Sight Reading

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by Annie, May 8, 2007.

  1. Annie

    Annie Piano User

    Nov 13, 2003
    As someone who is working on becoming a better sight reader (I'm ok, but when I get to fast licks my brain goes fizzle), and I actually learned some new tricks yesterday from my teacher - read the pattern, not the notes. For example, you can think of each different measure like a chord with some passing tones (that was news to me, I never even thought of it like that).

    For those of you who are monster sight readers, and can read anything put in front of you, are there any other ways you read the music that's in front of you other than note by note? Just curious how everyone else does it.
  2. rowuk

    rowuk Moderator Staff Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    The key to great sight reading is paying your dues - scales (even the weird ones!) and intervals!
    They give you the basic building blocks from which most music is composed.
    Those blocks put patterns of movement into your head - so that you simply regurgitate the necessary patterns. Every once in a while, you will come across a tough passage, that you will just have to practice.
  3. Eclipsehornplayer

    Eclipsehornplayer Forte User

    Sep 14, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Well said Robin as usual; that's exactly what I was thinking.
  4. Derek Reaban

    Derek Reaban Mezzo Piano User

    Jun 16, 2005
    Tempe, Arizona

    In addition to paying your dues with scale and interval practice, the other pieces of the puzzle related to great sight reading include immediate pattern identification (rhythm) and internal pulse.

    I really like the book by Robert Starer called Rhythmic Training. I discovered this book many years after I graduated from college and worked through the first chapter (assuring that could “tap” through the first 15 exercises with no errors). When I found out that Michael Sachs used this book regularly in college I decided that I would put this on my list of summer practice.

    This book is like doing homework. If you spend time with the book (away from the horn, really concentrating on learning the material), the knowledge that you are putting in your head will simply be there for you to draw on when you are in a sight reading situation.

    Here’s a post with some details on how I’ve used the book in the past.

    Good luck!
    Last edited: May 8, 2007
  5. trumpetgeek01

    trumpetgeek01 New Friend

    Apr 3, 2007
    Roanoke Virginia
    Also like you practices scales to become better at them, practice sight reading. I did that before my all district auditions last year and I felt much better than I did this year when I didn't practice sight reading as much. Look at it as music that you play in band. Also there is a section in the arbans book that is very good I don't have it on me because I'm at school but it has the scales in all different keys and rhythms I'll look it up when I get home ha ha but it's very good for sight reading along with the art of phrasing studies and duets.
  6. trpt2345

    trpt2345 Mezzo Forte User

    May 21, 2006
    Morelia, Mexico
    The only way that I have found to become a better reader is to read new stuff all the time. We tend to work the same things over and over. Grab some different things, a clarinet book, or violin book, and see how far you can get without stopping. Remember, if you've seen it before it's not sight-reading.

    Michael McLaughlin
  7. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I think, but it is not proven because it seems to sneak in, but learning to transpose might speed up that patterning process a great deal.
  8. Richard Oliver

    Richard Oliver Forte User

    Jul 18, 2006
    Casper, WY
    Great thread Annie and wonderful posts by all. I'm watching avidly. My reading plods unfortunately.

    All the Best,

  9. wilcox96

    wilcox96 Mezzo Piano User

    Oct 31, 2005
    charlotte nc
    Rhythms are especially key to good sight reading. I would even suggest you find a percussion or drum method book and practice out of that. Sit with a metronome...and play the rhythms on a drone note (like 2nd line "G")...or, of course, clap your hands! Whatever you'd like...mix it up.

    My dad started me on drums in the 4th grade for the express purpose of learning and recognizing rhythms. When I later switched to trumpet... I was well ahead of the curve. This early training (and continued rhythmic training throughout my career) helped tremendously.

    Best of success to you...
  10. bluegill

    bluegill New Friend

    Apr 6, 2007
    Minneapolis, MN
    Really good point. It's suprising how much a metronome can actually do to help you not only sight read, but also keep your pulse while playing and recognise rhythms easier because you always feel the beat.

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