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Books about "how to read a music sheet"


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gpessa
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 2:41 pm    Post subject: Books about "how to read a music sheet" Reply with quote

Maybe is a stupid question...
I have, in the past, learn all the theory behind a music sheet but I never managed to read one of them at first sight.
I would like to improve this skill and I was looking for books (maybe some exercises).

Suggestions?
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 3:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you saying that you already KNOW all the music theory, or that you want a book that will help remember/relearn the details about music theory?

If you already 'know the theory' and just want to be able to read a score and understand the theory of what is notated in the arrangement of parts, chords, etc. Then I think the answer is that the score has to be examined slowly, so that you can see and recognize the theory elements that are present.

Don't try to use 'theory' to anticipate what should come next - see what does come next and then determine what elements of theory makes it 'work', or not. And if something does 'work well' and there isn't any theory that would indicate that it should, then maybe that's the start of a new theory!

Jay
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gpessa
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 06, 2019 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

JayKosta wrote:
Are you saying that you already KNOW all the music theory, or that you want a book that will help remember/relearn the details about music theory?

If you already 'know the theory' and just want to be able to read a score and understand the theory of what is notated in the arrangement of parts, chords, etc. Then I think the answer is that the score has to be examined slowly, so that you can see and recognize the theory elements that are present.

Don't try to use 'theory' to anticipate what should come next - see what does come next and then determine what elements of theory makes it 'work', or not. And if something does 'work well' and there isn't any theory that would indicate that it should, then maybe that's the start of a new theory!

Jay


When I talk about reading a score, I'm not talking about chords or progression.
It's more about being able to learn and play the score. I'm looking for a set of exercizes to learn the beats division.
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you mean reading a typical 'trumpet piece' - one note at a time (versus a piano score), then I suggest a basic 'music theory' book that has an accompanying CD - or a similar online site that has sound to go with the displayed written music. And the book can be about singing, not just playing an instrument.

For me doing sight-reading, the troublesome areas are the off-beats, and 'odd looking' note pattern combinations. Such as a 'dotted 8th rest' followed by a '1/16 note and dotted 8th / 16'. It's important to recognize that first 1/16 as just a 'pickup' into a typical on-beat rhythm, and NOT as some sort of clumsy syncopation. Sometimes there is real off-beat syncopation, but other times its more like a leading 'grace note' or 'pickup'.

And of course, learn to subdivide the beats into smaller segments. And remember to always be prepared to play the 'next note' at its proper time - even if that means NOT holding the previous note for its 'written full value'.

Perhaps practice by reading the sheet music of a piece that you already know the correct tune and rhythm - and SEE how the written notes correspond - especially the rests and unwritten gaps between notes.

Jay
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mrhappy
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gpessa wrote:
I'm looking for a set of exercizes to learn the beats division.


It sounds like gpessa is talking about 'Counting' ... the 1,2,3 e & a 4 kinda thing!! If so I'm jumping on that train too!! I've always been TERRIBLE at that and would benefit greatly from a method that concentrates on the 'How To' mathematics of it all as it gets into complicated rhythms.
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gpessa
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mrhappy wrote:
gpessa wrote:
I'm looking for a set of exercizes to learn the beats division.


It sounds like gpessa is talking about 'Counting' ... the 1,2,3 e & a 4 kinda thing!! If so I'm jumping on that train too!! I've always been TERRIBLE at that and would benefit greatly from a method that concentrates on the 'How To' mathematics of it all as it gets into complicated rhythms.


YES!
I'm talking about this.
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Turkle
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Check out Rich Willey's "Rhythm Madness." If you can nail these licks, you can play anything. Guaranteed to help with your sightreading.

https://www.boptism.com/boptism-music-store/rhythm-madness-trumpet-treble-clef-instruments-rich-willey/

Buy it and enjoy! And don't throw your trumpet out a window when you're practicing it!
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It’s NOT a stupid question!! And this is not a direct answer to the question about books to use, but this is how I approach it with students: To begin, take any piece of written music, and slowly figure out the rhythms measure by measure if necessary. How? Find the shortest (regarding note value) note in a measure and subdivide the entire measure into those note values.
Example: a measure in 4/4 has a dotted quarter note, an eighth note, four sixteenth notes and a quarter note. Divide everything into sixteenth note values; the dotted quarter equals six sixteenth notes, the eighth equals two, the four sixteenth notes are four (duh!) and last quarter note equals four.

