Jazz Trumpet Player Rich Szabo and his Big Band

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Breakthroughs... Part 4

Another question that is always asked is how to improve sight reading.

What are the traditional ways of learning how to sight read? Play through new pieces of music right? Well, that’s one way, but what if there was another way that you didn’t even dream of?

Again, step outside the traditional and experiment. Put a newspaper or magazine on your music stand and run your scales as you read an article. You will not believe how difficult it is to do both. What you are actually doing is using both sides of your brain at the same time. When you switch to just reading a piece of music, it seems much easier. There are lots of techniques to learn how to sight read, I’m just showing you one way in which you can start thinking about different approaches.

How about difficult finger patterns? I know you say “I try to play them but I can’t!” Time to go through the “try” exercise above. Play a passage you are having difficulty with left handed. Hold the trumpet in your right hand and finger the notes with your left. I know, it’s hard to do. Play slowly and deliberately. Then switch back to the right hand and play the same phrase. Much easier!

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