It should go without saying that learning to sight-read on the guitar is a difficult endeavor. Many guitar students struggle with it for good reason! There are several things that might impede your ability to read music swiftly and correctly. In this blog post, we will discuss three main reasons why people struggle to sight read with the guitar, and we will also offer some tips on how you can improve your skills!
1. Music Theory
To read your pieces you need to have the matching music theory knowledge. To be able to comprehend the music piece up to some extent, even before attempting to play it.
If you do not know how to read notes, or if you do not understand key signatures and time signatures, etc. It will be very difficult to sight-read with the guitar. Make sure that you spend some time learning music theory. You can do that along with your guitar studying.
The simplest solution is if you are attending guitar lessons – just follow your guitar teacher’s instructions and do your weekly theory assignments. It doesn’t take a lot of time. the key is to be consistent.
If you are learning guitar by yourself try to include some theory exercises in your practice sessions. There are plenty of resources available for example Teoria
2. Attempting to learn a piece that is beyond your abilities
This is one of the most common mistakes. It is very popular among the self-taught players and students who are jumping into exam pieces without enough preparation before that.
You might be able to play a piece that is too difficult for you if you are taking your time and learning it measure by measure. But if you try to sight-read it – most likely you will fail miserably and get frustrated.
The solution here is quite simple as well – make sure that the pieces you are trying to sight-read are at the level that is appropriate for your skills. If you are not sure – ask your guitar teacher or another experienced player to help you choose the right repertoire.
Learning a new piece should be an implementation of the knowledge and skills that you have gained in your way as a guitar player.
3. Not Being Familiar With the Notes on the Guitar
If you are not familiar with the notes on the guitar, it will be difficult to sight-read. In fact, it turns into a constant struggle and not a very pleasant experience. Even if this is during your guitar lesson. The teacher trying to help you can only point you where the notes are. But if you don’t know them you will end up learning the piece by heart, which is not the goal. Well, in a short term it may serve but, that is not how you should study guitar.
Not knowing where the notes are on the guitar and which they are, is due to gaps in the early learning. Every single guitar method, course, or program aims to bring you step by step from “zero to hero”. If you simply follow your method, course or program consistently most likely you will not have this problem.
These were the three most common reasons why you may struggle to sight-read your pieces with the guitar. We hope that this blog post was helpful and informative for you! If you have any questions – please, do not hesitate to contact us! We will be happy to help in any way we can!