Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Memorizing it

It has been a while since writing anything in here. Today is one lacking an expression based in the creative process. I have not seen the muse come to me in a number of weeks. Instead I want to address the issue of assimilating newly created material. In preparation of an upcoming gig, I have been in the throws of committing new songs to memory, for the intent of presenting it to the public. Throughout my musical history I have never realized the difficulty that this process can exhibit. There could be multiple reasons as to this situation's difficulty, although having previously failed to consider this issue with any focused attention, I am only now seemingly confronted with it.

This year the creative process has allowed me to fully write and compose 10 new songs as well as completing the musical composition of another. Having a desire to incorporate this new material into my song list is what brings me to this situation. In clarification, my desire to commit this material to memory means exactly that, developing the skill to competently present this without the aid of printed information.

The first part of the solution is having a solid structure for a song. Having been a solo artist for so many years presents me with a lack of discipline with a songs structure. Doing it alone has always allowed me the luxury of being flexible with song structure. This past couple of years playing and performing with other persons has shown me the fault of this relaxed way which allows the slippage of a perfectly structured song. Singing harmony allows little room for the structure to have flex. It really needs to be consistent, and thus I realize now that there is significant importance in being consistent with every song's structure.

Once the structure of a song is ground out into the desired written form, the repetitive work begins. I compare it, in a way, to preparation for a school test, or maybe a final exam. I think it is different also, in that presenting songs well, can have no error, where as, forming a wrong answer on an exam may not create a failing grade. I have thoughts about what will work, but I know nothing about the process scientifically as to the process of learning. In the past when learning covered songs, I would listen to the song enough to gain a will to learn it first thing, then it was for the most part a process of repetition in playing/singing repeatedly. Somehow with my own new songs, having no recording to listen to, prevents in the very least the listening method. I may need to experiment with that, record the song in the structurally correct form, then listen to it. My problem is in the lyric for the most part. The guitar playing generally falls in place with rapidity, where as the lyric does not.

Another thing I might wish to consider is the number of songs I am trying to memorize. I have never before had so many new at one time with the need to assimilate. This fact alone might be what is causing my near sense of alarm and wonder about age related issues, questioning if there is potential for this to play a roll.

Yet another wonderment is that of cadence, and the simplicity of the rhyme scheme. These two factors being unique with each song, both contribute their part to the question of learning. Sometimes the word structures I write are very simple, where as other songs are much more complex. Some words flow off the tongue with greater ease than others also. These factors might also play a large roll in the memorization of songs.

What ever the reason, it is time to get back to the process of practice. Maybe today shall show more progress.