How can singers remember the lyrics of all of their songs ?

I'm curious because knowing me I'll end up forgetting everything. 

6 Answers

  • 2 months ago

    JB12 and Jill are right where it just takes a lot of practice and rehearsal. 

    In Barry's response...for some singers about the alcohol and drugs being involved is true for some of them, but not all of them.

    I think for the singer who ends up forgetting their own lyrics, it depends on how new or "old," of a song it is for them. For ex: Demi Lovato, there have been times she had forgotten lyrics to old songs, but the question: When was the last time she sang that song? Here's the perfect example in the compilation video:

    Youtube thumbnail

    . But she has such a good reaction & personality about it esp. near the end. For 2 GMA times, 1 time she sang the second verse first instead of the first verse...and then for her other GMA performance, she accidentally messed up at the very end of her song and her reaction is awesome in that due to the way here eyes sort of "roll" over to the camera either like: "What?" or "Oops." while smiling.

    And in all the clips shown within my link, all her mess ups are natural. She'll even admit to forgetting them. Apparently someone made her sing a song she didn't even remember herself (and I don't remember if the song she sang was one of her own or not). On occasion, she has sung covers of other songs by other artists live before. But her reactions can be funny at times.

    It also depends on how long the song is too where longer songs will in fact take longer to memorize shorter songs. I mostly write lyrics where 1 of my songs is like only 3 short "paragraphs," in a sense where it was really easy for me to be able to memorize because I had sung it so much one time. I haven't sung it in a while actually, but it's somehow still memorized within myself. Even constantly reading the lyrics/singing along with them can also help with memorizing them.

    And while Anonymous's response was informative...the 3 digit code thing sounds confusing as a way to memorize lyrics. 

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    Sometimes they forget

  • Anonymous
    6 months ago

    I especially dislike strophic songs, (same melody, but different words each verse). I get the words in each verse mixed up! (Although you could argue there's less information to memorize since the melody is the same each time)… w/e.

    The same way you had to remember a speech or poem you read in class, practice! 

    Listening to the music (and sometimes reading a score + listening to it)

    Reading the score

    Writing the lyrics out and reading them separate from the music

    Internalizing & interpreting the meaning of the lyrics (making it more relevant and personal)

    Practicing memorization of the lyrics (flash cards, blocking the text up into phrase segments and learning the lyrics in smaller more manageable groups)

    Practicing different entrances (think of a combination lock for school lockers with 3 digit codes. If you mess up any of them, you have to re-do it starting from the beginning. Kind of similarly, if you only practice reciting the song from the beginning, if you mess up you're likely to try and zip through the entire song to get back to the point where you messed up. Ideally, you practice in smaller segments and should be comfortable starting anywhere, so you could start the lyrics mid sentence, or if you messed up you could at least come back more easily rather than replaying the entire lyrics in your head to get to where you just were.

    Audiating it (THINKING it, not actually speaking it, good for on the go)

    I've 'studied' probably 70 songs. (I know more, but 70 that I've studied and would sing). (I'm young and this is by no means impressive.). I sure as hell don't remember the words to every single one of these. I have to remind myself based on what I am doing.

    I have a recital coming up, so I'm focusing more on 12 songs for that. 3 songs are new that I'm learning just for fun. So keeping track mentally of 15 songs rather than every song I've sung. If I want to use one of the ones I've learned, I go back, check, and practice to make sure I've still got it secure. 

  • TB12
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    Repetition, sing the song over and over enough times and it becomes second nature, just like the way anybody remembers anything about their jobs.

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  • Jill
    Lv 7
    6 months ago

    I remember the lyrics to hundreds of songs. How? I don't know. I sing along and somehow they get stored in my brain. Often someone will be just talking and will say something that jogs a memory of a song lyric and I can hear the song in my head instantly. 

    Singers do rehearse their songs over and over so would just memorize them. When they forget it's usually because they are distracted or "foggy". 

  • Barry
    Lv 5
    6 months ago

    It has been known for performers to forget the words especially singing live on air. Probably too much booze or drugs.

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