Discussion:
Reading music question
(too old to reply)
Hank
2006-11-07 01:27:21 UTC
Permalink
Hello everyone, I have a question regarding reading music. Now I can
read music at a very beginning stage, I barely started playing piano a
couple of months ago and I am learning theory and diffrent chords and
such, and I have played guitar in the past. Now I never learned to read
music but now I am, but my problem is that I read the music and play
along with it (very slow mind you) and after I play it a couple of
times I remember the melody or song and when trying to follow the notes
on the sheet music as I should I just can't seem to focus on the music
sheet anymore. I blame this on learning a tune by ear from guitar, and
I don't know if this is a good thing (remembering the song after
playing it a couple of times) or a bad thing. I know a lot of musicians
still use sheet music to play a song that they are famaliar with. So I
know you may be laughing at me right about now haha. Is there any
exercises to focus on the treble and bass clef without going "La la la"
in my head? hahaha
w***@kos.net
2006-11-07 02:15:19 UTC
Permalink
Get yourself a stack of music and just keep reading through
different stuff not dwelling on it. Sure it's great to memorise
material quickly, but you will find that in order to have available to
you lots of piano music it would be better to be able to read it off of
the sheet
Cheers Michael
Post by Hank
Hello everyone, I have a question regarding reading music. Now I can
read music at a very beginning stage, I barely started playing piano a
couple of months ago and I am learning theory and diffrent chords and
such, and I have played guitar in the past. Now I never learned to read
music but now I am, but my problem is that I read the music and play
along with it (very slow mind you) and after I play it a couple of
times I remember the melody or song and when trying to follow the notes
on the sheet music as I should I just can't seem to focus on the music
sheet anymore. I blame this on learning a tune by ear from guitar, and
I don't know if this is a good thing (remembering the song after
playing it a couple of times) or a bad thing. I know a lot of musicians
still use sheet music to play a song that they are famaliar with. So I
know you may be laughing at me right about now haha. Is there any
exercises to focus on the treble and bass clef without going "La la la"
in my head? hahaha
Alan Young
2006-11-07 05:40:57 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hank
Hello everyone, I have a question regarding reading music. Now I can
read music at a very beginning stage, I barely started playing piano a
couple of months ago and I am learning theory and diffrent chords and
such, and I have played guitar in the past. Now I never learned to read
music but now I am, but my problem is that I read the music and play
along with it (very slow mind you) and after I play it a couple of
times I remember the melody or song and when trying to follow the notes
on the sheet music as I should I just can't seem to focus on the music
sheet anymore.
Unless you're trying to learn to play very technical classical music,
where precision is expected, what you are describing is an asset, not a
problem. I wish I could memorize that easily! Stop complaining and
enjoy the music.
--
Alan
http://www.hummingbear.net/~aayoung/Jazz/jazz.html

You can go to school and learn the academics of music..., but when you
start to play, you tell a story to people and take them on a journey.  It¹s all
about spirituality.
~ Charlie Haden
Hank
2006-11-07 07:45:37 UTC
Permalink
Thanks you guys. I don't mean to complain, I do enjoy playing the
music, and I will take your advice about just reading diffrent music
and not dwelling on it. Like I said I would rather focus on the sheet
music then learning it one time and playing it by memory the next. My
concern was that if I learned something say today and try to play it
(by sheet music) two months from now I won't be all ...duh!!! hahah

So thanks again and I will take your guys advice =)
Post by Alan Young
Post by Hank
Hello everyone, I have a question regarding reading music. Now I can
read music at a very beginning stage, I barely started playing piano a
couple of months ago and I am learning theory and diffrent chords and
such, and I have played guitar in the past. Now I never learned to read
music but now I am, but my problem is that I read the music and play
along with it (very slow mind you) and after I play it a couple of
times I remember the melody or song and when trying to follow the notes
on the sheet music as I should I just can't seem to focus on the music
sheet anymore.
Unless you're trying to learn to play very technical classical music,
where precision is expected, what you are describing is an asset, not a
problem. I wish I could memorize that easily! Stop complaining and
enjoy the music.
--
Alan
http://www.hummingbear.net/~aayoung/Jazz/jazz.html
You can go to school and learn the academics of music..., but when you
start to play, you tell a story to people and take them on a journey. It¹s all
about spirituality.
~ Charlie Haden
mkr237
2006-11-07 10:18:54 UTC
Permalink
I am having the same problem actually... I find it so hard to
concentrate in the music.. the notes just look like a blur although
there is nothing wrong with my eyesite!

