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Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2166680
10/15/13 12:59 PM
10/15/13 12:59 PM
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Italy
sinophilia Offline

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sinophilia  Offline

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Time to resurrect this thread!

After finishing the Hannah Smith book (which is invaluable) I stopped practicing sight-reading for a while, since I couldn't figure out how to continue. Today I've finally decided to start working with hymns, as so many people recommend. There are tons of free hymnals online but I particularly liked the LDS hymns suggested by Bobpickle. They have a simplified hymns book (Hymns Made Easy - 2 or 3 voices instead of 4), and even a more basic Keyboard Course for absolute beginners! It's ironic, I'm probably the least religious person on earth, but I've always loved church music smile


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia - http://youtube.com/sinophilia
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Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2369275
01/04/15 09:08 AM
01/04/15 09:08 AM
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Melbourne, Australia
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Maechre Offline OP
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I've had trouble getting anywhere with the fourth level of sight-reading - Piano/Vocal/Guitar, and intermediate music. I've figured my reading of the two hands separately is nowhere near good enough, so how can I expect to read two hands together? The problem is I can't read the chords in the right hand quickly enough to read along with the left hand (or vice versa). So I've decided to ONLY read right hand in this level of music for a while. As in, go through a number of books with just right hand. When I can read right hand and left hand separately more fluently, maybe I'll be able to put them together better.


I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2369459
01/04/15 04:58 PM
01/04/15 04:58 PM
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It's good to see that a group of you realize the importance of sight-reading ability and are working to improve it. I wish you all luck.


Regards,

Polyphonist
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2369622
01/05/15 01:41 AM
01/05/15 01:41 AM
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earlofmar Offline
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Maechre, good to hear you are still going, we haven't heard from you in a while, not so good to hear you are not doing as well as you would like but you seem to have a plan. Your description of current problem and potential fix reminds us that sight reading is not just one activity but a collection of skills each of which need to be in good shape.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2375777
01/20/15 05:46 AM
01/20/15 05:46 AM
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Thanks. How's everyone else doing?


I love sight-reading! One day I will master it.

http://www.youtube.com/user/Acrozius?feature=mhee
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2375820
01/20/15 09:16 AM
01/20/15 09:16 AM
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Italy
sinophilia Offline

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Hi Maechre! I'm still working on my sight-reading too, about 20 minutes a day. I went through about 500 hymns so far and it's done wonders for chord recognition and learning new keys, especially when I need to rearrange the left hand on the fly (well almost!) because the notes are more than an octave apart. I just got book 3 of the Paul Harris' series and it's not awfully challenging, so I must have learned something.

My main goal in sight-reading is actually to speed up my "normal" practice, so I'm focusing on getting the notes right, rather than playing through without stopping. It seems like the first phases of learning a new piece are much quicker now, but I don't know if it's thanks to the sight-reading practice or just to all the music I've seen by now. Anyway, I find it relaxing and it's become a staple of my practice.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia - http://youtube.com/sinophilia
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2375941
01/20/15 03:47 PM
01/20/15 03:47 PM
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I have spent time everyday just for sight reading since I started just over two years ago and I now understand the subject a lot better than when I started, (wish I knew then what I know now). I thought at the end of my first year improvement was minor, but by the end of the second I am actually sight reading simple material making me so happy. I had thought I was never going to improve but by keeping it simple I have. There are still holes in my theory knowledge that could help and I have to do some work on counting and rhythm but I am on my way.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


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Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Mete] #2375954
01/20/15 04:18 PM
01/20/15 04:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Mete
I think my memory is so bad that I can practice any piece over and over for sight-reading. I revisit some of songs that I have previously played and it feels like I'm sight-reading.

Don't rely too much on that. After playing a measure once, you may not be able to play it again without looking at the score, but this doesn't mean that your brain hasn't "memorized" some elements of it. Which it does indeed. Even for really bad memorizers, actual sight reading practicing really means reading for the first time only once.

Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2384483
02/10/15 03:29 AM
02/10/15 03:29 AM
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earlofmar Offline
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Originally Posted by Maechre
I've figured my reading of the two hands separately is nowhere near good enough, so how can I expect to read two hands together? The problem is I can't read the chords in the right hand quickly enough to read along with the left hand (or vice versa). So I've decided to ONLY read right hand in this level of music for a while.


