that elusive tune

that elusive tune

I have this tune in my head right now. In fact I can’t get it out. And I like it lots, and it would be grand to play it in sessions, but for some reason it never, ever comes to mind during a session. In fact I’ve got quite a few tunes like that - I find myself whistling one and think "What a fine tune, must remember to play it next time"… but when the time comes, even if I remember my intention to play the tune, I can’t for the life of me remember how it goes! Anyone else have this problem?

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Re: that elusive tune

haha. how bout inviting some friends over and start it with them. then you’ll get used to it in a session atmosphere.

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Re: that elusive tune

Definitely! That is why I don’t like the inter-tune noodling that was discussed on the HUGE post. I’m always searching my head for some new tune I’ve learned.

I try to play it at the house before going to the session, or even go so far as sticking a tape into the car. Either that, or try just remembering what the first few notes are.

If you have a long-standing problem with a tune, stick it after another tune that you can remember when you practice! Get that switch in your head.

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Re: that elusive tune

Actually, it’s even worse than I said. Many of these tunes, I can’t bring to mind even when playing for myself in private… of course then if I do remember about the tune I can then look it up (find the recording or the dots), but these tunes just never seem to come to mind when I’ve got a fiddle in hand, but only in the most random places, unbidden.

There’s a tune on the La Lugh album "Brighid’s Kiss",
"A Bruxo" that epitomises this for me. I love the tune and it sticks around for hours after I’ve heard it, only to vanish like the mist in the morning subsequently.

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Re: that elusive tune

Rog, why not write it down? Surely there’s no harm in copying out the first couple of bars as a reminder until it’s firmly ingrained.

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Re: that elusive tune

I’ve tried that. Still doesn’t seem to help - I just never remember that I want to play the tune until it comes to mind some place else. Attaching it to a set is probably the best answer, but I have to remember that the tune exists when I’m putting the set together.

To be honest, this is probably just the story of my life… I never remember anything at the right time!

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Re: that elusive tune

I suggest it is the Platonic Ideal of a traditional Irish tune, which is why it is elusive.
Trevor

Re: that elusive tune

Daiv has a good suggestion too. I used to have more problems with this. I think if you can get another person at your session to learn the tune too, that could be another way around it.

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Re: that elusive tune

keep a sheet of paper in your pocket, with a pencil, a nd then when you remember the name, write it down. when you get home, see if you can remember the names without looking, then check if you are right. then check if you can play them. from there, arrange them into a couple sets (or a set if they sound well together). write down the sets with tunes, even if you can remember all but one tune of each set.

practice the first set for a couple days, not going on to any other tunes for at like like 20 minutes. then, plays some other tunes, and see if you can spontaneously go into the set you were working on that day or the day before. make the distance between playing the sets you’re trying to learn and the tunes you know longer nad longer, until it’ll be a couple days. keep track of when you play each on a piece of paper, so you dont forget. and of course have friends over!

i dont have that problem myself, but after listening to what you have to say that might help. all you have to do is remember to carry the paper with you, to write down the tunes, and keep a set list / set log. it might even work to come up with tunes that you confuse with these tunes you want to learn, so you can learn to work between them. like going between irish washerwoman and the dancing master (people always think when i play one that i’m playing the other).

hope that helps!

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Re: that elusive tune

Once every week or so I’ll jot down the 10-15 most recent tunes I’ve learned or have been playing alot. That way I don’t forget that I’ve worked on them and they’re circulating in my sadly limited short term memory.

It’s fun to uncover old lists and see what I was doing awhile ago. It’s also fun to see how many of them have Guinness stains on them.

Re: that elusive tune

LOL Trevor!
I have that problem all the time. I try to keep mentally going over the names of tunes I know, to try to get them to stick better. It sort of helps; I’m improving a bit. Lists etc are hopeless for me, I lose the list! I do also ask the spouse to remind me I wanted to play something, which works about half the time.

Re: that elusive tune

Why not just enjoy its elusiveness. Don’t force it. Sooner or later someone else will play it and how happy will you be then. It’ll make it all worth while.

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Re: that elusive tune

You’re right Michael… In fact i didn’t really start the thread to try and solve the "problem", but just ‘cos I was wondering whether it was a common phenomenon.

Re: lists - i have the same problem as fiddlemouse. in fact i acquired a mini voice recorder last Xmas for just this kind of thing; unfortunately I either forget the recorder, or forget I’ve put something on it!

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