Picking up tunes by ear
Are there any tricks to learn tunes from CDs? I only picked up one tune by ear so far. That was at a session in Ireland. They where playing a fairly easy polka several times that night and when I got back to the place I was staying I just picked up my flute and played it! I was so happy! There are no sessions in my area so there is no chance to listen and ask someone about the tricky parts. I find it extremly hard to learn from CDs (ask a beginner like me to learn “the mason’s apron” from Matt Molloy’s CD “shadows on stone” or any other tune/CD for that matter). Someone said in another thread that he /she is getting ideas for ornamentation (or learning styles?) from other instruments. I bought a CD by North Cregg shortly after I read this and I found that hearing the “basic tune” is much easier if it is played on banjo or button accordion but I didn’t try to learn a tune from that CD yet. I tried to learn “the first pint” by ear but I gave up after a while and asked for sheet music. My strategy was to listen to it again and again untill I could hum it (or “lilt” along) and then I picked up the tin whistle. Some phrases have been easy enough but others…! After a while I couldn’t remember the tune at all. Are there any CDs that you can recommend? Something more like a session than like “the masters playing at their best”. Or any other tricks (I’m thinking about getting the tunes on my computer and slowing them down)? Or maybe just tunes that are easy to learn by ear?