Piano SIghtreading

After starting to learn to read music on piano from my lessons and seeing some friends sightread various songs, I’ve realized that it is by far the best way to learn to play a song the fastest way possible without requiring the need to analyze the music for ages to decipher what the melody and chords are in the piece and how things fit together like I’ve been doing lately.

I’ve also realized that sightreading isn’t as easy as it sounds. After thinking about it for a while I came up with an analogy for sightreading which really helped me understand what is involved in performing the task.

It’s essentially like touch typing on PCs. That is a difficult enough task for most that use a computer. However, sightreading on piano is like reading 2 different lines of text at once and typing them out at the same time on each hand. But it gets more complicated than that, because, you also have to type at the correct timing and hold the keys down for the right amount of time.

Fortunately music isn’t totally random (I hope it isn’t!!) so the music being played can be simplified into recurring patterns. I guess that would be like typing words instead of typing individual letters.

So thinking about it in that way, even if you can touch type, it seems incredibly difficult to acquire this skill to play anything that you have the sheet music for.

Anyways, I’m now currently working on this as a goal to allow myself to play any song I have the music sheet for. I’m still in the early stages of learning to read music for piano, but so far can sightread the right hand melody part of music with a bit of trouble at times. I can’t really play both hands even at a slow pace as i’m still trying to identify the notes, but the reading exercises my teacher has given me are quite good at training me to overcome that gradually.

Comments (1)

Piano Sage BloggerNovember 16th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

Great blog piece, see also the Piano Sage’s
8 Essential Piano Sight Reading Tips: for exams, or learning a new piece

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