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Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

How do u memorise songs?

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by yazam2014, May 15, 2018.

  1. yazam2014

    yazam2014 Tele-Meister

    Apr 15, 2014
    I always got problem when it came to memorise songs.
    When i got gigs, i cant even memorise 10 songs in a week. I alway bring paper with songs structures n chords. Yes, always songs that i never heard before.

    Any tips for memorise songs?

    Btw i like to watch the voice. And i cant imagine how the musician memorizing the 20-30 songs in less then a-week
    El Tele Lobo and sjruvolo like this.

  2. Paul Jenkin

    Paul Jenkin Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Aug 17, 2017
    Essex, UK
    I'm just learning and I suspect that I have the same problem. All I can do is write down the tablature and repeat and repeat until it sticks (and that's just the chords, 'cos singing and playing is way beyond me).

    I suppose it's just a case of practice makes perfect.

  3. Pineears

    Pineears Tele-Holic

    Jun 25, 2016
    I use an iPad with the lyrics and chords on it.

  4. Rustbucket

    Rustbucket Friend of Leo's

    Mar 28, 2016
    I use old fashioned book with lyrics and chords, though I try not to use it too much when playing out.

  5. MisterZ

    MisterZ Tele-Meister

    Apr 29, 2016
    Finger Lakes of NYS
    Sheer repetition has always done it for me.

  6. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

    Feb 14, 2014
    Denver, co
    I do it the old school way: I learn the parts, and then I play the songs with the recording, without looking at anything written. I play along with a recording until it is memorized, then I play the song without any recording to help cue me to the changes. That pretty much does it for me. You won't ever memorize a song if you keep some type of written cheat sheet nearby.
    Hammerdog, yazam2014, trahx and 3 others like this.

  7. AAT65

    AAT65 Friend of Leo's

    I write songs out (chord changes, with bars indicated, and the structure). I use sharpies and paper, in a ring binder, very old-school. The act of writing out helps me learn it. Then when playing with the band (rehearsal or gig) I aim to not use the cheat sheets because you definitely learn it quicker if you don’t look!


    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

    I tend to do as AAT65. Writing it out seems to burn it into the memory banks for me.
    YeOldeTeleDuder likes this.

  9. aerhed

    aerhed Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 24, 2016
    Boulder, WY
    Yup. After awhile I shrink the paper to just the first word of each line. Then I get rid of the paper.
    YeOldeTeleDuder likes this.

  10. This issue has plagued me forever. I've been singing and guitaring my whole life, but I am I able to memorise song lyrics? Nope. Not even songs I've been playing for thirty years. Probably has to do with mental health/psychological problems.

  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Friend of Leo's

    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    Generally, once I know what the chord changes are, unless they are VERY complex or irregular, the music is no problem. Words, however are a different matter. I use a 9.5"X 6" notebook with lyrics and a music stand....even at gigs. Have it about waist/low chest height, with a stand light for dark stages. I write page numbers on set list, so I can find page before each song. Just a fact of (aging) life.....better to have words there and not need them than to sing second verse four times!....;)
    AAT65 likes this.

  12. Rockerfeller

    Rockerfeller Tele-Meister

    Feb 14, 2014
    Denver, co
    The other thing I do is listen to the song all the time. In the car, at home. I just get the music inside my brain. When playing live, I can basically "hear" how the song goes and where the changes are because I have heard it so many times.
    heltershelton, AAT65, trahx and 2 others like this.

  13. sax4blues

    sax4blues Friend of Leo's

    Part of my routine is to memorize from end to beginning. That way as I get more under my belt I always finish with confidence.
    Also I really internalize the story of the song
    JustABluesGuy and Rockerfeller like this.

  14. Mr Ridesglide

    Mr Ridesglide Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 11, 2009
    Bloomington, MN
    I do better with the playing than memorizing lyrics by a long shot -
    teleforumnoob and nojazzhere like this.

  15. codamedia

    codamedia Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2009
    Western Canada
    Over the years I realized that it's not my parts I struggle with on new tunes, it's the arrangement... what part comes next and how fast.

    Therefore, I learn by Osmosis.... material i am learning becomes my playlist until it is in my head for good. I will also play along with it a few times in my home studio at stage volume (roughly 96db - 100db). I find that really locks it in.

    When there just isn't enough time to sink it in.... I write a chart.
    nojazzhere and Rockerfeller like this.

  16. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Afflicted

    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I'm not a pro musician. It takes me 6 to 8 weeks to learn a song. I practice lyrics driving to and from work. I try different keys until I find a key that works with my range and guitar playing ability. Then I use a capo if necessary. Now, how do I play it? How do I voice chords? Solo intro and outtro come next. 6 to 8 weeks is what it takes with drive time and 30 to 60 minutes playing time each day. I can't imagine how the band does it on the voice except through divided responsibilities and doing it as a full time job. I really respect them, contestants too.
    Mr. Neutron likes this.

  17. Obsessed

    Obsessed Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Nov 21, 2012
    I learn the intro, chorus, bridge and solo separately first and then note the pattern and how many bars of each. This way you only need to learn small chunks at a time. Only after all of that do I apply lyrics at the end from listening to recordings. My biggest hurdle is knowing the song well enough to add lyrics, but once that happens, it is pretty easy.
    JL_LI and bftfender like this.

  18. bftfender

    bftfender Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 21, 2017
    York PA
    with you on that, i just looked at my work sheet for studio yesterday.i build a scratch track and play all the music,,,,then wife sings to it,,,so everything is placed ..and once i have the lyrics glued down to a chord structure, i note studio guy says i come in very prepared cause we all have the sheet with all the parts and as we build a song its all there and my scratch track is in pro tools for a reference..we do it all from drums up...then when its all there..the fun part at the end..he turns me loose to solo
    yazam2014 and Obsessed like this.

  19. RodeoTex

    RodeoTex Poster Extraordinaire

    Sep 14, 2005
    Nueces Strip
    A good friend used to use an old school band class music stand.
    Now he has an IBook on a stand with a Bluetooth footswItch to change pages.
    nojazzhere likes this.

  20. PingGuo

    PingGuo Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

    May 19, 2014
    North FL
    For me the fastest method is this:

    1: Don't use cheats.

    Here's what I mean... I only use sheets/playthoughs while I'm learning to perform the technical side of the music. Once you're past that point immediately switch to just playing the song.

    If that means that you can only play it for 30 seconds before you get lost that's ok. Go back and play along with the record or the video play through and add another few seconds.

    rinse and repeat.

    Do this until you can play through the entire song. It will be really frustrating. But that's ok. You can get through most songs like this in a few hours(*).

    2: take a break.

    Once step one is complete move on to something else. give your mind a break. it needs it! 30-min to an hour is good.

    3: play it again

    you may have to repeat some of step one here. That's ok. get back to the point where you can play it through.

    4: take a longer break.

    leave it alone for a day. You've learned as much as you're going to learn at this point. Grinding more is a waste of time for most people once you're at the step.

    5: come back to it the next day

    and repeat steps 1 through 4 as needed.


    now here's the magic trick...

    you can do this with 3-6 songs like this at once. use the different songs to give your mind rest on the one you're working on and cycle through them.

    IF you're doing it this way make sure you take a 10 to 15 minute break every 1-2 hours. Your mind needs these breaking periods!

    Now for the (*).

    If the song is outside your technical ability you need to follow this process for every phrase that's beyond your skill level. It's a lot slower but you'll get there.

    Bonus tip !!!

    OMG don't forget to play with the track slowed down when you're learning new technical skills.

    Hope that helps!

    thegeezer, blowtorch, Dennyf and 9 others like this.

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