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 Playing Advice: Bluegrass (Scruggs) Styles
 ARCHIVED TOPIC: Keeping repetoire in your memory


Please note this is an archived topic, so it is locked and unable to be replied to. You may, however, start a new topic and refer to this topic with a link: http://www.banjohangout.org/archive/360915

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loc50welder - Posted - 02/05/2020:  17:04:05


So, I've accumulated about 30 songs in my repertoire that I can play note for note, lead and backup. What I have been trying to do the last few years is to work on a new song during the week and then play through my repertoire on the weekends. The problem is, now that my song list has increased, it is getting too time consuming to constantly play through the song list every week. I find that if I leave the songs alone for a spell, that I have to revisit the song and relearn some weaker parts. My question is, do you think it is worth my time to continue this practice of learning a new song, while making sure the old songs stay at the forefront, or should I just continue to learn new songs and techniques and let the older songs go until I need them for a playing opprutunity ? Unfortunately, I don't get many chances to play with other folks. I live in an area where classic rock reigns and most people have never heard of any bluegrass songs (outside of OCMS or Mumford and Sons).

loc50welder - Posted - 02/05/2020:  17:05:42


I forgot to mention, that I learn songs by ear only. I don't use tab of any kind. Just in case people were curious if I was just working from tab.

ChunoTheDog - Posted - 02/05/2020:  17:35:32


I'll be following this thread...I only know a handful of songs completely on the banjo but I was wondering this very same thing...

Mooooo - Posted - 02/05/2020:  17:55:15


If you ask a group of people what they mean when they say "I learn by ear" you're gonna get tons of answers from: The Murphy Method (not learning by ear but learning by demonstration) to listening and figuring note for note from a recording, to memorizing the melody and articulating it with their own arsenal of licks, tricks and rolls...and everything in between. And all of them valid.



One way you can try is to listen to the version you are playing over and over when you're on the way to or at work, or in your free time as much as possible. If you are working up your own breaks, record it and listen to it. This way you will have less of a chance of forgetting how you pick it, whether you learned it or figured it out. Practice the ones that give you the most problems more often, some tunes you won't ever forget.



Very interesting topic, I will also follow, since I don't know it all...and am always looking for better ways to do things.


Edited by - Mooooo on 02/05/2020 17:58:08

chuckv97 - Posted - 02/05/2020:  18:08:11


I have a list of about 60 tunes, instrumentals & songs. Some need very little dusting off cuz I’ve played them for years,,other newer ones I have to go over more frequently. I really don’t need to play an exact memorized arrangement for a lot of song breaks, but there are some I do like enough to keep memorized. The longer we play the banjo, the easier it gets to remember the tunes,,,it’s sort of organic rather than pro-active a lot of the time.

I try do 1/3 of my list every day, so that I cover them all in three days.



and I agree with Mike about listenening away from the banjo and visualizing how to play it. 


Edited by - chuckv97 on 02/05/2020 18:12:41

loc50welder - Posted - 02/05/2020:  18:09:39


So, when I say I learn by ear, it is a mixture of visual and audio. Primarily, I learn by listening to the recording, but if its a song with a youtube clip, I may watch the video for clues as to the playing position on the neck (not necessarily to figure out the ear, but to better understand how the original musician picked it). Some songs I can figure out in a couple weeks, others take a month or more. With all this being said though, my question still remains. Do you all constantly play through your repertoire of songs?

loc50welder - Posted - 02/05/2020:  18:12:35


quote:

Originally posted by chuckv97

I have a list of about 60 tunes, instrumentals & songs. Some need very little dusting off cuz I’ve played them for years,,other newer ones I have to go over more frequently. I really don’t need to play an exact memorized arrangement for a lot of song breaks, but there are some I do like enough to keep memorized. The longer we play the banjo, the easier it gets to remember the tunes,,,it’s sort of organic rather than pro-active a lot of the time.

I try do 1/3 of my list every day, so that I cover them all in three days.






This has been similar to my past practice. I divide the list in half and play part 1 on sat and part 2 on sunday. 

Mooooo - Posted - 02/05/2020:  18:32:14


No I don't play the whole enchilada every night. I play my favorites most often and add in some I haven't played in a while, and when I find one I am rusty at I will practice it until it comes back. It's a never ending cycle. But like I said, Some I never forget. Then there's some more challenging ones that I have to stay on top of all the time...Bill Keith stuff, Alan Munde...etc. But I'm listening to stuff constantly.


