Discussion:
Improve your sight reading
(too old to reply)
Jackson K. Eskew
2007-03-23 00:59:45 UTC
Permalink
I've just finished these books:

http://tinyurl.com/2rljeh

&

http://tinyurl.com/2tjdod

Don't expect miracles, but they'll set you on your way.

By the way, to those who are excellent sight readers, do you even
bother trying to memorizing pieces anymore? Feel free to talk about
all facets of sight reading, and to give any advice on how to become
an excellent sight reader in the shortest amount of time.
h***@verizon.net
2007-03-23 01:20:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson K. Eskew
http://tinyurl.com/2rljeh
&
http://tinyurl.com/2tjdod
Don't expect miracles, but they'll set you on your way.
By the way, to those who are excellent sight readers, do you even
bother trying to memorizing pieces anymore? Feel free to talk about
all facets of sight reading, and to give any advice on how to become
an excellent sight reader in the shortest amount of time.
I am a good to excellent sight reader and I have always been
comfortable memorizing as well, and I still do both as needed.

I feel that sight reading in a group context is a vital way to learn
to do it properly. My training in non-guitar instruments was critical
in establishing the ideas of continuity and looking ahead, as well as
learning to feel the beat while playing notes at sight.

In the end it's "milieage". How many miles of staff you have put your
eyes and hands through.

Seth
Jackson K. Eskew
2007-03-23 01:41:59 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@verizon.net
Post by Jackson K. Eskew
http://tinyurl.com/2rljeh
&
http://tinyurl.com/2tjdod
Don't expect miracles, but they'll set you on your way.
By the way, to those who are excellent sight readers, do you even
bother trying to memorizing pieces anymore? Feel free to talk about
all facets of sight reading, and to give any advice on how to become
an excellent sight reader in the shortest amount of time.
I am a good to excellent sight reader and I have always been
comfortable memorizing as well, and I still do both as needed.
I feel that sight reading in a group context is a vital way to learn
to do it properly. My training in non-guitar instruments was critical
in establishing the ideas of continuity and looking ahead, as well as
learning to feel the beat while playing notes at sight.
In the end it's "milieage". How many miles of staff you have put your
eyes and hands through.
Seth
At what age did you begin? Did it come easily to you or was it a
struggle, or a combo of the two - easily here, a struggle there and so
on? Do you find sight reading harder or easier on the guitar vs. those
other instruments?
h***@verizon.net
2007-03-23 02:41:52 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson K. Eskew
At what age did you begin? Did it come easily to you or was it a
struggle, or a combo of the two - easily here, a struggle there and so
on? Do you find sight reading harder or easier on the guitar vs. those
other instruments?
Recorder at age 6, violin at age 7.

I think sight reading is easier on those instruments because there is
little or no chording on the violin and obviously no chording on the
recorder.

I found and still do find single note sight reading on the guitar very
easy and learned it easily, but reading chords, cotrapuntal textures
and upper positions to be a struggle that I am still involved in. My
latest challenges are the advanced books of Sagreras and the Complete
Solo Guitar Works of Paganini.

I enjoy reading quality stuff like that. I highly recommend using non
guitar material such as the Arban Trumpet Method. I have also used
much of my violin and recorder music as sightreading fodder.

Good on topic posting!

Seth
Jackson K. Eskew
2007-03-23 03:22:58 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@verizon.net
Recorder at age 6, violin at age 7.
You were blessed. Parents never divorced?

I like Shearer's scale book for sight reading practice.
wollybird
2007-03-23 03:32:07 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson K. Eskew
Post by h***@verizon.net
Recorder at age 6, violin at age 7.
You were blessed. Parents never divorced?
I like Shearer's scale book for sight reading practice.
that't the drill my teacher gave me
Jez
2007-03-23 22:44:16 UTC
Permalink
Post by h***@verizon.net
Post by Jackson K. Eskew
http://tinyurl.com/2rljeh
&
http://tinyurl.com/2tjdod
Don't expect miracles, but they'll set you on your way.
By the way, to those who are excellent sight readers, do you even
bother trying to memorizing pieces anymore? Feel free to talk about
all facets of sight reading, and to give any advice on how to become
an excellent sight reader in the shortest amount of time.
I am a good to excellent sight reader and I have always been
comfortable memorizing as well, and I still do both as needed.
I feel that sight reading in a group context is a vital way to learn
to do it properly. My training in non-guitar instruments was critical
in establishing the ideas of continuity and looking ahead, as well as
learning to feel the beat while playing notes at sight.
In the end it's "milieage". How many miles of staff you have put your
eyes and hands through.
Seth
I find my sight-reading makes me very lazy when it comes to memorizing
things.
I have to make quite an effort to actually remember anything.
--
Jez, MBA.,
Country Dancing and Advanced Astrology, UBS.

