sight reading

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by RHSbigbluemarchingband, Mar 1, 2009.

  1. RHSbigbluemarchingband

    RHSbigbluemarchingband Mezzo Piano User

    Jan 17, 2009
    alright i took into notice today the fact that i SUCK at sight reading. can somebody who doesnt suck give me some advice on sight reading properly
  2. simonstl

    simonstl Pianissimo User

    Nov 25, 2008
    Dryden/Ithaca, NY
    Sight reading was the one thing I was really good at (and seem to still have).

    It sounds weird, but it also just takes practice. Practice playing stuff you haven't seen before, or stuff you haven't played in a while. Start with simple etudes, lighter than you normally play, and work your way up into heavier-duty stuff. Accept that you're probably not going to get everything perfect - it's a different kind of practice. (Rhythm and pacing were my weakpoints, but then they always were.)

    I think I got good at sight reading because I hated repetition, never wanting to play the same piece over and over. When I was practicing myself, I'd always wander around, playing stuff that seemed fun. I did practice specific pieces because I had to, but mixing it up made it all easier.

    Someone doubtless has a more structured approach, but as long as you can find a pile of fun and not too wildly difficult pieces you want to play but haven't yet, you'll probably be fine.
  3. s.coomer

    s.coomer Forte User

    Mar 25, 2005
    Indianapolis, In
    Start by playing some of the simple tunes in the Arban book, then progress from there. Their are plenty of things in the Arban for you to sight read. Just do them. You only learn to sight read by doing it.
  4. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    I agree with s.coomer. Arban is packed full, you can just pick a page and jump in. I suggest taking a look at the section on syncopation on starting on page 23.

    If you type, you know how you start out typing each letter, then the pattern for a word, and eventually you string the patterns for the words together and you get pretty good? I find sight reading to be similar to that. You start out looking at each note, then you begin to recognize simple patterns (like the syncopation) then you begin to recognize longer phrase patterns.

  5. Rushtucky

    Rushtucky Pianissimo User

    Sep 15, 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    Yes, sight reading can be combersome. However, it is a deficiency that you will have to overcome. There are two books that I get for my students that have problems in this area:

    1) Develop Sight Reading, Vol. 1 & 2 for Treble Clef Instruments by Gaston Dufresne

    2) One Hundred and One - Famous Trumpet Solos to Build Your Technique by

    Also as mentioned above, just can not beat the "Bible". There is a set of CDs: Hunt Plays Arban that has all of the studies and you can hear what you play.

  6. rhosch

    rhosch New Friend

    Feb 19, 2009
    Since it hasn't been mentioned yet, you really need to know your scales like the back of your hand. And not just scales, but arpeggios as well.

    So I'd suggest a two-fold approach:

    1) do a lot of sight reading. pick up a book, read through it start to finish (not necessarily in one setting), and go to another. don't worry about going back to perfect passages.

    2) in the books mentioned above (and others), pay particular attention to scale studies. on these, don't just go through them once for the sight-reading aspect, but practice them repeatedly, daily, until you are "air-fingering" them as you walk around the mall.
  7. Bachstul

    Bachstul Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 25, 2009
    Patience, time, experience.
  8. Pakatak

    Pakatak New Friend

    As bad as most of you are probably going to think this is, playing easy songs on either Rock Band or Guitar Hero and working on just playing a bunch of stuff so you never get used to how a certain song goes helped my sight reading a bit. The parts usually feel a little bit awkward with the music, making you play what's on the TV/page rather than what you hear (another essential to sightreading an arrangement of a song you know!). You also can't rush very much, thanks to pre-recorded music that doesn't change tempo (oh man, time-keeping exercises too?).
    Given, it's nowhere as helpful as grabbing your Arban's and playing, which gives both the benefit of actual sight reading and playing your horn, but you can incorporate sight reading practice into your time spent with friends! I found that the guys that just rock at sight reading at my school are the ones who are ridiculous Rock Band players... one could hope that it's just a lot of coincidences. Just some practical advice from one high schooler to another.
  9. Bloomin Untidy Musician

    Bloomin Untidy Musician Piano User

    Jan 14, 2008
    I was told by my teachers to always read at least one bar ahead of what you are playing. Apparently very good sightreaders can read up to 8 bars ahead of what they are playing. Can anyone on this forum do 8 bars?
  10. oldlips48

    oldlips48 Piano User

    Mar 1, 2007
    Only if someone else is driving.....:D

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