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Remember Your Lyrics – 5 Powerful Tips! from Singing After 40 & Barbara Lewis

September 21, 2019


Hello my name is Barbara Lewis. Are you a singer over 40? Do you have trouble remembering some of your lyrics some of the time? If that’s the case. then I have some great tips for you! Please stay tuned! Hello again. I want to talk about remembering lyrics now. I’ve been a singer and a teacher for over thirty years. And during part of those years of performing, I did a lot of one women shows – one woman shows. And in some of those shows. I would sing act and dance. Some of them had as many as 10,000 words in them! And it was a pretty big task to remember all of that. So I found a lot of different ways to do it. But right now, I want to talk about the slightly simpler task of remembering lyrics to songs, not big shows. So number one… find the right lyrics! I find this is really important these days because there’s a lot of lyrics on the internet – and many of them are simply wrong. So when you’re singing your song… and eventually you hear someone sing that song correctly, you realize that you’ve been singing the wrong words! it’s very hard to get those wrong words out of your brain. So number ONE – get as close to the source as you can. If you can, go to the songwriter’s site – website – and get the lyrics there. Do that or listen to the very first singer who sang that song and jot down the right lyrics. And then you have the right thing in front of you and in your brain to begin with. Secondly… what I would suggest you do is listen to a lot of different, good singers singing the right lyrics. If you do that, the lyrics begin to come into your brain in the rhythm of the song. And that’s really helpful. You almost don’t have to work to remember quite a few of their lyrics, if you do it this way – if you listen to really good singers. And you listen to it often… Number 3 – write the lyrics down. If you have a printer, take the lyrics off the internet and print them out. I’m going to show you here up on the left how I do my lyric sheets. In fact I have a whole video that will explain a variety of ways to deal with lyrics when they’re on the printed page. But have a look up here just for now. As you see here, this is how your lyrics should look when you print them out. You’re going to make them very clear. Here I have three verses and I’ve outlined the first line of each verse. And in the end your map your lyric map will look something like this. So as you’ll see, printing out your lyrics can be very very helpful. I’ve put a link to that video. it’s a short video on my website – just below this video here. So you can go and look at that and follow some of the tips, if you want to. Number 4 has to do with movement. Hand movement that you can use in a concert if there’s some words you just cannot remember. There was one actually in that video that I just showed you. There was one opening to the second… I think it was second chorus – where it says “As a nation trembles, a spirit soars.” And I could not remember “a spirit soars.” So when I started that verse “as a nation trembles,” I would always move my hand up “a spirit soars.” And on my hand I would remember the the feeling of the words as my hand soared up. These are the kinds of things that you can do. Some of them are a little bit obvious, but you can be very discrete in your movements. And the audience won’t know but it will be very helpful. Number 5 is total body involvement. Now I’m not going to get into that here. When you look at the video, if you do, you’ll see what I have to say about getting your whole body involved in remembering lyrics. Sometimes, as a last resort, that’s what you need to do. You need to dance through the lyrics. You need to move through the lyrics and your memory will bring back those words. You won’t do that on stage. You’re not going to dance on stage… unless you do! But you don’t have to. Your body will remember the lyrics, and it will bring them into your consciousness at the right time. So those are my 5 tips. There’s much much more information on my website on the link that I put just below this video. I hope this was helpful to you. And as usual I wish you great singing! I’ll see you again soon. Bye bye!

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