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New Owner Of Stagi 46 Hayden Duet


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#1 rscow

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Posted 01 January 2004 - 09:27 PM

I received a Stagi 46 Hayden Duet from my wife at Christmas. I have always wanted to learn...she found out...voila.

I can read music. Don't play any other instruments. Was a singer in college (U. S. Coast Guard Academy Idlers...which made me want to learn the concertina in the first place).

First, I have searched the site. Also have looked at a bunch of the Hayden resources on the web and have d/l'd and studied a bunch of the fingering diagrams, etc. The Duet tutor for the Wheatstone duet even showed me how to hold the thing.

So, now, I need to press on with learning how to start playing.

So do I start out with scales? Picking out tunes? Is there truth i my understanding that there is a basic pattern one uses for the scales which is repeated with a new home note when doing a key transposition?

I'm looking forward to moving forward with this and would really appreciate any help on or off list.

Best regards,

Roger Scow
Belton, Texas, USA

#2 David Barnert

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 01:49 AM

Congratulations and Happy New Year.

I would start trying to find tunes with your right hand. Once you have found a simple one (Mary had a little lamb, for instance) start it on a different button and see what happens.

I would also recommend working the left hand into the equation quickly, but your lack of experience with other instruments may present difficulty there, as you probably never had to think about harmony and chords before (as a singer). I expect you'll need to get some sort of grounding in music theory from a book or teacher before you can use your left hand to do anything but play prewritten arrangements.

Listen. Imitate what you hear. Dance. Imitate what you feel. Experiment.

Good luck.

#3 Richard Morse

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 09:07 AM

my understanding that there is a basic pattern one uses for the scales which is repeated with a new home note when doing a key transposition?

So do I start out with scales? Picking out tunes? Is there truth i my understanding that there is a basic pattern one uses for the scales which is repeated with a new home note when doing a key transposition?

Yup, though I suggest you not get caught up in transpositioning right now. It's really a perk and not the first step toward learning the thing. Once you get a basic tune or two down you can see how this works by starting it on different keys.

I suggest that you find some middle-of-the-sea of buttons as a comfortable "home" to explore tunes as any extension from that key will we easy and regular. For your instrument that can be the key of G, which starts on the 2nd row from the handrest, 2nd button from the left.

Try starting with a simple major scale. I've found it helpful to (initially) try to keep a simple fingering pattern by using all of your four fingers (Index, Middle, Ring, Pinkie fingers):
      Bass side          treble side

     P   R   M   I       I   M   R   P
       R   M   I           I   M   R
     P   R   M   I       I   M   R   P
       R   M   I           I   M   R
I think that you'll find that this is pretty easy on the treble side and a bit awkward on the bass side. I've sometimes fallen into the habit of using my ring finger in the pinky place (on the bass side) for the 4th tone of the scale, though that makes for an awkward trying to play the 6th and 7th note of the scale sequentially with index finger.

In reality though, the bass generally isn't playing full contrapuntal lines at breakneck speed so this bit of using the index finger for both the 6th and 7th tones is okay -- BUT!!!! If you get hung up (used to) HAVING to use your ring finger for the 4th tone, your pinky will get very stupid and there will be times you'll need the flexibility of having those second rows on the bass side played with PRMI.

Boiling down what I just said, I think the bass fingering is more flexible as diagrammed above even if it initially is a bit more difficult than playing the second lines with your RMII.

As you get tunes down there WILL be passages which are awkward to finger due to having to play a pair of sequential notes with the same fingers. My workaround this is generally to play the first note of the pair with an alternate finger to have the subseqent note played by the "home" finger. Due to where your coming from (or going), sometimes it makes more sence to do the opposite and play the subsequent note with an alternate finger though I find that this is rarer (as that often compromises the next finger as well....).

After getting a handle on the scale on the treble side, try it on the bass.... Then try them at the same time. Just noodle with it a bit - try holding down one note on the bass while you run up and down the notes on the treble side. Listen for the harmonies and dischord.

After getting okay with the simple major scale, try a few simple major tunes. I suggest finding them on the right side first, and without getting too polished with it, already try adding some nice sounds on the bass side. You can play the same tune in octaves there though it's nice to have some sort of lower accompaniment and/or chords to support your treble side melody.

Something like "Oh Susanna" is a good starter. Note that when your fingers are "at rest" on the bass side, they can form a triangle between the RMI fingers. I like to think of the ring finger as roosting on the "tonic" or "fundamental" note of whatever chord or progression I'm considering supporting the treble side melody with. That note is the first note that makes up a chord which I usually play with my ring finger. The other two notes, the 3rd and 5th tones in the scale (making it a major chord) are played with my index and middle fingers, respectively. So a major chord on the bass side looks like:
     x   x   x
    x   M  x   x
      R   x   I
    x   x   x   x
So the first 6 beats of "Oh Susanna" you can alternate play any of those keys indicated above (so long as the ring finger IS on the tonic). You can also try a bass/chord arrangement by alternating the R then MI together, then R again and MI together....

