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#2116662 - 07/12/13 03:29 PM sight reading grade 2 question
BlackForest Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 7

I am preparing for grade 2 sight reading exam that consists in both hans playing ng in a 5 finger position

Now my question is what the technique to know which finger to use

I do well with playingnotes in relation to the previous one but the problem is that I forget the previous note after a long note or silence. should I revert to absolute positioning in the keyboard for this? Do I have to keep a mental image of the keyboard and my hand placement all time as I suspect?

I guess I am being a bit vague but any advice is appreciated

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#2116665 - 07/12/13 03:40 PM Re: sight reading grade 2 question [Re: BlackForest]
ten left thumbs Offline
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/22/09
Posts: 3336
Loc: Scotland
Hi there. You need to strengthen your mental picture of the keyboard, and where your hands are on it. You can practice glancing at your hands, then back at the music really, really slowly (i.e. not bothering to keep a steady pulse). Course, eventually you need to use a steady pulse, but it can help to practice without the pressure of time.

I also think it can help to play a scale or piece you know really well, really slowly with closed eyes, then open them every now and then to check your imagining is correct.

In a spare moment, sketch out a keyboard with pencil and paper. Write in the note names if it helps. Be aware where the black keys are.

Is this ABRSM? If so you have half a minute to look through the piece first. Identify all the places the hand resumes after a rest or long note, and prepare yourself for them.

Good luck! smile
I am a competent teacher.


#2116772 - 07/12/13 09:35 PM Re: sight reading grade 2 question [Re: BlackForest]
earlofmar Online   content
3000 Post Club Member

Registered: 03/21/13
Posts: 3026
Loc: Australia
I am not very experienced so can only tell you what little I know. I was making good progress with SR using a basic hand position and relating each note to a specific finger. However I was still concerned enough to ask the question if this is correct. Turns out no it isn't. In hindsight it was quite obvious the way music is written you can't stay within a narrow range. I also had difficulty in remembering where my fingers were especially if I was concentrating on another hand.

I know this won't help you for your exam but the resolution to your problems are just practice. Daily sight reading practice if you are not doing it already will yield results. Co-incidentally as you play more complex pieces so to will your keyboard awareness and interval recognition improve.

This is one of my favourite subject in piano so eager to hear others opinions.
Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.


#2116780 - 07/12/13 10:24 PM Re: sight reading grade 2 question [Re: BlackForest]
4evrBeginR Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/27/09
Posts: 1607
Loc: California
Originally Posted By: BlackForest
Do I have to keep a mental image of the keyboard and my hand placement all time as I suspect?

Yes, you need to know where your hands are but more importantly for grade 2, you must learn to read the intervals, so you do not have to remember which finger to use. You need to quickly recognize the difference between lines and spaces where you could play a third up or down, a second up or down, etc from anywhere without thinking about positions of your hand to the keyboard, just from where your last note is.

Also, do learn your scales well. They really help sightreading particularly learn G major and F major related minor scales. Before you begin playing, always ask yourself "what is the key signature?" They will help you not forget to play the F# or Bb if you know your scales and remember to check for key signature. I do not believe you will see keys with 2 sharps or flats for grade 2 reading exam.

Before you begin play during the exam, remember to check time signature, key signature, scan the music for accidentals, then play and count, out loud if you have to. Remember to breath deeply and relax. You'll do fine.
Art is never finished, only abandoned. - da Vinci

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#2116875 - 07/13/13 07:28 AM Re: sight reading grade 2 question [Re: BlackForest]
BlackForest Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 03/20/13
Posts: 7
Thank you so much for the great advice.

breathing: will try to remember i sometimes hold my breath!

So will try to improve my mental pic of the keyboard thats great advice

I am doing at least 30mins dedicated to it it is a bit frusteating I am so bad now! Butfrom what i've read i know it is hard for most people. Although i am surprised the jump in difficuly from grade 1 (1 hand) to 2 is so high


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