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Learning a beautiful tune

SPB-Cooperator 29 Jun 20 - 02:08 PM
Jeri 29 Jun 20 - 02:11 PM
SPB-Cooperator 29 Jun 20 - 02:35 PM
JHW 29 Jun 20 - 02:37 PM
GUEST,Grishka 29 Jun 20 - 02:42 PM
SPB-Cooperator 29 Jun 20 - 02:58 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 20 - 04:27 PM
Jeri 29 Jun 20 - 04:35 PM
Helen 29 Jun 20 - 07:08 PM
Helen 29 Jun 20 - 07:09 PM
Steve Shaw 29 Jun 20 - 07:45 PM
SPB-Cooperator 29 Jun 20 - 08:36 PM
GUEST,Grishka 30 Jun 20 - 03:18 AM
JHW 30 Jun 20 - 06:26 AM
SPB-Cooperator 30 Jun 20 - 07:50 AM
leeneia 30 Jun 20 - 11:24 AM
Tattie Bogle 30 Jun 20 - 06:42 PM
Donuel 30 Jun 20 - 10:32 PM
Donuel 30 Jun 20 - 10:50 PM
SPB-Cooperator 01 Jul 20 - 08:03 AM
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Subject: Learning a beautiful tune
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 02:08 PM

I have, today, heard a really beautiful tune for the 2nd time, and I am now starting to learn it. Trouble is I can't get through more than a few bars before choking up. Learning on a wind instrument makes it that much more difficult.

OK I know the way round this is practice, more practice and even more practice...... Has anyone else gone through this experience?


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 02:11 PM

Not with tunes, but with songs. Just keep playing it, but hopefully, not enough so you become sick of it.

What tune is it?


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 02:35 PM

Bošilecký zvony

Getting to grips with the tune first - which stands on its own, then work on getting my head/tongue round the phrasing of the words.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: JHW
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 02:37 PM

There are tunes I've heard that impress me again every hearing but I never try to tame, just leave them to their own magic.
e.g. Leaving Stoer, Inconnu Limoise (I've watched couples dancing a Mazurka and been impressed, tried again and again and failed to learn but still love to watch those who Can do it).


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 02:42 PM

What exactly is the problem? What instrument? With sheet music?


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 02:58 PM

it's one of those tunes that at the moment I can't play on the whistle without getting emotional which interfere with the breathing. I read a blog about how professional orchestra players cope with the emotion of a piece of music - which says that the performers need to be in the space of the performance and allow the impact to come across to the audience. As this is a new piece for me I am stuck between performer and listener.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 04:27 PM

If I have a tune fully in my head, fully hummable, fully whistleable, I can play it straight away on the harmonica. I never have to search the instrument for the right notes. Naturally, it's a bit raw to begin with, not very subtle, but that's what I work on. I can't learn a tune from printed music even though I understand printed music and can follow an orchestral score. I need to hear a tune a good few times and feel motivated, then I've cracked it.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: Jeri
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 04:35 PM

Here it is on Youtube

I think of that dangerous balance as walking on an edge. You want to get up as close as you can without going over. I think even the best performers sometimes do. On one of the best performances I've ever been to (this one), the artist thankfully makes it to the end of the song. People can forgive, and even appreciate an artist who gets so involved in the song. Artists that "phone it in" don't get noticed so much.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: Helen
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 07:08 PM

Thanks for the links, Jeri.

SPB-Cooperator, Bošilecký zvony is a beautiful tune and I can understand what you are saying about playing a wind instrument and trying to play an emotionally charged tune. As an example, I would have trouble playing Whispering Hope on my flute because a musician played it at my Mum's funeral 18 years ago. (Note: I'm not a good flute player anyway.)

If I'm practising the tune on my harp at home alone, no problems, but as soon as we start playing it in our session group, I get halfway through and start tearing up.

