Questions tagged [sight-reading]

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

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4 votes
1 answer
69 views

How do I start learning to play ragtime on the guitar?

I would really like to learn how to play ragtime on the guitar. As a teenager I took guitar lessons. I learned to sight-read and basic chords, but not much beyond that. Years later, I am learning ...
6 votes
9 answers
4k views

Do pianists look at the chord letter or notes on the stave to tell what chord to play?

I am doing a piano course and my feeling is that they try spoon feed you every step of the way by making things very VERY simple. One example is when learning chords you are taught to recognize the ...
5 votes
5 answers
193 views

How do I learn to sight read?

I started my school’s jazz band recently and I really struggle playing with them. It’s just really different to playing by myself alone, where if I make a mistake I can just go back and keep repeating ...
9 votes
6 answers
3k views

Ledger Lines vs. 8va notation

As musicians sight reading music – are you very comfortable reading parts in ledger lines or is it more convenient having higher/lower parts notated within the staff with an 8va (or 8vb) symbol? For ...
5 votes
7 answers
1k views

How should I teach myself sight-reading?

How would I go about teaching myself how to sight read for piano, should I practice out of a sight reading book? Or should I take a piece of music with a lower grade level (such as Bach) and sight ...
1 vote
3 answers
521 views

Speed vs. difficulty in sight-reading exercises

I've recently started to do dedicated sight-reading exercises. As I make progress I can either move on towards more difficult pieces or stay at the same level while increasing the speed. Currently I'm ...
10 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.
0 votes
1 answer
277 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 ...
2 votes
5 answers
159 views

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? ...
32 votes
2 answers
72k views

Unknown notation - thick horizontal bars between notes

I haven't the faintest idea of what these bars could mean. They're thick and mostly horizontal with a slight tilt. Some sort of run perhaps? How do you effect the dynamics/notes these bars are ...
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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How, and how long does it take to learn sight singing by yourself?

I have been playing violin for about 6 years now, and I can read music for it pretty easily. The thing is, I attribute that to me having the muscle memory related to positions on the violin, as I don'...
7 votes
3 answers
531 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 ...
14 votes
13 answers
5k views

Is it possible to learn theory without sight reading?

I'm learning music theory by myself with online books and video lessons. I don't have much trouble understanding the basics of theory, such as intervals, basic scales and modes, but I have a huge ...
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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
688 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 ...
10 votes
6 answers
15k views

Are Piano Stickers for Keys good or bad?

Is it good to use Piano Stickers for Keys w/ Complete Printed Notes to memorize the notes on the sheet and their correspondence to piano keys? Does it work? Or is it better not to do that? The main ...
3 votes
4 answers
124 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
206 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 ...
2 votes
2 answers
161 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
50 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 ...
0 votes
1 answer
79 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?
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 ...
14 votes
8 answers
4k 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 ...
3 votes
5 answers
930 views

Sight reading chords—pay attention to bass, treble, or none of the above? [duplicate]

I am currently a very novice piano player trying to get by with Czerny's Op. 599 Practical Exercises for Beginners. As suggested, I'm playing the exercises by sight reading the notation, minimizing ...
8 votes
5 answers
338 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 ...
0 votes
2 answers
128 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 ...
6 votes
3 answers
660 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 #...
8 votes
5 answers
2k views

When you look at (piano) sheet music, how do you "think about" which notes are being referred to?

Trying to learn to read sheet music on my own; the best way to phrase my question is with a quick example: "Canon in D Major". I look at the sheet and I see the scale from this: I get the whole ...
2 votes
2 answers
100 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 ...
3 votes
3 answers
265 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. ...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

How to arrange a song written on piano for guitar?

I am starting to learn classical guitar, and one of my goals is to learn how to sight read standard musical notation. However, I am beginning to notice that it's hard to find guitar sheet music for a ...
1 vote
1 answer
131 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 ...
10 votes
7 answers
10k views

How many songs to practice at a time?

I'm coming back to piano after years and years away, so I'm back at beginner level again. I know I can get a bunch of etudes together and do technical exercises, but of course, the main thing is ...
3 votes
2 answers
708 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 ...
8 votes
4 answers
1k views

Is the beaming of this score following a vocal practice or it is just outdated and obscuring the beat?

The source is c.1770... https://imslp.org/wiki/Scots_Songs_for_Voice_and_Harpsichord_(Bremner%2C_Robert) ...first book. I can see that the beaming matches the words of the vocal part. But it ...
11 votes
9 answers
5k views

Why are accidentals not just indicated next to the note in sheet music to make sight reading easier?

For example, in the key of G, why is the sharp not put next to every F note? I think this would make it easier to sight read quickly, especially for keys that have many sharps or flats. Is there an ...
8 votes
3 answers
636 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?
2 votes
2 answers
195 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?
3 votes
3 answers
151 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. ...
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 ...
1 vote
1 answer
130 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
1k views

Vocals : How to practice accidental notes in sight singing

So I have been practicing sight singing since last 5-6 months. I think I'm able to read the notes in the scales quite easily using the solfege method (each scale somewhat resembling the Do-Re-Mi ...
2 votes
0 answers
62 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 ...
3 votes
2 answers
186 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 ...
3 votes
1 answer
56 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 ...
15 votes
7 answers
5k views

Importance of sight reading for non-professional jazz guitarists?

As a non-professional, intermediate-level guitarist interested in playing jazz, I wonder how important it is for me to be able to sight read music (and I mean standard music notation, not guitar ...
3 votes
1 answer
186 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 ...
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 ...
4 votes
3 answers
118 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-...