Casual to Confident Piano Player

6 Secrets to Level Up Your Sight-Reading Skills

revolutionary technique methods Jul 06, 2023
piano sight reading

Sight reading is a crucial skill for piano players who aspire to play beautifully. In the early stages, sight reading focuses on getting the right notes and rhythm. However, as you progress, the skills required for successful sight-reading need to evolve. Many adult piano players find themselves stuck at this point. In this blog post, we will explore six sight-reading secrets that can help you level up your skills and enhance your piano playing.


Go Slow

One of the most repeated pieces of advice in piano playing is to go slow. It may sound cliché, but it is the key to mastering any skill. By focusing on playing slowly and accurately, you develop precision and control. Paradoxically, speed becomes a natural byproduct of this approach. Take your time to ensure accuracy, and speed will come naturally.


Use the Process

The process is a methodical approach to sight reading that helps break down the music and improve your detective skills. Before placing your hands on the keys, take a moment to be thoughtful and analyze the piece. By familiarizing yourself with the music on the page, your success rate and accuracy will skyrocket. Check out our tutorial on the process for a detailed explanation of how to apply it effectively.


Regular Practice

Make sight reading a regular part of your practice routine. Whether it's daily, weekly, or every other week, consistency is key. Regularly addressing sight reading helps you make steady progress. Even dedicating as little as five minutes each day to sight reading can yield significant improvements over time. By incorporating it into your routine, you ensure consistent growth in your sight-reading skills.


Choose the Right Books

To incorporate sight reading effectively, it's essential to have the proper books. Two series that come highly recommended are Helen Marley's sight-reading books and Keith Snell's series. Helen Marley's books are designed for daily sight-reading practice, providing short exercises that take around five minutes. Keith Snell's series offers musical examples for more advanced players. Select the series that suits your level and desired level of structure.


Supplement Your Practice

Support your sight-reading skills by practicing away from the piano. Use flashcards, note naming apps, or rhythm apps to work on those specific skills. Even listening to music while following the score can train different aspects of your musical mind, ultimately aiding your sight reading. By incorporating these supplemental activities into your daily life, you reinforce your sight-reading abilities.


Make Sight Reading Fun

To make sight reading an enjoyable experience, choose a book of songs that you genuinely like. Opt for a simple book of pop music, movie themes, or simplified classical pieces. The key is to ensure the book is below your current playing level. By practicing sight reading with familiar and enjoyable music, you can make it a pleasurable part of your daily practice routine.


Improving your sight-reading skills is crucial for piano players seeking to enhance their overall performance. By implementing these six secrets, including going slow, using the process, regular practice, choosing the right books, supplementing your practice, and making it fun, you can level up your sight-reading abilities. Remember, sight reading is a skill that requires time, patience, and consistent effort. Embrace the process and enjoy the journey toward becoming a proficient sight reader.

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