Sight Reading Tips and Methods

I know you have come to this page for sight reading tips. You have had it with tedious exercises to try and learn how to sight read music. This is something that is really important to start and continue a career as a music student and a musician.

I will be using this page to showcase some of my tips to start sight reading and get better at it over time. I will also be giving recommendations to programs that could help you learn to sight read faster.

What Tips would you have for sight reading fast?

The sight reading tips that I have found that are most useful when practicing music are as follows.

Practice through a whole piece or line with just one hand at a time. Keep some note cards by the piano so you could quickly refer to them to see which notes you are playing and if they match the notes that are on your music page.

The first photo with the blue circle symbolizes practicing the right hand only; the bottom photo circled in green equals practicing only the left hand.

Record your sight reading sessions and read along with the recordings afterward. This will point out the areas that you are still struggling in. Then, you could go back and work on those areas. Circle the measure(s) or parts of music you're having trouble with while listening to your recording so that you can quickly refer back to parts you have trouble with and focus on just those parts.

To sight read music faster, it is also good to circle the independent elements such as the time signature, melody, chords, and rhythms in the piece so that you could keep these elements in mind. Do so with colored pencils so that your eyes will catch them quickly.

Practice whole sections sight reading one line at a time. See if you could spot the melody, chords, and rhythms in the piece and how they all relate to one another. 

Underline in red colored pencil any rhythms, chords or melodic phrases that you're struggling with. Go back and read through the parts of the piece you struggled with. See if you could read them better.

Take a break after 15 minutes or so. Let your brain rest. You're brain will be more refreshed if you do these techniques in small increments of time.

At long last, if this method(s) doesn't help you, I would suggest investing in a program that will break down sight reading tips for you. It is available via the link above.

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Sheet Music Plus Classical
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