your thoughts on memorization

Discussion in 'Tab, Tips, Theory and Technique' started by thunderbyrd, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    ok, i'm putting this up here for my own benefit, so months from now i'll look at this and see where I was at the beginning of this method, and to help me judge what I am getting out of it.

    I figured out, last night, how I can get the "mastery" of the patterns. it's simple as dirt: stay on one pattern - for days, if needed - until it is burned into my hands. the door on this cracked open because of the first pattern, which is simply the dorian scale box shape. (like a pentatonic box shape with two more notes). somewhere along the line, within the past couple years, I learned this box shape because of santana, when I found out that so much of his playing is built on this mode. now, I know that most players on this forum knew the dorian mode when you were four or five years old, but you see, I am very very dense.

    the other shapes are all scale or mode patterns that I have explored, but this will be the first time I have truly set out to really get them down.

    the next thing I am going to do, starting as soon as I finish this post, is to work out the pattern i'm on right now all up one string. I think this will help me get it into my ears better.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2019
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  2. Sounds Good

    Sounds Good Tele-Holic

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    I cant see that this can take so many hours to get down that you mentioned at first, they are not that complex if just scales, of course they may be harder if using them for speed exercises.

    Also as you mention maybe one position at a time is the best way to go, and also on one string i like playing solos on the e strings alone at times, but from the looks of it you will be playing blues and some slower rock more, so be careful not to sound like running scales with your playing.
     
  3. brbadg

    brbadg Tele-Afflicted

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    I gave up "patterns" long ago.Just a quick 5 minute scale warmup.Then I go and learn some licks or a song.I practice everything I'd learned from the previous week.Working on actual music has made me much happier.
     
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  4. Toast

    Toast Tele-Meister

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    Don't know why I never bought one in the past, but I find The Chord Wheel an incredibly useful reference tool for finding/memorizing chord progressions. It's also helpful when you're dinking around on a Trio Plus.

    http://www.chordwheel.com
     
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  5. src9000

    src9000 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hey TB, what book is it?
     
  6. rangercaster

    rangercaster Friend of Leo's

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    Memorizing and improvisation are antithetical concepts to me ... The second you start playing from memory, you stop improvising ...
     
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  7. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Contemporary Guitar Improvisation by Marc Silver

    as I said somewhere above, it came recommended by someone whose opinion I respect.
     
  8. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    well, that's pretty awesome, Rangercaster. so you can just improvise freely without having learned how? I wish I could do that. and you never hit bad notes or get lost? that seems a tremendous gift to me.
     
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  9. JayFreddy

    JayFreddy Poster Extraordinaire

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    Empty Garbage Before Dad Flips
    All Cows Eat Grass
    Elephants And Donkeys Grow Big Ears
    Eventually America Defeated Great Britain's Empire
    Father Carlos Goes Down And Ends Battle
    Battle Ends And Down Goes Carlos' Father
    Get Excellent Doing Chords Always
    CAGED

    For myself, I memorize the forms with my fingers, and memorize the patterns with my ears.
     
  10. rangercaster

    rangercaster Friend of Leo's

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    Of course I get lost ... But I find my way back eventually ... A little theory and Fifty years of choral, horn, keyboard and guitar experience help a little ...
     
  11. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    Being a bit harsh on Peter Green and his "vocal" way of playing where the singer/player "breathes" in the phrasing?
     
  12. Digital Larry

    Digital Larry Tele-Afflicted

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    Didn't mean it to come off as "harsh", it was more a reflection on the fact that I don't normally play that way and maybe I should try it!
     
  13. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    Cool, yes breathing gives the phrase oxygen, and you can't be too blazing hot because oxygen burns.
     
  14. Toast

    Toast Tele-Meister

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    When I improvise I find I use both my conscious mind (music theory dependent) and my unconscious mind (intuitive feel) to sort of guide my improvising.
     
  15. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's a thought on memorization I've had many times, like flashbacks lol, (not really)

    We're driving across the country and we stop for overnight in six little towns on the long drive. Most of us have done that. Each stop in a new town is a whole new adventure.

    I would seek a map of the town and learn where all the essential places were. Restaurants, fuel, groceries, guitar stores,,, after a 6pm stop for night till leaving time the next day by 11am I would learn the little town well enough for it to be etched into my memory. And during the week long trip I would do this six times, all towns memorised.

    WHY is that the towns layout memorization so easy and the memorization of what to do in a song or progression,,, is so hard???

    They seem to be essentially the same memory mechanism activity. Instead of a car we have a forward moving melody, and instead of towns we have chords to play around with, and chord tones become the food and gas,,, I see parallels,

    So why can't both activities be as simple to memorize as finding our way around a small quant little old town?

