Sight Reading

Discussion in 'Music Theory, Lessons & Techniques' started by Shooter, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. Reino Tulonen

    Reino Tulonen SS.org Regular

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    Same thing with me. I can read and play but doing both simultaneously is hard. But I guess it's like learning a new language, the more you learn it, the smoother you can speak and read it.
     
  2. Eric Von Kimble

    Eric Von Kimble SS.org Regular

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    In high school there was a joke about us guitarist.

    What is the quickest way to shut a guitar player up?
    Put sheet music in front of him.

    Sux but it was the most true of all instrumentalist in school.

    We all deserve more time refining this area, I have been slacking too.
    There are free lance musicians who get decent work because of this skill.

    :shred:
     
  3. altyguitar

    altyguitar SS.org Regular

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    Get some sight reading books or anthologies and practice at least 25 minutes every day. Maybe there are some tricks and short cuts that might help to speed up the learning process to an extent but the main thing is just doing it day in day out.
     
  4. Dan2

    Dan2 SS.org Regular

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    I'm using an app called Score Master Light from the Google Play store on my phone - it's limited in terms of high and low note range, but it quickly got me reading a lot quicker in the middle range by doing a few minutes a day. You can start with slow scrolling and speed up as you get more confident with it.
     
  5. Eric Von Kimble

    Eric Von Kimble SS.org Regular

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    +1
     
  6. alvo

    alvo SS.org Regular

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    +1, I'm in the same camp, started on piano and gradually learned theory. I moved onto clarinet, trombone, guitar, classical guitar, then bass. As usual there is a shortage of bassists around my parts so I do some bass work reading jazz charts where I sight read a lot. Most of it is world's easier with bass than guitar, mostly utilizing basic modes and chord theory/progressions. It just takes practice with key signatures. In my jazz classes they made us learn the Maj. and Min. scales for all 12 keys. It took some work but paid off.

    Anyway, tangent aside, advice for OP it really amounts to just practice practice practice. I had the same problem with classical guitar, there would be some parts that I would stumble upon (ex. Cordoba by Isaac Albeniz, Choro da Saudade by Agustin Barrios) but all it took to move on was to slow down and break down the part/chord and figure out the note/fingering one by one. As practice and repetitions go by, it becomes easier to recognize notes/chords/fingerings. The same could be said for playing ear/intervals/etc.


    So just practice more.
     
  7. RyanCarraher

    RyanCarraher SS.org Regular

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    You've all ready gotten a lot of great advice on this thread all ready, just thought I would share my method. In my opinion the key is consistency. Practice sight reading every day even if it is just for 15 minutes. Sight read out of real books, scores, omnibooks (basically anything you can get your hands on). I found that these books really helped me Reading Studies for Guitar: Positions One Through Seven and Multi-Position Studies in All Keys: William Leavitt: 0073999652710: Amazon.com: Books

    Good luck
     
  8. FergusVickers

    FergusVickers SS.org Regular

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    +1 on the melodic rhythms book, never neglect the rhythmic side of sight reading as its half the picture :lol:

    another book is a modern method for guitar if nobody has recommended it already?

    when i practice sight reading i try to do it to a metronome and if i make a mistake don't stop i just keep going and go back to it later. :rolleyes:
     
  9. Nil0201

    Nil0201 SS.org Regular

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  10. RevChristoph

    RevChristoph SS.org Regular

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    I'm pretty decent at sight reading and I'll tell you how I learned. The posts about William Leavitt are correct.

    Get reading studies for guitar and advanced reading studies for guitar by William Leavitt. These will help play in any position with accidentals and what not in every key.

    I also recommend melodic rhythms for guitar by William Leavitt. This is good for syncopation and is rhythmically challenging at times.

    Practice both of these with a metronome of course. For the last book I mentioned, I like to put the metronome so that it clicks on beats 2 and 4. I practice sight reading the changes and playing over the changes as well.
     
  11. Jayesskerr

    Jayesskerr SS.org Regular

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    I'm new to the boards, but this is a topic that is near and dear to me; I've spent quite some time working on reading both in and out of school I have some thoughts on it that I thought I'd share, y'all may or may not agree. My thoughts on getting better at reading...

    1) Remember how long it took you to learn to speak, read and write? The steps you took as a child to gain fluency? Similar steps, and similar timeframes are required. At least a 3-5 year process to gain basic fluency. Ask any Kindergarten teacher...

    2) Take ego out of the equation. Are you hell bent on learning a language, or do you need to hear crazy sweeps, bends, alternate picked riffs, taps and other nutso articulations? Recognize that you are a beginner at reading, and that for the first while, you will be working on recognizing notes, and playing them. As simple as that...

    3) If something seems really difficult, simplify. The Berklee books by Will Leavitt are great, because they outline best practices for positions to play in, and make for an excellent starting point. If you don't like the music, that's fine; It's about recognizing the notes, and being able to look at a score and then replay it. Take tempo out of the equation. Take articulation out of the equation, just focus on recognizing the notes, and learning the language.

    4) Start with single notes, and slowly introduce doublestops, triads and eventually 6 note chords. Each one has it's own visual cues, and visually will be distinct; but it takes time to recognize them. Start with no sharps or flats and slowly introduce varied key signatures. Notes are like "letters" triads and chords are "phrases". It takes time. Don't feel bad if you spend an entire year or two on only the key of Cmajor...

    5) Immersion. Read, write only notation. Dispense with Tab. Re-transcribe all of your favourite riffs and tunes, solos etc and that way, even when you are doing "memorization" type practice aside from your reading studies, it will carry over.

    6) You can read difficult pieces. Easy ones, whatever. Take tempo out of the equation, slow it way down. If you have to, take the rhythm out of the equation also. Refine as you revisit... Take your own expectations of what it should sound like when you are just learning out of the equation. Note recognition. Just know that for the first while, it will be a game of "hunt and peck" as you work towards becoming literate. And of course, it's ongoing. Reading will help you get familiar with the neck, and you will be able to visualize what you hear, very powerful.

    7) Keep at it. I mean, you are practicing anyways, right?

    I hope some of this is helpful...


    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdNmj2xi91qQWLymozzMudA
     
  12. leftyguitarist

    leftyguitarist SS.org Regular

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    I've played piano for decades, so I can sight read easily.

    That said it is still a challenge to sight read and play guitar straight from sheet music because unlike a piano, the guitar notes are not plainly laid out, and there are several instances of the exact same note, which is quite strange. This might be something that can be used to the player's advantage I would suspect, depending upon where the next set of notes is to be played but coming from a keyboard background it requires a significant adjustment in thinking about how one plays.

    I do feel for those of you just starting out trying to read traditional sheet music; after that you THEN have to translate it to the guitar. At least I'm past that hurdle...
     

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