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I need advice on sightreading
#404775 09/17/04 05:39 PM
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Hi there! When I play scales, particularly the 4 octave ones, my sight tends to concentrate on the treble clef (my right hand) and I don't really look at the bass clef (left hand). Should I try to look at both treble and bass notes when practicing scales and arpeggios and not read only the right hand and let the left follow from memory. Also, would mentally saying each note in my head help as I play the scales. I really don't like to sight read, but I want to be a good musician and being a good sight reader is a very beneficial thing in my opinion.
Thanks in advance for any advice...

Re: I need advice on sightreading
#404776 09/17/04 06:32 PM
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Sorry to tell you but there's no "trick" to good sightreading. I found that practicing by accompanying someone helps greatly.

Re: I need advice on sightreading
#404777 09/17/04 09:15 PM
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Originally posted by valarking:
Sorry to tell you but there's no "trick" to good sightreading. I found that practicing by accompanying someone helps greatly.
I totally agree. It also does wonders for your improvisational skills! :p

Re: I need advice on sightreading
#404778 09/17/04 10:10 PM
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Originally posted by Nina:
Quote
Originally posted by valarking:
[b] Sorry to tell you but there's no "trick" to good sightreading. I found that practicing by accompanying someone helps greatly.
I totally agree. It also does wonders for your improvisational skills! :p [/b]
And vice versa!
Learning to see chord patterns help. Reading things like Clementi sonatinas are good for this. I can see a V7 chord and its inversion and instantly know excatly where to put my fingers with minimal reading.
On the other hand, it's good to expect the unexpected. I've heard some recommend Bartok's Mikrocosmos to keep you on your feet while you read. While I agree and it helped me, I must say that some of it (like the pieces with two key signatures at the same time) are tedious and you'll rarely see such forms outside of contemporary music. Also, Mikrokosmos has no musical value. Some people choose to perform some of these but I can't comprehend their use beyond purely pedantic study. Imagine those crummy pieces from method books with dissonance. Yup.

Re: I need advice on sightreading
#404779 09/20/04 01:35 PM
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I agree with everything that has been said. Try to sight-read everything and anything(within reason of course, don't go trying Rach 3 for sight-reading smile )

Freedom smile


"A print of the score has everything you need to know about the music, except the essential."
Re: I need advice on sightreading
#404780 09/21/04 09:52 AM
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No offence, Freedom, but if I hear anyone mention the Rach 3 again, I'm going to freak out.

Re: I need advice on sightreading
#404781 09/23/04 12:52 PM
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Hi there!
hi!

Quote
When I play scales, particularly the 4 octave ones, my sight tends to concentrate on the treble clef (my right hand) and I don't really look at the bass clef (left hand). Should I try to look at both treble and bass notes when practicing scales and arpeggios and not read only the right hand and let the left follow from memory.
I'm a little confused by what you wrote. When I practice 4 octave scales and arpeggios with both hands, I do tend to keep my eye on one hand or the other. It's good to switch that up, or don't look at your hands at all, just to keep you on your toes. I tend to watch my left hand while I play Chopin even though the right hand is doing everything.. Just a weird habit of mine I guess. But I digress.. But the way you wrote that, you kept mentioning the staffs, are you reading scales from a staff while you practice them? I'm not sure how useful that would be, you should be able to play scales and arpeggios w/o looking at any printed notes.

Quote
Also, would mentally saying each note in my head help as I play the scales.
If you can't look at a key and immediately know what note it is, or see a note and immediately know what key it is, then yes, this could be helpful. With practice you won't need to do that anymore. When I practice my jazz chords, my ii-V7-I progressions and what not, I "sing" outloud the name of the chord as I play it, just helps cement it, not just the name of it, but the tonality as well. the more "senses" you can incorporate the better you'll retain it.

Quote
I really don't like to sight read, but I want to be a good musician and being a good sight reader is a very beneficial thing in my opinion
I would agree with your opinion. I'm not the best reader either, but it is a worthwhile pursuit. It will definitely help you learn new pieces faster if it doesn't take 30 seconds to translate each written note to a key.. In the end though you should strive to memorize any piece you hope to perform, but always practice site reading as well.

-Paul


"You look hopefully for an idea and then you're humble when you find it and you wish your skills were better. To have even a half-baked touch of creativity is an honor."
-- Ernie Stires, composer

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