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#19 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 08 October 2013 - 06:10 PM

Maybe I took to little time and effort to put my thougts clearly...

  • What I wrote about squezing into octaves was obviously not about instrument compass or sticking with whole acompaniment througout a song within two octaves. It was about building harmonies (plus melody) over more than 2-3 octaves AT ONCE. We play concertinas with 6 or 8 fingers, pianists can use 10 fingers (I personally can span on almost 4 octaves ona piano, benefit of long fingers), accordinists have registers and multiple voices. At least on a Hayden, it is difficult to add notes to triads (e.g. you can build a major chord with the root strenghted by repeating it an octave lower (4 fingers) but it is extremely hard to do the same with minor chord). Only few finger configurations that allow simultanous play over full compass make sense musically and are comfortable enough to be put into practical use (another example: even on 64 button Hayden one cannot use all available chords in some edge keys, because it is hard to jump the whole keyboard just for one note...) 
  • Range is continuous of course, but only biggest duets have sides and overlap large enough to think about hands independently and not bother about incorporating accompaniment into melody line or vice-versa and enable using all the fingers at once, like on the piano.
  • Many concertinas are baffled, it is more of a personal choice really, I wouldn't say it is hamstringing...
  • On Rock and Punk music - I had a solo accompaniment or a guitar+concertina campfire duo in mind, not the fully blown band with bass and percussion with each instrument playing it's sole role. And you seem to agree on the matter, that it is hard to play convincing rock on a concertina. But it is perfectly playable on an accordion, because of multiple voices and better ballance between LH and RH side resulting in richer sound and more "power" of music played. You can imitate that on a concertina, but playing it in a "bandonion like" octave manner, thus dropping halve of your compass - it sound absolutely awfull if you are forced to drop a bass note or canot play arpeggio on just one chord of the whole song, because you're forced to switch sides on the melody. And it is perfectly possible to be your own "percussion" with a duet concertina, it just makes playing in more than 2 octaves at once extremely difficult, with one hand being permanently occupied by rythm and requires big instrument to be able to separate hands completely. And that is what I said earlier. 

There is nothing to "sorry" about, we just disagree or misunderstand each other and that is perfectly fine with me. It is obvious, that I speak out only my personal approach and thoughts, not universal "revelations". Try to ask for clarification next time, I will gladly response. 

 

[edited for misspelings]


Edited by Łukasz Martynowicz, 08 October 2013 - 06:12 PM.


#20 StephenTx

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 07:40 PM

Oh my goodness, how I have enjoyed this thread.  I have been active for awhile, nursing back a shattered wrist....but I am back.  I am an English player have taken Skype lessons from Pauline de Sono but I am trying t get to the point of vocal accompaniment as discussed In this discussion...alot of which is over my head with the music terms..  I need some help understanding chords and how to use them to accompaniment of my voice.  Do any of you do lessons via Skype?   StephenTX



#21 JimLucas

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Posted 12 January 2014 - 10:26 PM

I need some help understanding chords and how to use them to accompaniment of my voice.  Do any of you do lessons via Skype?

 

PM sent.



#22 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 06:48 AM

I am an English player have taken Skype lessons from Pauline de Sono but I am trying t get to the point of vocal accompaniment as discussed In this discussion...alot of which is over my head with the music terms

 

Stephen,

Seeing as you're classically educated on the EC, I assume you can sight read for the instrument. In that case, you can take the easy way, and play accompaniments that someone else has written. You can get piano accompaniments for lots of songs from many - including non-classical - genres, and these should help you for a start. You may have to do a bit of work (or have someone with musical training do it for you) to transcribe the bass clef to treble clef to make it easier for you to read..

 

It's only if, like me, you can't sight-read, that you need all the theory of harmony and counterpoint to work out an accompaniment. But when it comes to the details, like when to use a lush chord and when to use a sparse one, or none at all, or an arpeggio, or a bass run, or a drone, or a parallel second voice, or an oom-pah (in short, practice as opposed to theory), I often find myself wondering how Franz Schubert would have done this on the piano, and this gives me good ideas. So sight-reading a piano score should give you a nice EC accompaniment, even if you don't know which chords belong to the 3-chord trick for the key you're in.

 

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

John



#23 Don Taylor

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Posted 17 January 2014 - 11:38 AM

Any suggestions for songs that are easy to accompany on a concertina?

Maybe with a few hints on how to work out an accompaniment for that song...

