Learning or playing multiple settings of a tune(s)
I’ve just found myself in the position where I am having to learn to play two different settings of a particular tune within the next week or so.
One is for a concert next month while the other is to play with a "day group" which meets on a weekly basis.
There are some quite distinct differences between the two settings and neither of them are quite like what I’d expect to hear "down the pub" although(admittedly) it’s not a tune which I’ve ever learned completely off by heart as such.
I’m wondering if others feel that learning more than one setting of a tune, perhaps even multiple settings, can be confusing and possible even counter productive? Certainly, I feel reluctant to fully absorb an unfamiliar setting of a tune or one with which I’m not comfortable, i.e so that I can play it "off by heart".
Fortunately, this isn’t necessary as I can just "play off the dots" and in this instance, at least, conveniently forget about what I’ve played thereafter. :-)
Normally, I wouldn’t want to take that approach though.
Another possibilty might be to imagine them as two(or more) different tunes and fully learn them separately from each other but this seems like unnecessary work if I’d rather just stick to my preferred version.
Now, normally, I tend to stick to one particular setting or version of a tune unless I encounter something which I regard as improvement. Of course, if it gets played slightly differently within a session, I will adapt my playing for the occasion but I won’t necessarily make an effort to relearn the tune unless I realise that I’ve obviously gone wrong somewhere. If I’m unable to "go with the flow" temporarily then I just don’t have to play on that occasion.
So, basically, I’m wondering how most of you would deal with such a situation?
I also realise that the prevailing view(as far as this forum is concerned) will probably be not to learn tunes from "the dots" in the first place and that the "correct" setting is the one which is "accepted" by your musical mates in the session at that particular time.
There may be differing opinions, of course.