Essential Secrets 5: Memorize As You Go Along
Memorize As You Go Along
Making memorization a natural process
Have you ever had to memorize a song after you’ve figured out all the notes? It’s a pretty common situation, especially if you learn from sheet music. This experience makes memorization seem like an extra task that takes a lot of time and effort.
Memorization is not a special step. If you follow this book’s advice to know the song form, break music into sections, and play slowly to maximize muscle memory, you’ll memorize quickly and easily during the learning process itself!
Here’s the secret: The human brain can’t memorize an entire song. Your brain is designed to take in small bits of information and then transfer them to long-term memory. In music, these little bits of information consist of short patterns of notes. A series of patterns creates a musical phrase. Putting phrases together gives you sections. Sections played in sequence make up the whole song. Your job is to memorize the very short patterns and play them in order.
Try these three tips to make sure what you’re playing really does end up in your long-term memory:
· Listen to recordings to hear the music in your head. When you can sing your part before you even start learning to play it, you’ve done most of the memorization that many bassists leave for the end.
· If you’re using sheet music or tab, test yourself often. Put the printed music away and see if you can play the current phrase accurately.
· Write out the form of your song without listening to a recording or reading sheet music. Choose one section in the form and play it from memory.
Memorization needs to be integrated into your bass playing every day. If you think of memorization as something to do at the end of the learning process, you’re doomed before you even start.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET