This morning saw me start on Spotted Pony. It's got no really complicated bits at slow speed so I was able to pretty much sight read from tab and play it straight off. I reasonably quickly took it to 100bpm to get the tune in my head. This should be an easy one. Later on speeding up properly may be a problem as there are some quick string shifts on the same fret. It's only one phrase but is repeated throughout the tune.
Half an hour more saw me stutteringly memorise the A part. It'll probably be gone next time I pick up the banjo, but judging by this session, the whole tune should be in the memory bank a whole lot quicker than my appointed 5 days. Every day saved is a days practice towards the rookie challenge.
Edit 1- I've had a few 20 minute goes at this today. It was indeed easily memorised in 4 individual sections, 2 per A part, 2 per B part with many repeated phrases. However I have had trouble getting it to play smoothly and consistently. I suppose because I found the fingering and memorisation easy it just didn't get much of the necessary 'drilling in' whilst memorising.
I have noticed something pretty important(in my opinion) through all three tunes so far (and indeed the 10 drop thumb versions I memorised). It is that building up speed whilst reading tablature does seem not transfer once you go off tab. Once off tab speed needs to be built seperately. Therefore memorising early is important lest you double your workload.
Edit 2- I'm mildly disappointed that the best part of an hour did not see much improvement in smoothness this (Sat) morning. I usually muffle my banjo using stuffing, and moved that to the side for a bit more volume. Maybe the 'ring' was different and affected me somehow. With full banjo volume my metronome is not loud enough, so I may try headphones with it. I also tuned up which probably altered things. I admit to being a bad boy and not tuning regularly, as to be honest I don't really hear it drifting whilst not playing consistent full chords. I have now put a clip on tuner on, and will retune every morning I think. One strange thing I found was that with more volume, instead of easing off, I started to attack the strings a bit more, the banjo definitely sounds different unmuffled.
Edit 3- Another half hour-hour and feeling better about things. I can definitely sense improvement now, maybe there was in the last session and I just couldn't 'feel it'. Whatever, the tune is now firmly in the memory bank, as always I've got to remind myself of my goal which is tune memorisation not tune improvement. Onwards to tune 4 - Soldiers Joy.
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