Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafesj

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


Memory Loss

Uncle Tone 21 Nov 22 - 01:02 PM
The Sandman 21 Nov 22 - 01:29 PM
Jeri 21 Nov 22 - 01:50 PM
gillymor 21 Nov 22 - 02:27 PM
pattyClink 21 Nov 22 - 03:25 PM
Bill D 21 Nov 22 - 05:06 PM
BobL 22 Nov 22 - 05:25 AM
The Doctor 22 Nov 22 - 05:56 AM
Stilly River Sage 22 Nov 22 - 08:34 AM
Uncle Tone 22 Nov 22 - 12:08 PM
MaJoC the Filk 22 Nov 22 - 01:54 PM
GUEST,Sol 22 Nov 22 - 02:48 PM
Steve Gardham 22 Nov 22 - 05:24 PM
MaJoC the Filk 23 Nov 22 - 09:13 AM
The Sandman 23 Nov 22 - 11:12 AM
Dave the Gnome 23 Nov 22 - 11:39 AM
Stilly River Sage 23 Nov 22 - 11:56 AM
Sol 23 Nov 22 - 01:20 PM
GUEST,Keith Price 23 Nov 22 - 01:43 PM
The Sandman 25 Nov 22 - 03:48 AM
GUEST 25 Nov 22 - 05:21 AM
The Sandman 25 Nov 22 - 05:25 AM
GUEST,Keith Price 25 Nov 22 - 06:01 AM
GUEST 25 Nov 22 - 06:56 AM
Stanron 25 Nov 22 - 07:21 AM
GUEST,Keith Price 25 Nov 22 - 07:38 AM
leeneia 25 Nov 22 - 12:31 PM
The Sandman 25 Nov 22 - 12:49 PM
MaJoC the Filk 25 Nov 22 - 01:05 PM
GUEST 26 Nov 22 - 08:00 AM
Jack Campin 26 Nov 22 - 08:07 AM
The Sandman 27 Nov 22 - 04:13 AM
MaJoC the Filk 27 Nov 22 - 06:04 AM
The Sandman 27 Nov 22 - 06:33 AM
The Sandman 27 Nov 22 - 06:38 AM
MaJoC the Filk 27 Nov 22 - 08:42 AM
MaJoC the Filk 27 Nov 22 - 08:59 AM
MaJoC the Filk 27 Nov 22 - 09:58 AM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum Child
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:







Subject: Memory Loss
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 01:02 PM

I know this has been flagged up here before, but, much as I refuse to read the words when singing, now that I'm in official 'senior' catagory (vintage 1942) I do occasionally suffer from memory loss when singing. It comes on suddenly, even in songs I've written myself and know very well. Occasionally I completely lose track of the words, even in a chorus!

I always said that if I need to read the words I would give up singing.

I was at a folk club some years ago, when there was a power failure. We were suddenly plunged into darkness. There were only two of us there who coud carry on singing, because everyone else not only read the words, but when it was their turn, they would shuffle through pages in their song book trying to decide what to sing, and that was before tuning their guitar!

In fact one singer boasted that he knew over 200 songs. He didn't 'know' any. He read the words for all of them.

So (the correct use of the word at the beginning of a sentence) now I have a dilemma. I am fast approaching the need to have a crib sheet handy. What do I do? Do I give in and join the word-readers, or do I carry on, and when memory illudes me, shrug and give up on that song and hide the embarrassment, or do I give up singing altogether?

Responses on a post card to.......


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: The Sandman
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 01:29 PM

Do not give up singing altogether.
Do you sing and play an instrument if you do you can play the tune, while you think of the words, of course with shanties you can make the words up, if you do read the words as long you practise you will still put on a good performance.
in my opinionthe problem with most singers with words is that they have not practised, but it must be possible to use words and still perform well.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: Jeri
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 01:50 PM

I complain because I work to learn words to a few songs, but a reader has no limit to how many he can sing.
But if you need to read the words, do it, because it's better than not singing. And as The Sandman mentioned, if you can perform the song well, even when reading the words, it will very well allow people to not notice you're reading.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: gillymor
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 02:27 PM

I used to be annoyed with people who brought lyric sheets to pass arounds but I started doing it myself this year because I may only sing a few songs but I want do them justice. I take a quick glance at the beginning of each verse and that brief prompting is all I need. It's a stone cold bummer to forget the words in mid song and try to mumble through it or, worse yet, to have to start over.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: pattyClink
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 03:25 PM

If you have access to a tablet, get Music Binder on it, load songs in as PDFs, put it on a mike stand.   Pros do it every day and for some reason it doesn't look like 'reading'.

