Posts Tagged ‘sight reading’

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

As I play music, whether it’s something new or my original pieces, I’ve started to understand what chords and keys I am playing in.

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

The more I learn about music, the more often I realize that I am drawn to like, two measly scales.


Monday, April 30th, 2012

Took a few minutes today to learn one of my favorite pieces from the Madness Returns soundtrack. No clefs were harmed in the making of this video. Honestly, with how frustrating and clunky and annoying it is to attempt to learn music as it’s written, I’m not sure I’m going to bother with much more sight reading. I’d rather memorize chord charts and work on fingering.

Bumby by ear

Saturday, April 28th, 2012

If I’d tried to learn this song last night by reading it, I wouldn’t be able to play it now or have retained the information needed to play it in time and with soul to it.

Instead, I cheated and took 15 minutes to learn it by ear, so I could fucking enjoy myself for a change.

I dunno how I feel about this reading music shit, man.

Focus shift

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

After my latest rant on reading music, I took a well-deserved break for a couple days. Upon returning to practice, I found that my focus had shifted from reading written music and the fingering exercise I practice to a metronome.

Currently I’m still all about the fingering exercise for challenge and warmup, but now I’m also playing memorized songs with the intention of playing with more efficient fingering, using my ring finger more, and playing to a beat.

As for written music, I haven’t given up on it, but rather than going through lessons from a book or video and stumbling through sheet music, for now I am improvising simple songs and using to write them down. The process of doing that is keeping learning creative and allowing me to discover some of the more detailed aspects of written music on my own.

The fingering exercise has been frustrating to me. My goal is to learn the next one in the series of 60 when I can play the one I’m working through at double-time 160bpm in smooth velocity and without any full-on trainwrecking.

It’s going slowly, however I’ve discovered that playing to music versus a metronome made a huge difference for me this morning. Here’s double-time 120bpm all the way up the keyboard (two more octaves than specified in the book).

That’s more along the lines of where I’d like to be. Now to get it about 40bpm faster.

Friday, April 20th, 2012

Since I’ve started learning how to read, I’ve felt no desire to play or sing simply for enjoyment or expression. None.

Maybe that’s what I’ve been worried about happening for all this time that I have avoided learning how to read fucking music.

The flip side

Friday, April 20th, 2012 50w, 400w" sizes="(max-width: 420px) 100vw, 420px" />I never really did get how I could be talented at music with it being a math-based language, and lately, I just really wonder how I ever managed to convince anyone IN THE WHOLE ENTIRE WORLD that I’ve ever had any fucking idea what I was doing.

I tried reading through my first 3/4 timed song the other day, and I fucking hate the living god damn shit out of it. Stupid fuckhead song. Pop goes the fucking weasel. Do you have any idea how fucking discouraging and demasculating and fucking embarrassingly STUPID it feels to be bested by a FUCKING NURSERY RHYME?

Yeah I’ll pop your fucking weasel, you little smugly cuntfart. FUCK YOU and FUCK your stupid fucking ancient inbred fucking jackass language up its snot-packed dickhole. WHO THE FUCK THOUGHT OF THIS STUPID SHIT? Whoever it was I’m glad you’re FUCKING DEAD.

Reading music

Friday, April 6th, 2012

I am finding more and more that I am frustrated by music, trying to play with other people, and not being able to pick up songs I want to cover fast enough or easily enough to make the process efficient.

I’m also pretty tired of having to re-learn my original songs if I’ve walked away from them for a few months, and oftentimes avoiding working on concepts I’ve jotted down for the same reasons.

So it seems I am finally learning how to read music, after countless years of avoidance and fears surrounding mechanizing whatever it is that draws me to playing it. At this point, the limitations outweigh my desire to avoid failing, sucking, and potentially losing my supposed “gift”.

It’s been about a week now and I’ve practiced a few times, it’s on my mind, and I am making progress. For now, I’m expect I will stick with it, especially since I’m wasting a lot less time paging through Facebook when I’m at the computer. (It’s good to have a project.)

My approach has been to remove my ear from the process as much as possible while I learn the clefs and how to read pitch, so I learn to actually read rather than use a vague sense of written music to inform how quickly I play something by ear.

Now that I immediately recognize a few notes on both the standard clefs, I’m looking at a lot of different easy/level 1 music examples that I don’t know the sound of and attempting to muddle through the songs without a) looking at the keyboard and b) recognizing the song and starting to play it by ear. If I find I recognize a song I move onto the next one without finishing it, and I’m only going through each unknown song 2 or 3 times to avoid beginning to memorize it.

I’m also trying to remember to say the notes I am playing out loud so I learn the note names, not just where the corresponding key is on the keyboard for each little bubble on the staff.

It’s going slowly but surely.

Ok, actually, it’s ging pretty fucking fast — I think I’ve spent perhaps 2 hours working on this and can already half-read bass and treble clef. However accidentals, rests, and timing are a bunch of fucking whores, and are making me mad, and can totally catch a terrible flesh eating disease and die.

Here are some of the resources I’ve used to begin learning:

This guy is a bit of a rambler, however the points he made in his 3-part lecture helped me figure out how I wanted to approach learning to sight-read.

This is a nice basic overview I expect to return to periodically for both learning and exercise, including a bunch of stuff I still don’t understand and a really bitchin’ accent.

I believe I may invest in a yearly subscription to this site, depending on how the next few weeks goes:

I am using free sheet music from this source:

Friday, April 6th, 2012

It seems reading pitch is basically useless without reading rhythm.

This sucks.