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Fastest way to learn a song?

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Help: Learning songs (22)


Les in Chorlton 16 Apr 13 - 03:19 AM
Howard Jones 16 Apr 13 - 03:34 AM
John J 16 Apr 13 - 03:40 AM
David C. Carter 16 Apr 13 - 04:17 AM
Les in Chorlton 16 Apr 13 - 04:35 AM
Leadfingers 16 Apr 13 - 04:42 AM
GUEST,SteveT 16 Apr 13 - 04:50 AM
Les in Chorlton 16 Apr 13 - 04:52 AM
kendall 16 Apr 13 - 07:55 AM
Phil Edwards 16 Apr 13 - 08:35 AM
Fergie 16 Apr 13 - 09:57 AM
Les in Chorlton 16 Apr 13 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,leeneia 16 Apr 13 - 11:33 AM
Midchuck 16 Apr 13 - 11:49 AM
GUEST,Blandiver 16 Apr 13 - 11:51 AM
terrier 16 Apr 13 - 01:31 PM
David C. Carter 16 Apr 13 - 01:44 PM
Tootler 16 Apr 13 - 01:58 PM
GUEST,MikeL2 16 Apr 13 - 02:30 PM
Les in Chorlton 16 Apr 13 - 03:06 PM
Don Firth 16 Apr 13 - 06:54 PM
Les in Chorlton 17 Apr 13 - 03:55 AM
Ron Davies 17 Apr 13 - 11:15 AM
skarpi 17 Apr 13 - 05:38 PM
Seamus Kennedy 17 Apr 13 - 11:41 PM
Jim Carroll 22 Apr 13 - 08:05 AM
GUEST,highlandman at work 22 Apr 13 - 11:08 AM
Mr Red 22 Apr 13 - 12:35 PM
Les in Chorlton 22 Apr 13 - 02:46 PM
Artful Codger 23 Apr 13 - 05:39 PM
Les in Chorlton 24 Apr 13 - 04:05 AM
GUEST,Hulme upstairs 04 Aug 14 - 01:41 PM
GUEST,Artful Codger 04 Aug 14 - 03:48 PM
GUEST 05 Aug 14 - 04:45 AM
GUEST,whippet 05 Aug 14 - 06:45 AM
skarpi 05 Aug 14 - 06:52 AM
GUEST,leeneia 05 Aug 14 - 11:16 AM
GUEST,Desi C 06 Aug 14 - 02:14 AM
GUEST,Desi C 06 Aug 14 - 02:17 AM
Ebbie 06 Aug 14 - 03:17 AM
Thompson 06 Aug 14 - 04:17 AM
Hesk 06 Aug 14 - 04:22 AM
Thompson 06 Aug 14 - 04:31 AM
Les in Chorlton 06 Aug 14 - 05:32 AM
eddie1 07 Aug 14 - 04:00 AM
The Sandman 07 Aug 14 - 04:33 AM
The Sandman 07 Aug 14 - 04:34 AM
GUEST,whippett 07 Aug 14 - 05:23 PM
GUEST 07 Aug 14 - 07:37 PM
GUEST,Desi C 08 Aug 14 - 10:57 AM
Les in Chorlton 12 Aug 14 - 03:44 AM
The Sandman 12 Aug 14 - 04:18 AM
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Subject: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 03:19 AM

I guess the fastest way to learn a song will be a bit different for each of us but all suggested are welcome


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Howard Jones
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 03:34 AM

Sing it.

That sounds fatuous, but for me it's repetition which is important. Transcribing the words helps, otherwise just listening to a song until its ingrained and then singing it until it's thoroughly embedded does it for me. O go back to the original from time to time as a check, but I don't worry about minor changes to the words unless it's a phrase which is particularly significant.

I try to learn the song as a whole, rather than verse by verse, even if that means there are gaps to begin with. I just note them, go back and fill them in, and try again.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: John J
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 03:40 AM

I'm with Howard...although it doesn't seem to do me much good!

