Memory?

Just starting out here, but I wonder how much memorization is involved. For example, I can do the fast workout in module 1 lesson 4 – let’s call it “groove X” If a later module asks me to play groove X, am I supposed to be able to do that instantaneously?

In other words, does playing bass require a good memory – especially re these lessons? If I can play bass to “Billie Jean” six months from now, will I remember how to do it 12 months from now – or need to re-learn it?

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I’ve often pondered that myself. Right now, I can’t remember a single bassline that I had mastered during the lessons. I would have to refer back to the sheet music if I wanted to play it. I always wonder how professional musicians can perform on stage, dozens of songs without any reference or sheet music to refer to.

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For the lessons in the modules, I never tried to memorize any of the grooves, just kept going through the course. What ended up happening was, that on some of them, like Billie Jean, I ended up memorizing them just from practicing them so much. It just sort of happened. Who knows whether I’ll be able to remember it in a year, I’m still pretty new to learning bass, but I think whatever you practice a bunch, you can then whip out as needed.

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Thanks for your responses. Which brings up another question: how much practice is necessary? I haven’t seen anything in the first few lessons about it…

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That depends on your goals. The more time you put in to practice (including doing the lessons, which definitely counts as practice), the more you will get out of it and the faster you will progress.

There’s not really a rule. I try to practice an hour a day or so. Often I do less, sometimes I get sucked in and do more. Not all of that time is playing; there’s lots of aspects of “practice.”

But even just a few minutes a day is worthwhile. I would suggest frequent (daily, every other day, etc) short practice sessions over weekend binge practice.

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I think these grooves you refer to (from the early lessons) could be considered building blocks, like Legos, that you can re-use in different setting to, e.g., create basslines. And, so, yes, remembering them or learning them by heart, is helpful in this context.

Eventually, you want to memorize all the songs you play. I find that I play more relaxed and able to focus on what is going on around me (i.e., the other musicians) when I play by heart, as opposed to having to read score or check on the sequence of song segments. This will most likely come naturally as you play the song again and again (aka “practice” :smile:)

Other aspects you will eventually want to memorize are shapes and licks, where it becomes really beneficial that the fretboard is laid out so symmetrically on a bass. Thus, you can move these shapes around easily, i.e., they are the same in different keys. If this doesn’t make much sense to you yet, I bet it will very soon :smile:

Good luck!

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I play at my church every Sunday. We play 4 to 5 songs and play without any sheet music. I’ve found that after doing this for over a year I can now memorize a set in 2-3 days practicing 1-2 hours a day. I’ve also noticed that if I’ve played the song before it comes back to me pretty quickly. Like Howard said, I try to practice 1-2 hours a day even if I’m not practicing a song set. And joergkutter is right about learning shapes. That really makes changing keys easy.

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Hey @asf!

Definitely not a requirement.

In my experience, it takes (at least) a couple things to remember songs long-term

  1. REPETITIONREPETITIONREPETITIONREPETITIONREPETITIONREPETITIONREPETITION
    And in the repetition process, gradually memorizing until you can play through the whole line/song without any external cues (that’s what I do when I’m memorizing music for a gig, I make sure I know what’s coming next in the song without needing a cue from the music)
  2. Understanding the “why” of as many parts of the line as possible. It’s really hard to remember random tab stuff - “let’s see, how does that bass line go? 0-3-5-2-3-4-5–7-8-6-3-!!#$%!ARGH” - but if you understand the theory behind the key, chord progression, what scales you’re drawing from, what scale degrees you’re playing, what rhythm you’re playing, how it lines up with the drum part, what’s the vocal melody (and on and on, as detailed as you wanna get) then I find that makes it wayyyyyy easier to remember stuff. When I don’t remember bass lines from years ago, I often find it’s because I have a gap in my understanding of the “why.”

And don’t worry about anything of that right now, I’ll get to all that theory stuff later in the course!

In the context of Beginner to Badass, you don’t need to practice outside of the lessons, I designed the course so you can just practice along with me as you go. But if your bass is calling you to play more, obviously you should answer. :phone::guitar::smiling_face_with_three_hearts:

And if you do -

+1 this!

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