App for Repertoire practice?

App for Repertoire practice?

I have increasing problems, practicing my repertoire and not forgetting tunes.

Therefore I am looking for a structured method of practicing through my repertoire.
Downloading MP3s for all my tunes and establishing my own index card system or something like this seems like a too big effort to me.

Does someone know an App or website that works like Irishtuneinfo but plays the whole tune and not just the first few bars?
That Irish tune info only plays the first few bars is a disadvantage to me. When you realise you forgot the Tune you have to do the additional steps of finding a good recording on YouTube or looking up the scores on thesession every time.

For that reason I would love to have an app with such a practice function, but that plays whole tunes.
MIDI tracks are a no go for me, I simply can’t stand them. Therefore that app should ideally play real recordings.

Thanks for any suggestion!

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

I’ve a buddy who only considers a tune “usefully” in his repertoire when the tune is attached to one or more sets that he plays. He’s pretty disciplined about this.

I keep a small booklet with sets (tune names and incipits) on pages so I can refresh to start a tune/set.

Don’t know of anything like the app you describe. I have some XLSs from early times with my first 150 tunes and beside each link to TheSession setting and YouTube link (where I have one). I do maintain a lot of YouTube playlists with tunes… the versions of ones that I’ve learned and like to play along against. I have one playlist with just waltzes, another with early repertoire, another with various contexts (like Fleadh or Plearacha). I’ve another playlist with off-piste (not for sessions) play.

It isn’t very strictly structured. And doesn’t link back to other lists (many).

I suspect we all have too many lists and tune books and folders/binders of tunes acquired over the years.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

Thanks, maybe the simplest approach of just using an excel document is a good one.

My main interest is practicing my „passiv“ repertoire. Tunes that I wouldn’t start by myself in a session, but that I can play along to.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

Forgetting a tune, rediscovering it by hearing it played by others, a reminiscence by playing another, what need to note everything, to index.
I have never had as much pleasure as when I reconstruct a tune that I learned ages ago and had completely forgotten.

Playing in a session in Kilkeran, Connemara a long time ago where there was a very old flutist, 80++ for sure, a buddy of mine said in my ear: You know, this guy has forgotten more tunes than I will ever learn.
I still have that sentence in my head.

(translation from French)

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

I’ve wanted that, too. I made a simple program once with a couple buttons for the different categories that worked ok, but for me it is more of an organization thing in my mind.

I’d make categories for “know it cold”, “know it but need to practice”, “know it once I hear it”, “know it but the fingering is hard”, “can mostly play along with it”, “really like it and want to learn it”.

I think that app you are wanting should have a slow down feature, too.

It sounds like an interesting project but ultimately, for me at least, tune lists resist being 100% correct. Tunes change categories all the time and every list I’ve ever made has at least one tune I knew the day I made the list but don’t anymore.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

Hey Phil,
I really like to have an expanding repertoire. Especially considering that the repertoire of my locals sessions is very small and shaped by the most popular tunes out there.
It often annoys me when I am at Tionol, Workshop Weekend etc. and can’t participate in an Tune at a session, even when I know that I had learned this tune at some point….

I really prefer having my tunes in check over forgetting them and desperately trying to relearn them during a session. I think this will always happen, but why not try to make the restricted practice time more effective with indexing system?
Half a year ago I started to practice with a metronome pretty much 100% of the time. This has helped my rhythm a lot.
I think including a more systematic approach to practice time can only have positive effects. Especially if you don’t have many Session with advanced musicians around you

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

Yeah, such a systematic practice regime would probably still lead to some wrongly categorised, not practiced tunes. But I am sure that it can make practice time much more efficient.
Two of the players that I know, that have especially large repertoires, are using Irishtuneinfo or excel sheets as tools for remembering tunes.

But as always, a systematic practice regime shouldn’t take the fun away from playing. At least in long term!

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

I sometimes make recordings in Logic of myself playing tunes with guitar backing. That way I can get a rough practice version without flubs. I can then play along with the tune with or without backing or even just the backing. I usually put the recording into Transcribe so I can slow it down a tad if I’m stumbling over one bit.

To be honest I mainly use this method with newly learnt tunes, but I store them so I can come back to them at a later date if need be.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

At the heart of this request is a desire for access to full tunes and not Midi files or incipits, presumably meaning commercial recordings by ITM artists or uploads by amateur musicians. The copyright implications for commercial recordings mean that you’re probably only going to get full live artist recordings on YouTube, where recording labels have allowed uploading for promotional value. Of course there are thousands of recordings by amateurs on YouTube as well.

The suggestion above about maintaining an organized YouTube playlist would seem to be the way to go if you’re looking for online access to full tunes.

I went the other way with a collection of MP3 files on a home media server that my fiddler S.O. and I have collected over the years from CD’s we’ve purchased, or paid downloads from Amazon. The files are organized as artist/year/album. There are just over 500 ITM albums in our home music library, over 5,000 MP3’s and many more actual tunes since many are recorded in sets. I can search on a tune name with a player app like Foobar2000, and if it’s a popular tune it will pull up versions by different artists for review.

For a practice regime -- such as it is, I’m not very disciplined -- I use the Google Keep app to create notepad lists of tunes I’m currently working on, or don’t want to forget. Organized by dance rhythm, with a separate category of tune sets I like. If I need an audio example I pull up a file in Foobar2000 player from our home music library. Or I might start with sheet music I’ve collected in folders from the mustard board or elsewhere. But having an audio example handy for reference is always important.