Singing it, preferably with some sort of audience, really concentrates the mind. I have 'aide memoires' for some songs - the first couple of words from each verse, it helps jolt the grey matter.

JJ


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 04:17 AM

If I Want to learn a song, and I have a recording of it,I listen to it as I'm going to sleep.

It usually works for me.More times than not.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 04:35 AM

Has anybody tried singing along to a recording of yourself?

How about advice from te world of acting, opera, musicals ......


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 04:42 AM

A song HAS to be 'sung out' several times before you can say its part of 'the rep' . I have a mile walk each way to pick up my Torygraph , and find that walk an ideal time to run through a few songs .


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,SteveT
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 04:50 AM

Isn't this question a bit like asking "What's the fastest way to paint a picture?" The answer is probably "Badly".

The real question, for me, is how to learn a song so that you really know it; so that you can sing it in a way that means something (and so that you can sing it without having to read the words off a bit of paper, which I have always thought of as disrespectful to the song itself, not to mention any audience who have to wait when you lose your place – but then I'm probably a bit weird!)

My own method: I just keep singing it over and over until I can sing it without any hesitation and can sing it whilst doing other things: walking, driving, cycling (you do tend to swallow a lot of flies!), washing up etc. Some songs come quickly and I can usually sing them without prompts within a few days but I always wait a month or so before inflicting them on others. If a song doesn't come quickly it means, to me, that it's not for me and I shouldn't try singing it in public.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 04:52 AM

I think I would find a trip to buy the Torygraph sort of worked against learning a song - but each to his own.

So, join the Union while you may and don't wait 'til your dying day, it might not be so far away you dirty blackleg miner!

"And here's your Torygraph Mr Leadfingers"?

A related question is: one song at atime or two, three or more ata time?


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: kendall
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 07:55 AM

I write it down in long hand, then learn one verse at a time, picturing the words I wrote.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Phil Edwards
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 08:35 AM

Here's what I've done a few times.

1. If the tune's fiddly or weird, or there's variation between verses, or anything else 'interesting' is going on, listen properly to a recording of the song - play it several times in a row. You're not trying to learn the song at this stage; you don't even need to be concentrating on it. The idea is to ingrain the tune in your head, and the way the tune fits together with the words.
2 (essential). Sing it - while walking, washing up, waiting for a bus, whatever. If the tune's not there or it doesn't seem to fit, try step 1 again. The words probably won't be all there; if they are (maybe it's only a short song), go to 4.
3. Print a copy of the lyrics and put it in your pocket. Then sing the song some more - walking down the street, hanging out the washing, whatever - but stop and check whenever you go blank. It's not as laborious as it sounds - after a while words can lodge surprisingly quickly. (I learned "Hard Rain" this way.)
4. Sing it some more, but concentrate on what you're singing. Do you mean what you're singing? Have you got a feel for how the song fits together? Are you stressing the right words, i.e. the words you'd naturally stress if you were speaking the lyrics in conversation? (If the answer's No, can you stress the right words without screwing up the tune? And if the answer to that is No, can you keep the conversational stresses and make the tune fit round them?)

As for how many, unless you're working up two very different songs (Searching for Lambs and Glorious Ale, or something) I think it has to be one at a time.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Fergie
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 09:57 AM

Most of my friends wouldn't appreciate that I find it difficult to learn a new song, but I have a routine that I follow that helps me.

1)   I get a recording and listen until I have the basic tune.

2)   I transcribe the words into a Word document.

3)   I arrange the document so that each verse is numbered and stands alone.

4)   I sing the song from the words a number of times to absorb it.

5)   I record the song from the document until I'm happy with a version.

6)   I sing along with myself till I get the bones of the song.

7)   I sing the song out loud referring to a printout when I stumble.

8)   I listen over and over to my own recording when I am in bed.

9)   I practise over and over.

10) I sing it to friends when I'm 95% sure I can sing it through.

