"Fluidly" reading music

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by WWOD?, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. I have the oppurtunity in early September to begin taking music lessons at the Eastman School of Music while I attend the University of Rochester. At your audition you are supposed to demonstrate that you can "fluidly" read music. What would you consider "fluidly" to mean? Right now I've just started cramming and practicing my standard notation again. I'm pretty rusty right now, and I never was really good at it. Practicing about 2 hours a day at this, how "fluid" do you think it is possible to get in one month?
  2. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    IMO, having "been there, done that" fluidly reading means that you can play what is on the page, at tempo, with the articulations as they are notated, and with the dynamics as they are notated. In other words, a good "reading" of a piece.

    hope this helps.
  3. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Yeah, basically just being able to read the music as if it was a book.
  4. Ok, thanks for the input. That's about impossible to do in a month and sounds pretty ridiculous to be a requirement simply to start lessons. I don't know anybody that can do that.
  5. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    If you practise about two hours a day and you make good use of that time, you should be able to get to quite an acceptable level. If you're teaching yourself, take some time to sit down and plan your 'syllabus', don't let yourself get away with laziness (like re-using the same piece of music too often) and program in some times to reflect on your progress and which weaknesses you need to address...

  6. Adam Wright

    Adam Wright Supporting Member

    Jun 6, 2002
    They may WANT you to demonstrate this but a majority(all that I've ever looked into)of these schools will still accept you even if you can't read on a "fluid" level. A basic grasp of it is enough to get into most places and often times, no reading ability is required. They just want to know where to place you.
  7. Pacman

    Pacman Layin' Down Time Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 1, 2000
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Endorsing Artist: Roscoe Guitars, DR Strings, Aguilar Amplification
    I read music better than I read english.
  8. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    Man, I used to play a bunch of treble clef instruments(trumpet, sax) and this was when I was really young, and I learned how to read treble clef, I had that down no problems ever, sight read just fine, and everything was greta, But then when I picked up bass, it all changed on me :D I've never quite been able to achieve that same proficiency that I had with Treble Clef, even after a lot longer period of time I still confuse E with C sometimes :(

    oh well, imma work on it.
  9. Gabu


    Jan 2, 2001
    Woodland Hills, CA
    One day, I will too. :)
  10. I'm currently going through a Fasttrack bass book I have to get into the flow of things and get familiar with the basics again. After that I have another small bass theory book I can go through and an introductory music theory text book that has lots of rhythm exercises. I have maybe a dozen standards to run through and my brother has a whole box of trumpet music that I need to look at (not ideal I know, but it should serve the purpose). I'm trying to only run through everything twice in a row at most so I don't start memorizing any of the pieces. Plus whatever else I buy or from the internet. Does anybody know of any good links to anything online?
  11. GooseYArd

    GooseYArd Guest

    May 15, 2003
    Hi WWOD,

    Keep in mind that you may be asked to sight read a bass chart, in which case, you might feel silly if you had gotten prepared to read stuff like out of the bass clef Parker Omnibook and then someone gave you a sheet of chord symbols and wanted you to play a walking line. I went through the same thing when I auditioned for my university's jazz orchestra- I was scared silly but it turned out that bass charts, at least for standards, are often just changes, and even the ones that are written will often be scant. If they're just using what they have around, the odds are in your favor of it being all quarter notes. I'd check with someone in the department and ask them what you can expect in the audition. They're not usually secretive about it.

    If they've got something more challenging in mind, I think a decent book to study is Chuck Rainey's Time Signature Studies, for bass. You might also look at Aebersold books that have call-and-response kinds of stuff so you can verify your work.
  12. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    i would be able to do that if i had your job!! :D ;)
  13. Christopher


    Apr 28, 2000
    New York, NY
    The key to fluid reading is to look ahead a couple of bars.

    Also, it never hurts to mark the page during downtime - circle key signatures, write in note names if they're sixty ledger lines above/below the staff, underline ritardandos and dynamic markings, that sort of thing.
  14. Richard Lindsey

    Richard Lindsey

    Mar 25, 2000
    Metro NYC
    Excellent advice. I might add, it also doesn't hurt, if you get the chance, to go over the structure of the piece, making sure you know where all the repeats are, the D.C.s and D.S.s, the coda(s), all that stuff. It can be a little embarrassing, for example, to be ripping through one section of a chart, making all the changes and sounding great ... then miss a repeat and blast into the next section while everybody else has taken the repeat.;)
  15. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    And you are right.If you could do that,you would'nt need to take lessons.:D
    If you're going there just to take private study,they want to know you can place notes from the bass clef within a comfortable range,get quarter notes and the occasional syncopation off the page and follow a chord chart.They are NOT going to ask you to sight-read cello suites with all the dynamic markings.They want to see a certain degree of musical literacy,so you don't show up for the first lesson asking for tabs of major scales:eek:
    If you're practicing what you say you are,I would'nt worry about it.You'll be fine.