Practicing Reading

Lately, I have started to get up early in the morning,  and before doing anything else, I take out a classical music piece and read it down as a musical warm up for the ears, eyes and fingers. One per day. When I was going to school, my teacher, Bruce Bartlett, told me to get the Bach Violin Sonatas and Partitas Book, which I’m sure was recommended to him by Mike Stern or Charlie Banacos. For the last little while (a month maybe?) I have been choosing one of the less daunting selections from this book and reading it down. My focus is accuracy of reading, not really warp speed…that, and to get the SOUND of Bach’s LINES in my head.

When I get through all the Bach that isn’t completely impossible, I move on to either a violin technique book, like Hrimaly, or Wohlfahrt. I also use Hanon for this purpose, though I really need to give Hanon, and more to the point, HOW TO USE Hanon, its own post in the future.

There are also other Bach Sonatas, the ones for treble clef non-transposing instruments (flute, oboe) that could be useful for this kind of thing. So you may want to check out Bach’s Sonatas for Flute and Piano.

Just wake up, open the book, read one section down…no matter how long it takes, then move on to your normal practice. The next day, wake up, read the next section down. It’s a bit like meditation, and you’ll notice yourself getting stronger and faster and the strange open voicing and scalar sequences will start to become no big deal.

Good Luck.

If you need suggestions about which sections of the sonatas that work well on the guitar, and which absolutely do NOT, just use the  contact page to send a note along with your email, and I’ll send you a PDF