I don't know if this helps, but when I was learning piano for a couple of years my piano teacher suggested learning the pieces by playing the last few bars, getting that worked out, then back up a few more bars and play that bit to the end, and keeping progressing backwards until you get to the beginning of the piece and have ironed out the technicalities. I'm guessing that then you could start working on the emotional nuances. It might sidetrack your subconscious long enough to work out the technical performance aspects.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: Helen
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 07:09 PM

Sorry, forgot to say: Jeri, thanks for the Kasey Chambers link. She's amazing. I haven't seen her perform live here in Oz but I've seen her a lot on TV. She's brilliant. IMHO.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: Steve Shaw
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 07:45 PM

I've always had the conviction (bearing in mind that I'm mostly talking about traditional tunes from Ireland, Scotland or Northumbria) that it's a big mistake to think that you can learn "the bare bones" of a tune, then bolt on the ornamentation and variations later. The ornamentation and variation are integral, and they have to be your own take, and you need to include them as an integral part of your tune-learning process. The idea that they are bolt-ons is anathema. It's tough, but, in the words of Alan Ng, it makes you "do it right."


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 29 Jun 20 - 08:36 PM

When learning/adapting tunes for the whistle you can't necessary pick up on the ornamentation of other instruments. When I learn a tune by ear I have pretty much an idea of where I want to take it right from the start. From sheet music it is very much a case of learning what is written then moving forward.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 03:18 AM

I see, SPB. If you really want an advice: listen to the tune again and again until you cope with your emotions; perhaps practice the fingering without blowing.

A more serious problem of public performers is that they project their personal emotions into their performance. Emotions in a concert are perfectly legitimate, but they must be based either on the music itself or on experiences shared by the whole audience.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: JHW
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 06:26 AM

"The ornamentation and variation are integral, and they have to be your own take, and you need to include them as an integral part of your tune-learning process."
Exactly right. Keep playing/singing and suddenly the way to do it 'your way' will jump up


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 07:50 AM

jeri, there is an even more beautiful arrangement on Cechomor's web site.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: leeneia
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 11:24 AM

Thanks for the link, Jeri. That is beautiful.

When I was 13, my father was hit by a speeding milk truck while driving home from work. Two ribs were broken and thrust into a lung, and he could hardly breathe. Fortunately, there was a pulmonologist in the ER, and they saved him.

Moving on to the present, I like to sing a song about Megan Murphy, who suffered broken ribs and punctured lungs while stopping a runaway team at a tourist attraction. Every time I'm supposed to sing those words my throat swells up, and I have to stop singing for a bit. I don't think I will ever conquer that, and I've decided not to try. It's part of who I am.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: Tattie Bogle
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 06:42 PM

I have on occasion been moved to tears by either tunes or songs when other people are playing or singing them, and there are certain songs that I could not sing without choking up and being unable to carry on, especially when it was still very raw and close to the time that I associated these with: e.g. hearing "the Joy of Living" sung when my mother was nearing her last days, and trying to sing "Crossing the Bar" for a couple of years at least after my Dad died (we'd had that song at his funeral). Can't remember having the same experience with playing a tune myself however: probably concentrating so hard on playing the right notes, plus my instrument isn't dependent on my own breathing as with a wind instrument.
As for ornamentation, it can be very instrument-orientated: what works for a fiddler or a pianist may not work for me on a diatonic box, because of the directional considerations, but it is still possible to make it sound nice with what does work for you.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 10:32 PM

I made a discovery today as 'big' as a 'small' adjustment of a violin's soundpost. Every string instrument has a unique string tension that exaggerates overtones and resonance even if it is not tuned traditionally. A collection of acoustic ukes made of different wood tops with silver strings all tuned to thier best resonance and playability, - cured all the deficits of each instrument-.

Playing with others is sometimes resolved with a capo, but for solo work its great. Deficits cured are: buzzing frets, unevenness of tone, poor respondsiveness, no ease of play and lack of sustain.
Ease of play is by far the most helpful. It helps playing all tunes.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: Donuel
Date: 30 Jun 20 - 10:50 PM

THE SWEET SPOT could be up to 2 whole steps away or less, up or down depending on your strings.


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Subject: RE: Learning a beautiful tune
From: SPB-Cooperator
Date: 01 Jul 20 - 08:03 AM

Can you make a video on your tube to demonstrate this plus a blue clicky? Is that why, when playing a tune a single note or an unexpected minor modulation can hit you right in the gut?


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