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How do you learn a tune?


BobDoubles
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How do you learn a tune?Do you work out the fingering,learn phrase by phrase or bar by bar with a metronome?All at slow speed.I have been advised to use the metronome method which is very intense but does seem to give results.I would be very interested in peoples views.BD.

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First memorize the melody. then practicing slowly, try to figure out the fingering.You can use some software to slow music so you can play along with a Cd or an Mp3 file. It's more fun than the metronome and will help you to keep a steady rhythm. When you're comfortable with the melody, try to add the goodies (octaves, cuts, triplets and so on) and then try to increase the speed progressively, never sacrificing the quality of your sound. Listen to yourself. how does it sound? and then more practice until the tune is in you and you can play it without thinking. One more thing. Try to play fac similés, that is play exactly what the guy on the Cd is playing. That's where a music slowing software is useful. In a while (depending how much you practice) you'll be able to play along with Cds without slowing them down and then BINGO!!! you did it!

good luck (if luck has anything to do with it)

Dominic

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First memorize the melody. then practicing slowly, try to figure out the fingering.You can use some software to slow music so you can play along with a Cd or an Mp3 file. It's more fun than the metronome and will help you to keep a steady rhythm. When you're comfortable with the melody, try to add the goodies (octaves, cuts, triplets and so on) and then try to increase the speed progressively, never sacrificing the quality of your sound. Listen to yourself. how does it sound? and then more practice until the tune is in you and you can play it without thinking. One more thing. Try to play fac similés, that is play exactly what the guy on the Cd is playing. That's where a music slowing software is useful. In a while (depending how much you practice) you'll be able to play along with Cds without slowing them down and then BINGO!!! you did it!

good luck (if luck has anything to do with it)

Dominic

 

Thank you for your reply Dominic i think it sound advice.BD.

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http://www.seventhst...e/overview.html

 

I like the software. Its very user friendly and Michael has a few tutorials on his website too.

I use Transcribe a lot too. It's really useful for learning the accompaniment rather than the melody. I find slow downers don't help me much with chords as I don't recognize them by ear. Transcribe is helpful in figuring out what's going on in some mush of multiple notes.

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How do you learn a tune?Do you work out the fingering,learn phrase by phrase or bar by bar with a metronome?All at slow speed.I have been advised to use the metronome method which is very intense but does seem to give results.I would be very interested in peoples views.BD.

 

If we're talking about bare melody here, with no harmonisation or chords, I learn the tune by ear without the instrument by just listening to it as often as it takes. When I know it well enough to confidently hum or whistle it, I try it out on an instrument that I have already learned to play. Being familiar with the instrument, I can usually make a pretty good stab at the fingering in a not-too-difficult key. And since I can already hum or whistle the tune, I've got the phrasing pretty well cut and dried, too.

 

That goes for the bare melody. If the genre involves harmonisation or ornamentation, I then add this. The way to ornament or harmonise is also an acquired skill, and is genre-dependent. Ornamentations and harmonies are not part of the tune - they are part of the playing style!

 

I'd say, first learn you instrument, then learn the genre - ornamentation, harmonisation, rhythmic treatment, etc. - and then you can play any tune that you have in your head.

 

Cheers,

John

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  • 2 weeks later...

In my opinion it is very important to keep the motivation high.

 

And sometimes, when you are trying a tune again and again, the motivation goes down. Solution: change of tune!. With time, you end up having lots of tunes, and none of them played well. But you are still learning. One day, suddendly, you start playing them pretty well.

 

I would go first for slow tunes, and jigs. I spent years playing these. I would leave the reels to the end.

 

I go 100% by ear, when I get a tune using my ear I feel really happy.

 

First I have to listen the tune many times. When I go for the tune, I do this: I play the recording, listen a few notes, stop the recording, and quickly try to play the notes with my instrument. I do this all the way till the end of the tune.

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I think John has the right idea, if you want to memorise a tune you need to know it well before attempting to play it. With a straight forward A B tune I learn one part thoroughly (or at least pretty well) before moving on to the other part. Once the reflex part is down and it's in your fingers you can start to work on the phrasing and ornamentaion and/or chords etc.

 

BTW BobDoubles, how's your Plain Hunt? ;)

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First with the memorization, even if you can read music having the tune in your head is important,, especially if you are attempting to play any traditional music.

 

I have a few sheets of music on my stand, new tunes I want to learn, with audio reference for reminder. After a warm up of tunes I enjoy, I play through the new tunes a few times each, working to the point of eventually being able to play with only the title for reminder. I don't usually labor over tunes until I can play them free of the dots. This usually takes about a week, the tunes I am less fond of either take another week or get dropped.

 

After the tunes have been played a few times each, I go back to playing tunes I know and love. The actual practicing of new tunes is probably less than 20 minutes of my hour or so of playing. It is important to end practice time playing well so you go away feeling good about your music

 

After I can play the tune easily, then I fill out the tune by working on fingering, which I usually don't do much changing now, with 25 years of Anglo concertina playing, and any ornamenting or doubling, what I want to do to make the tune mine.

 

For me, the final step is pairing the tune with another tune or two to make a set so that it gets played regularly. A tune left on its own doesn't get played as much, and thus is forgotten.

 

Mike

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http://www.seventhst...e/overview.html

 

I like the software. Its very user friendly and Michael has a few tutorials on his website too.

