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Thread: Memorizing songs - melody

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
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    Seattle, WA
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    If i want to learn a new song (to me), I listen to it as much as possible to get a feel for the melody
    and the 'story' in the lyrics. If I can understand the 'story' it's easier for me to remember how
    it is told (the lyrics).

    meanwhile, the melody is washing my brain so that it becomes more and more familiar.

    when I feel comfortable with the melody I start working on the chording, even before I nail down
    the lyrics.

    then I sing and play the song, tweaking the chording and phrasing as I go along, until it becomes
    somewhat second nature to me - that is, I don't have to really think about either the melody,
    lyrics, or chords - i'm simply playing the song... from memory! funny how that works out.

    keep uke'in',

    PS the latest song I worked on was an oldie (they pretty much all are oldies ) by Vic Damone,
    among others, "You were only fooling... while I was falling in love!"
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( rohiguchi@gmail.com )

    MP3s: http://www.mediafire.com/?50db7nls4o6m6
    Ukulele Boot Camp, FREE Songbook, Holiday Songbook & More: http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2014
    Location
    Southern California
    Posts
    2,929

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    Quote Originally Posted by Uncle Rod Higuchi View Post
    If i want to learn a new song (to me), I listen to it as much as possible to get a feel for the melody
    and the 'story' in the lyrics. If I can understand the 'story' it's easier for me to remember how
    it is told (the lyrics).

    meanwhile, the melody is washing my brain so that it becomes more and more familiar.

    when I feel comfortable with the melody I start working on the chording, even before I nail down
    the lyrics.

    then I sing and play the song, tweaking the chording and phrasing as I go along, until it becomes
    somewhat second nature to me - that is, I don't have to really think about either the melody,
    lyrics, or chords - i'm simply playing the song... from memory! funny how that works out.

    keep uke'in',

    PS the latest song I worked on was an oldie (they pretty much all are oldies ) by Vic Damone,
    among others, "You were only fooling... while I was falling in love!"
    That's a good way, but l mostly play folk music. Sometimes the lyrics are pretty stupid. I don't even bother with them.

    Strangely enough, I'm an English major, but, in high school or college, I never had to memorize any poems. And, most of my musical life, I played wind instruments, so, of course, I never bothered with the words. Sometimes I read them, and, if they were interesting, I'd remember snatches of them.

    Another strange thing about music lyrics and me . . . I really like Opera! And, of course, I can't understand much unless I have a libretto with translation. Ha! I like alotta foreign folk music like Klezmer too.

    I guess what I'm sayin' is that the words don't always mean a lot to me, and yet . . . they do. I dunno.
    Kala "Spalted" baritone - Lo D GBD
    Kala tenor eight string - gG cC EE AA

    Luna "Peace" concert - Lo - G CEA
    Flea "Red" concert - Hi-G CEA -
    Kala "Exotic Mahogany" soprano - Hi-A DF#B

    Mahalo yellow "Smiley" soprano (Dad's Day gift) - C
    Ka-Lai Pineapple soprano (old) gift - C

    Two ukes are better than one. Uh, what’s better than two?

    God gave us old age so we wouldn't mind dying so much.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Chicago
    Posts
    199

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nickie View Post
    ... She was concerned that the notes would be missing though, and that would make the melodies difficult to sing correctly. I suggested that we can learn to sing the songs from the Beloff books, and we'd be okay with just the lyrics and chords in front of us.
    There's no reason she can't put the notes on the iPad. Scan your sheet music and import it as a PDF into OnSong. You can also buy Jim's Daily Ukulele books in Kindle format.

    I sing melodies from memory (because I am a terrible sight singer) but I make plenty of mistakes. Anyone qualified to be a vocal coach would not be satisfied getting the melody mostly right. Melody notation is a valuable resource for singers who know how to use it.

    Ideally, she'll learn the song to the point where she doesn't need the notation for performance... but then you won't need the chord sheet, either. I don't want to get into the eternal argument about playing from memory vs using "paper" so let's just say if you get to cheat by looking at chords, a singer gets to cheat by looking at notes. Whatever works is good :-)

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