(9 posts)
  1. Nathan078

  2. jorgemg1984

    In my experience the more you do it the easier it gets... no special tricks. Good ears and a good vision of harmony help of course. My melodic ear is worst than my harmonic hear so it's much harder for me to memorize melodies for example.

  3. Nathan078

    Thanks for the input!

  4. bgil89

    You can also play songs in different keys, that helps me a lot.

  5. animitta

    I had the fortune to partecipate to some masterclasses of Kurt, in Italy. I remember he suggested a way to memorize really well a tune.

    Let's take this "dummy" harmony as an example (every chord last for four beats):

    Dm7 | G7 | Cmaj 7 | Cmaj 7|

    On every chord you will play just the root and seven of the chord, for one beat, than fifth and thirth for another beat and than repeat for the other two beats (or you can mix the approach).

    So you will have something similar:

    Dm7 G7 Cmaj7 Cmaj7
    1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4 | 1 2 3 4
    D A D A |G D G D | C G C G |C G C G |
    C F C F |F B F B | B E B E |B E B E |

    You will have to adjust accordingly to the different chords (ex:Dm7b5 or Bb7b5) you can encounter in a tune.

    Make this in every place of the fingerboard, for a tune of your choice, also mixing the approach: you will never forget the tune and you will know it really well.

    Hope it is clear enough and that it could help.

    All the Best


  6. Pauli Poulsen

    I think the key is just repetition. I like using the iRealbook. If I'm learning a tune I'll put set the app to repeat the tune a bunch of times and just play the melody, and play it another bunch of times improvising over the changes.

    And important part of learning a tune is listening to recordings. Knowing the tune by listening is so important, because it's easier to play anything if you can hear it in your head first. This way you'll also catch different nuances which may not be reflected in the lead sheet, such as intro/outros, band hits, etc.

    Lastly I would recommend try and learn the chord progression in relation to the key (so Dm7 - G7 - Cma7 would be IIm7 - V7 - Ima7), and then play the tune in all 12 keys going around in a cycle of 5ths. The iRealbook actually has a feature for this. Set it to cycles through the keys, and try to improv over it without looking at the changes on the screen.

    This last step will really solidify the changes in your memory. You will know them on a deep level.

    Hope some of this is useful to you.

  7. Thiago

    You can find some interesting articles about this on

    Magical rainbow ponies
  8. arewolfe

    Actually digging the tune you're working on is pretty crucial. Once you're working with a tune you enjoy, transcribe a classic version. Or just sit with a chart in front of you and play it over and over and over for a few days (or weeks). If you really dig the tune the repetition aspect won't be a problem and you'll internalize it.

    If you're working on a tune you don't particularly enjoy, employing some of the ideas mentioned above will be helpful.

  9. I stumbled onto this site today...

    Gives original reference material and play alongs and sheet music for lots of standards. And categorizes them


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