Question for Berklee people.
My sight reading skills are limited. *But like everything else, they are only decent when I practice. *Two years ago, I had quite a bit of practice as part of a jazz band and preparing for a jazz tryout. *I can read single note melody decently, as long as it doesn't get too fast or ridiculous. *I look at my Steve and Eric Johnson books and see the 32nd note septuplets with rests stuck in between, and I then I close the book. *No way can I read stuff like that. *But then again, I don't practice it.
At a jazz tryout I sat down and tried to sight read a page full of jazz chords off the staff. *I can't do that. *To me, chords for guitarists aren't meant to be on the staff, but then again it holds its advantages for those who can read it.
There is a Steve Vai interview where he talks about sight reading. *He basically says that he isn't a great site reader and is something he never really focused on. *He mentioned that at one time at Berklee, he sat down and decided he was going to be the best sight reader in the world, but quickly realized that 1.) there was no way he could be even close to the best, and 2.) he had no real use for being that good at it.
I can sit down with a page of music, and given enough time, I can work my way through it and eventually play it, sure. *But I haven't practiced it enough to go in cold, sit down, and read something note for note with no mistakes off a page. *How many guitarists do you know that need to do that in order to be a guitarist?
I don't know any.