Increase Sight Reading Skills
Increasing your sight reading skills will be one of the most
beneficial steps taken in piano lessons. Sight reading is defined as the process of reading notes slightly
faster than your hands in order to predict the outcome of musical pieces.
There are various exercises and techniques to improve this skill, all while helping you to better comprehend
piano sheet music. It requires consistent practice without any exterior help.
Practicing between 15 to 30 minutes per day is usually appropriate in order to improve sight reading. It will
prove difficult to play songs smoothly without capitalizing on this vital skill.
The first step will be to learn the basics. Review
your beginner notes and make sure you completely understand the components of written music along with notes,
chords, and progressions.
If you do not understand the basics of reading sheet music, you will have to review all symbols and construction
process. Turning to your teacher or friend may prove beneficial to insure that you are on the right track.
Once you have mastered the basics, begin practicing in the dark. This technique will ensure that proper
connections have been made between your fingers and your mind by eliminating your ability to see the keys. Trusting
your body’s instinct will be very helpful. Practice in this manner until you can successfully play several songs
with your eyes closed.
Sight reading will improve your ability to play smoothly as it will
teach you to play a sequence while your eyes are looking ahead. In other words, your eyes are reading well
ahead in order to keep your hands moving at a reasonable pace.
Counting out a tempo will surely help you to play piano smoothly. Even if you miss a few notes, keeping the
tempo will be useful as it teaches your hands to keep going after they make errors. Some students experience
problems hearing the tempo, clapping your hands along with music will help you to understand the differences
between each beat.
You want to count by saying “1 and 2 and 3 and 4 and 5.” The added ‘and’ will help you to keep equal distances
between each note. Begin practicing with a slow tempo, gently raising its speed. Understanding intervals will
improve your chances of creating a tempo.
Recognizing notes within the staff will prove to be the most difficult aspect of improving your sight reading skills. Most beginners insert the letter value
above each note to make the playing process an easier and more enjoyable experience.
Unfortunately, this is a mistake. When placing the letters above the notes, you are training your mind and hands
to react to letters rather than the musical note. If you do not place the corresponding letters above the notes,
you will force your mind to generate correct passageways from the very beginning.
Remember to never give up. Improving your sight reading will be a long and difficult process. Practicing will be
necessary in order to polish your piano skills. Practice reading sheet
music every day until you are capable of identifying any note within its staff.
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