How I improved my sight reading: 5 tips

how-brass-players-do-itWouldn’t it be great if you could improve your sight-reading? You can! Here are 5 tips to help you out.

Tip #1:  K.T.T.

The golden rule when reading music is K.T.T., which stands for: Key signature, Time signature, Tempo. Always check these three before beginning to play any new piece of of music!

Tip #2: Learn your scales and arpeggios

Music is made up of scales and arpeggios, in different combinations and permutations, and at different rhythms and tempi. Know your scales and arpeggios – that is – major, harmonic minor, melodic minor, whole-tone, diminished, dominant, added 7ths, modes etc etc (the list goes on!) and you will have a much better chance of nailing those sight reading passages.

Pick up “Scales and Arpeggios for trumpet and cornet” now

Tip #3: A little at a time

Pick some simple tunes – anything will do. Church psalm books can work well for this purpose. Take a melody, check the K.T.T., and then play it through from beginning to end, at tempo, and without stopping to make corrections. Do this for 5 minutes, using different tunes if need be. Then, go away and come back later in the day. Do five, 5 minute sessions per day for a week and watch how fast you improve your sightreading!

Tip #4: Remember the basics

You need to play with a good posture and correct breathing – even when you’re sight reading! Don’t forget the basics of playing your instrument!

Tip #5 Scan for any tricky passages

Before you start your sightreading, scan the manuscript. Are there tricky time or key changes? Perhaps some fast 16ths? Check these over first, then attempt to sight read the music.

Good luck with your sight reading!



About Kelvin Joe Brown - Editor of Art of Brass

Art of Brass is a area for brass players in brass bands, orchestras or any other brass ensemble offering news, tips and exercises and product advice all brass player at any level professional or beginner. Breathing new life into playing again! News, tips and exercises, product advice and general chit chat. Feel free to comment and join in with any advice for all our likes that consist of players or fans of brass players. Band interests Information and advice is sourced from fellow brass musicians, many years brass playing experience and Qualifications from the RNCM (Royal Northern College of Music) and tutors past and present. Playing and tutoring experience from: Steven Mead Trevor Groom James Lydon Gordon Jackson Interests - Brass Bands - UK and world, brass quintets, brass quartets, symphony and philharmonic orchestras and wind bands. Editor: Kelvin Joe Brown View all posts by Kelvin Joe Brown - Editor of Art of Brass

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