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[jazzguitar] Re: Reading

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  • alljazzguitar4@juno.com
    The question of how to become a better sight reader usually gets the typical response - Do a lot of it . If you resign yourself to several hours of daily
    Message 1 of 9 , Mar 1, 2000
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      The question of how to become a better sight reader usually gets the
      typical response -"Do a lot of it". If you resign yourself to several
      hours of daily drudgery for the next ten years or so, that method
      unquestionably works. If, howevr, you are in the vast majority of those
      "average" players, and consider sight-reading a necessary evil, then I
      would have to say there are a few things that most teachers and college
      level courses ignore about how to improve one's sight reading skills.

      First, you need to analyze the PROCESS of sight reading. Understanding
      what makes good skill reinforcement is one of the keys. Once you realize
      what physical, mental, visual and audial processes are involved, it
      becomes a matter of conditioning yourself to respond to certain specific
      stimuli. There is much that could be said here, and although I would
      like to do so, perhaps one could sy that sight reading is "the art of
      learning new material quickly with a fair amount of retention" (Howard
      Roberts). Consider the following points.

      I. Know the notes on the music staff;.
      a. BEFORE playing scan the music for:
      1. Key Changes
      2. Time Changes
      3. Repeat, Signs, etc.
      4. Complicated Rhythms
      5. Large Interval Skips
      6. Unusual Chord Voicings
      7. All ornamentations
      8. Dymanic marks
      b. Anything easily recognized, such as:
      1. Sequences
      2. Arpeggios
      3. Triads
      4. Scales
      5. Motifs
      II. Know where they are on the fretboard.
      a. From the above info:
      1. Decide on the positions and fingerings you will use BEFOREHAND
      2. Play the HARDEST part FIRST.
      3. Play this quietly (to yourself) BEFORE you do so with anyone else.
      III. Understand musical time notation.
      1. Internalize the rhythm(s) FIRST.
      IV. Concentrate (as does a typist) on doing all of this fast by:
      1. Visualizing yourself playing it BEFOREHAND.
      2. Always read ahead one or two bars.
      3. Never break tempo, even if you make a mistake.
      V. Above all else, learn to HEAR WHAT YOU SEE before you play it!


      Good Luck!


      Don Price
      allJaZZGuiTaR
      http://www.alljazzguitar.com
      "...Education...Reference...Resource..."
    • KANADA4229@aol.com
      The only way to really learn how to sight read is to read as much as possible. It s a frustratingly simple concept but it s also the only solution.
      Message 2 of 9 , Mar 1, 2000
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        The only way to really learn how to sight read is to read as much as
        possible. It's a frustratingly simple concept but it's also the only solution.
      • alljazzguitar4@juno.com
        I tend to disagree with a portion of this recently posted statement: The only way to really learn how to sight read is to read as much as possible. It s a
        Message 3 of 9 , Mar 1, 2000
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          I tend to disagree with a portion of this recently posted statement:

          "The only way to really learn how to sight read is to read as much as
          possible. It's a frustratingly simple concept but it's also the only
          solution"

          I would pin point the word "learn" as the difference of opinion. If one
          wishes to LEARN to sight read effectively, then one must understand what
          constitutes good sight reading. How? By analyzing the PROCESS of sight
          reading!

          Conversely, if one functions well in the sight reading department, then
          they are simply reinforcing what they already do "as much as possible".

          -DP

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        • Brad Rabuchin
          ... Also try sometimes reading out of Flute or Clarinet books(for Classical type rhythms and sequences) and Sax books(for Jazz type rhythms and phrases).
          Message 4 of 9 , Mar 2, 2000
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            alljazzguitar4@... wrote:

            > I tend to disagree with a portion of this recently posted statement:
            >
            > "The only way to really learn how to sight read is to read as much as
            > possible. It's a frustratingly simple concept but it's also the only
            > solution"
            >
            > I would pin point the word "learn" as the difference of opinion. If one
            > wishes to LEARN to sight read effectively, then one must understand what
            > constitutes good sight reading. How? By analyzing the PROCESS of sight
            > reading!
            >
            > Conversely, if one functions well in the sight reading department, then
            > they are simply reinforcing what they already do "as much as possible".
            >
            > -DP
            >
            > >Here's my 2 cents: If you're like most of us, sight reading is one of the
            > least appealing aspects of guitar playing to work on. So Practice
            > sight-reading first during a practice session. It's a good warm up(after
            > all how fast can you play while sight-reading), and that gets it outta the
            > way before you can make excusies and avoid it. Even if you're just
            > sight-reading 15 minutes or so a day with the proper stuff in mind(see Don
            > Price's other email)you should be making some progress.

