Monday, December 13, 2004

(Re)Learning Tunes

I'm trying to get back into shape musically before Harmony starts in a couple weeks. I haven't been playing nearly as much as I'd like to recently. I think the worst of it though is not so much being out of practice playing various instruments (though that's pretty bad for some of them) but being out of practice learning and remembering tunes. The Irish session I go to every couple weeks is fun but has a fairly distinct set of tunes that get played, without a lot of surprises. When I play on my own at home, I have an even smaller set of typical tunes that I play, though they tend to be different ones -- more favorites that other people might not know. So there are hundreds of tunes out there that I know I've learned but can never think of to play or practice. Argh. I can only hope I'll recognize them all (or learn them really fast) when they come up in sessions.

The other day I was talking with Miriam about crooked tunes and songs, and we got to listening to a track from one of the Nightingale albums, with a bunch of crooked Breton tunes and one delightfully twisted one called The Alley II. I finally decided to just sit down and learn them all and it was really a lot of fun. It's been a long time since I put any effort into learning new tunes. These of course aren't anything that will be useful for actually playing with many people probably, but they're fun. The Alley II is just incredible, continually switching between rhythms in 3's and 2's. Really tricky, but worth it.

Anyway, I need to find a good pile of tunes somewhere that I can just tuck into and start learning. It would be fun to start building up more of a repertoire again.


Borden said...

So does that make The Alley II a zweifacher, or at least zweifacherable?

Tandava said...

Well, kind of. The problem is that it would be really fast, so the waltz steps would be like waltzing to a jig. I suppose you could just do short pivots vs. long pivots, but even then the short pivots would be pretty fast. You could get very dizzy at least. I'll have to try it some time.