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Author Topic: What tune are you learning.  (Read 1865 times)

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Squeaky Pete

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What tune are you learning.
« on: February 14, 2020, 09:31:41 PM »

Not wishing to add my sporadic practice session to the 100 days thread, I thought I'd ask here.
As I said, I don't really do exercises but learning a tune with particular difficulties is quite challenging.
My Pariselle box has interesting reversals and the two extra bass buttons but I've not really explored how to take advantage yet. However I've found the sheet music for an interesting musette waltz (called musette waltz). It has chords marked and some indication of bass runs so I'm giving it a go.
It's driving me a bit mad but parts are making sense and the tricky bass does mostly follow the bellows direction of the accidentals.
I certainly don't think this warrants a soul baring video as I mull through it, but I'll post if starts to sound sensible.

Question is are you learning something for a similar reason, or just learning tunes you like?
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Lester

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2020, 09:34:35 PM »

I only learn tunes I like or are required by by band/morris side, can't think of any other reason to learn a tune. Mind you sometimes I set off and learn a tune I love and end up hating it because of the effort.

playandteach

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2020, 09:42:43 PM »

Not wishing to add my sporadic practice session to the 100 days thread, I thought I'd ask here.
As I said, I don't really do exercises but learning a tune with particular difficulties is quite challenging.
My Pariselle box has interesting reversals and the two extra bass buttons but I've not really explored how to take advantage yet. However I've found the sheet music for an interesting musette waltz (called musette waltz). It has chords marked and some indication of bass runs so I'm giving it a go.
It's driving me a bit mad but parts are making sense and the tricky bass does mostly follow the bellows direction of the accidentals.
I certainly don't think this warrants a soul baring video as I mull through it, but I'll post if starts to sound sensible.

Question is are you learning something for a similar reason, or just learning tunes you like?
Is that the tune from La Boheme? And therefore also hinted at in RENT - great show?
I'm sticking with one row stuff at the moment, but haven't given up on learning some Baroque recorder stuff, should I ever get a 3 row.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2020, 10:11:19 PM »

I'm working on Dave Shepherd's definitive setting of William Taylor's and Squeezy's setting of Sportsmsan's Hornpipes, because a friend wants to play the tunes and those are my favourite settings. These are pretty much consolidated and I'm working on making them fluent and firmly fixed in my mind and fingers. This is definitely going to run.

I am learning a children's song with a Gdor A part and a Gmaj B part, because I think it will make a good tune for a dance. The version I am working on is actually a Punk version. That's border morris for you. It is something of a challenge. There is a fair way to go. This is definitely going to be a runner, although it may have a short life.

I am working on this month's TOTM, I haven't worked out where it's going to go yet.
I am working on this month's Theme OTM. I haven't plumped on which one I am going for.
I am prepared to skip these if I can't get a resolution. I would prefer to do something, though.

FWIW
I don't practice exercises, such as scales.
I practice twiddles and things if I want to use them in something, but I like to keep things fairly simple, as a rule.

When stuff I am working on is starting to come together, I  record it, to hear what it really sounds like, rather than what my rose tinted ears think it sounds like.

If a tune comes to mind I tend to play it just for me.

I allocate about an hour a day.

Don't know if this is what is meant by practice. It's just learning stuff and playing for pleasure.


« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 10:18:01 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Greg Smith
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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2020, 10:29:46 PM »

I'm working on Farewell to Muirheads which is the current Tune of The Month. I'm trying to work it like the composers original so the key changes half way through. The original key change is F to Bb. My attempt will be D to G on a B/C box.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2020, 10:37:01 PM »

I'm working on Farewell to Muirheads which is the current Tune of The Month. I'm trying to work it like the composers original so the key changes half way through. The original key change is F to Bb. My attempt will be D to G on a B/C box.

Funnily enough, I'm working on F to Bb on a CF box. It's going slowly. I may just settle for C to F, but I don't like to give in.
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Greg Smith
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Squeaky Pete

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2020, 10:46:15 PM »

After a lot of searching, I found it.
Amazingly I recognised it from my stumbling playing though obviously it should be played on a CBA.
https://youtu.be/oOw6WM3ntxg
Sounds far better than I expected.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2020, 10:51:49 PM by Squeaky Pete »
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Jesse Smith

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2020, 11:10:33 PM »

I am working on "The Banks of the Dee" for this month's theme. Not too groundbreaking, but it is the first "double jig" structure I have learned, and not having any place to rest/coast for a bar has been a bit of a learning experience.

