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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Sight reading and learning the fretboard

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Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

Oct 27th, 2018 10:56 PM   Edit   Profile  

Enjoy it!

A goal to keep in mind is to 1) never stop no matter what happens during the exercise, and 2) Aim for 60-80% correct notes per sight reading exercise.

This makes a lot of sense to me. It was explained in this video.

Under 60% and the material is either too challenging or your metronome is set too fast. Above 80% and the material isn't challenging or your metronome is set too slow.

Sight Reading Guitar

windmill
Contributing Member
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Australia

older,better
Oct 28th, 2018 07:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

But, but, but I wanna do that too !

as well rock, jazz and blues on bass as well as guitar.

Now you tell there is whole world of classical guitar information out there as well.

I think I will cut down on sleeping to give myself a chance of doing it all.

Thanks for posting that link as well.

The 60/80% limits are a good guide. You don't have to get everything perfect but knowing what the lower limit you should reach is valuable.

:)

(This message was last edited by windmill at 05:26 PM, Oct 28th, 2018)

BbendFender
Contributing Member
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American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Oct 29th, 2018 04:22 PM   Edit   Profile  

"My math skills are kindergarten level."

A career Air Force pilot! I'll bet your math skills are better than kindergarten level. Probably 5th grade at least!

windmill
Contributing Member
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Australia

older,better
Oct 31st, 2018 05:12 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks Achase4u

Have signed up for a year with the Sightreading Factory.

Probably somewhere between level 2 and 3 but I am
starting on Level 1, Key of C, 4/4 time, 8 bars at 80 bpm

Playing each piece in 2 positions on the fretboard.

My initial goal is to play the pieces right through without stopping regardless of mistakes.

Over the years I have always stopped when I made a mistake when learning any tune.

It is a habit I intend to break using the SRF and your 60/80 rule.

Thanks again :)

(This message was last edited by windmill at 07:14 AM, Oct 31st, 2018)

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Oct 31st, 2018 10:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

I love SRF!

That's the way!

What I like to do is set the timer for 60 seconds in SRF, and put on disappearing bars. So like real world, you may have a minute to look at the part, find the tough spots to work out at least a position, and then it starts. Can't go back because the bars disappear.

Kind of a fun game. Until it's sight reading 7/8 or something.

windmill
Contributing Member
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Australia

older,better
Nov 8th, 2018 04:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

So yesterday I am on SightReading Factory and on level 1, pretty happy with the way I am going, and decide try out the random key signatures button

First one up: C#

Today I try again

First one up: Cb

yep I'm learning stuff

:)

(This message was last edited by windmill at 07:35 AM, Nov 8th, 2018)

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Nov 8th, 2018 09:32 AM   Edit   Profile  

Haha. That's excellent. It's a very fun way to get your sight reading in.

I hope you can feel the progress!

gdw3

LA-la-land, CA

Insert clever comment here
Nov 8th, 2018 02:16 PM   Edit   Profile  

One thing that I like about guitar is, it's easier to transpose keys than keyboards. I think keys are easier to read, because they are linear, but transposing messes with your fingers because of the uneven way the keys are laid out.

So, if you had learned a piece in that first key (C#), it woulda been easier to then transpose it to (gulp) Cb than on a keyboard.

langford
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Toronto, Canada

Nov 9th, 2018 10:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I’ve seen eveidence (anecdotal) that those who are good at math are also better sight-readers.

Anyone else have any thoughts on that?"

I'm terrible at math but I was relatively decent at reading when I was a beginner. I started learning guitar at 10 in formal lessons (at Dominic's Academy of Music in the local strip mall) and eventually moved on to a year or two of classical guitar. I also had piano lessons when I was younger. At my peak, I could read my classical assignments on sight, at least in a clumsy way.

Then I became a teenager and started learning from friends and records instead of teachers. I can still read, but it's a measure-by-measure struggle. So +1 to those who say it's a skill you have to practice to maintain.

windmill
Contributing Member
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Australia

older,better
Nov 10th, 2018 03:40 AM   Edit   Profile  

Well playing in the key C# is easy, all notes are up a fret.Cb is all notes down a fret.
The muscle memory is awrestle tho :)

Today F# came up, that program is relentless but I am glad I learnt the Circle of 5ths all those years ago

windmill
Contributing Member
**********
********

Australia

older,better
Nov 30th, 2018 02:06 AM   Edit   Profile  

Just for those of you keeping score at home for the Sight Reading Factory progress

Have been able to play Level 1 in Random keys in 4/4 time at 100 bpm in the first and fifth positions at the first or second attempt to about 90% accuracy.

And I was playing level 2 in C major at 100 bpm about the same (most of the time)

So I have moved on to level 2 in random keys playing at 80 bpm.

Playing 3 pieces of 16 bars on most days



Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Dec 1st, 2018 05:15 PM   Edit   Profile  

Progress feels so great.

