View Full Version : start at the end

19-11-08, 10:34 PM
i heard an interesting theory.....that it helps to learn a tune from the last bar back rather than the first bar forward (it was a pipers theory but i was wondering if it worked the same for drumming). apparently, it takes the emphasis off of learning a tune and places it on learning a bar, which is supposed to make learning the whole thing easier and quicker.
i can imagine certain benefits, but i'm not convinced.
what are your thoughts on the matter? is there any specific reason this would work?

19-11-08, 11:07 PM
I'm not quite convinced but that is just me. I would say that this type of mental exercise probably does work for some.
For me, a bar of music is a bar of music whether it is at the beginning or the end.
Perhaps just re-write the tune backwards and see if it really makes a difference.

19-11-08, 11:41 PM
Yup, I agree with learning the endings and middle bars first due to their repetition through-out the tune. When you've done that, you've learned about 50% of the tune.

20-11-08, 02:01 AM
When I was studying piano in college, my teacher had me memorize my music that way -- starting at the end. There's nothing worse (and I've both experienced and witnessed this) than having a total memory lapse in the middle of a piece and/or having a panic attack the closer you get to the end because you're not sure if you really know it that well.

So the way this works is, instead of knowing the beginning of the piece and then having it get harder and harder because you tend to practice and remember the first part of the piece more than the last part, you add to the beginning and then can easily play through to the end because you've been practicing it more. :bgt:

20-11-08, 02:02 AM
Now nobody has implied a bar of music is "just" a bar of music.
If music tells a story and conveys emotion, then a well written piece conveys this throughout...not only at the places suggested here for memorization.
I'm not knocking your method, I just have a different opinion. I'd rather learn it from beginning to end. If I learned it any other way, I would probably remember it that way. Again, that's just me and since opinions were solicited, that is my opinion.

Now Rob makes a credible point in that he stated that the endings and middle bars are repetitious. I could see why some would want to learn those areas first.

I dont agree with a bar of music as just being a bar of music. If music tells a story, or conveys emotion, a bar is not "Just" a bar.

20-11-08, 03:42 AM
Now that I think more about it and have read a couple of replies, I do want to reiterate that I was talking about memorizing music, not learning it. With as much repetition as there is in pipe music, that may or may not be the most effective way to learn a tune...even though in all honesty, there is some degree of memorization involved even if you're still using music.

That being said, I've decided that the next band medley I have to memorize, I'm going to try doing it backwards and see if that works any better.

20-11-08, 03:44 AM
So nothing wrong with learning a new tune start to end if it works for you. For me, learning the endings, then the middle bars first seems to give me a leg up on a tune. After learning those, I learn it start to end to get, as you nicely put it, the story and emotion of the tune. It's just that at that point, I've got so much less to learn to get it.

Now here's the hard part for drummers: all drumming scores have an "innate music" to them that we hear prior to hearing the pipe tune. This "innate music" is: 1) only partially shared between drummers (each hears something slightly different) and 2) can be way off the pipe tune (but once married to the pipe tune, it makes sense). So, when learning a new score, when do you bring in the pipe tune and how?

20-11-08, 05:47 AM
I break it into phrases, after running through it a few times.
i learn the difficult phrases first. I'll work backwards from a difficult phrase, to help keep it fluent. Then I go back and learn one part at a time, from start to finish. usually by then, the phrases that are repeated are already in my head. In most cases by then, I have the tune in my head too.

20-11-08, 01:37 PM
I have to go from the beginning otherwise I get all muddled up. Usually, the first thing I do with new music is play it through once (or attempt to) and identify the trouble spots. After that, I generally concentrate on the parts. I'll go back and work JUST the difficult bars, but I'm discovering that that is killing me. :P If I extract the difficult part (sticking, pattern, whatever) into my own "other" exercise, I'm okay... but if I try to repeat a particular bar over and over... when it comes time to play the whole thing I will sometimes freeze (because I got in the habit of stopping to repeat).

Long story short... If I'm trying to memorize a tune, it's start to finish over an over. If I'm trying to "learn" or work out difficult parts of a tune, I'll extract them in any whatever order. :P So my personal perspective on whoever asked if there is a difference between memorization and learning... To me, yeah. In order to memorize, I have to feel the flow. For learning, it's a discipline of mastering a new phrase.

21-11-08, 08:03 PM
From your first quote, you said to you, a bar of music is a bar of music........wasn't knocking anyones opinion, just saying how i was taught.
While we're on the subject, here's another question.....is LEARNING a tune different from MEMORIZING a tune?

my opinion is that learning differs from memorising in as much that if you learn something, you have an understanding of it , whereas, if you memorise it, it doesn't necessarily follow that you understand it. another point is the fact that everyone can learn the sticking pattern, but then it has to be interprtated and given light and shade (and this has to be the same throughout the core)