I played piano as a early teen and noticed this "phenomenon". Later when I took up guitar (fingerstyle solo stuff) I noticed the same thing. There is some song that you have been playing for quite a while and can kind of "play while doing arithmetic in your head" (for example). However, if you kind of 'get off' in the middle somewhere YOU ARE LOST until you get to something "with a new start" (like a position change, pause, etc). I have kind of accepted that as normal and I have found that the best way to avoid this is to practice your repertoire slowly (say half speed) so you have to think about it while you play.

So question #1 - is this familiar to other folks? of

#2 is related. There is a song that I play that is the most familiar to me in my limited repertoire (returned to guitar just 4 months ago after decades away). I usually play a Gibson ES-175D but had picked up my classical guitar this time. I got to a point in the middle with a somewhat oddball arpeggio thing (8th position but with a couple open strings so it bounces around the strings a bit), and I had no idea what to do at that point. And this time when I went back to the last "restart point" I still didn't know what to do there. Back to the Gibson - still lost. I literally had to figure it out all over again and once I did it was "oh yeah - that is it".

I would guess that if I had put the guitar down at that point and come back the next day it would have been 'back'. Regardless, does this ring a bell out there or is this a characteristic unique to me?


Last edited by DaveLeeNC at Jun 28, 2016,
I have my moments (...when playing something that I know how to play), when I just pretty much forget what I was doing. My head goes completely plank about what to do next. In a good day, it only takes me 10 seconds to figure out where I was going, but that's not a good result from the listeners perspective.

I'm just hoping that further ear training might help. You can forget what you were doing, but you never forget what the song is supposed to sound, when played correctly.
Yes it happens to me, too.
I would say there are two ways how to remember a song:
1. remembering the frets (numbers, visual reference) you have to play
2. developing muscle memory to play a certain song.

If there is a song that I used to play every day, I do not have to think about the notes that I play. But if I stop halfway a certain passage, I may not be able to move on from that point.
If it is not a "muscle memory" song, then I simply did not practise it enough to remember it correctly.
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