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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I used to have a lot of trouble with memorizing licks, until I found out I should not expect it to "stick" by playing it a lot but I should to try to actively learn stuff.

It's going a lot better now but I'm not sure if I'm doing enough.

For example: I'm currently practicing 2 of greg fishman's etudes (elston avenue and stony island avenue form jazz etudes part 3), Elston avenue is particularly hard(208 bpm) so I'm playing it a lot anyway.

Should I try to memorize all of it? I want to "train" my memory to memorize stuff more easily

How long does it take you to learn a lick in twelve keys?

Thank you!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
everybody has a different learning curve.....have you memorized your scales yet??i mean do you really know all keys?? then how can you play a lick in all 12 keys??? i get more mileage out of certain solos and tunes ive learned than everything else...so i guess id say if it really speaks to you,,then learn it...memorize EVERYTHING?? thats a tall order

funny,when i was 12 i went to the KOOL jazz festival...it was my first time seeing many greats...and i still remember that as i watched Art Farmer,Paquito....I couldnt just enjoy the music...I was trying to memorize every lick as they played it...of course I didnt

my playing always seems to go back to my top "pet" licks

while studying at Eastman it was said MANY times...if you want to be a Jazz legend ,develop 10 original 2-5-1s of your own
Depends on what you call really memorize but I can play all major and minor keys up down across the range and in 3rds and fourths (5ths 6ths and 7ths is harder but possible). I know my dim and whole tone scales. But for me scales are just technical exercises.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yes, it can be good to memorise as much as possible, as long as you are doing it efficiently.

Or are you just trying to memorise by remembering the notes while repeating over and over?

If so this is a poor method IMO.

For short licks it's better to analyse and remember intervals between notes and/or their relation to the root. For longer pieces you need to analyse the form or structure, look out for repeated melodic motifs, developed motifs (developed either melodically or rhythmically), melodic contours and melodic sequences. This way you remember a motif, then just recall that and add the development to it.

An example of a sequence:

C E F E | D F G F

Different intervals, but the sequence uses the same melodic contour and transposes diatonically, ie within the C scale rather than being a direct transposition up a tone, which would be:

C E F E | D F# G F#

That's an example of the way my mind is working when I memorise.
It's hard to explain, I just play it once(or twice if it's harder) from paper en then I look away and play it about 5 times without looking at the paper. I think i remember it by the overall feel of the pattern. I think I do single out the starting note of each chord(in II-v-I's) and figure out if it's a third of fifth etc. Your advice sounds like a good idea thank you^^
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
To answer the question: YES.

But there is a lot of knowledge that will help. Pete's method works for me also:

I tend to think in numbers when transposing, so the second sequence (direct transposition) in Pete's quote above, to my mind would be:

1 3 4 3

Once I memorize that, I can play it in all 12 keys, and I only had to remember '1 3 4 3.' Of course this assumes you have already fully memorized all 12 major scales (in this example).
Yes I memorized them, The problem for me with the nr thing is that it doesn't work when you have a lick with a lot of chromatics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow thanks that's great advice! I used to play simple songs by ear through all 12 keys but i got a bit lazy. My ability to transpose is not that great, so maybe that's why it's taking me longer because I have to learn 12 separate things.
 
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