Memorizing Pieces

Classical Guitar technique: studies, scales, arpeggios, theory
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Rognvald
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by Rognvald » Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:53 pm

bensonm wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:41 pm
Rognvald wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:40 pm
Mike, your statement concerning knowledge of musical theory is essential to memorization. For example, when I initially look at a piece, I work out the chord progressions which tell me immediately where the piece is going. .. . especially in appregiated pieces where it is critical. However, if you try to memorize notes in isolation, it will take you much longer and you will never really understand a piece. A musician cannot progress beyond a rudimentary level if he/she does not understand music theory. . . unless you are a savant and it is intuitive. Any savants out there?? Playing again . . . Rognvald
Rognvald,

I know and it's on my to do list when I retire to finally get serious about learning music theory. If you have any suggestions on books, I'd love to hear them.

Mike
Hi, Mike,
One of the best books on Musical Theory I own that is well-written and easy to understand is: "Basic Principles Of Music Theory," by Joseph Brye, 1965, The Ronald Press Company. The cover and pages are tattered but remains one of my best sources for Music Theory. Highly recommended. Playing again . . . Rognvald
"And those who were seen dancing were thought to be insane by those who could not hear the music." Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spake Zarathustra

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fast eddie
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by fast eddie » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:29 am

My son who is in New York, teaches piano . We have had this discussion of how to quickly memorize music several times. One of his teachers told him to memorize a piece of music, you should work backwards from the end to the beginning. In other words, begin at the last measure (or small section) and memorize that until you can play it perfectly without looking at the notes. It is important that the movements of your hands and fingers be exactly correct (thus repeatable). Then proceed to the next to last measure (or small section) and do the same, and play it to the end. Continue this until you have the entire piece memorized. This builds your muscle movement into your brain. He tells the story of a student at Eastman who had perfect pitch and memorized by ear. Occasionally while playing, he would be 1 octave off. This was because his ear was running the show instead of his brain. Anyway, this may seem odd, but it is a well established method. My son swears by this method and I am trying this on a simple piece (Greensleeves).
Here is one reference to this method.
http://www.wikihow.com/Memorize-Sheet-Music a
Fast Eddie
Cordoba C 10 Cedar
1974 Hernandis

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rojarosguitar
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by rojarosguitar » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:00 am

bensonm wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:27 pm
Despite the subject line, this post is not asking about how to memorize pieces. Rather, I'm interested in hearing the thoughts of others regarding why some pieces seem to be easier to memorize than others. For me, some pieces that are quite difficult for me to play correctly are still rather easy to memorize. For example, about a year ago I started on "A Day in November" by Brouwer. I can't remember exactly how long it took me to memorize it, but it wasn't long. Maybe a couple of weeks, and then I had it. (Couldn't really play it, but I knew what I was supposed to play.)
That's funny, because when I read the title of this thread I immediately thought of "Un Dia De Noviembre" by Brower. I started to play this tune at the same time as Lauros Valse #2. While to memorize Lauro was no problem at all for me, I have big problems to remember Un Dia, especially the easiest first part (second part, that is more demanding technically, seems to be easier to memorize). Very strange...
Music is a big continent with different landscapes and corners. Some of them I do visit frequently, some from time to time and some I know from hearsay only ...

bensonm
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by bensonm » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:21 pm

rojarosguitar wrote:
Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:00 am
bensonm wrote:
Wed Jun 28, 2017 7:27 pm
Despite the subject line, this post is not asking about how to memorize pieces. Rather, I'm interested in hearing the thoughts of others regarding why some pieces seem to be easier to memorize than others. For me, some pieces that are quite difficult for me to play correctly are still rather easy to memorize. For example, about a year ago I started on "A Day in November" by Brouwer. I can't remember exactly how long it took me to memorize it, but it wasn't long. Maybe a couple of weeks, and then I had it. (Couldn't really play it, but I knew what I was supposed to play.)
That's funny, because when I read the title of this thread I immediately thought of "Un Dia De Noviembre" by Brower. I started to play this tune at the same time as Lauros Valse #2. While to memorize Lauro was no problem at all for me, I have big problems to remember Un Dia, especially the easiest first part (second part, that is more demanding technically, seems to be easier to memorize). Very strange...
Yes, it is strange. For some reason, I found Un Dia very easy to memorize, but this little piece by Lopes, "Cancao Triste," still gives me problems even though it is so simple I could almost sight read it from the very start.
Michael L. Benson
Cervantes Rodriguez Concert
Aria AC60

bensonm
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Location: Cincinnati, OH

Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by bensonm » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:22 pm

Rognvald wrote:
Mon Jul 17, 2017 2:53 pm
bensonm wrote:
Sun Jul 16, 2017 5:41 pm
Rognvald wrote:
Sat Jul 08, 2017 1:40 pm
Mike, your statement concerning knowledge of musical theory is essential to memorization. For example, when I initially look at a piece, I work out the chord progressions which tell me immediately where the piece is going. .. . especially in appregiated pieces where it is critical. However, if you try to memorize notes in isolation, it will take you much longer and you will never really understand a piece. A musician cannot progress beyond a rudimentary level if he/she does not understand music theory. . . unless you are a savant and it is intuitive. Any savants out there?? Playing again . . . Rognvald
Rognvald,

I know and it's on my to do list when I retire to finally get serious about learning music theory. If you have any suggestions on books, I'd love to hear them.

