Author Topic: How can I get away from needing song charts / sheet music at live shows?  (Read 7419 times)

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Offline delandoroberto

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I play acoustic guitar for a singer and we play out at local bars about twice a month. The gigs we get are usually about four hours long. I have the iPad loaded with music as we have a general set list, but usually the audience shouts out requests and we go for it.

Lately I have found I'm more dependent on the sheet music and would like to get away from reading the entire show. I know that I need to spend more time memorizing, but has anyone else found a good technique for reducing the need for notes? A specific method of practicing?

Much obliged for your thoughts.

Offline glpguitar

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I don't know what exact style of music you guys are playing but if it's standard rock/pop/blues, the songs usually have a structure. So if you split it in chunks (verse, chorus, bridge) and learn each of them separately and then memorise the order, it should make it easier for you.

Online batwoman

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Are you the guitarist only, or do you sing as well?
Is it the lyrics you're dependent on?
Or do you need chord charts as well?
Do you need charts for the entire set?
Or do you find your concentration lapses after making a start with memorised songs?

If you could identify exactly what and where you need the prompts, there are ways of doing that.

Offline delandoroberto

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I am the only guitar player and sing back up on a few. We mix from rock and pop standards to traditional Irish folks songs.

Mainly there are songs that I know and if I look at the sheet music, it messes me up. I can play Wild Horses and Uptown Funk in my sleep.

Then there are songs I have played hundreds of times that I just can't seem to remember during shows, regardless of how much time we rehearse and I woodshed. Star of the County Down wrecks me every time and I end up reading the entire song.

I'm looking for ideas and what other people do to prepare to be human jukeboxes for four hours, with as much memorized as possible.

Many thanks,
RS


Offline stitch101

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I find if I learn all the words to a song even if I'm not singing it really helps me.

When my wife and I play she does most of the singing and if I don't know the
words I really have to pay attention to what she's singing.
Also practicing with out the music or charts forces me to remember the words and
ocne I know the words everything comes together.


Offline close2u

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I honestly thing that if you're playing a four hour total gig time and taking requests from a list of potentially hundreds of songs then there is no way you can memorise them all.
Don't be down on yourself.

You are playing 4-hour gigs!

WOW
That is amazing.

You can play hundreds of songs.
WOW
That is amazing.

You have memorised many of them.
WOW.
That is amazing.


Of course, more and more repeated plays of songs will help store them in your memory but go easy on yourself if you need a reference.

Online batwoman

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I honestly thing that if you're playing a four hour total gig time and taking requests from a list of potentially hundreds of songs then there is no way you can memorise them all.
Don't be down on yourself.

You are playing 4-hour gigs!

WOW
That is amazing.

You can play hundreds of songs.
WOW
That is amazing.

You have memorised many of them.
WOW.
That is amazing.


Of course, more and more repeated plays of songs will help store them in your memory but go easy on yourself if you need a reference.

The whole quote is well worth repeating.

To add to that, rather than getting frustrated with what you aren't remembering as well as you'd like, you might like to make a list of all the songs you can play without prompts. Be generous when you do that. By building confidence and belief in yourself, praise rather than criticism (print out Richard's comment) you'll ease the anxiety, frustration and self-doubt that are self-limiting and  potentially destructive.

Putting it simply build your belief in yourself. The rest will flow. 

What you are achieving is admirable. Vibes to you.  :)

 

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