Re: When learning songs, do you actually memorize the number of bars in each part, or do you go by f
I honestly don't know how anyone can play and count bars. I listen to the chord progression. I listen to the rhythm guitar or the bass or the keys. I do write out the arrangement like this:
I = intro
V = verse
B = bridge
C = chorus
L = lead, which usually follows the same chord progressions as the verse and/or bridge and chorus
E = ending, which a lot of times is the same as the intro.
Then there's stops, breakdowns and other parts that you make up names for as needed.
Listening to where am in the chord progressions of the various parts is how I do it. It should be something you don't have to think about, you should instinctively know where you are by your ears, and you should know what's coming up next because you memorized the arrangement that you wrote out.
Great art is born out of great pain.