11) I sing it at least five times daily to be absolutly sure I know it.

12) I go public.

Fergus


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 10:58 AM

Thanks Fregus - that's very thurough and quite convincing - I'll give it a go


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 11:33 AM

Learn the tune

Type out the words

Tape the words to a cupboard in the kitchen

Sing the song as I cook and wash up, referring to the printed page when necessary.

Concentrate on the plot and the rhymes. If I can't remember a line, I ask myself what it rhymes with.

Pay special attention to odd word order or seldom-used expressions which are there mostly to get lines to rhyme.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Midchuck
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 11:49 AM

Put it on the CD player in your car, when you're driving somewhere ALONE, and play it over and over, and sing along with as much as you remember the words to, each time. If you try this when a significant other is traveling with you, an he/she grabs the wheel and yanks it so you go over a cliff, because he/she has lost the will to live due to excess repetition, I disclaim responsibility.

P.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,Blandiver
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 11:51 AM

I find it helps to be learning more than one at the same time. I try have five on the go at any one time which works a treat. Gets so that I know the songs, but often forgot that I know them!


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: terrier
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 01:31 PM

From: David C. Carter - PM
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 04:17 AM

If I Want to learn a song, and I have a recording of it,I listen to it as I'm going to sleep.
................

If I want to learn a song, I listen to it, if I go to sleep, I scrap the song!

What Kendall says, WRITE it out (don't type it), that usually works for me. I imaging I'm reading the words I've written as I sing it. Also, if you stumble over a line, don't stop, just move on to the next bit you CAN remember, it's a musicians trick, even though you get it wrong, never stop, eventually you'll get all of it right.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: David C. Carter
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 01:44 PM

Thanks terrier for completly twisting what I said.

You scrap what you want,it's your call.

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Tootler
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 01:58 PM

I've tried various things but whatever has succeeded has always involved repetition. Lots if it!


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,MikeL2
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 02:30 PM

hi Les

<" Has anybody tried singing along to a recording of yourself?">

Yes I used to have to learn songs very quickly. I used to listen to the song if I could and learn it as quickly as possible and then make a recording of me singing it.

That way had two advantages - 1, It encouraged me to learn the words - 2. It helped me prove to myself that I had got them OK and I helped me to get the timing and phrasing right.

Worked for me.

Cheers


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 03:06 PM

Thanks MikeL2 that's very reassuring


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Don Firth
Date: 16 Apr 13 - 06:54 PM

Early on, and before I learned how to read music, I learned most of the songs from recordings or other people's tapes that they would lend me. The recording companies would undoubtedly have had a fit, but as long as people were careful with them, we were constantly loaning and borrowing records and tapes from each other.

I would pull out a notebook, put the record or tape on the appropriate machine, start it up, and begin copying down the words. Of course, the recording would get ahead of me, so I'd write like crazy, then restart the recording. By the time I got all the words down, I'd listened to it maybe eight or ten times or more, and the tune was pretty well ensconced in my ear.

Then I'd start singing it to myself, reading it out of my notebook. Then I'd set the notebook aside and see how far I got before I had to check. I'd also use the "sleep" method where, as I was going to sleep at night, I'd sing the words to myself inside my head. This, along with pulling out the guitar, working out the chords, then trying to put together an accompaniment for the song, I generally had it pretty well learned within a couple of days.

A voice teacher I had would have me bring my guitar to the lessons, then after we'd gone over the usual technical exercises and such, he'd have me sing whatever new song I was working on at the time. He would often stop me in mid-song and ask, "What does that line mean?" Now, he knew perfectly well what it meant, but he wanted to make sure that I knew, and that I wasn't just singing the words by rote. So I learned to spend some time analyzing the songs I learn. That includes finding out everything I can about the background of the song, history, does it relate to a historical incident or event, that sort of thing.

Then I just sing it a lot.

One thing that helps one's performing a lot is recording it, then listening carefully to the playback. I used to use a little portable cassette recorder which was very handy. Now I have a Zoom H2, which is even handier.

