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Re-Learning Finger Position To Add Chords?

fingering finger position chords

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#1 TimTim

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 03:23 AM

Hello,

 

I'm confused about the way you learn a tune and add the chords.

 

I'm painstakingly trying to remember the chords (and so also have to understand the different keys), that's one thing.

 

My problem is more with fingers...

 

For me adding anything out of the melody line means re-learning a different fingering.

 

For simple tunes probably not, and even less so with simple octaves... but what about complicated pieces? For example I'm working on a classical piece and my fingers, all four of them, are already all over the place! High E can be played by four different fingers...I sometimes had to write down which finger went where to make sure I could continue the phrase.

 

So what does this mean? Will I have to learn everything twice, with two different fingering? Or do I have to be so good that I can already imagine the fingers I'll need in the future? Or so comfortable that really it doesn't matter where my fingers are (actually I can see that happening at some point).

 

I apologize if my formulation is unclear. I've already written five or six messages that I never posted because I wasn't even sure of what I was asking...

 

                             ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FYI  I have a Jackie and high notes are much much weaker than the other notes.

 

A lot of advice has already been given to me on this forum - but it takes its own route in my brain. Things that I mentally thought were great hadn't sunk in, then resurface later and it clicks "yeah, that's what I have to do!". I'm confident it will be the same with chords.

 

PS: I want to work on this chording/accompanying/enriching the melody...I've seen videos of Danny Chapman (Prof Rat on youtube) and he made me think that maybe I didn't need to try the duet system after all  :D

 

 

 

 

 



#2 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:28 AM

For my part I prefer to  learn  a complex piece  "all in one mouthful "  ...  meaning   Bar by Bar  I'll  add all  the notes, melody and chords (if you want to look at it that way)  and then  I find that  there might be only one way  that a certain note  can be played...  So, I'm saying  that  a Bar might need to be played  in a certain way because  of what happened in the previous  Bar or the following Bar...

 

But then  I have many years  experience of playing  that  keyboard  and even  then I might need weeks and weeks  of work to  get all the  notes and finger movements  into my head.  I spent two years, an hour each day, on a piece of well known  Ragtime...  and I would need to  play it every day  after that to  keep  all the finger  gymnastics in my head.

 

If I wish to  'enrich'   a  piece  ( with chords)  that I have learned  as a single  line melody  then a simple approach  of adding  thirds, fifths , sevenths  etc....  mostly  under  the  melody  is what  I  begin with... add  one  or two  harmony  notes...  usually  just fiddling around  until I find something that sounds  good  to me... again lots of  experience of  doing this  without even knowing  if  any of it is  'correct'  in theory.

 

The one thing I will say, and I have alluded to this before,  the Jackie's   keyboard  is   truncated, not enough  notes  to allow  a great choice  of  keys or harmonies.

I'm sure it  is harder work to produce  a complex arrangement   on such an instrument  and although it can be done well on the English  Concertina  there are also advantages , for certain types of  pieces , to use  a Duet.

 

If you can tell us  what it is  you are leaning, even  post a score  so people here  can  make some suggestions , I think  it will be  easier to  help you.

 

Try a 'less is more'  approach... perhaps ?


Edited by Geoff Wooff, 14 August 2017 - 08:35 AM.


#3 TimTim

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 08:52 AM

Hi Geoff,
 
 

the Jackie's keyboard is truncated, not enough notes to allow a great choice of keys or harmonies.


Good point in terms of sound, but when it comes to figuring out working with "extra" fingers, I guess I can start right away?

 

a simple approach  of adding  thirds, fifths , sevenths  etc....  mostly  under  the  melody  is what  I  begin with...


But could you please clarify something : when you add to a simple melody, do you find yourself changing your initial finger position or can you find the right chords with the remaining fingers? 
 If yes, it must be that my initial positioning is already wrong...


