Memorize Songs Quickly

“Memorize Songs Quickly” Podcasts

One of the most embarrassing things to happen to a pianist is to say ” I’ve played for 3 or 5 or 10 years , but I can’t play a song from memory”. I know, because I was that pianist. I went to Grand Cayman Island for 6 months with a band in 1982. The guitarist was an accomplished jazz player by the name of Buddy Fambro. Buddy asked me if I could play a song. To which I replied , NO, I don’t have any songs memorized. No one showed me how to memorize songs quickly.

I could sightread. I knew my chords and could even do some improvisation, but when it came to memorize songs quickly I just could not do it without playing them a thousand times. Does this sound familiar?

To memorize songs quickly is not some deep dark secret. However, you must be aware of how extremely patterned music is. When you study classically, these patterns are much harder to locate. Seemingly there are all these ” arbitrary ” notes on the page. But, if you know your chords, you will see the same chord patterns in Bach and Chopin as is Brubeck and Billy Joel. All Western Civilization music is harmonically patterned.