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Flying Hands Music School in Louisville, Kentucky


Sight Reading Insights

At Belmont University Nashville. My guitar teacher handed me work sheets with the 1st three notes on the 1st string. "But I know this" I cried. He said "take it, if you nail it you get an A for 2 weeks!" On closer inspection I realized the rythms got harder and harder, sheet by sheet. A LOT of dotted eighth and sixteenth notes. (Those dots are worth 1/2 the value of the note that is dotted.) I realized COUNTING is everything in playing these passages. While the melodies were beyond simple, the rythms were crazy hard! Have you ever heard drums are a great foundation for All readers? Makes sense. Drums aren't hard melodically (there really isn't melody besides tuning each drum differently), but those rythms...


Reading treble cleff seems easy enough but a guitarist and a violinist have to learn the name of evry note down each string. BTW: guitar and violin are tuned different! Pianists read piano with treble cleff for the right hand, bass cleff for the left. A good piano teacher may add the left hand later. Bass instruments read bass cleff. The notes on treble and bass cleffs start at different places. Some horn instruments read in Bb cleffs. These instruments have to be able to transpose when playing with others because that Bb is another note on a different instrument. The good news is you have all the time in the world to read on Your instrument. (Now you see why playing too many istruments can be daunting?) 


Always use a metronome. It assures your keeping proper time and will train you to have good time and feel. Don't be afraid to experiment with backing tracks where you play along with different instruments. Usually it is a "band" setting so it can be alot of fun, especially when you're learning to improvise solos. It is very difficult to be a great reader and improviser, both. It's really two different mindsets. Stay with it though, you can achieve anything with practice!