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Weird thing about memorization


(@joehempel)
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Joined: 14 years ago
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Topic starter  

I'm finding something weird about memorizing pieces.

I seem to be able to memorize musical pieces more than fingerstyle, I don't know why. I spend more time on the fingerstyle pieces and can't memorize them, but yet, in less time, the musical pieces are being input into my memory....does anyone happen to have this happen to them??

The musical pieces are longer sometimes than the fingerstyle...which is just odd.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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I'm not sure I understand. What do you mean by "musical pieces"?

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@joehempel)
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Topic starter  

Pieces that aren't "fingerstyle" for instance, Classical pieces, or pieces that I'm not playing the lyrics as well. Sorry, it's the only way I can describe it.

Maybe my brain process it differently than the fingerstyle songs. I dunno.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@rparker)
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Joined: 19 years ago
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I don't play much fingerstyle at all, but I can relate to having to memorize a signature riff or a classic solo as performed by the original artist. I'm no good at it, but I can remember patterns like repeating ones in Landslide and House of the Rising Sun. That's actually am improvement over previous years when I couldn't remember a song's chord chart.

Roy
"I wonder if a composer ever intentionally composed a piece that was physically impossible to play and stuck it away to be found years later after his death, knowing it would forever drive perfectionist musicians crazy." - George Carlin


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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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I get what you mean, Joe.

I think it's because there's some melodic content which is able to work its way in and provide your head with some landmarks. Repeated fingerstyle patterns tend to become technical exercises in playing lots of notes very quickly.

A :-)

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@adrianjmartin)
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I think with 'fingerstyle' you need to learn the picking pattern separately to the chord progression you will struggle to learn both at the same time.

I think its more to do with the way that you are trying to memorise the pieces.

My own recent experiences trying to memorise pieces.

I can play the pieces in the books( Hal Leonard Method 1-3 and some of the associated songbooks), with the music there in front of me....But when I tried without the music, from memory I was hopeless, so I didn't bother trying to memorise.

Later on in the books though I reached a piece involving 1/16 notes, in tackling that I realised that I was memorising the quick notes, and forcing myself I managed to learn the whole piece. ( It also dawned on me what people mean that music is easier to learn in 'phrases' rather that notes and 'bars')

The thing I found weird was I'd memorise complicated pieces, before I've memorised the simple pieces!

Somebody said( in a book, here on this site , on another news group/site - I can't rememeber ):
"Learning 1 song is really, really, really hard, learning the next 9 is really, really hard, the next 90, really hard and after that its just hard!"

Most of my practise time at the moment is spent attempting to memorise more pieces!


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 cnev
(@cnev)
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I don't play finger style either but I still have a similar thing going on. When I first started a could barely remember a chord progression let alone even think about memorizing the verses, chorus, bridges etc. in a song. I thought it was going to be next to impossible and then I thought Well even if I get one done trying to remember 30 - 40 to play out that would never happen.

But I finally got one down then another then another and the process got easier and easier. Now at this point I'm really talking about playing the rhythym and some signature licks or riffs. Now I'm to the point where memorizing the rythym to a song takes a few hours. The song itself might not be perfect after only a couple hours but memorizing the whole structure is pretty easy.

Now that I have started to concentrate more on solo's I'm kind of back to square one like when I first started. I do know a few small solo's that I played but very few of the solo's for the songs we were playing with the band since we had a guitar player that could do that so I never really bothered.

So now I am going back and learning the solo's from all of our songs. The first one was Santana's Black Magic Women. we haven't played this much but we started playing it again and I already had learned the little intro solo so I figured I try this one it didn't seem that hard.

I've been at it for about 2 weeks now and I'd say it took about half that time to get all the notes completely memorized now I've been working at trying to polish it up. Kalle had just posted his version that he was working on and I promised him I'd post mine too until I heard the recording of myself...

It wasn't the solo that sounded that bad it was pretty decent but man was there a lot of extraneous noise from my fingers/strings etc. So I need to work on that a bit before I post anything. Obviously some is due to my technique maybe all of it but I think some might have to do with how high the gain was etc.

