iPhone Apps to Help with Sight Reading

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midiman
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iPhone Apps to Help with Sight Reading

Post by midiman » 07 Mar 2011, 13:42

Hi there,

I'm trying hard to learn to sight read and struggle with reading the rhythm, but I've found an App that's really helped me - called Dr Rhythm http://www.farnellcomputerservices.com/drrhythm. You tap in the notes/rests of a section of song you're learning and it plays it back for you. It's great having the phone sat on the piano for quick help.

There's another good one from the same developer called Magic Stave http://www.farnellcomputerservices.com/magicstave this one shows you the note you're playing on a music stave so you can cross check with your music! I found this really useful for learning my ledger notes. My daughter sings and she's finding it useful too to see what notes she's singing.

Hope this helps others too!
Last edited by midiman on 07 Mar 2011, 20:14, edited 1 time in total.

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Colin Nicholson
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Re: iPhone Apps to Help with Sight Reading

Post by Colin Nicholson » 07 Mar 2011, 19:18

Apps like that are OK for fun, and can outline the basics of rhythm, but in 'real' piano music, quavers/ semiquavers/ triplets & rests are never grouped like that, they are usually beamed into groups of 2 or 4 (3's for triplets).
Then sight reading the melody on a real piece of music, along with the rhythm & using the correct fingering is a different ball game.... however the app looks interesting & can teach you the basics of counting.

Remember though: "For every pair of quavers, the left quaver is the MAIN BEAT (1,2,3 or 4), and the right hand quaver is usually counted as an AND (+) beat - and of course counting steadily, in time & ensuring you don't confuse crotchets for quavers?
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midiman
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Re: iPhone Apps to Help with Sight Reading

Post by midiman » 09 Mar 2011, 13:22

I don't care about the beaming - I've got that on the sheet music, I just wanted to hear what that sounded like and Dr Rhythm does that.

It's the more advanced dotted or tied note rhythms I've been struggling with and that's where punching in a tricky bar into Dr Rhythm is really useful.

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Re: iPhone Apps to Help with Sight Reading

Post by Colin Nicholson » 10 Mar 2011, 02:21

I appreciate your comments, but I'm not sure that an app costing less than £2 will be the answer to counting all kinds of rhythms, eventually unaided. I find that when I teach rhythm, using a mathematical approach is useful, and breaking the rhythm down into smaller sections. I also recommend to count all rhythms ALOUD - and "play what you say"! so 4 quavers would obviously be 1+2+

A 'dotted note' always consists of a bundle of 3 notes, so e.g. the dotted crotchet, when broken down consists of 3 quavers - then usually finished off with a quaver to make 2 beats (in simple time). The dot also belongs to the "next beat". (effectively, a dotted crotchet is a crotchet tied to a quaver) - so I count 1 + 2 for the dotted crotchet, then the final + for the remaining quaver. Sometimes though difficult to explain here, without playing it & counting aloud. Many pupils think that the dot after a crotchet is an 'and' beat, when it is the start of the next whole beat.

A 'dotted quaver + semiquaver' rhythm can also be broken down the same way, and try and think of the dotted quaver becoming 3 semiquavers first. I then get my pupils to count each semiquaver like a crotchet (1 2 3) - for the dotted quaver, then say '4' for the final semiquaver.

If tied notes present problems, then temporarily remove the tie, play the tied note (counting everything aloud), then put the tie back in, giving a 'nod' where the tie occurs. Also, a dotted crotchet + quaver cannot occur between the 2nd & 3rd beats in 4/4 time, as this interferes with the 'half bar' grouping, so a crotchet must be tied to a beamed quaver.

The Grade 1 + 2 theory books also help to understand grouping of notes & rests, and set various tasks in regrouping.

I am glad though the app helps you, but as we say in the trade, it may not turn you into a "proper musician" !.... and of course a metronome helps alot....
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Colin Nicholson Dip. Mus. CMIT CLCM PTLLS
Piano tuning & repairs. Full UK restoration service
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Tuition ~ Accompaniment ~ Weddings
http://www.pianotime1964.com
Member of The Guild of Master Craftsmen

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