Questions tagged [sight-reading]

Playing or singing a piece directly from sheet music, without prior rehearsing or studying.

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4 answers
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I can’t read my music that great, but if someone shows me how to play it,or if I listen to a video of it. I can play it well. Is there an issue?

I can play music once someone plays it for me and or teaches me how slowly, but if someone was to just hand me music and tell me to practice I would never learn it. Is there something wrong with me? ...
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7 votes
3 answers
494 views

How to sight read rhythm (note durations) and maintain rhythmic accuracy?

I understand the concept of rhythm and different note durations, I can play them well (when I pause and use the "1 e + a" system) But, in many piano pieces there are different rhythms that ...
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6 votes
5 answers
1k views

How to pronounce accidental letter notes when sight reading?

When reading sheet music and playing a stringed instrument, I find it helpful to softly sing the names of the notes. "A", "B", "C", etc. are easy, they are all once ...
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3 votes
2 answers
481 views

Dyslexia or Dyscalculia in Reading Music

Do either of these have any relationship with finding difficulty in sight-reading music? Have there been any studies related? Or is learning to sight-read well very simply down to loads of practice ...
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3 votes
4 answers
116 views

Which lines do I play in keyboard music that accompanies singing? [duplicate]

I have this Gershwin songbook for piano and voice. I am not sure whether I am supposed to play the vocal line. The vocal line has its own staff, but the notes are also doubled on the piano's staff as ...
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0 votes
1 answer
138 views

Did any pianist in history ever sight-read one of Liszt's Transcendental Études?

Liszt was known to be able to sight-read any piece, even Chopin's Etudes Opus 10 and Grieg's Piano Concerto, both Piano and Orchestral Part. Since Liszt also composed some Études himself, I was ...
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2 votes
2 answers
118 views

Practicing the ability to play piano while looking at the score: start with already memorized pieces or new ones?

I've learned some pieces by myself. When I first learn a new piece, I look at each bar carefully, then I can just remember the notes after a few repetitions. Once I can play through it, I just repeat ...
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0 votes
1 answer
48 views

While reading Sheet music, Shall I read with respect to relative intervals or with respect to the names of lines and spaces? [duplicate]

I'm a beginner in reading sheet music. I want to know the better way to read. Shall I read with respect to the relative interval of Current note from previous note? Or Shall I remember the line and ...
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0 votes
1 answer
75 views

How do you play this notation [duplicate]

I am studying to play a piece and it has this: How do I play the eighth notes with the whole numbers? What does that mean?
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8 votes
3 answers
1k views

Sight reading piano - How far ahead do you look?

When you are sight-reading, how far ahead in the music do you look? Do you somehow look at the treble clef and bass clef at the same time? Or, do you even have to think about it at all? Perhaps, it's ...
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25 votes
10 answers
6k views

Why don’t piano teachers teach the chord method of playing to young children and adults?

I have been playing piano since I was 10 and now I am 43. I have never really been good at sight reading sheet music. I have recently been researching alternative methods of learning songs fast as ...
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  • 351
8 votes
5 answers
276 views

Plateau while learning piano sight-reading

As a 12 year old I had piano lessons for several months until the teacher retired due to ill health and I never kept going with lessons (which I've regretted ever since). On the plus side I've always ...
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0 votes
2 answers
124 views

How do you "think of" notes in groups which consist of a sequence of repeating notes which are in separate beams?

The title sounds awkward (please feel free to modify it); what I mean is: When you see the bars such as Bar 40 below (similarly Bar 37), do you think of it as DDD AAA FFF DDD (orange marking, grouped ...
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2 votes
2 answers
89 views

Have I sight read these IΔ7 hymn chords properly?

After sight reading The Scottish Hymnal I am now sight reading The Revivalist and played this one today... ...I ran into a bunch of surprises and I just want to check that I've identified things ...
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9 votes
3 answers
1k views

Should I do the repeat sign when there is a fine

I stumbled upon this piece, Lágrima by Francisco Tárrega, and I would like to know if I should do the repetition sign when doing da capo al fine or just end the piece.
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6 votes
3 answers
638 views

How Do I Know Which Piano Hand Position in the Following Exercise?

In the book "300 Progressive Sight Reading Exercises for Piano", we're taught to put our right thumb on "middle C" and the left pinky finger on "lower C". But exercise #...
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0 votes
1 answer
251 views

Do we unconsciously favour one eye when we sight-read?

