Logistics.

Logistics.

Anybody ever figure out an efficient way to keep track of their personal tune collection? Every time I try, I end up with all of these different lists that end up never getting updated because the tunes move too fast between them…

Repertoire: Tunes by Key
Repertoire: Tunes by Type
Repertoire: Tunes by Source
Repertoire: Tunes by Instrument
To Learn: Tunes from Online Classes
To Learn: Verified Session Tunes
To Learn: Tunes by Key
To Learn: Tunes by Type
To Learn: Tunes by Instrument
etc.________________________

Between my personal session announcing that they are getting started back up in less than 2 weeks; And myself having acquired an official busking spot; Along with a handful of other positive circumstances; I will be playing and learning a lot of tunes nowadays. Even further, this is piggybacking off of the momentum from all of the tune work I’ve been doing due to social distancing, as well as the time I’ve had available from my job and how my work schedule works. All of this on top of another motivation I’ve developed.

I recently made one list that changed everything. It was a singular list of all of the tunes in my repertoire, completely uncategorized. I think I made it because someone asked me how many tunes I knew, and I didn’t know. I was sure that I knew more than 100, but as I got further and further down the list, it became clearer and clearer that I never learned that first 100 tunes. I guess between dancing between 3 different instruments, never really having a regular session, and not always having the time due to work, I just never crossed that line; Undoubtedly losing and forgetting tunes over time that I had known at some point. Now knowing this, I’ve made it my priority to officially get past that "100 Tune" mark. It shouldn’t be too difficult considering how many tunes are on yet another list that I haven’t mentioned: "Overdue Tunes". I am proud to say that I’ve been making short work of this list the last year.

I think that this time around, I’ll keep it down to 3 simple lists. But I’m still very curious to know how others go about doing it.

Repertoire: Tunes by Key
Repertoire: Tunes by Type
To Learn: Uncategorized

Thank you for any advice you have, here are some tunes for you!
https://youtu.be/8D2gXYYjdBo

Re: Logistics.

Greetings to you Jerone!

Well, however many tunes you have, I wouldn’t worry!!!
You and your music are blessed with lift and soul, wonderful lyrical playing.
Thank you for sharing a very special part of you.

All the best
Brian x

Re: Logistics.

For several years I’ve kept an Excel spreadsheet with columns for title, type, key, person learned from, location (e.g. class/workshop/school). That’s easy to add to each time a new tune comes along and can, of course, be sorted on each column.
Just recently I’ve been using MobileSheets, particularly for creating set lists. That looks promising.

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That’s very kind of you to say Brian! Thank you!

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All Moldy, so in essence, all of your tunes are on one list, and you just update that one list? That may be better for me that what I’ve been trying for sure! I bet OpenOffice has a spreadsheet I could wrap my head around if I gave it sometime.

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I have just one list, subdivided by tune types, with adjoining columns for box and fiddle. If I know the tune well enough to start/lead it, it gets a big "X" in the column for the appropriate instrument(s). If I wouldn’t lead it but could follow someone else without ruining things, it gets a little "x."

If I like a tune well enough to start working it out on either instrument, it goes into the "tunes I’m working on" section at the very bottom and might one day migrate up toward the top.

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Lisa M, I’ve wanted to do something like that. I think I ended up with different lists because I realized over time the different ways I wanted to organize my tunes. If I had known how many different ways there were, I probably could’ve found a way to keep them on one list.

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Sounds like All Moldy’s system would do the job for you then 🙂 I have a hard enough time remembering to keep the one list updated, much less multiple versions…

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I wish I could find the lists of tunes I’d compiled through 50 years😞 - by instrument and sometimes genre I suppose they were. Not only am I unorganized, I was never a strict list keeper, but I suppose they more or less document a musical life. I have no lists now - only chord progressions jotted down..

I got old and lazy and now just jam with whatever comes - on the radio, youtube, kids coming in the room with hip hop or their movie soundtracks, the couple next door who dance, an electronic keyboard with percussion - I’ve a daughter in jazz band still so I have someone to play with 😀 I may go back to running a jam if I ever feel comfortable in public again. *Oh, I do have a couple of folios with the material I’m learning - mostly old airs and such.. Oh and I save youtubes.