Another good method is to learn the words, then recite them like a poem rather than singing them. Then, of course, you add the tune later. But sometimes you learn things about a song that you might not have noticed any other way.

Now, having learned to read music, I'm pretty good at doping them out from songbooks, but I much prefer to hear the song being sung.
There are nine and sixty ways of constructing tribal lays,
And every single one of them is right!
                                                          —Rudyard Kipling
Don Firth


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 03:55 AM

Thanks Don, most informative and helpful

Les


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Ron Davies
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 11:15 AM

Once I decide what song I want to learn--usually have half-learned it by the time I make the decision, since I like the song--I listen to it a few more times.

Hardest part is trying to decide which version.   Usually what I think of as the original.

Then I get all the words, either by transcribing or off the Net.    If off the Net, major surgery is usually required.   Our own Jim Dixon and a few others are reliable sources.   But otherwise, those who post on the Net are amazingly clueless--you can usually get much closer to what they're actually singing just by listening to a recording.

I make several copies of the words, and take them with me for a while. Pick out a key I want to sing in.   Have to pay attention especially to transitions between verses, and to verses which are somewhat similar--need to be clear on differences. Then I start singing it all around the house--and especially in that well-known source of good acoustics, the shower.   Then I sing it while walking on the street--going anywhere--putting it into the repertoire.   When I walk to the subway, I sing the whole way, usually according to the weather.   If it's good I sing country and western.   If it's raining I sing Irish. Doo-wop--anytime.   Real blustery--sea songs.    Unless of course there's something I want to learn real fast, including of course other genres of songs--then the weather doesn't matter.    It's about 4 long songs or 5 short songs to the subway.    Doo-wop--8 or 9 songs.

I take a copy of the words with me if I'm singing in public, but never look at them while singing. However, having them in my back pocket is a good talisman, I find.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: skarpi
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 05:38 PM

listen , sing it over and over and over and over ,,,,,

that the way to do it ---


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Seamus Kennedy
Date: 17 Apr 13 - 11:41 PM

Like Kendall, I write it out in longhand and then repeat it until I reach the point where I never want to sing it again. :0)


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Jim Carroll
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 08:05 AM

Decided to open this up after I discovered the following in The English Folksinger edited by Sam Richards and Tish Stubbs of the late group, Staverton Bridge - not necessarily the fastest, but a good deal of common sense as far as I can see.
Jim Carroll

Finally, a few ideas for singers. Lifting songs off the printed page is a vastly different process to learning them by hearing them. We offer a few of our own tricks in the hope that they are helpful and that singers might also discover their own.
1. Listen critically to traditional singers from many countries. There are plenty of commercial recordings available.
2. Speak songs first, out loud. Note the speech rhythms of the words.
3. Decide what the intention of each song is. Our headings might help.
What is it all about? What does it have to say? How? If an old song, why is it worth singing now?
4. Decide whether you want to sing it free or in time, fast or slow, loud or soft, decorated or plain. In between. Why?
5. Learn it gradually. Unaccompanied. Take time.
6. All this time there should not have been a musical instrument in sight other than, perhaps, to pick out the melody. Accompaniments are the last thing to think about. If you think an accompaniment will help, put in a simple one. Put it in for a musical or textual reason, not just because you want to play your guitar. Folksingers all over the country have been discovering that the guitar is not the only, or even the best instrument to use. Concertinas, dulcimers, banjos, melodeons, harmoniums, tin whistles, mouthorgans, autoharps, even spoons are now used. Maybe try drones first. Build it up slowly. If,
however, you are starting with a guitar, we have added chords to a selection of the most suitable tunes.
7 . Sing it somewhere. Look for signs of how people react to it. Be prepared to start again.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,highlandman at work
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 11:08 AM

Common thread here seems to be repetition, and lots of it.
Also most of us appear to make use of multi-channel (for lack of a better word) methods: writing plus hearing, hearing plus reading, etc.

