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Old 06-12-2018, 10:52 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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Default Instrumental repertoire

I find that if I don't play each of the 15-20 songs in my repertoire a minimum of 2-3 times a week, I can easily lose them from memory.

These are pieces that I can play at a moments notice without checking sheet music or any of my notes. If I don't play them frequently, it'll take a bit of work to get them back "under my fingers again".

They range from Beatles, Rock tunes, Jazz chord melody & semi-classical pieces.

What do other do to keep the instrumental repertoire fresh at your fingertips?

How many strictly instrumental songs are in your repertoire?
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Old 06-12-2018, 11:28 AM
Riverwolf Riverwolf is offline
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Originally Posted by dkstott View Post

What do other do to keep the instrumental repertoire fresh at your fingertips?

How many strictly instrumental songs are in your repertoire?
I don't feel that the type of song has anything to do with memory.
Sometimes it is the lyrics that escape me.
I have a form on my laptop that lists 30 songs of different genres.
Everyday while playing/practicing other things I choose 2-3 of these songs to play thru several times to keep them in memory.
When I get to the bottom of the list, I start all over again.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by dkstott View Post

What do other do to keep the instrumental repertoire fresh at your fingertips?

How many strictly instrumental songs are in your repertoire?
I probably have around 20-30 that I play semi-regularly, several times that many that I used to know :-), but that I'd have to basically relearn to perform them. The only way I know to keep them under your fingers is to play them regularly. If you perform a lot, you get practice by playing them frequently at gigs. Otherwise, you practice at home. For all but the simplest pieces, I will lose them if I don't play them regularly. As far as I know, maintaining repertoire is a core task for every musician. Some people say they practice in their heads, and I try that sometimes, but it's not a real replacement for actually playing.

I heard one good tip years ago, someone suggested putting all your tunes on index cards, one tune per card. Shuffle them, then pick 2 or 3 every day to play - no cheating, pick the top 2 or 3 in the deck, and then put them in the bottom after you've played them. Forces you to play thru all tunes regularly, even when you don't feel like it. I've tried it, but keep misplacing the cards :-)

Before gigs, I definitely pick the tunes I plan to play, allowing for some extras in case I miscalculate the time, or think there might be a reason for an alternate, and run thru them at least once, if not more in the days before the gig.
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Old 06-12-2018, 12:31 PM
M Sarad M Sarad is offline
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I have about the same number as you for fingerstyle. My challenge is keeping the fiddle tunes and bluegrass tunes, blues and rock tunes in the front of my brain. Itís now over 60 songs I have to remember depending on if I play solo or with a group.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:43 PM
BobbyBadd BobbyBadd is offline
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I have around 18-20 instrumental pieces that I try to keep up to date.

i usually finish my daily practice with three of the most recent that need work, or
i just feel like playing.

On Fridays, I don't like to practice, so I play the entire list.

I find that some that I have played longer, only need the weekly run thru. The more recent, fall into the daily run thru.

If I have a gig, I'd make sure they are close to perfect, otherwise, close with no
memory issues is good.
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Old 06-12-2018, 02:50 PM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is offline
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Originally Posted by dkstott View Post
I find that if I don't play each of the 15-20 songs in my repertoire a minimum of 2-3 times a week, I can easily lose them from memory.

These are pieces that I can play at a moments notice without checking sheet music or any of my notes. If I don't play them frequently, it'll take a bit of work to get them back "under my fingers again".

They range from Beatles, Rock tunes, Jazz chord melody & semi-classical pieces.

What do other do to keep the instrumental repertoire fresh at your fingertips?

How many strictly instrumental songs are in your repertoire?
Confusing. You mention songs (i.e musical pieces with vocals) but talk about instrumentals. For me the guitar stuff is just down to my fingers ... nothing to do with me, but the lyrics ... as much as I love them .. they are my challenge, but then there are a couple of hundred in my rep.
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Old 06-12-2018, 06:25 PM
M Sarad M Sarad is offline
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Lyrics? Thatís why I play with a singing drummer. I have a better voice and a worse memory for words.
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Old 06-13-2018, 12:48 AM
51 Relic 51 Relic is offline
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Default Instrumental repertoire

I had the same problem and playing fingerstyle instrumental pieces during worship and communion most Sundays the pieces have to be glitch free . To help this I divided the pieces into four sets of 15 and I simply play through one a day . If I have time two . One day a week I work on new pieces.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:32 AM
dkstott dkstott is offline
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Sorry to confuse you. Here's an example of a tune / song that I play. It's one that I have to play complete almost every day to retain it under my fingers.

