Page 2 of 3 FirstFirst 123 LastLast
Results 26 to 50 of 54

Thread: How to remember tunes?

  1. #26
    Registered User J Mangio's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    Spring Hope, NC
    Posts
    385

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    I play and memorize through repetition two bars, after they are memorized I move on to the next two.
    2020 The Loar Supreme LM700 VS

  2. The following members say thank you to J Mangio for this post:


  3. #27
    The Amateur Mandolinist Mark Gunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Palmer, Texas
    Posts
    3,776

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    Quote Originally Posted by killntime View Post
    I wonder, is the art of remembering a tune a talent/gift or can it be learned?
    Iíd never thought of that as an art. But since the question is about memory, there is ample evidence that some have better memory than others. There is also ample evidence than memory can be improved for many people.

    I think the key to remembering a tune is to internalize it. You got to get it in there solidly. Techniques mentioned above (repetitive listening, repetitive playing, singing) are simply tools to help internalize it.

    Are you trying to play tunes that you already love? For most people, some music or other has become part of their lives. People speak about ďthe soundtrack of my life.Ē I think it helps if you play the music you love, that matters in your life. Thatís easier to grasp and remember.

    And as someone else pointed out, as a 4 month newbie, you should really cut yourself some slack!
    WWW.MARKGUNTER.NET
    ----------------------------------
    "Life is short. Play hard." - AlanN

    ----------------------------------
    HEY! The Cafe has Social Groups, check 'em out. I'm in these groups:
    Newbies Social Group | The Song-A-Week Social
    The Woodshed Study Group | Blues Mando
    - Advice For Mandolin Beginners
    - YouTube Stuff

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Mark Gunter For This Useful Post:


  5. #28
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,689

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    Definitely recommend (as do others) putting away the paper and playing it without ASAP as well as singing it. You can quiz yourself on a car ride, for instance, try to remember the tune and sing it.

    When I was younger it was much easier. At one point or another I probably could remember 300 tunes or so. Now, not so much. I do have lists and i also find if i can find the first few starting notes and the key then the rest of the tune will come eventually. Sometimes it take me a bit of time, though.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  6. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Jim Garber For This Useful Post:


  7. #29
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego CA
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    Personally I write out chord charts with lyrics for all the songs I want to sing and put them on Google Drive. I'm not talking about going online, finding the tab / chord sheet, and just copying that - I'm talking about actually listening to the song and writing down (or typing) the lyrics out by hand then adding the appropriate chord above the lyrics.

    This does two things

    1. For me, the act of listening to the song and writing down the lyrics really helps drill them in my head. It also eliminates the potential errors you find on many chord sheets / tabs you find online

    2. Since they are on Google Drive, I can get them anytime I need if I forget, share them with friends, and create set / song lists for bands.

    Funny enough, I started doing stuff like this in college. I used to write out cheat sheets for every test I took - like really small print on a note card etc. What I found out however is just the act of writing the cheat sheet out so I could fit all the information on a note card was all I needed. By the time I was done writing on the cheat sheet, I had memorized what I needed to know and didn't need the cheat sheet haha.
    www.mattcbruno.com
    www.thebigdecisionsband.com
    https://shakedownstringband.org

    Mando's in use
    Newson 2018
    Gibson F9 2014
    Jonathan Mann OEMsc 8
    Jonathan Mann OSEMdc 5
    Weber Gallatin Mandocello

  8. #30
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    central VA
    Posts
    810

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    The Bluegrass Boys came thru and played a little joint up the road somewhere around 1990. The music was popular in DC at the time and lots of the big names would book shows there on Sunday nights, as they were on their way back to Nashville or wherever. I was interested in fiddle at the time and BM's fiddler gave me the advice to pick who I wanted to sound like and listen to that music as much as possible. He said the music would sink in and I would start thinking (choice of notes, etc) the way that player did and I would eventually sound more like that.

    I've taken that profoundly practical advice to heart and found it to be true. That is, as long as I choose musical goals that are attainable and accessible. It's possible to aim too high y'know....one reason I won't do pedal steel guitar and expect to sound like Paul Franklin with Alan Jackson.

