Sight Reading Books

(6 posts)
  1. What are some of the best books you have used for devoloping your sight reading skills?

    so far i've spent most of my time in the bach sonatas and partitas for violin, barry galbraiths melodic and harmonic minor book, and some saxophone sight reading books.

    what has worked best for you?

  2. this is a great question. i love the partitas and sonatas so much that i end up not reading put trying to learn them. and the galbraith books were good too. this is a huge struggle for me . i have a real hang up with reading.some books i have and have yet to work with are the arnie berle book, the berklee series reading studies. one teacher recommended the klosé clarinet method ( clare fisher publication ). many others say to read MUSIC ; a charlie parker solo or anything that is more of a musical statement. i think namely for two reasons; rhytmic variance and that melodic or harmonic variance. e.g if its an excercise of say skipping thirds or whatever, you will visually see the pattern and if you know your scales you can just sleep walk through it.surprisingly., working through mark mcgrain's "music notation" workbook made my shit look really legit and taught me certain conventions of how to cleanly present things and consider how peother's may prefer to see things . this inadvertently showed me certain grammar or reading related tools- i'm not explaining it well, but i noticed a shift and a better sense of paper basics when going through a book like that.another teacher said to turn on the metronome real slow and don't go back over things too many times or else you start memorizing. instead he said he would just get a page of something and go. he also said that you are reading a little ahead of what you're playing. one way off working on this was to not worry about reading everything in one shot. just commit to say the first beat of every measure yet with the metronome always. this seemed really good ( ... i dont know why i don't do all these things that were told to me that are really good, when i do or even practice more, i feel less crazy , with more purpose and like less of a loser . there is something really satisfying and that makes me feel complete when i am working on where i'm at in the struggle of stuff or making shit up). as i said in some other thread i have been checking things out from the library and ( if they're popular enough) someone has uploaded the audio file on youtube. my plan is to devote more time to just listening and one way i thought to do this and perhaps improve reading a bit was to follow along with the sheet music- in the hopes that i would make associations and remember how rhythmic groupings or interval leaps etc look ... instead of saying " whoa" .it's frustrating when i feel that i can play at a certain level and understand harmony at a certain level and play at a certain level and then am in preschool when it comes to paper.
    these teachers have emphasized not memorizing passages or working out fingerings too much or doing any sort of harmonic analysis- as these things are these things and not the act of devoting your attention to being flexible enough to play whatever is indicated in that moment.when i have done it and catch a good lil' reading wave i feel high- like literally kind of stoned and energized- i have been nowhere but those notes or riding that path that was a bunch of dots that turned into changing the environment- pretty fucking amazing. we are the craziest little ants.
    no matter who said what and what they thought the best way to do it was/is, they ALL said to do it everyday.

  3. jimjazz

    The Bill Leavitt series...

    'Multiple position reading studies' books 1 and 2, covers all position up to 12th and multi-position studies too.

    'Reading Melodic Rhythms' - a great book, lots of fun in this one.


    'Reading Contemporary Guitar Rhythms' - M. T. Syzmack - A similar format to 'Reading Melodic..' but also has rhythm guitar duets to do with another guitarist.

    'Melodic Studies and composition for guitar' - Fred Hamilton. A different take on things, more in line with Goodricks 'unitar' theory. Has some odd meter studies in too.

    I used the Charlie Parker Omnibook a lot too, but the thing that made the biggest difference to my reading was getting together with a sax player and sight reading the real books together (it threw up the odd bad transposition between the C and Bb books too, some real stinkers in there ; )).

    Theres also (which others have posted on here before) for rhythms.

    I always tend to go through phases of practising reading a bit everyday (20 mins) but then slacking off, its usually at that point I get booked for a roasting sight reading gig and the process begins all over again.

  4. gleepglop

    If you have band in a box, you can tell it to generate a solo, then print it out for reading practice. Potentially limitless new reading materials. You can also control the complexity of the solo somewhat.

    The Bugs Bower rhythm books are good, and the Lennie Neihaus etudes (jazz conception).

    There's also a book called "how to sight read jazz and other syncopated type rhythms" that has some helpful exercises for improving one's read-ahead ability.

    The Leavitt books are good, especially melodic rhythms.

  5. wow? similar book?or just the same publishing house?

  6. jimjazz

    I assume your referring to my post Floating Bridge?

    If so, its similar in that it gives you a short study using particular rhythm combinations on a very simple line and then an alternate line using the same rhythm written using more rests and accidentals. It then gives you a melody using these combinations like 'Melodic Rhythms', where it differs is that it gives you another melody with an accompanying rhythm guitar part. This part I've found very useful for my chart reading when on non jazz gigs, particularly as it seems to focus on funky type rhythm playing and strumming, the latter an area of guitar playing I never got into.

    It is on the Berkley press. I have recommended it to my students but they seem to have a problem getting it in the u.k, unless you pay a small fortune for it! I bought my copy 10/11 years ago.


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