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I want to go to music school, but I am not good at sight reading. Advice?

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I want to major in music during college, but my sight reading is not great. Besides practicing, what can I do to improve my sight reading? If it helps, I am a guitar player. I am not good enough to get into Juilliard, but I would like to go to Berklee or another school that teaches contemporary music in addition to classical.

Thank you,

Roxy

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Besides practicing? I don't think there's much you can do besides practicing... I think you should go online and just search random songs for their chords and try to play them accurately for the first time (I'm assuming you're talking about chords, and not sheet music since you're guitar, but same goes for either). I don't know what you want if you don't want to practice...

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I want to major in music during college, but my sight reading is not great. Besides practicing, what can I do to improve my sight reading? If it helps, I am a guitar player. I am not good enough to get into Juilliard, but I would like to go to Berklee or another school that teaches contemporary music in addition to classical.

Thank you,

Roxy

 

I found sight reading (notes, not chords or TAB) easier after I did certain exercises. I had two that really helped:

 

1) Put three octaves of notes onto small cards (start from low C on treble clef, one note per card). Shuffle the cards, pick one, turn it over, and say out loud which note it is. Take your time at first, but then you'll start getting faster and better at it. Helps a lot with identifying really high and really low notes! 

 

2) Sit with your guitar, close your eyes, pick a random fret, open your eyes, and figure out which note it is. Sounds stupid, but you'll automatically figure out which is "your way" of identifying notes on the guitar. Some people learn all the notes on the guitar, some do it by knowing a few key notes (like E, C, G, etc) and getting to the target note by counting frets, etc. Keep doing this. 

 

*Bonus advice*

 

With experience, you'll get a "feel" for where the music is headed. Plus, with contemporary music, you can often just wiffle the note and claim its jazz, man!

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I want to major in music during college, but my sight reading is not great. Besides practicing, what can I do to improve my sight reading? If it helps, I am a guitar player. I am not good enough to get into Juilliard, but I would like to go to Berklee or another school that teaches contemporary music in addition to classical.

Thank you,

Roxy

 

I found sight reading (notes, not chords or TAB) easier after I did certain exercises. I had two that really helped:

 

1) Put three octaves of notes onto small cards (start from low C on treble clef, one note per card). Shuffle the cards, pick one, turn it over, and say out loud which note it is. Take your time at first, but then you'll start getting faster and better at it. Helps a lot with identifying really high and really low notes! 

 

2) Sit with your guitar, close your eyes, pick a random fret, open your eyes, and figure out which note it is. Sounds stupid, but you'll automatically figure out which is "your way" of identifying notes on the guitar. Some people learn all the notes on the guitar, some do it by knowing a few key notes (like E, C, G, etc) and getting to the target note by counting frets, etc. Keep doing this. 

 

*Bonus advice*

 

With experience, you'll get a "feel" for where the music is headed. Plus, with contemporary music, you can often just wiffle the note and claim its jazz, man!

 

Thank you! The card idea is helpful.

 

Besides practicing? I don't think there's much you can do besides practicing... I think you should go online and just search random songs for their chords and try to play them accurately for the first time (I'm assuming you're talking about chords, and not sheet music since you're guitar, but same goes for either). I don't know what you want if you don't want to practice...

I'm sorry. I meant other ways to practice besides reading the music out of the book. Also, I did mean sheet music. My chords are fine.

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