Sight Reading Tips


Junior Member
I'm taking the opportunity over the next 5 months to work on my sight reading. I can generally read well but sight reading under pressure isn't too good. I ideally I want to be able to look at a chart, work out the form, see the hits and set them up well etc etc etc.
I've never worked on sight reading and I'm not sure where to start. Can anyone suggest tips on how to approach practicing this?



Silver Member
A teacher is a great place to start. If you don't have one, i suggest getting one, but if you do, tell him you really want to work o your sight reading.


Senior Member
There are a series of books by Dave Hassell called "graded course for drum kit"
They are absolutely fantastic for this exact purpose- I thoroughly recommend them as they also expand your stylistic knowledge as well


Well-known member
You've been given terrific advise here already so not much more that I can add other than doing it for a long time helps tremendously. As stated - teacher and communications are key here.

What type of notation is it specifically you want to be better at? I know you say "charts" but do you mean lead sheets or do you mean full-blown "drum charts" in certain play along books?

Disclaimer - not that they are bad, but I don't bother working with play along books with full blown drum notation. I'm not that intense of a reader and it doesn't really represent "real-life" lead sheet / chart reading in my experience. Others may have a different experience to share though.

For me working on books like Syncopation, New Breed, etc, helped to reading rhythmic phrases much easier when I now read lead sheets (which I do a great deal of).

Also - reading as many snare drum solo books has helped me a great deal.

Not sure if that helps or answers anything but it's my experience none-the-less.


Gold Member
Look for charts of songs of the parts that are not drums.

Try to follow those when playing along to that song.

I do this frequently.