"Culture and Ideology are not your friends. Culture is the greatest barrier
to your enlightenment, your education, and your decency." - Terence McKenna

"It is no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick
society."- Krishnamurti
Curmudgeon
2007-03-23 02:02:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson K. Eskew
http://tinyurl.com/2rljeh
&
http://tinyurl.com/2tjdod
Don't expect miracles, but they'll set you on your way.
By the way, to those who are excellent sight readers, do you even
bother trying to memorizing pieces anymore? Feel free to talk about
all facets of sight reading, and to give any advice on how to become
an excellent sight reader in the shortest amount of time.
I swore to myself that I would never again participate in a JKE
thread, but lo and behold, here's one that's actually about music.

I have always been a good sight reader - it came easily to me when I
was young, and has always felt second nature. This is fortunate for me
since my stroke, because it is now exceedingly difficult for me to
memorize new music. I can remember stuff I learned 40 years ago, but
memorizing something new is nigh unto impossible. However, with the
music in front of me with fingerings added judiciously where helpful,
I get enough of a cue to get through things fairly well. Now, if my
hands only worked as well as they used to...
sycochkn
2007-03-23 02:07:10 UTC
Permalink
Post by Jackson K. Eskew
http://tinyurl.com/2rljeh
&
http://tinyurl.com/2tjdod
Don't expect miracles, but they'll set you on your way.
By the way, to those who are excellent sight readers, do you even
bother trying to memorizing pieces anymore? Feel free to talk about
all facets of sight reading, and to give any advice on how to become
an excellent sight reader in the shortest amount of time.
Practice every day. At the moment I am taking simple single line
melodies and attempting to harmonize them with chords. That requires
me to transpose the melody up an octave and play the approriate triad
at sight in the most appropriate location on the fretboard. There are
usually two or three possibilities.

Bob
John E. Golden
2007-03-23 04:31:30 UTC
Permalink
el snipo
any advice on how to become
an excellent sight reader in the shortest amount of time.
Two words...'Julio Segreras.'

All six books.

Regards,
John E. Golden
D***@gmail.com
2007-03-23 06:45:51 UTC
Permalink
On Mar 22, 9:31 pm, "John E. Golden"
Post by John E. Golden
el snipo
any advice on how to become
an excellent sight reader in the shortest amount of time.
Two words...'Julio Segreras.'
All six books.
Regards,
John E. Golden
Jackson,

I think that learning jazz theory is the best way to learn the
fingerboard. Classicals guitarists may be able to site read pieces
and learn different fingering strategies, but they are not able to
quite get the gist of the theory behind it (thus trained monkeys and
the dictatorship of relativism). They often *know* the theory I'm not
saying they don't. But frankly, how many master classes have you been
to where the *master* says oh, use the 4 finger to modulate between
the A and B section. Or Bach intended the harmonies to progress such
and such a way that's why I prefer to play it in such and such a
position. Or...hang on the dominant a little here...Jazz theory
makes every note on the fretboard part of larger scheme or context.
It could be shapes or it could be (left brain) theoretical
underpinnings. Regardless, this makes for better musicians and a
better product.

David
wollybird
2007-03-23 11:28:20 UTC
Permalink
On Mar 22, 11:31 pm, "John E. Golden"
Post by John E. Golden
el snipo
any advice on how to become
an excellent sight reader in the shortest amount of time.
Two words...'Julio Segreras.'
All six books.
Regards,
John E. Golden
That, too. just 10 min a day
d***@yahoo.ca
2007-03-23 12:43:21 UTC
Permalink
For anyone interested in the scientific research on sight reading (I
know this does not include you JKE so spare me the proselytizing),
Kopiez, Lee, and colleagues are doing great research on individual
differences. An abstract is below. The association between SR ability
and ambidexterity is interesting and was apparently rigorous enough to
have held across more than one study - it would be interesting to know
if this is a keyboard-specific effect.

