Tue 10 Oct 2006
I have started to learn to play the guitar recently, and in order to play freely it’s beneficial to know song texts by heart. Having read about how people on various TV shows manage to remember a huge amount of information in a short time, I decided to try their methods to learn “Hotel California” by the Eagles by heart.
The idea is to remember the text not word by word, but to remember just the key words in each line and build a mental story with these words. The story doesn’t have to be convincing or anything; it’s just a tool to help you remember. Do try this at home! I’ll offer my key words and my mental story for part of this song. I only had time for two stanzas:
(I won’t reproduce the whole text here as it’s probably copyrighted.)
I wrote these words down from memory, about 14 hours after coming up with them in the marshrutka on my way to work. That took me about 15 minutes. Do repeat the text without looking at it after coming up with your words / story. After work I could recall everything. I now have more trouble remembering the 8 accords that you have to play in a stanza than the text :)
The scene (mental story) I imagine for second stanza goes like this: It’s a warm sunny day, some rich women went by car to a street cafe where she sits now. Because she’s rich, pretty guys desire her. She calls them friends, although these guys are only after her money. They dance for her in the courtyard, she finds that sweet and they sweat. It’s summer. Some of the guys dance well (to remember), some not so well (to forget). Then the first-person narrator calls the waiter (the captain is the waiter in my story) to ask him to bring him his wine. Wine contains alcohol — spirits. The waiter tells his story.
I don’t have a story for the last four lines, as they are pretty easy to remember by itself. The words were enough.
I encourage you to try this at home :)