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Memorize or Read the Music?  

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Susan Wagner
(@shysue)
Honorable Member

When you learn a new song, do you try to memorize it? Or do you read the tab sheet? 

Just wondered, because I have mostly just been reading the tab sheets or chord sheets and don't memorize anything. Now I realize that it's better to try and memorize a few songs anyway, because when we were up in Prescott and I got the little parlor guitar I realized there weren't many songs I could play without my music sheets! I was just trying to wing it with a few songs when we got back to the hotel and it was pretty much a disaster. There's a lot to be said for building a repertoire of songs that you can play by memory. 

I was able to pull up some songs on my phone, but it's really hard to see that little screen and play guitar, LOL. 

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Posted : 26/09/2020 5:55 pm
jrick92, Ewart Boer, fransverboom and 3 people liked
jerseychicadee
(@jerseychicadee)
Reputable Member

I used to to have a memory but not any more. 

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Posted : 26/09/2020 10:23 pm
jrick92, fransverboom, John and 3 people liked
Susan Wagner
(@shysue)
Honorable Member

My memory is not what it used to be either, but it's good for your brain to try and memorize things. Keeps the ol' brain challenged. 😉 

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Posted : 27/09/2020 6:50 pm
jrick92, fransverboom, John and 2 people liked
Eric Reinhardt
(@rinny51)
Reputable Member

I have a handful of songs memorized. I am pretty good at remembering the chords, but when it comes to the words...I usually am good with the first verse and the chorus lol

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Posted : 28/09/2020 8:48 am
Ewart Boer, John, jrick92 and 2 people liked
jerseychicadee
(@jerseychicadee)
Reputable Member

I still know On Wisconsin on the flute and Color My World on piano and flute  by memory from 50 years ago!! 

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Posted : 28/09/2020 10:17 am
jrick92, John, Eric Reinhardt and 1 people liked
gary
 gary
(@mrgary)
Active Member

I Read the music. I don't try to memorize. I have to play it over and over and over and then I use a metro nome to try to increase speed then I realize I don't know it well enough to increase speed then I practice more and more till I get tired of hearing the song then finally !! my fingers figure out where they are supposed to be most of the time and I can get through the song not looking at the music and faking it just a few times EUREEKA! 

(2 yrs playing)

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Posted : 28/09/2020 8:44 pm
fransverboom, John, Eric Reinhardt and 3 people liked
Susan Wagner
(@shysue)
Honorable Member

Yep, I have to play songs over and over, too. There were a couple of songs that I would do first thing when I started a practice session. I did get tired of playing them and I would rush through them just to get it over with and that's how I got faster at them. LOL 

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Posted : 29/09/2020 7:49 pm
gary, John, Eric Reinhardt and 2 people liked
jrick92
(@jrick92)
Trusted Member

I always make mistakes on songs I try to learn. I think I enjoy improv more. Who's to say that I messed up.

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Posted : 30/09/2020 2:24 pm
John, Eric Reinhardt, Dan and 2 people liked
Eric Reinhardt
(@rinny51)
Reputable Member

I find that when I forget the songs I once knew it is easier to re learn them lol

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Posted : 02/10/2020 10:57 am
jrick92, Susan Wagner, John and 1 people liked
John
 John
(@wjssavhotmail-co-uk)
Reputable Member

Memory still works for me at 56 years young 🤣 🤣 

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Posted : 02/10/2020 2:08 pm
jerseychicadee
(@jerseychicadee)
Reputable Member

I’m 64. It caught me recently

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Posted : 02/10/2020 7:28 pm
jrick92
(@jrick92)
Trusted Member

I don't know how but I've made it to 69

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Posted : 03/10/2020 11:31 am
Susan Wagner
(@shysue)
Honorable Member

I'm 65 and still doing okay, memory wise. My back is another story.

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Posted : 03/10/2020 3:52 pm
Ewart Boer
(@ewartboer)
Eminent Member

Memorizing songs is a skill I really want to learn more. I'm not especially good at it but I recently started with memorizing some simple songs which belong to my favorites. It depends also on the kind on player you want to be, but I think it is nice to have some songs in your pocket in case you have to play at the campfire somewhere.

It worked for me to start by recognizing the structure. Normally there is a lot of repeating of chords and once you see the structure it is much easier to get it in your brain. I believe to have read that also good guitar players are using this kind of memorizing technique. 

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Posted : 09/10/2020 12:51 am
Susan Wagner
(@shysue)
Honorable Member

It is a skill, for sure. Especially when it's not something you've done very much of in the past. But it's a good brain exercise! 

I've got a couple of songs down, but mostly we go off the chord/lyric sheets. 

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Posted : 09/10/2020 7:54 pm
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