On that note, pretty much every tune I have learned over the past two years has had something big to teach me, so I haven't felt the need for exercises or practicing scales, etc. Some tunes teach me interesting left hand arrangements, some tunes teach me about crossing the rows for better harmony, some tunes have taught me to explore right-hand chords, some tunes have taught me about the upper octave. Hornpipes teach a very different rhythmic feel from jigs or reels. Minor tunes teach an entirely different orientation to the keyboard than major tunes. And so on.

My biggest issue is that I tend to spend all my practice time on the one tune that I am learning. And while this is working, both to learn the tune and to learn the techniques or elements of music theory highlighted by the tune, I worry that once I'm done with a tune it slips away again. (I started a thread about this a few weeks ago, about how to maintain repertoire.) I'd like to take the box out busking this summer and I'll need to figure out how to adjust my practice routine in order to build up and maintain an entire repertoire, not just a single tune at a time. I haven't really sorted it out yet.
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JohnAndy

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2020, 12:22:55 AM »

I'm mostly re-learning tunes that I used to be able to play. That's because I recently got Mike Rowbotham to put in a Dutch Reversal on my Cheviot.

So it's a matter of getting my fingers and brain used to the new fingering patterns.

Tunes in G need most re-working, especially when using notes in around the range D5 - G5.

For example, I'm working on a set of three jigs: Fox and Geese, Captain Lanoe's Quick March, and Rogues' March.

And I've started trying to play scales (using a couple of different fingering patterns), arpeggios, and scales in thirds, all in the key of G, from bottom to top of the instrument and back. The idea is to try to finally fix in my brain where all the blasted notes on this instrument are to be found, so that when I hear in my mind any particular note that I'd like to play, I should just be able to go straight to it and make it happen!

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Julian S

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2020, 07:37:20 AM »

Looking at my file of 'current projects' I can honestly say that I am learning many tunes and even when I have played a tune in public several times, I question whether I have truly learned it - there is always room for change and improvement. Some remain half learned for years until I recall them, or think it would be good to add to the repertoire. I have become much more critical of my playing lately, and with some health problems, I suspect most tunes will never get to the desired level.
But the latest addition to the pile is Planxty Dermot Grogan, composed by Holly Geraghty. Much more likely to get played than Valhermeil which is at 'how the hell to play it!' stage...but looks like a good (and possibly madochistic) tune if only to attempt.

J
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Helena Handcart

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #10 on: February 15, 2020, 10:07:09 AM »

I'm partly in the process of moving from 2 rows to 2.5 rows and re-learning stuff on my beautiful new old Salty but mostly I'm learning or refreshing session sets.  It's come to my notice that the tunes in our local open session have been getting kinda samey and as one of the more experienced session players I feel some responsibility for mixing it up a bit - without introducing tunes that the beginner/intermediate players who come along will find too challenging.

So far I have Ladies Pleasure/Webley Twizzle, Lumps of Plum Pudding/Swaggering Boney, The Gallant Hussar/The Valentine, Queen's Delight/Dearest Dickie, The Old Wife of Coverdale/Peacock Follows the Hen and this weekend I'm hoping to devote some time to The RSB/Seven Stars and Emma/En Avant Blonde - the last set we used to play years ago but I haven't heard it for a good while.


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malcolmbebb

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2020, 10:10:23 AM »

So far I have Ladies Pleasure/Webley Twizzle, Lumps of Plum Pudding/Swaggering Boney, The Gallant Hussar/The Valentine, Queen's Delight/Dearest Dickie, The Old Wife of Coverdale/Peacock Follows the Hen and this weekend I'm hoping to devote some time to The RSB/Seven Stars and Emma/En Avant Blonde - the last set we used to play years ago but I haven't heard it for a good while.

