Learning tunes is like riding a bike

Whether you’re a mountain biker, road cyclist or just a casual rider who pedals around the neighborhood on your bike, you’ll notice that there is nothing flat about Vermont. No matter where you go, there is likely a hill you’ll have to reluctantly climb.

I live near Perry Hill trails which is a mountain bike trail network, known for its steep climb at the beginning. By the time you reach the top you’re out of breath and likely questioning whether or not you should have eaten that ham sandwich for lunch. You have sweat pouring down your face so hard and fast it stings your eyes. And you wonder why the heck you do this for fun.

But then you see the top, you realize that you’ve made it and the trail that lies ahead is an exhilarating downhill. And you think, hell yeah, I’m a bike rider, I…ride…bikes…The wind is whistling through your hair, the sweat has now dried into your clothes, and you can’t help but scream “yeow” as you’re flying down the hill getting ready to drop into the flow trail.

This experience is not that different from learning a challenging tune. You set your sights high and start learning that tune but you have to stop to breath every now and then. It’s frustrating, time consuming and at one point you can feel the drool leaving your lips. But then something clicks and you see the prize, you get through that note you couldn’t find. And that phrase that boggled your mind suddenly makes sense. And you start playing the tune and you think, hell yeah, I’m a musician, I…play…music and you scream “hup” as you cruise through the tune. And as you’re playing, you forget why you ever found this tune so hard to learn.

This week’s tune of the week is one of those tunes. It is a 3-part jig called The Coming of Spring. I’m not quite sure why I found it so difficult to learn. But it was my mountain to climb this week. And now that I have learned it, I dare say it’s becoming one of my favorites. I hope you enjoy:

The Coming of Spring: Tune 29 of 52

Join me next week for tune #30 from A Tune A Week.


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