How do you go about learning a catalog of songs?

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by cmc2878, Mar 4, 2015.

  1. cmc2878

    cmc2878 Member

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    I recently moved to Nashville, and have met a few guys who can get me playing downtown. The only problem is that I didn't grow up listening to country music.

    So it looks like I'm going to have to learn about 100-150 new songs. Do you guys have any tips for learning this many new songs? I want to be able to instantly recall them, so that when someone calls out a song...I don't have to have someone sing me the intro lick or remind me of the changes.
     
  2. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    Know how to make number charts?
    Do you like country?
     
  3. cmc2878

    cmc2878 Member

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    Yes and Yes.

    My real issue is retention. I can write charts all day long, but that doesn't help me too much if I can't hear the intros and single note stuff in my head. I could notate some stuff, but unless I do it in finale, it gets a little hard to read on the gig.
     
  4. guitarjazz

    guitarjazz Member

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    You could write out the hooks too. It might help you memorize. Good luck.
     
  5. 0xeneye

    0xeneye Supporting Member

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    Learn Nashville notation! Then bring the basic charts and play to them. practice the lead in parts no way around that.
     
  6. cmc2878

    cmc2878 Member

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    Yeah, I've very familiar with Nashville Number system
     
  7. mjm59

    mjm59 Member

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    Listening, and then more listening. It would help if you found a true affection for the music, but if you were to limit yourself to listening only to those 100-150 tunes every day, every waking moment that they will become engrained in your mind. It helps to learn the lyrics, since many songs use the same or similar melodic/harmonic components, the lyrics will help you differentiate the different tunes. Not knowing what kind of timeline you're dealing with, it's difficult to say how long this process will take. But definitely, I would recommend that you figure out a way to embody each song as a separate entity, and the only way I know of doing that is repetition. Make CD's or playlists on your iPod of chunks of songs (try not to group all the similar songs together) and make that the soundtrack to your day/night. No TV!!!!!

    I can tell you from experience, it worked with me when I became a Deadhead, but I loved the music. Also worked in music history classes when I was presented with Gregorian chant that all sounded alike. Didn't work too well when I tried to learn a catalogue the size of yours of oldies, my heart just wasn't in it and I didn't care for the band situation, either, so I didn't listen as much (or as closely) as I should have. :phones Good luck!


    Mike
     
  8. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Wow. You can get a guitar job in Nashville without knowing country songs....?? Where's my passport....
     
  9. cmc2878

    cmc2878 Member

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    Well...I do have to know the songs to get the gig.
     
  10. JonR

    JonR Member

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    Ah. I knew there had to be a catch... :eek:

    I read your post as if you'd got the gig, you now had to learn the songs.

    But hey - don't all country songs have the same chords anyhow??:hide2
     
  11. Yer Blues

    Yer Blues Member

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    I don't think there are any shortcuts. you learn 150 songs the same way you learn 40-50 for typical cover band stuff.

    I'd be curious to see the list of 150 songs making the rounds in Nashville though? Any way you could copy and paste it on here?
     

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