i'm here wonderin what the best way to memorise tunes is? i've got a job playin in a bar three nights a week so i like to play the stuff without music.i've learnt a lot of the stuff from sheet music, which is probably not a good thing. i'm wonderin if i should just not let myself read music for a few months, and get the ol' ear and memory working harder? does it work? it might. i find that the stuff i learnt by ear or from a lead sheet always stays with me whereas the stuff i've learnt from sheet music is learnt in a different way, unconscious of key changes, passive actually and falling victim to sporadic "i'm not sure what to play next-ness."  i'd appreciate any advice.  
thanks,  
ladybird
There are 3 comments, leave a comment.
i think you've already answered your own question -- to amplify a bit, i've always found it helpful when trying to memorize, for example, a piece of classical music, to learn it (in part) *as though it were* based on a lead sheet.  in other words, make a roadmap of the harmonic and melodic structure, and use the left brain to fill in the rest.   there's always something to "fall back on" that way.  this works pretty reliably for the music produced from bach to at least chopin's age, although you may require some more advanced analytic tools for more advanced harmonies as you get into the 20th c repertoire, say, after wagner.

you should be able to reduce just about any piece of "sheet music" to a lead sheet -- especially if it's just a pop standard or jazz standard.  there are shelves and shelves of books on how to analyze large swaths of classical music in terms of functional harmony, if you're trying to commit more complicated music to memory -- these tools obtain for pretty much any standard jazz tune as well.
this might sound simple, but playing a lot of songs from memory is pretty simple if you just set your mind to it.  
i made a rule for my self not to use sheet music when i perform in public because i don't really think my audience likes to look at the piano player and then not  be able to see his face because of huge stacks of sheet music piled up.
when i learn a new piece of music from a leadsheet i make it a habbit to try to play it from memory after i played it through twice.this really works and forces you to use your ears. i 've done this for 3-4 years and i would estimate that i by now can play 400-500 jazzstandards by heart as well as some folksongs and pop tunes.
nihonjin
by the way it gets easier when you have learned the first 60 or 70 songs.
hi! well i'm guessing it's time to give the memory and ear the challenge they've always wanted so..it's good to know it gets better after 60 or 70 songs nihonjin - thanks, i will bear that in mind! now to go practise....! thanks for the advises

a soon-to-be playing only by memory!  
ladybird
Please sign in to post.

Jazz Piano Notebook Series
Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 1 - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 1 of this educational jazz piano book contains 15 jazz piano exercises, tricks, and other interesting jazz piano techniques, voicings, grooves, and ideas Scot Ranney enjoys playing.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version - videos

Scot Ranney's Jazz Piano Notebook, Volume 2 - jazz piano tricks of the trade you can use today
"Latinesque"

Volume 2 has 14 jazz piano exercises and tricks of the trade, and quite a bit of it is Calypso jazz piano related material, including some Monty Alexander and Michel Camilo style grooves. Jazz piano education is through the ears, but books like this can help.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Tim Richards' Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 3 contains 12 jazz piano exercises and explorations by the acclaimed jazz piano educator, pianist, author, and recording artist Tim Richards.

Tim wrote the well known "Exploring Jazz Piano" and "Improvising Blues Piano" books and has several others to his name.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Jeff Brent's Jazz Piano Notebook - jazz piano tricks of the trade

Volume 4 is by Jeff Brent, a jazz pianist, composer, teacher, and author of "Modalogy" and other acclaimed jazz theory and education books. In this book Jeff shares detailed analysis of transcriptions of live performances. He covers everything from the shape of the songs to the tricks and licks he uses in improvised lines to the ideas behind his lush chord voicings.

buy pdf version - buy coil binding version

Most Recent Discussions
Volume 5 of Scot Ranney's "Jazz Piano Notebook Series" is up and running!
How to Develop Your Improvisation from Beginner to Advanced
Big Chief
How to Play Bossa Nova
Best Pianos for Beginners
How to Reharmonise a song
more...
Articles

Volume 5 of the "Jazz Piano Notebook Series" is Available!
LearnJazzPiano.com File Downloads News
One Hour of Relaxing Piano Music
Jeff Brent's Jazz Piano Notebook
Fundamentos Físicos del Sonido
Aprendiendo a tocar PIANO gratis con partitura
more...

Top Sheetmusic Picks

Jazzy Christmas Arrangements
Cocktail Piano
Best Songs Ever, 6th Edition
Christmas Medley
Moana Songbook
Late Night Jazz Piano

Jazz piano education is cool.

be the main character in your own story

Rock on. Follow your passion.

Sign In

privacy policyterms of serviceabout • 50,656 messages 63,069 accounts 53,783 logins
LearnJazzPiano.com Copyright © 1995-2019 by Scot Ranney • website software and design by scot's scripts
LearnJazzPiano.com is For Sale - Serious Inquiries Only