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Thread: Is it possible to learn sight-reading by yourself?

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    Senior Member PresenTense's Avatar
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    Default Is it possible to learn sight-reading by yourself?

    What do you think?
    “Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.”

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    Senior Member TalkingHead's Avatar
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    Yes, because it is a personally-acquired skill based on practice. Or am I missing something in your question?

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    Senior Member Sonata's Avatar
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    Sure is. I've been playing piano for four years, and my husband did not want to invest in a piano until he knew I was serious about learning (understandable as I made previous half hearted attempts on the guitar and flute and never really put the work in. So I taught myself to read music using my ipad. I also used a borrowed keyboard for a couple months.

    So yeah, reading music is definitely a skill that can be learned on your own
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    Senior Member PresenTense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonata View Post
    Sure is. I've been playing piano for four years, and my husband did not want to invest in a piano until he knew I was serious about learning (understandable as I made previous half hearted attempts on the guitar and flute and never really put the work in. So I taught myself to read music using my ipad. I also used a borrowed keyboard for a couple months.

    So yeah, reading music is definitely a skill that can be learned on your own
    Would you recommend an app?
    “Solitude is independence. It had been my wish and with the years I had attained it. It was cold. Oh, cold enough! But it was also still, wonderfully still and vast like the cold stillness of space in which the stars revolve.”

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    Quote Originally Posted by PresenTense View Post
    Would you recommend an app?
    Is everything on app these days?
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
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    Sr. Moderator Taggart's Avatar
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    Sight reading is the ability to play a piece of music at sight, or after a short study, on your instrument of choice. This usually requires a teacher to check your technique on the instrument, although there are a variety of sight reading manuals available usually based around various music exams.

    Actually reading music does not imply any playing skill and may go beyond sight reading. A violinist does not have to be able to read either viola clef or base clef in order to sight read. People can (and do) read scores without being able to play an instrument.
    Music begins where words leave off. Music expresses the inexpressible.

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    Junior Member corndogshuffle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PresenTense View Post
    Would you recommend an app?
    http://www.musictheory.net/

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    Senior Member TwoFlutesOneTrumpet's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pugg View Post
    Is everything on app these days?
    This reply was generated by an app.

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    Senior Member TwoFlutesOneTrumpet's Avatar
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    Of course you can learn sight-reading by yourself. Practice, practice, practice. At least a line (3-4 measures) a day. But without a teacher you'd obviously have to know how to interpret the notation, which is going to need some guidance(self) but you can learn that yourself by reading and/or listening to performances(if applicable) of what you're trying to sight-read.

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    Yes. Youtube is a great tool and there you can find many guides on sightreading.
    Also make sure to read sheet music with advised fingering, otherwise you might play clunky (atleast in my experience).
    Last edited by SimonDekkerLinnros; Aug-06-2016 at 01:30.

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    Senior Member Poodle's Avatar
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    If you put your head to it!

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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoFlutesOneTrumpet View Post
    This reply was generated by an app.
    Another thing learned today.
    First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
    "Mahatma Gandhi"

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    Print out a bunch of easy pieces on imslp (Nannerl's Notebook is good for this) or Mozart's childhood works (KV 1a through KV 5a). Czerny works too, the 100 recreations, and just work your way up.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PresenTense View Post
    Would you recommend an app?

    To sight read better, you need read something every day. I mean honestly sight read something, anything, as long as it is something you're not familiar with in any way.

    I play guitar and we are notoriously bad readers, but after a while you get tired of snooty piano players, and so what I used to do was grab violin and clarinet pieces because they were written in about the same range as my instrument.

    then when I got to the end of the sheet, since I was a working musician back then and very poor, I simply turned the sheet upside down and read it again.

    two for the price of one sort of thing

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    Yes, given that many teachers (apparently) don't teach it as a specific skill, but just put music in front of someone then offer (constructive) criticism once its been tried. I can't comment on anything except my own instrument but there's a little more than just reading the notes and translating them onto the physical instrument to sound the notes.

    And as with anything really, "you are what you practice" so if you (for example) specifically practice sight reading with 5, 6, 7 flats or sharps, you will get better at these whereas before you might have feared them.

    A good site I use is : www.sightreadingfactory.com

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