One thing I might add is that, when I find myself getting stuck at transitions, learning the song back-to-front helps. (Old choral director's trick.)

Normally I'll memorize the first verse (and chorus) thoroughly, then go to the last verse/chorus. Once I can't miss on the last verse, I back up to the next-last one and make sure I get the transition without a hitch, every time. Then the next-preceding one.

It's mostly about training the mind to not get jammed at the seams. Plus it has the advantage that by the time you are done, the part you know best is the ending -- the part that leaves the final impression.

-Glenn


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Mr Red
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 12:35 PM

write down the words. It alters the ways your memory registers. Adds to it.

The way I always explain it is the analogy of a stool.

one legged is a shooting stick, not very stable unless you put two feet on the ground see below. Two-legged stools are not that popular, but a three legged stool is optimal (see shooting stick). A 4 legged stool is prone to minor changes depending on terrain.

So - learn the words by repeating them. Writing them down & singing them regularly in the bath, or car. Ergo - three routes. But don't rely on the security blanket of a song sheet - to mix a metaphor.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 22 Apr 13 - 02:46 PM

Learning Songs

This is a summary of advice offered on Mudcat:
http://mudcat.org/
from people who learn and sing 'Folk Songs'. All were responses on the thread 'Fastest way to learn a song'. http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=150396&messages=28
Perhaps the question should have been @Most effective way to learn a song.

Introduction – I think this advice from Steve T makes a good introduction:
The real question, for me, is how to learn a song so that you really know it; so that you can sing it in a way that means something (and so that you can sing it without having to read the words off a bit of paper, which I have always thought of as disrespectful to the song itself, not to mention any audience who have to wait when you lose your place
for me it's repetition which is important. Transcribing the words helps, otherwise just listening to a song until it's ingrained and then singing it until it's thoroughly embedded does it for me.

Short specific points
•        I have 'aide memoirs' for some songs - the first couple of words from each verse, it helps jolt the grey matter.

•        WRITE it out (don't type it), that usually works for me. I imaging I'm reading the words I've written as I sing it. Also, if you stumble over a line, don't stop, just move on to the next bit you CAN remember, it's a musicians trick, even though you get it wrong, never stop, eventually you'll get all of it right.

•        I used to have to learn songs very quickly. I used to listen to the song if I could and learn it as quickly as possible and then make a recording of me singing it.

•        One thing that helps one's performing a lot is recording it, then listening carefully to the playback. I used to use a little portable cassette recorder which was very handy. Now I have a Zoom H2, which is even handier.

•        Another good method is to learn the words, then recite them like a poem rather than singing them. Then, of course, you add the tune later. But sometimes you learn things about a song that you might not have noticed any other way.

Longer collections of advice

From Phil
1. Listen properly to a recording of the song - play it several times in a row. You're not trying to learn the song at this stage; you don't even need to be concentrating on it. The idea is to ingrain the tune in your head, and the way the tune fits together with the words.
2 Sing it (essential). - while walking, washing up, waiting for a bus, whatever. If the tune's not there or it doesn't seem to fit, try step 1 again. The words probably won't be all there; if they are (maybe it's only a short song), go to 4.
3. Print a copy of the lyrics and put it in your pocket. Then sing the song some more - walking down the street, hanging out the washing, whatever - but stop and check whenever you go blank.
4. Sing it some more, but concentrate on what you're singing. Do you mean what you're singing? Have you got a feel for how the song fits together? Are you stressing the right words, i.e. the words you'd naturally stress if you were speaking the lyrics in conversation? (If the answer's No, can you stress the right words without screwing up the tune? And if the answer to that is No, can you keep the conversational stresses and make the tune fit round them?)

