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Memorizing Larger Classical pieces.

Discussion in 'Chris Broderick' started by Evan-Robillard, Apr 4, 2013.

  1. Evan-Robillard

    Evan-Robillard New Metal Member

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    Hey Chris I was wondering if you had any advice on memorizing larger pieces arranged for solo guitar? I am currently going through Fernando Sor's Variations on a theme by Mozart and I end up sight reading and forgetting what I played when I go back to work on it. I keep making this mistake and I don't know how to correct it. I don't have many people to ask this about around here anyways I hope you have a good one. Hey if it was you or another Moderator on your Facebook page, you or they told me to post this here so you can see this hopefully you see it man! Have a good one.
     
  2. Kafka

    Kafka Member

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    Personally, as not chris broderick....

    You need to just break it into sections. just learn it piece by piece. label those sections and memorize AAAB AAAB AAAB, etc.
     
  3. Mr.Sister

    Mr.Sister Member

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    Hm, I just can say, the longer you play classical guitar, the easier you'll be able to memorize pieces.
     
  4. toymaster

    toymaster New Metal Member

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    Yeah, that's true. Work it in small sections. Even if it's a couple of lines or even just a few measures at a time, you'll eventually get it. Also, aim for this: Know your pieces in every possible layer.

    Now, how does that work? :err:
    Well, you got to be familiar with your piece in some way.

    Sound.- Knowing how does the piece goes by how it sounds, even if it's one of the voices -usually, the melody- will help you out. A friend of mine says "If you can sing it -hum it, whistle it, whatever- you can play it.
    Motor Memory.- Your motor memory is another layer you can rely on since your muscles get used to the motions you do as you play a certain piece, basically the fingerings you use (both hands) in the piece. Now, for this you got to be very cautious because we tend to have bad habits when we learn a piece, like doing a mistake once and again; and those -once learned- are hard to wash away, so be careful with that. Work it out slowly and pay close attention to what you do and where. Eventually you'll get it done.
    Musically.- This one's very fun for me but it can be kinda boring depending on each person. Know what's happening on the music! Does the piece start with a pickup? If so, on which beat and note does the pickup start? Stop at some random point of the piece and without looking at your hands ask yourself: What beat is it right now -1st, + (and) of 3rd, etc.-? What note is it? Is it a chord? Which one? Inversion? What's the rhythmic value of the note/chord? Which left hand fingering are you using? Which fret? Open strings? Yeah, it's a lot of stuff to keep in mind, but it's easier than it looks like. ;)
    Overall Memory.- Without your guitar, grab the score and try to listen the piece in your head. See how far can you go without looking at the music. When you lose track, look at the score and start a few measures before where you left off. You can help yourself a bit with your muscle memory here.

    Also, beware of worm-holes. They're pretty much parts of the piece that are pretty similar or even sometimes the same that appear at different points of the work. It can be a chord or a passage. Here's where knowing the piece inside-out is really put to test, because you could either repeat the part that goes after the first time or to skip it; so, you have to know your stuff! An example of this could be Astor Piazzolla's "La Muerte Del Angel" (tr. Benitez) in the Lento Cantabile section. There's an A7 chord that appears a few times and it's exactly the same voicing every time it shows up! The only difference is the moment it comes in the measure, it's either in the first or the third beat and it lasts the same (a whole note, with a suspension in one of the inner voices from D to C#).

    This is true to some extent, but in my opinion it basically comes down to experience. I've only played classical guitar for two years by now, but I think what Mr. Sister means is that you get familiar with it and you process it faster. I think it also depends on what have you worked on before.

    Sorry for the long post. I hope it helps (at least a bit). :D
     

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