As a musician or just someone interested in learning a song, it takes memorizing the lyrics, dynamics, chords and much more to be able to master it. Whether you're trying to learn a particular song in order to cover it or just for fun, there are a few steps you can take that will make the process a bit faster than simply listening to it on repeat. Below, we list a few simple steps can be taken to memorize songs faster and better.
Learn The Structure
Nearly every song follows a set structure. While there are definitely outliers, you can safely bet that 99% of the songs out there are divided into specific sections, such as intro, verse, chorus, verse, bridge, chorus, outro. By learning this structure, you can give yourself a general map of the song, which will make fleshing it out as you learn individual parts a much easier task.
Learn It In Sections
When you first try to actually learn a song, it is important that you divide every piece of the song into manageable sections. This means seeing things such as the lyrics, intro, rhythm, outro or anything else as their own piece. That way, you don't have to try and learn everything all at once and instead, one section at a time, adding more pieces as you learn them. Depending on the song, you might find that learning the chord progression first is the best route while. Other times, maybe the lyrics themselves would be a better place to start, especially if they are more or less simplistic and follow a strict guideline. As for the lyrics themselves, you can try writing them down a few times if you're having trouble memorizing them. This will force you to take a closer look at every phrase, helping you retain the information.
Play Along With The Actual Song
When you feel like you have a decent grasp on the song structure and lyrics, try playing along with the actual song a few times. This will help reinforce what you already learned and help correct mistakes that you might have been making. Pay particular attention to any little intricate parts, whether it's not phrasings, rhythm changes, or anything else you might not have caught originally. That way, you'll be sure to learn the song more accurately.
Play Without The Song
Once you've played along with the song a few times and feel confident that you have it down, play it without it. Depending on how well you have learned the song so far, you might have to go back to the previous step, especially if it's the first time you're playing without the actual track. And even after you feel you have the entire song down and have nailed it without the track, go back and listen to the song just to make sure. Eventually, you should have it down.
One more thing...
When trying to learn a new song, try not to rush through it too fast. If you rush the process, you might be able to recall parts of the song quickly, but you will have a harder time having the entire thing sink in, especially after you take a break. For that reason, don't go too fast, that way you increase the chances that the song will eventually pass on through to your long term memory.
Your Turn to Sound Off!
What tips do you use to learn new songs?