You read whole words rather than individual letters. Sometimes you read familiar groups of words. Psychologists call this 'chunking' and reading would be very laborious without it.
Similarly, when you read music you need to get into the habit of chunking common rhythm patterns and significant pitch collections; segments of scale, broken chords, chains of thirds and so on.
The ability to recognise these chunks has to be linked to your ability to play them, of course. It will be pointless doing the exercise below, for instance, if your fingers don't already know their way around the scales of C, F and G majors or at least the segments of them between C & F.

Read Speeding

This exercise will encourage you to chunk and to read ahead - two things that will eventually allow you to sight-read. Reading ahead simply means playing one bar or phrase while you look at the next. It sounds simple but it can be difficult to persuade yourself to do this. The following should help.

  • Set the metronome going.
  • Start by looking at any bar.
  • As you start to play it, look at any other.
  • Play the new bar while you look at yet another.
  • Try and do this without breaking the beat.
  • Don't look back!
The Sun & The Moon

Another traditional Spanish tune, The Sun & The Moon. Nothing new here, but some varied rhythm patterns, so it's well worth getting to grips with the rhythm first and checking out some of the leapier stuff in the second half . . .

  • Note the key signature - one sharp.
  • Aim for 156bpm +

Here's how the tune should have sounded (on C, Bb, Eb instruments). Metronome stops after the intro.