I wonder if you guys know and remember how to play all your songs you've learned(i mean guitarists who play for many years) ? I feel a little bit sad about that I've forgotten many songs I played in the past. Is it a bad sign?
god no.
I dont even remember that I learnt songs I have learned, little own remember how to play them. It comes in waves though, Ill hear it on the radio or something in a movie and be like hey i used to know how to play that and figure it out again if the mood hits me right.
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Last edited by Sheepbane at Apr 15, 2011,
i can still remember 'fell in love with a girl' by the white stripes from 7 years ago, iv recently finished learning Primal Directive by the Contortionist haha

funny how musical tastes change like that :P
Read the first paragraph of a book, memorize every word, and then don't recite or read it again for at least a few months.

Not many people would be able to recall exactly what was written after that amount of time. Same concept.
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I can't remember most songs I've learnt.
Quote by Sheepbane
god no.
I dont even remember that I learnt songs I have learned, little own remember how to play them. It comes in waves though, Ill hear it on the radio or something in a movie and be like hey i used to know how to play that and figure it out again if the mood hits me right.

Pretty much this, I mean, I've been learning songs at a reasonable rate for over 7 years now; even right now I can remember how to play at least 2 CDs worth of material just in covers, not counting the four or five bands I've been in and all the silly little doodles I've pissed about with on my own. Not to mention that I've played both guitar and bass for all that time so that's nearly multiplying everything by two just from the get-go.

I don't think there's any way a person could remember everything they've ever learned past a certain point... there's just so much that even remembering that you've learned it off the top of you head without any prompt is pretty hard.
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“A man who mistakes secrets for knowledge is like a man who, seeking light, hugs a candle so closely that he smothers it and burns his hand.”

There's a reason why bands rehearse all of their shit before going on tour. I'd find it very good if a band would remember EXACTLY, say, 15 years worth of music they brought out. Not gonna happen.
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Thats not a guitar problem, but a memory problem
work on your memory and you wont forget anything you want to remember
Quote by whatadrag
I can barely remember all the songs I've written

i'm nowhere close to remembering all the ones i've written. many weren't that good and i never played them after writing them. some were good, but i never fit them to music, or put lyrics to them, or they're just not fun to play. in any case, i just have pages and pages of lyrics on a bunch of different documents on my computer, lyrics scribbled all over notebooks, some that i've lost. i have songs i've written that have changed so much over time from playing them that i look back at the original lyrics and notes and it's like looking at a different song, with a whole different story and feel. it's fun and embarrassing to look back on it, sometimes, seeing flashes of brilliance and perfect songs or lines next to messes of ideas that don't work, and lines that i thought were important shoehorned in where they don't belong, all sorts of crap.
Last edited by brothertupelo at Apr 16, 2011,
I play each one I've learn't every 2 weeks or so. I dedicate about 2/5 of my practice time to playing old songs.
I can even remember the question by the time I got down here......There's a lot of "I use to know that song." when we get together to jam.
I can still remember Anarchy in the UK. It was the first song I ever learned. But it is only like 3 or 4 chords.
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I still have paper copies of all the songs i've learnt some from 1999 ( when i was 8) and learning Iced Earth stuff. now its all about Blues.
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usually it takes me either playing through a song a couple of times or lstening to it again for it to come back to me if I haven't played the song in a while, but for the most part I remember a good chunk of them because I use riffs and licks from them to practice and or warm up
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I can remember Nothing Else Matters, but cmon.. Everyone knows that song haha.
Quote by whatadrag
I can barely remember all the songs I've written


Really though, I've learned Beast and the Harlot, Thunderstruck, Hey There Delilah... And that's it. I spend most my time writing xDDD
I forget loads of stuff. It's probably my age.

However, the most important thing isn't memorisation - listening and understanding are what's key. If you know what a song is supposed to sound like, and if you understand some theory and can recognise even just some intervals, chords and chord progressions or snippets of melody, then regardless of whether you've "memorised" a song you'll ususally be able to drag it out of memory pretty easily once you've recognised a few cues.

Theory helps you tie everything together and see the big picture, and means that when you learn a song it'll really add to your overall knowledge - without that additional layer of understanding you tend to learn songs as "islands". You can play the song, but knowing that song doesn't really add much to your knowledge over and above the song itself.
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I have a serious trouble with this. Really, I think it's one of my biggest flaws as a guitarist, 'cause I just seem to forget stuff very fast. Although a quick glance at the sheet makes it all come back, but it's very annoying when someone asks me to play *insert song* and I know I once have known how to play it, but I just don't remember.
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I've forgotten a lot of the songs I used to be able to play but I can usually figure them out pretty quickly if I want to play them again.
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As previously mentioned,

Theory and ears.

There's musicians (mostly jazz) who can play everything they hear and have an encyclopedic memory of songs because they know the theory behind the song and can play the memory by ear.

They may not even remember what key the song is in and still be able to play the whole thing through.
I have only been playing for a little over a year. But I remember some songs if I hear them again, but it depends. I forgot Stairway To Heaven for the most part.