1

How to play piano at sight
ALBERTO BETANCOURT
(Albetan)

You may learn to play at sight very easy and quickly by programming solfa
in your subconscious. Your subconscious works as a powerful computer and
after uploading solfa in it, you will have conditioned reflexes so: You see a
note in staff and inmediatly your hand touch the correspondent key, no
thinking in name of note... seeing and performing... playing at sight.
Please search “The subconscious in music” at “Albetan’s Area” in
LearnJazzPiano for more information about this stuff.

How to program solfa in subconscious?
Let’s first work with treble clef.
We will program solfa in subconscious by a meditation:
Close your eyes... imagine a staff with 5 lines... in a short additional line you
draw a note... afterwards you write it’s name C or DO...
While you are concentrated in this mental image give to yourself this
order: always i see this note, i’ll play this key...
Then play the correspondent key.
From this moment, always you see middle C in staff... automatically your
hand will touch the correct key...
Load in your subconscious the rest of notes in treble key.
You need to do this exercise only once with absolute concentration and you
will begin to play at sight.


After you have programmed all treble clef notes in your subconscious,
please practice reading at sight lots of pop and jazz sheet music.
Most of jazz stuff appears with melody line in treble clef and chords, so
now you are ready to perform it.

For classical scores and for piano arrangements you will need to read bass
clef. Do in the same way programming it in subconscious:
2


Now you must practice with all your classical favorites.

How may we write 88 piano sounds in a double staff of 10 lines?
We have a useful feature: up and down octaves and fiftheenths
8........... 15..........


How to play Time Values:

All notes have a value, a duration in time. Many people do a great
accountant job while playing, to give an exact value to each note.

Most jazz players mark time beats with foot, letting subconscious to solve
this problem, no counting, no thinking in math, feeling rhthm and giving the
exact value to each note.

We will learn here this easy method for doing it:
In the beginning of a staff you see a fraction 4/4 , same as C;
¾ ; 2/4; 6/8 ; 3/2; and so on.
That fraction means the value of each measure and we call it time
signature.
So 4/4 or C = 4 beats of a quarter note in each measure.
6/8 = 6 beats of eight note
3/2 = 3 beats of half note.
3


In pop and jazz we find sparingly thirtyseconds and sixtyfourths.
In classical music we find them but in a slow tempo.

Play with foot four beats in each measure with a value of quarter note each
one.
You are marking time with down-beats. For more complex figures you may
use up-beats and down-beats:



A dot placed after a note or rest adds a half of value:



If a slur connect two heads of a same note don’t touch the second note, it
converts two notes in one only value, equivalent to sum of both.


4
TRIPLETS:
A triplet means that three notes have same value as two notes.

Here first triplet note goes with foot; second foot beat is in the middle of
2 and 3 notes.

Playing with a steady rhythm:

When we play feeling a steady rhythm, let’s put each note where it
corresponds respect to beats.
So we may let relaxed our foot while playing.

EXAMPLE: From Mack the knife:


EXAMPLE: From Tea for two:



Practise this way of playing with many pieces, feeling rhythm beats or
marking them with foot.
So you will read at sight any score easy and with absolute precision.


5
Your subconscious timer:

Remember you have the best metronome and timer into yourself. Your
subconscious controls everything what is rhythmic: breathing, walking,
heart pulse.....
Don’t count while playing.... only feel beats into yourself and perform value
notes according to those beats.

If you play a quarter-note each second... you are playing at tempo:60
If you play 2 quarter notes each second... your tempo is: 120
If you play 3 quarters (as a triplet) in 2 seconds... tempo is: 90
If you play 3 quarters in 1 second... tempo is: 180
If you play 4 quarters in a second... tempo is:240.

With those points of reference you may give your old metronome to a
Museum and use your fabulous subconscious timer for playing music.
As minus you think while playing your music will be better.

Good luck, and enjoy playing at sight.