            Also try sometimes reading out of Flute or Clarinet books(for Classical type
            rhythms and sequences) and Sax books(for Jazz type rhythms and phrases).

            Later,
            Brad
          • Kevin Smith
            ... When I need to count, I usually just count the quarters and then the subdivisions as needed. Of course, through practice, I ve gotten good enough at
            Message 5 of 9 , Jun 28, 2003
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              --- freddiegorham <freddiegorham@...> wrote:
              > i have a reading question. i'm a beginner
              > at reading....i always wonder if i should
              > be counting "1and2and3and4and" even if im
              > reading mostly quarter notes....or if i
              > should just count "one-two-three- four." ...

              When I need to count, I usually just count the
              quarters and then the subdivisions as needed. Of
              course, through practice, I've gotten good enough at
              reading rythms that a lot of time I don't need to
              "count" them; I can just look at them and know what
              the rhythm is. This would be analogous to looking at
              a word and knowing how to pornounce it without
              sounding out each letter.

              It's a good ability to develop. For my students
              working on reading, I often disproportionally stress
              rythms. I think that rhythms are easier to master, so
              it's one less thing to worry about. AND, in a big
              band, a lot of what you will be doing is reading hits,
              which of course is all rhythms.

              Get yourself a good rhythm reading book. MI puts out
              a good one and some drum books (like Bellson) fit the
              purpose well.

              Keep reading. You'll thank yourself later.

              Peace,
              Kevin

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            • Michael Evans
              ... I m not a highly experienced reader (still learning) so my comments should be weighted accordingly. For myself, I find I count only what is necessary for
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 28, 2003
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                > Message: 7
                > Date: Sat, 28 Jun 2003 05:37:01 -0000
                > From: "freddiegorham" <freddiegorham@...>
                > Subject: Reading
                >
                > i have a reading question. i'm a beginner at reading....i always
                > wonder if i should be counting "1and2and3and4and" even if im reading
                > mostly quarter notes....or if i should just count "one-two-three-
                > four."
                >
                > would you count out the smallest subdivion in the tune your reading?
                > for instance, if a tune is mostly quarter notes, but there are a few
                > bars of eighth notes, would i count the "ands" through the whole
                > thing, or would i just count the "ands" when i get to the eights? or
                > if a tune is mostly eights with a couple bars of sixteenths, would i
                > count "1-e-and-a-2-e-and-a...etc" throughout the whole tune...or just
                > make that subdivision when i get to it? if there is a section of
                > eighth-note triplets would i count triplets through the whole tune or
                > just when i get to them? hopefully this question makes sense.
                >
                > also, if i should only subdivide when i get to a certain section of
                > triplets or 16ths or whatever, then should i start at the beginning
                > of that bar, or should i start subdividing when i actually hit the
                > first note that needs to be subdivided? thanks in advance :)
                >
                > peace
                >
                >
                >
                >
                > ________________________________________________________________________

                I'm not a highly experienced reader (still learning) so my comments should
                be weighted accordingly.
                For myself, I find I count only what is necessary for accuracy. At the
                begining I would
                have to do as you say and break things down to the smallest subunit and
                count everything that way if I wanted to be accurate in those places where
                the smallest subdivision was used,
                but over time the rhythms become internalized (using the Bellson book helps
                with that) and this
                is not as necessary. Still with uncommon figures or highly syncopated music,
                extensive counting
                seems to be what I have to do. It would be interesting to read what highly
                competent sight readers
                have to say on this.