#24 StephenTx

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Posted 18 January 2014 - 09:46 PM

John ... *blush* to say I am a classical concertinist....I am taking lessons from a classical concertinist! Pauline has taught me so much.   I am able to read treble cleff (and I work hard at it the bass cleff) ,   learning a lot about timing and pacing but I drawing blanks on this whole chord thing.  I buy music that has the guitar chords but cannot figure out how to make it work as there seems to be one or two chords for the entire measure...and I can't figure out how it works.   To play the melody is boring ad to play the thirds (I believe it is called is the same).  HELP is what I need I am not a music person I am in healthy care....so Im not dumb but do sem to be having  block.  The main purpose of why I took up the concertina was to use as vocal accompaniment.   

 

I have read what you have all posted in this thread but I am still having  brain farts. (as we call them in Texas).   Jim has reached out and I am going to contact him.

 

A frustrated concertinist.

StephenTx



#25 Steve Wilson

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 07:13 AM

Hi Stephen,

 

Chording really is very simple, you'll be amazed once you get your head around it. But it's a bit too involved to go into detail here. There are lots of sites where you can find out how to do it. Here's one.  http://www.howmusicw...Building-Chords

 

A chord consists of three or more notes.  You can even play part chords, just two notes.   The C chord consists of C,E & G.  Any combination of those notes, either all on one side or the other, or both sides, for example E & G on the left and C on the right, when played together will make the C chord.

 

Play them together as a beat for six beats, that is pressing and lifting, and you'll almost have the first line of "Oh Sussanah".  When you get to "knee" you have to play a G chord which you've learned from the site above is G, B & D.  Google "Oh Sussanah lyrics chords" to get all the chords, there's an F chord in there too.

That's a simple start.  It's a matter of learning the different combinations (inversions) and being able to grab them quickly, just like a guitarist does.

Practice,practice,practice.  Later you'll start to feel different ways of creating rhythm.  And some chords share notes so you don't always have to lift all fingers to change chords. 

 

Anyway if you get some lessons from Jim you'll be in good hands.

 

Cheers, Steve



#26 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 19 January 2014 - 08:40 AM

I am able to read treble cleff (and I work hard at it the bass cleff) ,   learning a lot about timing and pacing but I drawing blanks on this whole chord thing.  I buy music that has the guitar chords but cannot figure out how to make it work as there seems to be one or two chords for the entire measure...and I can't figure out how it works.  

 

Stephen,

I think your poblenm here is trying to mix systems!

You can read treble and - in part - bass clef, and this should enable you to get the gist of a piano accompaniment onto the concertina. This is the classical system.

But the "guitar chords" that you're trying belong to another system: the folk/jazz system, whereby the harmonic structure of a piece is defined using chord names, and the performers put the notes of the respective chords together the way they have learnt them on their respective instruments. That means that, when I sing a song to the guitar, the banjo, the autoharp, the Anglo and the Crane duet, I'm often sounding - or voicing - a given chord with different notes on each instrument. As a folkie, my learning material on each instrument included the finger positions for each of the commonly used chords. So I can read the "C-F-G7-Am" symbols for the chords as fluently as you can probably read the dots for the melody.

The ability to accompany a new tune extempore, i.e. without written chords (genuine "playing by ear"), developed gradually by repeatedly following chord symbols written by other people.

I'm quite sure that playing chords that are written out note by note on the stave will eventually give you a feeling for whare to put your fingers when a tune goes in a particular direction. So much in music comes with practice, and the more practice you have, the more easily the theory comes!

 

As to "one or two chords for the entire measure": this is absolutely normal. Harmonic progressions usually go much more slowly than melodies.

An extreme case is Bach's 6th Brandenburg concerto: http://www.youtube.c...h?v=inzwZ0fniro (performed here by my favourite ensemble, the Freiburg Baroque Orchestra!) Especially at the start of the first movement, note how long the viol players saw away at the same chord while the violas play their elaborate duet! And in the third movement, the viols play a walking bass line that is only half the pace of the solo violas. But of course there are twiddly bits for the viols, too, just to keep it from getting predictable.

In short, it's an example of solo and accompaniment as done by a master: a mixture of extreme simplicity and varying degrees of complexity. If we aim for something like that, we might even achieve something acceptable! -_-

 

Cheers,

John



#27 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 06:07 PM

I'd like to bring up my first recording of self-accompanied singing here - not regarding the singing (which isn't well captured and might have to be improved anyway) but the technique of song accompaniment. When using the (English) concertina I mostly include the melody, which emerges an octave above my bass/bariton voice. IMO this is working quite well in the following example, in combination with a (at least to my ears) fiddle-like rythmic chording.

 

I Whish I Was a Mole in the Ground

 

(I posted this mistakenly in another thread initially)



#28 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 08:26 PM

Nice one Wolf! It reminds me of a rather silly Polish scout/marching song about a hare on a pole, which has very similiar melody and construction. Wonder if they have a common ancestor or have influenced each other in any way.

