good at improvising, terible at learning songs - Jemsite
Players & Bands, Music & Sounds, Tours & Jams, Lessons & Theory! Covers everything from discussing musicians, bands, music, albums, videos, local jams & sharing multimedia links (no illegal file sharing please).

 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 08:20 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Philippines
Posts: 57
good at improvising, terible at learning songs

hey, ive been playing guitar for 2 years. i am really good at improvising and making my own solos but i super suck at learning songs...i probably only know 10 whole songs only. i try to learn songs completely by looking at tab but when it gets to the hard part i always end up improvising again...
can you help me with my problem?
jrpalomo is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 08:37 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,740
Re: good at improvising, terible at learning songs

Are you genuinely interested in learning and playing these songs, but are just lazy? Or are you more interested in making your own music, and have no real desire to learn these songs you write about?

Either way, it'll pay off for you to knuckle down and do it. Developing musically often means staying out of a rut. Even if you are a player mainly interested in one genre, forcing yourself to learn new pieces or styles will aid your music.
Hikey Mikey is offline  
post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 09:06 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Philippines
Posts: 57
Re: good at improvising, terible at learning songs

ive been wanting to learn these songs forever but just couldn't..
jrpalomo is offline  
post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 09:17 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: alabama u.s.a.
Posts: 1,658
Reviews: 37
Smile Re: good at improvising, terible at learning songs

we are in the same boat. I too do this but am learning small parts of songs, this helps me since learning whole songs is too hard for me , and i love freestyling it's just funner. I think its a memory thing for me , and i lack the motivation to learn some ones whole b.s. Its amazing how 2 or 3 minutes worth of guitar can take 2 to 3 months to learn.
andrewsfury is offline  
post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 09:31 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: LONDON, UK
Posts: 846
Re: good at improvising, terible at learning songs

I'm currently having to work out all the parts (2 guitars and bass) for my band, because I'm the only guy who can actually cope with it in terms of musical ability and hard work. But it is just those two things, musical ability and hard work, which you need. Apply yourself, and you'll be fine.
skins345669 is offline  
post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 02:07 PM
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 365
Re: good at improvising, terible at learning songs

Part of the problem sounds like you are trying to learn songs that are too hard for your current skill level.

Another factor sounds like you are not being disciplined enough.

You're most probably having both problems at the same time - picking music that is hard and not being disciplined enough to learn it.

Another thing to think about is that it's not absolutely necessary to learn whole songs all the time!
It is perfectly fine to learn parts of songs you like, for example a great solo, chord progression or riff.

If you are trying to learn a whole song try looking at the end parts first. Basically learn the piece backwards (play it forwards though!).
Study the middle parts, end parts and beginning equally and the whole thing will eventually grow together.
Most people forget this and learn the song in one direction - becoming very familiar with the start and gradually getting less and less familiar (and sloppier) as they get further along.

I find it useful to have a few songs on the go at a time -
* a relatively simple, achievable piece that I can nail in the short term.
* a harder piece that will take a long time.
* something ridiculously hard that I most likely will never learn but has some benefit in practicing anyway!

Another thing - there's nothing wrong with improvising the parts you can't play yet. If you were playing the piece to an audience and you forgot the music you will be very glad that you can improvise over the music! Plus it is very fun, which is why we play (to begin with)....
MattyG is offline  
post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-12-2010, 03:22 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Houston, Tx
Posts: 323
Re: good at improvising, terible at learning songs

Quote:
Originally Posted by MattyG View Post
If you are trying to learn a whole song try looking at the end parts first. Basically learn the piece backwards (play it forwards though!).
Study the middle parts, end parts and beginning equally and the whole thing will eventually grow together.
Most people forget this and learn the song in one direction - becoming very familiar with the start and gradually getting less and less familiar (and sloppier) as they get further along.

I find it useful to have a few songs on the go at a time -
* a relatively simple, achievable piece that I can nail in the short term.
* a harder piece that will take a long time.
* something ridiculously hard that I most likely will never learn but has some benefit in practicing anyway!
.
+1 on MattyG's entire post, but specifically this quoted part above.


A technique I have used in the past with some good success is to import the song I am working on into my DAW software, but any software that can loop a section will work.

I'll then isolate different sections to work on.

I find it very beneficial when working on very long, technically difficult passages. Taking them in small pieces and just working the crap out of them. After I nail a section, I move on to the next, get it worked out, and THEN going back and stringing it together with the previous section. The forward two sections, then back to string it together. Then forwad three sections, etc

This allows me to break down multiple sections and work out the technical details, and then build overall endurance for the section. There's just something about NOT learning a section in a completely linear fashion that seems to make it easier for me.


Hope this helps.


Geoff
GLG421 is offline  
post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-13-2010, 12:31 AM
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Posts: 536
Reviews: 2
Re: good at improvising, terible at learning songs

I'm more or less in the same boat in you, and the only thing that really helps me is self-discipline. You just got to mentally focus and completely buckle down. Don't even THINK of playing anything but the song you're learning. Even if you have to go so far as to punish yourself. If you force yourself to not eat, go outside, or sleep, make proper contact with any living being, or watch TV until you finish whatever your working on. Even if you have to slap yourself the second you start playing something that isn't in the song!

This is even more crucial if you're learning songs by ear. I've wasted over an hour without even realizing it because I just started noodling about because I got stuck on a single part for longer than 40 seconds... even though I could have probably figured it out after less than 10 minutes of real work. Time fly's when you're subconsciously trying to procrastinate, huh?
Magical Muffin is offline  
post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 12:42 AM
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: (near) Los Angeles, California
Posts: 88
Re: good at improvising, terible at learning songs

There easiest way to solve this problem.. join a band. I never learn full songs unless they're going to be performed with a band.
Gilberto99 is offline  
Reply

Tags
improvising

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in











Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
good songs to illustate the concept of 'pocket' kennydoe Players & Bands, Music & Sounds, Tours & Jams, Lessons & Theory! 16 04-10-2007 07:30 PM
Good Guitar Duet songs? Drow Swordsman Players & Bands, Music & Sounds, Tours & Jams, Lessons & Theory! 1 03-03-2007 09:18 PM
Good bass songs King Knall Players & Bands, Music & Sounds, Tours & Jams, Lessons & Theory! 19 10-21-2005 02:55 AM
good Vai or Dream Theater songs to learn? gold moon dragon Players & Bands, Music & Sounds, Tours & Jams, Lessons & Theory! 11 04-21-2005 08:11 AM
good drop c songs for acoustic? gold moon dragon Players & Bands, Music & Sounds, Tours & Jams, Lessons & Theory! 1 04-15-2005 09:53 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome