Not what you might expect, but sight reading music effectively actually requires quite a bit of preparation. With practice, the technique you'll learn here will become a very quick habit.
Even though it hardly seems like sight reading with all this preparation, you will develop a "quick scan and test" technique, that you can do in under 30 seconds before actually playing the piece.
In this way you will be sight reading music with fewer mistakes and much more confidence.
After preparing the piece in your head, in the exercises below, you will continue the preparation by playing, or singing, a few segments in the score using two important steps.
This preparation is an important step to tweak your muscle “memory” a little in advance.
But, please observe that you are not playing the piece though properly just yet- this is still part of the preparation!
After thoroughly preparing the piece in your head, and now having checked out positions, intervals and raised or lowered notes, it is finally time to actually play the piece.
You have carefully prepared the piece very well already so it is actually not the first time you see the score. But it will be the first time you play the piece for real, so to say.
Here is what to do:
Phew! That’s it!
Congratulations on your music sight reading practice!
Unit counting means to count each note for what it is worth and not regarding where it is in the measure.
For example, four quarter notes in a measure would be counted 1-1-1-1 with unit counting and not 1-2-3-4 as with regular counting.
This technique makes it easier to keep looking ahead and the music going forward.
So, how did it go?
If you made a lot of mistakes simply pick an easier piece or a segment of a piece.
You can’t force the ability to read prim a’ vista by playing too
hard pieces. Step by step wins the race.
Review the steps of the mental preparation list in part 1 of music sight reading techniques for the types of mistakes you did. You will most certainly have managed a lot on the list, but maybe not all.
Your goal should be that after following the 10 steps of Mental Preparation outlined in part 1, and the Physical Preparation above; you will play the piece correctly at first try.
If not, pick an easier piece. If yes,
pick a slightly harder next time.