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Remembering songs

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GUEST,Newfiejeff 17 Oct 02 - 08:23 AM
KingBrilliant 17 Oct 02 - 08:40 AM
weerover 17 Oct 02 - 09:00 AM
GutBucketeer 17 Oct 02 - 09:04 AM
weerover 17 Oct 02 - 09:06 AM
Fingerbuster 17 Oct 02 - 09:15 AM
mack/misophist 17 Oct 02 - 09:24 AM
Jim Krause 17 Oct 02 - 11:05 AM
Naemanson 17 Oct 02 - 12:24 PM
Glen Reid 17 Oct 02 - 06:24 PM
curmudgeon 17 Oct 02 - 07:44 PM
Mark Cohen 18 Oct 02 - 07:23 AM
Dave Bryant 18 Oct 02 - 07:53 AM
Allan Dennehy 18 Oct 02 - 06:25 PM
Gurney 19 Oct 02 - 04:55 AM
Leadfingers 19 Oct 02 - 09:21 AM
Abby Sale 19 Oct 02 - 10:35 PM
Mudlark 20 Oct 02 - 02:36 AM
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Subject: Rembering songs
From: GUEST,Newfiejeff
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 08:23 AM

Is there a secret to learning songs(tunes)?   I just play and play and play until I get sick of it, then I have it remebered and then I don't want to play it anymore. Any ideas?
Also I have a cheap mandolin and I find it easy to pick, so is a expensive mandolin easier or different to play. I know with a cheap guitar its harder to pick then an expensive one. I know what you are thinking go to the store and try one, but the problem is I am about 2hours from the music store.

Jeff


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Subject: RE: Rembering songs
From: KingBrilliant
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 08:40 AM

Remembering songs - I do it in sections. Then as you say, repetition. But do you play note for note & sing a set phrasing, or can you vary it each time a little (or even a lot)?
If you can vary it then it stays fresh for longer & you don't get that "now I've learnt it its done to death" effect.
I've found that the more songs I learn the easier it is to learn each new one. Something to do with the underlying logic of the music I think.

Kris


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Subject: RE: Rembering songs
From: weerover
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 09:00 AM

As far as remembering lyrics, I find it helps if you write them down, even if you already have them in print


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Subject: RE: Rembering songs
From: GutBucketeer
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 09:04 AM

As one who may have killed off too many brain cells in the 70s and 80s I also have trouble learning new songs. I can't remember who told me this, but one trick is to learn the song backwards. Memorize the last verse first, then the second to last verse, and so on.

Then once you have remembered that you know the song, remembered the tune, and rememebered the first line, you are home free.


JAB

It has helped me on occasion


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Subject: RE: Rembering songs
From: weerover
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 09:06 AM

GutBucketeer,

Ditto on the brain cell thing...there's a lot of us about


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Subject: RE: Rembering songs
From: Fingerbuster
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 09:15 AM

me too


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Subject: RE: Rembering songs
From: mack/misophist
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 09:24 AM

The secret is called "kinesthetic memory", memory of body positions (hands, fingers, etc) If you ain't got it, you won't get it.


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Subject: RE: Rembering songs
From: Jim Krause
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 11:05 AM

I find that no matter how hard I work at memorizing a song, it is usually the interior verses that I forget. The first and last verse come easily.

Jim


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Subject: RE: Rembering songs
From: Naemanson
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 12:24 PM

I have difficulty remembering lyrics that don't reverberate in my soul. I sing in a group and have had to learn a few songs that have only marginally interested me. Learning those have been difficult. Once more repetition does the trick.

The real problem comes when you have the song hardwired into your brain. Then the danger is going into automatic pilot while singing it and then realizing you cannot remember which verse you just finished.

And there is never any guarantee that you will never forget the words. Once you are on stage, with the lights and the audience, it is very easy to blank on a song you have been singing for years. A former girlfriend once told me of seeing Aretha Franklin blank on a song in a live concert.