For heaven's sake, don't let anything stop you from singing. The world needs more singers, not less.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: Bill D
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 05:06 PM

If I can close my eyes and not be aware you are consulting printed words, it's ok. But if you lose track, have to go back, don't know the tune...etc, please don't bother! I sometimes 'almost' know a song that fits a sing with a topic, and I will jot notes or keep a copy where I can glance discretely to remind me of the next verse, I will.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: BobL
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 05:25 AM

Perhaps you should take a leaf from the dance callers' book:
Rule 1 - know your dance inside out so you don't need a crib sheet.
Rule 0 - have the crib sheet to hand anyway.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: The Doctor
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 05:56 AM

I have a similar story to Uncle Tone. Almost five years ago I was diagnosed with Parkinson's. Up to that point I was happily singing from memory, and had a repertoire of over 100 songs that I could perform. On one occasion I was in France, at one of Martyn Wyndham-Read's folk weeks, and a group was singing out doors. As it got dark people dropped out, until there were only two of us able to continue.

Unfortunately around last Christmas the effects of this disease began to make themselves felt. I have stopped driving, and therefore stopped going to clubs and places where I used to sing. My memory has holes in it, where words just suddenly vanish. They usually come back, but up to a day later, and my voice is getting very creaky. Whether it will come back remains to be seen, so those of you who still have a voice, make the most of it. If you need a sheet as an aide de memoire that's fine by me, but if you get lost in your sheet you need more practice before you perform.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 08:34 AM

There are things about getting older that can make performing more difficult. As far as I know my father remembered the words to the songs he was singing, but his arthritis became so pronounced that he had to put down the guitar he always had used to accompany himself.

The problem with people singing from sheet music or a book (Rise Up Singing was a usual culprit back in the day) is if they don't already know the song really well. The mnemonic device of having the sheet there to glance at or refresh isn't the same as staring at the book and reading as you go to perform a song you don't really know.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: Uncle Tone
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 12:08 PM

Thanks for your responses. Food for thought there. What was the subject again??


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 01:54 PM

> What was the subject again?

You reading my mind, about having sung a song perfectly well over the kitchen sink in the morning, and suffering a black-hole event, live, at the Mudcat Singaround the same evening. Sufficiently embarrassing that I'll not neglect to have an idiot sheet hand in future, however well I think I know the song.

Who is this Hugh Briss everyone keeps mentioning?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: GUEST,Sol
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 02:48 PM

I've suffered from the "lyric-black-hole' virus for as long as I can remember. As a result, I like to have (as I call them) prompt sheets handy......just in case.

I was once told that if you write the lyrics out long-hand, it helps you absorb them. I can remember all too well, sitting beside my record player playing a song over and over as I jotted down the lyrics, one a line at a time. No 'cut-and-paste' option back then.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: Steve Gardham
Date: 22 Nov 22 - 05:24 PM

There are many ways round this without resorting to anything drastic. Many folk songs are ballads, i.e., they have very strong story lines. Look for ones that have triggers from one verse to the next. Lady Franklin? Even better, ballads like Cruel Sister that has lots of chorus and repetition. Then there are the many reiterative catalogue songs where the bulk of the verses are the same and you only change a few words in each verse. I haven't used them with songs but there are those pictorial memory tricks where you use numbers and rhyme to remember a list of unconnected items. When I'm actually learning a song I use key words and the rhymes as prompts. All sorts of tricks like this.

Like the rest though, at the end of the day, if a prompt sheet helps then go for it, but, please, not reading from a sheet or even a phone or Ipad if you have any sort of audience. Far too much of that going on these days.

I've been at a singaround where somebody who has been doing this for years is reading a song from a sheet that everybody in the room already knows without resorting to reading it. Ridiculous and embarrassing!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 23 Nov 22 - 09:13 AM

> I'll not neglect to have an idiot sheet [to] hand in future

PS1: I mean "cue sheet". I tended to use "idiot sheet" for lists of what to do in which order when valeting computers for customers' use, because the idiot in question, who'd otherwise forget an important step, was me.

PS2: For some unknown reason, having a cue sheet to hand also helps mitigate another embarrassing problem I have nowadays: choking up with sad songs. The Ferryman is a beautiful song, but I can't sing it at all now.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: The Sandman
Date: 23 Nov 22 - 11:12 AM

a very good post from Steve Gardham, these are ways that i train myself to remember words


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 23 Nov 22 - 11:39 AM

I have never used sheets (yet!) but have nowt against them in principle. Particularly if, like the opening poster, you are prone to memory loss. However, there is a host of difference between singing from a sheet (or book or eReader) and using one as a prompt. You really need to learn and know the song and then, once you know it, learn to use a prompt unobtrusively. Professionals often use autocue, which is beyond the means of most of us, but there is no reason why anyone cannot have a prompt of some sort. As long as it does not get in the way of the performance or interfere with audience interaction.

