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Thread: Memorization of song parts

  1. #1

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    Default Memorization of song parts

    I have the hardest time remembering the parts that I write for my songs for my band. Thankfully I write everything out note for note so I always have it. What I do is read the parts over and over again while playing until I commit them to memory. I try to break things down into smaller chunks like four bar phrases for example and then I also try to work on the whole song as one big piece.

    It drives me nuts how bad my memory is and how long it takes me to memorize the songs that I write on the drums.


    Anybody else struggle with this?

  2. #2

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    I used to have the same problem. At least I think I did......I can't recall for sure....
    -Brian

    "Too many crappy used drum stuff to list"

    Play the SONG......not the DRUMS!!!

    "I think that feeling is a lot more important than technique. It's all very well doing a triple paradiddle - but who's going to know you've done it? If you play technically you sound like everybody else. It's being original that counts." ~ John Bonham

  3. #3

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    I've struggled with it all my life. I'm convinced that I'm deficient in that area. I've tried a lot of the techniques but it takes me forever. I often get jealous of those that have great memories. It seems they don't even try.
    - Tom

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  4. #4

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    My old band always had a philosophy that if you couldn't get the whole song in 4 goes then change it.
    "Most" songs do tend to follow the same structures. Learn the structures & the rest is easy. Play by ear is by far the quickest way to learn a song.

  5. #5

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    Maybe the music you're writing is too complicated. A good song really only consists of verses choruses and a bridge.
    Memory loss is a drag. It bothers me big time now that I'm older.

    all the best...
    Last edited by kay-gee; 11-05-2015 at 02:07 PM.

  6. #6

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    I make numerous recordings of the song. I play back my favorite arrangements many times. It helps me to learn the songs. Your cell phone might have a sound recorder in it somewhere.

  7. #7

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    now are you referring to making every fill the same every beat exactly the same?

    I tend to come up with a rhythm but it's never set in stone unless it requires to be.
    12pc Yamaha Maple Custom Vintage (23pc in total) | 12pc PDP X7 | 9pc Ludwig Jr. | 8pc Pork Pie ZebraWood | 6pc Sonor | 4pc Ddrum Dominion | 5pc Orbitone |4pc Sonor Martini | 50 Snare drums and growing!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    now are you referring to making every fill the same every beat exactly the same?

    I tend to come up with a rhythm but it's never set in stone unless it requires to be.
    Yes, that's what I mean. I want to nail everything I write note for note every time I play the song.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnightmadness View Post
    Yes, that's what I mean. I want to nail everything I write note for note every time I play the song.
    Do you have the song in its entirety recorded? if not, get a good recording of you playing together. Then, work on the songs as a band going over each section independently until you've nailed it. Then do it another 50 times. Play the songs until you don't even think about the parts. If you're playing the song live and you're in the verse but your mind is questioning how the chorus goes, you're doomed.

    It always takes me a good couple of weeks before I can start a song with confidence just by hearing the title of the song. Nothing worse than about to start and inside your head you're saying, "how does this song go again?!"

  10. #10

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    ^omg that is the worst... how does this one start again?!

    I started making notes on our set list on which ones I started or didn't.
    The ones I started I'd write a simple note on how it starts.
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  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    ^omg that is the worst... how does this one start again?!
    Crib sheets

  12. #12

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    Record and playback, etc., because I know what you mean. It's your own song so you feel you're not really confined to the parts you've written, you can change them any time....
    But you don't want to. So read the music you wrote, record, playback and memorize.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by SpazApproved View Post
    ^omg that is the worst... how does this one start again?!

    I started making notes on our set list on which ones I started or didn't.
    The ones I started I'd write a simple note on how it starts.
    Me, too, Spaz. I keep a music stand to my left, over the hi hat, and have a sheet of paper listing each song's tempo (which I count off with a metronome), who starts the song, and reminders of how my parts are played. Sometimes I draw a total blank on songs I've played hundreds of times! My memory problems have been with me since I was a child, and have only gotten worse with age. Nowadays, if I don't write something down in my back pocket notebook, it's gone forever!

