Not really a fingers thing, but a technique issue possibly...

Discussion in 'Playing and Technique' started by anderson110, Feb 28, 2012.

  1. anderson110

    anderson110 Member

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    I have a hard time memorizing a lot repertoire. I play rock, mostly classic and pop rock 60's to current. Mostly covers.

    It's not that I can't remember the chord progressions, or the solos, or the parts. I can remember the individual sections quite easily. It's that I get the changes/transitions from section to section wrong too often. Do we do one more verse or is the solo now? That sorta thing.

    Repetition isn't the answer for me, because I don't have the time to drill 100 or so songs over and over. It isn't efficient. I need to devise some kind of system for this to solve this problem. Perhaps remembering keywords in the lyrics for the transition points.

    Does anyone have any tricks, or tips, or techniques for memorizing the structures of songs that you know all the parts of, but need to focus on where the structural changes are (verse/chorus/solo/break/outro/etc.)?
     
  2. CowTipton

    CowTipton Silver Supporting Member

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    For me lyrics definitely provide that queue with some songs that I haven't entirely absorbed into memory.

    Something like "Sultans of Swing" for example. Without those verbal queues, there's no way I'm gonna remember how many verses there are and when the chorus and lead breaks are. There's just too much of the same thing going on throughout the song.

    A particular drum fill, bass line, etc can also be the queue but eventually after playing it enough I tend to remember how it goes. You could chart it out for practice in the meantime.
     
  3. Manicstarseed

    Manicstarseed Member

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    I agree that lyrics are useful for 'locational touchstones' in a song. Typically a 'solo' is once around the verse and usually includes a chorus.
     
  4. Mondoslug

    Mondoslug Supporting Member

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    You could...I do it with Classical & other instrumental stuff...practice the tune from a random spot in the tune where you normally wouldn't start and go to the end of the song.

    ie: middle of the second chorus until the song's over. Then when you try it from the beginning...you'll be like okay I know how to get to this spot I just practiced...and when you get to the spot you practiced you'll be like oh yeah...it's here on out.
     
  5. Hotspur

    Hotspur Member

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    Curious how your ear is?

    I find that the better your ear is, the easier it is to remember songs - I'd say it's the difference between memorizing a paragraph in your own language and memorizing in a foreign one. With a poor ear, you're remembering finger positions which causes a delay.

    But YMMV.
     
  6. Michael_V

    Michael_V Supporting Member

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    I rely a lot on vocal cues, and it they're not there, I can occasionally get mixed up.

    One solution that eliminates the guesswork is a click track that includes vocal transition cues like "intro," "verse," "chorus," and so on. The first time I heard one of these, I was floored because it makes it SO EASY for the band to be tight. Of course, it only works if you have a firm set list and never improvise....
     
  7. anderson110

    anderson110 Member

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    My ear is pretty good, one of my strengths.

    I can remember parts easily. It's just the transitions that I mix up too often, which I think is a different part of the brain than the one that connects sound to fingerings. If I knew which part it was, I could find it.

    I think I'm going to just write down as many keywords in the lyrics as I can and see if that helps.

    I think another part of this is that for the last year or so I've been focusing on improving as a rhythm player primarily, which has me doing a zen-like routine when I'm playing rhythm parts, really trying to get inside it and feel it. Which causes me to space out a little, which contributes to the problem of missing the changes. I guess it's time to back off that and be a little more present.

    Thanks for all the good contributions.
     
  8. mc5nrg

    mc5nrg Supporting Member

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    This is where you cue off the vocals and hopefully, the drummer.
     
  9. dvuksanovich

    dvuksanovich Member

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    There are four components of memory:

    1. Aural - do you know what it sounds like?
    2. Tactile - do you know what it feels like?
    3. Visual - do you know what it looks like?
    4. Conceptual - do you understand the structure, key, chord changes, etc.?

    If you can remember how it sounds, what it feels like to play it, what it looks like on the fretboard and understand the structure/harmony of the song you will eliminate your memorization problems. Spend some time figuring out where your weak spots are and focus on them. This is also a case where the whole is definitely greater than the sum of the parts. Shoring up one weak area can help you a lot.
     

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