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Trumpet Discussion Discuss gah...sightreading in the General forums; Anybody out there have suggestions for some sight-reading books or strategies that could help me out? I am in DIRE ...
  1. #1
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    Anybody out there have suggestions for some sight-reading books or strategies that could help me out? I am in DIRE need of help in this area, so P.L.E.A.S.E. let me know.



  2. #2
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    Jul 2009
    New Hampshire

    Re: gah...sightreading

    Sight reading can only be learned by (you guessed it) - sight reading. Unless you're not using the term correctly, as many people don't.

    Musically, the term sight-reading refers to reading a piece of music for the first time and getting as close to a perfect reading as you can. Some people, though, use the term sight-reading to refer to any music reading.

    If you want to improve your sight reading, you need to find books of exercises which start easy and slow and then gradually get more complicated.

    There are some books:
    The Complete Sight Reading Etude Collection for Trumpet by Mark Ponzo, published by Balquhidder Music.

    Develop Sight Reading by Dufresne and Voisin, published by Charles Colin.

    If your overall music reading skills aren't that hot to begin with, you might consider Eric Bolvin's Student's Really Big Songbook. You can get that from his web-site. It's got 174 public domain melodies set very nicely for the trumpet (and other instruments in compatible editions so it can be used in a band class -- my beginner and advanced elementary school bands are using it in addition to the regular band method and the kids love it!)

    But aside from these books, any book which has shorter selections in it -- shorter is good because the basic outline for sight-reading is this:

    1) look over the music to check for things like key signatures and changes, time signatures and changes, accidentals, rhythms out of the ordinary, road-map issues and overall musical structure;
    2) play the exercise trying hard to pay attention to everything you noticed in step 1;
    3) look over the music once again, keeping in mind what you just played and trying to judge how close you came to perfect.

    Shorter exercises are easier to work out the mechanisms of sight-reading with, and then you can move onto longer and more complex exercises.

  3. #3
    Forte User bagmangood's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Bostonish & San Francisco

    Re: gah...sightreading

    what he said
    Also, rhythm is your friend. Keeping a steady rhythm is all you need
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    Picc: Selmer Paris, ~1971

  4. #4
    Fortissimo User veery715's Avatar
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    Mar 2007
    Ithaca NY

    Re: gah...sightreading

    This is something which helps me when sight reading at home.

    Clap or tap or drum the rhythm.

    Sing the part.

    Then try it on the horn.


  5. #5
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    Nov 2003

    Re: gah...sightreading

    Take time each week to learn very easy etudes or solos, the type that you can play down a few times and pretty much have. Most people spend their time practicing really hard things, as a result we do not always see a good turn over of music from week to week. I thinking pulling out a bunch of hard music to 'hack through' just for sight reading practice really doenst help. You want to appoarch this in a way that builds your any thing and everything, from simple band book melodies to easy you do this, and always keep finding new things, you will natural progress.

  6. #6
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    Jul 2009

    Re: gah...sightreading

    I don't know if you do already, but getting used to subdividing some in your head as you play could help a bit too. Especially if some of the rythms are throwing you off in sightreading.

    This is something I didn't learn when I first learned how to play the trumpet and now I'm having to learn it later and it makes things tons more accurate.

  7. #7
    Fortissimo User rettepnoj's Avatar
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    Feb 2009

    Re: gah...sightreading

    Welkom op de website van Erik Veldkamp

    Great site with a lot of free sheet music...good for sightread practicing
    Jon Petter

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  8. #8
    Moderator Utimate User Vulgano Brother's Avatar
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    Re: gah...sightreading

    Learning arpeggios, the Clarke Studies, etc., along with transposition makes it easier to see the patterns in a piece. The rest is just rhythm, dropping the right notes into the right space. Oh, uhh, then there is style, too....
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  9. #9
    Forte User Al Innella's Avatar
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    Aug 2007
    Levittown , NY

    Re: gah...sightreading

    The best way to improve sight reading is to sight read with other people, this way if one of you make a mistake, it will be noticed, if your by yourself you might not know you made a mistake. Join an ensemble or two outside of school, community bands, church groups, who ever will take you. The best experiences would be for you to be the best player in one group, and not in the other. I don't know if they are still available ,but the "Music Minus One" CD's are also very helpful because they play the same thing the same way every time.

  10. #10
    Forte User B15M's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
    Monroe Ct.

    Re: gah...sightreading

    I disagree with the idea, to learn to sight read, you need to do it.

    I believe in fundamentales. Learn the rhythms so you can hear them before it's time to play them. Learn intervals so you can hear them.

    When you do read, try to read ahead of what you are playing.

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