Why You Shouldn't Memorize ANYTHING On GUITAR

Why You Shouldn't Memorize ANYTHING On GUITAR

Tommaso Zillio

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guitar memorizing secrets

  • Is it difficult for you to memorize things on the guitar?

  • When you memorize something, do you forget it as soon as you learn something else?

  • When... uhu... what was I saying a moment ago?

If you have trouble memorizing things on the guitar (notes, chords, scales, patterns...) there is a few good reason why it's happening.

Which is that learning music isn’t like learning something in school.

Most people try to memorize things on guitar the same way they used to cram history dates or president names in high school, but how many things do you really remember from high school?

Do you remember the quadratic formula? (Assuming of course you don’t currently have a reason to know the quadratic formula in the first place...)

There’s a different approach that you need to take if you want to learn something on your guitar (or in any field of knowledge, for that matter), so that you actually internalize it, know it for the rest of your life, and use it in your own way.

In the video below, I’ll share with you what that approach is, but I’ll tell you this — it’s a lot simpler than you might think!

If you watch the video and want to put this to the test... try using one of my free eBooks to learn all of the notes on your fretboard with just 5 minutes a day. If you practice the right way (as I describe in the eBook), you'll memorize your whole fretboard with barely any effort.

Video Transcription

Tommaso Zillio 0:01
Hello Internet, so nice to see you! Let's hear today's question.

Speaker 1 0:06
Interesting approach. But like the rest of the billions of other YouTube guitar lessons, it's just another pattern memorization exercise, something that connects us to sheet music would be infinitely more valuable.

Tommaso Zillio 0:13
No, it's not another memorization pattern. So I'm gonna say it immediately, and it's going to be very clear, you guys should not memorize things, you guys should not memorize anything in music, memorization, it's a waste of time. Okay. And with that, I mean that I don't know, if you're styling or other notes on your fret board.

Or if you're studying, I don't know the shapes of the triad long, three strings. So if you're studying scale patterns, any time you spend, trying to remember those patterns, it's time wasted. It's time that gives you back zero result, I cannot dry. I mean, I'm going to be clear on that. But it cannot be clearer than that. Do not memorize things. Okay, so if this is not like every other YouTube channel, get this five scale pattern, memorize them, you're done, do not memorize things.

So what should you do instead, if you don't memorize thing, how are you going to be able to play scale patterns, always find where the notes are, you shouldn't memorize them, you should play them. It's a distinction, it's an important distinction, maybe maybe a bit softer. But very important. You should never spend time staring at a piece of paper, trying to remember those things. You should spend all your time with a guitar in your hand, looking at a piece of paper and playing these on your guitar and you if it's a scale pattern, you can play it up and down, of course.

But you can also play it in sequences. Okay, or you can you can play one pattern on a scale, then the next in the series if the pattern connector, okay? But don't, don't try to play them and then try to remember them. You play them. You let them come into your mind, you read them, and you didn't come from your mind to your fingers, and you play them.

And then you forget them. You let yourself forget the scale pattern, the notes or the music theory, just let them just let yourself forget. And the day after you do it again, you read this pattern in whatever form the yard if they are in tablature, if they are in diagram, if they are on the score, I don't care, you just read them again. Learn them again, play them again. And then you let them go.

If you do it this way, then you will remember them, your fingers will remember them for you. And that's a useful form of memory because your fingers would know where they are, and how to play them. When you learn the notes. You've seen from the video that I’ve already posted, and you can go you're gonna see the video popping up right now. I'm not telling you to memorize the note, I'm telling you to play those notes, I'm telling you grab the note, I don't know, a G and play that G on em free streaming in order and just play them and if you forget it, that's great.

It's expected, okay. All the time you spend trying to retain this information in your mind, it's time wasted, you are not playing, you're not doing the actual useful work. You're just stressing out, okay? Those things are not remembered. Consciously if you want. I mean, I was about to say you're not remembering your brain. Of course, remember, in your brain, you have a memory only in your brain, not in your hand.

That muscle memory, it's a useful fiction we use it's not really true. muscles don't have memory, but you cannot remember all those things consciously. You cannot remember all this thing by wheeling yourself, memorize them.

You can remember them by doing it over and over and over and over and over and over. And you guys are gonna tell me so we have to practice that much. But that's the beautiful thing. This is your warmup, all the memorization thing, which was just a useless effort before and we're just a headache and stress because the you know, you're gonna forget all this now becomes your warmup, play the scale up and down, you are warming up and you're learning the scale.

You do this after maybe a week, maybe two weeks, maybe three months, who knows, but you've been playing that scale every day. You're gonna bet you're gonna remember it and be able to play it. So that's your warmup every time you have something to memorize, do not sit down and memorize it.

Do not stress out if you don't remember it. Just use it as a warm up and played. You do this you'll become much better much faster. So please do not confuse all my above what I told you in that video or in any other video with what everybody else is telling you because we're telling you a completely different thing.

Do not memorize anything, do not memorize anything, not even the notes in the scale, not even the notes in a chord, write them, memorize them, just spell them out. Okay, I had a video on how to spell out chords, and the only way to memorize them is spell them out and recalculate the triads and the chords every time until it becomes so natural that you just know them. That's the right way to not think of these as a memorization project.

Because here's the thing, if you memorize them consciously by a conscious effort of will rather than by repetition, then when you need them, your memory will betray you and you will not remember it. When you need that scale. When you need that note in real time, it's not going to happen. Put in the work, put in the repetition, this becomes your warmup, and you're going to become a much better player.

And if you want to know exactly how we memorize in this sense, by repetition and exercise, all the notes on the fretboard I have an eBook out there for you. It's gonna get you're gonna get the link or one of the corners of the video. You can download it, it's completely free. Okay, you can see exactly how I go about it. How I recommend to practice it if you follow this instruction in five minutes a day, which you can use as a warm up.

Okay, five minutes a day in a few weeks. You're going to know all the notes on your fretboard without having to do any conscious effort of memorizing them. Just try it out and let me know if it works because I know it works and it will work for you. This is Tommaso Zillio for MusicTheoryForGuitar.com, and until next time, enjoy!

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