Kopiez, R., Weihs, C., Ligges, U. and Ji In Lee (2006): Classification
of high and low achievers in a music sight-reading task. Psychology of
Music 34 (1), 5-26.

The unrehearsed performance of music, called 'sight reading' (SR), is
a basic skill for all musicians. It is of particular interest for
musical occupations such as the piano accompanist, the conductor, or
the correpetiteur. However, up until now, there is no feasible theory
of SR which considers all relevant factors such as practice-related
variables (e.g. expertise), speed of information processing (e.g.
mental speed), or psycho-motor speed (e.g. speed of trills). Despite
the merits of expertise theory, there is no comprehensive model which
can classify subjects to high and low achievement groups. This study
is the first that tries to classify subjects. It is based on an
extensive experiment in which the total SR performance of 52 piano
students at a German music department was measured by use of a pacing
voice paradigm.
Additionally, subjects completed a set of 10 psychological tests, such
as tests for mental speed, reaction time, working memory, inner
hearing etc., which were found in former studies to be useful
predictors for SR achievement [...] Results can be summarized as
follows: (a) accumulated sight reading expertise is important, but not
the only predictor for sight reading performance and should be
acquired before the age of 15; (b) psychomotor speed (e.g. trilling
speed) and mental speed plays an important role and leads to the
hypothesis of the importance of processes controlled by the
subcortical system of the spinal chord; (c) the compensating function
of variables in complex interactions of classifying variables; (d)
evidence for the relevance of ambidexterity.
John LaCroix
2007-03-23 13:26:41 UTC
Permalink
I agree with what Seth said about 'mileage'. I (like everyone here)
have all the noad anthologies and other collections, and some days I
will just sit down with one and start going through pieces. If I
didn't do that, I would be stuck just reading either pieces I already
know (that are probably memorized) or pieces that I am currently
learning (which I have read through many times). So picking things out
of the blue every now and then and just plowing along helps me improve
my skills.

As for David's comment about Jazz theory - I suspect this is good
advice. I would like to be able to look through a score (without my
guitar in hand) and be able to get a deeper sense of the piece (aside
from the simple repeats, AB sections, etc.) and how it will map onto
the fingerboard. Learning a piece is so much more about the notes on
the page, its really like a battle strategy.

John L.
SleepyHead
2007-03-23 14:46:56 UTC
Permalink
Post by John LaCroix
I agree with what Seth said about 'mileage'. I (like everyone here)
have all the noad anthologies and other collections, and some days I
will just sit down with one and start going through pieces. If I
didn't do that, I would be stuck just reading either pieces I already
know (that are probably memorized) or pieces that I am currently
learning (which I have read through many times). So picking things out
of the blue every now and then and just plowing along helps me improve
my skills.
As for David's comment about Jazz theory - I suspect this is good
advice. I would like to be able to look through a score (without my
guitar in hand) and be able to get a deeper sense of the piece (aside
from the simple repeats, AB sections, etc.) and how it will map onto
the fingerboard. Learning a piece is so much more about the notes on
the page, its really like a battle strategy.
John L.
I used to think mileage was everything when it came to sight-reading -
I'd sight-read my way through anything and everything I could get my
hands on - and on the whole I can't I found this strategy over-useful
although I'm not saying it's completely without merit

The thing that's made most difference to me was putting the guitar
aside for a month or two and starting to work through Gauldin's book
on 18th C. counterpoint. I can't say I've become a sight-reading
master as a result - in that respect sight-reading is now just another
one of those things on the "needs more work" pile - but reading from
sight is much less of an effort than previously, e.g. dense chords are
easier to read and I tend to notice suble changes in chords more often
the first time round, melodic lines stand out more prominently,
overall structure of a piece is easier to grasp, I notice interplay
between parts more often than I did before.

So I guess what I'm saying in essence is that the musical equivalent
of "cross-training" can bring dividends as well as the more usual
method of ploughing through endless sight-reading exercises.
John LaCroix
2007-03-23 14:56:51 UTC
Permalink
Post by SleepyHead
Post by John LaCroix
I agree with what Seth said about 'mileage'. I (like everyone here)
have all the noad anthologies and other collections, and some days I
will just sit down with one and start going through pieces. If I
didn't do that, I would be stuck just reading either pieces I already
know (that are probably memorized) or pieces that I am c