From Fergus
1)   I get a recording and listen until I have the basic tune.
2)   I transcribe the words into a Word document.
3)   I arrange the document so that each verse is numbered and stands alone.
4)   I sing the song from the words a number of times to absorb it.
5)   I record the song from the document until I'm happy with a version.
6)   I sing along with myself till I get the bones of the song.
7)   I sing the song out loud referring to a printout when I stumble.
8)   I listen over and over to my own recording when I am in bed.
9)   I practice over and over.
10) I sing it to friends when I'm 95% sure I can sing it through.
11) I sing it at least five times daily to be absolutely sure I know it.
12) I go public.


From The English Folksinger edited by Sam Richards and Tish Stubbs.
Via Jim Carroll
Finally, a few ideas for singers. Lifting songs off the printed page is a vastly different process to learning them by hearing them. We offer a few of our own tricks in the hope that they are helpful and that singers might also discover their own.
1. Listen critically to traditional singers from many countries. There are plenty of commercial recordings available.
2. Speak songs first, out loud. Note the speech rhythms of the words.
3. Decide what the intention of each song is. Our headings might help.
What is it all about? What does it have to say? How? If an old song, why is it worth singing now?
4. Decide whether you want to sing it free or in time, fast or slow, loud or soft, decorated or plain or somewhere in between. And think about why?
5. Learn it gradually and unaccompanied. Take time.
6. All this time there should not have been a musical instrument in sight other than, perhaps, to pick out the melody. Accompaniments are the last thing to think about.
7. Sing it somewhere. Look for signs of how people react to it. Be prepared to start again.


Thanks to all the other contributors - I trust I have made a reasonable summary.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Artful Codger
Date: 23 Apr 13 - 05:39 PM

If the query is for the fastest way to memorize a song, a number of threads have addressed this before, a few times at length. (Mudcat Search is your friend.) I know I've given quite a few tips before, though I don't care to rehash them yet again.

Although repetition is essential, it can also be time-wasteful and even counter-productive if applied in the typical fashion. For greater speed of learning and deeper retention, memorization should be reinforced through a variety of other cues and imagery techniques, and your focus should be on the bits you have the most trouble with (just as with efficient instrumental practice) rather than running through the entire song (or even verse) each time. Ironically, I find the use of formal techniques also helps one focus more on meaning, even when a technique is primarily lexical, since one ends up analyzing the text more closely.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 24 Apr 13 - 04:05 AM

Thanks Ms/Mr Codger,

that's most helpful. I did do a quick check for previuos threads but obviously couldn't guess the correct thread title.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,Hulme upstairs
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 01:41 PM

I find one of the biggest obstacles is kidding yourself you know it when it's almost there but not quite and this is true especially when it's a "song we all know".
I think it's a good idea to lock onto the first verse alone and hammer it down. Beware moving on too fast. Because it's the first verse it feels familiar, like an old acquaintance we take for granted but have never really got to know. I read somewhere to take the first note of the first line, sing it a few times then sing the whole line to this note. Do it a few times and then sing it with all the notes. Apart from really enjoying the release from the monotone, you really get a feel for the nuances of the line and it seems to stick even more than singing from the sheetmusic where it's already worked out for you so a vital part of the embedding process is missed.
Once the first verse is thoroughly learned the other verses will come much easier and if there are variations(tune wise) in other verses these will be really conspicuous against the backdrop of what you've put in place and so be more accessible.
I think this works. I know it helps me.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,Artful Codger
Date: 04 Aug 14 - 03:48 PM

If OP means "how to learn (and retain) the words fastest," here's some advice I gave in an earlier thread on this topic:
http://mudcat.org/thread.cfm?threadid=60984#3041746 (Thread: Learning and remembering the words)

My advice is somewhat opposed to advice given above: it attempts to reduce the repetition involved in the most typical habits for learning, which tend to be both time-wasteful and even counter-productive. Of course, each person has their own learning strengths and weaknesses, as well as their own ways of thinking/remembering, and must adapt their learning process accordingly. But give the tips I've listed a serious trial before dismissing them; you may be surprised at the results.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 04:45 AM

and above all be patient with yourself, last night the sang I sang at the folk club had taken me a year to learn and it was worth the time it took.