                Mike
              • sonomatips
                I m going to assume you re asking because you re concerned that if you ve been seeing a lot of quarter/eighth (or whatever) notes and then all of a sudden you
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 28, 2003
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                  I'm going to assume you're asking because you're concerned that if
                  you've been seeing a lot of quarter/eighth (or whatever) notes and
                  then all of a sudden you come to some triplets or sixteenth notes,
                  you may fumble and fall. In that case, the problem is not a reading
                  deficiency but a knowledge deficiency. That is, if you really know
                  these rhythms, you're not going to have trouble playing them when
                  you see them (although you may have trouble playing the notes
                  smoothly). Therefore I'd say to practice playing rhythms - at least
                  the most common ones - until you no longer have to think about them
                  when you see them, they become as familiar as the quarter notes.

                  --- In jazz_guitar@yahoogroups.com, "freddiegorham"
                  <freddiegorham@y...> wrote:
                  > i have a reading question. i'm a beginner at reading....i always
                  > wonder if i should be counting "1and2and3and4and" even if im
                  reading
                  > mostly quarter notes....or if i should just count "one-two-three-
                  > four."
                  >
                  > would you count out the smallest subdivion in the tune your
                  reading?
                  > for instance, if a tune is mostly quarter notes, but there are a
                  few
                  > bars of eighth notes, would i count the "ands" through the whole
                  > thing, or would i just count the "ands" when i get to the eights?
                  or
                  > if a tune is mostly eights with a couple bars of sixteenths, would
                  i
                  > count "1-e-and-a-2-e-and-a...etc" throughout the whole tune...or
                  just
                  > make that subdivision when i get to it? if there is a section of
                  > eighth-note triplets would i count triplets through the whole tune
                  or just when i get to them? hopefully this question makes sense.
                  >
                  > also, if i should only subdivide when i get to a certain section
                  of
                  > triplets or 16ths or whatever, then should i start at the
                  beginning
                  > of that bar, or should i start subdividing when i actually hit the
                  > first note that needs to be subdivided? thanks in advance :)
                  >
                  > peace
                • sonomatips
                  Yes, I think it is a matter of what works for you. I would just add that efficient sight readers look slightly ahead when they re reading, see entire
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 29, 2003
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                    Yes, I think it is a matter of what works for you. I would just add
                    that efficient sight readers look slightly ahead when they're
                    reading, see entire phrases/patterns of notes, just as good print
                    readers learn to read entire sentences at a glance. (or even
                    paragraphs in speed reading). But I think the 1 and 2 and, etc., per
                    measure is a good idea. In East Indian music, probably the most
                    rhythmically complex music in the world, the meters are broken down
                    into the smallest subdivisions. When you do this, you find you can
                    count even complex shifting polyrhythms easily - of course, like
                    anything else you have to practice it to become fluent at it.

                    --- In jazz_guitar@yahoogroups.com, "freddiegorham"
                    <freddiegorham@y...> wrote:
                    >
                    > hey...you're correct that i have yet to "internalize" these
                    > rhythms...as i said, im just beginning to work on my reading (or
                    as
                    > you would say, my knowledge of rhythms). I know the goal is to
                    > internalize everything to the point where you dont need to count,
                    but
                    > im trying to figure out how to get there. the previous poster
                    > mentioned only subdividing when you need to...this feels most
                    natural
                    > to me, but i have had some people tell me that ive gotta
                    count "ands"
                    > on quarter notes. the way i have been working recently, is
                    > subdividing all the notes of a bar into the smallest note value in
                    > the bar....for instance, if i have a bar of quarter, quarter, 4
                    > eighths, then i will count the quarters as 1&2&etc...so i
                    am "setting
                    > myself up" for the eighths. does this seem like a good method, or
                    > should i read the aformentioned bar as "one, two, three and four
                    > and"? Or does this not really matter at all?..is it just a matter
                    of what works for me?
                    >
                    > I bought a drum book that came with a cd...so i can tap out the
                    bass
                    > drum part with my left hand and the snare part with my right..and
                    i
                    > have the cd to tap with so i know im on track. Im just now
                    beginning
                    > to reach the more complex parts with different note values
                    > throughout...this is what led to my question. thanks
                    >
                    > peace
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