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How do I learn 1,000 songs?

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by RyRob813, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. RyRob813


    Jun 7, 2007
    St. Paul, MN
    I've just begun to work on my degree in music performance here at McNally Smith College of Music. Many of my teachers have stressed what my private instructor always did; the importance of knowing as many commonly requested songs as possible.

    I figure that I have four years to work on building up my rep, but my question is: Where do I start?

    Unfortunately, I spent most of my first years playing, in original heavy metal bands, which doesn't help in this quest.

    I want to learn the "big hits" of every genre, as well as jazz standards, blues standards, and everything in between. Essentially, I want to be able to jump into any musical situation and be ready to rock. With such a vast collection of songs out there, however, I'm not sure where to get started; any suggestions?

  2. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Keep a notebook of songs you've learned and or learning. You'll find that a certain number of songs will always stay in your memory, but many will be forgotten. Having a notebook is always good to jog your memory of songs you've forgotten.
  3. L-A


    Jul 17, 2008
    Big +1

    I also keep a playlist in iTunes that contains all the songs I know or have to know. I often put it on shuffle and play along.
  4. Freddels

    Freddels Musical Anarchist

    Apr 7, 2005
    Sutton, MA
    Start with the blues. Dive into it head first. Then you'll find that many songs are built off the blues (in some way or another). But you can only learn so much in a short period of time. When I was at NT, Steve Morse gave a clinic and someone asked him how to learn many tunes and he said you can't eat a years worth of food in one day, you have to do it a little at a time.

    Start with the blues. Get Ed Friedland's book on playing the blues and play.
  5. MakiSupaStar

    MakiSupaStar The Lowdown Diggler

    Apr 12, 2006
    Huntington Beach, CA
    Hey, that's a great idea. Thanks. :)
  6. doctorjazz


    Oct 22, 2006
    Wilmington, NC
    I concur on the notebook thing. I've probably forgotten three times as many songs as I currently know.

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