By Millicent Lao
Suddenly need to sing a song you don’t know at an event a few days from now? Worried you won’t remember the song lyrics fast and well enough, and embarrass yourself in front of an audience? How can anyone memorize and master song lyrics so fast? Don’t fret! With a few simple steps, and a little perseverance, we can do just that! Here are some tips on how to memorize song lyrics fast!
Step 1: Listen, Read, Listen, Read!
Listen to the song/s you’re to perform as often as you can, making sure you have the printed lyrics or music score in front of you, so that you remember the lyrics as accurately as possible. And of course, listen to the version of the song you’re singing. Whenever you can at this early stage, sing out loud with the original, deciding on the parts that you will and will not sing (I’m referring to ad libs, runs, and deviations from the melody). Securing in your mind what you’re going to sing, instead of being indecisive, will assure you a lot of peace of mind come performance day!
Step 2: Write, write, write!
The next step in memorizing song lyrics fast and well is to write them out. When you’re familiar enough with the song, look for the instrumental/karaoke version you’ll work with, and sit yourself down somewhere comfortable. We’re coming to memorizing the lyrics. Recall the music and sing it to yourself, and write down the lyrics as fast and accurately as you can. Have the printed lyrics or score out, but refer to them only if you can’t recall a word or phrase. Do this as many times as you can, looking as little as possible at the printed sheet, in order to memorize the lyrics fast!
Step 3: Practice, Practice, Practice!
Finally, you have the lyrics drilled into your head. All you have to do now is PRACTICE! Have your lyrics with you, and the instrumental you’ll be working with, and SING! In some cases, you’ll be working with an instrumentalist. So before reaching this step, please make sure you have already arranged one or a few practice sessions with your instrumentalist! Collaborating with your instrumentalist is monumental. Talk about any tricky parts in the music, and of any changes you’d like to make. Also, record the practice session. Practicing the song out loud, in performance level, and even in the shoes you’ll be performing in, will give you the best mindset in handling your nerves on performance day. Doing run through sessions with the lyrics memorized will definitely help in the preparation as well as in giving you some confidence! Just make sure not to tire yourself out the night before the event. Drink lots of water, get lots of sleep, don’t do anything vocally strenuous.
Step 4: Sing, Sing, and Have Fun!
It’s the day of the event, and your performance. As you get ready for the day, keep the song in your mind, but do not obsess over it. Keep the lyrics with you as a safeguard, but trust in yourself and in the work that you put in to memorize and master these lyrics. Listen to the instrumental when you can and imagine what you’ll do while singing. Remember that singing is a lot more mental work and preparation than one may think. If you get nervous, just shake the excess off and use the energy to fuel your performance. There’s just one more thing to memorize: Have fun!
We hope these tips help you in your next performance! Should you wish to learn more, or engage a professional and highly qualified vocal teacher to help your progress, click here for more information on voice lessons. We offer individual lessons for adults and young children. You can start exploring by signing up for a free trial!