I must confess to having skimmed over this post and not given it the merit it deserves when I first read it. But I had one of those light bulb moments today that made me think of it. I went to my local library this morning and took out The Usbourne Book of Piano Classics, this is the third time I have taken this book out and I am sort of using it as a gauge to chart my sight reading progress. First time it was just gooblygook, second time was a little better, this time though I took it with me for some light reading over lunch, an international sandwich chain which is still using the imperial system of inches and feet for it's bread rolls (no more guesses). The first thing that struck me was the right hand parts were easy but I knew I would falter with them during reading. (A) I might not see them as a whole phrase or section and (b) even minor transitioning might force me to peek at my hands. How should I deal with this I thought and of course the answer will be to read hands separate which I never do now. Thanks Maechre for implanting the thought it just took a while to make it through.


Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2384500
02/10/15 05:33 AM
02/10/15 05:33 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
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Groove On Offline
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Sight-reading has always been like my Mount Everest, so I've been really attacking it from several different approaches.

I got an idea from a Liszt biography, where he said he composed like a player and plays like a composer. So I started going through my theory book (scales, chords, arpeggios and cadences), I memorize several exercises for a particular scale/progression and then go back and WRITE out the exercises in notation with key signatures, inversions etc.. It can be mind-numbing, but my ability to quickly recognize patterns in the staff did increase.

I'm currently writing out the matrix of fifths from memory, at the piano. (Like in this video). As I complete each scale, I go back and write it down in notation.


We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2384512
02/10/15 06:58 AM
02/10/15 06:58 AM
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Belgium
johan d Offline
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Has anyone tried sight singing? and how should one practise this?
http://javanese.imslp.info/files/im...__Giuseppe_-_School_of_Sight_Singing.pdf

Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2384837
02/11/15 06:45 AM
02/11/15 06:45 AM
Joined: Jan 2015
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Groove On Offline
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Had a mini-breakthrough today in my sight-reading.

I realized laugh (duh!) that the F line in the bass clef, exactly matches the top line of the treble clef (also F). The lines and spaces all match up. So I mentally just upshifted my landmark in the treble clef to the top F and now both clefs are exactly the same in my head. Both hands started working nicely together!

I really wish I had never learned those ridiculous mnemonics for the LH/RH (FACE, EGBDF etc.) I swear I spent more time un-learning them rather than actually learning how to read properly!



We are the music makers,
And we are the dreamers of dreams.
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Groove On] #2384841
02/11/15 06:51 AM
02/11/15 06:51 AM
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Belgium
johan d Offline
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Originally Posted by Groove On
I realized laugh (duh!) that the F line in the bass clef, exactly matches the top line of the treble clef (also F). The lines and spaces all match up.

And the G in treble clef is the bottom line in the bass clef.
Agreed about the mnemonics. i don't like them neither, but it's the way most Americans think, no? You see it in a lot of companies too...

Last edited by johan d; 02/11/15 06:54 AM.
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2384906
02/11/15 11:54 AM
02/11/15 11:54 AM
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Posts: 430
AZ, USA
Tuneless Offline
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I learned E and F as my land marks in the beginning, spaced nicely thru the Grand Staff.


Cynthia

Roland FP-50
Conover Upright, 1888/9, but a very low mileage piano. http://www.pbase.com/schnitz/conover_upright_piano__1888_or_9 .
Tuneless = Don't play piano yet but getting there.
I'm technically very capable. I love my piano and love tinkering with it.
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2385163
02/12/15 02:29 AM
02/12/15 02:29 AM
Joined: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,777
Italy
sinophilia Offline

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Italy
I wonder, is it really useful to practice hands separate? In the end that's not what we need to do at the piano if we are asked to play real music. But I guess it's the only way to sight-read more difficult rhythms and note patterns, so we can slowly incorporate them in HT practice.


Diana & Wally - Yamaha W110BW
To create a beautiful sound, one must imagine it at first and then learn to produce fluid physical motions that breathe life into music. (Shirley Kirsten)
http://soundcloud.com/sinophilia - http://youtube.com/sinophilia
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: sinophilia] #2385176
02/12/15 03:21 AM
02/12/15 03:21 AM
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earlofmar Offline
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Originally Posted by sinophilia
I wonder, is it really useful to practice hands separate? In the end that's not what we need to do at the piano if we are asked to play real music. But I guess it's the only way to sight-read more difficult rhythms and note patterns, so we can slowly incorporate them in HT practice.



