48

A skilled sight-reader surely can (except if the piece is really difficult). And they can do more, for example they can read the music and play it in a different key, or they can read a string quartet (that is, four independent staves with three different clefs simultaneously) and play most of the important things in it, and so on. Not every good pianist is ...


43

Being able to sight-read even very difficult pieces is certainly a great skill to have. But there's a lot more to any piece of music than just the dots. There's interpretation - which may consist of the player's way of bringing it to life, rather than merely playing the right notes at the right time - dynamics, mainly - or being guided by a conductor, who ...


40

It is related to "chunking", once you are used to keys, it is easier to quickly understand the single chunk "This piece is in G major" instead of having to see and interpret each of the individual sharp signs. This aids sight reading. With the way keys are conventionally notated, the presence of accidentals is actually informative: it tells you when the ...


35

Yes it is really important to practise sightreading. Being able to sightread well makes it much quicker to learn new pieces and eventually possible to play pieces reasonably well without having practised them at all. Sightreading does improve simply by learning repertoire, but not that quickly. This is because you are only truly sightreading a piece the ...


29

The advice about starting slow and gradually increasing is certainly not wrong, but I'd consider adding another "mode" of practicing especially when it comes to sight reading. So the default mode is to focus on being correct rather than fast. When you want to learn the piece or when dealing with a method book that is teaching things in addition to just ...


29

Very simply, playing a song from memory is one very useful skill, whilst being able to sight read is another very useful skill. It sounds like you have a wise teacher who is giving you a balanced curriculum! It may be that as you progress, you find yourself favoring activities where one or the other is clearly more useful. In some situations (e.g. playing ...


27

When you began to learn to read, you would do it one letter at a time, and one word at a time. "Tuh Huh Eh -- The ... Cuh Ah Tuh -- Cat ... The cat ..." ... and so on. As you improved, you'd speed up. You'd begin to recognise whole words at a time, then whole phrases. Now you can look at a page of writing and read it aloud at normal speaking pace. If ...


25

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? It's certainly not true that real musicians don't listen to tracks or recordings... As Mafii says, many excellent musicians don't actually use scores at all. However, it ...


24

The "C" after the clef in place of the time signature stands for "Common Time," and it is shorthand for 4/4 time. If you see a "C" with a vertical line through it, that stands for "Cut Time," and it is shorthand for 2/2 time.


24

Many different ways! Some players who are extremely good readers will simply look at the dots and their fingers will automatically land on the correct keys. Others, like myself, will be expecting a choice of maybe 3 or 4 chords in a sequence, so will second guess what they will be.Then looking at the lowest note, working out rapidly what the inversion is, or ...


23

We ALL found that hard at one point: counting up from the F and down from the G. You need another reference-point, and there IS one. The note on the second leger line above the treble clef is a C and the note on the second leger line below the bass clef is ALSO a C. Familiarize yourself with those by writing them down, perhaps using a variety of long and ...


22

It wouldn't be easier to read. Firstly, most instruments are not tied into any particular key signature. A simple sequence like someone singing/playing a scale in E major and someone else singing a third above feels very natural but actually is a complex walk resulting in an unregular sequence of major and minor thirds. This makes sense and can be done in ...


20

It's a tremolo. There are two types of tremolos. One between two different notes like in your example above and a second with the bars going though the stem of the note. In your case, it is like a trill where you go back and forth pattern them in that patter at at a speed related to the bars connecting the two notes. So the two bars in the first measure ...


20

I cannot find any research on the topic, only various anecdotes from different teachers. There are some common threads: A downside reported by some teachers is that the labels can become a crutch that students have a hard time learning to play without. Actual letter-name labels (e.g., "A", "B", etc.) are not widely believed (by teachers) to help in learning ...


18

Certainly not the first. The second is unobjectionable. But why not the third? It's the standard notation, and is just fine.


18

We get to a point where we do NOT look at a dot, think 'that's a D', then find it on the instrument. And it could be any instrument. We often see how many lines or spaces (or combinations thereof) separate notes, and play accordingly. Sometimes we even second guess where we think the tune may go, and stab at that note. There are many tricks we use, and ...


17

I understand that anxiety can cause a kid to freak out a little and start "flopping" the fingers, but I won't allow it to continue. I stop them and maybe do one measure at a time, or even one note to the next note. I will ask them again to tell me the note names and the fingering if applicable, and have them play one note at a time. If they had been ...


16

Yes. High-paid studio musicians are all expected to sight read perfectly on the first read. There are even programs to illustrate and develop the skill for younger musicians. Many movie soundtracks are recordings of first-time sight reading.


16

This is tremolo notation. The beams indicate the speed of the tremolo. In the first bar, you should alternate between the D-F# chord and the A in 16th notes. In the second bar, you should alternate between the two sets of notes in 32nd notes technically, or "as fast as possible" if 32nds are infeasible.


16

"real musicians don't." Is there merit to this? As you have stated it, so bluntly, this assertion has no 'merit'. Countless great musicians - including jazz folks, not just rockers - have learned to play from scratch by listening to recordings. Virtually every musician, in every genre, listens to and learns from recordings by great artists, and goes to ...


16

I'm struggling with the idea that you are considering taking grade 8 when you still have trouble recognizing notes on a stave. If that really is the case I think you may need to step back and put in some serious practice time playing everything that you can find for a few months to really firm up your reading ability. Talk to your teacher. You have ...


15

The notes happen simultaneously, but it’s notated this way to indicate that two independent lines are happening. The A E F G moving line should sound distinct from the octave-doubled line. This will be subtle, but there are ways to have more or less weight in some fingers in order to get enough dynamic difference to distinguish the two voices. I’m guessing ...


13

In piano, the staffs usually signifies what hand plays what note where the lower staff would be your left hand and the upper staff would be your right hand. While the clefs are important, you may see the same two clefs on a grand staff. In Imagine you can see there are two bass clefs because the piano part is low. It is kind of an unwritten rule of thumb in ...


13

Yes, with reservations. If I encounter a bar with four crotchets, I don't count them. I know what it's going to sound like; I don't need to go 'one, two, three, four'. If I encounter a bar with a dotted quaver, a semiquaver tied to a quaver, and a quaver, I don't count that either. It's a more complicated rhythm, but I've played it so many times I know how ...


13

Apart from years of practice, which will bring this sort of ability out naturally (eventually), there are a few things you can do in order to help the process along: One is learning to play scales while blindfolded or in the dark, so that you cannot see the keys at all. I would recommend starting with B-Major which uses all the black keys and just 2 white ...


13

As with anything, it will improve with practice. And, as with anything, you should tailor your practice to the problem you're having. Since your problem is looking down at the keys, devise a practice method that prevents you from doing so. My teacher growing up always held a notebook above my hands so that I couldn't look at them. Do you have someone in ...


13

So is the purpose of the music that I read along when I play so I know exactly what I'm doing? Or is it there to teach me, and then be a general guide when I'm playing? Both. If you are able to memorise aspects of the music, then it's going to be very hard to disable that ability — so it's inevitable that the information you take from a given piece ...


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