It's always cool to see a little bit of progress in what you're working on. Last night after getting home I was just playing some fiddle tunes, and remembered one of my old favorites - Dougie Maclean's The Gael. If you've ever watched the early 90's version of Last of the Mohicans* you know this tune - its that driving, haunting fiddle melody played at the fort and again in the pursuit near the climax. Honestly, that tune was probably a part of what prompted me to pick up the fiddle the first time years ago, though I never learned it then.
This time though, I thought I'd give it a try. I found some sheet music for it online, but didn't like it - it just didn't sound right (way too high for one, though the intervals are right I think). So I set to trying to sound it out myself from memory.
And hey... ten, fifteen minutes later, there it was under my fingers! I'm still in that "drumming it into the body" stage** with it the next morning, but it's surprising how fast it's coming along.
Wow.. guess I really am learning something. Cool. :)
* And if you haven't, you should!!
** At least at my level, learning a new tune comes in three stages -
In the first, you just learn how the melody goes and where to put your fingers to make the right sounds. Think of it as preparing the canvas
In the second, you go through that series of movements over and over until you can do it on autopilot. If you're painting, this is where you'd be roughing out the shape and general form of the composition.
In the third, you can concentrate on nuance and expression - make the song your own. This is the fun, creative stage - think of it as like playing with the light in a painting, how shades and colors reflect back and forth.
Until the melody itself - and the movements needed to make it - are so ingrained in your fingers you don't have to think about what comes next, it's not possible to do that really.