View Poll Results: How is your sight reading?

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  • I cannot read music

    5 7.46%
  • I am pretty awful and can only sight read simple music

    18 26.87%
  • I am decent, but take a long time on difficult parts

    25 37.31%
  • I can read most things immediately, but have to slow the tempo down on extreme difficulties

    16 23.88%
  • I'm basically Liszt. Put any notation in front of me and I will immediately make it music

    3 4.48%
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Thread: How is your sight reading?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Sofronitsky's Avatar
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    Thumbs up How is your sight reading?

    I've recently been experiencing a rapid growth in my reading ability and I'm just having so much fun with it. I was hoping this thread could serve two purposes: How good are you at sight reading, and how do you think it affects your playing overall?

    Of course, you can elaborate further than the poll options but I'd just like to see how many people fall into each category.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Moira's Avatar
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    There was a time when my sight reading was better, but lack of practice ...

  3. #3
    Senior Member PetrB's Avatar
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    Between most things immediately but without the having to 'slow down' much, yet not anywhere near the Liszts and Saint-Saens of the world. Both would read straight from full score, transposing instruments 'n' all, playing a more than creditable reduction at the piano - and at tempo.

    I was an accompanist for decades, the 'knack' of course allowing that as a profession: sight-reading is very much part and parcel of the terrain, including knowing what to leave out of some of the more non-pianistic orchestral reductions while leaving the musically critical and 'what makes sense.'

    Typically, I take forever to memorize. Those who don't read quickly tend to train the memory: those who do too often don't.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Ukko's Avatar
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    Because of a complete lack of the skill the thread actually inquires about, I am reduced to answering the thread title literally: Sight reading is all I know to do, not having Braille.

    Now, please continue on topic.
    I spent a fortune on deodorant before I realized that people don't like me anyway.

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  6. #5
    Senior Member kv466's Avatar
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    All I can say is I'm glad I memorize the playing of music forever because I can't read and play to save my life!

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  8. #6
    Senior Member Ravndal's Avatar
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    Anonymous poll. Darn it. Who is basically "'Liszt" when it comes to sight reading?

    Definitely not me.
    Last edited by Ravndal; Aug-26-2012 at 17:37. Reason: typo
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    - Mark Twain

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  10. #7
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    I'm not horrible, since I don't have difficutly to read the music in itself (as long as itn't heavy virtuoso writing, but since I'm mostly a beginner, I don't sight-read hard pieces), but I have hard times feeling "at home with the keyboard". So I tend to make stupid mistake when there are shifts and so on. And I cannot really sight read counterpoint (of course..) (by counterpoint I mean at least Bach two part inventions and such).

    I think it's because I lack experience. So I try to sight-read everyday and I'm patient.
    Last edited by Praeludium; Aug-28-2012 at 16:29.

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  12. #8
    Senior Member Klavierspieler's Avatar
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    I'd say I'm somewhere between "I am decent" and "I can read most things immediately."

  13. #9
    Senior Member Aksel's Avatar
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    I definitely think I'm better than I actually am, but I am rather decent. (on the trombone, mind. I'm awful when it comes to keyboardy things)

  14. #10
    Member AlainB's Avatar
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    I'm rather bad at sight reading. I manage to quickly read the notes, but not quick enough to actually play the piano whilst doing so.

    Which makes me wonder: just how do you lot practice your sight reading? Is it taking a simple or advanced piece and using your hand at a certain tempo to force yourself to read on said certain tempo?
    My Singing – please do check it out and leave criticism if you have the time! =)

  15. #11
    Senior Member Meaghan's Avatar
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    I've gotten a lot better at sight reading in the last year, thanks to accompanying last fall and also to sight reading lots of 4-hands stuff with a couple friends of mine who are much better pianists than me. Sight reading with other people is a lot of fun and makes you improve quickly. I sight read for fun on my own now, especially lieder (while singing along) and Beethoven sonatas at less than their proper tempo.

    I got better at sight reading (and got to the point where I could be a decent accompanist) when I started forcing myself to keep going and stay in my chosen tempo no matter what. If I make a mistake, there's no stopping and playing the passage over - it's not like other kinds of practicing. That's why sight reading with others helped me so much. It made me stick to these rules.

    What PetrB says about people being good at either sightreading or memorization definitely holds true in my experience. I memorize pretty slowly. I know several people who do not sight read as well as I do but memorize much faster.

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  17. #12
    Senior Member Klavierspieler's Avatar
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    My sightreading improved when a former teacher made me start playing no faster than I could make no more than two mistakes per page (there's something wrong with that sentence but whatever). I also started setting a period of practice aside (sometimes) to sightread.

  18. #13
    Senior Member Ramako's Avatar
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    Well tbh I'm about as good at sight-reading as I am at playing nowadays. I stopped studying my instrument (piano) properly some time ago. This by no means implies that I don't play the piano - I use it in composing, and spend a lot of time improvising - but I just don't have the patience to sit and practice a piece. Yeah yeah, I know it's a good thing to do, perhaps I will acquire it. Still I was pleasantly surprised to find that after some time of reading very little music I could quite competently sight-read some of the 48, from there I moved to Haydn sonatas and loved playing these. For me it is the melodic parts that I find more difficult to play, but hopefully this will change as I get a better grasp of melody in general.

  19. #14
    Senior Member Bas's Avatar
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    I unfortunately have a physical disease which make it very difficult to play the piano (I do understand the music, but my fingermotorics are not fine enough). Which means I always missed the right notes. Sometimes I'm very disappointed that I'll never be able to play better.

    My musical understanding, sight reading, is very good. I read along Masses, Opera's, Organ and Piano pieces, Symphonies and I agree that it is very nice to be able to understand the music at that level...

  20. #15
    Senior Member TrazomGangflow's Avatar
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    Lately I have put in a lot more practice time and my sight reading may (for the first time) be ahead of my playing ability.
    Another day, another Dinar

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