Edited by - Mooooo on 02/05/2020 18:46:01

Altivo - Posted - 02/05/2020:  19:02:16


I use actual music notation more than tab, though I occasionally work things out by ear if no music is available.I do memorize most stuff that will be performed in public. I had many years of classical training on piano and wind instruments, so this is comfortable for me. I keep a repertoire notebook with each tune learned on a punched page and arranged systematically. Flipping through the notebook reminds me of things to play through that I haven't played in a while.

My partner can barely read music, and learns almost everything by ear. There is little point for him maintaining stacks of sheet music or tab. He keeps a spreadsheet with the names of tunes or songs, the date last performed in public, and his own self-rating on the level or his playing on that song. The ones rated "performance level" are the ones he knows best and only needs to run through occasionally. Other levels include "want to learn," "beginning," or "working." This kind of list can be sorted on any field, and easily maintained. It provides a reminder of what needs the most work, what needs the least, and what needs to be run through more times to improve confidence. You could keep it on paper, in a memo book, or in a computer document or notebook app.

My working repertoire for tenor banjo currently extends to about 40 tunes learned over the past year. Perhaps a third of those don't need constant repetition any more to keep them refreshed, while most still need a run at least once a week to reinforce the right brain muscle memory that makes them work. Because I use Irish GDAE tuning on the tenor, the same repertoire is easily transferred to the mandolin or fiddle, or even the Irish bouzouki.

BrooksMT - Posted - 02/05/2020:  19:56:48


Keith, I'd say examine what you want to achieve at this point in your musical career. My desired achievements has changed over the past 5 years. Some things that I thought were important became less so; once I realized that, I could move forward, musically, and not feel guilt about not being able to do some of the things I originally thought important. Music is a journey, not a destination idea.

I've wondered about the same question you posed. I've resolved it in the direction of a) there are some songs I will always be improving just because I like them enough to spend the time cheerfully doing so b) there are songs that have neat sounds, but I won't be adding them to the A list; that is I play them for fun, not for repeating at will.

Josh Turknett has ideas (and a method) on how to maintain a repetoir, check out his laws of brainjo.
clawhammerbanjo.net/the-immuta...practice/

Hope this helps.

OldInTheNewWay - Posted - 02/05/2020:  20:06:21


I've had to learn to love em and leave em. Probably forgotten more songs than I know....

greenhorn - Posted - 02/05/2020:  20:26:33


Get a video clip of each one so you want to revisit a forgotten tune. It's not important to me to remember every number I learn, but I've recorded some and was glad that I did.

BrooksMT - Posted - 02/05/2020:  21:05:54


Brainjo episode (law) 32 is one that deals with remembering your songs.

Another episode, which I can't find this evening, is to build a card file of your songs, and use it to structure which ones you practice, and how often you practice them. I can't remember the details...oops. But it goes something like this, I think: you play newest songs of your repertoire every day, others (which you know better) every other day, and ones you know really well at a longer interval. Songs move from every day play to, say, once a month play as you get better at remembering them. Well, since I did not do this (bad banjoist) I may have got it wrong. You could email Josh (he's a BHO member) and ask, of course :-)

overhere - Posted - 02/06/2020:  04:45:28


I don’t read tab or sheet music so I guess some would say I play by ear. Playing by ear to me isn’t so much playing note for note. Playing songs that you like and finding the melody from memory places on the keys played could be considered playing by ear. Early country and bluegrass wasn’t in any written form when a lot of us started out. We heard something we liked and just tried to imitate it. Or sometimes with recordings played over and over at slow speeds. But then most stuff ended up played not note for note but the way you interpreted it. Probably what those older banjo masters you hear have styles of their own and the ones you want to copy. I would suggest not worrying note for note but more what you hear and you wind up playing in your own interpretation….it’s called style. If all banjo players played something note for note bluegrass would become real boring quickly….IMHO.
Learn your tab, learn the music, learn your instrument and then do it to what you hear….the beauty of folk, country, bluegrass, the blues, jazz…. We all can’t paint pictures like Rembrandt.
whats really satisfying with our music is, you can have something in your head...walk by your instrument pick it up and play that something in your head.

m06 - Posted - 02/06/2020:  04:59:23


In regard to personal repertoire - i.e. those favourite tunes I could start at a session - I find that there's a natural limit to the number that I can remember at any one time. In my case actually not that many. Over time some new tunes drift 'in' and others drift 'out'.