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Subject: RE: Rembering songs
From: Glen Reid
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 06:24 PM

Lots of that brain-cell thing going around,Still find myself occasionally standing up there on stage, with a that stupid shit eatin' grin.
Usually all I can say at that point is,
"it must be all the brain cells I sqaundered in my wild old days".
Glen


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Subject: RE: Remembering songs
From: curmudgeon
Date: 17 Oct 02 - 07:44 PM

The way I usually go about learning a song is to first listen to it a few more times than is necessary to fix the tune. Next, I write out the words, even if I have the printed text; this helps to fix them in my head. Then I sing it a few times at home to make sure I have a clue and also have the right key for my voice. The final step is to sing it at the Friday session to make sure I really do have the right key and am comfortable with it. After the second or third performance, I'm usually all set.

But, having been collecting and singing songs for nearly a half century, I have a really hard time remembering just which songs I do know. I could carry around a song list, but I fear it would prove too bulky and unweildy. Any help on this one? -- Tom


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Subject: RE: Remembering songs
From: Mark Cohen
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 07:23 AM

Tom, if you know so many that you don't know which ones you do know...then, like, you know, who knows?   Seriously, though, I understand. What happens to me, even though I know hundreds of songs, is that when somebody says, "Hey, why don't you sing something?" I can't remember a single one!

As far as a song list being bulky...if your budget could handle one of the lower-end Palm handheld computers, that might help. Especially if you get the little folding keyboard so you can type directly into it. I resisted getting one for a long time, but now couldn't live without it. I don't use it for songs, but now that I mention it, I might!

Aloha,
Mark


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Subject: RE: Remembering songs
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 07:53 AM

I also keep all my song lyrics (and some Midi files) on my HP Jornado PDA. Sometimes I do use it to refresh my memory, but more often so I can say to someone else - "You want the words - copy them down from here".

I usually find that if I hear a song that I really want to learn, then it's not difficult memorising it. I never memorise accompaniments - I tend to "busk" them every time. When anyone asks me for the chords to a song I have to pick up a guitar and sing the somg to get them (and I tend to play differently in each verse).


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Subject: RE: Remembering songs
From: Allan Dennehy
Date: 18 Oct 02 - 06:25 PM

Dear Guest, you have my sympathy. I know what it's like to be sick of the song by the time I've learned it. What I did was to lock myself down in a cellar for three months and learned the songs that I sang off by heart. I must have sung Folsom Prison a million times. However it took less and less time to learn each new one and it wasn't too big a problem after a year. Learning songs off by heart is just like learning the guitar; it gets easier after you've done the countless hours of work.
Now about strings and fingers. I think that you have got it wrong. An expensive guitar is not necessarily harder to play than a cheapie. The same applies to mandolins, I guess. If you do a search among the old threads, you'll get loads of advice on this. If you don't know how, just ask.


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Subject: RE: Remembering songs
From: Gurney
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 04:55 AM

I've always found that a song with a story-line is much easier to learn than disjointed verses, you just tell the story.
Not much help for the many songs full of disjointed verses, though. "Three Score and Ten' is a sod to remember.
The more you learn, the easier it becomes. Honestly.


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Subject: RE: Remembering songs
From: Leadfingers
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 09:21 AM

I've played cheap instruments that were really nice,and pricey stuff that I wouldnt give house room too.A lot depends on Set Up and personal preference.A pocket size loose leaf notebook will hold all your titles and keys as a reminder of what you know,and is a lot cheasper than a baby computer.Easier to drive,too,if you're computer illiterate.As for learning songs,its the old story-Practice.


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Subject: RE: Remembering songs
From: Abby Sale
Date: 19 Oct 02 - 10:35 PM

curmudgeon: I carry a list of titles & first lines. Easily managable. It's the first three words I'm most likely to blank. Took me many years to put the list together.   Additional songs kept popping into my head that I learned decades past. Very glad I did.


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Subject: RE: Remembering songs
From: Mudlark
Date: 20 Oct 02 - 02:36 AM

I too know more songs than I can remember. When I first got a computer I thot my troubles were over...I made a song list in 7 pt type and could get a lot of my favorites on a strip of paper that I could museum tack stick down on my guitar. Now, however, I can't read that list, and doing pick-up playing there is often not a lot of room for notebooks, palm pilots, etc. As far as learning goes, the old The more you do it the easier it gets is fine to a point but I think I'm over the hill, on the down side of the learning curve. I used to be able to go backstage years ago and get a singer to sing their song just one more time and I'd have it. 40 yrs later and it now takes endless repeats while driving to town, etc. to get it.


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