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Trumpet Discussion Discuss reading music in the General forums; Hi guys I am interested any comments on how to improve one's reading of music while playing with an ensemble. ...
  1. #1
    Piano User chenzo's Avatar
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    Jul 2008

    reading music

    Hi guys
    I am interested any comments on how to improve one's reading of music while playing with an ensemble. Are there any hints?
    cheers chenzo

  2. #2
    New Friend gwie's Avatar
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    Jan 2009

    Re: reading music

    Overall, strong sight-reading is dependent more on the ability to read and interpret rhythms quickly, rather than notes.

    I use a book by Robert Starer called "Rhythmic Training" that has just been absolutely invaluable, both for me and my private students. Working through the different chapters trains recognition of rhythmic patterns, and hones reaction time.

    After all, the right note in the wrong place is a wrong note, and the wrong note in the right place is just out of tune. ;)

  3. #3
    Moderator Utimate User rowuk's Avatar
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    Jun 2006

    Re: reading music

    just start playing anything you can get your hands on that is white paper with black spots. Just do it, and lots of it! There is no better or cheaper way!
    Whenever I feel blue, I start breathing again.

  4. #4
    Pianissimo User Nerf's Avatar
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    Dec 2008
    Virginia Beach, VA

    Re: reading music

    I agree with everything said so far. Play anything & everything you can get your hands on! It shouldn't matter what clef it's in either! Like Robin said...if it's black dots on white paper...PLAY IT!!!

    Once again Robin you've proven why you're the prophet you are!
    Pain is weakness leaving the body.

    Ya can't fix stupid!!!

    1958 Mt. Vernon, NY Bach 37 Bb
    1973 Elkhart, IN Bach "72" Bb (It started life as a 37)
    1982 Elkhart, IN Bach 37 Bb
    1989 R. Lawler C1L
    Selmer Paris Bb/A Piccolo
    Jerome Callet Bb Flugel
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    (Not 100% sure of the dates on these)
    1920 Conn Cornet (?)
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  5. #5
    Piano User oldlips48's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007

    Re: reading music

    About a year and a half ago I started playing with a couple of friends (trombone and clarinet) we practice out the the ""Authentic Dixieland" book from Big 3 Music (copyright 1950!! I imagine out of print). TONS of syncopation. Starting out we sounded horrible, but now we sound much tighter. We've all mentioned how these tunes have helped our sight reading and general musicianship. I think the key is we kept the rehearsals moving. We might run through a particular passage a few times to get the rhythm, but we wouldn't beat it to death. We would run through the tune a couple of times then move on to the next one. This way we kept seeing new rhythm patterns and note combinations. So I suggest grabbing a couple of friends and running through any music you can get. It's more fun with a crowd

    As Gwie said, it's more picking out the correct rhythm. I've noticed that too. I'm not a pro by any stretch, but I have noticed the improvement.

    I gotta get me one of those cool slogans.....

  6. #6
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Nov 2007

    Re: reading music

    "The Art Of Phrasing" section in the Arban's book is a great section to practice sight reading. Practice 10-15 minutes a day flipping through these pages. Stop at a page, and pick a selection. The goal is to keep time first, and play all of the rhythms correctly. Don't stop for wrong notes.Keep time! Flip to another song that you have not played. Keep doing this until you can go through just about any of the tunes.

    There are different time signatures, rhythms, tempos, etc. None of them are really too difficult as far as range. You can focus exclusively on sight reading practice. Don't practice these. If you do, then it isn't sight reading. And don't play any song two days in a row. Varying what you read each day really improves the skill of sight reading.

    Pete Grimaldi

  7. #7
    Forte User Bob Grier's Avatar
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    May 2007
    Greensboro, NC

    Re: reading music

    I respectfully disagree with Pete. Would you cold read words out loud and mispronouce some of them. No you wouldn't. Take a tune in the Arban's. Stay with it until you've figured out how it goes. This will improve your reading skills just do a lot of it. A lot of the time, in professional situations we only get one rehearsal sometimes on the day of the performance. we are expected to not only get the right notes, rhythms and play in tune but observe dynamics, style and expression, articulations. ie. we are expected to play it like we've rehearsed it for a week.
    Bob Grier, An Old Pro
    Web Cam trumpet & jazz improvisation lessons

  8. #8
    Forte User
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Indianapolis, In

    Re: reading music

    You learn to sight read by sight reading. Therefore, Robin is right read anything and everything you can get your hands on.

  9. #9
    Piano User
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Spring City, PA, USA

    Re: reading music

    I classify all uncorrected errors as "microbes" which, although invisible to the naked eye, are deadly-- even more deadly than an animal as big as an elephant. One can run away or hide from or dodge an elephant, but not so with a microbe. These minute organisms multiply rapidly and in large number if not immediately driven out of the system.
    - Herbert L. Clarke
    Last edited by operagost; 03-14-2009 at 03:30 PM.
    2006 Yamaha Xeno 8335RGS
    1987 Conn 100B "Doc Severinsen"
    1946 Conn 22B "New York Symphony"
    1927 Conn 6A

  10. #10
    Pianissimo User Rushtucky's Avatar
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    Sep 2008
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    Re: reading music

    I agree with most of the above. If you are going to learn to "read" music proficiently, you have to practice each day, just like learning to read literature in school. The more you read, the better you get. Start with elementary music and work your way up.

    May I suggest getting: Develop Sight Reading by Gaston Dufrensne. Great book, but use it with an instructor so that they can guide and correct you.
    Indianapolis, Indiana

    "It is not necessary to understand music;
    it is only necessary that one enjoy it"
    Leopold Stanislaw Stokowski

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