But they're not really 'out'; what I find is that at a session if a fiddle player kicks off a tune that I once knew by heart but have not played for a long time and have 'forgotten' it comes back pretty quick with that sound prompt. Often the first phrase does it or some other internal hook phrase. In other words, tunes we have learned tend to go into some memory 'halfway house', but the act of having learned them means they can be recalled as a whole much more easily. Sometimes it's kind've spooky how our fingers will suddenly move adeptly over the fretboard on a tune we'd thought we'd lost. Clearly a tune stays in there somewhere!



I guess the process is the same or similar to the one when we suddenly, without thinking, blurt out a fact or an answer to a question from something we'd learned in a school physics classroom when we were 15, but hadn't used for decades or realised was still recallable. The wonder of our brain and the power of learning.





True, the other solution is the total independence to be able to pick up tunes on the fly, then we never need to concern ourselves with numbers or even keeping a personal repertoire at all. But I realise that is not what the OP is asking about on this thread. And even when we can pick tunes up on the fly we're still likely have our memorised favourites.


Edited by - m06 on 02/06/2020 05:12:36

Texasbanjo - Posted - 02/06/2020:  05:16:48


I'll chime in here with what I do. I probably know over 200 or more songs..... all by ear, no tab. First, let me say I play/sing more vocals than instrumentals, and I think vocals are easier to learn and easier to remember. I have a song book that I go through each day and play maybe half a dozen or so songs, maybe more, maybe less. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to go through all the songs in my book and then I start over.

When I get a new song, it gets more time than the others until I have it clean, clear and up to tempo, then it goes in with the rest of my book and I work on another new one and so on.

Don't know if that would work for you, but it helps me to remember those songs by playing them through maybe once every week or two.

Eric A - Posted - 02/06/2020:  05:19:57


Tabs are no panacea. I've learned from tabs or by ear, either way. I've written down a few tabs that I learned by ear. But the problem is that I'm very improvisational. I try something new in a song practically every time I play it. So if I'm going to write down more tabs in an effort to remember more songs, which version do I write down? I end up with one tab, but then a whole lot of asterisks, footnotes, and side scribbles that basically say "this part can be done like this, or like this, or like this, or like this". It gets to be a mess and a lot of work. Whether it's a tab or a recording, it's just a snapshot of a moment in time, never a final finished work.

So...no, I don't have an answer for you, and I feel your pain.

Tractor1 - Posted - 02/06/2020:  05:20:12


The one thing that one can't buy and no magic shortcuts for practice in my opinion,but I don't ask anyone to agree

pickn5 - Posted - 02/06/2020:  05:50:52


Interesting thread, I'll continue to read this one. I have a few tunes that I can't remember the break to, even though I know the chords and lyrics. I guess I should start working on improvising. Suggestions please.


Edited by - pickn5 on 02/06/2020 05:52:35

stelldeergibber - Posted - 02/06/2020:  06:07:22


Repetition is your friend when it comes to remembering and leaving anything alone too long is your path to forgetting. Since you'll be adding things all the time, you'll probably have to prioritize which things you want to remember (and therefore practice long enough to remember). Ancient fiddlers in Ireland had over a thousand tunes memorized, so you can put a lot in your memory, but keeping it there is mainly a matter of repetition. Of course tab and/or written notation would be like adding more memory to your brain, or not needing to rely totally on memory. Recording it as you do it could have the same effect, but playing a tune at regular intervals, no pun intended, would be the best way to keep anything memorized.

dpgetman - Posted - 02/06/2020:  06:14:28


My rep is not that extensive, but every once and a while a tune comes back to mind unexpectedly and I am happy to have recalled it. I really like the idea of making videos of myself playing a tune I like and just keeping them handy for reference. You could also use them to listen and visualize as another poster suggested. Think I might try this...

