How to memorize music notes quickly

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Hi everybody! Today we're gonna learn a very important skill: how to memorize music notes quickly. It's absolutely impossible to memorize hundreds or thousands of notes by heart without knowing the connections between them.

But today I'm not gonna talk about harmony. Which is very important to learn for musicians. But not so easy. Especially for the beginners. I'll show you one of my favorite methods today, which anybody can learn. And you begin to memorize music scores lightning fast.

Let's take a look at Bach prelude in C major as an example. This is quite a popular music piece and not very difficult for playing, which is very important because I'm sure that many of you just started playing piano. I'll play the first bar. There were sixteen notes in this bar. But let's dig a little deeper. 

And we can observe that some of these notes were repeating. Maybe you could hear it as well. As you can see, I'm just playing five different notes one by one  and then repeating three of them with the right hand. And then I go through these eight notes again. So, altogether, there're sixteen. But as I said, I actually played only five different notes and then just repeated some of them in different combinations.

That is the key. There are not as many different notes as you might think when a musician is playing or singing. Many of the notes just repeat very very often. Doesn't it make it easier to memorize?
Let's dig even more deeply. I'll name all the five different notes I play. It's C - E - G - C - E. Wow! We were mistaken. There are not five different notes. There are only three: C - E - G and then C - E again just one octave higher. So, what miraculous math! For some people there are sixteen notes and for me there are only three! Who do you think will memorize it faster?

But I haven't taught you the method yet. We're just getting started! For using this really amazing method we need to combine all five notes in one chord. Then we need to do the same thing with a second bar. I mean to put together all five notes in one chord. And now, it's finally time for the method. Let's call it "Change or no change".
We need to compare both of the chords and find out how many notes are changing and how many of them are staying in place. As you can see, the very first note C is staying in place. And four of the others are changing. But how are they changing?

The second note E goes to the nearest on the left side and all the others in the right hand go to the nearest keys on the right side. So we can say that they are going in the different directions. And don't forget that the very first note C is staying in place.
Maybe you feel like there is a lot of information but believe me: if you analyze all of these rules you'll understand that it's much easier to learn two of these bars knowing which notes are changing and which are staying in place.

You need to practice it like this: playing all the notes which are changing and not playing those which are remaining in place. In this case it's just C. But let's take a look at the connection between the second and third bars!
As usual we combine the second and third bars into the two chords and try to analyze how many of the five notes are changing. As you can see, the connection between these two is much easier. Just two notes out of five are changing. These are the lowest in the left hand and the lowest in the right hand. Please notice that they are changing in parallel.

And then voila! We've already learned four bars! Why four? Becouse the fourth bar is the same as the first one. Let's just take a look on the connection between the third and fourth bars. We keep just one middle note in place - the thumb of the right hand. This is G. All the others are changing.
Lets play again these four bars but using the method "Change or no change" and playing only those notes which are changing. First bar. Second bar. Third bar. Fourth bar.

If you are able to play like this then it's very easy to break down the chords and play like Bach actually composed. But you already have the structure in mind, and you never forget the music scores.

At the end of the lesson we can make the conclusion that when we are repeting the same notes, it interferes with our ability to memorize it fast. That's why you should first understand the structure. Namely, which of the notes are changing and which are staying in place. And at that point, when you have already memorized these changes very well, you can play all the notes steadily, and very confidently without fear of forgetting something.

Thank you for watching! See you in the next lesson!

Sincerely yours
Volodymyr Slakva, online piano teacher
You can also reach me on WhatsApp
Phone number: (+46) 0737820497

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