Welcome to KeyPiano.com, the key to sight reading piano sheet music the EASY way!
So what is the key to sight reading sheet music? An obvious answer to that is of course: PRACTICE, PRACTICE and yet again PRACTICE!
But if you don't actually know how to practice, this answer doesn't get you anywhere.
Reading sheet music is not as difficult as most people think!
It's very important that you realize that music melodies and left hand PATTERNS are used over and over again. You can compare it with normal reading; so far have you seen any letter that you haven't seen before or any sequence of letters (words or parts of words) that you haven't seen before? Obviously not! Maybe there are sentences in here that you haven't read before, but nevertheless it didn't cost you much to read them, did it?
Music is no different!
The first step of course would be to learn the musical alphabet and be able to recognize at sight every note in every major or minor key in either the treble or bass clef. Knowing that is very helpful, but a Key Signature tells you more than which notes are 'flatted' and which are 'sharpened'. Let's elaborate...
Did you know that literally thousands of songs are played with only THREE CHORDS? Did you know that even more songs only use the chords that belong to the key that it is written in?
Each major and minor key have their own so called 'chord families' and getting very well acquainted with those 'families' will help your sight reading greatly. Why? Because it will help you predict what chord will come next and save you reading time. It's also immensely useful if you ever think about improvising!
Play It. I feel so much more confident in attending my upcoming entry audition, for a degree in Contemporary Music, here in Toronto, Canada. I attended the audition last year ...
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Chord Practice Buddy is the first piano software program of its kind. I found it to be an indispensable tool to achieve my goals in playing the piano by ear. Chord Practice Buddy is a teaching, training/drills/practice piano chords program and a game all rolled into one.
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It still doesn't end here however...
Sight reading is all about INTERVALS! By knowing and reading intervals you can (and have to) let go of the note-for-note concept. Of course note names are also very important, but learning to sight read sheet music is all about knowing intervals!
For example, if you can recognize a 7th when you see it in written music, and you know what a 7th feels like when you play it, then you can play it without thinking and your sight reading would speed up immensely. No matter what key you're in, a seventh will always be a seventh. The only difficulty is to be able to recognize if that seventh is a minor or major seventh. Let's take a look at the following 2 examples:
Example 1
Both intervals look the same, but are in fact different. If you see this interval in the key of Bb (flat) major, you're looking at a perfect fourth, however in the key of F major, it's an augmented fourth. The only thing you need is practice and repetition to eventually recognize those and other intervals at sight.
It would also help you read chords more easily, since chords are also constructed by two or more intervals. Let's look at another example:
Example 2
Both chords look the same, but are in fact different. You can immediately see that both chords have an interval of a third on top of a fourth (without any accidentals). This means it's a basic chord in second inversion and that the middle note is the ROOT note; in this case an F! In example 3 let's assume you know that the key is A-flat Major and that F is the sixth scale degree or that F minor is one of the secondary chords. That information makes example 3 an F minor chord. Consequently in example 4 you know that the key is B-flat Major and the F is the fifth scale degree or that F major is one of the primary chords, so there you're looking at an F major chord!
It looks like quite a lot of information to analyse instantly, but that's not really true; in music you usually don't switch back an forth between keys, so if you're playing in A-flat Major, you know that the most likely F chord to appear is F minor and not F major.
Just keep in mind that:
Sight reading is only a matter of recognizing what you already know!
If you start paying attention to intervals on any sheet music you come across, I can almost guarantee your sight reading skills will improve within a short period of time.

Let's go back a bit and compare sight reading with normal reading.
Text consists of letters, those letters make words and words make sentences. Music consists of notes, those notes make intervals and intervals make musical phrases. If you imagine yourself being that little kid again that just started learning how to read, did it come naturally or did you have to study hard for it? Where did you start? Did you start learning sentences or did you start at learning letters?

For your brain, (sight) reading is nothing more than recognizing patterns.
So, again, why would sight reading be any different? You've probably read so much in your life that those patterns are engraved in your brain and don't require any effort. The point is to have musical patterns engraved in your brain as well and that requires a lot of practice!
During conventional piano lessons you will learn how to sight read eventually, but those lessons are usually more focused on technique than on mere sight reading alone and sight reading is just something that you learn along the process. Consequently it will usually take you years of lessons before you become really good at it. We definitely approve with the fact that you should practice sight reading every day, but what if you don't know HOW to sight read? If you can identify every single note on each clef in every key, practicing sight reading that way every day wouldn't make you a whole lot better. Imagine that you would never have learnt to read words, but just stopped at reading letters, then reading this text would have taken you forever! You will HAVE to learn the building blocks and re-occurring patterns first before you see a greater improvement! We have created and are creating several software programs (some even AWARD-WINNING) that provide you with those building blocks. Practice it for 10-15 minutes a day and you will most certainly see improvement fast!
Check out our product page for more information about the programs.

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