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Questions tagged [sight-reading]

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

100
votes
18answers
105k views

What is good software for learning how to sight-read?

I'd like to learn how to sight-read on my own, but practicing the same song over and over again just causes me to memorize it, and filling out worksheets is boring. Is there any good software for ...
44
votes
16answers
19k views

How can I improve my piano sight reading?

I am 25 years old, and I started learning piano about 6 months ago. I really want to play the piano well, but it takes me so long to be able to play any piece of music. In the meantime, I'm using a ...
41
votes
10answers
33k views

As a guitarist, how can I learn to sight-read music?

I'm learning guitar right now, mostly from Justin Sandercoe's free online lessons, starting from the beginner's course. He has a lot of good tips for how to practice and drill chords, and scales, but ...
31
votes
12answers
31k views

Can people really sight-read advanced pieces?

I find it hard to read a staff and play it on the keyboard fluently. The most common scene for me is that I read one note on the paper and then lower my head and find out the location of that note ...
30
votes
6answers
9k views

How do experienced pianists sight-read chords?

I enjoy sight reading, since it lets me "play" the piano. However, I'm still progressing and have difficulty reading pieces with chords that have 3 or more notes, especially if that piece has a ...
27
votes
12answers
5k views

Is it really mandatory to practise sight reading at the piano?

I have seen many questions & answers regarding practising sight reading the right way etc. But I couldn't find the answer to my question whether it is even that important to practise sight reading....
25
votes
9answers
20k views

Fast Chord Identification

How would someone go about identifying chords quickly and efficiently? While sight reading, I would often come up to some strange chord and try to decipher it. It normally takes me (what feels like) ...
24
votes
2answers
36k 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 ...
23
votes
8answers
5k views

I sight read at 20 bpm, and not getting any faster

I'm working through Berklee Press' Modern Method for Guitar 1. I start every new piece at 40 1/8th notes per minute, so 20 bpm. 40 bpm (1/4 notes per minute) is the lowest my metronome goes, so I ...
23
votes
8answers
69k views

Is there any midi software that can display in real-time the notes I play next to the “real” score?

I'm pretty new to the Piano, and pretty bad at sight-reading (but getting better:)) Still, sight-reading a new score takes me an awfull lot of time, especially when I don't "hear" the thing I'm ...
21
votes
6answers
4k views

Is it ok for a choir to learn by listening?

I'm in a high school choir and we just got a new teacher. He is adamant that we don't listen to rehearsal tracks or recordings, because "real musicians don't." Is there merit to this? Is it better to ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I think of the note's letter designation when I sight-read?

After I know the letters for the note designations and the pitches, when I am reading them, I implement the music this way: I see the note on the staff. I know that is a G. I think "G" when I read ...
15
votes
2answers
17k views

C in Treble or Bass Clef

I see a 'C' like sign in the beginning of the staff. What does it mean?
14
votes
4answers
1k views

Is it better practice to read straight from sheet music rather than memorize it?

My music teacher sometimes tells me too memorize a song, but sometimes also tells me to read straight from sheet music. This confuses me as I am unsure which one is better practice. Is it better ...
13
votes
6answers
4k views

How can I help a piano student who doesn't slow down to read the notes

I have a student who, when he tries, can figure out what notes he's looking at on the score at a decent pace. He couldn't sit down and sight-read something fluidly, but the foundation is there. The ...
13
votes
12answers
3k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
578 views

Most efficient way to silent read 2 or more voices (audiation)

I would like to become able to silent read music. I am interested in renaissance and early baroque organ composition, which usually means two to four voices. As now I can recognize intervals (melodic ...
12
votes
7answers
4k 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 ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

What is a Fake Book?

The question was asked here as to why there are no Fake Books for Blues. But what is a Fake Book in the first place? What genres is it used in?
12
votes
2answers
428 views

When did keyboard partitions start to use the G-clef for the upper staff ?

When you look at very old sheetmusic (for harpsichord or organ), you see that the upper staff has a C-clef, first line. The lower one is the familiar bass F-clef, fourth line. Why and when did the ...
11
votes
8answers
4k 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 ...
11
votes
7answers
3k views

How To Improve My Sightreading?

I've been reading music since I was five years old, but I learned how on the piano, never on the guitar. I find that when I play guitar, I think of the notes as they relate to each other spatially: "...
10
votes
2answers
3k views

Intermediate exercises for sight reading, specifically for reading ahead

I've been practicing violin casually for about 20 years and sight reading for about 10 -- but I'm still quite slow, especially when there are a lot of 16th notes and syncopation. The problem for me ...
10
votes
3answers
689 views

Could a group of musicians play a new piece by sight-reading on first attempt?

Is it possible, without any rehearsal, relying solely on sight-reading? Are there any experiments of this kind with octets, nonets, maytbe entire orchestras?
10
votes
3answers
2k views

In piano music notation how are notes distributed between the staves?

I recently stumbled across a piece of music for the piano that confused me a little. The first image is how I found the score, the second is how I rearranged it myself. How I usually find pieces, ...
9
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
8
votes
11answers
3k views

Is it recommended to practice sight reading by “feeling out the music” instead of counting

I've been learning how to sight read the traditional way, by counting. Unfortunately, if there's ever a rest that less than a eighth rest, I automatically get thrown off, mostly because I'm only ...
8
votes
3answers
1k views

Should these notes be played as a chord or one after another?