So to start with you could count it: “one e and a 2 e” (dotted quarter), “and a” (eighth note), “3 e and a” (four sixteenths) “4 e and a” (last quarter note). When you play it, if you count the subdivisions of the notes mentally as you sustain the notes, you should be able to play the rhythms exactly as they are written.

Probably sounds more complicated than it is, but that’s how I teach young students to begin to learn rhythms. I don’t play it for them first to show them what it sounds like, they need to learn to READ it.

And all of the above might be too elementary for the OP, but it might help. Or maybe not.😉

Brad
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Last edited by Brad361 on Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:24 am; edited 1 time in total
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Turkle
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 7:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad361 is 100% correct above. Count out loud and clap the notes. Start slow and work it up with a metronome. You have to put in the work. Do it slow enough the first time that you can't make a mistake (otherwise you learn mistakes).

I have been playing trumpet for 31 years and I still do this occasionally on difficult etudes or passages in written music to ensure I'm getting it exactly right!
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JayKosta
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just a few basics -

The beat Begins at the exact time when you would 'say' the count - not quickly afterwards.

The full value of the beat Ends just a tiny bit before you would say the next count. But you MUST have enough time to play the next note at its correct time - not a little late because you held the previous note too long.

Don't attempt to play each note to a precise 'mathematical' / 'fractions' of a beat - that doesn't allow enough time 'between' separated notes. The note values are written to give a good guideline about their lengths - and the player has to use skill and judgement to make sure 'the right note gets played at the right time'.

Jay
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mafields627
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 07, 2019 8:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I teach my students that the most important part of accurate rhythm is being able to relate what you're doing to a steady beat, which in my class is demonstrated by tapping the foot. Sure, the beat is in their heads, but the foot tapping shows me where their beat is. A whole note is four taps, if you have a dotted quarter-eighth the eighth note occurs the second time the foot comes up (in common time, of course).

When we count I have them say it exactly as it would sound on their instruments:

Whole Note | Quarter Quarter Half | Eighth Eighth Quarter Quarter Quarter||
Ooooooone | One Two Threeee| 1 and Two Three Four


Here's a great handout with some theory about counting rhythms: https://www.midwestclinic.org/downloads.aspx?type=oldclinic&src=user_files_1%2Fpdfs%2Fclinicianmaterials%2F2008%2Fdavid_newell.pdf

If you need music to practice counting, the old Ed Sueta rhythm charts are invaluable (though I would use a number system instead of syllables): https://www.nthurston.k12.wa.us/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=5365&dataid=30342&FileName=Rhythm.pdf
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OldDrumCorpDude
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PostPosted: Sat May 18, 2019 4:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Turkle wrote:
Brad361 is 100% correct above. Count out loud and clap the notes. Start slow and work it up with a metronome. You have to put in the work. Do it slow enough the first time that you can't make a mistake (otherwise you learn mistakes).

I have been playing trumpet for 31 years and I still do this occasionally on difficult etudes or passages in written music to ensure I'm getting it exactly right!


My wife and I teach ballroom dancing and we use the clap method with beginners when we introduce a dance. We have them clap the rhythm of the basic step in the dance before we have them try to move their feet to that rhythm. It has been a very effective teaching technique for us. We also use a metronome rather than music at first - it is easier for the beginner to listen to the metronome than to try and pick out the downbeat in a piece of music.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 5:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mafields627 wrote:
......

When we count I have them say it exactly as it would sound on their instruments:

Whole Note | Quarter Quarter Half | Eighth Eighth Quarter Quarter Quarter||
Ooooooone | One Two Threeee| 1 and Two Three Four

......


Ok, not to nit pick here, but I know teachers who teach just as you describe. The problem I run into with young kids counting like this is: for example, if they just count “Ooooone” for a whole note, they often will hold it either longer than four counts, or less than four, and a metronome doesn’t prevent that. Kids sometimes have an uncanny ability to completely ignore a running metronome. 😉 (I absolutely am not discounting the value of using a metronome by the way).

