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Thread: Problems reading ahead during sight reading

  1. #1
    Registered User The Pecker's Avatar
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    Problems reading ahead during sight reading

    So a while back I decided that I needed to get my sight reading skills in order. I went and bought the sight reading book from MI Press and have been working on it since a couple of months ago. I'm roughly half done but still need to work some things out. Theres one thing that I am really having problems with; reading ahead while reading.

    I was looking at some online lessons about piano sight reading, just to hear some possible tips on sight reading cause I don't really have anyone to give me any. The teacher stated that when reading, you should be two whole bars ahead of what you are playing. That was a big shock to me. I knew that you should be a little ahead but two bars seems ridiculous! So I sat down and starting reading and tried to stay two bars ahead, but I could barely remember the timing and notes to play on the bar after the one I was playing. I have still been toying with this, but I just can't read that far ahead and remember what to play. I could definitely see how it would help because sometimes I come to passages which I can't read fast enough to play.

    That being said, I'm reading slowly so that I don't constantly screw up. Also, my note recognition on the treble clef is pretty fast, but I guess could always use improvement.

    So how far ahead do you guys read while sight reading? How long did it take you to be able to do this?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Keyboard is my second instrument - self taught with a little help from our Daughter when she comes to visit. Just hit me, we made my teacher, one way of doing it.

    I've never read ahead, do not even think about it. I do after playing the piece many times realize what is coming next, but, I do not consciously read ahead.

    Have to give this some thought.

    Malcolm
    Last edited by Malcolm; 05-21-2009 at 04:06 PM.

  3. #3
    Registered User JonR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Pecker
    So a while back I decided that I needed to get my sight reading skills in order. I went and bought the sight reading book from MI Press and have been working on it since a couple of months ago. I'm roughly half done but still need to work some things out. Theres one thing that I am really having problems with; reading ahead while reading.

    I was looking at some online lessons about piano sight reading, just to hear some possible tips on sight reading cause I don't really have anyone to give me any. The teacher stated that when reading, you should be two whole bars ahead of what you are playing. That was a big shock to me. I knew that you should be a little ahead but two bars seems ridiculous! So I sat down and starting reading and tried to stay two bars ahead, but I could barely remember the timing and notes to play on the bar after the one I was playing. I have still been toying with this, but I just can't read that far ahead and remember what to play. I could definitely see how it would help because sometimes I come to passages which I can't read fast enough to play.

    That being said, I'm reading slowly so that I don't constantly screw up. Also, my note recognition on the treble clef is pretty fast, but I guess could always use improvement.

    So how far ahead do you guys read while sight reading? How long did it take you to be able to do this?

    Thanks
    I've been reading music 43 years, I still can't read 2 bars ahead! But then I haven't practised such a thing.
    Of course it depends how complicated the music is, and how fast it is...
    As long as you can read just a little ahead of where you, and keep pace (hardest thing) IMO that's fine. I'd say a bar ahead is ideal; a little less is OK (esp at slow tempos), a little more if you can manage it.
    As with anything, the more you practice the better you'll get at it - reading further and further ahead at faster and faster tempos.

  4. #4
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    Nice post.
    Edwin

  5. #5
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    I don't think it means that you need to constantly be memorizing two bars ahead of where you are. I think it has more to do with visual recognition of where the music is *and where it is going* so that you are already familiar with it when you get there. I've played keyboard for about ten years and though I hate reading music in general, I've found that continually looking about two bars ahead really helps to keep me from getting mentally "stuck" anywhere in the music. I'm not necessarily memorizing every two bars the music as I go, I'm just constantly peeking around the musically notated corner ;-)

    John

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