine since I was a junior in High School. I've now my second copy.
  8. robrtx

    robrtx Mezzo Forte User

    May 26, 2012
    Won't this summon the Viola gods?.................:-?
  9. kehaulani

    kehaulani Fortissimo User

    May 14, 2011
    Hawaian homey
    Songbook - one key to sight reading is to recognize patterns.

    Ironically, until you get to really modern music, there just aren't that many rhythmic patterns used in western music. Find books like Lenny Niehaus' "Jazz Conception" books, which consist of basic to more complex rhythmic patterns written as etudes. Or go through music periodically, and see what kinds of patterns occur frequently.

    When you sight read, you are always looking ahead of what you are playing. You have to develop this technique, if you haven't already. So, as you play, you look ahead and see a recognizable rhythmic pattern, you go into response mode and don't think or dissect the pattern, you just play it as one unit, not as individual notes that are strung together.

    Similarly, you need to have your scales and arpeggios down cold and be able to recognize what key a scale is in when you see a string of pitches. Then, instead (regardless of what step of the scale the notes begin and end on) of thinking of note-to-note, if you can recognize that the accidentals in that string belong to one particular key, you can just play the contour of the line using the pitches that belong to that key.

    Hard to explain concisely. So, if there is a string of pitches that contain C# and F# and G#, you don't have to be bogged down thinking of each individual note, you just look at the phrase and go into overdrive playing in the key of A (which has C#, F# and G#). This is a bit of a simplistic example, but it starts really paying off when you see a contour of pitches with a lot of accidentals. Then instead of thinking, "Jeez, there's F# and A# and G# and etc.", you just go, "Oh, that's F# scale", and push down the right buttons without thinking of the individual notes.

    Look for patterns. Teach yourself the patterns. Regurgitate them instead of individual rhythms or pitches.

    Also look for faults you might have in knowing how to read rests and counting. Often in music, you play something, then there's a rest, then the music continues. Many times, depending on tempo, you can't really count the rest to yourself. You have to orient yourself to the next secure downbeat, ignoring counting that rest altogether. Count the rest to yourself and it's already gone by when you pick up the following notes.

    (And, of course, not to overlook it, but playing a lot of music obviously helps, especially when you stop and analyze why you missed a certain passage.)
  10. songbook

    songbook Piano User

    Apr 25, 2010
    Again thank you for the knowledge you're so willing to share. It's greatly appreciated.

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