Try reading some piano grand staff parts that are easy as well. For decades there was hardly no one who wrote for guitar outside of specific classical composers. So when you showed up on a jazz gig, you got a copy of the piano book to play. So you had to read Bass and Treble clef for guitar. Not a bad exercise. There are probably still parts on guitar written in bass clef, too.

I asked them when diads, triads and clusters were coming for guitar on SRF. They are working on it. That's another important one. For now I use the William Leavitt(Berklee) sight reading studies books. They are pretty brutal.

windmill
Contributing Member
**********
********

Australia

older,better
Dec 2nd, 2018 01:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

Achase4u, thanks for your encouragement.

My teacher and I were discussing sight reading last week and he brought out his copies of the Leavitt Berklee books with single note lines.

The advantage SRF has is the ability to hear what the piece of music should sound like at the tempo of choice.

The cost of the books and a metronome would probably be equal to the yearly SRF sub.

I think SRF will have enough to time to get the Dyads and Triads up by the time I will get to them

:)

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Dec 2nd, 2018 09:29 PM   Edit   Profile  

Yup there are also some big chords in those Leavitt books.

While you are correct about SRF advantages(of which there are many), there is one thing about the books that I like that keeps me using them. The lines and chords are all based in classic musical moves. A lot of whats in the Leavitt books is what I tend to see in a chart. Same with the "Melodic Rhythm's" book. They are set up in a progressive way as well.

SRF is great at giving you random notes to try and navigate, and for pure sight reading practice, the less like a melody something is, technically, the better you will get. Though there is value in sight reading practice of actual melodic patterns and there is more of that in the Berklee books. You can really hear movements through chord progressions quite deliberately in those exercises.

For me, I like it all. Bring on the books and SRF.

Sight singing is also a good skill that really can propel sight reading ability. So it can be good to play the starting pitch on guitar, then try to sing the sight reading passages some. Once you read something and can hear the melody in your head before you play it, you pretty much have it in the bag.

windmill
Contributing Member
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Australia

older,better
Dec 18th, 2018 05:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

Still at it

But in a way I am back to where I started.

Still doing SRF level 2 at 80 bpm.

But I have found that while I can manage it in the first position, I am in trouble when trying to play the exercises at the fifth position because I am playing the notes on different strings ie the fingering has changed.

So I have to learn the fretboard without looking at it, (its deja vu all over again)

So now I am starting all exercises at the fifth fret and playing some exercises just on a single string or a pair of strings to try and learn the relative positions of the notes without looking.

Its still fun tho

:)

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Dec 19th, 2018 09:29 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's a long road for sure. Sight reading will get your knowledge of different positions going. Slow and steady pace wins the race. If you are on it every day, a year from now you won't be the same player!

windmill
Contributing Member
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Australia

older,better
Jan 10th, 2019 12:31 AM   Edit   Profile  

It's a new year and I am determined to master sight reading, at least on the bass.

Using the SRF site referred to above

Still at level 2 at 80 bpm but getting about 70-80% on each 16 bar piece by the third attempt. Only giving myself 3 goes at each piece but occasionally I can get one at 90% on the first attempt.

Certainly improved my reading by playing in the keys of Gb,Db, B and F# also C# and Cb which I would never have tried otherwise.

The sight of all those shsrps and flats was always offputting but, like most things, it's really straightforward once you start.

I found I fell in the trap of "learning" each piece, playing each one multiple times to get them right rather than playing it through to the finish at tempo.

So that is why I set the limit at 3 attempts,in time, no stopping for mistakes, picking it up again at the next bar if I get lost.

Also in an attempt to get away from position playing and to learn the fret board, I try playing a piece along a single string. I hope in time to get the muscle memory for fret positions along the neck.

At the end of each session I attempt a piece from level 3, which includes 16th notes.

Its a good feeling when I get one right.

:)

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Jan 10th, 2019 03:39 PM   Edit   Profile  

Keep up the good work! I hope one day to get back at it myself.

"I found I fell in the trap of "learning" each piece, playing each one multiple times to get them right rather than playing it through to the finish at tempo."

That's true. and it is very good to limit the number of times through to maximize raw sight reading.

One method I use though is the allow myself several times through something, to simulate a rehearsal of a new piece. This means you have to use sight reading as well as aural and memorization skills to try and get it down very quickly with a band.

Two different approaches, both valuable I think.

I am envious of you!

windmill
Contributing Member
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Australia

older,better
May 10th, 2019 08:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

hello

still going at this

Still at the level of the last post but now I am disappointed if I can't get through a Level 2 piece at around 90% the first time.

Am having trouble with playing Level 2 pieces along a single string, still not confident in reaching for the notes above the 7th fret.

But I can see some progress.

Crikey almost half the year gone already, I had better get cracking.

:)

Timmer
Contributing Member
*****

Shreveport, LA

There I was one night...
May 22nd, 2019 07:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

I have a fret board chart on my desk at work and one on my speaker table at home. I look at them a lot, especially at work and am memorizing the fret board. Looking for patterns and then working on the notes when I'm playing. I find it to be an interesting exercise that works for me.

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FDP Forum / The Chop Shop / Sight reading and learning the fretboard




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