If you were to make a musician wear an eye patch over one of their eyes as they sight-read a piece for the very first time, would you expect their accuracy to be different depending on which eye was ...
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3 votes
3 answers
230 views

How to self teach myself sheet music reading (for piano)?

I am a self taught pianist, I play mainly by ear and I look for tutorials or synthesia on YouTube. However, sometimes some pieces do not have a synthesia and are really subtle to play by ear (ex. ...
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8 votes
3 answers
629 views

Can a singer sing a song from its notation if he/she has not heard the song before? [duplicate]

Is it possible for a singer to sing a song just by reading its musical notation? A song which he/she has never heard before?
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2 votes
2 answers
182 views

What is the duration of chords shown on top of a measure

In the image, there is an A Major over the first measure. Should it be also played over the 2nd, 3rd and 4th measures even though the chord is not written on top? Until the D chord in the 5th measure?
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3 votes
3 answers
147 views

Piano sight-reading confusion [duplicate]

everyone. I am a beginner pianist and I am to improve my technical and sight-reading skills. I have been sight-reading Primavera - Ludovico Einaudi for the past week and I came across something odd. ...
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  • 31
22 votes
5 answers
2k views

Notation - when to use staccato vs rests

I'm arranging a piece of music I wrote for string quartet, and I'm not sure what the most practical way of notating the following rhythm is. I'm self taught and rarely use written music, so I'm not ...
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3 votes
2 answers
631 views

Acquiring advanced level sight reading

Beyond the basics of sight reading that everyone talks about, what are some of the skills you need to learn to sight read advanced and complex pieces? What are the nuances and techniques that not a ...
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  • 467
1 vote
1 answer
128 views

How do people deduce symphonies from the sheet music?

Now being an aspiring musician, I've heard of people who can deduce entire orchestral scores and seemingly hear symphonies on the spot — like they can hear them while they are reading it. But what ...
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  • 467
2 votes
0 answers
61 views

How Do Guitarists Sight Read? [duplicate]

This is such a basic question but an answer to this would solve a lot of mysteries for me. Basically, how the heck do guitarists sight read? I have experience in woodwind instruments where there is ...
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3 votes
1 answer
54 views

How do i keep track of the rhythm and read the note at the same time? and reading both the treble and bass clef? [closed]

I have 2 beginner questions with sub questions for (sight) reading. The first question (this might be a rather dumb question), but i've been struggling with this for a while now. How do I count the ...
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3 votes
2 answers
172 views

Exercises for 21st century piano sightreaders

There is already a large body of technical exercises for pianists based on common-practice music, such as major and minor scales and arpeggios or the books of Czerny, Hanon, etc. These exercises are ...
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7 votes
5 answers
2k views

How do I read bars with only one or two notes?

In this sheet there are some bars that only have one or two notes, instead of four. How do I read them? Do they last 1 unit of time as well? In the case of the bars with only one note, does that note ...
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4 votes
3 answers
107 views

do singers do sight singing/improvisation?

what I mean is do singers sight-sing on the first run say on a gig, and sound relatively good, equivalent to sight-reading a piece for musicians? like in a gig, the accompanist has to play sight-...
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3 votes
1 answer
170 views

standard notation and the numbered notation

So I have been playing piano for 1.5 years and my biggest obstacle for learning piano is definitely to play both hand, I’m still struggling right now, maybe I improve a little bit, but still very much ...
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1 vote
1 answer
121 views

What is the Best Way to Learn to Sight Read Chord Symbols on Piano?

(I don't know what the proper term is for instant playing of chord symbols... is sight right correct? Anyway, here I am using the term "sight reading chord symbols" to describe the ability ...
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20 votes
12 answers
5k views

Should sight-reading be emphasized less for piano instruction with new developments in technology [closed]

I realize this post may be controversial. I've been playing for about eleven years. I'm somewhere at the amateur/intermediate level. When I started sheet music was the only medium available. Since ...
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1 vote
1 answer
148 views

Need help with reading this fragment from piano sheet

I'm a beginner in playing the piano and I came across these signs that I don't know. What do they mean and how should it be played? Second measure, first notes for the right hand: the three dots ...
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0 votes
2 answers
74 views

what are some good practices for sight reading sheet music? [duplicate]

I'm teaching my self to learn the piano, currently I've started learning sheet music. I feel as if I'm not progressing as fast as I'd want and I'm hoping to find some practices to make my sheet music ...
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2 votes
4 answers
175 views

How to get better at sight reading and what are the benefits of being good at it? [duplicate]

I've been practicing my sight reading for a while and was wondering if anyone had any techniques that I can use to improve at it. I'd also like to know if there are any bad habits to avoid. Also, what ...
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5 votes
5 answers
4k views

How do you count quarter note triplets in 4/4 time?