A fairly basic sight reading question coming up... Are these notes (highlighted) intended to be played as a single chord or one after the other? They are so close together that they could be played as ...
8
votes
4answers
423 views

Is there a program that can show a score bar by bar in realtime playing? [closed]

I am trying to improve my sight reading and a good exercise is to play a music score seeing only the next bar. I do this with my teacher covering the bar that I'm playing, but I can't do it at home, ...
8
votes
2answers
14k views

What do the letters above the piano staff represent?

I am a beginner trying to understand the music notation for a song I want to try. Can someone kindly tell me what are the letters above the treble clef in the following figure: I've read that they ...
8
votes
6answers
1k 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 ...
8
votes
3answers
7k views

Exercises for quickly identifying intervals on the staff

In order to improve my piano sight-reading, I want to practice recognizing intervals on the staff faster. If possible I'd like to combine the interval-recognition with a training for my finger memory, ...
8
votes
5answers
724 views

Is there a trick to learning sight read, i.e relate notes to piano keys

I am not asking for some unrealistic method by which a person can learn to site read over night. I know that practice cannot be replaced. I merely want to know if there are any methods that can help ...
7
votes
9answers
651 views

How to teach the staff to a teenager?

A friend of mine who is 18 has played guitar for practically his whole life, except he's only played by ear and tablature. He's been playing piano for a year and a half now, but he's never learned to ...
7
votes
6answers
3k views

Question about reading music sheets

I started learning the piano a year ago but unfortunately back then I didn't have an excellent teacher; instead of working on reading notes which I'm really bad at, we focused on my playing skills I ...
7
votes
5answers
6k 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
145 views

Knowing where to put hands without looking at the keyboard?

I've identified three main problems holding me back from better sight reading on the piano, and this is the biggest one: I need to look away to find the keys for my hands. On a computer I can type ...
7
votes
4answers
15k views

Reading and Writing Drum Tabs?

I have been playing Drums for 4 years or so now and I have never understood tabs for them is there an easy way to read and write them? Or is it down to personal preference? Also any hints and tips on ...
6
votes
6answers
931 views

I can't sight-read at intermediate level

I am a Trinity grade 5 pianist and have been playing piano for 2-3 years(earlier played keyboard). I find very difficult to sight read. I usually play the passage once very carefully and memorize it ...
6
votes
6answers
460 views

(How much) should I focus on sight reading if my end goal is being able to play by ear on piano?

So my technical ability is ahead of my sight reading ability. And I haven't practiced my ear at all. My end goal is to eventually be able to play any song by ear and put my own variation on it. I'm ...
6
votes
3answers
2k views

Question from non-musician: Is it possible to learn sight-singing without having learned an instrument?

I'm trying to learn sight-singing sheet music. I understand the basics such as the length of a note, time signatures and so on. But the only insurmountable difficulty for me is that I don't remember ...
6
votes
3answers
835 views

Learning standard notation without succumbing to simply remembering songs?

I'm in a tricky position. I've been playing guitar for around ten years and am fairly good at improvising and tinkering around on a piano, too. I understand sheet music, I can decipher it, but I can't ...
6
votes
3answers
369 views

How to practise, ear piano playing after years of sightreading only?

I am stuck in sheet music. I know theory, have average sight reading skill, know chords and their inversions, scales, accidentals, ect. But if someone took the notes away I couldn't play even ...
6
votes
2answers
1k views

Sight reading of triads

I need advice on how to sight read triad chords (root position and inversions). For example, lets take a look at "Waltz in A Minor" by Chopin: In the bass clef, on the second bar there is a low A ...
6
votes
3answers
3k views

Same note in two staves [duplicate]

I have only just started to learn (on my own) to read music and play the piano at the grand old age of 64! Please can someone tell me how to play the same note on two staves? I keep being asked to ...
6
votes
1answer
120 views

How do I Read Bansuri Notation

How do I read Bansuri Notation Mumbai theme - A R Rahman I know SA RE GA MA PA DHA NI SA, and the concept of low and high octaves. How do I correlate the letters. And where are the letter ...
6
votes
2answers
2k views

Looking for a piano sight reading app that listens to your instrument

I've been looking around for a sight reading app. I found this rather excellent iPad app and it has helped a lot. I'd really like an app that allows me to practice using my instrument instead of an ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Sources for sight-reading exercises that focus on subdivisions (emphasis on drums)

As is the case for all drummers, for me, it's a great fun to find weird rhythmic patterns and to practice over basic beats to create some tension in the straight sections of various songs. However, ...
5
votes
3answers
1k views

Learning to quickly identify valid fingering for piano?

I have identified three main problems holding back my piano sight-reading, and this is the second biggest. I can work out fingerings by trial and error, but some very experienced pianists just devise ...
5
votes
4answers
430 views

Mnemonics for Tenor Clef

I've been transcribing orchestral arrangements into MuseScore, and have encountered my first Tenor Clef. I searched online for "Tenor Clef Mnemonic" and other help-with-tenor-clef queries, with no ...