Learn A Tune A Week

Re: Learn A Tune A Week

Good advice!

Re: Learn A Tune A Week

Too general IMO. It takes me often much longer to really get fluent when learning a new tune. Better play 20 tunes perfectly than 100 sloppily. I often need a month to really get familiar with a new tune. Some others I learned in a day.

Posted by .

Re: Learn A Tune A Week

Keep it going, you won’t lose the ones that settle well with you and it won’t matter if you forget the ones that don’t. Just as important is the practice of learning, the more you do it the better you get at it and the quicker you learn. Knowing 20 tunes like old friends ‘and’ 100 tunes like casual acquaintances is still more fun than just the 20, and 50 tunes for the year sounds like a great goal.

Re: Learn A Tune A Week

In my collection I’ve got 2618 Irish tunes, collected over roughly 32 years. These are all tunes that I’ve learnt at some stage. This means that I’ve learnt around 80 tunes per year, i.e. about 1½ tune per week. Now I have forgotten many of them, but most are still there, and although they might be a bit dusty I can play them after a bit of memory refreshment. That’s the original reason why I transcribed the tunes - to be able to jog my memory. Especially the little details such as “how do the last 2 bars of the 2nd part go? Not like all the other 16 similar tunes.” http://www.norbeck.nu/abc/
So one tune per week sounds like a pretty reasonable tune learning pace 🙂
This of course is an average. Some weeks you might learn 4 tunes, other weeks none.

Re: Learn A Tune A Week

As Loughcurra says, you don’t really ever lose the ones that settle properly. I sometimes find myself playing a tune in a pub session that I think I’ve never heard before yet somehow can play. I eventually work out that it’s one from decades ago that I almost learned at the time (but clearly it never settled properly!). It all helps though, and even if you don’t completely master it, it’ll be buried somewhere in there and pop up again one day.

I’m going to try and upload 50 videos this year, probably not one a week but maybe 4 a month is do-able.

Re: Learn A Tune A Week

I wouldn’t set out to learn a tune a week, but if it is a motivating concept, it sounds good to me.

I do regularly try to learn tunes by ear, though - either tunes I’ve come across by chance, or ones that are recommended by people on this forum.

I also learn a great many tunes from sheet music, to fit in with sessions when I lived in East Anglia, and to take part in U3A groups now that we’ve moved to Yorkshire.

Yes, the knowledge can fade after a while - particularly which B music goes with which A! - but it keeps the brain and playing skills active, and if the tunes come into the repertoire again, you soon pick them up again.

I also have tunes that I work at, to avoid ‘Jill of all trades, mistress of none’. They are never perfected, but there’s always something to hone. I think this polishing is also good for one’s brain and fiddle skills.

Re: Learn A Tune A Week

It took me maybe a year or two to get up to learning a tune a week, but then I pretty steadily learned one a week for years after that, because I was going to a weekly tune learning session (which I have now taught for the last 12-13 years). I think a tune a week was a pretty good pace for me in my “formative years”. I have lost track of how many tunes I learn/know these days, because it just happens organically -- mostly in sessions. I will occasionally pick up a tune from a recording that catches my ear too (and I still sometimes obsess over a single recording and learn a bunch of the tunes in short order…) So I think I probably still average out about a tune a week, but it’s never a steady flow like it used to be…

But everybody is different. Some people can handle more and some can handle less, and that’s OK too!

Re: Learn A Tune A Week

Out of interest I counted, and it seems like in my first year of playing harmonica I’ve learned just over a tune a week, though admittedly many I had played before on mandolin and could remember to varying degrees. Just started learning Christy Barry’s today, and your website combined with the time of year is making me set a challenge, which I may or may not to keep up - to learn each of the weekly tunes that appear. It’s sometimes nice to have someone else pick, and it’ll inspire me to attempt tunes outside my comfort zone or that I wouldn’t have otherwise heard.

Re: Learn A Tune A Week

A tune a week. “Get a life” I can play in a 3 hr session on numerous instruments along with others. That’s enjoyment. If I could sight read at the required speed I could learn one a day. “Why” I will never get through the mountain of TM. If the target of one a week is a personal challenge or a Guinness book of records attempt
Then go for it. I would prefer one really challenging piece and get it right or playable no matter how long it takes

Posted .

Re: Learn A Tune A Week

I’ve been doing this for some time now and keeping a practice journal of sorts at @tunesweekly on Instagram. I think it’s a nice pace to strive for, and it ensures that ITM is not too neglected in my day-to-day life. Then, as others have pointed out, some tunes will stick with you and others pass, and “mastering” a tune will take far more than a week. But it won’t ever happen if you don’t learn it in the first place!