Learn fast , forget faster.

Immerse yourself in the pool of melody and verse, think and feel the words and meanings you convey.

but mind you dont sink as you learn to swim.

confidence will show through and thou shalt be relaxed.

load o Tosh eh?


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,whippet
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 06:45 AM

Really great to see a thread that is about LEARNINGH a song instead of the usual ginger wooosy, apologetic torygraph, lever arch cretins that seem to abound now.

"Oh Im to old"/ "need a prompt"/ "everyone doin it" is the wishy washy whinging crap one hears all the time, when really you are to bone idle to get off your flabby arses and LEARN!!!!!!!!

More power to the real singers who put the hours in to LEARN their craft .
Personally I never clap any one who reads a song; I think you should all follow my example?


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: skarpi
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 06:52 AM

Easy ,
just listen , play along sing along until you get it , again and again and again and again and again .......
until you get it ..
no other way , and when you do this long enough your ear and your brain
is trained to listen .....
good luck ...
Easy ...
all the best from the North Island Prison - Iceland .


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 05 Aug 14 - 11:16 AM

I print out the words and tape them to a cupboard in the kitchen. While I'm cooking, I sing the song, and when I falter, I look at the print-out.

Concentrate on two things:

how each verse begins.
odd wordings where words are forced into a strange order to make a rhyme.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 06 Aug 14 - 02:14 AM

The obvious ways are repetition and performance, but I also try to visualize ech verse as individual scenes, making them as graphic as possible in my mind and that helps a lot


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 06 Aug 14 - 02:17 AM

What is a/the Torygraph!


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Ebbie
Date: 06 Aug 14 - 03:17 AM

Most often I use a method Don Firth posted back on April 16, 2013 6:54: Write down individual lines and scraps of them as I listen to a song. By the time I have all the words to all the verses I have the song pretty solidly in my head. And by then of course, the song has become an ear worm.

I personally don't recommend learning multiple songs at one time. One year when Ginny Hawker and Kay Justice (Appalachian/folk/country) were the Guest Artists at our Alaska Folk Festival I fell in love with their voices and their songs and bought all their recordings.

I found myself learning 7 songs all at the same time. I don't think it accelerated the process. :)


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Aug 14 - 04:17 AM

The Torygraph is a jokey name for the Daily Telegraph, an English newspaper traditionally read by red-faced colonels whose tobacco-stained white moustaches are perpetually bristling with outrage and loyal in defence of the British Empah.

I find visuals helpful. For example:

At Boolavogue, as the sun was setting o'er the bright may meadows of Shelmalier

A rebel hand set the heather blazing

And brought the neighbours from far and near

Then Father Murphy from old Kilcormac

Spurred up the rocks with a warning cry

and so on.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Hesk
Date: 06 Aug 14 - 04:22 AM

The Torygraph is Leadfingers' way of making light of reading the Telegraph.
I would have thought it was easier not to pay good money for it in the first place, let alone walking a mile to get it.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Thompson
Date: 06 Aug 14 - 04:31 AM

The Telegraph has one wonderful thing - its obituaries, including obituaries of Germany's war heroes. These are always entertaining, typically starting something like:
"Daphne Twittington-Whitstall-Whyte of that ilk, who has died aged 103, was born in Istanbul, then Constantinople, to the Emir of Shad and his 23rd wife, two days before the Emir's deposition by Lawrence of Arabia. Her mother then gathered all 500 of the Emir's surviving children and fled to Lithuania, then centre of the Empire of Poland, where she farmed opium…"
(not a real example, but it gives the tone)


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 06 Aug 14 - 05:32 AM

Be absolutley clear about each and every word you intend to learn. If you don't you may find yourself stumbling over alternative bits of verse - then having to unlearn bits you ahve learned by mistake. I think little and often works well - verse by verse


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: eddie1
Date: 07 Aug 14 - 04:00 AM

This has pretty well been said already but back in the days before internet and "copy and paste", I used to write out the words from a recording - usually every second line, then back to the beginning and fill in the missing lines. What I had was very much a scribble so I'd go back to the beginning and do a more legible job of writing, or typing, the whole thing. I usually found that by that time I had learnt the words. That when the real work started with getting to know, and feel, the song!

