If I gave you a series of notes to remember, would you be able to remember them?
Let’s try it.
0 0 2 0 5 4 0 0 2 0 7 5 0 0 12 9 5 5 4 2
The above is a specific series of notes (I’ll explain what notes they are in a moment).
Now, if you were to look away from the screen right now, could you remember those numbers?
Unless you have a memory like Dustin Hoffman’s character in the brilliant movie, Rain Man, then the chances are “no”.
…Yet most guitarists try to learn huge chunks of notes like this.
…And then they get frustrated with themselves when they forget it all.
I’ve been there too.
Now, do you know what the numbers above mean?
Well, those numbers are the frets for where to play bars 1-3 of the song, “Happy Birthday”.
Let’s take all those numbers, but break them up into chunks.
0 0 2 0 5 4
0 0 2 0 7 5
0 0 12 9 5 5 4 2
Yeah, that already looks more manageable.
…But we can split it up further by doing this…
0 0 2 0 5 4 – that is a good start
…But why not break that up into…
0 0 2 0 and then 5 4
It all becomes much more manageable now.
You can do the same for everything you learn.
You see, the thing is…
Memory is partly about the brain…
But a big factor with memory is the process you use.
Start with small chunks
Play through the chunks in your mind as well as on your guitar
Use lots of repetition
…And then move on to the next chunk.
It’s not a magic bullet, but if you do this enough, the above can really help.
Also, I must say you need to be patient too.
Some people start by doing the above but then start rushing with excitement to learn the next chunk.
This excitement can turn to teeth-grinding frustration when you forget the previous part!
Be patient and use small chunks!
Anyway, I hope that was helpful for you.
If you want more help where you can learn simple tunes with confidence and good technique (including “Happy Birthday” and multiple others) then check this out below if you haven’t already.
It’s a really good place for beginners to get started with the guitar.
P.S. This post was originally taken from Dan Thorpe’s private email list. To get blog posts like this sent to you which are full of great tips to make fingerpicking, strumming, and learning guitar more enjoyable (especially if you are over 40) join Dan’s list. It’s 100% free, HERE.