Essential Secrets 8: Understand the Form
Understand the Form
Knowing what can be skipped
Almost every piece of music is structured in a series of organized sections, and the exact order of these sections is called the Form. Before you start practicing a song, make sure you know this form. Understanding the form of your song will save an enormous amount of practice time, will speed up memorization, and will make you more confident when you perform.
The secret to using the form to save time in the practice room is noticing which sections appear more than once. This musical material comes up in the song over and over again, but you only need to learn it one time! Skip over any section that you’ve already learned and search for the next section that is still new to you. As mentioned in Secret 2, “Break It Down,” if you always play your songs from beginning to end, skipping sections may feel a little strange. However, when you see how much time you’ll save, you’ll learn to love this method.
Once you can play each section, your knowledge of the form will help you memorize the entire song. Instead of thinking of the song as a big, complicated mess of random notes, you’ll memorize just one section at a time. Then, you simply piece sections together in order. Your performance becomes a string of small, controlled segments of music, each flowing comfortably into the next.
Knowing that you have to control just one section of the song at a time, you’ll be much more confident when performing. As you’re running through the form, you’ll know exactly where you are at all times, and you’ll be able to stay focused and perform at your best.
Don’t waste your precious time practicing one section three times when a different section needs your attention. That is too inefficient. Instead, learn the form and use it to your advantage.
Books by David Motto:
THE TEN MINUTE
FOR ELECTRIC BASS
COMPLETE 3-VOL. SET