    Is it our self imposed belief that the music IS HARDER? Capitalized because it's a discipline that one must be HARSH in, and that is why there is such a high rate of self imposed failure in guitar and music? Do we do that to ourselves? I think we most definately do. I am my harshest critic and I somehow create the beliefs I operate in. It's all the subliminal language natural to the human, and it doesn't always make sense.

    The town is but a chord, the chord is but a converging point where melodies come and rest together for a while, like travelers at a restaurant, soon to continue on their similar but different melodic voyages.

    Really good players tend to see the guitar as simple as I view the new little town. So why can't I view the guitar just as easy? It's as much psychological as it is technique capable.
     
    Last edited: Jun 30, 2019
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  16. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Toast,
     
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  17. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    ASATKat, indeed memorizing is memorizing whether it's towns, guitars, or anatomy.

    I just did a 3 day camping trip and I and another guy brought our guitars. There were about
    20 people on the trip.

    He hasn't been playing
    as long as I have-- but he's a decent intermediate player, I would say. He can play chords so folks can
    sing along. He keeps good time. He can't play a lick of lead. He doesn't lose the beat when switching on the
    fly to harder chords such as bar chords.

    Anyway, he had some charts printed out with lyrics so we could all sing and have fun. Since songs are typically
    verse-chorus with maybe a bridge I'd just ask him to tell me what the changes were and then I was good to go,
    no sheet music needed. I've been playing long enough that if someone tells me the changes and it's a pretty simple
    sing-a-long song, I'm good to go. Obviously some really hard jazz tune with a gazillion chords would be harder...
    (although there's probably guys at a higher level than me that could just as easily handle that).

    But it totally didn't work the other way. I know a fair number of tunes by heart so I would say, here's an easy one--
    and I was going for songs with just three or four chords, mind you. Stuff like Jumpin' Jack Flash or Goin' Down
    that Road Feelin' Bad. I would run through
    it with him quickly, but even with the ability to watch me play while we were performing it,
    he was totally unable to follow the bouncing ball and
    stay with the tune.

    Now, if he were to practice doing this, I'm sure after awhile he could totally succeed. But he would need to practice the
    technique of quickly memorizing a simple set of changes. And he would need to practice the art of following the lead of
    another player.

    The most fun was when he pulled out Sweet Child O Mine. That song is about a minor 3rd out of my vocal range, but I was
    just belting it out anyway. Everyone was laughing their butts off listening to me trying to clamp my testicles and hit notes
    that I really can't hit anymore.
     
  18. Toast

    Toast Tele-Meister

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    Edit: Oops, I forgot my A minor fingering the first time around :) I've been learning the E minor Pentatonic up and down the neck. I have it down so I added the A minor Pentatonic to my scale studies. Both scales, from the 4th string down to the 3rd string, have my finger alternating between an open string and a fretted string on the 2nd fret. (Hope that makes sense.) Anyway, as my finger travels down the second fret, alternate picking the open and fretted string, I get to the 2nd fret A note. That A represents a fork in the road leading to two different towns for me. In A minor Pentatonic I get on the road to C, but in the E minor Pentatonic I have to make a different turne and get on the road to a B note. Right now I'm enjoying taking the road to C and improvising on the A minor treble strings more than going to B and then improvising on the E minor treble strings. Anyway, I feel you on the town analogy :)

    Does this site have a tab widget? If not, it would make this site even more wonderful if they blessed us with the ability to embed tab into posts using their handy dandy widget.

    E Minor Pentatonic Scale Piece A Minor Pentatonic Scale Piece

    E--------------------------- ****** ---------------------------------
    B---------------------0--3- ******* ---------------------1--3--------
    G------------0---2--------- ******* ------------0--2----------------
    D---0--2------------------- ******* ----0--2-----------------------
    A--------------------------- ******** --------------------------------
    E--------------------------- ******** --------------------------------
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2019
  19. ASATKat

    ASATKat Tele-Afflicted

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    This is my lazy man's tab, works fine for me.

    / means slide,
    This is a legato line so only one pick per string, the rest is hammers and slides.
    Meant to be blazing fast. And I ran out of room to finish it, but you could finish it by ear.
    G
    ------------------------------------------------------7-8
    --------------------------------------------7-8-10----
    --------------------------------4-5-7/9----------------
    ------------------------4-5-7---------------------------
    ------------2-3-5/7------------------------------------
    0-2-3-5------------------------------------------------

    So with a little instruction this way of tab works fine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2019
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  20. Toast

    Toast Tele-Meister

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    That works. Thanks, I'll start using that. I still want a fancy widget though.
     
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