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: