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I've decided to use this time to properly learn some parts. Not something  I usually do, as none of my recent bands have played strict covers. So far, I've found the actual picking up of parts quite easy - first two Narada Michael Warden's I Shoulda Loved Ya, and the proper Duck Dunn part for Too Hard to Handle. My BIG problem is, having learnt a part, if I go back to it say 4 hours later I have completely forgotten it.

Does anyone have any tips - aide memoirs or techniques to speed up the memorising of lines?

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Play it again, Sam.

 

Long answer: After a week or two the song starts to stick to your head, and then to your hands. It just takes time and active training. 5 minutes a day is far better than 1 hour once a week.

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1 minute ago, itu said:

Play it again, Sam.

 

Long answer: After a week or two the song starts to stick to your head, and then to your hands. It just takes time and active training. 5 minutes a day is far better than 1 hour once a week.

Yes, been doing this with Hard to Handle, and I know when playing in a band it is muscle memory that works for me (I'd stand there thinking how the hell does this one go, and then the first note and I'd be on it). 

Also, what are your thoughts - should I work on say 3 or 4 songs over that week/2 week period, or learn one at a time? Thanks.

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6 minutes ago, Mykesbass said:

I've decided to use this time to properly learn some parts. Not something  I usually do, as none of my recent bands have played strict covers. So far, I've found the actual picking up of parts quite easy - first two Narada Michael Warden's I Shoulda Loved Ya, and the proper Duck Dunn part for Too Hard to Handle. My BIG problem is, having learnt a part, if I go back to it say 4 hours later I have completely forgotten it.

Does anyone have any tips - aide memoirs or techniques to speed up the memorising of lines?

If it’s important to pay attention to a bass part I’ll write it out,I find it helpful to see as well as listen. It also gives you a record of it for future reference. 

Musescore is a free score writing app available for both Mac and Windows 

 

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11 minutes ago, Mykesbass said:

Does anyone have any tips - aide memoirs or techniques to speed up the memorising of lines?

Keep playing them, over and over.

When I had a gig coming up that required me to do more than just wing it, I played the set every day for a week. It didn't stop me having blank spots but there were far fewer of them.

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Usually there is no possibility to divide time like one song / month. Just play everything a little every day, and all songs will go to your head and hands with time. Some faster and some slower. My brain is able to do some parallel processing, although as a true bassist, it tends to take quite some time...

The big issue I have, is to play something that I have played years ago. Basic jazz standards are easy to remember, but not so easy to play after some pause. Night in Tunisia or Street life without any help from scores and I will play myself to the outer space of fifths.

@frannie01's comment of transcribing is also very important to me in the learning process.

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I bought a 10" tablet and a software to keep my notes in one place. I carry it everywhere with the bass and the page turning device. Now I have a library of few thousand scores in the unit. This helps a lot, when some old song comes along. I do not see, that the song has to be exact every time, but to convince the audience, the song has to be close enough. That tab is really helpful. Carrying books and papers was a chore.

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11 minutes ago, itu said:

I bought a 10" tablet and a software to keep my notes in one place. I carry it everywhere with the bass and the page turning device. Now I have a library of few thousand scores in the unit. This helps a lot, when some old song comes along. I do not see, that the song has to be exact every time, but to convince the audience, the song has to be close enough. That tab is really helpful. Carrying books and papers was a chore.

I'm still very much pencil and paper, and to be honest, I think that will be enough for now, gotting down some key notation. Thanks again.

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A tip that may help with longer pieces : start from the end. That's to say : learn the last section, then, when that's going well, learn the preceding section, and follow through to the end. Rinse and repeat. As you move towards the beginning, you're playing more and more into familiar territory.
Hope this helps. B|

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I've found that if I learn something, then play through it multiple times in one sitting, when I come back to it I still forget things. It takes a few days of playing it, even only once or twice a day before it starts to stick.

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25 minutes ago, Mykesbass said:

I'm still very much pencil and paper, and to be honest, I think that will be enough for now, gotting down some key notation. Thanks again.

I have a shelf full of folders containing charts for every band I've played in in the last 20 years. There must be hundreds of songs in there. Some bands I

can get by with a couple of run throughs, others need more work. These days, it takes as long as it takes.

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1 hour ago, itu said:

I bought a 10" tablet and a software to keep my notes in one place. I carry it everywhere with the bass and the page turning device. Now I have a library of few thousand scores in the unit. This helps a lot, when some old song comes along. I do not see, that the song has to be exact every time, but to convince the audience, the song has to be close enough. That tab is really helpful. Carrying books and papers was a chore.

what app did you use? I'm using Gigbook but I don't really like it....

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@chris_b: I did some work while scanning a heap of notes the other day. Well, few days. I found many scores I did not even remember...

@Muppet: At the moment the Mobile Sheets Pro seems to be pretty functional and simple enough. Especially for the cost. The pedal I have is a 4-button Dragonfly, but the 2-button Firefly would be thinner to carry.

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It can be good to look at the part first, don’t even pick up your instrument. Study it, see how it’s constructed, how it’s based. Is it just root/fifth?Is it triads? Blues scale. That kind of thing. What key is it in? What are the chords? Look for repetition. If it’s a repeating four bar phrase, then that’s actually only four bars you need to learn, you just need to remember how many times it repeats.

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I find that with songs new to me, the best way to get them into my thick skull is to write a part out first, whether I’ll need it or not at a later date. There’s something about writing out even a simple chord chart that helps it stick in my mind, almost to the point of me remembering the page layout and what goes where as I’m playing it. I’ve subsequently got parts for most things I’ve played over the last 40 odd years! Always think that if my band ever needed an emergency dep then at least he/she may have a fighting chance if they could follow the stuff I’ve written too, certainly better than busking anyway.

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11 minutes ago, casapete said:

I find that with songs new to me, the best way to get them into my thick skull is to write a part out first, whether I’ll need it or not at a later date. There’s something about writing out even a simple chord chart that helps it stick in my mind, almost to the point of me remembering the page layout and what goes where as I’m playing it. I’ve subsequently got parts for most things I’ve played over the last 40 odd years! Always think that if my band ever needed an emergency dep then at least he/she may have a fighting chance if they could follow the stuff I’ve written too, certainly better than busking anyway.

That’s a very good suggestion. I find writing anything out is good for remembering and understanding it, not just music. I think it’s because your brain is having to process the information as you write.

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Just now, ambient said:

That’s a very good suggestion. I find writing anything out is good for remembering and understanding it, not just music. I think it’s because your brain is having to process the information as you write.

I’ve also found it helps with the hardest thing for me - that is when a song gets altered in the arrangement in some way. I find changing what’s embedded in my mind harder than learning a new song for some reason. Re-writing it doesn’t guarantee I’ll keep to the new version but certainly helps.

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