Self-taught sight-reading

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ddray
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by ddray » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:21 pm

SunnyDee wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:06 pm
Do you think that looking at how to play something with the fingerings and strings and all will teach you to read it yourself? I'd suspect, for me, it might just teach me to play that piece or at least it might be much slower for me. Still not sure.
In my case yes. Let's say there's a passage where the arranger suggests you play a D using your 3rd finger on the fifth string instead of playing it on the open fourth. "Why is that?? Ahhh I see, I have to play this series of notes close by immediately after..." and so on. Gradually I'm getting the feel of where this or that note should be played under conditions which will pop up in any number of pieces.
Last edited by ddray on Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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SunnyDee
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by SunnyDee » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:25 pm

ddray wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:21 pm
SunnyDee wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:06 pm
Do you think that looking at how to play something with the fingerings and strings and all will teach you to read it yourself? I'd suspect, for me, it might just teach me to play that piece or at least it might be much slower for me. Still not sure.
In my case yes. Let's say there's a passage where the arranger suggests you play a D using your 3rd finger on the fifth string instead of playing it on the open fourth. "Why is that?? Ahhh I see, I have to play this series of notes close by immediately after..." and so on. Gradually I'm getting the feel of where this or that note should be played under conditions which will pop up in any number of pieces.
Makes sense.
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Rasputin
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by Rasputin » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:40 pm

SunnyDee wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:10 pm
Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:59 pm
The most effective way to learn to sight read is to read music (on the instrument of course) every single day. Start with simple music and make sure you're aware of the pulse and playing the correct (as notated) rhythms. Gradually work your way towards more and more complex music. If you do this every day you will be a great sight reader after a few years.
You're right, of course, although I think that's a slightly later stage, when a player wants to develop speed and fluency but already knows which symbols on the staff go with which positions on the fretboard.
Hmm, I would have thought that method would work from the beginning. I don't know whether it would be the fastest way because it does not even attempt to isolate and target the most difficult components of sight-reading, but then again it's not as though the extra time is just wasted - just less focused on this one specific skill.

On the fingering thing, I guess you can only be sure that you are using the right fingering for a particular note if you know what is coming next - I have certainly been caught out using an open string and then finding that I am supposed to leave that note ringing while playing another note which is most conveniently found on that same string. If I'd seen that coming I would have known not to use the open string... but if you are going to look ahead you really do have to take notes in a chunk at a time rather than individually, otherwise there is no time.

I am sure that going through pieces that have the fingering marked will help with recognising fingering patterns. I know the fingering will relate to a specific piece but I still think it will generalise to some extent.

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SunnyDee
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by SunnyDee » Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:55 pm

Rasputin wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:40 pm
SunnyDee wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:10 pm
Denian Arcoleo wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 6:59 pm
The most effective way to learn to sight read is to read music (on the instrument of course) every single day. Start with simple music and make sure you're aware of the pulse and playing the correct (as notated) rhythms. Gradually work your way towards more and more complex music. If you do this every day you will be a great sight reader after a few years.
You're right, of course, although I think that's a slightly later stage, when a player wants to develop speed and fluency but already knows which symbols on the staff go with which positions on the fretboard.
Hmm, I would have thought that method would work from the beginning. I don't know whether it would be the fastest way because it does not even attempt to isolate and target the most difficult components of sight-reading, but then again it's not as though the extra time is just wasted - just less focused on this one specific skill.
I think it's kinda like if you give a child books and say read everyday but the child hasn't yet learned which letter shapes go with which ideas. There needs to be a stage in between that helps make the connection that symbols on a page stand for sounds that stand for the speech the child has been hearing, etc. Until then, a stack of books isn't going to help. In language teaching, we call what's needed at this stage "comprehensible input" and we would grade the vocabulary in specific ways, starting with the language that would give the most coverage with the fewest words. It's this graded vocab that I'm trying to get at. It seems to start with the open strings so you know first which notes (1st position & tabs) tell you which fingers to use on which strings, but after that, I'm not sure. Notes of C major, maybe, so you start with natural notes?
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Rasputin
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by Rasputin » Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:19 pm

OK. I thought you were saying you did know the fretboard but there was a bit of a delay in getting from note name to string and fret. I think you would be able to work the notes out and in the process you would get faster and consolidate your knowledge of the fretboard.

