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      I’ve come to the crossroads, where i’ve cut back on doing lots of exercises from tutoring books with regards to music sheet reading.

      So now i’ve decided it’s time to start learning from memory to play some well known tunes along to backing tracks without using the music sheets.

      So the 1st tune i’m doing is ‘fly me to the moon’, i’ve worked out that memorising 4 new bars a day in time with a backing track should take around 40 days – bearing in mind that i only practice for under an hour a day.

      My question, once you get into a routine of playing from memory, does it get easier over time?




            video on tarting up fly me to the moon


              The above ad lib tutorial for fly me to the moon has very useful advice.

              When i was practicing for a sax exam, i had to play a tune exactly as the music sheet indicated, which is very constraining.

              However in real life, it turns out that a lot of music sheets are blank canvases (as indicated by my music teacher to me in the past and he was not overly concerned about the way i articulated some jazz tunes compared to how it was articulated by backing track players, to my annoyance as i was trying to mimic the backing track player).

              The only problem is keeping everything within each bar.


                yes it gets easier the more you do it.
                important to know and understand the key you’re in. This will make it more of a guarantee that at least the notes you’re going for are ones that are actually in the song.
                when composers write melodies they use the main notes in the scale almost all the time. You can prove this to yourself by just looking at the melody above…it’s just parts of the A major scale in bits and pieces.
                Then, being able to hum or sing it yourself is very important and helpful for when you pick up your sax.
                I used to learn one bar (or short phrase) at a time. Not moving forward until that short section was coming off perfect…make a mistake? go back and start again. you’ll nail it after several times, not 100’s of times so it’s very do-able for anyone who puts in the effort.


                  Thanks JF! it’s reassuring to know in advance that advice you’ve given and that i’m partly working along the right lines.

                  Starting so late in life, and also not being a trained musician, it’s a lot harder for me to pick up a music sheet and play it straight off in terms of timing. It would take me several weeks or months just to play one sheet correctly.

                  I think it’s more fun to memorise one tune, and slowly build up a collection of more tunes over time. A lot of nursery rhymes i can play on the sax without looking at a sheet, so that gives a slight advantage.

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