Mike
Hi, Mike,
One of the best books on Musical Theory I own that is well-written and easy to understand is: "Basic Principles Of Music Theory," by Joseph Brye, 1965, The Ronald Press Company. The cover and pages are tattered but remains one of my best sources for Music Theory. Highly recommended. Playing again . . . Rognvald
Thanks for the tip. I'm getting a copy through my library.
Michael L. Benson
Cervantes Rodriguez Concert
Aria AC60

dtoh
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by dtoh » Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:19 pm

I may have mentioned this in another thread, but I have a friend who's a concert pianist. He claims he never consciously tries to a memorize a piece. He says it just sticks naturally after he's practiced it for a while. Must be nice.

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fast eddie
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by fast eddie » Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:16 am

An excellent description of memorizing a piece by doing it backwards is given on Stephen Aron's Classical Guitar website.

http://www.stephenaron.net/stephenarons ... q=memorize
Fast Eddie
Cordoba C 10 Cedar
1974 Hernandis

Henny
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by Henny » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:05 am

david russel in an interview said ''memorizing a piece by doing it backwards has the advantage you know where you will end,

bensonm
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by bensonm » Tue Aug 29, 2017 3:45 pm

fast eddie wrote:
Fri Aug 25, 2017 5:16 am
An excellent description of memorizing a piece by doing it backwards is given on Stephen Aron's Classical Guitar website.

http://www.stephenaron.net/stephenarons ... q=memorize
Thanks, Fast Eddie. I'm going to give that a try with the next piece I try to learn.
Michael L. Benson
Cervantes Rodriguez Concert
Aria AC60

CactusWren
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by CactusWren » Wed Aug 30, 2017 5:00 am

dtoh wrote:
Fri Jul 21, 2017 4:19 pm
I may have mentioned this in another thread, but I have a friend who's a concert pianist. He claims he never consciously tries to a memorize a piece. He says it just sticks naturally after he's practiced it for a while. Must be nice.
I used to feel this way, but now that I use different practice methods, memorization comes naturally. I used to force my memory, but found that there was no need to separate the memorization and the repetition (practice). As long as I systematically work with things that I can hold in my working memory after about 7 repetitions, I memorize it fairly naturally. It doesn't hurt, of course, to analyze things and make sure you actually know what you're playing.

Pirooz Emad
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by Pirooz Emad » Mon Sep 04, 2017 6:14 am

Have you heard of David Russell's memorization method? He starts memorizing the last measure first and then the measure before that and so on, working his way backward to the beginning. His main reason is that this way every new measure leads to known territory (already memorized), whereas in the common method each new measure leads to an unknown (not yet memorized material) increasing the likelihood of confusion and error.
Russell discusses this and many other interesting topics in this wonderful interview: [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AuqZqdVLpO4].
I wonder if this approach would make a difference for you.

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Aucaman
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by Aucaman » Mon Sep 04, 2017 3:59 pm

I have been working on Victor Villadangos guitar arrangement of Pedro Laurenz "MILONGA DE MIS AMORES," an Argentinian fast milonga.

I had done quite a bit of progress on that piece with the exception of four highly syncopated measures (17 to 20) which were driving me crazy.
I thought I was never going to be able to memorize them. But then I used David Russell's approach and .... voilá!
Quite remarkable how playing the final cadence and slowly working backward to the beginning of that section did the trick.

MAK
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by MAK » Tue Sep 05, 2017 12:57 am

I don't have a good background in music theory, except for the basics--even after several courses in music theory. It's something like a foreign language to me. I can memorize guitar music just by repetition and muscle memory. Since I usually learn new pieces from the beginning, the beginning of the pieces are easier to memorize.

I have read on the forum about learning from the end of the piece. I'll be sure to read the article about starting at the end and will look into the book about memorizing music.

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georgemarousi
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Re: Memorizing Pieces

Post by georgemarousi » Tue Sep 05, 2017 9:17 am

Bach has been the most difficult for me to memorize - I believe for everybody too..

I also usually just repeat the piece many times, and after a weeks it easily memorized with little if any more effort.

Very useful for big/hard pieces is to break the piece in sections ( like measures or lines ) - but I wouldn't do it reverse way due to the extra work finally to put meters in the correct order - along with new possible technical challenges from new shiftings - hehe..
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