Tuesday, December 10, 2013

I Give Up! -- Or Do I?

[January 6, 2014: After writing this, I've changed my mind.  I'm not going to give up, although I'll be spending less time on sight-reading.  I've been working on a book which is based on this blog, and it made me realize (1) how much I want to be a good sight-reader and (2) how much progress I made.  From now on, I will concentrate primarily on reading modern/pop type music, and not try to get better at hymns or classical pieces. So read the rest of this post with that in mind, and watch for my book on Amazon.  It will be entitled "Become a Great Sight-Reader -- or Not!"]

That's right, I give up.  I apologize to any of you who have been inspired by my quest, but I have decided that my brain is just not wired for sight-reading, and pursuing this any longer is not a good use of my time.

Note that my reading has improved, and instead seeing this as "giving up," I could have framed it as "I've improved my sight-reading enough, and now I'm going to move on to other things."  But that's not how it feels.  After almost six years of concerted effort, I still don't read very well.

I'm quite sure that I did everything right.  I practiced diligently for thousands of hours (literally) and I worked with an excellent teacher, but it just didn't happen.  It is pretty disappointing, because I had really looked forward to being a good reader, and a good all-around pianist.  OTOH, I am pretty happy with my jazz playing, and the extra time I have to devote to jazz tasks (e.g. new licks, memorizing more tunes, working on my sound, transposing, transcribing, listening, technique, etc.) is already paying off.

I still practice several hours per day, I'm just not devoting much time to practicing sight-reading.

In farewell, I hope that you have better luck that I did with this pursuit.  Thanks for all your comments over the years.

- Al