Pi, a mathematical constant that has about infinite numbers after its decimal place. Humans have forever tried to memorize its numbers until recently that an Indian boy, Rajveer Meena set records by memorizing seventy thousand digits of Pi!
But there is someone who is even more superior, whose name isn’t even officially recorded and who is respected even today. Mr Akira Haraguchi, who in the year 2006 set records by reciting a staggering Hundred Thousand digits of Pi from memory! As Akira claims, that number with practice has even escalated to One Hundred and Eleven thousand digits in one sitting!
Memorization, something guitarists might not find exciting, but crucial to one’s career and looking professional while performing up on stage. Memory fails or going blank isn’t something new but you might as well want to avoid such a situation in the first place.
That’s why we are here with 5 Effective Ways for Memorizing Music on Guitar. Stick around to know Akira’s secret of super-memory so you can apply it to your lessons as well!
Number 5, ”Learn it Backwards”
It is considered as a useful technique in learning pretty much anything. Break up your musical note or music into sections and start by rehearsing the last measure, then the one before it, and then keep going backwards like this. As a result, your endings will get strong because you will have to start from the back every time, thus repeating it several times.
Not only will this unique method force your brain to stay alert and absorb every detail but make your endings stronger too. Thus, when you start playing Infront of an audience, the further you get into the song, the more confident you will sound instead of having a solid start but a weakening progression.
Number 4, ”Understand the Whole Piece”
On this point, we’d recommend that you know your song first, before starting to memorize it. The learning process will be much smoother once you do this.
Listen to the actual recording, not just the instrumental alone. Hear how the guitar, flute or piano reacts in respect to each other, where an Instrument ends or starts, visualize where on the guitar neck it “might” be performed etc.
With a few more listens, try to predict what happens next and then start memorizing the music, making the process way easier.
Number 3, ”Divide and Conquer”
Can we drink a hundred litres of water in a day? Or walk a thousand miles a day? How about reading five books in a day? What If I scaled it down to a month? Sounds possible right?
You might know where I’m heading here—nothing worse than tackling big tasks all at once. So, ”Divide and Conquer”. Break up the whole music into smaller sections and then dedicate yourself to memorizing each part before moving onto the next.
Remember the saying, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
Interestingly, you can also break your music note and then start practising backwards, applying step number 5! So easy, right?
[ Stick around to know Akira’s secret to memory so you can apply it as well! ]
Number 2, ”Commit to Memorize”
Now that you know your whole music and have broken it up into pieces, all that’s left is… COMMITTING TO IT!
Yes, this sounds simple and obvious, but most people will forget to do this. At times we need to apply effort consciously and constantly remind ourselves that we are up to a task. Commitment will lead to regularity in practice, which will lead to muscle memory and help you retain music faster. More than that, your Will to do something along with discipline will keep you in check, on days you don’t feel like practising. Also, know that committing to memorize your music will make you look like a pro on live stage performances.
You can also use your mobile or technology, in general, to help you achieve your goals. You might set alarms to remind you of your practice time or listen to a piece of music while waiting in line.
Commit and just do it!
On Number 1, One of the best ways, and a technique even Mr Akira used is ”Associative Memory.”
[ Mr Akira Haraguchi, when asked how he remembered Hundred Thousand Digits of Pi said, he used stories. Yes, stories. He associated each digit from one to nine with a Japanese Syllable and then made up possible words produced when he put the syllables, as in the numbers, together. ]
Associative memory refers to the ability to recall two or more associated things at a time. Interestingly, you might not remember the faces of every student from the first standard but can still recall that little boy or girl who would always cry or puke, right? Our brain tends to remember things that are slightly different from what we perceive as ”normal.”
Using this information, you can quickly remember your music off of your chart by associating patterns and shapes with things you’d like.
The first circle can be associated with rising stairs and the last circle with a bumpy road. Like we start on a stair to climb out of somewhere and end the page on a bumpy road. You get my point.
Now you might be ready to memorize that twelve-page long music but certainly got a voice telling, that you might be stuck or aren’t making any progress at all. That’s completely fine; you can check out our video, Reasons why you aren’t progressing in your guitar, for some help.
Here are some honorary mentions to memorize your music better
- Understand the songs basic form. Where are the repetitions? Where’s the violin? Is this a simple Verse and Chorus? This will give you a better understanding.
- Go on and off your music sheet. Practice with your music notes and then without it, to memorize. Simple.
- Visualization. Visualize how your fingers would move, the tune in your head.
- Hum in the bathroom, bedroom, school, college, at your gig and at the stage as well…on—only when the mic is off.
Thanks for reading till the end!
Hi there, If you’re finally wanting to learn to play lead guitar without endless amounts of memorizing scales and theory… then click here to get The Ultimate Lead Guitar Lightbulb Moment… a free course that opens up a whole new world for guitar players like you. The best part? It’s 100% free. Click the link below right now to get your free course… and get ready to reignite your passion for the instrument you love!
How To Memorize Music On Guitar