I would just learn the notes position by position. You could break it down further and start with the natural notes, then add maybe F# C# Bb G# Eb, but really it is not such a huge task to learn all of them. It's only 72 facts at most - less really because two strings are the same.

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SunnyDee
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by SunnyDee » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:02 am

Rasputin wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 11:19 pm
OK. I thought you were saying you did know the fretboard but there was a bit of a delay in getting from note name to string and fret. I think you would be able to work the notes out and in the process you would get faster and consolidate your knowledge of the fretboard.

I would just learn the notes position by position. You could break it down further and start with the natural notes, then add maybe F# C# Bb G# Eb, but really it is not such a huge task to learn all of them. It's only 72 facts at most - less really because two strings are the same.
You're right. I do know the fretboard, but I didn't learn it with the staff, so I don't have automatic recall of the fretboard when shown a note on the staff. There would be a delay while I think what is the name of that note on the staff and where is that name on the fretboard, sorta translating unnecessarily. Even on piano, I'd be playing (badly) more by intervals than by knowing where the notes are by sight. Yes, I could work it out. I could just pick a song and learn the notes in that song, etc., but it could take quite a while to get a wide ranging working vocabulary with a random approach like that.

Your breakdown is what I'm leaning toward, but I still think there's probably a principled way to go about it. I'm a teacher trainer and educational materials designer by trade, so it makes sense that I'd be thinking this way. I'll probably end up inventing something if no teachers come online to give me a better way. :)
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Luis_Br
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by Luis_Br » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:22 am

If you already know everything, you just loose time in the "translation" step, I think it is just a matter of practice and patience. Soon you will gradually jump the translation step.
If you have difficulties with finding notes over fret-board, I recommend simple melodies, like choral parts, or maybe for flute or violin, and you read and play them in different positions each practice session (avoid reading again the same thing).

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BugDog
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by BugDog » Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:59 am

I have read all the post so far but I'm still a bit confused about where you are, so I'm sorry if I got this wrong.

It seems like you're having trouble making a straight connection between the note on the staff and the fretting of the note. That maybe you're doing this translation like "Oh that note is on the first ledger line below the staff so it's a C. Now if that's a C I should fret the 3rd fret of the fifth string." You know the letter names of the notes on staff and the notes on the fretboard by their letter names, but can't yet connect the note on the staff to the fretboard directly.

You can learn it the way you're doing it but there are lots of methods out there that teach that direct connection in a systematic way. Frederich Noads' book Solo Guitar Playing is where I learned this stuff. Generally there is notation that shows the notes for 1st string for the hand in the 1st position. There are usually some exercises that drill those notes and positions in to your head and hand, then move to the next string with more exercises, then new positions and so on and so forth.

In a lot of ways it's like learning to type. After a while it becomes instinct but you have to put in the time. It also helps to be systematic in your approach.

So find a method and have at it. Once you have that you can start doing real "sight reading", that is play the notation in real time, or real enough to get a feeling for a particular piece.

This new skill development goes on forever. You get better, even very skilled, but there's always more.
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SunnyDee
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by SunnyDee » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:40 am

BugDog wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 12:59 am

You can learn it the way you're doing it but there are lots of methods out there that teach that direct connection in a systematic way. Frederich Noads' book Solo Guitar Playing is where I learned this stuff. Generally there is notation that shows the notes for 1st string for the hand in the 1st position. There are usually some exercises that drill those notes and positions in to your head and hand, then move to the next string with more exercises, then new positions and so on and so forth.

In a lot of ways it's like learning to type. After a while it becomes instinct but you have to put in the time. It also helps to be systematic in your approach.
Thank you! Actually I think of notes as solfege syllables, which makes it far easier to know intervals, imo, but, yes, you got it exactly, like learning to type with a systematic approach. And real enough to get a feel is the goal, too. This is what I was asking. I found this book and will give it a try. Do you happen to know any more systems I can look at, too?
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BugDog
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by BugDog » Sat Jun 17, 2017 2:15 pm

Well the Sagreras method that the folks here at Delcamp put together gets good reviews and is free (near the banner at the top of the page). Larry McDonald's Conservatory Tutor also seems to be well thought of. When this comes up sometimes people mention a method by Charles Duncan.