Tractor1 - Posted - 02/06/2020:  06:38:55


a note I made to myself ,write them down play them until you are sick of them.then play them all once a week

Richard Hauser - Posted - 02/06/2020:  07:17:47


I play my complete playing repertoire at least every other day. You don't have to play a complete tune, but at least play the "breaks" for every tune a few times. Frequent use improves and maintains memorized information.

New tunes and problem areas are played almost every day. After I have memorized a tune, it moves to playing repertoire. I try to play my melodic tunes every day. It seems to improve my playing technique.

The "use it or lose it" principle applies to memorization.

Ira Gitlin - Posted - 02/06/2020:  07:19:15


For most bluegrass (Scruggs-style arrangements, especially; less so with melodic stuff) the memorization doesn't need to be--and I might argue, shouldn't be--at the note-to-note level. A successful Scruggs-style rendition is not a reproduction of a fixed set of notes in a particular order. It is a reconstruction based on higher-level templates like chord structure, melody notes, and right-hand rolls. 



If loc50welder is trying to remember fixed set-pieces, that's not the way the whole enterprise  works. If, on the other hand, he's memorizing those higher-level things, and basing his breaks on those anew each time, that's all well and good. Even if I play a break note for not the way I've played it in the past, it feels to me like I'm generating it from lower-level rolls, licks, etc., guided always by the musical and physical "grammar" of bluegrass banjo.



That said, learning things note for note can be good for some purposes, like seeing how a particular player deals with various musical situations, and getting more of his her style into your own playing, or generally giving you new ideas. And being able to nail a Scruggs (or Crowe, or Reno, or...) break can give you some "street cred" in certain circles.



But the goal is vocabulary building, not memorization in the literal sense.

VitaminJ - Posted - 02/06/2020:  07:22:00


I made a list of all of my tunes and then placed them in a simple spreadsheet that I printed out. Every time I played a tune during practice, I checked a box on the spreadsheet.

It was this very simple representation of how often I practiced tunes and which ones were getting left behind. It also made it a little easier to pick something to practice. As others have said, you tend to focus on favorites you play often and new material. This helped me commit so of those tunes that didn’t fall into either category to memory. At least when I went back it didn’t feel like I was starting from scratch.

Tractor1 - Posted - 02/06/2020:  08:14:16


I am in the minority ,in the fact that I'' don't like'' to put my time into the'' improvising ''mode. In other words ,,throwing in licks. I do have a few laying around for --forgotten or flubbed passages.
Anyway on ''great melodies'' I try to get them nailed ,then it goes to the cleaning up and adding embellishment----- but staying with the'' burnt in'' version.

just make it say something,

Tractor1 - Posted - 02/06/2020:  08:16:47


quote:

Originally posted by Texasbanjo

I'll chime in here with what I do. I probably know over 200 or more songs..... all by ear, no tab. First, let me say I play/sing more vocals than instrumentals, and I think vocals are easier to learn and easier to remember. I have a song book that I go through each day and play maybe half a dozen or so songs, maybe more, maybe less. It usually takes me a couple of weeks to go through all the songs in my book and then I start over.



When I get a new song, it gets more time than the others until I have it clean, clear and up to tempo, then it goes in with the rest of my book and I work on another new one and so on.



Don't know if that would work for you, but it helps me to remember those songs by playing them through maybe once every week or two.






Sherry I think there are those that would --love to hear this hint hint

From Greylock to Bean Blossom - Posted - 02/06/2020:  09:17:38


For being such a hack, I have been extremely fortunate to be able to get great advice from great teachers and great players. Following is an exchange I had with the great Jack Hatfield. It was extremely eye-opening and enlightening for me and I hope the OP can take this as a helpful way in keeping tunes in his head:

2. Scruggs invented most of the licks but he was also a very melody oriented player. Do you think most of his licks originated as a way to state specific melody notes at one time in a song?

Answer:
Yes. It is very simple: Earl was trying to render a melody using the thumb on the melody notes as often as possible while maintaining a steady stream of eighth notes and not repeating a digit on consecutive eighth notes. These three parameters resulted in the four or five basic rolls he created. IMO, he never even conceptualized the rolls as static building blocks of his style until others such as Bill Keith attempted to put it down on paper (tab) and coined the term “roll”. By then it was already innate with Earl. He just tried to play the melody with the stronger thumb, and the signature licks and finger sequences (rolls) that resulted became his vocabulary (“I call it his Lick-cabulary”) unconsciously.

