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Sightreading quicker

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by Jace The Bass, Jul 26, 2004.

  1. Hi ive just joined up and have learned alot by reading other threads.
    My Question is how do you get to a good standard of sightreading a piece at a fast tempo ?
    Heres my background ive been playing 4 about 10 years with a year break in between ive been sightreading 4 about 6 years I practice sightreading everyday 4 about 1 hour i can bassically read it at a slow to moderate tempo regardless of what type of piece
    So I was wondering if theres any tricks otherwise its back to keepin at it
    Much would be appreciated

    My Two cent Quote of the day

  2. Phil Smith

    Phil Smith Mr Sumisu 2 U

    May 30, 2000
    Peoples Republic of Brooklyn
    Creator of: iGigBook for Android/iOS
    Read different things in different clefs i.e. bass and treble. Learn to sight sing i.e. be able to sing a piece of music without your instrument. Work with bands or do gigs where you have to read.
  3. Wow I Didnt thinkve that thanks Phill i guess i'll give sum time towards sightsinging and reading treble clef
    Damn that was a good answer i can't get over it
    It makes sense too
    Thank you :bassist: :bassist:
  4. Jazzin'

    Jazzin' ...Bluesin' and Funkin'

    know the key of the song(also know the chords written ontop) and then when u see for example a note on the first line and then a note on the second line and the first one is the rootnote, then u know that the second one is the third. this way u dont even have to think about each note.
  5. Wrong Robot

    Wrong Robot Guest

    Apr 8, 2002
    For a long time I've had an idea for a software program, that would be two faced, one option would be for sight-reading practice, where the computer would generate a melody based on your parameters (what scales/modes, what octave range, what key..etc.) And it would progressively hide a note as you are reading through it forcing you to constantly be looking ahead as you read through it. Adjustable hiding times and tempo and all that.

    The other function would be an ear training tool, where it would generate a melody, play it for you, then slowly reveal one note(either on a timer, or whenever you click "next note")

    But I know absolutely nothing about programming, and I don't know any programmers, save for a couple windows based ones, but that's no good because I'm Mac OS X based :p

    Jace, www.lucaspickford.com has a lot of charts to read through, also you might want to get a real book.
  6. So what u are saying is think in intervals? I guess Hmmmmm
    Alright I'll keep that in mind Thanks
    As for that lucaspickford site I Like the saxaphone transcriptions heaps of sharps n flats together so i just read it as if it was bass clef not good on the ears though alot of chromatics but hey its reading practice
  7. ConU


    Mar 5, 2003
    La Belle Province
    You need to develop the ability to read ahead,the farther ahead you can read,the faster you can get the piece off the page.Reading ahead requires taking a mental "snapshot"of various numbers of bars,playing them without thinking and scanning ahead in the piece for whats coming.
    That said,this becomes much easier to do when you have integrated into your vocabulary,fully,
    the many different rhythmic figures you may encounter in any musical situation.Practice singing and clapping as many different rhythms as you can find.You'll be amazed how much faster you can get the notes off the page.
  8. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    This might help:


    check out the paced note reading. it wont get your timing reading developed, but can sure speed up note recognition. Might be some other usefull things in there too
  9. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    First off - you're only truly sight-reading the first time you run down the music. The more you do it the more you start to read the phrases as opposed to every single note. You start to recognize all the relationships - e.g. D, F#, A is a D triad, etc. Then it becomes more of a matter of where you decide to play the figure on the neck and how you're going to finger or pick it with the right hand. Split the bars in half. Try to read a bar ahead or at least a half bar ahead if it's a busy 1/16th note chart. If you're having trouble with a phrase make sure you can clap the rhythm out and then add the pitches. Practice playing down the music like you're on a gig. Never lose your place - even if you play something incorrectly. Once you're on a gig sightreading the others may not even notice if you groovin' your behind off and hitting most of the stuff. Also, about 95% of the stuff you see is stuff you've seen before or relatively easy to pull off so when you're playing or rehearsing the charts scan ahead to the tricky sections while the others are joking around and visualize where and how you're going to play it. I learned that from a Will Lee article I read awhile back called "Confessions of a Sightreader". Or he said something like that, anyway. Other than that, I don't think there are really any secrets to it. It's just plain hard work. I suspect your sightreading is already pretty darn good if you're practicing it for an hour everyday. Hats of to you for that!

  10. Slot


    Oct 17, 2003
    Sydney - The Shire
    The only thing you can really do is consciously try harder to look further ahead.

    If you're only reading one bar at a time it will bring you unstuck. The trick is to have the next bar down before you even get to it.
  11. Oh I see read it in bars and scanning ahead hmm it might be weird for me at first but i'll give it a go
    Thanks all I appreciate all of this I guess you learn different things everyday
    Back to the drawing board
  12. Scot

    Scot Supporting Member

    Mar 20, 2004
    Pacifica, CA, USA
    Keep in mind that this is just a discussion board and you're getting advice from a bunch of strangers that don't know your level. Getting a teacher that knows how to teach reading music notation is by far your best bet. If you get yourself a good teacher and continue to practice reading for an hour a day you're going to be a monster reader in no time.

    With that said, don't get too hung up on the "reading ahead" thing. That will happen naturally to a degree as you get better. Just keep practicing reading with a metronome and your eye will automatically train itself to start looking ahead. It has too or you won't be albe to keep up. There's no "trick" to it. You just have to do it a lot.

  13. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    The first step to mastering the art of sightreading is to not use "4" as a word, but as a number. Proceed by reading as much music in a group situation, like a high school jazz band or something like that. You'll get it with time.
  14. Thanks scott
    I tried lookin ahead but didnt help me much because I was too scared that I wouldve missed a beat
    I guess im not use to it but learning to sightsing sloooowly is starting to help my reading to sound better is what Ive found out
    As four (jokes) my teacher he showed me the basic concepts of reading about six years ago
    Cool! Thanks again everyone