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Re: Logistics.

Hi Jerone first off, wonderful playing! Thanks for sharing.

I have just 2 non-overlapping lists:

-Tunes I know by key (simply G, D, A etc), listed alphabetical by title within each key. Tunes I know well are boldfaced.

-Tunes I want to learn, Uncategorized

Each title is followed by a ~2 measure incipit in ABC format. Thus no need to separate tune types— I can spot the jigs easily. Once I learn a tune it moves over to the other list.

I’m not sure it would work to keep a separate list of tunes by type— that seems too prone to errors by omission. I have enough trouble keeping one list current!

Cheers
Jon

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Re: Logistics.

Hi Jerone

Nice playing. https://www.irishtune.info/ might be what you are looking for. It allows you to add tunes to up to three different lists (you may only need one, though), and within each list you can sort the tunes by rythm, key, title, and also by custom tag that you add yourself (e.g., "instrument", "source"). In this way you only have a single list of all your tunes but you sort them on the fly with a click.

On top of that, you may want to set irishtune.info’s practice machine to suggest you a number of tunes per day for your practice session and this will certainly strengthen your repertoire (have a look here for more information: https://www.irishtune.info/faq/practice.html#whatismachine).

Hope this helps
Sergio

Re: Logistics.

How about a spreadsheet with the following column headers:
Name, key, type, source, session tune (y/n), learned (y/n). Maybe create drop-down lists for some of them. Then you can sort the list by whichever column you want. You could also add a column for tunes to go with in a set.

Re: Logistics.

First, nice clip!
Second, one word, already given: Excel (or equivalent)
There is a learning curve, but it’s quite doable.
All your tune names in column one. Presumably columns for key, tune type or metre, perhaps for sets (number them) and position within the set. Any columns you like, such as how well you know it, is it a favourite, comments, story to the tune, is it played by a particular artist, is it played by that cute, dark-eyed fiddler you fancy, have you heard it in The Corner Bar - wherever your interests lie. Then you can sort, filter, hide, unhide to your heart’s content.
Tips: 1) start as early as you can in your playing life, so that the initial entry isn’t too tedious; 2) keep backups. Especially as a beginner you can easily foul it up and lose your work; 3) learn some tricks in Word (or equivalent) so that you can make nice, tidy, easy-to-read printouts of any given filtered and sorted selection.
Good luck!

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Re: Logistics.

Jerone, just confirming, yes, all my tunes are on one sheet. It seems that several others are taking the same approach. I’m actually using Libre Office (which is what Open Office became I believe) which can be save as Excel format, so you’ll find a spreadsheet there without trouble.

Re: Logistics.

I tend to use a mixture of my tunebook, my bookmarks, and my sets here on The Session.

Just yesterday I was going through my tunebook in order of most recently added (other times I’ll change the order to oldest instead of newest). I try not to click through to the actual tune settings but just go by the title (maybe hovering over the name if I need a little bit of a kickstart). I could also order them by tune type, but I generally prefer to have a mix of jigs, reels, and so on when I’m practicing.

I tend to use bookmarks more for tunes I’m in the process of learning. When I feel I’ve got a tune down, that’s when I add it to my tunebook (and maybe remove it from bookmarks).

By the way, I really enjoyed that video of your playing, Jerone—lovely stuff! And that reminds me: I need to dust off Patsy Geary’s slide to make sure I can still play it. Thanks for sharing!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2bvXwlBmonA

Re: Logistics.

First off, lovely playing Jerone, cheers for sharing that!

I have three lists that I keep of tunes:

1) All the tunes I know

2) All the sets of tunes I know

3) "To learn" list

I used to jot things down sporadically if and when I remembered to, but then had a serious injury a couple of years ago that had me bed ridden for 3 months - the slight silver lining was that I had a lot of time on me hands to play music, and around that time I started keeping the lists updated regularly.

Re: Logistics.

Spreadsheet, as several others suggest, works for me.

I just add columns as needed (e.g. to practice before a particular session), sort by that, copy and paste into something else for printing or my phone, and delete the column if it becomes redundant. The first few bars of the ABC can be handy.