"It's all about stickin it to the man!"
It's a long way to the top if you want to rock n roll!


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(@joehempel)
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Topic starter  

I think you are right Alan.

I don't actually "try" to memorize these pieces, I don't really go into them trying that.

But the more complicated pieces are coming to be memorized much easier than the easier ones for some reason. Over the course of a month I've memorized 4 songs without trying, one fingerstyle 3 "musical"

I know when I go into a session of practicing a piece, I have the sheets infront of me, but I don't try to use them, I let the music be my guide so to speak, so maybe in the ones where I'm not trying to mimic the lyrics, the musical cues come easier, or are easier to pick out for me.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@alangreen)
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Joined: 20 years ago
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Yes, I tend to have the music open in front of me even though I've got a piece committed to memory. It may not get looked at very much but it does no harm to have it there for moments like this:

Me - &%#%$^%$; how does it go there?

Kathy - la la laaaa lalala laaa

Me - yeah, I know that, but how do I play it?

"Be good at what you can do" - Fingerbanger"
I have always felt that it is better to do what is beautiful than what is 'right'" - Eliot Fisk
Wedding music and guitar lessons in Essex. Listen at: http://www.rollmopmusic.co.uk


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(@kroikey)
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Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 232
 

I've been memorising a lot of fingerstyle songs lately, and the key for me is enthusiasm. If you really like the song, the meaning,a part of the song, a riff, or the technical aspect of playing a particular song, then I believe you will learn it faster.

I can learn a fingerstyle song in a very short time if I like it, and it becomes memorised as I go back over certain parts to practice them.

So in my opinion, memorising a song is a function of its importance to yourself. :D


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
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I commented a similar question some weeks ago and I think Chris and I discovered we are complementary...

I have no problems memorizing the melodies. I can do it in just a couple of days, even 32 bars. No problem. I needed much more time to memorize just the chords of the same song.

Currently I am following an NoteBoat's advice and it is working. I don't memorize the sequence of chords, I memorize groups of chords (small progressions) and also the function of each chord. As I said it seems it is working for me.

Initially I guessed it was related to my practice: I practice a lot of scales and scales exercises but usually I didn't practice chords.


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(@vic-lewis-vl)
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Joined: 18 years ago
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Weird thing, memory - for the last few years, I've concentrated hard on learning all I can about guitar. I can remember most songs - riffs, solos, chords - after a couple of plays. What I've lost is the headful of lyrics I've built up over the years - I have a hard time remembering the lyrics to, say "Bad Moon Rising" or "She Loves You" - but the guitar parts aren't a problem.

We don't actually have an emoticon for "scratching your head," do we?

Vic

"Sometimes the beauty of music can help us all find strength to deal with all the curves life can throw us." (D. Hodge.)


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(@joehempel)
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Posts: 2418
Topic starter  

I've been memorising a lot of fingerstyle songs lately, and the key for me is enthusiasm. If you really like the song, the meaning,a part of the song, a riff, or the technical aspect of playing a particular song, then I believe you will learn it faster.

I can learn a fingerstyle song in a very short time if I like it, and it becomes memorised as I go back over certain parts to practice them.

So in my opinion, memorising a song is a function of its importance to yourself. :D

I don't know I don't think enthusiasm is the reason I can't memorize it....I think there is a certain melodic lead in music only pieces that tend to make it easier for me.

I love the music in the last video I posted, and I still can't seem to memorize it, and it's much shorter than one that I'm going to post later in the week/or next, which I DO have memorized.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@adrianjmartin)
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Here's an even weirder thing about memorisation!

I just flipped a page in my book and decided to tackle "You Really Got Me" and memorised it! :D

All right its not the most complicated song...

One thing that really seem to help though was playing in a different position/s...The into had to be played on the the low E then I move to position 7, to play the c major pattern with the root on fret 8.

I noticed that last line of the verse is a very similar pattern to the preceding except its all shifted up one note, rather than change the pattern/shape of notes I need to play, I just move up the fret board two frets, and pretty much play the same shape there. And then for part of the chorus I move up a string( towards the floor ) and again the shape is similar.


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