Memorizing Tips, Part 2

In my latest article I tried to make you familiar with
some techniques on memorization of music related and
non-related material. Because the field of
memorization science is so broad I will now continue
with more tips and tricks on this topic, and apply it
to guitar and music arts.

First of all, let me remind you that you naturally
forget things you learn but never try to use. The
reason lies probably in our brain's method of storing all
information; something that we do not benefit from is
turned away from our minds. This reasoning leads to a
logical approach of learning to play guitar. If we
want to store all music we learn, we must play it
regularly so our brain sees it as useful material.
Research shows that one hour after a learning session,
without repetition, one forgets about 30% of the
information; after a week it is down to 70%, and after
one year almost everything has gone with the wind.
Therefore, repetition should be used as a technique
for strong remembrance of everything we learn.

All this forgetfulness and memory stuff is actually
quite tricky material to write about. Personally, I
think we remember everything we ever learn but it is
somehow difficult for us to reactivate all that
information at a given moment. I believe this
hypothesis because of all hypnosis related activities,
where a person is brought to a state where he/she can
recall any (?) moment in the past life. What a great
experience it would be if we could do the same
on our own with our music and our studies! But how? I
do not have any answer for this, but I tried to give
you other alternative memorization methods to help you
on your way.

Now, let us get to the other point of this article:
learning music. When it comes to the theoretical part
of the music art, we guitarists are often tempted
to solve all theory related problems by means of
our fingers and our instrument, instead of using our
heads and maybe a pencil and a note sheet. For
example, you learn a new chord and just learn the
fingering of it, and do not bother to look at the
structure of the chord, the sound of it, how it can be
used in music, what kind of feeling it creates, etc. If
you do that, you surely miss at least 90% of the
important information about music. Wouldn't it be
valuable to put some extra study time to learn more
about the music and everything you happen to know on
your guitar fretboard?

Try to dedicate some time to understanding music -
besides the practical part of it. You will truly
benefit from it. And remember - when you study music
theory there is one golden rule to follow: total
concentration and understanding of the material will
open up your creativity and bust your eventual
so-called practice ruts, as you will discover new ways
of expressing yourself by applying theoretical stuff
on the guitar.

Another aspect of becoming a successful guitarist is
a psychological one: the attitude. If you think music
is boring, practicing guitar is boring, composition is
boring - well, you are unconsciously telling your
brain that all you learn should be forgotten, although
you surely do not want it to happen, do you? Create
for yourself a good relationship with music and guitar. Let
your gray cells know it is something interesting and
fine stuff to know. Your playing will automatically
get better, and you will be excited about becoming a
good musician. Believe in yourself!

I also urge you to check out my CD-ROM book for
guitarists. It is packed with lots of useful
information which will make your progress as a
guitarist very fast. Check it out on the publishers

Sebastian Kalamajski, a guitarist from Sweden, began his music studies when he was seven years old by learning how to play piano.

Sebastian is currently studying for M.D. as a biomedical scientist. His new, large (370 pages) digital book is just being published on his web site.

Sebastian Kalamajski