I can't give you a pdf as the complex piece I was thinking about was only as an example (it's a Larghetto piece by Albinoni) and I wouldn't change anything to it.
It's just that if on top of such complex finger positions I had to find chords well...as you said:

 

then I might need weeks and weeks of work to get all the notes and finger movements


Ok, in a way I am relieved. Or not.

Thanks a lot Geoff,



#4 Geoff Wooff

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:19 AM

Perhaps sometimes the fingering of the basic melody  may need to change  when adding  harmonies...  I've not really thought about that .

 

  One way that I would recommend  to practice  is to play  the melody  using only one finger on each hand... Start with your strongest finger  say  the one nearest you thumb  or the middle finger  ... now play  the melody  just using it... the idea is to get  you to think  about the  patterns and positions of buttons  not  of fingers.  When you can do this  with one finger try it with another... perhaps the first two fingers are most agile for this  exercise  .This also gets  you into the idea of jumping  over buttons    and moving about more quickly on the keyboard.

 

Also keep in mind when listening to someone play really well  that they did not become  that good overnight...   a fine recording might have been made after a  great deal of work  to practice  and many  'takes' at the recording  stage.

 

A Concert Pianist, travelling the world playing with different orchestras, might only be playing one Concerto  this year, having spent  months of work  on the piece.

 

So, don't beat yourself up  for not getting where you want to be  straightaway....  enjoy the learning process  and work constructively  and if you feel  you are serious  about the  concertina  then buy a good one....


Edited by Geoff Wooff, 14 August 2017 - 09:28 AM.


#5 TimTim

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Posted 14 August 2017 - 09:23 AM

Ok ! (After working on the classical piece with fingers all over the place I noticed I had a bit more freedom so I guess it will come from there as well)

 

Thank you!



#6 Steve Wilson

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 06:48 AM

Hello Tim Tim,

 

It's nice to know you seem to be fairly serious about learning to play the (E) concertina, what with attempting a complex piece.  No you won't have to learn everything twice but you will keep learning if you keep putting in the effort.  I'm assuming you are fairly new to concer since you only have a Jackie, not meaning to demean the Jackie, a great starting instrument, but a with a better quality instrument (as Geoff suggests) you'll learn to fly.  Consider saving those pennies.

 

I'm guessing you are concentrating on instrumental pieces so I'm not sure I can help a lot since I mostly use the concertina for song accompaniment, (with lots of chords), which I think our instrument is just wonderful for.  But my method can be used for instrumental music, I do it when I insert instrumental parts in my songs.  Basically I learn the melody line first and then I learn the chord progression and use different inversions of the chords to decide upon the most satisfactory fingering to my ear. Others may not agree with my chord choices at all!  Once I've got these two different aspects of a song learned I just sit down and try to meld them into a "melody with chords".  Most often the melody notes are part of the chord with occasional "passing" notes which are actually just part of another slightly different chord.  As for fingering, well yes it varies. You do have to learn different ways of playing, but that's a good thing.  No one way is necessarily the right way.

 

It's really good to have a repertoire of the basic chords (in various inversions) in the basic keys. This is relevant for instrumental music but perhaps more relevant if you're into song accompaniment, then you can sing hundreds (thousands) of songs with just a few chords. Don't tell me you can't sing, (almost) everyone can sing a bit, especially if they're a player of an instrument.

 

Anyway whatever sort of music you're interested in, the concertina is a great little instrument for it.  Not perfect all the time but pretty good.  Keep at it.  The better you get the more you'll enjoy it.

 

Cheers,

Steve.



#7 TimTim

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Posted 15 August 2017 - 01:15 PM

Hi Steve,

 

thank you for your kind words! What kind of music? I have no idea. I didn't even know I'd like playing at all before I got my concertina. I only turned to classical pieces out of boredom and would love to learn more about that too,  but I think I'd love to play "popular" songs for my own enjoyment as well. I've noticed that the songs that stick with me usually have some harmonica or accordion in it. 

 

I'm afraid I have to log off already as a friend has just returned from holiday but I'll keep your advice in mind. 





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