Step Back

Monday 4th saw us tackle English Morris tune Step Back.  This version is from the Field Town traditional of Leafield in Oxfordshire, and is related to the slightly better known tune/dance Old Molly Oxford.  It’s a little unusual for us in that it doesn’t have any repetition of phrases, so I’ve talked a little in the videos about how to learn a tune like this.  It seemed like a useful topic to cover right now!  I’ll lay out my top tips here too, for brevity and clarity (first time for everything):

  • Listen to the tune. A lot.  And listen in different ways; listen with focus but also while you’re doing other things and are a little distracted.  Both are great ways of getting the tune in your head.
  • Sing the tune!  Either out loud or in your head, silly words optional.
  • Trace the shape of the tune in the air with your hand/finger.  You can do this as you listen to the video or as you sing along.
  • Name each phrase in a way that helps you identify what happens.
  • Play it lots.  When you (inevitably) forget bits, go back to the video or to singing it rather than diving straight for the dots.  To paraphrase violinist Itzhak Perlman, if you learn something slowly, you’ll forget it slowly!

 

Video One is the tune played slowly, followed by the tune a little faster:

 

Video Two is a walk through of the A section:

 

Video Three is a walk through of the B section:

 

Here are dots for the tune with the chord sequence, click here for the PDF:

Step Back

Author: debfiddle

Deborah is a violinist and violist specialising in English folk music. She trained in viola and Baroque viola at Birmingham Conservatoire, before returning to her first love of traditional music, song and dance. She is a member of Stepling, a band performing English music, step-dance, song and percussion. She also plays for a number of function bands, performing at barn dances and ceilidhs across the UK. Deborah has played with a number of folk artists, dance and theatre projects. She plays with Folk Dance Remixed, a dance company combining traditional dance with hip hop and street dance styles, performing as such events as Car Fest, the Southbank's Festival of Love and Glasgow's Commonwealth Games Festival. She records on a regular basis for a number of people, including The Mystery Fax Machine Orchestra, and for Laurel Swift's 'Travelling with Thomas' musical. Deborah teaches music, song and dance regularly for The English Folk Dance and Song Society, as well as on a freelance basis for various workshop series, festivals and music services. She is currently studying on The Teaching Musician MA degree course at Trinity Laban.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s