If you have ABC files tinkering around with those in a spreadsheet, (simplest is sorting rows and taking the ones with the T: field ) can be way to get started with a list. Need to be inventive to get the key and metre in columns alongside.

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Seems to me that many (if not most) Irish reels exist in families, so many years ago I organised my tunes in that way.

It was merely a practice aid; I wrote out the first two bars of each tune to jog the memory.

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It’s nice knowing that there are actually different techniques for this. I’m glad I asked! Thanks everyone for sharing there own methods and for your kind words! And thank you Jeremy for sharing your Patsy Geary’s! Tunes like that are why this music will always be a part of my life!

Re: Logistics.

Beautiful playing 🙂
I have only two lists, one "tunes per type" and one "tunes to learn". I’ve been keeping them in a simple notebook, but I think I will digitalize them now (because I am "just a bit" chaotic, and in some years, the lists sure will be lost😉)

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Thanks for the tunes, Jerone. Concertina’s sounding great.

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After going through various systems, I came to the conclusion that the main way for me for paper scores is alphabetical, regardless of source, key, type of tune, etc. This presupposes that I can remember the names of any tunes that I might be looking for! I have taken articles such as “The” or “A” out of the titles. Storage systems such as Dropbox or Google Drive tend to list them alphabetically anyway unless you number them. In the past I had folders for e.g. Scottish, Irish, American, but then these got muddled when some tunes were claimed by more than one country. Within my computer library, I still have these divisions, but use File Explorer a lot to find whatever I’m wanting.
Only for my busking folder do I have tunes listed by type, e.g. Marches, Reels, Waltzes, Strathspeys, Hornpipes, Jigs, Slow Airs, etc.

Re: Logistics.

As above, I use one spreadsheet with various columns each with a drop down.

Two unusual columns I like/worth including are:

- “Session ready” which has the options: ( Excellant, Good, Nearly Ready, Just started, For future), which lets me easily find tunes I can play at session speed/ones I like and want to learn at some point. You can use conditional formatting to automatically colour code them like a traffic light.

- “First nites” where I put thr first bar or so of the tune in ABC format so I can remember how to start it.

I’m really glad I started this list when I started learning ITM as very useful in sessions.

As it’s excel, you can also make a “stats” page showing you eg how many reels you know and how well you know them which was quite interesting (seemed to say I find leaning hornpipes easier than any other tune type)

A benefit of this is you can also

Seriously…

So I’ve been here for a little while, finally got my data entry started after getting the spreadsheet figured out. Minding my own business. I’m at tune 27. I somehow get distracted for 5 minutes, and in that time OpenOffice crashes. Nothing in the program is functioning. The file refuses to save. I don’t know how long I’ve been sitting here, but it’s definitely going slower than I expected. Too slow to have to start over again -.-

Ah, the things we do for music.

Re: Logistics.

Oh dear! 🙁 At least you have an idea how long it takes to enter each tune. If you decide to give it another try Save to a new file every 10 tunes or so. But if it keeps crashing the frustration may override any benefit.

You could try LibreOffice instead - there won’t be much more figuring out required, it works the same way.

Re: Logistics.

Thanks David50! Someone mentioned that up top! The word processor wasn’t this buggy to my experience, but for some reason the spreadsheet feature is acting out. It’s already crashed on me again since posting. And yea, I’ll definitely be saving more frequently, as well as saving in a versatile format when I do switch programs.

We’ve had an internet outage out here where I live, so downloading a new Office application for the computer isn’t feasible at the moment >.<

Re: Logistics.

Late response! I’ve toyed with spreadsheets, but like Sergio, I’m a big fan of irishtune.info for repertoire management. Tunes can be tagged with labels like "to learn", filtered, etc in the list, with practice "memory-jogger" tools like two bars of sheet music and snippets from recordings. I add a link to each tune on thesession in the Notes field. The Playlists interface is useful for sorting, limiting, and clicking a quick button for a practice date.

While I’m not consistent with my application of "practice dates," I often insert a rough date. This helps me identify tunes that are starting to fall away from my fingers, like your "overdue list" idea.

