Frustrating Forgetfulness

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So I wrote some pretty involved lyrics, humming the melodies for the parts to myself the whole time. Seemed pretty solid. I then laid down a drum track, still singing along. Perfect. I then started noodling around with some lead piano... and realized I can't remember the vocal melody at all anymore! And nothing seems to fit.

Aaargh! Why didn't I record it into my phone's voice memo (like I sometimes do, but didn't this time)? Is this classic song ruined forever?

Oh well. Back to the (melody) drawing board, I guess.

If it's sticky, it'll come back to you! (but I don't trust my memory at all, voice memos are king)

Good golly yes this is so frustrating.

Sometimes even if I remember it, it doesn't fit right once there's other music building up. When I'm writing music like that... in my head with an emphasis on lyrics and melody... I usually accept the melody as a starting off point. It almost always changes. I don't get attached.

Good one @OdilonGreen! This has happened to me so many times. I don't even have a smartphone. If I get a tune in my head when I'm out, I just have to hum it till I get home. I can notate music if I have to.

But during Fawm or Challenge, doing demos, this is so frustrating. Usually, it comes back if I do something else for a couple of hours. Which is odd.

@katpiercemusic Often when you work at the song the melody can change a little bit. I don't know what happens there. Does the melody find its own way, a more natural "being"? Was I forcing it somehow before? Weird.

I always take quick voice memos while I'm working on the song so I don't forget anything.

i forget as well. i use my smartphone when i can/ If anyone went into my phone id get arrested! humming songs while walking down the street out of breath, playbacks like heavy breathing - oh dear

Hate when that happens. I lost a recording of the vocal for a second verse, losing the words too that way, and I've never been able to finish the promising song because of the perfect feel the missing verse had.

ps-- I'm borrowing the title of this forum post for a song right now. I've been in unfinished song hell for years now, I have to take prompts where I find 'em. Thanks!

I have also lost seemingly important song bits to an imperfect memory. A recorder of some sort is your best friend for music and in a pinch I'll use actual paper for lyric ideas!

It used to amaze me that I could write a song in an hour for a skirmish and two hours later have absolutely no memory of the melody, having to learn it again from the rough recording! Now that I fully understand my music memory limitations I ALWAYS record my ideas!

I remember when I first started writing songs at 16 - recalling memories was never a problem. Scroll on nearly 3 decades and I NEVER dare open my mouth without the voice recorder on Biggrin Biggrin

Yeah... I wrote a song last 50/90 about a song I was in the process of recording-- went out for a bit in the afternoon and Windows Update struck. As it turned out, I had neither lyrics nor music saved (though lyrics complete and music in process) and for the life of me, I could not remember anything. This time, as well, Audacity did not create any temp files from which I could rebuild it. Gone forever! It was some sort of catchy 90s britpop thing, I think, but who will ever know? LOL

Voice recorder is always at the ready. It's a life saver.

cts's picture

Very frustrating, yes. And do I even THINK about my voice recorder so conveniently available on my phone? Nooooooooo. So many good ideas lost.

I work as a lyricist, and yet when I'm not at home, usually when I am driving, I think of some amazing line (well in my head its amazing Wink ), and have to keep repeating it over and over until I can pull in and grab my bag and make a note of it. 99% of my lines are forgotten forever because of my terrible short term memory Sad