A Singers Guide to Learning Lyrics

Learning lyrics can be a real nightmare for singers, especially if you have to prepare a role or a performance in a short amount of time. When the pressure is on, its critical we know our learning style and have a collection of tools up our sleeve to help us execute whats on the page convincingly.

To help you with that collection and understanding what your learning style is, The House of Voice has drawn up a few useful tips for “how singers can learn their lyrics” and avoid sounding like an ambassador for misheard lyrics.com.

1. Ascertain your learning style

We all have different ways of learning, and varying combinations of learning styles which suit us best.

If we know how we learn, then we can tailor  the task of learning lyrics or lines to fit these preferences.

Here are some learning styles and solutions especially created by The House of Voice to help singers learn song lyrics and lines:

THE VISUAL LEARNER

These learners love anything they can see.

Try writing/typing out the lyrics, drawing pictures of key lyric/line triggers, stick lyrics on the roof above where you sleep or dress in the morning, test yourself with cue cards.

THE AUDITORY LEARNER

These learners love anything they can hear.

Listen to the song on repeat, record your lyrics as a poem/ listen back, gets someone else to speak the lyrics to you, speak the song in rhythm, record the song speaking in rhythm/ listen back.

THE KINESTHETIC/TACTILE LEARNER:

These learners love anything they can touch or feel.

Draw simple illustrations at the end of each line to create key lyric triggers, use flashcards or notes whilst walking, study the lyrics lying on your back or be in motion as you learn, write out the lyrics, act out the lyrics as a play, stand on a balance on a board and memorise lyrics

THE VERBAL LEARNER

These learners love words and speech.

Speak out lyrics, act out lyrics, analyse the language of the text/lyric

THE SOCIAL LEARNER

These learners love to learn in groups

Grab a study partner: create a lyric bounce off game, test yourself by reciting lines in front of others, explain the meaning of the lyrics to others and spark a conversation

THE LOGICAL/ANALYTICAL LEARNER

These learners love systems and logic.

Draw a pattern to the language through associations, look up the meaning and draw logic into lyric, explore meaning and intention about artists; including any facts about the song

THE SOLITARY LEARNER

These learners love to learn by themselves.

Write a journal about how the character feels or what the lyrics mean personally to you, memorise lines in a quiet room of the house, set goals for yourself and monitor your learning, establish connections between experiences you’ve been through personally and relate it specifically to each line

 2. Make use of technology

Make use of apps and programs you can find on your iPhone, Samsung, iPad, Mac and PC devices to help you learn

Use Apps: such as Rehearsal 2 or Line Learner which will help you partner a scene, read your lyrics back and guide you with learning the lyrics

Use Voice Memo: Record your lines/lyrics and listen to them back

Use Spotify and Youtube: Listen to your songs and memorise through repetition

3. Related Associations

Go through song and analyse where the character was coming from.

Make notes per section and draw out key themes.

Relate these themes to something you have been through personally

Remember the order of sections through personal experiences.

Happy Learning!!

 

Photo Credit: “Thanh Ha (#70597)”, © 2008 mark sebastianFlickr | CC-BY-SA | via Wylio

All content and writings © Alisha Gartland – The House of Voice 2016