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Remembering Lyrics

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threegtrz
(@threegtrz)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 105
Topic starter  

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.


   
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Diceman
(@diceman)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 407
 

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
(@jwmartin)
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Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 1435
 

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.

Bass player for Undercover


   
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threegtrz
(@threegtrz)
Estimable Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 105
Topic starter  

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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