And then after lunch...
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Helena Handcart

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2020, 10:21:27 AM »

Oh yes, and the other stuff. I've got the Abbot's Bromley Horn Dance Tune pretty much learnt and the Papa Stour Sword Dance Tune that keeps coming back to haunt me, I keep messing about it with it, twiddling about with some likely basses and then wondering what I'm actually going to do with it.
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Helena Handcart

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2020, 10:44:43 AM »

And then after lunch...

Ah yes, after lunch I might get as far as actually having a shower and tidying the house up (a bit). The old man is away playing with swords  this weekend so then again I might not. Lunch itself might not happen.
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The Oul' Boy

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #14 on: February 15, 2020, 10:51:40 AM »

Currently learning Seven Stars, which I noted on another thread seems to require quantum fingering. Also working on various other things in a less focussed way (e.g. Planxty Fanny Power, Rakes of mallow, Jack Robinson, Sportman's Hornpipe), which I'll put more effort into when I get to grips with Seven Stars. I'm also spending a lot of time trying to make tunes I know already better.
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Warren M (Edinburgh, formerly Tyneside and Tyrone)
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Little Eggy

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2020, 11:37:45 AM »

Currently learning Seven Stars, which I noted on another thread seems to require quantum fingering. Also working on various other things in a less focussed way (e.g. Planxty Fanny Power, Rakes of mallow, Jack Robinson, Sportman's Hornpipe), which I'll put more effort into when I get to grips with Seven Stars. I'm also spending a lot of time trying to make tunes I know already better.

What is 'quantum fingering'?   I can't find any polkas or jigs written by Max Planck.   
But I've found this tune on YouTube and may try it at a future session.
It's called Quantum Theory Love Song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61Ot_W4x4mU
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baz parkes

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #16 on: February 15, 2020, 12:10:33 PM »

Oh yes, and the other stuff. I've got the Abbot's Bromley Horn Dance Tune pretty much learnt

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The Oul' Boy

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #17 on: February 15, 2020, 12:22:55 PM »

What is 'quantum fingering'?   I can't find any polkas or jigs written by Max Planck.   
But I've found this tune on YouTube and may try it at a future session.
It's called Quantum Theory Love Song

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=61Ot_W4x4mU

Thanks for the link! Quantum fingering = trying to have the same fingers in two places at the same time, or to move them faster than the speed of light (or at least faster than is comfortable for me) between different positions. Hopefully it will get easier...
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Warren M (Edinburgh, formerly Tyneside and Tyrone)
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Helena Handcart

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #18 on: February 15, 2020, 12:41:39 PM »

Thanks for the link! Quantum fingering = trying to have the same fingers in two places at the same time, or to move them faster than the speed of light (or at least faster than is comfortable for me) between different positions. Hopefully it will get easier...

You know, 'Seven Stars' is a lovely tune but if you're struggling with the fingering on a more complex version it is perfectly valid (and lovely) played mostly up and down the row. Certainly don't let struggling to get all the cross-rows you want in at once and at speed mar your enjoyment of learning a perfectly good tune.

For starters you can play most of the tune on the D row, maybe nipping over for the pull A to keep the A bass going at the end of the fourth bars of the A and B music and play the b-g-b runs in the fifth and sixth bars of the B music on the G row - and when you're comfortable with that you can work up to the rest.



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The Oul' Boy

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Re: What tune are you learning.
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2020, 01:16:36 PM »

You know, 'Seven Stars' is a lovely tune but if you're struggling with the fingering on a more complex version it is perfectly valid (and lovely) played mostly up and down the row. Certainly don't let struggling to get all the cross-rows you want in at once and at speed mar your enjoyment of learning a perfectly good tune.

For starters you can play most of the tune on the D row, maybe nipping over for the pull A to keep the A bass going at the end of the fourth bars of the A and B music and play the b-g-b runs in the fifth and sixth bars of the B music on the G row - and when you're comfortable with that you can work up to the rest.

Thanks Helena! But I'm trying to push myself, to learn more cross-rowing and more complex bass, so I shall persevere (not that it is in any way unpleasant, indeed trying harder stuff is half the fun!).
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Warren M (Edinburgh, formerly Tyneside and Tyrone)
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