In 4/4 I would count 8th note triplets this way: 1-tri-plet 2-tri-plet 3-tri-plet 4-tri-plet But in 4/4 you only get 6 quarter note triplets so how would you count this?
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  • 7,993
2 votes
5 answers
297 views

Reading and playing sheet music without actually understanding the notes

I'm learning to read music. I'm at the point where I can sight-read basic tunes on the treble and bass clefs (I've almost finished Alfred's Vol. 1). However, I've noticed that my mind always wants to ...
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1 vote
1 answer
82 views

Is there another instrument in this piano score? How to tell when it's ambiguous in some parts? [duplicate]

This is the beginning of Mendelssohn's Song Without Words, Op. 19, No.1. Are the orange-circled parts another instrument or voice? What about the bold red-circled parts---how to tell if they belong to ...
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6 votes
6 answers
1k views

Sheet music reading and cognitive process? [duplicate]

I have a question about practising reading in different clefs. I know the treble clef well. When I read a note in the bass clef, I mentally add 3 semitones to it, so I get the note name in the treble ...
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14 votes
8 answers
3k views

When you read sheet music do you read the notes or the intervals?

I have found myself doing both but not sure which is the right way. Sometimes I see a note then I can see the next note is a 4th above it so I play it but I actually don't know what note I just played ...
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1 vote
3 answers
491 views

How do people become proficient at sight-reading in keys where there is no material in those keys suitable for their sight-reading level?

On a mission to improve my piano sight-reading, I've been systematically working my way through all major and minor keys, 'living' in a given key for a few weeks before moving to the next. Whilst ...
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10 votes
11 answers
5k views

What's left for musicians to learn if they can sight-read?

It seems skilled musicians can can sight-read even advanced pieces. What's left for musicians if they can sight-read advanced pieces? It seems to me there must be something left to do - otherwise ...
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  • 528
4 votes
2 answers
730 views

Practicing jumps in piano without looking: Is there any progressive method?

This is kind of a common question here, but one point I haven't seen addressed in detail: While sight-reading, it is recommended to practice jumps (over an octave) without looking, which is difficult,...
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  • 1,224
2 votes
2 answers
155 views

Note Reading Newbie Issue for piano

I'm new to piano and I'm working with Michael Aaron's Grade 1 piano book. I have question with respect to the following "Note Reading Tests": Why is it that in the exercise above, they identify the ...
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  • 121
0 votes
3 answers
88 views

Problems regarding reading music [closed]

I am self learning music(Piano) right now from various sources: Youtube Books (John Schaum mainly) I am having trouble in reading sheets a few times. How would you recommend me to go about it? Any ...
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0 votes
4 answers
185 views

How do you interpret this in sheet music?

I am new to reading sheet music and how do you interpret this? I did not understand why is there a rest in the middle of the beamed notes. Thanks in advance. Edit : The time signature is 6/8 and its ...
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2 votes
2 answers
107 views

Is there a system of writing scores where people write down the key and the scale degrees instead of black dots?

Is there a system of writing scores where people write down the key and the scale degrees instead of black dots? edit for clarification: What I mean is that each note in a standard diatonic key has ...
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1 vote
4 answers
5k views

How to sight read piano sheet faster in any key?

So I learned this trick from youtube that you can read notes relatively. I can see that the first 2 notes in this piece is a G4, instead of figuring out what the third note is, I just press the key a ...
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  • 1,197
0 votes
4 answers
525 views

Sight reading outside the piano

It is hard for me to practice lately the piano. But i really want to sight read well and keep advancing, even if it is outside of it. Is it possible to sight read outside the piano by reading piano ...
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  • 1,187
0 votes
6 answers
125 views

recipes of piano sight-play for a self-learner

Are there any recipes/shortcuts that can train a piano self-learner into being able to sight-play, at least simple pieces? How to overcome the difficulty of constantly checking the keyboard while ...
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