All the more reason to set as a goal thinking the melody instead of thinking about the rolls and licks and memorized arrangement. If you have practiced the licks and rolls enough, REALLY ingrained them...they will appear on your fingers in some unplanned order to render the melody you intend, and you will not be ridden with a string of errors because you made one mistake in a memorized arrangement. Playing memorized arrangements by rote is a starting place, (in truth, many lifelong players never get beyond this) but it is like a chain...when you break one link the whole thing ceases to function. If you think the melody instead of the memorized arrangement, you may play it differently every time, but there are no TIMING errors which is catastrophic, and few if any dropped notes. But you have to internalize the rolls and licks first, which takes years.

Fathand - Posted - 02/06/2020:  09:19:33


I find that performing songs in front of people helps to lock them into your memory. It takes a lot longer for me to forget something that I have had to learn well enough to perform several times.

I also find I retain tunes better if I come up with my own arrangement rather than trying to sound like someone elses.

stanleytone - Posted - 02/06/2020:  09:56:40


a good problem to have! try grouping the songs that use identical or similar chord progressions in a list for starters

Good Buddy - Posted - 02/06/2020:  10:11:00


I try to practice the tunes I find important and keep them clean and fast. Most tunes I can play through and use whatever licks and rolls fit while still hitting most of the melody notes. I've been playing long enough to where it's second nature. But I don't play around with the classics. I play them quite often and don't really forget how they're played. More specialized tunes need more attention though. Some tunes are more accepting of improvisation than others. I try to decide which ones those are and go from there.

Tractor1 - Posted - 02/06/2020:  10:18:00


I am in the minority ,in the fact that I'' don't like'' to put my time into the'' improvising ''mode. In other words ,,throwing in licks. I do have a few laying around for --forgotten or flubbed passages.
Anyway on ''great melodies'' I try to get them nailed ,then it goes to the cleaning up and adding embellishment----- but staying with the'' burnt in'' version


the page jumped right after I posted this so this is a rerun

loc50welder - Posted - 02/06/2020:  20:40:37


Thanks all! Some great insight here. A couple of posters talked about playing note for note. I guess my reply to that would be, my reason for learning songs note for note is two fold. One, it develips my ear. I find that my ear has drastically improved by playing a song hindreds of times trying to nit pick every note. I am finding it gets a little easier every time. Second, by learning it note for note, I get a better sense of how the masters would attack a certain passage. I probably go overboard, but I enjoy learning a song note for note, and then trying to play it as close to the recording as possible. I do this to understand dynamics, attack, etc. Probably alot more than I need to, but its how I practice. For the record, I will again say, I use no tab. Only ears. I found that written tab is hard to play fast and to memorize. Its forgotten after the session is over. Learning by ear has made it easier for me to retain the songs. Even still, some just arent as easy to retain in the bank. Maybe those arent the ones I am quite so invested in?

loc50welder - Posted - 02/06/2020:  20:45:34


quote:

Originally posted by Ira Gitlin

For most bluegrass (Scruggs-style arrangements, especially; less so with melodic stuff) the memorization doesn't need to be--and I might argue, shouldn't be--at the note-to-note level. A successful Scruggs-style rendition is not a reproduction of a fixed set of notes in a particular order. It is a reconstruction based on higher-level templates like chord structure, melody notes, and right-hand rolls. 



If loc50welder is trying to remember fixed set-pieces, that's not the way the whole enterprise  works. If, on the other hand, he's memorizing those higher-level things, and basing his breaks on those anew each time, that's all well and good. Even if I play a break note for not the way I've played it in the past, it feels to me like I'm generating it from lower-level rolls, licks, etc., guided always by the musical and physical "grammar" of bluegrass banjo.



That said, learning things note for note can be good for some purposes, like seeing how a particular player deals with various musical situations, and getting more of his her style into your own playing, or generally giving you new ideas. And being able to nail a Scruggs (or Crowe, or Reno, or...) break can give you some "street cred" in certain circles.



But the goal is vocabulary building, not memorization in the literal sense.






