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
Grotrian Concert
for Pianoteq out now
Piano Buyer Guide
Acoustic & Digital Piano Buyers Guide
Who's Online
152 registered (Almaviva, alphonsus, ajames, Alexander Borro, agraffe, 31 invisible), 2287 Guests and 30 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
#461514 - 06/04/02 10:56 AM sightreading
smiles Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/20/02
Posts: 31
I am a pretty good player, but I can't sightread even really easy stuff very accurately. Difficult stuff is just about impossible. Oddly enough, I can do pretty good quick study work. I would really like to get better at sightreading. Does anyone have some ideas on how I can improve? (I know about all the "look at the key signature and chord patterns" and stuff, my fingers just don't do it.)

Piano & Music Gifts & Accessories (570)
Piano accessories and music gift items
#461515 - 06/04/02 12:00 PM Re: sightreading
Beth Offline
Full Member

Registered: 07/21/01
Posts: 151
Loc: Atlanta Area
Sight read daily. Lots of stuff. Easy stuff, intermediate stuff. Whatever. Go slowly right now so that you can keep a steady tempo, regardless of the tempo marking, don't go any faster than you can play accurately and steadily. Don't stop to fix mistakes. Keep going. Use the metronome if it helps. Get in the habit of looking ahead. You don't see just one word at a time when you are reading, don't get stuck on one note or chord when you play. Think about it: you are "sight reading" these words now. The more you read, the better you will be at reading.

As for the chords, I understand completely. I have found something that helps me, but its tedious. I play the chords and cadences in different inversions in all keys as part of my warm up. I-IV-I, I-V-I, I-IV-I-V-I, I-V7-I, IV-V-V7-I, etc. vary it. Play all the keys. Play all the inversions. Vary the rhythm and tempo some to keep it from getting to dull. But your fingers will learn to get to the chords more easily.

Read, read, read.

#461516 - 06/04/02 02:35 PM Re: sightreading
LudwigVanB Offline
Full Member

Registered: 01/09/02
Posts: 152
Loc: Atlanta
I agree with everything Beth says (esp since she has me over to her house for an adult recital every few months!)

To add to what Beth says, if you don't mind spending $12 get Seymore Bernstein's book, With Your Own Two Hands. He gets right to this in the first few pages of the book and makes a strong case that one cannot be a good musician without being a good sightreader. He gives a detailed 15 minute a day regimen that looks kind of tedious but its not as bad as it looks. Its the best thing on sight reading I've seen so far.

#461517 - 06/04/02 08:39 PM Re: sightreading
PianoMuse Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 06/04/01
Posts: 902
Loc: Philly, PA
I have the same problem as you. i consider myself a good pianist, and I can learn and memorize pieces quicker than can a lot of other pianists, yet i really have trouble with sight reading...even simple, 3rd-grade level stuff! So i have been working on it, and one thing is for certain: READ AHEAD! I know it can be hard to do, but look ahead a measure in your score and use your music intuition to fill in the gaps of the measure you are playing while looking ahead. Reading ahead will prepare you for any sudden leaps of accidentals that may pop up in the score, so that you dont come to a dead halt when those obstacles get in your way.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music." ~Rachmaninoff

#461518 - 06/05/02 12:28 PM Re: sightreading
nancyww Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/21/02
Posts: 585
Loc: central oregon
I can't sightread worth beans but I'm working on it. One thing I noticed is that if I think too hard while sight reading, the notes get all jumbled up and everything comes to a screeching halt. It seems to work better if I can look at the notes and just let my hands play what I see. Sort of like when I used to type alot and could look at the text, type with my fingers but carry on a conversation with someone and have my mind on something completely unrelated. Is this some kind of left brain/right brain phenomenon?

#461519 - 06/05/02 03:26 PM Re: sightreading
Grotius Offline
Full Member

Registered: 04/11/02
Posts: 100
My sight-reading is not all it could be, either. My two biggest problems are accidentals and -- this is a bit embarrassing -- notes that are high above or below either clef. I've been playing the piano for 35 years, so I certainly do know how to read music, but sometimes I have to scratch my head and count ledger-lines to figure out just what note is called for. It's partly a function of my declining vision, too. Why can't these composers use 8-va more often?

Are there any studies that might help someone with my particular deficiencies?


#461520 - 06/07/02 11:22 AM Re: sightreading
kenny Offline
7000 Post Club Member

Registered: 05/29/01
Posts: 7051
My teacher has me working out of this book:

Speed-Reading At The Keyboard Volume 1, By Edward Shanaphy, Stuart Isacoff and Julie Jordan. Ekay Music, Inc 333 Adams St, Bedford Hills, NY 10507 ISBN 094674825-9 $19.95


There are 3 volumes, but I believe Vol 2 and 3 are out of print.

I like the book, it also has "flash cards":
You look at a simple measure or two,
try to take a mental photograph,
close the book,
THEN play.

Very challenging!


Moderator:  Brendan, Kreisler 
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.
Free Shipping on Jansen Artist Piano Benches
Pierce Piano Atlas

A. Geyer Pianos
A. Geyer Pianos
Lindeblad Piano
Lindeblad Piano Restorations and sales
Pearl River
Pearl River Pianos
New Topics - Multiple Forums
by Brian Young
03/28/17 12:19 PM
by markojanksob
03/28/17 11:59 AM
Recommended Trill Exercises?
by bSharp[C]yclist
03/28/17 11:42 AM
by markojanksob
03/28/17 10:56 AM
Wedding Help
by mrsmann
03/28/17 10:37 AM
Sheet Music Plus
Sheet Music Plus Featured Sale
Forum Stats
87,159 Registered Members
44 Forums
178,634 Topics
2,610,605 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