I know the idea of maintaining a home music library isn’t for everyone. It’s a bit “retro” in the current culture, where people expect music to be free and streamed online. More like the way we used to do things before the Internet arrived. It’s expensive if you’re paying for legit sources, and it takes many years to build up a large enough library where you’re finding multiple examples of a tune you might be interested in learning. You also have to be fairly fanatic about file backups. But it works for me, so I thought I’d mention it.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

If the source is something that can be represented by a URL (e.g. the link to a youtube page, a setting here, a disk file on most operating systems) and you have a list of tunes in one of the many document formats that allows ‘openable’ hyperlinks then the best time to start adding tunes to the list is when you learn them.

Next best time is now. Spreadsheets allow hyperlinks these days don’t they?

My approach is similar to Conical bore’s. Except I copy tracks out to somewhere else and organise them thematic sets. I generally have one source per tune but change it every now and again.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

Thanks guys, I really thought to complicated.

Making an excel sheet with Hyperlinks to YouTube videos of the tunes and and a column for the learning status is probably the easiest way to go!

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

I add links to both YT recordings and a preferred thesession setting into the notes fields on my repertoire on that way it’s the key and setting I want. So to that end…this app may already exist?

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

aidan crossey’s irish mandolin site is worth a visit , aidan is a fine player and plays each tune listed

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

do you use the Practice Machine on the Irishtuneinfo site? That is an algorithm that cycles through your tunelist and suggests tunes to practice so you don’t forget them. It seems to me that maybe you need to spend more time getting the hang of this feature and it will solve your dilemma of the Irishtune info only providing 2 measures as a memory jog. You can set the parameters about how many tunes to suggest, what length of time to get them practiced before they become over-due etc.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

I wish I could offer up a good solution. I’m in the camp of forgotten tunes myself, especially since I never get to play with others anymore and therefore have a slowly shrinking repertoire.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

I simply use TunePal. It’s been well worth the .99 USD to not only keep track of the tunes that I know, but to slow them down, speed them up, change the key so that I can play along with other whistles, guitar, etc.

In my list, I have tunes that I’m working on or know. If I know them well, I set them as “favorites” by using the star to mark them as such. Very hand app. Plus, it lets you record a bit of a tune that you have heard before, but cannot remember the name of by using its Record function. It’s invaluable to me.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

What @Breve said… uses an audio incipit to remind you how the tune starts, and has a practice algorithm exactly like what you are asking for. It also provides links to multiple recordings of the tunes.

If you don’t have the tune memorized, then yes, you need to find recordings of the tunes, either on youtube or in a streaming service. Both Spotify and Apple do well with playlists.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?
- open source, github hosted, no tracking or ads
- progressive web app for managing tunes in ABC notation
- associate youtube links with tunes and generate playlists from books or selections.
- import tunes directly from or
- group tunes into multiple books
- view music, edit, transpose, generate audio and midi all works offline
- import and export ABC tunebooks and import musicxml
- wizards for lyric and chord entry

I’m the author 🙂 I put it together to organise all my half known tunes and help pin down the names.
I use it daily for practice and my learning speed has gone through the roof.



Re: App for Repertoire practice?

+1 for That does exactly what you are looking for.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

I use “Tune Book SD”. Have a look t it.
Fred V

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

I just keep mp3s downloads etc on my phone as a list after removing “the” then you can have them in a simple alphabetical order
Currently about 120 known tunes.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

I use a free flash card program called Anki -- Heard about this from Ian Varley at the O’Flaherty retreat a few years back. I put the tune name as the front of the card and then put both an MP3 recording and the sheet music on the back of the card. So the program will show me the tune name and then I try to play it. When I click Show Answer it will play the MP3 and show me the sheet music. I then get to pick whether I felt it was Easy, Good, Hard or Again. Based on my answer it will decide how long before it asks me to play it again. If you choose Again it shows the card again in 10 minutes or less. The other options will make it go to a day in the future that depends on the choice and how many times you’ve seen the card.

Anki is very customizable. I just did three very easy customizations.

By default the back of the card only has one slot, but I made it two in order to have both the mp3 and the sheet music.
By default it will keep stretching out how long before it plays the tune to about 10 years. I changed that to be 3 months.
By default if you say Again too many times it will mark it as a leech and never show the card again. Apparently this is trying to say that this approach to learning has failed and you need to try something else. I changed it so a card marked as leech still shows. (Almost all my cards are marked as leech…)

I use this for my practice in celtic and classical pieces as well as jazz pieces on flute and piano. To me it makes sure I don’t forget anything. I hate going to all the work to learn a tune and then later having to learn it again.
I have put 110+ celtic tunes in Anki over the last 4 years or so and it’s working great for me. I just go through the cards every day. If you miss a day it just adds new cards on up to a maximum of 100 cards (probably also customizable) If you don’t do all the cards on one day the ones you missed will show up the next day.

Re: App for Repertoire practice?

I use tradmusician for Android
1] it links to your session tunebook (all tune variations)
2] you can link to your session set list (download bulk abc and open in local folder)
3] it has full featured slowdown / key change / mark/ loop / repeat / save excerpt etc
4] full web search / favourites / recents etc
5] compose / edit / print etc
It has it all - very cheap and great program - best out there IMHO