How To Memorize Music


By Matteo Miller-Nicolato



There are a few common mistakes people make when trying to memorize a new song:


* Playing through the song while constantly looking at the tab.

* Trying to memorize too many notes at the same time.

* Going too fast while playing, so it sounds sloppy.


Memorizing a song is very easy. You need to make sure you do the following things:



SLOW DOWN: The slower you move, the more perfect your motions become. The faster you play, the sloppier you play. You want to practice slowly so that you can practice perfectly! If you are playing too fast, you will only practice incorrectly. Watch for small subtle motions that you are making that are causing you to play sloppy and out of time. You can only reduce these extra movements if you are going slow enough.





ISOLATE: By isolating small parts of the song, you are able to master the physical movements required to play each part. When you practice a sequence of 4-8 notes within 60 seconds, you get FAR more practice than practicing the whole song within a minute. You might play that small part 20 times, instead of just once. So you get 20x the practice.



1. Learn part A (usually 4 notes), by playing it over and over again, slowly.


2. Learn part B, by playing it over and over again in isolation, slowly.


3. Combine part A and B together (total of 8 notes), slowly. Make sure the transition is smooth.


4. Learn part C, in isolation.


5. Learn part D, in isolation.


6. Combine part C and D together (total of 8 notes), slowly. Make sure the transition is smooth.


7. Combine part A, B, and C together (total of 12 notes).


8. combine part B, C, and D together (total of 12 notes).


9. Play all 4 parts together, slowly. Make sure you get every note right, and the transition is smooth.


10. Go back and practice any transition that is not smooth and clean!





If you make ANY mistakes, then you need to stop playing, identify which measure you are struggling with, and practice it in ISOLATION! Then, try again.


Important: You need to repeat this process until you can play these 4 measures slowly, WITHOUT looking at the tab! If you need to look at the tab, you have not memorized it.


Continue learning each new pair of measures in isolation and then adding it to what you have already memorized. Once you have memorized the notes, then you can start working on your timing.


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