Need Musical Memory To Write Songs Effectively
If you are an
aspiring songwriter of composer, having a great ear is one of the most critical
things you need to work on to make better music. If you approach it correctly,
it can be one of the most fun and fulfilling things to work on in your musical
development. The area of ear training I will be focusing on in this article is
musical memory. That means the ability to quickly ingrain a musical idea into
your memory and to be able to easily recall it accurately and precisely.
memory is something that if overlooked will cause you a lot of unnecessary
frustration and extra work trying to write songs. In addition to making it
slower to learn existing songs, you will waste a lot of time in songwriting
thinking about “What were the notes in that melody?” or “What voicings did I
use for those chords?”
memory is a very necessary skill for making music. If you don’t develop it you
will go through a frustrating cycle: Forgetting ideas and then with difficulty
trying to remember the ideas again and again. Doesn’t sound like fun to me!
Imagine if you could generate a musical idea and memorise it fast and
not forget it for the rest of your songwriting session. What would that do for
you? Would it be easier to write songs? Would you be more inspired to write?
many exercises that you can do to improve musical memory, but they are beyond
the scope of this article. But don’t worry: Any teacher with experience
teaching composition should be able to give you exercises that help you with
this. What I will do instead is give you two pieces of advice for your approach
that will instantly improve how well you remember melodies and other musical
Totally Focused When You Write Songs
A lot of
people love to multitask and shoot themselves in the foot doing so. Trying to
do multiple things at the same time will ensure that you will fail at achieving
your full potential at any of those tasks. The human brain cannot focus on two
separate things at the same time. The best it can do is to switch attention
back and forth, resulting in lots of wasted effort and time.
Your best bet
for getting te most out of your songwriting sessions would be stop
multitasking. Whenever you are writing songs, focus on that and only that.
Focusing better will get you maximum available brainpower that you can use to
approach making music and will greatly help in remembering musical ideas. As a
result your sessions will go smoother and you will get better songs out of
resolved to stop multitasking, you need to make the space where you write songs
as best as possible. When you get organised and remove distractions, you will
more easily get into the ‘flow’ state. Make sure your environment is easy for
you to focus in. Here are a few tips to help you do that
Have the space where you write be tidy and organised.
Turn your phone off or silent and leave it in another
Tell your family/friends/roommate to not disturb you
while you are composing.
Embrace The Emotion Of The Music You Are Making
best remembers experiences in our life, which have a strong emotional feeling
attached to them. That is why you can remember many details about your highs
and lows, but cannot remember details from all your normal days. A strong
emotion essentially acts as tagging an event with the label ‘important’ and as
a result your brain makes sure to file that memory more carefully and with more
this mean for your songwriting? Whenever you generate an idea, your best bet
for remembering it is to totally immerse yourself in it. Feel it, embrace it.
Repeat it a few times and then develop it further. By allowing yourself to
fully feel and experience the musical ideas you generate you will make it
easier for your brain to remember them and develop them into finished pieces of
There are a
lot of bonus benefits to this too: I could write a whole article about them! So
let me just say that when you allow yourself to experience emotions in music
(or life for that matter) fully, the experiences you get will feel richer, more
fulfilling and more alive.
Should You Do?
pieces of advice will help you a long way to enjoy music and writing more
songs. But don’t settle for that! In addition to doing these things you should
also find a great teacher who can help you in the areas you want to develop.
Doing so will get you the long term strategies and plans to get lifelong
improvement and effective exercises for ridding yourself from your frustrations
in the short term.
I hope you
got a lot out of this article. If you did, be sure to share it with friends
too, so that they can also get something out of it!
Hi, I am Jere
Toikka and I am a piano and guitar teacher
living in Turku, Finland. I have a passion for helping
students improve their songwriting and composition - it is something that I
love to do. I love hearing all the cool ideas students come up with and develop
into their own songs that they can be proud of.