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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Joe Offer Reading Lyrics vs Memorization (203* d) RE: Reading Lyrics vs Memorization 31 Dec 20

I confess. I use cheat sheets. Usually, I know songs fairly well, but I hate struggling to make sure I got in all the verses and didn't miss a line. I hate it more when I have to stop in the middle of a song because I just can't remember a verse I've sung a hundred times. I keep my cheat sheets in a folder, and pick out the ones ahead of time that I intend to in a singaround.

I started out singing in a choir, and I've always used hymnals. Over the last 20 years, I find myself looking over the shoulder of the person in front of me, so I no longer have to hold a hymnal. The more often I sing a song, the less often I need to refer to my lyrics.
I've sung for kids for the last 60 years, and I probably have 300 children's songs memorized. I used to do a lot of singing at campfires, and song sheets don't work at campfires.

But when I started singing for adults, I started using cheat sheets. I admire people who don't need lyrics sheets, but they sure help me. Now that I'm singing on Zoom, I hold my lyrics in a clipboard that's in a book stand below my monitor, and that works quite well for me.
I've noticed that people who use a phone or iPad or computer as a source for lyrics when singing, and they often lose their place in the lyrics. So it's probably better to have lyrics on paper.

People who can memorize lyrics easily, see no reason why everybody shouldn't memorize. I'm a good singer and I always have my songs prepared, but I've often felt excluded when I'm with people who insist on memorizing lyrics.

I think memorizing is a good ideal to uphold, but cheat sheets give a lot more people the opportunity to sing a wider variety of music. I'll opt for cheat sheets.


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