Emil - How Do You Master A Song?
I want to be able to master songs. It seems like to get to a pro level (from what I read) is to practice and master little things at a time. Let's use your Autumn leaves, right when the boom chick starts on the E. Sure I can play this part but I can't play as clean and I make more mistakes as you. Also if I had to play it live I would probably choke and freeze. I want to get past this. I think it's because I just rely on muscle memory.
Is the following a good approach? Focus on the boom chick part, just E to Amin. I'm going to just play the bass and sing the note names. As I sing them visualize the fretboard in my head with the note names above it. Do this for 5 mins. Then just play the melody part (sing and visualize the note names). Time 5 mins. Do this with a metronome at 40-50bpm. When I put the bass and melody together, should simultaneously be able to visualize the notes for the bass and melody? Is this type of practice the best way to get to a pro level?
emilernebro last edited by emilernebro
Thanks for your post!
I don't imagine or think the note names when I play music. In fact, I try to not think too much about anything when I'm playing. Of course, the piece needs to be practiced enough so that you don't have to think about what chord is coming up next or where the melody is. The important thing when you're learning a new song is not necessarily names of the notes but the relation between each not and the chord being played behind the melody. Study the melody together with the chord, and find a way to play the chord with the melody on top. You don't even have to look at my arrangement at all for this. I'd recommend you to play autumn leaves in another key, and find a way to play the song with the melody on top of each chord. When you start to remember and understand the function of the chords as well as where the melody is relative to each chord, you can change the key instantly and try it anywhere. This is how you really learn a song well. When I imagine a song before I play it, I think more in numbers. So you need to know how to harmonize a scale, and what chords are within a scale. Then you put numbers to each chord. In C major for instance, the 1 chord (Roman numerals are often used for this.. ) is the Cmaj7. The ii chord (2nd chord of the key) is Dm7, 3rd chord Em7 etc.. Check out my lesson here on YouTube if you haven't learned how to harmonize the major scale yet: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0NWF_eAqwOk&t=129s
Try autumn leaves again, and play a simple (without rhythm) in the same key, (Am) and study the chords with the melody on top. Then change key.
Regarding playing live. The best thing I can recommend you to do is to play for people as often as you can. And be OK with you messing up a bit here and there. Because it takes practice to play for people - and the more you do it, the better you'll become at it. So just get a family member or a friend to listen to you perform a song. You'll get nervous even with a couple of people but that's Okey! I've been nervous like that hundreds of times live, but it gets easier if you practice playing for people!
An remember it's not the end of the world if you mess up. People WANT you to do good, they're (the audience) on our side :) Don't be afraid to mess up.. I mess up all the time - but I managed to get past being too nervous to play well but it took time and practice.
@emilernebro Thanks a lot!
emilernebro last edited by
@brock-sirko No problem! :)