    For the OP, I'd do as suggested and record the song exactly the way you wrote it, then practice to the recording. That's the best way to drill the parts into your memory.

    GeeDeeEmm

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by N2Bluz View Post
    I used to have the same problem. At least I think I did......I can't recall for sure....
    Ha!

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  15. #15

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    consistency and repetition is what I try to brain wash into my students head.
    Even if you feel you have it do it again
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  16. #16

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    Here is a simple solution - albeit a bit costly but oh so effective -

    Item #1: iPad - 2 or newer

    Item #2: iPad mount that will clamp to a cymbal stand and hold your iPad securely

    I use a program called "forScore" - our entire band uses the program - our set lists , each song with lyrics and chords OR nashville number system notations - I make notations on intro's - and sections that require more than average fills or accents or breaks.
    I sing lead and harmony vocals so I have the lyrics on every song we have ever played.

    The set list will show you all the tunes in order - and then you tap the screen and the first tune pops up - be it lyrics or your own notated chart for that tune -

    I Love It - in the past, I had 10 pounds of paper, with the lyrics and drum notations ...now I carry my iPad 2, the iPad mount and the charger cord.
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  17. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnightmadness View Post
    Yes, that's what I mean. I want to nail everything I write note for note every time I play the song.
    Required for the studio; not for the road.

    As long as you properly cue the band-mates and don't confuse anyone...........and make certain tempos are correct, you are golden.
    Fills and nuances are yours with which to experiment and enjoy.
    [On some occasions, fills are an integral component of a song and can't be altered.]

    Having said all that, if you can happen to nail every note every time, then that works too.
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  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ricardo View Post
    Required for the studio; not for the road.

    As long as you properly cue the band-mates and don't confuse anyone...........and make certain tempos are correct, you are golden.
    Fills and nuances are yours with which to experiment and enjoy.
    [On some occasions, fills are an integral component of a song and can't be altered.]

    Having said all that, if you can happen to nail every note every time, then that works too.
    Truth is: Its invaluable for both settings - - Intro's - breaks - signature fills - and if you are a singing drummer singing either lead vocals or harmony/back up vocals - I use mine live as well as in the studio...our entire band uses them Live - its simple and easy
    Yamaha Oak Custom 22x17 with Brass Kick Port, Brass Hoop Claws,10-12-14 racks, 16 Floor and all toms have Brass Hoops and a Tama Starclassic Bubinga Elite 14x6.5 snare in Quilted Mocha Burst and Black Nickel hardware. All hi-end Zildjian Cymbals - K Dark Thin crashes & splashes, a Zildjian A crash & a Meinl 16" crash, Avedis Zildjian 1964 ride, K Custom hats plus New Beat hats on Closed X-Hat.


    If a Man offends thee - - give each of his children a Drum~~~!!!

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by Midnightmadness View Post
    Yes, that's what I mean. I want to nail everything I write note for note every time I play the song.
    may I ask why? i might be able to match everything i play because it's not difficult playing but wouldn't it get boring playing every fill the same every time?
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  20. #20

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    if you play the song live who care... just make new cool stuff up and keep the time. No one will care or notice except you
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by slinky View Post
    may I ask why? i might be able to match everything i play because it's not difficult playing but wouldn't it get boring playing every fill the same every time?

    I take the Neil Peart approach. I come up with the best parts I can come up with then try to replicate them note for note everytime I play the song.

    For me I always want to be consistent every time. I know that other people may not know that I made a mistake but I will. I constantly strive for perfection with what I'm doing. For me that's the only way.

    My parts are very orchestrated. So I don't want to alter them once I have them where I want them.
    Last edited by Midnightmadness; 11-09-2015 at 09:53 PM.

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