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Those Elusive Tunes

Posted by bj on Thursday, September 10, 2009

Well, I've managed to get a few of my Lake Genero tunes to the point where I can kick them off the second I hear or see the name. I can now kick off and play, with at least some proficiency, Old Horse and Buggy in G, and two A tunes-- Grub Springs, and Old Yeller Dog Come Trottin' Through the Meeting House.

The rest are Elusive, and yes, that capital E is on purpose. I can play a bunch while playing along with the recording-- Sal's Got Mud Between Her Toes, Duck River, Johnny Don't Get Drunk, Waiting for Nancy, Sadie at the Back Door, Jeff Sturgeon, Sweet 'Bama, Booth, Old Time Fire On The Mountain, Sheep Shell Corn By The Rattle Of His Horn, Double File, Clinton, Benton's Dream, Tater Patch. Little Dutch Girl, Bullfrog on a Puncheon Floor, probably a dozen or so more. But the minute the recording is gone . . .

If I can start it at all, I start it in the wrong key, and realize it instantly.

I mix up the A part from one with the B part from another.

I can remember the tune but not the name OR

I can remember the name but not the tune.

Could I be suffering from tune overload??? You betcha.

My Stockdale Fiddle, in a fit of pique at being left home for five days straight without being played, has decided to close up totally. She sounds like she's got a head cold and she's awfully quiet compared to the way she used to sweetly sing. Also, it seems that all of a sudden the bridge feet don't fit like they should. I've checked the bridge set measurements every which way to Sunday, yet I can still slide my fingernail right under the outer edge of the bass foot on BOTH front and back at the end. I double checked to make sure it was centered between the F holes. It is. And all the wiggling of the bridge managed to blow out the wrapping on the A string, despite prodigious amounts of graphite put in the bridge and nut notches. I swear, these fiddles are alive. And jealous as all hell.

So I've crashed back down to Earth off my Lake Genero High. ** sigh **



11 comments on “Those Elusive Tunes”

lrhamp Says:
Friday, September 11, 2009 @1:19:10 AM

bj----the key to remembering tunes is repitition. Start out with a tape of your favorites and play it every day. Mentally call out each tune as it starts playing. You just have to be persistent.

mudbug Says:
Friday, September 11, 2009 @2:46:19 AM

Tune overload. I'm sure alot of us can relate.

bj Says:
Friday, September 11, 2009 @4:03:21 AM

Yeah, but learning 50 or so new tunes in one weekend is a record, at least for me . . .

Irhamp, I'll get them all eventually. This was such an unexpected thing, to be able to PLAY tunes I'd never even heard before, and one after the other. It was magical! But to expect them all to stick was maybe expecting too much.

robinja Says:
Friday, September 11, 2009 @8:35:43 AM

Same thing happened to me this weekend - went to a picking party/camp-out at a friend's house in Tennessee. I played in a 3-hour C jam with FHO member "otfiddler" and others on Sunday night. I only have about 10 C tunes that I play well enough to start, so needless to say, I was following his lead! But I was playin' em like I knew 'em. And it was great...until I got home. Several of those tunes were floating around in my head, but only a couple of them will come out of my fingers now. Luckily, I have found recordings of most of the tunes that we played, and since I played them once, I know I can play them many tunes.........

scrubber Says:
Friday, September 11, 2009 @10:44:48 AM

I don't worry about 'tune overload'. I have an agenda -- tunes I WANT to learn, but I also know that, if I attend a jam, I'll be playing tunes I don't know 'on the fly' and will have completely forgotten them when I retire for the night (or morning!).

It's frustrating to have these tunes 'slip away' , but it's part of the process! They'll come back...


bj Says:
Friday, September 11, 2009 @10:54:31 AM

Well, I'm finally getting time to listen to the CDs that Art Bryan gave me, and MOST of what he taught me is on there. Terri gave me some recordings of things she taught me. So the only tunes I don't have on recording were the ones from Friday night, and I think Nancy got most of those on her Zoom. Not that I NEED another thirty or so tunes to remember at this point. I've been counting, and I'm already over 50.

FiddleJammer Says:
Friday, September 11, 2009 @3:50:47 PM

Listen to your early morning ear worms. They will help you know what to do next. :-)

bj Says:
Friday, September 11, 2009 @3:56:48 PM

Ear worms, huh? LOL! Those are the tunes I know but I don't have any clue what the names are . . .

I can play them for around a half hour first thing in the morning. I should start recording them and posting them for ID.

FiddleJammer Says:
Friday, September 11, 2009 @8:41:11 PM

Sometimes they are new tunes trying to bubble up. Pay them some more attention. They are tunes that you know before you know them.

Fiddler Says:
Saturday, September 12, 2009 @5:56:38 AM

Here's one piece of advice I've come to appreciate:
"I store all my tunes in other peoples' heads."

Don't fret (sorry, really bad pun), and enjoy the ones that readily come to you. The others are still there and will surface and the most unexpected times.

FiddlerFaddler Says:
Monday, September 14, 2009 @9:06:26 AM

I am suffering from life overload. Circumstances and people keep demanding my time and making it difficult to find time to fiddle. As much as I try to structure my life around music playing, I am dogged by a guy named Murphy who had some stupid law named after him.

As for getting tunes and their names to stick, I need something like stick-em- or rosin-for-the-brain. Short of that I play fiddle music CDs incessantly in the car and even take them on business trips. That seems to help, but I have to keep the rotation regular to keep my recall abilities from ossifying. It doesn't seem right that there is no one present to kick me when I'm driving and listening to a tune whose name I should remember. Maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself so that I can focus my remaining energy on productive endeavors.

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