 

I too find, that when playing melody accompaniment it often works best to play it an octave apart from vocals, but because I have bariton/tenor voice I often switch the accompaniment from octave higher to octave lower, going in the opposite direction than vocal line, using concertina to fiil in the blank registers and never going to high, as I really don't like free-reed sounds above high E. 



#29 Jody Kruskal

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Posted 06 February 2014 - 11:28 PM

Hey Wolf! I know that song^_^ You have done a fine job with it. Thanks for posting. I don't hear the problems in the vocals that you mention. 

 

Nice one Wolf! It reminds me of a rather silly Polish scout/marching song about a hare on a pole, which has very similiar melody and construction. Wonder if they have a common ancestor or have influenced each other in any way.

 

  Łukasz, I would love to hear your scout song. Any chance of making us a recording of you playing and singing it?


Edited by Jody Kruskal, 06 February 2014 - 11:31 PM.


#30 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 01:56 AM

Hey Wolf! I know that song^_^ You have done a fine job with it. Thanks for posting. I don't hear the problems in the vocals that you mention. 

 

Hi Jody - yes, you kow that song, and I bet you know that I know that you know it...  :D

 

The "Paul and Jody" album has been a huge inspiration to me ever since you gave it to me at the Seaford Folk Club in 2012 in the aftermath of your great show overthere. I repeat myself from the first post and the notes with the soundcloud file when I say a big "thank you" for your music to which I have to add another "thank you" for the current encouragement - very much appreciated!

 

And Łukasz, glad you liked my recording too - liked to hear your marching song too. And as to the registers of accompaniment, it never happens to me that I have to lay the instrumental melody line underneath the voice with my treble EC since I need room for a fundamental, third or fifth at least, but it's a natural solution to alternate in both directions when it is indicated. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

 

Best wishes - Wolf



#31 Łukasz Martynowicz

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 05:29 AM

Maybe some day I'll learn it and record it, but right now I'm focusing on building a concertina rather than playing it.. Thanks for interest and encouragement though :)



#32 Steve Wilson

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 07:11 AM

G'day Wolf,

 

Nice one, I did get the feel of the fiddle rhythm effect. Nice playing, all those chords and melody happening too.  I understand your concern about the notebook mic though, hardly a great recording mic.  And with a song I think it's important that the words are prominent over the accompaniment.  Your vocal was a little swamped, perhaps because you have such a deep voice, but mostly because of how it was recorded. 

 

As you've seen I record with a reasonable quality vocal mic and microvox for the concer and then put them through a mixer before it goes to the computer.  More control that way.

 

But of course you have to start somewhere. Good on you.  If you want to do more song recording you could experiment with the positioning of the notebook I guess.  You'll work out what's best for you, carry on.

 

Cheers Steve. 



#33 StuartEstell

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 08:48 AM

Any suggestions for songs that are easy to accompany on a concertina?

Maybe with a few hints on how to work out an accompaniment for that song...

 

Something like Barbara Allen in one of its myriad forms - great words, uncomplicated tunes, not too quick. I regularly use two different tunes for it which respond very well to a simple, circular, drone-based accompaniment. Of course you can vary it more and more as you become comfortable with the enterprise.

 

I can try to remember to record a bit of what I do with it, if you're interested.



#34 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 02:34 PM

Hello Steve,

 

thank you for your encouraging and helpful remarks - very glad you liked the take and got what I was aiming at with my playing! Guess I will have to deal with miking and editing going forward...

 

Best regards - Wolf



#35 MatthewVanitas

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 05:29 PM

Any suggestions for songs that are easy to accompany on a concertina?

Maybe with a few hints on how to work out an accompaniment for that song...

 

I'm still working up a few myself, and though not ready for showtime I think I'm getting a feel for it. A few of my favorites:

 

  • "Grey Funnel Line" by Cyril Tawney is a great slow tune without undue voice demands, autobiographical about being a sailor in the British Navy in the 1950s. It's a basic I-IV-V-vi chord settup (so in C would be C-F-G-Am for example), relaxed pace, and real long stretches of chord to play with arpeggios, swells, etc. There's a similar chord progression and theme for "Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still" (a pop-hit of the American Civil War period) but that one takes a little more vocal range. There's a great track of this tune, backed up by concertinist Alf Edwards, for 99c on iTunes.


#36 Don Taylor

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Posted 07 February 2014 - 10:33 PM

Stuart:  Yes please.

 

Matthew: Thanks for this idea, do you mean this version from his 'In Port' LP:

http://www.youtube.c...h?v=U1ZoEB494Y4

 

It is one of my favourite songs  - and I am not alone in this I am sure.

 

Don.





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