... And they want me to learn 19 new songs (most are new to me). No big deal, although - I'm having trouble learning these 19 songs! They're not new/originals; these are classics. Am I getting too old to learn new tricks? Geez, I feel dumb! If I were 20 years-old I'd have learned them and I'd be gigging with the band already!
This is a tribute band, BTW. I don't want to say which one.
Hi Danny. Not sure it is a memory trick but I can't sight read and I am too lazy to learn and only got into playing a few years ago in my forties so only limited musical knowledge. When I am looking to learn a track I get the tab or notes and break it down into blocks of patterns / riffs, learn that few bars and I then piece them together like a jigsaw looking for repeats and differences to come to the final track, for example Black Dog for me is three sections (excluding repeats) made up of 3 to 5 patterns each. The other thing I do is practice 'the blocks' to a recording of the original track so I get the feeling and cues of the track particularly the vocals. More generally maybe think about how you learn best. For instance, I am very visual, to understand something I need to write it or draw it and therefore if I am learning a track I am more likely to use Youtube than a CD recording and then I can visualize what the group is doing and use that as further cues in the learning process. Last part of my process is I play the song to death for a few nights four or five correctly played repeats is minimum (my wife hates this!) Last hint stress stops us learning well. Start counting the success of the tracks you learned and forget about the 15 to go (sorry that sounded like one of those self help books!)
apparently every thing there is to know is on youtube, I would start there. BossHen is right though stress is a killer. RELAX (I know easy to say, hard to do)I have heard you play on here, you have talent and skill, you'll get it ;)
I've signed up recently at Artist Works and taking lessons from Paul Gilbert. One of the biggest things he stresses working on is "the transitions". This is of course usually in the context of "licks", but it applies too when getting the nuances of songs (the little things) and I think that is what you are referring to???? I think if you attach (mentally) the nuanced part to what time through the chorus it happens...a certain drum fill etc and then work the nuance part to death while you practice that this could be helpful. I know I used this technique with the Thin Lizzy cover band I was in years ago (was the harmony a 3rd or 5th? how many times did one line repeat before the next section? when did it get quieter? etc). I hope this is helpful in some way.
Paul really stresses this in his lessons with both the shredders and other students and he does apply it to song sections as well as individual licks and patterns. It's akin to chunking and seems to help burn it to memory better when that "difference" is practiced over and over.