Learning by ear at speed
I’ve played fiddle for about 56 years, mostly using sheet music, playing for dances for the last 20 or so where the ability to sight read is crucial. For several years I’ve been trying to learn how to learn tunes by ear. I can pick up tunes by watching another fiddler’s fingers (I even caught myself watching a whistle player’s fingers to learn a tune once). When people have tried to teach me a tune by ear they always break it in ways that seem unnatural to me and nothing sticks. I need the tune at or near session speed with nuance to understand how it works. My question to advanced musicians: how do you learn tunes at session speed in the dark?