#1
I've been trying to learn a bunch of new songs lately and as well at kind of a higher difficulty as I've my playing ability has increased a fair amount and I've particularly been feeling like getting into more complicated guitar arrangements as well I suppose; but I've been surprised at how much longer it's been taking to get them sounding perfectly then I originally imagined and I guess I must have over estimated my self quite a bit.

Anyway, for example I've been trying to learn "Reapers" by muse and whilst I don't find it too difficult it's been taking forever to learn, as well as some Jimi Hendrix songs XD and the like...

I talked to one guy online who covered it and he said it only took him like three days to learn Reapers; is that really possible? I was just wondering how long it usually takes others to learn songsa nd as well, when it comes to complexity like in the above stated artists/songs.
#2
I kind of felt like adding an example, I have been trying to learn Jimi Hendrix's (John Mayer's version actually) Bold as Love on the guitar and it's been over a week and I still haven't memorized it and got it down and I've been playing it non-stop for hours a day (missed a few cuz I got busy on the second week) but like I'm still learning it lol.

I can play it fine though, I don't find it that difficult. It's hard to get some of the phrasing/articulation down though, of course....

Is this normal? I kind of found out that I haven't really been concentrating as hard as I could, so I'm trying to clamp down on myself more; and I also tried signing up for tab pro, and and layout and everything makes it a bit easier.

The tab I have for it is like 10 pages long and the whole song is kind unique throughout and doesn't repeat (the actual version, not a simplified one) and only some of the chords repeats. I almost have it memorized now but yeesh, so hard to learn.
Last edited by tear2slitwrists at Feb 1, 2017,
#3
The rate at which a player learns a song is based on so many extraneous factors. I'd say this question is really subjective to each player. It's really hard to answer this question a full truth because each player is different and thus the standard we base ourselves on is different as well. Someone can learn something in 3 days but that doesn't mean he or she is necessarily good at that song. It takes a while to practice that song and let it sink in. Or the opposite, the player may have been so experienced that in 3 days the song was a breeze.

On a personal note, I practice the song until I can smoothly do all the parts and then I break it up and memorize em, That way it's not memorizing 30 pages, and it's more like memorizing intro, verse, prechorus, chorus, and variations of them. This whole process takes a long time, and I just accept that I should do it everyday and do not give myself a set time.
"ba doo doo ba doo doo ba doo daa"
- earth,wind, and fire
#4
hecks

You're right, it really is subjective; I suppose I was just wondering if there was any standard amount of time that it usually takes most people depending on skill level and everything : /

Like, I learned the white stripes "fell in love with a girl" the singing parts and the song in a few hours but it's pretty simple I guess, same with Greenday songs and the like. Actually, probably most songs in that level are a total breeze, but when it comes to complex solos and the like it starts to get really hard.

I guess what I mean is that I was just wondering how my memory stacks up and the like lol.
#5
I mean it totally depends on the song and your level of experience and familiarity with the style, techniques, etc.

I can usually learn a pop song for a wedding gig in 10 minutes or less. On the other hand, getting a Charlie Parker tune or a classical piece up to speed could take a month of daily practice.

also depends what you mean by "learn". Do you mean simply having the thing memorized, or actually getting it to performance level? Just about anything can be memorized within a week if you practice the whole thing every day, but it might take whole lot longer before you could take it on stage or into a recording booth.
#6
Couple of hours, I'm fairly new, so that factors in quite a bit. Also depends on the song.
#7
If you are having trouble memorizing a song, there is a method you can try that may help...

Usually, when one learns a song they start at the beginning and learn a chunk, the play through until they get to the end of what they learned, and then learn the next chunk of it, and repeat this process of playing through until hitting the unknown part, learning some more of the unknown, then pressing ahead... until they get to the end of the song.

When you learn a song from beginning to end that way, what happens is that you end up very familiar with the beginning parts and progressively less familiar with the later parts. This presents a problem:

- wherever you are in playing the song, you are advancing into progressively less well learned parts, so you are worrying about what comes next

This makes the effort of playing the song feel like going uphill, which in a rehearsal or on stage is a terrible feeling of diminishing confidence as you play through the song.

So, something you can try is reversing the whole process and learning the song "backwards". What you do is learn the last chunk first, and once that is down you back up to the previous chunk and learn that - and play that on into the last chunk you already know. You repeat this process of learning subsequent earlier chunks and playing through into the chunks you already know until you are at the beginning of the song. This does a nice thing:

- wherever you are in playing the song, you are advancing into progressively better learned parts, so you are not worrying about what comes next, because you know those next parts even better

This make the effort of playing the song feel like going downhill, which in a rehearsal or on stage is a terrific feeling of increasing confidence as you play through the song.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#8
Quote by cdgraves
I mean it totally depends on the song and your level of experience and familiarity with the style, techniques, etc.

I can usually learn a pop song for a wedding gig in 10 minutes or less. On the other hand, getting a Charlie Parker tune or a classical piece up to speed could take a month of daily practice.

also depends what you mean by "learn". Do you mean simply having the thing memorized, or actually getting it to performance level? Just about anything can be memorized within a week if you practice the whole thing every day, but it might take whole lot longer before you could take it on stage or into a recording booth.


All this really. I also will add one thing to the last point. It depends on arrangements as well, which are very dependant on genre, playing style, instrument, etc. In some genres you or certain situations, such as playing in a classic rock cover band or classical music, you may be learning things note-for-note. This might take let's say 10 units of time to learn.

On the other hand, the are genres like jazz, bluegrass, or Celtic that feature extensive improvisation. It may take 1 unit of time to memorize the basic melody and chords but even after 100 units of time you may still not be fully satisfied with how you play it. I have certain bluegrass standards that I play such as Foggy Mountain Breakdown or Cripple Creek and even after playing these tunes for many years I am still messing around with new ideas for those tunes and I probably will still be messing around with new ideas in 10 years from now.
There's no such thing; there never was. Where I am going you cannot follow me now.
#9
One tip is to practice the harder parts in isolation. Of course it's more fun to play the whole song through from beginning to end, but you can probably play the easier parts well and they don't really need more practice, so it's a much more efficient use of your time to focus on the parts you're having problems with, practice them by themselves over and over, and then of course work on playing through the whole thing some more.
#10
theogonia777

I sure do agree about the new ideas; I learn songs very quickly but find that the majority of what I discover in a song happens over an extended indefinite period of performing it, making discoveries as I play it on stage.

Something about performance in the moment lends a depth of insight and clarity of focus that shows one things that don't arise elsewhere.
Quote by reverb66
I'm pretty sure the Bible requires that you play through a tube amp in Texas.
#11
tldr everyone in this thread

learn song in chunks
"ba doo doo ba doo doo ba doo daa"
- earth,wind, and fire