Thanks Ira. So, do you feel that building a repertoire is much less important than the hows and whys of playing? I guess that was how I originally planned to ask my question, and didnt do a very good job of asking. I wonder whether it might be better to gleam as much info from a tune as I can and then move on? I do feel sometimes like know 30 plus tunes is great, but maybe time could be better spent perfecting backup or mechanics.

Ira Gitlin - Posted - 02/06/2020:  21:46:14


Well, you acquire the hows and whys by building repertoire, and once you have the hows and whys, it becomes easier and easier to learn new repertoire and retain older repertoire.



As I see it, if you don't have at least some of the hows and whys, your repertoire isn't useful for much except solitary playing at home.


Edited by - Ira Gitlin on 02/06/2020 21:47:44

Tractor1 - Posted - 02/07/2020:  04:11:36


   when I do my weekly jam with my buddy ,I play my memorized breaks and they work just fine. On back up I throw in licks and rolls so it is not ''either or'' in my little circle . On a new song I might fake it  until I study the song .Forgetting a memorized passage is not a "crash and burn"I simply improvise  .



   I do play at home solitaire mostly, as do a lot of folks. Our vid page shows many solo players, so fun can be achieved as a shut in .

   On really great melodies I like to find the original and learn that because that is where the magic lies imo. I Iike to spend hours on the best serving arrangement . Many can outshine me with improvised breaks .I don't care I just do what is important to me.

As far as argue about it ,no I see no need ,I would lose and not a thing would change .



  I have a couple hundred memorized songs on my you tube channel .


Edited by - Tractor1 on 02/07/2020 04:23:09

overhere - Posted - 02/07/2020:  13:38:08


How many have started playing one song and without thinking find yourself playing a different song half way through….(and then trying to find what you were playing to begin with).probably why the old joke about…all bluegrass songs are the same only the titles are different. lol

Good Buddy - Posted - 02/07/2020:  13:47:11


quote:

Originally posted by overhere

How many have started playing one song and without thinking find yourself playing a different song half way through….(and then trying to find what you were playing to begin with).probably why the old joke about…all bluegrass songs are the same only the titles are different. lol






I'm working on Dear Old Dixie with Alan Munde licks and find myself going into either Blackjack or Lonesome Road Blues...not always, but if I daydream a bit, I have been known to lose it.

Eric A - Posted - 02/07/2020:  13:52:07


quote:

Originally posted by overhere

How many have started playing one song and without thinking find yourself playing a different song half way through….(and then trying to find what you were playing to begin with).probably why the old joke about…all bluegrass songs are the same only the titles are different. lol






Lately I start out on Long Journey Home and end up on I Saw The Light.

steve davis - Posted - 02/07/2020:  14:01:23


I settle on the foundation of what and how I want to play the melody and build ornamentation from there.Ornamentation changes with my mood.

I find I keep track of tunes I've learned so far with an ongoing list.

If I didn't have a list I'd stand the danger of forgetting to regularly play them all.



If I let too many weeks go by with some fiddletunes it can take me a couple of tries to get it back,all the way.

The fiddle players I know have the ability to keep a great many tunes in their head.



Tablature has helped me a lot with fiddletunesthat have more than 2 parts.



I struggled with Huckleberry Hornpipe's three parts as with mixing up where they belonged.I finally found Alan Munde's tab in Frets magazine and that solved my arrangement problems.I love quickly getting to the finish line of tunes using tab.



Tab lets me get back to my pool game,sooner.


Edited by - steve davis on 02/07/2020 14:07:40

steve davis - Posted - 02/08/2020:  08:26:56


I have found that playing with friends that play the same tunes is the best way to internalize the tune.

Dale Diehl - Posted - 02/10/2020:  17:48:35


I've heard a lot of pros groan when asked to play songs they haven't played in a long time, so I think it's universal. I don't think you can stay sharp at any thing unless you work at. The longer you 've played you should get better. A skilled picker has a wealth of practice, licks and tricks to draw from. That makes "faking" it through a song look easy. Not having to play every thing note for note comes with getting some things automatic. That means being able to keep it going and be able to think ahead. For me, it years to get to that point. I'm only able to do that on some thing that is extremely familiar.
It has to be a song I spent hours playing and improvising and experimenting to have that kind of freedom. Then there's stage fright. And all of it is gone,out the window. In the military they have a saying. A soldier never rises to the occassion, but only sinks to his lowest level of training. In other words, what can you do at your worst?

easy - Posted - 02/10/2020:  17:58:06


So, have you ever heard of the term "nootropics," also known as cognitive enhancers. I found a great and noticeable increase in my recall when I was stacking (combining in my regimen) piracetam, oxiracetam, bacopa, and Alpha-GPC.

