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Thread: Memorizing songs - melody

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2011


    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 :-)

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Tampa Bay, FL


    Sorry for the late reply.
    Thanks so much for all of your suggestions.
    My colleague is doing very well at memorizing our songs. She has to because her vision is weak and none of her glasses seem to help with reading. She does mix up some of the words, though.
    Another member has a very strong voice and sings well, but gets mixed up between the melody and the harmonies, but denies this. She likes to blame this on the rest of us. I don't know if there's a solution, but we're trying by assigning melody or harmony on each song we do, and notating the first note at the top of the song page.
    I did write two songs, but still cannot remember the chords!
    I did just receive a copy of Edly's Music Theory for Practical People, and I'm beginning to see the light. There is much more to it than I ever dreamed.
    Some songs I do remember, after doing them 40 times, but having the iPad in front of me quells stage fright. Even if I don't look at it. If I get nervous, I trance out and my brain totally locks up. That's a whole 'nother topic, though. But it's a good case for sheet music or iPad.
    Last edited by Nickie; 01-09-2018 at 12:25 AM.
    "Those who bring sunshine and laughter to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves".

    Music washes from the soul, the dust of everyday living.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2017


    I have studied classical and jazz theory for years and eventhough I recognize all the patterns in a song I still have trouble memorizing it.
    But I think I have found a way that helps me memorize songs easier than before. It's a 4 part procedure for me that usualy takes about a week to master
    1) Listen to the song as many times as possible.
    2) Learn to sing the melody and lyrics AWAY from my instrument.
    3) Apply the chords to the melodic poem I ve learned slowly at first at a pace such as I am able to recognize patterns, verses, choruses, key changes etc. One hit per chord change at the beggining is ok.
    4) Add rhythmic variations appropriate to the song. Keep practising until I have it all down with the right tempo, intro , ending etc. The goal is to be able to sing it to others like pianists do ..a complete work of music that is with a beggining and an end and with the right feelling of course.
    Only then it is finished for me.. I come back to it twice a month to revise..
    One last thing..a song is a live thing you know! I mean even if its 100 years old when you reproduce it, it very much comes alive..its a new story you re called to sing and express to others. Every time a little bit different..that is I think the magic of it all.
    Last edited by Nikoslikos; 02-02-2018 at 09:39 PM.

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Ames, Iowa


    My problem right now is not memorizing songs, it is remembering songs that I have memorized. I'm at the point where I'm forgetting old songs as quickly as I'm memorizing new ones.
    I don't want to live in a world that is linear.

    I just want everyone to understand that I am not a ukulele expert, even though it may look at times like I'm pretending to be.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    I can remember chord sequences without too much trouble. After playing music for many years I know which chords go where depending on the melody. Words are something else. And when I play alone, I rarely struggle but in a group, I seem to lose confidence and need a songsheet. I guess it's an age thing.

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