It seems to me (and it works with kids, I believe) counting “one, two, three four” when sustaining a whole note is a lot more precise. Same for a half, “one, two” (if the first note of a measure is a half note) seems more accurate than sustaining “oooone” for a half note.

I really believe this is just not a theory, I believe it works better, and it’s how I really do teach it.

Brad
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mafields627
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brad361 wrote:


I really believe this is just not a theory, I believe it works better, and it’s how I really do teach it.

Brad


And that's the great thing about our education system -- we have the freedom, more or less, to teach in the way that best works for us. People have found success with the way I describe (developed by David Newell), with Teaching Rhythm Logically (which is an off-shoot of the breath impulse method), TAKADIMI, or even the Pie Game. The most important thing is that teachers actually have a system and use it consistently.
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veery715
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 6:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am with Brad above. Count based upon the time signature. A whole note is 1,2,3,4, a half is 2 beats, a quarter one beat, in 4/4 time. Singing it that way helps - that is a whole note is 1,2,3,4 with no breaths or spaces in singing it.
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boog
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Google "breath impulse method" and do some reading on this technique of teaching beginning band students to subdivide rhythms to facilitate good counting and rhythm reading.

I used this for a while way back to teach beginning band, and it works. Has a few drawbacks, but it is a viable technique for teaching rhythmic reading.

Might help you to understand subdivision of beats.

Regards,
Dave
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boog
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's a book on the subject:

https://books.google.com/books/about/A_Description_of_the_Breath_Impulse_Meth.html?id=yGTJNwAACAAJ
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falado
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 7:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, the thing that helped me most with reading music was an an ear training and sight singing course I took years ago. Here’s something I use with students, google: Sight Reading Factory. It’s on line, there a portion that’s free or you can subscribe. The other tool I use is SmartMusic.

Also, when I started gigging in a road group back in the 70’s everyone in the band I was in learned their music off records. We were playing stuff by the Isley Brothers, Brecker Brothers, Cold Blood, TOP, BS&T, Chicago, Stevie Wonder, etc. I’m sure you get the picture. Since I was lead trumpet I took it upon myself to start writing/arranging parts for the horn section. I, of course, had to know changes, chord scales, rhythm, etc. so I basically did a self crash course in how to write arrangements (I love Sammy Nestico’s arranging book).

The point, rhythms and notes had to be correct and transcribing correct, I found this to be a fast way to learn and read more complicated rhythms on sight. I completely immersed myself in this . It later became a great tool, when I was in the US Navy Showband I wrote e half their book, Lots of late nights. Be hands on and ask questions, seek courses, take lessons. I’m sure there are people in your area that can help you.

Dave
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bhornFree
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

falado wrote:
Hi, the thing that helped me most with reading music was an an ear training and sight singing course I took years ago. Here’s something I use with students, google: Sight Reading Factory. It’s on line, there a portion that’s free or you can subscribe. The other tool I use is SmartMusic.


I really like both these tools. There are also good apps like "Perfect Ear" for Android and a better version for iPhones (I forget) which my kids like and has helped them a lot with rhythm progression. There are explanations along with practice modes with feedback. And sometimes getting on their phones (which they like anyway) is a good "cross training" break from their instruments.

Obviously not a substitute for full on playing, but we've spent a lot of time going over that sight reading is mostly rhythm, then get whatever notes you can Well, at least if you have to pick between the two prior to doing both perfectly.
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Brad361
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PostPosted: Tue May 21, 2019 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

mafields627 wrote:
Brad361 wrote:


I really believe this is just not a theory, I believe it works better, and it’s how I really do teach it.

Brad


And that's the great thing about our education system -- we have the freedom, more or less, to teach in the way that best works for us. People have found success with the way I describe (developed by David Newell), with Teaching Rhythm Logically (which is an off-shoot of the breath impulse method), TAKADIMI, or even the Pie Game. The most important thing is that teachers actually have a system and use it consistently.


I agree, even though we might disagree on exactly how to teach rhythms to kids.

Brad
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