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sight reading on piano

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#1 Lucretia

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Posted 19 August 2007 - 09:28 PM

Does anyone else have trouble sight reading well on piano? I've been playing for just a little over 2 months. I get in the habit to memorize the song because reading the notes doesn't work out too well for me. My sight reading is just absolutely terrible. I especially have trouble sight reading chords on the go. What can I do to improve? Should I practice short exercises? Or maybe just continue with full scores?

#2 cheesebob

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Posted 21 August 2007 - 08:48 AM

Keep practicing as much as you can. Read over the music once or twice before playing then just go ahead. Your reading will improve the more you read.

#3 Siege of Troy

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Posted 25 August 2007 - 03:03 PM

I've never really had a problem with sight reading on piano, but here are a couple tips. As already mentioned by elliemollett, practice and preparation are the best steps to take. Also try try learning just 1 hand at a time, start with the left hand, then the right hand, and gradually try to blend them together. Also, remember, the longer you play, the easier it will get to read chords on the go. And try using flash cards, I know it sounds stupid, but my mom taught all her kids with flash cards, and all of us can sight read relatively easy. And just keep at it, it will come to you in time.

#4 dogpoo



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Posted 05 September 2007 - 04:55 AM

Keep trying new pieces a few grades easier than you're able to play. Only way you're going to be able to improve is with practice. Do what Ellie said and read over the piece first, tap it out with your hands pretending you're playing it. Above all, start slowly and keep at a constant speed. No point trying to sight read at a fast pace and tripping over your fingers. And give yourself a break, you've only been playing 2 months. There are some people in this world who are sight readers, and they find it hard to memorise pieces; there are others who memorise and have trouble sight reading. Then there are those who are good at both, but it comes with practice and training. I fall into the incredible sight reading category, but I'm terrible at memorising pieces. Takes practice, but I'm better at memorising music now, and I know people who train to sight read. The only reason I'm good at sight reading is because when I was younger I never really practiced my pieces and had to pull them out of a hat each week at my lesson. I got good real quick I tell ya. And there was always a constant supply of sheet music at my house because my sister was about 5 grades ahead of me, and I'd just pull music out and play it. Easy or way beyond my ability, I gave it a go. Eventually you start to not see the notes as notes, rather as where they are on the keyboard, if that makes sense to you. It becomes a reflex, you don't have to think about it. The patterns in the music are what you follow. You start on one note, and then follow the intervals more than the notes. I cannot sight read to save my life on the guitar, and that is because I still read the notes as notes.

#5 Little Wing

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 10:14 PM

First of all, you have only played 2 months. Nobody is good at sight reading after that length of time. Here are some steps to take though when first looking at a piece. Look at the key and go over the sharps and flats. Look at the tempo. Try to play it on the slow side of what is given. Go over the piece quickly and point out to yourself anything that you think may be difficult or surprising. Also, things that will help are you studying classical music. It may be boring to some, but classical music is great for learning to sight read, because you are seeing sometimes 4 notes at a time going in different directions. It will come with time, I promise you. Good luck and keep playing.
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#6 sarai abrams

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Posted 24 August 2011 - 03:16 PM

i am also struggling in my sight reading music skills. i think i am more terrible in reading than you. but after months of practice i can see very little improvements, and that little improvements makes a lot of difference. just practice!

Edited by sarai abrams, 25 August 2011 - 07:00 PM.

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