Your 3 Biggest Sight-Reading Mistakes

The purpose of this article is to show you that there is hope with advancing your ability to sight-read no matter where you currently stand. It’s easier to improve your sight-reading by knowing your biggest roadblocks, so here are the top three mistakes that may hinder your progress as a sight-reader.

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Your Sight-Reading Checklist (and Self-Evaluation)

Plain and simple as the title suggests, this is a quick exercise you can do to see how you’re doing with sight-reading and identify your biggest obstacles.

Step 1: Find a video camera. This can be on your computer or your phone. If you have no access to a camera, use an audio recorder.

Step 2: Place camera at an angle where you can see everything from your hands to your head, as well as the sheet music in front of you. You can take a quick test video to see if everything fits in the frame.

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Why You Still Can’t Sight-Read (and what to do about it)

Many aspiring and current pianists dream of being able to sit down at the piano, open a new music book or print some sheet music of their favorite songs and play through it, creating a beautiful and accurate sounding piano version of their favorite music. But there’s one big problem that gets in the way—very few pianists are actually able to sight-read well. So, trying to play just one song ends up taking hours, days, weeks, months…. even years.

This was my story for years despite the fact that I had taken private lessons for over a decade. I am writing this today for the main purpose of giving you hope that this dream IS actually possible with the right instruction.

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The Most Important Thing to Improve Sight-Reading

If you could develop a habit of being able to sit at the piano for only 5 minutes a day, this will greatly help your sight-reading abilities more than ANYTHING ELSE. What good are all the tricks and tactics if you’re not regularly sitting down to use them? The most important thing you can do to improve your sight-reading and nearly anything else in piano playing would be to develop a habit of regularity.

But before you can successfully apply these tactics, we must establish a steady, daily habit of sitting on that piano bench.

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So you wanna perform?

I see you.

Checking out the videos.

Watching YouTube performances of amazing pianists in your free time.

Fantasizing of when you’ll be able to play like that “someday.”

It’s about time you hear from the coach side of me. As a die hard advocate for following your dreams, today I challenge you to be honest about your musical goals—or goals in general! What do you really want?

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