I was hoping there would be some decent software around for helping
with this but until now I have not found anything. I have used one
product called "musical space invaders" which is handy for note
recognition. It uses MIDI to verify that you have hit the right key.
However, it only brings up single note at a time (on Windows at least)
which is of limited value.

What I am looking for is something that brings up chords and phrases of
increasing difficulty... eventually building up bigger and bigger
structures until your recognition becomes second nature... sure you
could say people managed without this kind of thing in the past but we
have computers now and if they can be used to help develop sight
reading skills in any way then great.

I don't know if anyone knows of anything like this.... I am a software
engineer and I'm quite tempted to write something myself but I don't
want to re-invent the wheel.

M
Post by Hank
Thanks you guys. I don't mean to complain, I do enjoy playing the
music, and I will take your advice about just reading diffrent music
and not dwelling on it. Like I said I would rather focus on the sheet
music then learning it one time and playing it by memory the next. My
concern was that if I learned something say today and try to play it
(by sheet music) two months from now I won't be all ...duh!!! hahah
So thanks again and I will take your guys advice =)
Post by Alan Young
Post by Hank
Hello everyone, I have a question regarding reading music. Now I can
read music at a very beginning stage, I barely started playing piano a
couple of months ago and I am learning theory and diffrent chords and
such, and I have played guitar in the past. Now I never learned to read
music but now I am, but my problem is that I read the music and play
along with it (very slow mind you) and after I play it a couple of
times I remember the melody or song and when trying to follow the notes
on the sheet music as I should I just can't seem to focus on the music
sheet anymore.
Unless you're trying to learn to play very technical classical music,
where precision is expected, what you are describing is an asset, not a
problem. I wish I could memorize that easily! Stop complaining and
enjoy the music.
--
Alan
http://www.hummingbear.net/~aayoung/Jazz/jazz.html
You can go to school and learn the academics of music..., but when you
start to play, you tell a story to people and take them on a journey. It¹s all
about spirituality.
~ Charlie Haden
Olaf Pohlmann
2006-11-07 13:05:30 UTC
Permalink
Post by mkr237
What I am looking for is something that brings up chords and phrases of
increasing difficulty...
I suppose this is not a very good approach. The key in sight-reading is
to recognize things in their context. Furthermore, good sight-readers
look ahead to prepare for the things to come. There is probably no point
in learning to recognize a particular chord or interval if they occur in
a tune as sequence that can be understood more easily by thinking in
relative intervals with respect to what is played before.
Post by mkr237
could say people managed without this kind of thing in the past but we
have computers now and if they can be used to help develop sight
reading skills in any way then great.
Maybe with a piece of software that shows you on the screen what keys
you hit. Of course, this would require a midi-capable piano. If you play
it along with a metronome build into the program it could compare the
keys to the score and show up the wrong keys in red or trigger a more
severe punishment according to your preferences. The difficulty is to
provide the software with an sufficient amount of scores in a parsable
format, so PDF is out of the business and other often used formats are
not well-documented, as far as I know.


op
Christopher Barber
2006-11-09 17:14:02 UTC
Permalink
Post by mkr237
I am having the same problem actually... I find it so hard to
concentrate in the music.. the notes just look like a blur although
there is nothing wrong with my eyesite!
I was hoping there would be some decent software around for helping
with this but until now I have not found anything. I have used one
product called "musical space invaders" which is handy for note
recognition. It uses MIDI to verify that you have hit the right key.
However, it only brings up single note at a time (on Windows at least)
which is of limited value.
What I am looking for is something that brings up chords and phrases of
increasing difficulty... eventually building up bigger and bigger
structures until your recognition becomes second nature... sure you
could say people managed without this kind of thing in the past but we
have computers now and if they can be used to help develop sight
reading skills in any way then great.
I don't know if anyone knows of anything like this.... I am a software
engineer and I'm quite tempted to write something myself but I don't
want to re-invent the wheel.
Don't bother, you need to practice on real music.

As others have suggested, just get a lot of music, and practice reading it.

I originally learned to sight-read because I would get bored with the piece I
was supposed to practice and would end up looking through all the other pieces
in the compilation. It came to a point where I would spend most of my time
doing that instead of the practicing I was supposed to. I would suggest
collecting a lot of sheet music that is representative of the stuff you want
to be able to read and just read through different bits every day. It doesn't
matter if you skip over sections you cannot read very well as long as you keep
plugging away.

