It was easier in the old days because we played weekly gigs. Some of us remember 6 nights a week and weekend matinees. But, like everything else this is a new day. No point lamenting the "good 'ol days".
Gerald Klickstein suggests making repertoire lists and creating a maintenance schedule that cycles through this list. The cycle length is determined by the complexity of the music. So, 100 Jazz Standards (for a basic jamming list see http://www.hopestreetmusicstudios.com/articles/100-must-know-jazz-tunes) The first list has 50 tunes, I know 25 intimately. No point spending time on those. That leaves 25 needing a tune up.
Some great ideas here: https://www.quora.com/Whats-the-best-spaced-repetition-schedule
Every goal needs a why big enough to keep us going when the going gets tough. My why? I'm enjoying playing jazz around town in jam sessions. On drums I'm cool. On piano I've a few frustrations with my repertoire being a little rusty. It is a point of pride that jazz musicians play from memory. No fakebooks, or apps on the phone to get us through. I had to use an iReal B to get through "There will never be another you" last Thursday. Sax player, my age, looked at the phone and said, "so that's how it's going to be?" How embarrassing.
Here my plan of getting 25 more Jazz Standards back into my working memory using the 2X2X2 method of spaced repetition as advocated on the quora site.
In a nutshell: review each tune practiced the following day then in ten days, in thirty days, and finally sixty days. To which I'll add: keeping a playlist of tunes on my phone to listen to in the car.
Day One: Tune A
Day Two: Tune A and tune B
Day Three Tune B and tune C
Day Ten: Tune A (at this point I'm reviewing three tunes a day, one in depth, two less so)
Day Eleven: Tune B
Day Thirty: Tune A (at this point I'm reviewing four tunes a day, one in depth, three less so)
Day Sixty: Tune A (at this point I'm reviewing five tunes a day, one in depth, four less so)
At this point Tune A should be stuck in there. I'll keep you up to date on my progress. And, at Jams I'll suggest tunes from the new list.
David Story: Professional pianist, drummer, composer, and educator. Well into his 5th enthusiastic musical decade, David works with adults pursuing musical dreams in the autumn of life, while he maintains an active presence in the Toronto arts scene.