Home Page for Non Logged In Forums Practice Questions How do you learn new tunes? Reply To: How do you learn new tunes?


As Melinda said earlier, I like to learn a tune by watching, listening, repeating, from the instructor. Another challenging way to learn a tune is to put it in a slow-down program and learn it, bit by bit. Only after I own the bones of the tune do I go out and look for the sheet music to see what I missed or to straighten out a tricky spot. Is it harder than just pulling up the music or tab? Absolutely. But it seems to set more securely in my brain and I can call it up later after not playing it for awhile. If I shortcut with the sheet music first, It takes longer to lodge itself in my call-up memory.
I’m doing the Irish Journey, which is way harder than my old friend, Old Time music. Because most all the Old Time tunes are already in my head, and they come out my fingers easier. I have to hum and sing the Irish melodies in my head and out loud to get them learned well enough so it’s not just me reading sheet music.
Melinda and I differ in this way: I can pick stuff up by ear better than her, but she is a speed demon at sight-reading, compared to me.
The harder parts of a tune for me are everything that is not the straight melody. That’s one thing I’m glad to be working on, which is part of the creative process.