Memorizing Songs

Discussion in 'Trumpet Discussion' started by SmoothOperator, Jul 25, 2011.

  1. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    How do you memorize songs? I play them until I become comfortable with them, then I break them down into sections, then I start playing the section without looking at them, if possible the whole section with mistakes, then go back and review the mistakes and repeat. Finally I play looking at the music again. After several days of doing this, I have it memorized. Things that I don't do very well when memorizing is picking up the chords, and exact rhythms, as well as the words, are there any tricks for these? It seems some of the harder songs, are repetitive but the structure is not obvious, so they are easy to confuse the various sections.
  2. Vstern

    Vstern New Friend

    Jul 25, 2010
    How quickly must you memorize them? My band instructor has us play with music for about a week during rehearsals, then a few days without so we can memorize it before band camp. There might be a better way, but it works for me, especially when I practice it on my own. But they also suggest taking a section or two per day, and that has worked for me too.
  3. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    The faster the better. No particular constraints, other than to want to have a pallette of songs to choose from when playing out.
  4. NYCO10

    NYCO10 Pianissimo User

    Feb 20, 2010
    United Kingdom
    I personally believe that when i can play a song by memory then i have truly learnt it. By not setting out to memorise it, i find that by engaging in the music creating phrases etc it comes second nature. For example, i was asked to do a performance for a group of around 200 friends as part of a 'talent show' (haha) and set up my music on stand. I was the final performance and by the time it came i got up on stage ready to play and the music was gone! My heart sank! But i knew that i could do it! I think i pulled it of pretty well having not set out to play by memory!! Just my thoughts

    NYCO10 :-)
  5. Ed Lee

    Ed Lee Utimate User

    Aug 16, 2009
    Jackson NC
    With that attitude, you may not be note or timing perfect to the music but you'll be OK, for now the song will sing in your own voice viz play it your own way. Still wouldn't hurt to have at least a half dozen (or more) of such in your "thoughts" for impromptu moments.

    I personally particularly like such when I'm in a music shop or other place where I want to test an instrument. I may be wrong but I think such equalizes the weight of the deal and shows that you are a serious potential buyer that may expose you to more favorable choices and pricing. The rule is you test play or walk away. I always carry my own trumpet mpc in my pocket.
  6. Rapier

    Rapier Forte User

    Jul 18, 2011
    In my 25 years of playing tenor horn in brass bands I can honestly say I can't play ANYTHING without the music! Sad I know, I've tried to learn solos I've had to play standing out in front, but never managed to.
  7. bumblebee

    bumblebee Fortissimo User

    Jan 21, 2010
    Great Southern Land
    Once during my euphonium spell my brass band took part in a competition playing the Florentiner March and the fellow who carried the band gear left the euph music part behind -- so I ended up pretending I was playing to the baritone stand even though our conductor told me not to busk. (We won our section too.)

  8. Peter McNeill

    Peter McNeill Utimate User

    Jan 30, 2009
    Melbourne Australia
    I can only add that if you can try to play your favourite tunes with the music, then once you are comfortable, transpose it to different keys.

    I have been at a gig with Real Book Tunes, and they were all in C, so I had to transpose on the run. Then the band would move up a tone to add contrast; try transposing 2 tones up! a bit more difficult. Knowing the tunes by memory in all keys is useful way to train the brain to play by ear.

    Try to play the different keys, then without music, by just picking the starting note for the tune.
  9. NYCO10

    NYCO10 Pianissimo User

    Feb 20, 2010
    United Kingdom
    As i said this wasnt planned! there were some 'close shave' moments, but i had no other option :-)
  10. SmoothOperator

    SmoothOperator Mezzo Forte User

    Jul 14, 2010
    This works. Sometimes I like to play the tunes on Xiao, which is only in G, transposing forces me to think about the relative pitches 1,2,3..., and somehow that helps me memorize it. I don't know about every key I guess that could be a good exercise.

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