Posted by AndyW on Sunday, November 25, 2018
My way ahead for the next few months is simple. I am going to attempt to learn a tune per week. I am going to attempt to do this as much as possible by ear, keeping tunes simple. I am firstly going to attack those tunes which marry up between Old Time Jam Machine and my Old Time Festival Tunes book to give me something to play along to and a help source for the notes I can't quite find.
I started this week with Big Sciota[from Aly Bain transatlantic sessions but mainly looking at Old Time Festivals book], Colored Aristocracy [ from OTJ fiddle with minimal peeking at Old Time Festival tunes], and Leather Britches [from Benton Flippen, again minimal peeking].
It's already getting just a tiny bit easier I think, and I have to [and I think this is a good thing] alter the A part slightly of Big Sciota when playing along to Aly Bain/OTJ fiddles.
I was reading on the hangout and I am taking heart from what Oldwoodchuckb said. Basically, learn ten tunes and you know ten tunes. Learn 50/100 tunes and you are well on the way to being able to play tunes on the fly as by then you have learned so many phrases and are able to hear them much easier. I'm hoping that's true.
Combined with the above I will attempt to study/work out utilisation of chords as I learn the tunes, and play about with scales etc as time permits. And, I will be trying my best to alter my hand position to slightly more horizontal as pointed out by Dan L.
Sunday, November 25, 2018 @5:40:57 PM
I did something similar when I started playing banjo at local contra dances in the volunteer band. At that time, I sat in the back row and tried to follow the main players. I might look for the melody or play chords. I wrote down the tunes we played and tried to learn one each week. Gradually I could play the melody for one as I continued to work on others. I think "Angelina Baker" may have been the first tune that I was truly successful with. I think "Big Sciota" and "Colored Aristocracy" show your ambitious goals. These were tunes I couldn't do much with until later, but that was me and my path would not be the same as yours. It's good to have a plan.
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 @8:39:12 AM
I can now play Colored Aristocracy along to Old Time Jam Machine. I am working up speed on my Leather Britches A part. Once I can play that I will finalize my version of the B part somwhat more than at present.
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 @8:46:26 PM
I, like you, learn tunes regularly. I enjoy it tremendously and know it benefits me. On the other hand, I like Dwight Diller’s advise to play about 20 tunes regularly so they become totally ingrained and internalized. You can look at it as a warm-up exercise or way of relaxing. I like your tune choices. Hope to hear you!
Tuesday, December 11, 2018 @10:02:40 PM
I now have list of tunes to work to as a new session(jam) has started just around the corner to me.
Saturday, December 15, 2018 @12:03:10 PM
I take Mr Dillers advice with a grain of salt, but there is still a lot of wisdom to be heard. Here is an excerpt from the description of one of his dvd's
"The rhythm hand's work constitutes about 85% of what the old music is about. Trying to learn a bunch of tunes before the rhythm is locked in is counterproductive in the long run. Rhythm learned incorrectly will become a limiting factor to the point that everything will have to be unlearned and relearned in order to advance in the music."
I'm not saying that this is your case, i'm just adding to what Janet B said earlier
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