Eddie


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Aug 14 - 04:33 AM

Sing it NON STOP, whilst walking or driving are excellent methods either note and think or the story or make visual pictures. whilkst on ones way to pick up ones torygraph is excellent, whilst preparing TTiffin is an English slang term of second breakfast or lunch, sometimes applied to any light meal. It originated in British India, and is today found primarily in Indian English.[1] The word originated when Indian custom superseded the British practice of an afternoon tea, leading to a new word for the afternoon meal.[1] It is derived from the obsolete English slang tiffing, for "taking a little drink or sip".[2] When used for "lunch", it is not necessarily a light meal.[3]:88

In South India and in Nepal, the term is generally used for between-meals snacks: dosas, idlis, etc.[4] In other parts of India, such as Mumbai, the word mostly refers to a packed lunch of some sort, in particular to light lunches prepared for working Indian men by their wives after they have left for work, or for schoolchildren by their parents.[5] In Mumbai, it is often forwarded to them by dabbawalas, sometimes known as tiffin wallahs, who use a complex system to get thousands of tiffin-boxes to their destinations.[6]

Tiffin often consists of rice, dal, curry, vegetables, chapatis or "spicy meats".[3]

In addition, the lunch boxes are themselves called tiffin carriers, tiffin-boxes or just tiffins.iffin is another


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 07 Aug 14 - 04:34 AM

Whilst preparing Tiffin.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,whippett
Date: 07 Aug 14 - 05:23 PM

good positive stuff..I hope some of the lazy leverarch flabby bottoms take note,,somehow I dont think so.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST
Date: 07 Aug 14 - 07:37 PM

My preference is to sit down and play the song... and as soon as I make a mistake, start all over. The frustration of starting over each time really focusses the mind into getting it right the next time!


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: GUEST,Desi C
Date: 08 Aug 14 - 10:57 AM

Thanks to Thompson for the Torygraph explanation lol, very apt, I suppose it shoud apply to any newspaper now as they're all so tory biased and/or anti milliband!
On the subject of trying to learn too many songs at once, I quite agree as I fell into that tra. Now I just solidly practise 2 songs each week, whether new ones or ons I've already done. In fact going over songs I've done is a great way of improving them, you tend to see bits you've missed or phrases you'd not got right. So re learning is an excellent way to remember the words too, and seoon build up a repertoire of song you can do by heart


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Les in Chorlton
Date: 12 Aug 14 - 03:44 AM

Any further advice on learning songs?

I will sum it up again and post it here:

http://www.folkatthebeech.org/singing-songs.html

Thanks again to all above


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 12 Aug 14 - 04:18 AM

learn the song in sections, two or three verses at a time.
I Sing the song over and over often whilst driving, but if you sing while you are doing jobs that is good too.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Rumncoke
Date: 12 Aug 14 - 02:30 PM

The fastest way for me is to start with the last verse, sing it a few times, then the second to last, sing through a few times, and so on.

Having tried various ways over time that is the fastest and it seems to result in fewer hitches in the remembering of lines.

Once you have it right once, sing it through from time to time over the next couple of days and it should be there when you need it.

If you find you begin to forget - try fish oil capsules. I kid you not, they have done wonders for my memory once I started to remember to take them of course.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: The Sandman
Date: 13 Aug 14 - 04:08 AM

rumncoke , thats a new one,i must try that out.


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Subject: RE: Fastest way to learn a song?
From: Big Al Whittle
Date: 13 Aug 14 - 05:13 AM

fastest way to learn a song....?
remember the rhymes....even if they pong!


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