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(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1705
Topic starter  

OK. I know this topic has been posted before but I need to complain about it s'more. I learn song "X", play it for a while and move onto something else. 6 months later, don't ask me to play song "X" again. It's gone. Bye bye. See ya. No where to be found. Sure, I can play broken bits of it. Something like..."I think it goes like this..."

So the question is, what am I doing wrong? Does this happen to you? And, How do I make it stop?

Comments? Quotes? Allegations? (Remember...I'm a 20 something living in a 40 something body/mind)

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@slejhamer)
Famed Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 3297
 

6 months later? Dude. The guitarists in my church band can't remember their parts from Wednesday night rehearsal to Sunday morning service. You got nothin' to worry about.

8)

"Everybody got to elevate from the norm."


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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

Comments, yes, but just my opinion. I don't want to kill any discussion. It takes repetition. It happpens to me, I forget.

The subject goes beyond music playing and singing I believe. Unlike riding a bicycle all memory is a human condition.

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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(@ricochet)
Illustrious Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

The worst is that I forget the stuff I've arranged myself!

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@blueline)
Noble Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 1705
Topic starter  

Its crazy. People ask "What songs do you know?" I say "Oh, about 3 million songs! But I can't play one of them!"

So Blue Jay...your saying (in a nice way) that I'm old and I should just deal with it...eh? LOL.

Teamwork- A few harmless flakes working together can unleash an avalanche of destruction.


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(@joehempel)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2418
 

I'm the same way. When I played at Borders, I had to have the music with me... I can't remember it all. I don't like that, but it seems to be the way it goes.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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(@alangreen)
Member Moderator
Joined: 20 years ago
Posts: 5366
 

6 months later, don't ask me to play song "X" again. It's gone. Bye bye. See ya. No where to be found. Sure, I can play broken bits of it. Something like..."I think it goes like this..."

So the question is, what am I doing wrong?

The answer is "6 months"

To keep something fresh in your mind you need to run through it at least once each week. It's like a lot of other stuff, if you don't use that bit of your brain you expect it to sieze up like a rusty bicycle. I try to have at least one "everything I know" practise session each week. The other days I just run my current performance set list.

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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(@liontable)
Estimable Member
Joined: 12 years ago
Posts: 146
 

Well, I had a chat with Herman Li (met him somewhere) and he told me he doesn't remember anything not in their current tour, aside from a few classics. Apparently a lot of people don't remember their songs for long, despite arranging them themselves.

I think the only way you can really remember is if you can play the song by ear and remember how the song goes, along with improvising the solo.


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(@joehempel)
Noble Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 2418
 

I try to have at least one "everything I know" practise session each week.

So when do you eat those days? LOL I bet you know a TON.

In Space, no one can hear me sing!


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 Nuno
(@nuno)
Famed Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 3998
 

6 months later? Dude. The guitarists in my church band can't remember their parts from Wednesday night rehearsal to Sunday morning service. You got nothin' to worry about.
ROFLMAO!

I did read the book "The Musician's Way" by Gerald Klickstein. BTW Very good book. I saw the recommendation in the main site and a short review by David (well, I am not sure if the reviewer was David).

Anyway, the book describes the process of practicing in the "correct way". It divides the activities in three parts: practicing, performance and "livelong creativity" (injuries and success as student). For me, the first part is a "must read" for everyone who play an instrument. The other two are also interesting but not so useful (I don't play live and I already know about injuries and how to avoid them).

The author gives several guidelines for practicing and one of them is related with this topic. Basically you must include in your weekly practice the songs you want to keep fresh. It is basically the same Alan said but using a different methodology.

Klickstein has a web site with info but I am not able to find what I am trying to describe. I think it is in the book and no in the web. Anyway, the site is http://www.musiciansway.com/ .

And the model for a practice sheet is http://www.musiciansway.com/Practice_Sheet.pdf You can see that the "Performance material" has an entry "Maintain memory".

I started with this methodology this week. I will tell you if I remember songs I am learning right now in six months!


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(@noteboat)
Famed Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 4933
 

Music's a language - the more you speak it, the more fluent you get.

I'll regularly have a student say "can you play x" and it'll be a song I haven't done in 25+ years. But I couldn't always do that - in fact, 24 years ago I might have been hard pressed to do the same tune. But I play a lot - since I make a living at it, I've got a guitar in my hand most of the time; this week it's probably going to end up being 45 hours or so of playing.

When you're trying to remember how to play something, you're really doing two things: your picturing in your mind how the song goes, and you're trying to execute that memory on the fretboard. The more you play, the more you strengthen the connection between your brain/ears/fingers, and the better you'll be at remembering.

Because music is a language, there are varying degrees of memory. If I asked you to tell me Aesop's fable about the crow and the water bottle, you might be able to tell me the outlines. But if I asked you to recite it verbatim from the book you read, you wouldn't even come close. So if you asked me to play some song I haven't done in 20-30 years, I'll play it - and you'll agree I remember it; I've got the outlines down - I can hear the rhythm and chord changes in my head, so I can give a credible recreation. But if you asked me to play all of Bach's first cello suite, all I could probably handle would be the outline - maybe a chunk of the prelude and snippets of themes from the other movements. I'd need some serious practice time to get it performance ready, because that's more like doing Aesop verbatim.

Guitar teacher offering lessons in Plainfield IL


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(@jwmartin)
Noble Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1437
 

I suffer from the same thing. I can't even remember songs that I wrote if I don't play them every couple of weeks. A lot of times I can remember chord progressions, but not the details. So I don't have any advice for you, just letting you know you're not alone :D

Bass player for Undercover


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(@blue-jay)
Noble Member
Joined: 13 years ago
Posts: 1638
 

No, he's not alone for sure. No he's not alone for sure. :D

Like a bird on the wire,
like a drunk in a midnight choir
I have tried in my way to be free.


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 Ande
(@ande)
Honorable Member
Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 659
 

Not alone at all. Not long ago, I had to re-learn a little bit from a recording I recorded 9 months ago. Embarrasing, since I wrote it. BUt true!

I have a friend who, when we have a party, will grab a guitar and take requests- it's pretty unusual for anyone to ask for a song he doesnt know. But there are several things going on. One is like noteboat says- this guy plays at LEAST a couple of hours a day, frequently much more. Doesn't really remember starting to learn the guitar; his dad's an accomplished player, so it's just always been around, and he's had and played guitars as long as he can remember.And he's not really playing "all" the song- he's outlining. Also has a killer voice and a good ear for melody, which does a lot to cover the moments when he's wondering what to do with the guitar.

But nobody who hears this guy will deny that he's got an unusual amount of talent. And he's also semi-pro, which means he spends quantities of time which would be more than most of us can spare.

In my own practice, I find that there are some songs I can't forget, but they aren't just songs I learned- they're songs I love. Songs I have listened to thousands of times in my life, played hundreds of times, sing all the time!

Other songs are easier to forget. BUt if you've learned them once, they tend ot come a lot quicker the next time around.

Best,
Ande


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(@billyboy)
Trusted Member
Joined: 14 years ago
Posts: 91
 

Same here. Long time ago I came to the realization my brain is not a harddrive. It shouldn't be expected I can just access something I played 2 months or 2 years ago and remember it perfectly. Will say, if I learned something relatively difficult, it does come back more quickly when re-learning it.

Look at dinosaurs (no disrespect intended of course) like the Rolling Stones, Rush.. songs they've played literally thousands of times on earlier tours yet they need to rehearse and relearn their own songs. Not a big deal at all, few are blessed with a photographic memory.

"In my dreams your blowin' me... some kisses" - Lets Duet - Dewford Randolph Cox


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