Avoid reading music with a lot of hand-written notations other than some
fingerings, since they will only distract you. (For instance, I have found
that circling notes that you play wrong just makes it more likely for you to
continue to play them wrong.)

Another point: sight-reading is not a generic skill. Someone who spends all
his time reading Bach is probably not necessarily going to be able to easily
read Brahms because the patterns in the music are different.

- Christopher
John
2006-11-07 19:51:15 UTC
Permalink
I had the same problem. I've been playing for about a year. I suspect
you are suffering from mental overload at the beginning of your
endeavor. I couldn't count, also, for the first few months after
beginning to play. Eventually, the brain gets a handle on it's new
tasks and you can do more than one thing at a time.

IMO, after a piece is well-rehearsed, the sheet music is useful as a
guide to keep your place. I don't have the piece fully memorized, but
I have a mental picture of the notes, voicing, etc. that I use to play
the piece. I am following the sheet music, but not reading every note.
Being a lazy note reader, I often find I missed something (most recent
was playing a half-note as a quarter-note) after playing the piece
several times and have to adjust. Good luck.
Post by Hank
Hello everyone, I have a question regarding reading music. Now I can
read music at a very beginning stage, I barely started playing piano a
couple of months ago and I am learning theory and diffrent chords and
such, and I have played guitar in the past. Now I never learned to read
music but now I am, but my problem is that I read the music and play
along with it (very slow mind you) and after I play it a couple of
times I remember the melody or song and when trying to follow the notes
on the sheet music as I should I just can't seem to focus on the music
sheet anymore. <snip>
roddkay
2006-12-14 14:14:27 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hank
Hello everyone, I have a question regarding reading music. Now I can
read music at a very beginning stage, I barely started playing piano a
couple of months ago and I am learning theory and diffrent chords and
such, and I have played guitar in the past. Now I never learned to read
music but now I am, but my problem is that I read the music and play
along with it (very slow mind you) and after I play it a couple of
times I remember the melody or song and when trying to follow the notes
on the sheet music as I should I just can't seem to focus on the music
sheet anymore. I blame this on learning a tune by ear from guitar, and
I don't know if this is a good thing (remembering the song after
playing it a couple of times) or a bad thing. I know a lot of
musicians
Post by Hank
still use sheet music to play a song that they are famaliar with. So I
know you may be laughing at me right about now haha. Is there any
exercises to focus on the treble and bass clef without going "La la la"
in my head? hahaha
I'd like to add a footnote to what others have said. In teaching
students, whose sight reading is weak, I ask them to take a hymnal,
start at the beginning, play five hymns a day, never more than twice.
This reading may be as slow as the student wishes, but once having set a
tempo he/she much complete the reading before stopping. If necessary,
drop out notes keeping only the bass and soprano notes.

After the first time, take time to look at the places where there were
difficulties -- analyze them in their head rather than on the keyboard.

Play it the second time. They will usually find that they have played
better and with more notes the second time.

This approach gets around the problem of those who memorize far too
easily -- Gawd! I wish I could memorize that way like some of my
students can. Because the brain is having to recognize 4 notes at a
time, it helps the mind to remain focused on the page.

I hope this gives you an additional idea of a method you might find
useful.
Dan Clark
2007-01-27 02:14:36 UTC
Permalink
Post by Hank
Hello everyone, I have a question regarding reading music. Now I can
read music at a very beginning stage, I barely started playing piano a
couple of months ago and I am learning theory and diffrent chords and
such, and I have played guitar in the past. Now I never learned to read
music but now I am, but my problem is that I read the music and play
along with it (very slow mind you) and after I play it a couple of
times I remember the melody or song and when trying to follow the notes
on the sheet music as I should I just can't seem to focus on the music
sheet anymore. I blame this on learning a tune by ear from guitar, and
I don't know if this is a good thing (remembering the song after
playing it a couple of times) or a bad thing. I know a lot of musicians
still use sheet music to play a song that they are famaliar with. So I
know you may be laughing at me right about now haha. Is there any
exercises to focus on the treble and bass clef without going "La la la"
in my head? hahaha
Gosh darn! haha!, I have exactly the same problem. I'm beginning to learn
the notes yet my fingers are moving faster then what my eyes can process. I
guess my fingers are more responsive to the brain/memories. I also hate that
when it happens. Hope you find a way and post it so I can try other
methods.. God bless...

DC

Continue reading on narkive:
Loading...