Jump to content
Left leaderboard
ambient

How good are you at remembering songs?

Recommended Posts

3 minutes ago, MacDaddy said:

without wishing to disparage the talents of the maestro, he did have an eidetic memory, plus music was his full time job and he was conducting from age 19. 

Point being one would expect a high level of proficiency from someone so talented and experienced, but I know that Basschat is full of equally talented and experienced people in other fields, which maybe do not carry quite the same renown. 

 

It’s an amazing accomplishment though. It’s not just the notes, it’s all the tempo markings, dynamics and all the other notations. It looks like it turned him into a bit of a monster to work with though. I’d have been off out the door, probably in floods of tears 😁

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the covers/function band, we have an (unwritten) songbook of perhaps 150 songs, of which there's a frequently-played core of 75 or so, all of which I can recall straight away. The other half are pretty much there, in fact if one's called, I freeze momentarily and couldn't tell you how it goes, but once the '2,3,4' has gone they (mostly) come back in their entirety. We don't rehearse.

The originals band I was in 30 years ago had a reunion last Nov, we had, I think, 6 rehearsals for that, at the first one five or six of the songs came back straight away after 30 years absence. I'd listened to them via some mp3s we still had from the original tapes, but not played them. The other 10 or so took a bit more work, as several of them I'd forgotten about completely.

I struggle a little to pick up new songs when I'm studying for exams (unending Microsoft and Cisco qualifications, mostly), but then that is my day job...

I still forget what I've just come upstairs for, or go back down without it.

The brain is a wonderful thing... 😃

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I can remember songs that I learned to play 20 - 30 years ago but then I have an amazing memory for some very weird reason. People comment to me, "how do you remember that?" but it just goes in and stays in. However, things like phone numbers, car reg. plates and even pin numbers I can struggle to remember. No idea why.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, Linus27 said:

I can remember songs that I learned to play 20 - 30 years ago but then I have an amazing memory for some very weird reason. People comment to me, "how do you remember that?" but it just goes in and stays in. However, things like phone numbers, car reg. plates and even pin numbers I can struggle to remember. No idea why.

It’s odd, I can remember phone numbers of relatives from when I was a child, and dates of birth too. I’m like a walking diary. Songs and music though I really struggle.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well just listened to a recording from 1995, and I can't remember all the bassline.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Being an ancient noob I sometimes really struggle until I get a song started, I like the idea of having a note of maybe the first bar or even just the first couple of notes for example 

RIDE ON   E 2/7       (the / is a slide)

IF               G 0          (to suit my voice I start EF G)

CALEDONIA A 1/6 6 8

might be enough to kick-start my brain

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to work with a guitarist and we would often laugh at how we learned things.

Back then, before I figured out how I could speed learn, it would take me a long, long and sometimes tough time extracting and learning bass lines accurately. However, when I had, it would be in my head for years even if I didn't play the song.

I'd go to jam sessions, sure that I wouldn't know a particular song.. but, when the count came up, things seemed to fall in to place.

The guitarist I worked with was quite the opposite. It was insane to watch him remember huge sections of shred guitar solos even after one or two listens. We would play them in the rehearsal room and it would be bang on. Come back the following day? Gone. We had to relearn the guitar parts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm still fairly good with songs, even at my advancing years. In my acoustic duo we play 100's of tunes, and most I can remember although for some strange reason it's the keys that often catch me out! Once I've got the key then the song just falls into place for me, and this is quite handy when we decide to drop the key for any reason - we call them 'sitting down' or 'lunchtime ' gigs, where we may be feeling a little rough and the vocals will be too much of a stretch! I guess I must subconsciously learn songs in a way that easily translates to other key signatures.

The other stumbling block for us is lyrics - we can both usually remember the tune / chords etc but the words don't come to mind so readily. For those occasions we have an Ipad Pro running the Forscore app with song lyrics to help prompt us. Didn't like using this at first, but it's certainly better than freezing halfway through a number etc. Also most big touring bands (of a certain age anyway) seem to use those large monitor screens with the lyrics scrolling along, so hey ho. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, dave moffat said:

Being an ancient noob I sometimes really struggle until I get a song started, I like the idea of having a note of maybe the first bar or even just the first couple of notes for example 

RIDE ON   E 2/7       (the / is a slide)

IF               G 0          (to suit my voice I start EF G)

CALEDONIA A 1/6 6 8

might be enough to kick-start my brain

Looks like COBOL, but worse...