  9. #31
    but that's just me Bertram Henze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    0.8 mpc from NGC224, upstairs
    Posts
    9,944

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    "all the tunes"? Memory needs concentration. Do not play 10 tunes from tab, but play one from ear over and over, until it haunts you and you hum it in your sleep. When you reach that point of not being able to forget it any more, that is the time for starting on the second tune, and so forth.

    Eventually, you'll reach the status of not forgetting tunes, but of forgetting their names instead.
    the world is better off without bad ideas, good ideas are better off without the world

  10. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Bertram Henze For This Useful Post:


  11. #32
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Kernersville, NC
    Posts
    2,582
    Blog Entries
    3

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    Elevate your sense of awareness when practicing. Study the form of it until your brain develops a way to hold it. I was having trouble remembering strings of numbers in my head recently and decided to slow down and be very deliberate in informing my brain with information it needed to hold. It seems easy now to hold a phone number in my head until I can write it down. Makes me more sure the brain is only as good as we require it to be. Give it time and practice. Early on I had issues remembering fiddle tunes - it seems a lot easier now.

  12. #33
    Stop the chop!
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    europe
    Posts
    1,381
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    I've said this before: memorization comes from understanding. In this case, understanding the tune, the story it tells, its feel and form, how it hangs together, etc. Learning a first instrument always means, or should mean, learning music, e.g., keys and their scales. Whenever I learn a tune from a recording (only rarely today, at 76) the first thing I learn is the harmonic structure. Fiddle tunes usually have no more than four or five chords and you should find some way to learn to identify the most common chord structures. Even fishing for the chords on your mandolin (you will have to learn some of the most common chord forms anyway) will help.

    ALso the melodies of fiddle tunes for the most part outline the chords, scale- or arpeggiowise. Sometimes it helps to try and identify some kind of melodic skeleton, perhaps two notes each bar, that determine the character and direction of the melody of the tune.

  13. #34

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    I've said this before: memorization comes from understanding. In this case, understanding the tune, the story it tells, its feel and form, how it hangs together, etc. Learning a first instrument always means, or should mean, learning music, e.g., keys and their scales. Whenever I learn a tune from a recording (only rarely today, at 76) the first thing I learn is the harmonic structure. Fiddle tunes usually have no more than four or five chords and you should find some way to learn to identify the most common chord structures. Even fishing for the chords on your mandolin (you will have to learn some of the most common chord forms anyway) will help.

    ALso the melodies of fiddle tunes for the most part outline the chords, scale- or arpeggiowise. Sometimes it helps to try and identify some kind of melodic skeleton, perhaps two notes each bar, that determine the character and direction of the melody of the tune.
    Hm. I'm sure it works for you. But I know intimately the story of every song I've ever written, and that has never ever helped me remember them.

    The only thing that helps is playing them over and over and over and over. And over. And over.

    And over.

    And over . . . .

  14. #35
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,689

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    I drive my wife completey bonkers even though she is also a musician but whenever I want to learn a tune I make sure that it plays in my head all the time and sometimes it leaks out unbeknownst to me. She will call me out and say, "Can you stop humming." In any case that helps a lot in my learning the tune. I can then just pick up a fiddle or mandolin and play it. Sort of learning from the internal "recording" in my head.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  15. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  16. #36
    Stop the chop!
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    europe
    Posts
    1,381
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Charlie Bernstein View Post
    Hm. I'm sure it works for you. But I know intimately the story of every song I've ever written, and that has never ever helped me remember them.

    The only thing that helps is playing them over and over and over and over. And over. And over.

    And over.

    And over . . . .
    I used the word "story" in a figurative sense.

    Perhaps a more concise formulation would be "get the big picture before going into detail".

