Practice Club Wrap-Up, January 14th 2021 - Sight Reading

1.) Note names Start by learning to identify notes, by acronyms such as FACE, All Cows Eat Grass and etc.
2.) Flash Cards You should be able to identify all flash cards within 3 seconds on Bass or Treble clef as well as the first 3 ledger lines.
3.) Intervalic Reading The next step would be getting good at interval identification. A perfect unison(xd) to and octave should be enough for the start and don’t worry about the black keys, that will come later once you are more advanced.
(By the way perfect unison is a P1st like C to C)

Homework: sight read 5 pieces and report how it went, or record yourself and post.

2 Likes

Great suggestions. What “flash cards” are you referring to?

You have many options. I’m sure there are flash cards available to buy, but you can also make them on your own by hand, print something out from the internet (search something like “music note flashcards”) or you can use an app, such as Tenuto. What you want is something that features a staff (treble, bass or better yet both) with a note on it that allows you to practice identifying which note is featured :slight_smile:

Oh, and by the way, WELCOME to the forums! :slight_smile:

Posted above is what Andrew calls “The Core Skills” for sight reading. He also spoke about “The System” of sight reading.

A. Overview of the piece

  1. Scan through the piece and take in all basic info, such as the Time Signature and Key Signatures.
  2. Identify tricky spots, i.e. the most difficult bars of the piece.
    a. Count out the difficult bars and imagine how fast it should normally be played
    b. Reduce that speed by 20-30% and use that speed to count out the whole piece. Playing too fast is the bane of sight reading.

B. Most Important Points

  1. Always keep driving forward (don’t stop while playing). Don’t worry about missed notes or botched technique, just keep going.
  2. Focus on keeping the beat steady.
  3. Only sight read pieces that are very easy for you, at least a few levels lower than you are capable of playing. For someone just starting out with sight reading, you should only try to read one hand of the piece (right or left hand, but not both).

Take heart! Andrew says that 99% of people are capable of learning to sight read, as long as they practice and follow a plan, such as that outlined above :slight_smile: YOU CAN DO IT!