As mentioned before, there is nothing worse than someone who has no idea what they are going to sing and has not prepared or rehearsed anything then leafing through a binder of random scriblings until they find something that they vaguely know. That is a world apart from someone like the openining poster who has had years of singing without a prompt then learning to use an aide de memoire correctly.

In my opinion of course!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: Stilly River Sage
Date: 23 Nov 22 - 11:56 AM

Set lists are a separate reminder; my dad always had a lot of those taped to the side of his guitar so he could see what he had in mind for the evening or a particular event, however, as my old friend the late Jed Marum announced at a holiday performance he did on our campus, "there's no set list that goes unchanged during the performance."


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: Sol
Date: 23 Nov 22 - 01:20 PM

Ahhh, the set list.
As some ice hockey coach once said, "You need a game plan so you can change it."
So true.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 23 Nov 22 - 01:43 PM

I witnessed one person in a folk club, scrolling an ipad then declaring 'Oh here's one I've never done before '
I've no doubt people have problems with memory, we've all got lost at sometime. I think it's gone a step further, I'm seeing people who don't know the words OR the tune.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 03:48 AM

Keith , does this mainly happen at singers clubs or singarounds?
I know that if i was organising a music session [tunes].
I would not allow someone to start a tune that they did not know,if they then then started playing it from an i player.the whole point as i understand of playing trad music is that you have to get to know the tune the lilt and emphasis etc, and reading from music for the first time a tune that is unfamiliar, it is going to be difficult to do the tune justice and play it well.
That is a very different scenario from the OP who has been singing the songs for a while, and practising them but is just using words as a prompt


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 05:21 AM

Two of the best singers I have ever seen use word sheets - Richard Shindell and Polly Bolton. I really don't know what the fuss is about.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 05:25 AM

Anon guest, they have undoubtedly practised with their word sheets ,that is the difference between them and the person who as KEITH says quote
"I witnessed one person in a folk club, scrolling an ipad and then declaring 'Oh here's one I've never done before '"


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 06:01 AM

You're right of course Dick. There's a world of difference between the OP's memory glitch and not knowing the song.
Just to make it clear Dick, I'm talking about the tune of the song not Dance tunes. There was one person reading the words off the CD sleeve and couldn't carry the tune. I give them credit for being able to read the tiny print.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: GUEST
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 06:56 AM

I heard one aging famous singer say they use an ear piece as a prompt on stage. Maybe because they are now experiencing the same kind of memory loss as the OP, (Uncle Tone)? They shall remain nameless, btw. I’m no grass.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: Stanron
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 07:21 AM

"I've never done this one before" could mean "I've never done this one before at this venue" or "I've been practicing this one for six months but never sung it in public before". Every song that everyone has ever sung in public will have been there at least once and the result could have been good or bad.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: GUEST,Keith Price
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 07:38 AM

I don't have to imagine or presume what the singer meant Stanron. I was there I heard it, and the singer didn't know the song.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: leeneia
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 12:31 PM

We all have songs we know by heart and songs we know pretty well. I've long run out of songs I know by heart for the Mudcat Singaround, so now I print the lyrics out.

It's hard enough to find songs of high quality whose range I can manage without memorizing all of them.

Go ahead and sing with the lyrics on paper. Don't let somebody else's prejudice take your singing away.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: The Sandman
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 12:49 PM

But it is not a prejudice[ prejudgement] It all depends on the performance with the prompt sheet, look again at The OPs postuncle tone is actually an experienced performer and he is talking about his own views not someone elses prejudices. HERE
Subject: Memory Loss
From: Uncle Tone - PM
Date: 21 Nov 22 - 01:02 PM

I know this has been flagged up here before, but, much as I refuse to read the words when singing, now that I'm in official 'senior' catagory (vintage 1942) I do occasionally suffer from memory loss when singing. It comes on suddenly, even in songs I've written myself and know very well. Occasionally I completely lose track of the words, even in a chorus!

I always said that if I need to read the words I would give up singing.

I was at a folk club some years ago, when there was a power failure. We were suddenly plunged into darkness. There were only two of us there who coud carry on singing, because everyone else not only read the words, but when it was their turn, they would shuffle through pages in their song book trying to decide what to sing, and that was before tuning their guitar!

In fact one singer boasted that he knew over 200 songs. He didn't 'know' any. He read the words for all of them.