I use Transcribe a lot too. It's really useful for learning the accompaniment rather than the melody. I find slow downers don't help me much with chords as I don't recognize them by ear. Transcribe is helpful in figuring out what's going on in some mush of multiple notes.

 

Transcribe! is awesome .. I'm just starting to learn ITM tunes in D, and my teacher gave me a tune to work on this week (The Tree Flowers) .. I dug up a youtube of Dermot O`Brien which was in C, downloaded it and converted it to mp3 and loaded it into Transcribe!, shifted it up to D, selected a complete A-B-B-A segment, and loop it .. it's much more fun practicing when you have a band along :)

 

Thanks for pointing it out! It's well worth the investment IMHO ..

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I think John has the right idea, if you want to memorise a tune you need to know it well before attempting to play it. With a straight forward A B tune I learn one part thoroughly (or at least pretty well) before moving on to the other part. Once the reflex part is down and it's in your fingers you can start to work on the phrasing and ornamentaion and/or chords etc.

 

BTW BobDoubles, how's your Plain Hunt? ;)

It's not bad thanks and i've got as far as Bob Minor.

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BTW BobDoubles, how's your Plain Hunt? ;)

It's not bad thanks and i've got as far as Bob Minor.

 

The bells! The bells!

 

Joshua Mackay-Smith

 

(I only recognize these references because I've read Dorothy Sayers' The Nine Tailors, which I understand does not give the most accurate view of change-ringing one ever did see, and is sadly lacking in mentions of concertinas. Lots about the area where my mother's family lived before journeying west in the 1630s, though).

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BTW BobDoubles, how's your Plain Hunt? ;)

It's not bad thanks and i've got as far as Bob Minor.

 

The bells! The bells!

 

Joshua Mackay-Smith

 

(I only recognize these references because I've read Dorothy Sayers' The Nine Tailors, which I understand does not give the most accurate view of change-ringing one ever did see, and is sadly lacking in mentions of concertinas. Lots about the area where my mother's family lived before journeying west in the 1630s, though).

I was just getting to bob doubles when we moved to NZ; frequent earthquakes don't encourage the hanging of huge lumps of metal high in the air so there is nowhere close to me where I can ring, sadly, so that's it, plain hunt will remain my best effort, I'll never crack ropesight now. I used to really enjoy the camaradery and the exercise.

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Glad to see there are other ringers on site.Hopefully Dirge they will rehang the Christchurch bells but don't know wether this is too far away.Thanks to all for the replies it is certainly reassuring for me,as it's mainly what i've been doing it's just that i was told by a caring individual that a Metronome was the true path.Hope the thread is usefull to other people too.

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Glad to see there are other ringers on site.Hopefully Dirge they will rehang the Christchurch bells but don't know wether this is too far away.Thanks to all for the replies it is certainly reassuring for me,as it's mainly what i've been doing it's just that i was told by a caring individual that a Metronome was the true path.Hope the thread is usefull to other people too.

I looked it up a while ago and there are only about 6 ringing towers in the whole country. The only practical place for me would be Wellington but even then it would only be when we visit the inlaws (it's a 4 hour drive). I keep threatening to find out their practice nights but it seems a bit daft for a beginner to turn out for a cathedral side a few times a year. I feel I'd be more of a nuisance than anything, and wouldn't be there often enough to progress. I bet there's a website to teach ropesight somewhere, but again, there seems little point in my circumstances. You can't have everything; it's a pretty good life mostly!

 

 

I don't know what they'll do about the Chch bells but having been forcibly reminded that they too are earthquake prone I doubt they'll be up the tower any more, the safety nazis will see to that.

 

Back on topic, it appears to me that you need to start trying to play a piece of music from memory even before you can play the tune properly; if you leave it too long doing without the score seems harder, not easier. I don't understand it but it seems to be true.

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Hi Dirge,you'll just have to make do with living in a beautiful country and playing the concertina it's a dirty job but somebody's got to do it.On the Topic i think w'ere all on the right lines.Personaly i've been playing for 18 months self taught and now trying to fit in with a ceilidgh band.If i can whistle the tune i'm half way there,i work out the fingering and breathing trying to avoid jumping using the "Dots".Short sessions and then play by memory,Phrasing comes from listening to tracks,speed is another matter altogether and i'm not worrying yet.Instead of a slow programme i record midis off "TuneFinder" on to a Yamaha pocketrack c24,this allows me to slow down or speed up the music and i endeavor to play along.I can also record myself and listen uncomfortably.I always finish a practice with something i can play to my satisfaction[listeners beware].

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OK, I'm going to throw my 2 cents in here. All these slowdown devices are great and I use 'em too, but after you have the tune in your fingers, the next step is to play it with a real live person. This is better than a big session and more fun I think. Keeps it real.

 

So I suggest finding someone who is close to your level of play and invite them over for an evening of tunes. Three is even better than two but I've found that the best sessions are often private and small, 4 or 5 max. Bring your recorder and learn each others tunes for next time. Build your community and cultivate your local music. Don't look for other concertina players but rather like minded folks on any instrument handy.

 

I think that most music and tune playing in particular is much more fun and satisfying with a small group than alone. Also the motivation factor is stronger when you want to learn that new tune to show or join your friends next Thursday.

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