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Hi I’m Vi Wickam and this is another Quick Tip from myTalentForge.com.
What do you do when you lack inspiration?
Well, one thing you can do, is you can sight read.
Now, this is just one of your options- it’s not your only option, but it’s a great source of inspiration.
For me, my favorite book for sight reading is Cole’s 1,000 Fiddle Tunes. It’s a book approximately 1,000 Fiddle tunes. It started out as Ryan’s Mammoth Fiddle Tune Collection. It was originally published in 1853. It has tons of jigs and reels and hornpipes, and clogs even!
I’ll get in there, and I’ll be like, “Let’s take this page!” And I will read a page, and each of the pages may have 4 or 5 tunes on it. I’ll start at the top, I’ll read through, and I’ll find one of the tunes that I like- maybe it’s Good For The Tongue […].
And I’ll read through it. I will get that tune to the point where I can internalize the melody.
So I’ve read through 5 tunes now, and I’ve picked one of those 5 tunes that I liked.
Maybe I didn’t like any of them! Then I move to the second page, and I read through the next 5 tunes. Maybe I find one that I like there!
…Learn another hornpipe- I think that was Blanchard’s. So I’ve found a couple hornpipes that I like- I’m kind of a fan of Bb hornpipes…
But I’ve found a couple tunes that I liked so I learned them! And when I found that tune that I liked, I was like “Well, let’s take some time with this tune!”
I’m going to spend maybe 10 minutes working on that tune. And it won’t be enough that it really sets it in in my brain, but it’s enough that when I come back later to it, it’s going to be familiar to me.
So the next day maybe I come back and I revisit that tune and spend another 10 minutes on it. I’ll play through that tune, reading it.
So I’ll read through that tune- say I take the A part- I’ll read that A part until it’s set into my head. And then I’ll take the sheet music away and I’ll play from memory […].
Now I just put those 2 tunes together- how about that! 😉
But I’ll get that tune in my head, get that A part in my head, then I’ll take the sheet music away and I’ll just play that A part maybe 5 or 10 times- because each of those A parts are only probably 15-30 seconds.
So each time through I’ll do A-A, B-B – if it’s an A-A, B-B kind of tune – 2 A parts, 2 B parts. So the A part is maybe 15 seconds, with a repeat that’s another 15 seconds. Take it slowly, read through, enjoy it!
Then I’ll take the B part and I’ll read it. Then I’ll take the sheet music away and I’ll play it without the sheet music. That will help me internalize that tune.
And then I’ll put them together!
So when you’re bored, find a book. It could be O’Neill’s Irish Music Collection- that’s another good one. It could be the Fiddler’s Fakebook- that’s another collection. I don’t the bowings on all of those tunes that are in the Fakebook
But I love Cole’s 1000 Fiddle Tunes. Find your own book of inspiration! Read through a page… read through 2 or 3 pages until you find a tune you like, and learn that new tune!
That’s your Quick Tip of the Week! Find your inspiration in the sight reading. Have a great day, I’ll see you next time!
PS. The tune I played in the middle of this lesson is called Good For the Tongue. I recorded a bunch of tunes from Cole’s 1000 Fiddle Tunes during my Fiddle Tune a Day Project. You can sign up for it here.