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What are the best ways to sight read music? Expected and unexpected solutions. Part 1

What are the best ways to sight read music? Expected and unexpected solutions.

Steve Newbrough


6/2/22

Here's the traditional advice on sight reading first. Read on for unexpected methods to improve this skill.

Take a moment to scan the music score before you begin playing and ask these questions: 

1) Figure out the key. Remember that it may not be in a major key!

2) Notice the time signature. Prepare to "count in" in the appropriate meter. Not everything is in 4/4 time.

3) Scan the piece for accidentals. How common are accidentals throughout the piece? Do you see sharps and flats?

4) Scan the piece for unexpected chords. For instruments that play chords, like the guitar or piano, notice if there are any stacks of notes that you don't recognize. Take a moment to calmly decipher the chord.

5) Notice the rhythms. Are they consistent throughout, ie. straight eighths, Bossa Nova, the Charleston, or some other repeating pattern. Take a moment to calmly find...

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Why do people have a hard time learning music theory?

Why do people have a hard time learning music theory?


3/20/21
 
Music theory is like chess: it doesn't take long to learn the rules and get started, but its a deep well that you can explore and learn about for a lifetime. Unfortunately, most people who approach music theory get tossed into the deep end before they're ready. Here, we plan to offer a three step approach to not only get started learning theory but retaining what you've learned so that you can use it in song writing, improvisation, or as an aid in performing music.   
 
 
To be clear, only a few of the concepts of music theory are going to be explained in this article. Think of this article as guide to how you can approach a book, or even a teacher, to obtain a working knowledge of music theory.
 
Let's wade in...
 
What concepts do I need to know about music theory?
 
This depends on the type of music that you're interested in writing but there are some...
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