Project Summary: Sight-Reading for Guitar: The Keep Going Method Book and Video Series


Title: Sight-Reading for Guitar: The Keep Going Method Book and Video Series
Lead Author: Chelsea C. Green (American University in Cairo) / @cgreen
Rebus Project Manager: Zoe Wake Hyde / @zoe
License: CC-BY
Target Audience: Individual guitarists, music teachers and their students
Subject: Music / Guitar Performance
Target Release Date: Winter 2018

Sight-Reading for Guitar: The Keep Going Method Book and Video Series teaches guitar players from all musical backgrounds to understand, read and play modern staff notation in real-time. The Keep Going Method is designed to impart the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed for sight-reading with efficiency, fun and encouragement. The skill of sight-reading is difficult to develop, primarily because it is traditionally taught inefficiently, which this book seeks to address. Further, students encounter high levels of emotional discomfort in the beginning stages of skill acquisition. All types of guitars apply: electric, steel-string and nylon-string.

Each unit contains brief descriptions of musical symbols, play-along duet exercises and compositions, encouragement for the learner and methods for self-assessment. The series contains 20 units that start at the beginner level and progress to the intermediate/advanced level. At the completion of the series guitarists will be able to sight-read most rhythms, pitches and other notations relevant to guitar notation. The series also features 30 original duet compositions, of varying styles, created exclusively for this series!

See the full project summary.

The content for this book is currently underway, with the first units expecting to be available for review towards the end of July.

Once the content is ready to go, we’ll need help with:

  • Peer review & other feedback
  • Formatting in Pressbooks
  • Accessibility checks
  • Promotion and adoptions

If you might be interested in helping with any of these tasks down the road, please comment below and we will be in touch when the time comes!

This project couldn’t happen without your participation. All contributing authors will be credited prominently in their chapter, the book, the metadata and promotional materials. All editors, reviewers and other contributors will also be credited.


Related research:


Want to help create an #opentextbook that teaches sight reading for guitar? Find out how to contribute here:

@cgreen, @zoe, @apurva, @bali, @n-aboulmagd, @zorkani … and you?

Any restrictions on who can contribute? Would you be interested in participation from those who know what they’re doing, but aren’t academics?

Thanks, Steve! I think Chelsea is best to answer this – @cgreen, what are your thoughts on @stevefoerster’s question?

Hi Steve:

Thanks for the interest. Yes, non-academics who know what they are doing are most appreciated. I read that you are a tenor. Fantastic! I would especially appreciate feedback from someone who does not know how to sight-read for guitar and is willing to try the method. Soon I will post information and scores relating to Units 1-3.

Regarding the content, I would appreciate feedback on a few fronts (listed below). If any of them interest you, please contribute.

  • What is the best pedagogical approach to creating and organizing the exercises? I will post a few scholarly articles about the best approaches to develop sight-reading. I am trying to incorporate the newest science with my life’s experience when designing the musical exercises. Some questions that may bear answering: Are there enough exercises per unit? Do they flow well from one to another? Is it effective to break the exercises in to the three groups: rhythms alone, pattern pattern recognition (chunking), and cumulative music?

  • How can we best utilize technology to enhance, not detract from, developing sight-reading skills? For example, studies show that the eyes of good sight-readers focus on music that is approx. 1 second ahead of the pitches that their bodies are producing. This is referred to as the eye-hand span. I’m concerned that if the scores are scrolled in a video, it may preclude the eye from moving forward naturally. Ideas?

  • What are some useful methods for self-evaluation? I will not be able to evaluate the students and will have to give them criterion for self-evaluation. At this point, I recommend that if the student has played between 60-70% of the pitches and rhythms accurately and without stopping, they are ready to move to the next unit. I don’t have a scientific basis for this. Do these percentages seem correct? Is their another way to gauge that may not involve percentages?

@cgreen Would “non sight reader” with some musical background trying it out be helpful?

@sujones Hi Sue! Thanks for your question. Beginner sight readers are certainly welcome! Some more information about the beta-testing process, criteria for an ‘ideal’ beta-tester, and a guide for beta-testers is on the Rebus Projects platform, if you wanted to take a look.

Lastly, I’ll mention that we are continuing to monitor discussions in the Rebus Forum, but are trying to eventually move this over to the new platform, so I’d recommend that you join us there!

@apurva It’s been a consistent challenge to keep checking to see if a link has gotten me to “retired” space…

@sujones Yes, we know the transition is a bit tricky, but Rebus Projects should always be the first stop. As I mentioned earlier, we will be monitoring activity on the forum here, in case anyone does come across a project or activity and will direct them to the new platform. Thanks for letting us know however, and we’ll do our best to make it clearer!

@sujones Hello! Yes, I second Apurva’s response. I would like to add however that the beta tester will need to have a modicum of guitar technique. It is good to be able to play a scale with relative ease at a moderate tempo. Other than that, no prior sight-reading is required.
Thanks for your interest!

@cgreen LOL I have definitely done a few scales … tho’ it’s been a while. I might be able to get started tonight…

@sujones Lovely! Units 1-10 are formatted and ready for beta-testing, so you could get started with those. :slight_smile: