Remembering Lyrics

Think you can't sing? Think again. Can you hum or sing the pitches as you tune your guitar? Can you sing along with your car radio? You can? Great! Now we know you can sing. It's good to get that out of the way. Come on in and wail away.
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threegtrz
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Remembering Lyrics

Post by threegtrz » April 1st, 2013, 11:08 am

I have a music stand onstage with me which I keep in a discrete location to my right. It has an LED light and it holds a binder containing lyrics to the songs I have the most trouble with.The lyrics are printed in large, boldfaced type for my middle-aged eyesight.

What's really, really bad is a few of those songs are originals I have written and the lyrics escape my memory when I need them. Others are songs we have done for a long time and I should know them.

Except for a sideways glance once in a while during a song, I don't use it much, but I want to eliminate this somehow. It feels like a crutch and even though I don't have it in plain sight, it's still there and probably does not look professional.

I would like to know the most effective method of memorizing four hours worth of material which shifts as we update our set list.

Diceman
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Re: Remembering Lyrics

Post by Diceman » April 1st, 2013, 5:50 pm

I have found that as long as I have the words in front of me I will never commit the song to memory . The very act of using the "crutch" prevents me from remembering what comes next . You have to find the next line from your brain . I have taken lyrics with me on my drive to work and sang them all the way to work (about a half hour drive) . Eventually the words will embed into my memory and the problem is solved . The older I get , the longer it takes .
If I claim to be a wise man , it surely means that I don't know .

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jwmartin
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Re: Remembering Lyrics

Post by jwmartin » April 2nd, 2013, 7:48 pm

Exactly what Diceman said. I'm the same way with chord changes or song structure. If I have my notes in front of me, I'll keep looking to reassure myself and when they're gone, I forget. I learn lyrics by listening and singing the song literally over and over in the car when I'm driving to work and back. I sing the lyrics in the shower to make sure I remember them without the original playing along.

I tried to cheat at my last gig and it backfired. For some reason, I have a mental block on the 2nd verse of Tom Petty's "Running Down a Dream", I always forget the 1st line. So, I wrote just the 1st two lines down on the set list and read it right before we started the song. I made it through the 1st and 2nd verse perfectly, then forgot the 3rd verse, which I never had a problem with before. I just sang the 1st one over again.

threegtrz
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Joined: June 4th, 2003, 11:27 am
Location: Central Illinois

Re: Remembering Lyrics

Post by threegtrz » April 3rd, 2013, 9:34 am

Yeah, since my OP, I've put together a playlist of my "problem songs" in my mp3 player. That way I can practice this stuff in the car.

This car-pooling stuff is rock-blocking me, though :?

The shower is a good idea!

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