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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 04:57 PM Thread Starter
 
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is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

just wondering if its possible... ive been playing for 6 years now i play alot of satch stuff and i was just wondering if its possible to look at music and memorize it? im not really sure if it is lol
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-23-2012, 05:10 PM
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

If I look at music in TAB or sheet music, I can't get a lot of it note for note.
I can remember sections for what they are, runs or riffs, etc.

I can hear music and remember it and play it a day or two afterwards.
I focus my listening and sing the tune in my mind so I know I have a firm grasp on the tune.
Then when I have my guitar, I can hum the song if I can't play it right off the bat.
This way I am my own recording and playback device.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 12:31 AM
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian View Post
If I look at music in TAB or sheet music, I can't get a lot of it note for note.
I can remember sections for what they are, runs or riffs, etc.

I can hear music and remember it and play it a day or two afterwards.
I focus my listening and sing the tune in my mind so I know I have a firm grasp on the tune.
Then when I have my guitar, I can hum the song if I can't play it right off the bat.
This way I am my own recording and playback device.
+1

Great advice. I find it very difficult to really get the feel of music from tab or sheet music. However singing/humming guitar parts is a GREAT tool for memorization!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 01:30 AM
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

Quote:
Originally Posted by dartvader View Post
just wondering if its possible... ive been playing for 6 years now i play alot of satch stuff and i was just wondering if its possible to look at music and memorize it? im not really sure if it is lol
As an intellectual exercise for musicians, yes it's quite possible. But I think there are far more practical ways to learn a piece of music starting with the one Sebastian describes.

There was an interview with Joe Satriani once where he said he would get his students to sing or hum a the piece of music they were trying to learn, because if they couldn't hum the exact notes, and understnad the tune how did they expect to be able to play the exact notes...
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 06:44 AM
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

I find when teaching people or when I sit down with a good guitar player, that a lot of the time people play notes but they don't really hear them.
Many players get too caught up in the physical act of playing and forget that music is truly about the sound.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-24-2012, 10:55 AM
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

absolutely possible, I used to do this a lot. I wouldn't say it's better or worse than practicing with the instrument. But if you know the music well enough in your head to have it memorized without actually having played it on the instrument, you have accomplished something significant. When you play on the instrument you might be relying on many other subconscious things (muscle memory) to remember a piece. An easy way to test that is to play something on your main guitar, then play it on someone else's guitar, if you lose your place or forget part of the piece, then you might not have it learned as well as you could have.
Sight-singing while looking at music and mentally fingering the notes would be one way you could practice this way. It's better than nothing if you don't have your instrument with you and have to learn something, and it's a good supplementary way to memorize something. It kind of forces you to think about the music a different way, and might use a different part of the brain than when you are sitting with your instrument. Some people can find it a bit mentally fatiguing, but the more different ways you can practice something, the better you will have learned the piece, and theoretically, the better you will be capable of playing and/or understanding it.
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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 07:16 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

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Originally Posted by lastsnare View Post
absolutely possible, I used to do this a lot. I wouldn't say it's better or worse than practicing with the instrument. But if you know the music well enough in your head to have it memorized without actually having played it on the instrument, you have accomplished something significant. When you play on the instrument you might be relying on many other subconscious things (muscle memory) to remember a piece. An easy way to test that is to play something on your main guitar, then play it on someone else's guitar, if you lose your place or forget part of the piece, then you might not have it learned as well as you could have.
Sight-singing while looking at music and mentally fingering the notes would be one way you could practice this way. It's better than nothing if you don't have your instrument with you and have to learn something, and it's a good supplementary way to memorize something. It kind of forces you to think about the music a different way, and might use a different part of the brain than when you are sitting with your instrument. Some people can find it a bit mentally fatiguing, but the more different ways you can practice something, the better you will have learned the piece, and theoretically, the better you will be capable of playing and/or understanding it.
wow man that is some really sweet info i have to say i thought it wasent possible but after reading what you have posted.. it might be now wow would be really cool! I hate the fact where i can hear every single note from a vai song or something and .. i just cant get it to come out i think my goal for a few years now is to be able to try to learn music just by looking at it it would be really cool. and maybe to listen to a song and write it down on manuscript paper.. i know it would make my ear better but where to start!
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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 07:17 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

