The Real Truth About Sight Reading

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The Real Truth About Sight Reading

Since you are learning how to play an instrument (flute?), I thought I’d give you the 411, you know- the real truth about sight reading. For all the effort you’re going through, I think you deserve it.

You deserve it, but are you ready for the truth? Okay. Here goes:

There’s really no alternatives or special ‘super-tricks’ I can teach you for better sight-reading that will substitute for actually just doing it — a lot.

No Stopping

Well now, that was a short lesson, wasn’t it?  Haha just kidding. Let’s dive more into it:

The word ‘sight-reading’ means you are ‘reading music at first sight’ instead of practicing it and dissecting it into parts. There’s really only one rule to think about: “No Stopping”

The “No Stopping” rule is incredibly important. If you are trying to read/play a sheet of music on the first try, and you have to stop every measure or two, then you are not ready for that level of music. Or perhaps you are trying to read it too fast.

Studying the print of music is probably one of the best ways to learn about it. But, putting it into your fingers and mouth feels very different. Here’s a quick ‘scan’ guide for you to help you along:

  1. Scan the piece for the key signature first- and any others that pop up mid-piece.
  2. Scan the piece for unfamiliar looking notes.
  3. Scan the time signature and if it changes throughout the piece.
  4. Scan for familiar and unfamiliar rhythms.
  5. Feel a tempo and count out at least the first few measures in your mind before beginning (out loud) with your instrument.
  6. Be prepared to continue on without stopping once you begin
  7. Keep your ‘no-regrets’ attitude as you learn. Literally Everyone makes mistakes when learning. Just let it go and move on constantly.

I think I’ll leave this article at that. There are a lot of gold nuggets here that will help you in deciphering the real truth about sight reading. Now you know.

I’m so glad you are learning how to play the flute. I give you even more knowledge and exact tools and resources inside the members area here at

Have any questions? Comment below and I will help you out.

Rebecca FullerRebecca Fuller
Get Flutie with us! Learn and enjoy every musical minute.

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