How to Memorize Songs Fast?

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in Learning Music, Music Theory

Another question about learning songs

“How well will I remember what I’ve learned? Or put another way –  How can I better memorize the songs?”

In learning the it has been proven that your recall percentage of learned material goes down the longer you do not review it. To retain and recall information once you learn it you really need to review it often.

A good program would be to review the information the day after you learned it. Tell the story of what you learned. Come back in a couple of days and visit the information again.

So it would go something like this.

  1. Learn it today.
  2. Review it tomorrow,
  3. then again in a couple of days,
  4. then maybe 5 days after that.
  5. Then a week later.

The review doesn’t take long. But the best thing is to apply and use it.

Scales and chords used in music practice, you would be working on them consistently for some period of time. They would then automatically be remembered through use and practice.

Song Memorization

Memorization of songs is another challenge, However the basic steps are not in learning the note by note progression, but in learning the chord progression and determining the workings with in that progression.

Hear is the analogy that we have touched on in other articles.

You wouldn’t memorize a story by learning the letters of each word in order. You would have a theme and an outline of events where you would use words to describe those events in sentences and paragraphs of nouns and verbs to lead you through the story.

How does your story work

0237-aninotes81 Music is a story and your ability to memorize that story is conditional on you being able to get the whole song in story form in your mind. Even our little animated graphic is telling a story.

From your story you look at the sections often stated as something like form such as A A B A.

This is starting to tell you that you really have 4 chapters to the song, and you tell the same chapter 3 times and a different chapter one time. Note that you will likely have 3 slight variations of the “A” part of this story.

Think of it much like the three pigs children story.  We have three houses of different makes which the wolf will blow down, or attempt to blow down.

Going Deeper

Going deeper you find that you have to put chords to together to give the song motion. These are the sentences to tell the story. Nouns and verbs that relate the story.

Next within the chords you add expression or additional notes of a scale to make the wolf sound like a mean and scary character.

Now you have the song framework. Actually I’ve given you a formula for composing songs. But it works as well to memorize the songs.

Of course there are details you have to work out, but it can be as simple as: I’m working with the C minor chord in these two measures. I do an arpeggio up and then two block chords of a 2nd inversion and then a 1st inversion. While I’m doing this I’m also playing a diatonic minor harmonic scale as the melody…..

This is the process of going deep and learning the song and being able to retain in memory.

Give it a try and let us know if that helps.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Rosemarie Langoth July 13, 2009 at 12:19 pm

Thanks I will try this method of remembering songs.

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