One of the best and most recommended ways of improving on your basic piano playing skill is to improve your sight reading skills for music. Just as you learn to read letters and words, it makes it easier for you to go through an entire book. Similar is the case with learning to play piano. As you learn to sight read piano music, you will find learning to play this instrument much easier and it will also speed up the process of learning for any beginner piano player. So one must be thinking about how to improve in this discipline to enhance himself as a pianist! This needs your time and hard efforts with practicing. But once you are a master at sight reading music, you will treasure this skill for your lifetime and would find all the hard work worth. So here we are giving you some fine tips on how you can learn and improve sight reading piano music.
Learning Sight Reading Piano Music
Get help or resources available online:
One of the biggest advantage today that eases up process of learning is the availability of a wide range of musical resources online that guide you on regular basis and give you updated training material in order to make the process easier and more interesting for learners. You may find this process difficult in the beginning but as you will progress in learning this skill, you will find it easier. Train and refresh your skills with sites available online.
Buy a Book with Learning Exercises:
You will find a number of books that teaches you methods of learning sight reading. Such books also include exercises that take you from level 1 to an expert level of sight reading. Each level includes interesting exercises based on exercises from previous level with some additional learning added to it. Some of popular books in this regard are improve your sight reading! Piano, Level 1 (Alfred Music Publishing), Primer Level Sightreading Book (Hal Leonard Publishing) and many others. All such books include different volumes catering from beginner to advance level learners. You should not limit yourself to one book but better to get a number of books from library and should consult various online materials to keep refresh and improve your learning of piano.
Practice over Piano:
Practice is the key to achieving success in learning piano effectively. Have music notes in front of you and sit on piano to practice. Make sure that you maintain a good posture on piano so that you do not have to lean or strain your body for reading notes. Have your eyes on musical notes and try to have a complete understanding of notes before playing them. For beginners, you should practice rhythm well before adding melody. You may be making mistakes at the beginning but do not let mistakes stop your practice. Mistakes are a part of practicing and thus you should not stop when you make a mistake. Continue playing and at later stage you will be able to deal with rhythm and melody at same time easily.
Read through Piece before Playing:
Before beginning to make some sound over piano, read through the piece and understand it well. Once you are done, you should play all the notes that you have read realistically. Focus on getting correct tempo in the beginning and don’t worry if you miss some notes, it is natural and with practice you will be able to cope up well. Practice notes repetitively and study the pieces well that you have played before. More and more practice of sight reading will enable you to improve on it.
Some Important Tips for Sight Reading
- Remember that making mistakes is natural but important is to recover and learn from your mistakes. Do not get frustrated if you are making mistakes while playing piano. You should continue to practice. Soon with time you will be able to become a pro piano player with the method of sight reading music.
- Continue practicing even if you are unable to play a piece perfectly, most important is your motivation for learning and focus on what you are doing. Frustration of failure may distract you. Try to avoid it and be focused on your intent of being a successful pianist.
- Practice to make your eyes read ahead of what you are playing. Begin by making at least one small beat ahead and then with practice over time you would be able to increase the distance.
- A difficult part is to get your rhythm correct. One of the best methods is to count numbers to get rhythm right depending upon the piece you are playing. You go out loud with 1, 2, 3, 4 and more.
- Keep a close eye on changes of keys, flats or sharps. Make sure they match the time signature.
- Take a close note on distance or intervals between notes. The interval between note C and D is second, whereas for C and E is third and likewise. If at any point you are unsure, you can affirm by counting lines and spaces in between. Check of intervals could be something really complicated so get all the basic learning of piano straight in order to avoid this difficulty.
- At times even when you are not playing notes on piano, give a look at musical notes and try to remember locations and distances. This would help you during piano learning and performance sessions.
- An interesting way of learning the sight reading skill is to play duet with a friend pianist. Each one of you will try best to keep up with the force of playing together and will be focused on playing notes correctly together.
To conclude, sight reading may not be really complicated for piano music however it would take time, regular practice and dedication of learner. Learn to look a little ahead to what you are playing and select a slower speed at the beginning. With time and practice you will be able to play with the method of sight reading like a pro piano player.