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Thread: If you say you have "learned" a song, what does that mean to you?

  1. #31
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
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    Kent Island MD
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    56

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    I somewhat learned to read music in high school, but not well enough to play a song I haven't heard by looking at the "dots". I play strictly by ear. With our band, the other members (using "Onsong" on an iPad) will have the music and chords, while I just have the list of songs we are playing with the keys they are in. Occasionally, with a new song, I will write a list of the chords as a reminder. Recently I found a laminated list of about 60 songs I used to choose from before the turn of the century (sounds cool saying "turn of the century") when "busking" on guitar and harmonica. Pretty much all learned and memorized, as I had only the key and no music. Now, that said, did I learn to play the song exactly as written? No, but I adapted it to fit the instruments I was playing. My goal was to have whoever was listening, would know what song I was playing.

  2. #32
    Join Date
    Apr 2019
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    San Francsico Bay Area
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    Late to the game, but,

    Knowing a song means that I a, not a slave to the chord sheet.

    I understand the chord progressions and can improvise when an if I want to.

    I had a longer post, but it got deleted, despite “auto save”

    Knowing a song is when you can play it and have fun with it rather than fretting over whether you are fretting properly.
    Last edited by Another Ukulele; 07-19-2021 at 11:08 AM.

  3. #33
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
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    Port Hope, Ontario, Canada
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    Rustydusty mentioned busking. It's been a number of years since I have done any intentional busking, but when I did, I found that the Autoharp would attract more attention and earn me more, even though I was a better guitar/banjo/mandolin player. Even though it's been 20 years since I've busked with the 'harp, it still has the song list taped to the back of it. This 'harp is semi-diatonic is set up for the keys of G and D. I only played instrumentals while I was busking, so the key is beside the title.
    song list on harp.jpg AutoharpGD.jpg

  4. #34
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    1,563

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    I would never claim to have "learned" a song. No matter how well I have learned it, I might stuff it up, and that would be embarrassing.

  5. #35
    Join Date
    Jun 2021
    Location
    Kent Island MD
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    Hey Jim, we have a lot of the same songs on our lists! One thing I learned about "busking" was that from the long list, only half a dozen songs were "money songs", and elicited a lot of tips. It didn't seem to matter that lots of the other songs were pretty or had a lot tricky changes. Eventually I just played those six, over and over as the listeners were constantly changing. On a good day, I could sometimes average $100 per hour...

  6. #36
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    Seattle, WA
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    2,330

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    I admit I haven't read the entire thread, but my reply is this:

    I feel I've learned a song when I feel comfortable enough to lead it in a group.
    this means I feel I know the melody and have figured out the chording (for my
    tastes), and can sing the lyrics from memory.

    Mastering the song means being able to perform it at the drop of a hat, so to speak

    RE: revisiting the song, it depends on my continuing interest in it and if it's on the
    list for a gig.

    I suppose it comes down to comfort 'leading' the song in a group. Comfort and confidence.

    keep uke'in',
    Uncle Rod Higuchi
    ( rohiguchi@gmail.com )

    MP3s: http://www.mediafire.com/?50db7nls4o6m6
    Ukulele Boot Camp, FREE Songbook, Holiday, Hawaiian & More: http://ukulelebootcamp.weebly.com
    Crazy G tutorial on YouTube ( uncle rod crazy g )
    pdf file for Crazy G:
    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0o6id06c06...20TAB.pdf?dl=0

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