Quote:
Originally Posted by sebastian View Post
I find when teaching people or when I sit down with a good guitar player, that a lot of the time people play notes but they don't really hear them.
Many players get too caught up in the physical act of playing and forget that music is truly about the sound.
yeah true u know you get into the hympontizmic way.. when we play its really diffrent you really cant explain it you just have to do it i gusse
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 08:11 AM
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

Mozart memorized a long piece of music by going to a concert,wnet home and wrote it out!!!
---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
They visited St. Peter's to hear the famous Miserere by Gregorio Allegri sung at the Sistine Chapel, whose score was being kept secret to shun copy-cats; violation of the seal would mean excommunication. That same evening, Mozart sat down and wrote out from memory the whole piece. On Good Friday, he returned with the manuscript, to hear the piece again and make a few minor corrections. Leopold told of Wolfgang's accomplishment in a letter to his wife Maria Ann dated April 14, 1770.
Itís a nine-voice choral piece (nine voices). I never measured whether itís 11 minutes or so, and I presume that he did sketch the work and on second listening completed it. In any case, he wrote the entire piece.
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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 08-25-2012, 12:49 PM
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

"happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you..."
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 03:10 PM
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

Sorry to bump this old thread, but I ran across an interesting thread on this forum talking about marimba (mallet percussion) players and this is what someone said.
Just thought I would share it and perhaps it's helpful to someone
It's a pretty serious/hardcore way to practice, and not everyone is this serious, but I would absolutely use these techniques when I was in music school.

link to page:

http://www.snarescience.com/forums/v...hp?f=16&t=9524

quote from the thread:

"There's a useful technique used by marimbists. It's called imaging and there's basically four bases. First base is being able to play whatever it is you're trying to play with note accuracy. Second base is playing the solo WITHOUT mallets (using your fingers, pinky and thumb on each hand for four mallets) and being able to accurately sing the pitches). Third base is being able to name every note/key change/key in the piece while playing it as second base with your eyes closed. And fourth base is being able to play the piece sitting down, eyes closed, without a marimba, and playing the solo in the air. This is a common practice among marimba players (popularized by Leigh Stevens) and it's a way good to practice four mallets without a marimba."
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 04:00 PM
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

Yes indeed.

In a lot of ways the "instrument" is more of an obstacle to creativity and learning. Isn't this obvious though?

Most people can memorize music if you can hum or whistle it. Sounds easier than it is. That is a very useful way to memorize in the absence of sight reading. The "memorize music without playing it through an instrument" just came up in conversing with my daughter (grade school) just 2 weeks ago about maybe her not playing violin this year as she rarely practices at home and time is limited for other activities & studies. She says she practices the violin in class in her head and proceeded to demonstrate hum a song along with calling out the notes and fingering. Never knew that but is explained how she was able to perform in two concerts last year. Based on her singing i'd say she has at least relative perfect pitch which most (myself included) don't have so that helps dramatically also. LOL. ..glen
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-17-2012, 09:22 PM
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

^ absolutely Glen

There are lots of creative ways to learn a piece of music. Any different way you can think about a piece, analyze it, dissect it, all can help someone understand a piece better and see things they might not have realized. And I like to think that this can all contribute to a more interesting performance. It's that sometimes fascinating music theory approach. Can be great stuff !
Nate
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 11:08 AM
 
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Talking Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

Back when I first started I would be riding my bike to my girlfriends house and instead of listening to my walkman, I would play Satch's Always with me in my head. I could usually get it all. Of course back then I couldn't play it and now I can. It did really help, I would look at the tab and i could "hear" the part I was looking at in my head.
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-20-2012, 11:10 AM
 
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Re: is it possible to memorize music without playing it through an instrument..

I think that's a great exercise, it kind of goes along with ear-training or sight-singing abilities.
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