So (the correct use of the word at the beginning of a sentence) now I have a dilemma. I am fast approaching the need to have a crib sheet handy. What do I do? Do I give in and join the word-readers, or do I carry on, and when memory illudes me, shrug and give up on that song and hide the embarrassment, or do I give up singing altogether?

Responses on a post card to


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 25 Nov 22 - 01:05 PM

I'd say: If you enjoy singing, then sing. If you need a walking stick, lean on it for a step or two, but don't let that get in the way of your enjoyment of the walk.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: GUEST
Date: 26 Nov 22 - 08:00 AM

It all depends upon the comparative degrees of memory loss and failing eyesight as to the usefulness of prompt sheets.
Back in the days when I was young, healthy and performing regularly, I frowned on such things; it looked unprofessional, and I was always taught that eye contact with an audience was the essence of entertainment; a bit hard to achieve when reading the words. But then again, if it was good enough for the Copper family....
Some would no doubt argue that folk music is not considered as a form of entertainment; a view widely held by many in the general population. One may wonder whether the seemingly fairly recent trend of performers relying on word prompts is one reason for this view, and the lack of popularity of the genre. Perhaps the same could be said of brass bands and symphony orchestras!
Just some random thoughts from a tired old folkie who still prefers to struggle without resorting to "idiot sheets"; if I forget the words, I just make them up as I go! La-la-la, fol-de-rol-do....


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: Jack Campin
Date: 26 Nov 22 - 08:07 AM

A cue sheet only works for as long as you can remember what the cues mean. I've seen someone deteriorate past that point and still try to sing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Nov 22 - 04:13 AM

I was at a gathering in ireland the other night, where people were reciting stories song and tunes, I was impressed by the number of elderly people who could remember words perfectly., without pracice shettes
I put it down to two things practice and the Roman Catholic religion where from an early age people recite and learn prayers words etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 27 Nov 22 - 06:04 AM

*Agree*, Sandman, but it's not just Catholics (I still have parts of the 1662 Book of Common Prayer burnt into my brain), or even just religion. The cerebellum of a London taxi driver is physically larger, due to having to memorise The Knowledge. Widespread literacy and the habit of owning books are good, but one downside is that we've got out of the habit of remembering things. Instead, I find I remember which book to look any specific thing up in.

But then I've been having senior moments since I was seven years old. Herself says I'm getting worse, but that might be because she didn't see me having senior moments at work, and I'm retired now.

.... I've more to say, but I've just remembered I'm supposed to be hanging out the washing.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Nov 22 - 06:33 AM

apparently physical exercise helps memory loss,I remembe there were certain yoga exercises for the brain, one was taking a word such as Cow and finding association words let us say grass , then wheat then bread then baking then jamie oliver then fanny craddock then television, or start with cow go to grass, then come back to cow, then buffalo then cow, then then milk then cow then then BSE THEN COW etc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: The Sandman
Date: 27 Nov 22 - 06:38 AM

I find with LYRICS Trying to remember RHYMES helps me with story songs the stories andpicturing the sequence of events, with somesongs that arenot stries doing the verses in alphabetical orderl there are two things that can help singers, one take deepbreath before perfoming this sends oxygen to the brain, yawning also helps relax vocal muscles


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 27 Nov 22 - 08:42 AM

One effect of yawning, I read once, is to squeeze the blood vessels on the outside of the skull, which displaces the blood supply towards the brain. What I still haven't heard about is why yawning is contagious: the article had a picture of the Pope yawning to make the point .... and I'm yawning right now, just thinking about it. (Don't pretend you aren't too.)

But yawning in such a manner that the audience don't think you're bored .... now that's one seriously useful trick.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 27 Nov 22 - 08:59 AM

My personal trick (provided I remember) is having the first line of each verse in mind ahead of time. I've got a unidirectional memory: I can work forwards from a line, but not backwards so easily.

Oh, and rehearse the song with accompaniment, rather than just singing it over the kitchen sink. Having to steer the fingertips in real time can otherwise mean taking your hands off the wheel for the vocals.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: Memory Loss
From: MaJoC the Filk
Date: 27 Nov 22 - 09:58 AM

--- Bingo! just worked it out. Empathy has a mechanical/psychological component: when we see a smile, we automatically smile slightly in response, and this raises happiness levels in us; similarly with frowns, crying etc. That's part of why victims of Botox treatment tend to not be empathic, as the rigidity of their face muscles breaks this mechanism, but that's part of a separate debate.

I deduce that yawning is simply an extreme case of this empathic feedback mechanism. We now return you to your regular discussion.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 27 November 11:22 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 2022 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.