#1
What do you do?

Play the whole piece over and over again? Do it by sections? Stop stare it at? Play it, leave it, play it?

Do you concentrate on just ONE piece or do u play multiple pieces and try to memorize them all...

Currently, I've been playing it HEAPS by sections, but it's taking forever and not really sinking in.

tips?
#2
If you play it section by section it's sometimes hard to 'feel' the entire song as a unit. Try playing it quite slowly but all together. Perhaps only practice the really difficult pieces by themselves.

Also, why memorize it at all? Just use tabs/score when you perform
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#3
Listen to it until you know it like the back of your hand before you even attempt to play it.
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#4
try not to focus on playing every single note the same because there's only so much information you can store. think of the song in terms of sections and chords and remember the basics of what they do with those chords.

know how a verse goes, how a chorus goes, how the bridge goes. get that down and then think about how each verse or chorus differs from the others.

it's also a great thing to figure out the mechanics of a song, how it works, because then you can do your own thing with it. don't have to change it too much, but play it the way you play rather than trying to copy every aspect of another guitarist's technique.
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#5
"Why memorize"?

1) It gives you greater security when playing the piece. If you don't have to keep looking at a piece of paper to know where you are and what you're playing... you're going to play it better.

2) Because if you're reading it, and something happens to make you lose your place, you're screwed.
2b) Because if you're in a smoky bar (not that they exist here in England since the smoking ban ) or any dimly lit playing area, you might not be able to see the paper clearly.

3) Because in some genres (like rock music), it looks good not to have a piece of paper in front of you!

4) Because it saves trees!

Basically there are three main parts to memorization - muscle memory, auditory memory and visual memory.

Muscle memory is knowing what to do with your fingers - you know how you can just play that opening riff to "Smoke on the Water" straight off? Your fingers know what they're doing.
This is also important because if you practice something wrong enough times, you will have to train your fingers out of doing it automatically - you know that feeling when your fingers have a mind of their own? Muscle memory.

Auditory memory is knowing what the piece sounds like. If you know your way around a guitar, this will help you play it (this doesn't mean you have to hear it and instantly know where to put your fingers!), and it also helps you realise when you've made a mistake, and correct it.

Visual memory is remembering the score or the tab in your head. Coming back to "Smoke on the Water", I still find myself thinking "0 3 5 / 0 3 6 5" in my head when I play it, because I learnt it from a tab... This is also the one I personally have most problem with, particularly when reading sheet music, so any tips would be helpful!

Hope this helps. I'm sure someone will have posted most of it already by the time I've finished typing this...
#6
^Obviously you need to learn the piece somewhat - but to have the music there in front of you in case you forget something gives you A LOT of security.

I suppose a rock band wouldn't use music but I was thinking jazz/classical for some reason.
"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, your eyes will get sore after a while."
#7
It does give you a lot of security... but thorough memorization will always give you more.
I realise that looked like a massive attack on your post, but I'm actually crap at memorizing stuff properly and do actually prefer to keep the music in front of me when playing classical guitar... so please don't take it the wrong way!
#8
Quote by TheNthDimension
It does give you a lot of security... but thorough memorization will always give you more.
I realise that looked like a massive attack on your post, but I'm actually crap at memorizing stuff properly and do actually prefer to keep the music in front of me when playing classical guitar... so please don't take it the wrong way!


No offence taken
"Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, your eyes will get sore after a while."
#9
Quote by steven seagull
Listen to it until you know it like the back of your hand before you even attempt to play it.


+1 to this

After hearing a song a ton of times even if you don't know exactly what to play you do know exactly where the song is headed, this makes it easier for you to pick up the rhythm, chords etc. Really useful, infact it's exactly how I learn songs now, listen to a song constantly until I can hum all of it, then try to figure bits out on the guitar and before you know it you have most of it down.
#10
A cool trick is to start on the last bar and work towards the start of the piece. You can also go by musical phrases. So Start by learning the last phrase and so on. Then learn the next. When you know it off well enough combine it with the other phrase and so on.


If it's a simple piece this method is pretty useless but if it's a very complicated piece of music it can be a good help.
#11
One thing's for sure, don't rely only on muscle memory. The problem is that, if you mess up or lose your place, you probably won't be able to just pick it up and keep going. It tends to be context based, where you only remember, say, bar 2 after playing bar 1. But you might find yourself not remembering bar 2 until you play bar 1.

Not entirely sure that's clear, but basically, if you know the whole song by ear as well as in muscle memory, you can recover from the mistake, or losing your place, or whatever. Muscle memory alone is kind of fickle in comparison.

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#12
the way that works best for me has always been to work on sections get a decent feel for it and then add little by little. so learn a section, be able to play it decently , then add a little, and just move your way through the piece.
and one thing i must stress though that is almost fact is always to play slow when first learning, play as slow as ungodly possible because if you can learn it slow and play the notes perfectly, it will help your muscle memory amazingly. trying to play fast and mess up at parts make it harder for your fingers to know whats exactly right.

thats always worked for me at least, i was able to learn 2 classical pieces in 2 months that i had to learn for my auditions into Jacob's school of music
#13
Play it

Speak it

Read it


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#14
hmm i'd definitely give it a go yea these are good suggestions...sure beats my play-until-you-break routine...
#15
theres a couple things i try to do

1) break it down to chords if its a chord based song. i know hundreds of songs just because i can remember "G C D C" or "Em C G D" if it has a basic chord progression thats based off of actual chords and not riffs, think of it in chords, then basically just try to recall the timing for it. you can learn LOTS of songs real quick if you break it down easily like this

2) if its riff based just try to remember the scale the song is in "its in E minor......" hum it to yourself and that should pretty much instantly recall what you know of the song.

3) make sure you listen to the original song several times and get it fairly solidified in your head, also hum along with it. i've found that singing along with the chord progression can really ingrain it deep into your brain.

if you combine all 3 of these together, it should make learning a song pretty easy.
#16
Quote by wolfofmibu
What do you do?

Play the whole piece over and over again? Do it by sections? Stop stare it at? Play it, leave it, play it?

Do you concentrate on just ONE piece or do u play multiple pieces and try to memorize them all...

Currently, I've been playing it HEAPS by sections, but it's taking forever and not really sinking in.

tips?

what i do is basically by the time i have the physical movements down to the point i can read straight off tabs and play it fluently, i just don't read the tabs.

worked so far.
#17
Working on stuff section by section is real important to me, because it gives me small enough chunks that I can work on to get them really tight. But stringing those sections together into a cohesive whole is also a really important skill so I also spend time playing the song together as a whole to whatever point I have it learned. So just for example during the early stages of learning a song my practice might go something like this.
day 1 - learn section 1
day 2 - practice section 1, learn section 2
day 3 - practice section 1, practice section 2, learn section 3, play section 1 and 2 togther.

And so on until I can get through the whole song. At that point, I look at the whole song, and say, "ok, what part I am the weakest at?". Then from that point, I will practice those weak sections, while still playing the whole song together after I've worked on the sections.
Of course, revaluating every few days to decide what section I am weakest at.

Other things -
When I practice sections, I often start them on the last bar of the section before, so I'm practicing the transition as well. If the transition is really difficult, I'll dedicate some time to practicing the transition by itself. That helps with remembering where to go next when playing the whole song too.
When I'm initially learning something, I learn it at a real slow tempo. It sticks better that way.
If there's not a rush to get it done, I take my time learning stuff. Stuff sticks better that way too - for example, I think you get a lot more out of 1 hr a day for 4 days, than 4 hours in one sitting.