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Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Shooter, Nov 6, 2007.
Stay on topic, please. This is a stickied thread in a non off-topic forum.
Thanks for pointing that out Bob. It's very interesting to me that it works well in that high-pressure context while I've found it to be so ineffective in my (definitely low pressure) private lesson context. I'll definitely keep it in mind as a potential tool for students who are headed in that direction.
I certainly found it to be a sink or swim situation when I was in the university music program as well. For me reading the notes off the staff was fine, but finding them on the neck beyond the open-position was agony for me at first. That and the countless hours running ear-training drills at the computer are amongst my fond memories of those years
As they say, Necessity is the mother of invention, Leo.
There are two elements to sight reading, vertical and horizontal. Horizontal is rhythm and vertical is pitch. Many guitarists don't know that guitar and bass notation isn't read as written, but played an octave lower. The top space E is actually the 12th fret high E string, but guitar plays that note as your open high E string.
There are two types of rhythmic notation : notes that sustain and notes that are non- sustaining. Sight reading is easy, once someone shows you how. I have yet to see a book or method or computer program that will show you how.
Once you can read the notation and know where to play it on your guitar, there is a matter of interpretation. A musician can NEVER groove, play 16th note funk, or play anything well if he/she can't play what they are sight reading "in the pocket". It has to be played correctly. If you would like to be able to sight read pretty much anything in about six weeks, send me a pm. It is not difficult because you already know most of the rhythms and heard all the notes. You already know the language.
I know how to sight read man, it's just getting it up to speed. I used to play violin, so I recognize the fact that guitar is written an octave higher than it's played (top space E is the violin's open E string), and I know how to read rhythms and notes and all... it's just difficult to read and play at the same time.
There are some tips for developing sight read, but there are no tricks.
If you write something for the purpose of making it easier, you are only making the sight reading harder.
The only way to learn how to sight read, is to play with a metronome at a speed where you know you will be able to read everything.
Be really focused when there are 8ths and 16ths, don't just look at the first and last note of the passage, because maybe it has a twist and you will not notice it if you look at it that way.
Practice reading in one string, in two strings, etc
Practice reading in position.
Practice reading in all the neck.
See what positions are more comfortable, since the guitar has the same notes in different locations, you can see before you play, what positions are more comfortable to play that section of what you are reading.
Also, practice reading chords in a steady pulse, you can use the real book.
If you have a melody that doesn't have flats, play this exercise: think that it is in G major, and then all the F's become sharp, and if you are good in this, you can put there 5 sharps, etc.
Something very cool I did once, was to write in the finale, random notes all in 8ths, but from a specific range, so I could practice one specific position.
You can use the range of the first string, and read only there.
There are lots of ideas, you can rotate the page 180 degrees and read it that way
I would recomend getting easy etudes like carcassi and sor and read the whole books with a coffee every morning heh
dont try to remember them just pass trough them and play them like you read a book
I'm not sure, but it reminds me of the NUMERATED BASS or smth. You can find it in the jazz harmony reference books. It's just the number of the step (I forgot the word) of the tonality the piece is in. For example, the II is D, the III is E, the IV is F in Cmaj but I'm not really sure)))
I've made long ago a thread with exercises I use, but nobody replied, maybe the ex. scared them all!
here it is:
If you can try and hear it in your head, I just hear how it sounds once through with counting and then I play it. I usually get very high scores in sight reading.
Thank you for this! My sight reading is despicable, and I need to redevelop it.
I just started reading staff from the powertab and guitar pro. I can play some part's by reading the music, if I get stuck I look below it and find my answer.
I need help eightreadung ... Send help ...bassman4534
make that sightreading
Attending a music school this year, need to sight read/play in the tests, your post really helped me out as i didn't know where to start, thanks =)
try reading TABS
heres an example
the six is an string number and the numbers after the six is an FRET
Is this stuff interesting to play?
I've been going through A Modern Method For Guitar by William Leavitt. It's really effective in that I've pretty much learned to sight read in under a week (slowly, in just a few keys, in the nut position only).
The only trouble is every piece sounds like a nursery rhyme. The nursery rhymes are getting more complex but they still sound like shit, and I'm finding myself motivated to keep learning, but really unmotivated to keep playing and hearing that crap.
So any recommendations for a similar book with more interesting music would be most welcome. I was going to start a thread with this question but this one seems pretty topical.
Yep, I didn't know that. But now that I think about at.........
Short version: If you can open each page of that book and instantly play each at speed, move on. If you can't, then either learn it or don't. If your real motivation is in interesting pieces now, instead of perfecting sight reading, then why bother learning sight reading?
I understand wanting to get to something more sophisticated. I imagine that children learning to read and write go through the same thing. How boring, to learn block script before getting to the cooler calligraphy and cursive styles!
Practice perfects what you are practicing, though. If you learn how to read the simple stuff perfectly, and can play through them perfectly at speed, then you should skim through, playing each piece perfectly at speed, and then move on.
If you feel the pieces are simple, great.
However, if you can't play those pieces perfectly at speed the first time you try them... then you aren't ready to move on yet. That's not meant as an insult, but as an observation.
The biggest predictive factor for success and for arriving at the level most people call "talent" is referred to as the "drudge" gene. That means you can invest the time in drudge work, even though it's boring, in order to build skills.
Whether you have the ability to acquire a new skill, no matter how difficult or how much patience it requires, or decide to abandon that for something more fulfilling, good luck!