Re: Logistics.

I used to keep a strict list in ABC, which eventually got imported into Tunebook. However, in the last 10 years or so, I started learning so many of my tunes in sessions. For a while, I tried keeping up with it, and diligently asking what the tunes were and writing them down to be worked on and added to the list. But that started to feel burdensome and was taking away from my enjoyment of the moment in sessions. So out of a mix of laziness and an intentional relaxing about my lists, I let them mostly go by the wayside. If I look up a tune on thesession that I play, I will usually add it to my tunebook here, but that is hit or miss as well. After having run a teaching camp for 10 years, there are lots of tunes that I only ever hear at that camp once a year and I don’t know what they are, necessarily. But it helps to keep them compartmentalized in my head where I learned them.

For me, though, the best written list is simply organized in the chronological order that I learned them. I can go back and reminisce about the people I was playing with at the time, or the album that I obsessed over for a month and learned a bunch of stuff from. For me, that helps keep the tunes categorized in my head. And when I start a set, I very rarely plan what I am going to play after the first tune. But I will use the categorization of the tunes in my head to help decide where I want the set to go. For instance, I might think about where I learned the tune I am playing and expand from there and think of other tunes that the person I learned it from used to like, or think of tunes we used to play back when I first learned the tune I’m playing… Or I’ll use the information the opposite way, and remember what we used to play the tune with back then, and then intentionally not play the old standard set, but use it to suggest something similar that I learned more recently.

So in a way, I have tunes compartmentalized in my head in different ways, just like keeping multiple spreadsheets, but all internalized. My categories are not only chronological. I tend to mentally group tunes together like tunes that are more rhythmic vs. more flowing melodic, or tunes that work well blazing fast vs. tunes that work well slow and sweet (not always mutually exclusive), or even tunes that can be adapted to play differently (like say, hornpipes that work well as marches…)

Having said all that, though, I know that there are tunes that slip out of my head, and if they’re gone for long enough, they might go from being a long lost friend to being something I can’t play without sitting down and re-learning. So not keeping lists anymore is a tradeoff…

Re: Logistics.

"So I’ve been here for a little while, finally got my data entry started after getting the spreadsheet figured out. Minding my own business. I’m at tune 27. I somehow get distracted for 5 minutes, and in that time OpenOffice crashes. Nothing in the program is functioning. The file refuses to save. I don’t know how long I’ve been sitting here, but it’s definitely going slower than I expected. Too slow to have to start over again -.-

Ah, the things we do for music."

Hi Jerone, I would once more suggest to have a look at https://www.irishtune.info/. It offers all the features that other people have mentioned in discussing spreadsheets, but does most of the work for you. All you have to do is to create an account, search for the tunes (as you would do here on thesession) and add them to your list. Then accessing the list you can sort them in all the ways that have been mentioned above and you can add personalized tags to your tunes so that you can sort them according to personalized criteria. Additionally, for each tune the site offers a lot of useful information (first two bar in abc notation or dots, ~10 seconds playback of many recordings, notes on the tune, tunes played with the tune in the recordings, etc.). You don’t have to manage any further software and/or caring for the file: your list will be saved in an online database and you can access it to from any device through a web browser.

Re: Logistics.

I also endorse IrishTuneInfo. All the benefits of a spreadsheet, plus others0

The Session tune database benefits from group crowd-sourcing, lots of tunes but not always accurate. IrishTuneInfo benefits from one (slightly anal - in an affectionate way) engineer who is very careful about Tune titles and origination.

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I’ll put in a plug for the Android app A’ La Mode. It imports your tunebook from The Session website, sorts it by tune type (jigs, reels, hornpipes etc.), color codes them by keys. If given a tune title that’s not stored in the app, it offers to search The Session and download a version. Tunes are easy to search, and you can store sets of tunes, in which case it shows the incipits of each tune.

As for different instruments, one can theoretically add tags or labels of one’s choosing (perhaps "Flute") then see a list of tunes with that tag. However, in my version of the app, that functionality has disappeared. I don’t know why. The app author has responded in the past regarding other issues, but not with an answer to this problem.