  17. #37
    Registered User Randi Gormley's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Connecticut, USA
    Posts
    3,164

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    4 months. Sigh. I realized i could play tunes NOT from the music at something like 2 years after I started playing consistently. Now I can pick up a tune in about 12 hours, give or take (I picked up one tune in 20 minutes but it was a real ear worm), but starting out, it took time. Like playing faster. It just took time. So give yourself the time.
    --------------------------------
    1920 Lyon & Healy bowlback
    1923 Gibson A-1 snakehead
    1952 Strad-o-lin
    1983 Giannini ABSM1 bandolim
    2009 Giannini GBSM3 bandolim
    2011 Eastman MD305

  18. #38
    Registered User mbruno's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    San Diego CA
    Posts
    380

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    What about starting with tunes you already know really well - like Mary had a Little Lamb or the Alphabet song? They are not tunes you're likely to hear in jam circles, but then again - the chord structures for those songs are 90% standard bluegrass tunes really. Most children's songs are pretty simple - G C and D chords (assuming you play in G etc)

    Try taking any children's song you know all the lyrics to by heart and first look up the chords that are involved. For example Mary had a Little Lamb in G would just have G and D (or I and V).


    G D G
    Mary had a little Lamb, a little lamb, a little lamb


    Try playing and singing against a basic recording or, going a step further, don't listen to the recording and sing while playing the chords where you think they go based on your vocal melody.

    It might be painful at first, but you'll likely surprise yourself with how well you can play those songs without chords etc. From there, it's not a far step to "real" songs.
    www.mattcbruno.com
    www.thebigdecisionsband.com
    https://shakedownstringband.org

    Mando's in use
    Newson 2018
    Gibson F9 2014
    Jonathan Mann OEMsc 8
    Jonathan Mann OSEMdc 5
    Weber Gallatin Mandocello

  19. #39
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Southern Maine USA
    Posts
    684

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    Having a reference book with the first 2 or 3 bars of melody, in notation or tab, will help you remember them.

  20. The following members say thank you to Joel Glassman for this post:


  21. #40
    Confused... or?
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    Over the Hudson & thru the woods from NYC
    Posts
    2,454

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    One trick that can help is to learn the song starting from the end. Memorize and play the last bar, then the last two bars, then the last three, then four, then five, six ... until you run off the front end! It gives you a whole 'nuther perspective.
    - Ed

    "Then one day we weren't as young as before
    Our mistakes weren't quite so easy to undo
    But by all those roads, my friend, we've travelled down
    I'm a better man for just the knowin' of you."
    - Ian Tyson

  22. The following members say thank you to EdHanrahan for this post:


  23. #41
    Stop the chop!
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    europe
    Posts
    1,381
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Martin View Post
    Sing the melodies to yourself. Especially as you are learning them. You canít play it if you canít sing it.


    That's a very categorical statement, meaning I hardly know any tune that I've learned from records, or even composed myself, over the years, because of my limited singing ability. E.g., the first tunes I learned on the mandolin were the fiddle tunes I had already transcribed on he guitar, tunes running up and down the scales and chord, such as Brilliance, Rutland's Reel, and High Level Hornpipe. I'm not sure how I would go about achieving that extreme agility in my vocal cords. Any tips?


    What's your proof?


    And what is wrong with listening and analysis?

  24. The following members say thank you to ralph johansson for this post:


  25. #42
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2020
    Location
    North Carolina
    Posts
    9

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    I play by ear, but I can imagine what it must be like to play by sheet music/tabs only. Maybe you should try not using those as much, and see what sounds you can make just from hearing the music in your head. Or try some play-alongs on YouTube.

  26. #43
    Mando-Accumulator Jim Garber's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Westchester, NY
    Posts
    27,689

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    Quote Originally Posted by ralph johansson View Post
    That's a very categorical statement, meaning I hardly know any tune that I've learned from records, or even composed myself, over the years, because of my limited singing ability. E.g., the first tunes I learned on the mandolin were the fiddle tunes I had already transcribed on he guitar, tunes running up and down the scales and chord, such as Brilliance, Rutland's Reel, and High Level Hornpipe. I'm not sure how I would go about achieving that extreme agility in my vocal cords. Any tips?


    What's your proof?


    And what is wrong with listening and analysis?
    I don’t think you need “extreme agility” to hum a melody. It just helps connect what you hear in your head with what you want to play. Also, nothing wrong with listening and analysis. It is all helpful in the process. Are you able to learn a melody by ear? Or play a call and response with someone else on the fly without notation? I would think so. The proof is in your experience but you also have to try it.