Of course once I learned it I stopped hunting for "methods" so I can't testify for anything other than what I used.

Interesting that you've been learning the notes as solfege syllables. I'm sort of going back and supplementing what I know using solfege. Both for learning the intervals and as part of ear training.
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AndreiKrylov
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by AndreiKrylov » Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:09 pm

SunnyDee wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 10:20 pm
AndreiKrylov wrote:
Fri Jun 16, 2017 7:23 pm
1. Memorize fretboard
2. start to read music
3. start with more simple pieces
4. try to find scores to read of music which you are really like
5. be patient, do not expect immediate progress
6. challenge yourself to do something which seems overwhelming - after a while you would feel it easier
7. after some time you will find out that many chords, positions, passages etc. repeat itself or similar in works of different authors
8. expect to work not hours, not days, but years to move ahead, but after 1st-2nd year you will feel much more comfortable with reading
9. be prepared to learn new things and have progress all your life
Great ideas, thanks! I think it's number 2.5 that I'm asking about. In other words, if you know the fretboard and you can read the notes slowly, what's the most efficient way of connecting the symbols on the staff with the physical position on the guitar without thinking, "hm, that's a C, that's an E. The C is here on the fretboard, the E is there...." There should be some exercises or baby pieces even easier than the "simple pieces" that slowly build this connection, rather like first readers for children slowly build a connection between letters on the page and meaning of words, the vocabulary is graded very slowly, that's part of what I'm looking for.
most efficient way is - doing it...
and it will take time, effort, and patience... :)
I'd better speak by music...Please listen Andrei Krylov at Spotify, iTunes, Apple Music, Amazon Prime etc. Thanks!

quavers
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by quavers » Sat Jun 17, 2017 4:31 pm

I learned to sight read gradually over time. I was also self-taught. While I am basically satisfied with my sight reading abilities, I do feel as though I carry a few misconceptions about musical notation in general and in particular for guitar transcriptions. For example, I have seen several different ways of denoting, trills, tremolo, and harmonics. This also leads me to the question of whether or not there is a book devoted classical guitar notation. I have come across a few really strange looking notations; suck a guide would be invaluable. Anyone?

SteveL123
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by SteveL123 » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:00 pm

AndreiKrylov wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 3:09 pm
..............
most efficient way is - doing it...
and it will take time, effort, and patience... :)
I have made many attempts to learn to sight read by "doing it" but never make any progress. I get a real bad headache while doing it! I can hear a melody (if not too fast or complex) and play it back immediately on the guitar but I can't sight read and play it in tempo to save my life! My headache comes from the many steps I have to go through from a single note on the staff (never mind a chord!)... to the fingerboard.

The only staff notes I know well are C3 and B3 (middle staff line) and they are my reference. I have to use those 2 notes to count up or down alphabetically in my head to come up with a note letter name, then find the note on the fret board. This is too many steps to be efficient or fast to play in tempo. So I rely on my ears to memorize the sound of the notes once I've read them in non-real time. Maybe I have a mental block of some sort.

Any advice appreciated.

Rasputin
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by Rasputin » Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:54 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Sat Jun 17, 2017 5:00 pm
The only staff notes I know well are C3 and B3 (middle staff line) and they are my reference. I have to use those 2 notes to count up or down alphabetically in my head to come up with a note letter name, then find the note on the fret board.
I did piano lessons for about 6 months around the age of 8. They had acronyms for the notes found on the lines of the treble clef and the notes found in the spaces. The one for the lines was Every Good Boy Deserves Football - I can't remember the one for the spaces. Even if you just learn the lines by rote, you will be able to work out the spaces easily enough, and will end up learning those just through practice.

Rasputin
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Re: Self-taught sight-reading

Post by Rasputin » Sat Jun 17, 2017 6:03 pm

Actually it's the spaces that had the acronym: FACE.

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