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Muzz said:

struggle a little to pick up new songs when I'm studying for exams (unending Microsoft and Cisco qualifications, mostly), but then that is my day job...

Wow, Microsoft and Cisco require you to learn songs for their qualification now? That *is* harsh!

I hope its not that windows 386 song...

 

  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
33 minutes ago, Woodinblack said:

Wow, Microsoft and Cisco require you to learn songs for their qualification now? That *is* harsh!

I hope its not that windows 386 song...

 

W95 actually...

(official version)

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, Stub Mandrel said:

Well just listened to a recording from 1995, and I can't remember all the bassline.

Try listening back to stuff you played in the eighties when you had the lend of a lefty but played it right-handed.  That's my excuse for not remembering the lines I played then.  They weren't that complicated either.

  • Like 1
  • Haha 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, dave moffat said:

Being an ancient noob I sometimes really struggle until I get a song started, I like the idea of having a note of maybe the first bar or even just the first couple of notes for example 

RIDE ON   E 2/7       (the / is a slide)

IF               G 0          (to suit my voice I start EF G)

CALEDONIA A 1/6 6 8

might be enough to kick-start my brain

That always worked for me with vocals when I was a chorister.  I'm not so bad with my current bass set but I've had that for a long time.

With the choir I'd write the first vocal phrase of each number in the set and craftily pocket the crib-sheet.  It doesn't work unless you are partially hidden in the rows behind.  Front row choristers have to be bang-on or risk being outed as thickoes.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well this thread has made my year (already!) I thought it was just me, but now it seems I was playing with people who had better that the average memory... Woo Hoo!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, MacDaddy said:

Blog_Simpson.jpg

Yes, this is how it is for me. I think my mental hard drive is just about full.

I seem to remember round about the time of Windows '98 that 'defragging' was a thing, to clean up and sort out your hard drive files. Does that even exist as a technique now?

Anyway, that's what I feel I need. Not sure I have any space left in my head at all some days   :scratch_one-s_head:

  • Haha 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When I got paid for writing, I got to the stage that I could remember abstract stuff only until I wrote it down.

I'd have to re-read to recall otherwise.  I suppose it was an instinctive thing to learn to cope with lots of technical knowledge that had to be presented to a variety of semi-skilled workers to a deadline.  Sometimes it's a handicap to me now that I am semi-retired.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure relying on memory is a good thing.

My memory is pretty good so when I started playing as a late starter going straight into a covers band it seemed natural enough to just memorise stuff. As a result I have little musical theory and a very poorly developed ear. Every new song I just go to the tabs or you Tube and … just memorise it. It's a dead end musically I know now, but with three new songs to play next week I'll just rely on memory again. I'm so jealous of those people who can hear a song and just work it out. Toscanini probably didn't need to know every note, just that one of them wasn't in the key the piece was written in.

So I've found my carrying capacity for songs is somewhere up in the 120-150 mark, three bands worth of set list plus a few old pot boilers. Any more than that and I'll start making mistakes (well more than usual) That will involve playing most of them once a month probably. Interestingly the ones I've gigged a few times stick better than those that never get out of the rehearsal room. Is it the adrenaline of performance that helps? It's plate spinning though, you have to give them a little tweak now and again in personal practice or they keep falling over.

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
14 hours ago, Phil Starr said:

Toscanini probably didn't need to know every note, just that one of them wasn't in the key the piece was written in.

I thought that.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It always amazes me that a back line of a band learn every note and are usually solid but for the most brass players who are reading always manage to [email protected] up and play without commitment to notes and they are reading ! i think im going to adopt Mr Toscanini work practice and get my whip out 🙂

Edited by funkgod

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My memory's gotten worse as I've got older. If I stop regularly practicing any song in my bands set my playing suffers as I stumble through the riff changes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm distinctly average and I seem to fall into ... I'm OK once we've started category.

What I love are the songs that have completely the same outline structure but for no apparent reason change a three note run every time it comes up.  arrgghh.

I'm OK now.

Peace

Davo

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Davo-London said:

What I love are the songs that have completely the same outline structure but for no apparent reason change a three note run every time it comes up. 

Just do something random each time. That's almost always what the original musician did/does.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Once I know something, it usually sticks. Learning it in the first place can take some time, however.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.



×
×
  • Create New...