I have a pretty big gig coming up. We've got three hours worth of music to fill up our slot with, and that's a lot of words to memorize. I won't have a problem memorizing the music parts, but I'm afraid I may forgot some of the lyrics to some cover songs my drummer told me to learn for the show. Does anyone know of any memorization techniques that work well and quickly? (and don't say 'just look at the lyrics and follow along with the music', I've already tried it)
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Memorize one line, say it.

Memorize the next line, then sing what you've memorized from the beginning (from line one and on).

Memorize line number three and sing what you have so far from line number on and on.

That's what I do to memorize speeches for school. It also helps to repeat each line about seven times. That really beats it in your head.

Example...the lines are...let's use a Van Halen song for an example.

We're gettin' funny in the back of my car
I'm sorry honey if I took you just a little too far
I told the fellas out behind the bar
I had to tell them honey just how fine you are

Okay so you'd sing the first line. Then sing the first line and the second line. Then sing the first, second, and third lines. Then sing the whole thing from the beginning

Good luck
Last edited by kirbyrocknroll at Jul 18, 2006,
Put extra emphasis on learning the first lines to each section. I find that once I start singing the first line, the rest of it comes naturally if you know the song somewhat well.
write all the lyrics down.

a hassle i know, but it helps a lot.
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A technique that also stretches out your set it to repeat parts of the song that are just simple guitar parts. Like if there is a short progression before the verse starts or a bass break (like The Vines in Animal Machine) loop it. This gives you time to gather yourself for the next part. It's not an album so nobody's going to care about the extra few seconds (especially if they're getting into it). This requires you to give your band signals as to when to change parts though, so make the other band members aware.
It'll come to you by singing them with the band, if you do that enough you can't forget.

But maybe you could write them down in big letters and tape the paper to the monitors infront of you just incase.
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Kirby's method is useul, as is writing it down. Writing involves muscle memory and has been shown to improve memory of the given topic.
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Quote by bmw8719
Put extra emphasis on learning the first lines to each section. I find that once I start singing the first line, the rest of it comes naturally if you know the song somewhat well.

this works well for me too, as does writing it down, but i suppose in all reality, nobodys gonna think yer a punk if you want to take copies of the words with you and set them up on a music stand.
My cover band has a stand with our lyrics. However, this is only as an emergency reminder: it's difficult to interact with the crowd if you are focused on a stand, and a lot of times I see people hunch over the stands. Basically, it's not a good thing to rely on.

As for quick memorization: the quickest way I learn lyrics is to listen to a song constantly. Make cds of the songs you have problems with, and listen to them over and over while you do things throughout your day.

Then, make sure you spend at least a few times a day actively listening to the lyrics and where they fit into the music, JUST focusing on the music and lyrics and nothing else.

We've gotten chunks of about an hour of new music done in a week or two using these methods, so they work for us.
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