When I think about it I am no fan of hands separate practice as it seems almost to be a pointless step. Even if you do HS practice and get some proficiency when you go to HT everything seems to have been forgotten and you feel you are back at the start. However I needed to go HS while learning some Bach recently and it gave me the edge to get into the piece. Hoping for the same thing with sight reading, there is never one solution it may help to be more confident in one hand, I will have to give it a go for a while and see how it goes.


Last edited by earlofmar; 02/12/15 03:25 AM.

Problems with piano are 90% psychological, the other 10% is in your head.

Kawai K8 & Kawai Novus NV10


13x[Linked Image]
[Linked Image]
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: earlofmar] #2385180
02/12/15 03:50 AM
02/12/15 03:50 AM
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I used to think hand separate was an unnecessary step, but after years of my teacher pounding it in to me, I finally understand why it is a good idea. When you start a new piece of music, there is a lot to keep track of: rhythm in each hand, notes in each hand, correct fingering, choreography etc. Playing through each HS until all of this is clear has great benefit. For multiple voice pieces such as inventions, sinfonias etc, it is good to play each voice individually to hear their song. Even after I am playing a section HT I still practice HS to assure that each hand is doing its job.

For sight reading it is different. You have to do HT and do the best you can. However even in sight reading I will scan for tricky parts and play those HS first.

Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Maechre] #2385185
02/12/15 04:53 AM
02/12/15 04:53 AM
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johan d Offline
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About these last 3 posts. If you talk about hands seperate, is it about sight reading alone, or sight reading and tap the notes on the piano? because if I train sight reading, it's just a sheet and no piano involved.

Last edited by johan d; 02/12/15 04:55 AM.
Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: Bobpickle] #2385189
02/12/15 05:26 AM
02/12/15 05:26 AM
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Alexander Borro Offline
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Originally Posted by Bobpickle
Originally Posted by earlofmar
I have at least two sources (Super sightreading secrets and an online teacher) which say it is essential to be able to see and name a note instantly, including saying aloud it's name. I have not been practicing this because I have been getting most of my improvement from interval reading, and instead of naming a note I have made a connection with the note and key to be played. So I believe I am skipping this step of note naming which I thought was a good thing. Any comments on this matter?


The reason for being able to identify any note instantly isn't to replace intervallic reading like you're doing so successfully - but rather a supplementary skill to be used when there are large leaps or breaks in playing and intervallic reading can't be relied on (I don't know how much use for this there would be in sight-reading beginner repertoire).


My way of thinking is quite visual, some others are different I guess as to what comes most naturally to them.

What happened for me is that I identified notes with a bigger jumps on the staff by knowing where they are on the keyboard. I found for the bass clef it took a while before the same note were also known by name, that' s now getting much better, just by practice I suppose, eventually it sinks in without forcing the issue.

I could read treble clef quite well from previous experience on the recorder as a child so I knew the letter names from that. To get the letter names in the bas clef the brain had to do its jump two notes method, now that is much less the case and I know instantly, at least for the notes commonly used, as I progress of course more notes are explored higher up and lower down and that will throw me, and I go through the same process.

In any case, whether I know the notes by name of or not I found to not make a great deal of difference to me so far as to how quickly I can play them, rather identifying how they are associated with the keyboard is what seems to trigger sight reading improvements for me, without trying to look directly at the keys of course, but I hope you get what I mean smile

As I said, I attribute it more to how I think naturally, I am not really concerned at this stage since the letter names just seem to be sinking in naturally bit by bit, but for me, that seems to come after, not before.

If a teacher asked me what's x note name, for notes that are fairly new I will know it on the keyboard before I know its name in the same instant.

I have case full of books now pretty much of piano music that I pick up cheap in the second hand book shops, so I have always fresh material to delve into to see how sight reading is progressing, that's seems to help me. I don't use that extra material to perfect those pieces, compared with my main books I use, but just to see how well I can play something straight away.

Last edited by Alexander Borro; 02/12/15 05:29 AM.

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Re: Sight-Reading Boot Camp [Re: johan d] #2385191
02/12/15 05:29 AM
02/12/15 05:29 AM
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I am not quite sure what you are asking, but sight reading is playing through a piece you have never seen before for the first time. It is approached differently that a piece that you plan to learn and keep in your repertoire. Usually a person sight reads a couple of grades lower than they can play. For exam purposes, for example, ABRSM gives a candidate a piece of music, and they have 30 seconds to try it out. Then they must play it for the examiner. I would use HS for this only if I saw something tricky I wanted to try out. Usually I would check the key, the time signature, look for trouble spots, and play the beginning and the end. Then I play it. Hope that helps clarify it!

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