Memorizing music.

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by MTROSTER, Jan 25, 2010.


    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    Any thoughts on techniques for memorizing trumpet parts? I've always had some difficulty doing this and was wondering what methods my learned colleagues use? My former teacher(many moons ago) always emphasized "Tonal Vision", but I never quite grasped what he meant by that. I guess I just learn by dumb repetition.:dontknow:
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  2. Vulgano Brother

    Vulgano Brother Moderator Staff Member

    Mar 23, 2006
    Parts Unknown
    I always had my best success when the memorization was a by-product of practicing the heck out of a piece and/or playing it often.

    It is always fun to stare down a conductor while playing.

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    Ya. That's the method I more or less use,but I was wondering about some combined visual/repetition method that might speed up the process.;-)
  4. Solar Bell

    Solar Bell Moderator Staff Member

    May 11, 2005
    Metro Detroit
    Especially when HE has to look away to the score! :roll:
  5. Bourbon City

    Bourbon City Pianissimo User

    Jun 8, 2004
    Indianapolis, Indiana
    I have found that learning the music well enough so I can sing the tune in my head helps me in memorizying the tune. Then learn the scales of the key the music is written in well enough so when you play the tune that you are singing in your head, you know the next phrase and the note progression. Plus muscle memory plays into to this also. It all works for me and it may for you too.

    This is also great in doing ad lib work. Know you scales and all becomes easier.

    MTROSTER Piano User

    Jan 25, 2007
    Thanks for the advice. I guess it's mostly an individual process that varies from person to person.
  7. tedh1951

    tedh1951 Utimate User

    Oct 18, 2007
    The Wide Brown Land
    I was once told that apparently, I had no "musical memory" at all - I just seemed unable to repeat a tune - even a simple one from memory. I thought, yep that's me, inept at memorising music - so I learnt to play the notes on the page - always. Spoilt me for improv completely and to some extent, solos.

    Then you blokes started talking here, and my diminishing mental acumen suddenly realised that I am not the alzhiemic fool I thought I was - the evidence, yes I thought you'd ask for evidence (what was the question? - nah just kidding) - simple, I can play scales from memory, I can play arpeggios from memory, I remember the fingerings.

    So what's the point - well someone I trusted directed me down a particular mental path, and I failed to challenge "fact". It continues to haunt me. I don't know if this helps but, had I been more self aware I could have been a better musician (I think).

    Don't believe everything you hear - others sometimes have a hidden agenda - be true to self - you CAN do it, you just have to find the way that works for you. (Me? I'm still searching.)
  8. trumpetup

    trumpetup Piano User

    Jan 12, 2009
    Godley, Texas
    I have problems memorizing music also. I've heard musicians say their group/band has about 120 songs they could play at a gig. I am very envious of that. For some people it just comes natural. When I memorize a song or phrase I will work on memorizing only the 1st line. Then I will add the 2nd line with the 1st.
  9. Pedal C

    Pedal C Mezzo Forte User

    Jan 24, 2005
    Memorizing is harder for some (Me) than for others. I combine knowing the pitches, repitition and actually having a picture of the page in my mind. Without that visualization, all the singing and reptition in the world won't get me to where I'm really confident to perform from memory. For example, I can figure out a tune by ear, but to ever REALLY know it to where I could perform without music, I have to write it down and read it. And for scales, I always learn by reading, then internalize and memorize. Weird, I know. One of my former teachers memorized music this way too. How you think doesn't matter as long as you find a way that works for you.
  10. daniel025

    daniel025 New Friend

    Aug 20, 2009
    Memorizing music is fairly easy if you play the piece over and over.
    It's similar to piano. In the RCM it is required for you to memorize your repertoire and studies. When you play piano you have to play it over and over to perfect the song for your exam. Do the same thing for trumpet. Play the song you want to memorize over and over until you can't forget. Or use simply tricks to help you remember, like listening to the recording of the song.

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