By ayearinthelife

Double Dutch

Another day, another trip down my favourite(!) road to Barrow. After yesterday’s band rehearsal, it was obvious that there were a few numbers that I needed to brush up on. Or totally re-learn if you want to be strictly accurate.
Fortunately, my ever patient - and supremely talented - guitar maestro friend Stuart was willing to go through those numbers with me - again! Having cleared up a few minor points on the songs I do (mostly) know, we then turned to the ones I was struggling with.
Slowly we ran through each one as I tried to get my head round when I should start - or finish - each verse, chorus or solo. As I got to grips with each section, I wrote it down in my note book so that I could refer back to it later, when I was practising on my own.
At which point Stuart enquired as to how one could possibly comprehend such strange notations. Actually, those weren’t his exact words - he was a lot more succinct - but this is a family blip, so I shall refrain from quoting him verbatim.
Anyway, it makes sense to me and I can use those scribblings to work my way through each song. As it starts to stick in my aged memory, I can start refining my notation so that the end result is more of an aide memoire than a full transcription of the piece. That way I can concentrate on playing but be able to quickly glance down if I need to check what to play under a solo or how we end the song.
It’s not infallible, and there really is no substitute for me learning every song. But just like when I’m in a play, I can only learn things properly through constant repetition. Which is why I never really master my lines until the last couple of rehearsals. And why it’s going to take a few more gigs before I’ll be comfortable with all the songs in the set. And as long as it’s not another two years before those next gigs!

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