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Learning songs and structures

Discussion in 'Ask Anthony Wellington [archive]' started by Redhotbassist, Nov 10, 2013.

  1. Redhotbassist


    Oct 19, 2002
    Hi Anthony, hope you're well!

    I was hoping you could answer my question on this:

    I play in around 8 bands/projects currently (all different styles, which is fun) as i'm sure you may do aswell? or have done at some point in your career??

    Having so many set's and songs to learn/listen to and practice it can get a bit hectic! what would be your best advice to learning songs and structures without losing the freshness of the song, for example.. listening to a track 50 times over.. sometimes can work backwards i've heard? what is the easiest way to learning songs start to finish and keeping the structures really memory tight! let me know what you think, any advice is welcome..

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. Ant Wellington

    Ant Wellington

    Jan 4, 2011
    Yo Red Hot!

    The only thing that works for me is listening. I listen as many times as I can to the songs that I have to learn.

    For me, I found that the issue is this,…

    I'm either trying to learn a song that I'm familiar with or I'm trying to learn a song that I'm not familiar with. If you try to learn the notes of a song that you are not familiar with you are actually trying to do 2 things. You're trying to become familiar with the songs and you are trying to learn the notes.

    I've never learned the notes to 'Money' by Pink Floyd But I'm familiar with the song. So if i had to learn it I'd be learning the notes to a song that I'm familiar with. that would make it easier.

    It'll ALWAYS be easier to learn a song that I can already hum that pasts to. And that's the only approach that I use.

    And you don't need a bass in your hands to listen to a song so you can listen to it all day.

  3. sonofabass


    Feb 10, 2006
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Mike Lull,MXR,Gruv Gear, Mono
    Hey Ant - long time no talk. Miss you man.
    It's interesting that I came across this topic because I was just having the conversation with A few musicians on a gig last week.

    We were talking about the difference between being familiar with a tune and actually knowing the tune.

    Sometimes a person will say that they "know" particular song and then somewhere around the middle section it becomes fairly evident that they may not really "know" the song but they may have heard the song or are a little bit familiar with it.

    This may seem a little bit off topic but I'm actually responding to your response to the OP.
    I also find it much easier to actually learn a song to the point where I "
    Actually "know" it when I've listened to it a bunch. Being able to sing or hum the head or lyrics is one of the indicators that I use to let me know whether or not I'm on the right track to actually knowing a song.

    Your idea of "four levels of awareness" is the ultimate test. I asked myself can I: play it, see it (in my minds eye sans instrument), head it in my head, explain it.

    Sorry, again, I think I ran a little bit off-topic but your response just reminded me of the conversation that I recently had.