    A tune I want to learn I listen to it, sing in the shower or while driving. Then try to play it. If I can’t remember I go back to recording or sheet music, maybe analyze parts I have trouble with and continue to have that tune playing in my brain’s playlist. It is all part of the process.
    Jim

    My Stream on Soundcloud
    Facebook
    19th Century Tunes
    Playing lately:
    2018 Campanella A-5 -- 2007 Brentrup A4C -- 1915 Frank Merwin Ashley violin -- Huss & Dalton DS -- 1923 Gibson A2 black snakehead -- '83 Flatiron A5-2 -- 1939 Gibson L-00 -- 1936 Epiphone Deluxe -- 1928 Gibson L-5 -- ca. 1890s Fairbanks Senator Banjo -- ca. 1923 Vega Style M tenor banjo -- ca. 1920 Weymann Style 25 Mandolin-Banjo -- National RM-1

  27. The following members say thank you to Jim Garber for this post:


  28. #44

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    When I think of the times I ‘go wrong’ in a tune, it’s mainly because for a short block of notes my fingers want to go somewhere and my reasoning memory think the tune should physically (finger movements) go a different way. It’s often only four eighth notes, and my fingers were going to do an impro that was actually going to lead to the same place anyway, but there’s confusion over who has overall control... and then crash. Once through slowly with eyes closed, thinking about my fingers, then there’s no problem with the tune -for a couple of weeks at least.

    I find the easiest way, for me to learn a tune, and never to forget it is to play it on my air mandolin.
    With this technique it’s ESSENTIAL to never make a mistake. This is hard because there’s no aural feedback.

    The next best method, again for me at least, is to play the tune without air mandolin, that is, simply with an imaginary air mandolin -you basically teach yourself a mental picture of the finger movements of the tune on an imaginary fretboard.

    I once told someone I wasn’t any good at lucid, visual thinking and she said, you know at one time you weren’t any good at guitar either!
    That was during an art (acrylics) class years ago.
    It all helps.

    -another one, learn a road map of your town and travel down a certain road reciting to a friend everything you can see, the pubs, the cafes, the gyms, the red light district, the gunshops. (joking!)
    Use google earth to confirm what you ‘saw’!

  29. The following members say thank you to Simon DS for this post:


  30. #45
    Registered User lowtone2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    lower alabama
    Posts
    267

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    i might as well pile on too.

    Katie knows.


  31. #46
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Location
    Southern Maine
    Posts
    97

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    This is what works for me: 1) listen, listen, listen to the recorded version; 2) learn and practice the chord changes, play repeatedly; 3) learn and practice the melody; I create my own ďbacking trackĒ on iReel, thus allowing tempo variations as well as optional key changes.
    Girouard A
    Silverangel A
    Eastman 615-tweaked

  32. #47
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Gainesville, FL
    Posts
    2,470

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    Same way you get to Carnegie Hall..........practice, practice, practice.

  33. #48
    coprolite mandroid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Outer Spiral Arm, of Galaxy, NW Oregon.
    Posts
    16,173

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    How to remember where I left my Glasses is the 1st lesson challenge..
    writing about music
    is like dancing,
    about architecture

  34. The following members say thank you to mandroid for this post:


  35. #49
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Upstate New York
    Posts
    23,377
    Blog Entries
    53

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    I am not sure there are techniques to learn. It is a skill that can be acquired.

    When I can, I spend several days or a week singing the tune or humming it, or kind of skat singing it. When I can do that and get the tune right, figuring out how to play it comes quickly, and remembering how to play it is somehow just there.

    I think the heavy lifting "remembering of the tune" occurs in the first phase of humming it, getting it in my head.


    The times I have struggled to remember a tune were times i found i didn't really know the tune yet.
    Having something to say is highly over rated.

    The entire staff
    funny....

  36. #50

    Default Re: How to remember tunes?

    I’m a complete noob on the mandolin- four months now. But I’m a good harmonica player and vocalist, and I agree completely with the comments about singing or humming the tune to get it in your head. Whenever I need to learn a specific harp riff or melody I have to hum it to get it memorized. If I have trouble remembering how to start it I’ll jot down the opening two or three notes on the set list.

    The first dozen songs I learned on the mandolin are mostly songs I already sang lead vocals in the band. It shortened the learning curve immensely.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •