Welcome to the Piano World Piano Forums
Over 2.5 million posts about pianos, digital pianos, and all types of keyboard instruments
Join the World's Largest Community of Piano Lovers (it's free)
It's Fun to Play the Piano ... Please Pass It On!

Gifts and supplies for the musician

Sanderson Accu-Tuner
Piano Life Saver - Dampp Chaser
Dampp Chaser Piano Life Saver
Modern Piano Moving
Modern Piano Moving
Piano Buyer Guide
Piano Buyer Spring 2017
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Schumann's 4th Finger
Schumann's 4th Finger Enigma Resolved
Who's Online
112 registered (Akarukun, ajames, alphonsus, anotherscott, 36251, Adypiano, 22 invisible), 1547 Guests and 11 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Estonia Pianos
Estonia Pianos
Quick Links to Useful Piano & Music Resources
Our Classified Ads
Find Piano Professionals-

*Piano Dealers - Piano Stores
*Piano Tuners
*Piano Teachers
*Piano Movers
*Piano Restorations
*Piano Manufacturers

Quick Links:
*Advertise On Piano World
*Free Piano Newsletter
*Online Piano Recitals
*Piano Recitals Index
*Piano & Music Accessories
*Live Piano Venues
*Music School Listings
* Buying a Piano
*Buying A Acoustic Piano
*Buying a Digital Piano
*Pianos for Sale
*Sell Your Piano
*How Old is My Piano?
*Piano Books
*Piano Art, Pictures, & Posters
*Directory/Site Map
*Virtual Piano
*Music Word Search
*Piano Screen Saver
*Piano Videos
*Virtual Piano Chords
Topic Options
#2028542 - 02/07/13 04:40 AM Sight Reading - HELP
Vince R Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 20

I am having a bit of a tough time with sight reading. I have the flashcards and use on line tools but I still find myself having to 'calculate' what the note is. Is this a normal problem for beginners ?
I know it is natural for the brain to want to calculate and it may need to be trained.

I don't have a keyboard yet (getting one soon) and I hoping that it will help to corporate 'muscle memory'. Am I on the right track ? Can anyone offer more advice ?


Piano & Music Accessories
piano accessories music gifts tuning and moving equipment
#2028560 - 02/07/13 06:29 AM Re: Sight Reading - HELP [Re: Vince R]
supertorpe Offline
Full Member

Registered: 02/27/10
Posts: 117
Loc: Spain. Cadiz.
Here is the trick to learn almost all the notes within a month, so you won't need to count lines and spaces up and down nevermore:

1) print these flashcards: bass clef and treble clef

2) plasticize and cut them

3) Follow this plan: first day take the lower C, D, E from both clefs (6 cards). shuffle and read them again and again. Every once in a while shuffle them again. Next day add the F from both clefs and repeat de operation. Each day add one note from each clef (two cards) to the deck. Read them 10 minutes a day.

Three to four weeks and you'll never need to calculate the notes again.

Edited by supertorpe (02/07/13 06:31 AM)
Started learning piano: 01 March 2010
- Ex: Yamaha P-85, Kawai ES-4
- Current: Kawai CA-63
- Videos
- soundcloud

#2028583 - 02/07/13 07:52 AM Re: Sight Reading - HELP [Re: Vince R]
UK Paul UK Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/22/11
Posts: 396
Loc: Berkshire, England
Think months and years mate ;-) even though its disheartening... progress will be there if you practice right. When you get a keyboard, linking a laptop with midi cable and doing sight reading/playing excercises is really beneficial.... but any practice will benefit. :-)

#2028703 - 02/07/13 11:47 AM Re: Sight Reading - HELP [Re: Vince R]
Whizbang Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 10/27/12
Posts: 1484
Originally Posted By: Vince R
I am having a bit of a tough time with sight reading. I have the flashcards and use on line tools but I still find myself having to 'calculate' what the note is. Is this a normal problem for beginners ?

It's a normal problem. I recall having to work very hard to read notes, particularly notes on ledger lines, when I was first learning piano and being able to read a page from sight is something that took many years.

I wasn't the quickest student though, so I bet you'll be able to learn it faster. Keep at it and don't worry if it doesn't happen overnight.
amateur ragtime pianist

(ad ) MusicNotes.com
sheet music search
#2028946 - 02/07/13 07:09 PM Re: Sight Reading - HELP [Re: supertorpe]
Vince R Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/27/12
Posts: 20
thank you for the good advice. I already have the flashcards (Alfred) . I'll take your recommendation.

Please pass on any more hints for an older adult beginner like me, it will be appreciated.

thank you


#2028987 - 02/07/13 08:23 PM Re: Sight Reading - HELP [Re: Vince R]
Derulux Offline
5000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/06/05
Posts: 5446
Loc: Philadelphia
It's a lot like learning to read (language/books). Music is another language with its own "words". Notes are letters, and chords are words. It took you months to recognize letters (ABC's), more months for whole words, and even more months for sentences, paragraphs, and entire stories. Same process for music.

The more you read, and the more often you practice it, the better you will get.
Every day we are afforded a new chance. The problem with life is not that you run out of chances. In the end, what you run out of are days.

#2029013 - 02/07/13 09:40 PM Re: Sight Reading - HELP [Re: Vince R]
Michael_99 Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 07/28/12
Posts: 935
Loc: Canada Alberta
Hi Vincent,

I have had a stroke. I have brain damage. I have memory problems. I am dyslexic. I am 63 learning to play the piano.

I took a book 1 piano book. There are lots of them. And I sat down at the piano bench and played that book from start to finish and continue to do so everyday. I have no prolblem reading music. It is that simple. The books cost about $10.00 any piano store. Yes, you need a piano. Yes, you have to play the music very slowly without mistakes. Yes, it works.
Learning to play the piano is a very, very, very slow process that takes years sitting on the piano bench. Welcome to the club. Age is a non-issue. Commitment is a must.

#2029114 - 02/08/13 02:37 AM Re: Sight Reading - HELP [Re: Vince R]
JohnSprung Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 08/02/11
Posts: 3979
Loc: Reseda, California
Originally Posted By: Vince R
I don't have a keyboard yet (getting one soon)

Don't worry about it until you have the keyboard and you can hear the results of what you're doing. Anything you do with muscle memory before that will fall in the useless to counterproductive range.

As you get better and can play some pieces from memory, don't. Keep the chart up and follow it every time. It reinforces your mental link from the notes on paper to fingers on keys.

Most of all, give it plenty of time.
-- J.S.

Knabe Grand # 10927
Yamaha CP33
Kawai FS690

#2029307 - 02/08/13 01:22 PM Re: Sight Reading - HELP [Re: Vince R]
Bobpickle Offline

Gold Supporter until July 10  2014

Registered: 05/24/12
Posts: 1393
Loc: Cameron Park, California


just start drilling at every opportunity until every line and space up to maybe a ledger line or two outside either staff is easily recognizable at sight (hint: two ledger lines outside each staff is "c")

Another exercise is taking easier sheet music and with a pencil, writing in all the note names until recognition becomes second-hand (if you're like I was while learning and have too much lying around!)
"[The trick to life isn't] just about living forever. The trick is still living with yourself forever."


Moderator:  BB Player, casinitaly 
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
What's Hot!!
New Forums Location & New Piano World Site
Why Do You Play The Piano?
Posting Pictures on the Forums
on Piano World

Piano Classified Ads
Pierce Piano Atlas

Sweetwater Hiring Keyboard Player!
Sweetwater Hiring Keyboard Player
Grotrian Concert
for Pianoteq out now
A. Geyer Pianos
A. Geyer Pianos
Piano Acc. & Gift Items in
Piano World's Online Store
In PianoSupplies.com ,(a division of Piano World) our online store for piano and music gifts and accessories, party goods, tuning equipment, piano moving equipment, benches, lamps Caster Cups and more.

Piano Wire Music Wire Piano Strings

Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
New Topics - Multiple Forums
The Year I Became a Piano Tuner
by tonyster220763
04/28/17 07:13 AM
Hammer blow distance and dynamic range
by electone2007
04/28/17 06:16 AM
USB Thumb Drive vs. External Hard Drive
04/28/17 05:47 AM
Kawai ES8 FM TiNES Sample Library
by Kakaze74
04/28/17 05:37 AM
So, what does it really take?
by PianogrlNW
04/27/17 10:57 PM
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Stats
87,540 Registered Members
44 Forums
179,257 Topics
2,620,023 Posts

Most users ever online: 15,252 @ 03/21/10 11:39 PM

Visit our online store for gifts for music lovers

Help keep the forums up and running with a donation, any amount is appreciated!
Or by becoming a Subscribing member! Thank-you.
Donate   Subscribe
Our Piano Related Classified Ads
Dealers | Tuners | Lessons | Movers | Restorations | Pianos For Sale | Sell Your Piano |

Advertise on Piano World
| Subscribe | Piano World | PianoSupplies.com | Advertise on Piano World |
| |Contact | Privacy | Legal | About Us | Site Map | Free Newsletter |

copyright 1997 - 2017 Piano World ® all rights reserved
No part of this site may be reproduced without prior written permission