Sight Reading Tips/Suggestions

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by BowmaninBb, May 8, 2013.

  1. ewanmains

    ewanmains Piano User

    Jun 9, 2009
    Kilmarnock, UK
    Learn to play drums - seriously - it'll do wonders for your feel of rhythm. Even just learning a simple 'beat' and being able to maintain that beat for 3 or 4 minutes at a steady tempo will help calibrate your 'inner metronome'. Also - practice 1/4 notes, 1/8th notes and 16th notes in your head when you're out walking anywhere or even do step exercises. As humans, we tend to walk in time - it's pretty impossible not to.

    Also, what I find works when sight reading is seeing 'patterns' of phrases and rhythm's. Music in general can be pretty repetitive and you'll find that certain rhythmic phrases continually crop up. Learn to recognise these patterns when reading ahead and all you really need to concentrate on is the notation.

    Good luck! :-)
    Last edited: May 9, 2013
    Vulgano Brother likes this.
  2. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    The BEST advice I can give: Tap your feet... and know where beat one is.
  3. dangeorges

    dangeorges Pianissimo User

    Oct 20, 2010
    I've found that some kids "get" rhythms and some need to work really hard and may never "get it."
    One thing I've used to help is a visual display of, say, 8th notes immediately drawn below quarter notes, dotted quarters, etc. to show how they're broken down and played.
    I've also used an up/down zig-zag to represent up and down beats. Visuals seem to help the rhythm-impaired, but not always.

    Sometimes they just need to memorize how difficult rhythms and combinations of notes sound.
  4. graysono

    graysono Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 22, 2007
    Hyde Park, Utah
    Right on. Get your whole body into it. Use your hands on your knees to emulate bongos and congas. Listen to where jazz drummers place the offbeat (usually 2 and 4) and then do that yourself to their music. Listen to odd meters (eg. 5/4) and figure out rhythmically where 1 and 5 are in your tapping. You want to condition your entire body to respond to the rhythm of the music. In order to learn to read, you have to read and read and read (and fake your way) through a lot of music before the aha moment. So, just do it!
  5. mhendricks

    mhendricks Pianissimo User

    The best study book I've used with students is "Music Speed Reading" by David Hickman. It teaches to play correct notes and rhythms by understanding and recognizing that great sight readers look at how note heads are spaced within measures rather than looking at stems and flags that are usually associated with rhythmic values. Highly recommended.

    Here's some places I found that has David Hickman's "Music Speed Reading: --

    In the US:

    Music Speed Reading by HICKMAN| J.W. Pepper Sheet Music

    In Canada:

    Hickman, David – Music Speed Reading, Wimbledon/Trigram Music

    In the UK:

    David Hickman: Music Speed Reading :: Southern Percussion

    Give it a go!

    Mark Hendricks
    MPH Music - Mark Hendricks -
  6. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    This may sound crazy, but I recently found the thing that helped my sight reading more than anything was finding a great pair of glasses.
  7. BrotherBACH

    BrotherBACH Piano User

    Oct 5, 2010
    I fully admit that my sight reading is terrible but getting better all the time. Here is what has vastly improved my rhythm, timing and sight reading. I committed myself 100% to it. I made it more important than anything else related to the trumpet. My teacher taught me the conducting and counting patterns. I wake up every morning early enough to have a cup of coffee and I conduct and count Sigmund Herring Etudes. It forces you to also learn to read of head of where you are playing. This will also help you recognize rhythm patterns faster and keep your brain actively focused on it. When ever I stop for a period of time, I get worse, so I has to be constantly maintained. As part of that you will also have to practice maintaining a steady beat by yourself, which is very important.

    Good Luck,
  8. gmonady

    gmonady Utimate User

    Jan 28, 2011
    Dayton, Ohio
    I also recommend that singing though it before playing it is a BIG help.
  9. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    But better advice is to just tap your toe inside your shoe. That way you won't annoy your conductor or other players. :cool:
  10. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I got some socks in Japan with the big toe separated, as in mittens. Works great for tapping inside shoes.

Share This Page