When you come to "knee" (in the song), the chord changes to the 5 chord and you'll find that that bass you were noodling with doesn't sound so good anymore. The simple answer is to move your left hand RMI triangle to the 5 chord place which is up and to the right one position (or down and to the right which is the same thing but just an octave lower).

Another way of finding it is by by counting up the scale from your ring finger (as it was on the 1st note). Shifting your entire left RMI triangle intact, the R becomes the tonic for that new chord, the Index now will play that chord's 3rd note and the Middle finger will be playing that chord's 5th note. You don't have to figure out what not is what, just realize that your RMI triangle like that makes a major chord.

So the next two beats use this 5 chord, and your back to the tonic chord on "gwan to...". The chorus starts on the 4 chord which you can shift your RMI triangle up one and to the left (or count up to the 4th tone from the tonic), and noodle on that for a few beats, then back to the 1 chord and to the 5 chord again.... etc. You'll develop a feel for when the chords change.

The interesting thing is that you don't have to "hear" the chord change, but you'll find yourself noticing that the predominant notes played in the melody nearly always one of the chord elements. That's a great indication to find a chord that uses those notes. You *can* simply use a major chord which usually sounds fine though I've found that the Hayden gives me insight to chords I would have never thought of using that sound really nice.

The second most useful chord position is the RMI in a minor triangle which looks like this:
     x   x   x
    x   x   M   x
      R   x   I
    x   x   x   x
Realizing of course that you can move any of your fingers up or down an octave to get different inversion or "flavor". In the case of a minor chord, the 6th tone usually sounds best if it is the lowest of the three tones in the chord so most people would play that like this:
     x   x   x
    x   x   x   x
      R   x   I
    x   x   M   x
So, for instance, in "Oh Susanna", rather than noodling on the 1 chord (the tonic, that is) for the first 6 beats, the melody "COME from AL-a-BA-ma WITH..." COME could be the 3rd tone of your 1 chord, the AL (being the 5th note right after that third note) suggests a minor chord. If you put your minor RMI triangle (shown immediately above) with your M on the third note of the key scale for the AL. Then even if "bama with" is the 1 major chord, because the "a" in al-A-bama is the 6th note, it actually makes another minor chord with the "with" coming back to the 1 chord....

This may sound confusing right now, but if you understand music, what you wind up with, if we're playing in the key of G, is the accompaniment chords going G, Bm, Em, G, G, Am, D.... which further suggests a walking bass line of G, F#, E, D, G, A, D....

Of course "Oh Susanna" is pretty basic and I'm sure not the type of music you're into, but it's a good place to start as it's simple and nearly everyone knows the tune. After a tune or two like that one, try out tunes that you like and know. It's fairly easy to learn how to read music on the Hayden which will get you further into the instrument though just noodling by ear will allow you to become self-expressive (and learn a lot too!).

#4 peverett

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 11:09 AM

Good day Roger! Congratulations on your Hayden.

Just about all Hayden players explore the instrument without a teacher, so their sounds can be very individual. This is a good thing; there's no authoritative word on "how it's supposed to sound", so you really can't miss!

When they do gather, they want to talk about the LAST thing they learned, rather than the first thing. Until you figure that out it can be discouraging. The good news is, the fun starts way before you approach jazzy harmonies or multipart arrangements. The alphabet song, "In the Jungle" or even Barney's theme (shiver), are fine places for learning intervals and patterns.

Maybe your angle on the instrument springs from your vocal background. Get a songbook w/ guitar chords written in. Play just melodies, then just chords. Sing a slow shanty over simple block chords (hard enough). Once you're singing along, try moving the concertina to a harmony. THAT'll cross your eyes! Maybe your wife would sing melody while you explore harmonies.

Play "oom-pahs" proudly - it's how many guitarists and pianists start. Try chord patterns that use just the LH, then try the "oom" low in the left and the "pah" high on the right. You can have a lot of fun for a long time, just using the major and minor chords. You can also abandon the 'major' and 'minor' and just play open fifths ("G" and "Gm" = G+D), which is a nice strong sound and easy to finger. Eventually you'll study more complex chords and make a chart, but there's no hurry.

Last piece of advice: No matter how traditional it is for singing, concertinas do not do well in the shower.

Enjoy! Paul E.

#5 rscow

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Posted 02 January 2004 - 01:34 PM

Thanks much to you all who replied on and off list!

I'm really excited and look forward to making some progress.

Best,

Roger Scow

#6 Jax

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Posted 03 January 2004 - 04:15 PM

Just a reminder that the Hayden Duet Concertina mailing list accepts auto-subscriptions. Send a blank email to the address hayden_duet-subscribe@softwoehr.com ... you'll confirm, then receive instructions how to post and how to unsubscribe, etc.



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