From Greylock to Bean Blossom - Posted - 02/11/2020:  03:53:13


quote:

Originally posted by easy

So, have you ever heard of the term "nootropics," also known as cognitive enhancers. I found a great and noticeable increase in my recall when I was stacking (combining in my regimen) piracetam, oxiracetam, bacopa, and Alpha-GPC.






Had not heard of nootropics before. Interesting: webmd.com/vitamins-and-supplem...verview#1



thanks,



ken

pickn5 - Posted - 02/11/2020:  05:07:26


I've been concentrating on a new tune and backup playing and not playing the tunes I know. Yesterday, I played some that I know and when I got to John Hardy, the the D lick and the lead in to it was gone. I have to play tunes regularly to keep them in my mind and under my fingers. Keep picking.

steve davis - Posted - 02/11/2020:  08:03:12


Usually with fiddletunes,once the fiddler starts,it all comes rushing back.
I have the most trouble kicking one off if too much time has gone by.

benhockenberry - Posted - 02/14/2020:  13:25:42


I know this is the Bluegrass forum, but for the Irish players, you may want to try the irishtune.info repertoire management system. Almost all the Irish (and many non-Irish) tunes I play are in there, and it handles a lot of the spreadsheet-juggling issues posters have described. Once I got past about 100 tunes, it became really hard to manage my "practiced repertoire" until I started digging into this site's rotation methods. Has anyone developed a similar application for Bluegrass, Old Time, Jazz, etc.?



It tracks last-practiced date and uses an formula based on how recently you learned a tune and how long it's been since you last practiced it to rotate and balance a practice regimen. I use the notes fields for each tune to link to a recorded source for each tune and to sheet music. A two-bar snippet of the written notation is on the page for each tune, and 10-second audio snippets from professional recordings also serve as memory-joggers. Example:



Screenshot of Irishtune.info tune with notes and recorded sources



 



 


Edited by - benhockenberry on 02/14/2020 13:36:40

nematode! - Posted - 02/14/2020:  21:17:57


I used to practice all my songs/tunes every or two until the list got so long that I had no time for anything else. I then decided to write down every song/tune, individually, on separate small pieces of paper and then, drop them into a jar (and mix them up like it would be a raffle drawing). Every day I'd pull out a few pieces (songs/tunes) and after playing them, drop them into a second jar. I'd do this until the first jar was empty and then, start all over again. This way, I could get other things done too, like learning another song or working on technique, etc.
After awhile, even this got too time consuming, so I started recording myself playing each and every one, keeping the inventory on my computer. Whenever I needed to refresh my memory, I'd look it up on my computer. Now I really only record the stuff I've created, if and only if, I really liked how I did it originally and don't want to forget.

Banjoezzie - Posted - 02/14/2020:  22:42:44


I have pondered this question many times - keep old songs practiced and keep them sharp or learn new ones? I try to practice 2 hours a day so my time is limited.

I created a list of songs that I like and know will come up often at jams. Ie red haired boy, cherokee shuffle, red wing, to name a few. There are about 25 of them. I play them through quickly each day. Quickly just to keep the melody in mind. Then a take a break to let my fingers rest and play one or two songs from a list of “my songs” which are songs that do not come up often or at all at jams but I love them and just play my heart out for these songs. They will probably never be heard outside my little cubby hole of a music room, but it fills me with joy to play them. My current favorite is “old friend” by laurie lewis.

Oh and i also practice scales and licks for about 20 minutes each day. Cause I feel i must continually improve by practicing these basics.

Zen Rabbit - Posted - 02/15/2020:  01:44:43


I too have a large repertoire and keeping them all in mind is difficult. I do use tab and video but also I will run through the opening bars of songs and any twiddly bits rather than play the whole thing. I also have titles written down on a list as I sometimes forget that i know a song (Ooh Cumberland Gap I'd forgotten about that one sort of thing)

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