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Thread: Memorizing long pieces

  1. #1
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    Memorizing long pieces

    Not really sure which subforum to put this in, so I guess I'll ask here...

    How do you go about memorizing really long pieces? Especially ones that don't seem to have as easy to remember patterns... Sure, you could play it a million times, but sometimes you've got to memorize a piece sooner than you could simply by 'brute force.'

    Suggestions? I'm trying to learn some relatively complicated (to me) fingerstyle pieces, and just can't seem to keep it in my head.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pscheoverdrive View Post
    Not really sure which subforum to put this in, so I guess I'll ask here...

    How do you go about memorizing really long pieces? Especially ones that don't seem to have as easy to remember patterns... Sure, you could play it a million times, but sometimes you've got to memorize a piece sooner than you could simply by 'brute force.'

    Suggestions? I'm trying to learn some relatively complicated (to me) fingerstyle pieces, and just can't seem to keep it in my head.
    Play small bits at a time, repeat until familkiar, then play from memory. repeat this process until you have your first small bit committed to memory.

    Gradually build up the small bits, until you have them all in your head, you should have a head full of small bits.

    Play all the small bits, out of order, a middle bit, the beginning, the end, etc, until you have the small bits off pat in any order.

    Then work on your bridges, the notes which join the small bits. It should not be too long before you have it mastered, but remember, You need to do at least five times (even more) the amount of work to play by memory than by the music.

    You learn by finger patterns, and by ear, it's a big subject.

    Good luck!
    Barbara

  3. #3
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    baronbarb has it... break the epic into segments and learn each segment.... like part 1... part2... part 3... This is often how epic pieces are known by bands... and especially singers...

  4. #4
    Registered User Malcolm's Avatar
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    Stuff repeats. Pick out the patterns, they will be there. Maybe not the same notes, but, I bet the same chord intervals or generic licks. For example a generic lick of say - R-3-5-5-7-4-5-8, will be repeated over several chords. Same intervals, but, when taken to other chords different notes.

    One verse's melody will normally repeat in the other verses.
    If an instrumental the head will repeat.

    Stuff repeats. Look for the patterns.
    Last edited by Malcolm; 01-14-2012 at 11:52 PM.

  5. #5
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    I agree with them. They mostly said it all so I'll just say that even if lack the time to memorize it, you should still take it slow and feel it. I can't explain it but that's how I do it.

  6. #6
    Registered User ragasaraswati's Avatar
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    Nothing beats experience. The more you learn and play the more you notice the similarities between pieces. There is a law of accelarating returns going on. The only problem would be memorizing chaotic stuff like atonal music that doesn't share any similarity with common tonal music. Also, as Victor Wooten preaches you should never ommit practicing the chromatic scale. Get the sound under your fingers and into your ears.

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