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For those of you who play the piano... watch

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    How long after you started to play did you become comfortable with sightreading a piece? I'm about to sit my Grade 2 exam and I'm struggling with some of the basic Grade 2 sightreading specimen tests.

    Just wondering how long it'll take until I can confidently sit down and play a piece that I've never seen before.
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    It's different for different people. For some people, it's the easiest piano skill in the world. Others, like me, just can't really do it (this is after a good 18 years or so of playing!).

    But as always, practice will help you improve :yes:
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    (Original post by Swadd)
    How long after you started to play did you become comfortable with sightreading a piece? I'm about to sit my Grade 2 exam and I'm struggling with some of the basic Grade 2 sightreading specimen tests.

    Just wondering how long it'll take until I can confidently sit down and play a piece that I've never seen before.
    AGES. Piano is notoriously difficult for sight-reading. Seriously it took me SO much practice before I was able to look at a piece and feel comfortable sight-reading a piece with both hands and with chords and everything.

    The key is KEEP PRACTICING. I only got to a reasonable level of sight-reading after weeks and weeks of constant practice (like 1 hour a day JUST on sight-reading exercises). So don't worry, but you'll need to put some work in.
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    Depends how much practice you get at sight reading. My music teacher made me sight read in lessons and that helped a lot with confidence and focus.
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    I know my music teacher's sight reading just clicked AFTER grade 8 :P mine's pretty comfortable now (grade 7 standard) but I wouldn't be able to sight read as a piano accompanist.
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    It will take a really substantial amount of time and practice to be confident or even capable of sightreading piano music. I'm grade 7 and I'm not at all good at sightreading yet!
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    It took me a very long time! I think once I got to about grade 4 or 5, and I started playing more and more material that wasn't just for exams, it started to become a bit easier... but like others have said, it does take a LOT of practice to become fairly confident with it (unless it's one of those things that just comes naturally to you. I envy those people!). So don't worry too much, keep practising and it'll come in time.
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    I've been playing for twelve years and I'm still not confident in my sight reading skills... I prefer my improvisation skills ahhaha.
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    I play piano on/off i did my grade 5 a few years ago and, still find even grade 1 sight reading a menace!
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    (Original post by Swadd)
    How long after you started to play did you become comfortable with sightreading a piece? I'm about to sit my Grade 2 exam and I'm struggling with some of the basic Grade 2 sightreading specimen tests.

    Just wondering how long it'll take until I can confidently sit down and play a piece that I've never seen before.

    Hey buddy. Done grade 8 on that particular piece of equipment. You should generally be able to start sight reading from scratch two grades down from what you are. So grade 0! Grades are good in a sense cause you learn technique but they are oh so very boring!!

    My advice. Get to about grade 6 then tell your teacher quit it with the grades and start playing fun stuff for a while!
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    I spend hours sight reading accompianments so I can play and sing. I'm not that good at actual piano.. grade 5ish, but my sight reading is excellent and I can't even do scales! Just goes to show that practice really does make a difference!
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    I could never sightread particularly well. Then again I only ever went to grade 6(I have a friend who was so good she sightread my pieces almost as well as I played them though...)
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    I've been playing properly with music in front of me for about 3 years now. I can't sight read to save my life. Even the slowest, simplest pieces will go wrong somewhere. My brain just freezes. In other words, it varies from person to person.

    Some people say you should just play and not stop. That just doesn't work for me. Once I mess up I may as well start hitting random keys as I've completely lost it. I find if I count and read every note carefully from the bass upwards, slowing down the tempo if I need to but staying with the beat and not playing wrong notes, then my ability to read and accurately process music improves.
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    (Original post by annab1684)
    I spend hours sight reading accompianments so I can play and sing. I'm not that good at actual piano.. grade 5ish, but my sight reading is excellent and I can't even do scales! Just goes to show that practice really does make a difference!
    You sound like my opposite-I can't sightread, but scales and stuff were always by far my best bits.
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    About 5 years. Still not entirely comfortable with it.
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    It has now kinda started to click (grade 7) a bit of pressure seemed to work for me when I started playing for my school band. There is nothing like blind panic to teach sight reading . Also starting to play pieces that weren't for exams helped.
    I found sight reading excersises dreadful because they didn't sound nice even when I played them right!! (rarely). Lets face it everyone likes to make a nice sound.
    Just play pieces you want to play even if they are harder than exam sightreading level then when you do the exam stuff it will seem easy.
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    I've done grade 8 and still find it tough. I have no problems with separate hands but together I just need to take it really slow.
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    (Original post by Swadd)
    How long after you started to play did you become comfortable with sightreading a piece? I'm about to sit my Grade 2 exam and I'm struggling with some of the basic Grade 2 sightreading specimen tests.

    Just wondering how long it'll take until I can confidently sit down and play a piece that I've never seen before.
    Practice makes perfect - its something you get better at. And to start with, its something you can either "do" or can't do. BUT that doesn't mean you never will be able to. I never used to get more than 2/5 for sight reading, but by the time I'd finished Grade 8 standard, I could easily sightread entire pieces of the same standard. By no means perfectly, but to a standard worthy of examination.

    It'll come. Don't give up!
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    I can't sightread for Toffee, and I'm Grade 6. It's a skill that you have to put a lot of practice into, for most people it doesn't just develop naturally.
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    While I was taking lessons for about 8 years sight-reading was always a weakness. I stopped having lessons about 18 months ago and since then I basically have only sightread and taught myself to play pieces and the sort of sightreading I used to struggle with seems easy. I think having a teacher there with most of the initial learning of a piece meant that I never had to sightread on my own so I didn't get very good at it. Maybe changing how you learn in general will help?

    Of course, on the other hand, now that I don't have lessons the polishing and perfecting of pieces has gone down the drain completely. It's all swings and roundabouts.

    Edit: I got grade 4 jazz piano about 2 and a half years ago, but I'd say that I was at least at grade 5 level now, I just haven't done an exam.
 
 
 
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