Learning new songs | Forum

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Phillip Khan-Panni Aug 7 '13
I've just written a blog (on this site) about learning new songs, and was wondering what technique you use to learn each new song in your club. Is each member left to learn it his own way, or is there some guidance given? What's the best way for you?

Calvin Laverick Aug 7 '13
We always find that, despite it being difficult, a good way to deal with things is a deadline.

Next it is vital to tell people to learn from the teach tracks or the notes on the music. If you have any discrepancies then all hell breaks loose! Constant emails about lyrics e.t.c.

Obviously working in sections help consolidate but if people haven't been allowed to learn it long enough then you are just consolidating wrong notes. And that can never end well.

Otherwise I would say it is up to the singer to learn it. However exceptions might need to be made if people don't have the time.

Me personally? I learn through repetition of the teach tracks and then a dedicated hour or two to ensure it is semi tones when it should be and force out any note errors. I suppose this shows how vital the use of good teach tracks is. 

Sorry if that didn't make much sense! Long days and short nights do that to you.

Mary Williams Aug 10 '13
I think different people learn songs differently. Some people by ear, some by music and some by combinations of both sources.

We usually set a deadline and have a bit of a rule that whatever the teach tracks do is usually the final the version, this is to help the non music readers. So often teach tracks and music will be slightly different.

Personally, what works best for me and I have got fairly efficient at learning new music quickly is a combination method. Listen to full mix a couple of times to see where I fit it, then I can usually flit to predominant mix. I sing through with music in front of me until can get through it. Then with music I sing with mix, then with part missing or turned down. I can usually do that fairly quickly within an hour or so. For me words are harder and I need them visual, so then I sing the words with music in as many memorable ways as possible, write them down, say them fast, slow, silly voices, whilst changing nappies and distracted by kids etc until I am secure and on automatic.

Funnily enough, the way that does not work for me, is by ear only as although I will have all the notes within a few goes, I hear the sound and not words, so I end up singing some wierd word sounds that I have to unlearn and then slows me up. I have never been able to remember lyrics for songs even ones I have heard for many years without a visual! (Unlike my hubby and kids who can learn the words, and struggle with the right notes!).

Yes. We are all different and we have to find what works for us as an individual.
The Forum post is edited by Mary Williams Aug 10 '13