4.WHigh E & F, Faster Reading

We've made it to the top space and line of the stave, homes to high(ish) E & F. It may be worth stopping to admire the view for a moment - including the high E & F, this is the range that you are now reading, hopefully without much difficulty -

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Now that you have a full stave, it's worth mention a couple of memory devices. Almost every music reader uses the fact that the notes in the spaces spell FACE. They also use sentences like Eskimos Going Belly Dancing Freeze to help them remember the notes on the lines. You might like to use those to help with the accelerated-reading exercises below.

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Note Spotting

To speed up your reaction time, try the following. It's not a piece of music, just a string of notes all the same length, so you don't have to think about anything else but what the notes are . . .

  • Set your metronome to 60bpm
  • Play one note per beat (or every other beat if you're feeling rushed).
  • Play the line forwards and backwards, forwards but skipping notes, backwards but skipping notes, and so on.
  • Gradually increase the speed.
Reading Exercise No.20

After the last exercise, the English ballad Long Lankin should be relatively easy to sight read if you do some preparation. It's in 3/4, no sharps or flats except for that G# in bar 6

  • Take it as slow as you want to, but steady . . . read ahead . . . chunk . . . two bars in . . .