I too have major problems sight reading
I too have major problems sight reading
King Model 601 (my favorite horn so far)
Vincent Bach 3c and 5c
Spirit Drum and Bugle Corps 08, 09
Choctawhatchee Stylemarchers 07,08
I have never been good at reading. Related to that, I find counting very difficult (no, not counting, but counting while playing, concentrating on pitch, tone, articulation, what's coming next, how is this supposed to sound/what sound am I trying to produce. Always in the past I have learned musical cues to keep me in time . . . It becomes muscle memory - but did little to improve my reading ability - in fact, I think was a way to "gloss over, and work around" this deficiency.
Recognition of rhythmic patterns probably will be of good help - building a kind of library of stored patterns in the brain - to draw on when you see one. For example - when studying piano I found that rather than concentrate on every note in a chord, I began to recognize the intervals in the given chords, and would key in on a single note in the chord, and the fingers would follow the pattern.
But, the challenge, of course, is just sight reading and practicing might result in practicing wrong patterns. I had a teacher point this out as I was doing some rhythmic studies in Arban's, "Yes, that's the way it looks, but this pattern is played in the following way . . . even though it's written as . . . see the notes here explain . . ." Funny thing was I had read the notes, and they didn't help me.
And, practice doesn't make perfect, only perfect practice makes perfect, so I need something to check myself against to make sure I am practicing it right . . . Either to try it a few times, and then listen to it played properly, or SOMETHING.
A great software tool or web tool would be to combine exercises on line (or on the computer) with an tuner - where it could check your pitch and rhythm with the written music while you play. Maybe that's asking a bit much, but you get the point.
Playing music at sight is a skill that can be developed. The best way is to take a lot of short pieces and learn how they sound. The more you do the better you will get at playing music at sight. When I was learning to play, my Band director taught us the basics of counting rhythms. By the time I was in my third year at 12, I could figure out any rhythm put in front of me. At this age I used to go into the Arban's book, go to the Phrasing Studies and pick a tune. I wanted to know what it sounded like. Little did I know that I was teaching myself to sight read.
Too many programs spend far too much time learning just a few pieces by rote learnng and this kills sight reading skills. But anyone can learn to improve if they spend regular time at it.
Last edited by Bob Grier; 03-13-2009 at 04:28 PM.
Bob Grier, An Old Pro
Web Cam trumpet & jazz improvisation lessons
I find my biggest enemy is counting when I'm playing. I can do it perfect in some case! But the whole counting while playing really does get to me.
Especially those times when it's 4/4, you got; An 8th, quarter, quarter, ect... and everything is on the up beat and the next measure, and the next, and the next, all have notes in them that make THAT measure have notes on the up beats.
It's true, reading music is like any other literacy- the more you do the more proficient you become. I'm a strong sight reader (from scholastic training,) but improved expotentially when I invested time transposing existing charts and just listening to tracks and transcribing them. Sort of like writing to improve reading or teaching to consolidate things learned. -Ed
Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.
It's been a while since I have been on. However, I find this thread very interesting. I have a couple of suggestions.
1. For pure practice, pick up any number of church hymnals. The tunes are familar to us because we sing them in services. However, we don't typically sit doen and count them. So, when you are "sight reading" them, there will be an element of counting; while at the same time the tune will be familar. after a while you can just sight read hymns that are not very familar. Another advantage to church hymns is they are usually very difficult.
2. Counting was always difficult for me as well. Repetiton is what helped me. As I continued with school and started studing Theory/Comp. I was made to sit down and analize scores. Just sitting and counting out scoresof familar melodies help me to recognize those rythms again.
3. Rowuk said it best. You just have to do it.
On a side note.
a poster suggested that when playing to play through mistakes. That is a bad idea. We often say, "Practice makes perfect". That statement is incorrect. "Perfect Practice Makes Perfect".
What the incorrect thing about the saying, "Practice makes perfect", is that you could be practicing in a wrong way or could be creating BAD a habit without even knowing it! That doesn't mean that you had a "perfect" practice, as a matter of fact it's the opposite.
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