Learning tunes backwards

When it comes to learning tunes by ear, for some reason it takes me forever. And I’ve been doing it the same way since, well, forever.

I memorize tunes kind of like I memorized my lines in the high school play. I learn line 1, then learn line 2. Then I say lines 1 and 2. Then I learn line 3 and say lines 1, 2 and 3 and so on. So by the time I’m finished I know line 1 like nobody’s business.

I learn tunes the same way. I learn the first few notes of the A-part. I play that a few times then learn a few more notes and play it from the beginning and on it goes. The problem is, I end up learning the A-part of the tune really well and the B-part never gets enough practice.

This became really evident when I started learning the tune the Wise Maid. It’s kind of a notey tune. Especially in the B-part. So the more I played the tune, the more the A-part became second nature and B-part never fully got as much practice.

So…my new method is to learn a tune backwards. I’ll learn the B-part first then the A-part. I’ll keep you posted as to how it works out.

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