Glen Roth was gractious to provide me with his arrangement of it.

Dave

https://youtu.be/BVcFf2vXnis


Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Confusing. You mention songs (i.e musical pieces with vocals) but talk about instrumentals. For me the guitar stuff is just down to my fingers ... nothing to do with me, but the lyrics ... as much as I love them .. they are my challenge, but then there are a couple of hundred in my rep.
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Old 06-13-2018, 07:59 AM
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Repertoire maintenance.
Thatís what my gigging friends and I call it. Itís absolutely necessary, whether itís fingerstyle, flat picking or strumming with vocals.
In my experience, the fingerstyle pieces require more attention, but that may be just me.

If Iím in ďplaying shapeĒ, (gigging regularly, playing daily) I donít practice much if at all. I play of course, outside of my gigs, but repertoire maintenance is still necessary.

Somewhat similar to what Doug mentioned, I simply have a list of most of the tunes I play. I take two or three a day, and play them as though I was performing. No ďcherry pickingĒ allowed. It takes more than a month to play through the entire list, but Iíve not discovered any other method that achieves the same result.

Now Iím not going to pretend that I can always retain pieces this way- but as Iíve said, itís the best method Iíve found. Long ago, I learned Guy Van Duserís arrangement of the Stars and Stripes forever. Took me about a year and a half to bring it to performance level. A piece as difficult as that requires much more attention. So I eventually stopped playing it. I can still get through it, but definitely need the tab and notation to get through it. And itís not at a performance level. What Iím saying, is even if youíre doing repertoire maintenance, some pieces will require much more attention. Itís up to you if you want to invest the time, or sacrifices may have to be made.

Mark
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:00 AM
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Originally Posted by dkstott View Post
ÖWhat do other do to keep the instrumental repertoire fresh at your fingertips?
Hi dk

I play them in my head. I've been playing music since age 8, and am now nearly 70 yrs old. I've been playing things in my head on several instruments for decades.

I'm not sure it works for others, but it works for me to just 'play' them in my mind. I can run through songs and arrangements, and actually feel the fingerings in my 'brain' as I do so.


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Old 06-16-2018, 04:17 PM
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Hi dk

I play them in my head. I've been playing music since age 8, and am now nearly 70 yrs old. I've been playing things in my head on several instruments for decades.

I'm not sure it works for others, but it works for me to just 'play' them in my mind. I can run through songs and arrangements, and actually feel the fingerings in my 'brain' as I do so.


Same here. Even with stuff I don't actually know I can hear them and work out the progression and finger picking in my head. That's just from years of ear training and knowledge of the fret board.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:07 PM
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Used to have two to three hours of classical and fingerstyle repertoire on hand. Takes continuing amount of time. Nowadays mainly spend most of my guitar time composing so performance repertoire is limited.
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Old 06-16-2018, 05:30 PM
Mr. Jelly Mr. Jelly is offline
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I have about thirty instrumentals that I have cheater sheets for. They are musical notes for points I need reminded of. I like to play them but I also need to play them regularly to be close to performance speed. I take time off from playing them when I'm learning new things, composing or working on my vocal gig material. I have three sets of vocal material I do. I have lyric sheets for them. Every so often I play a set to keep within touch of performing them. I don't like to get out of shape both physically or mentally. The older I get the more maintenance each needs.
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Old 06-27-2018, 11:21 AM
Gordon Currie Gordon Currie is online now
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I play primarily original compositions, so that makes it easier to remember. Also, I am always improvising some aspect of the arrangement to suit my mood or the audience, so I never play a piece exactly the same way twice.

Like ljguitar, I somewhere along the years developed the ability to "visualize" the fretboard and strings so that I can practice "in my head." It also helps to be able to break a piece down into smaller parts so you can focus on the passages that need more rehearsal.
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