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#1 RiverHamble

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Posted 08 December 2007 - 08:24 PM

Ok, I know that I have only been learning this silly concertina for just over a month, which in the big scheme of things isn't long at all but I seem to have reached a hiatus. :angry:

I am trying to practice for approx 1 to 1.5 hours daily and my scales of C and G are near perfect, the runs of fourths and fiths are getting better.

Though as soon as I try to play anything recognisable it all goes out of the window. Either all the dots in the books are in the wrong place or the keys have moved around the board. I am sure that I am regressing. :blink:

My music reading skills are better though I still have to write the letters underneath the tunes but I am having trouble getting my fingers to play, not at speed but with the right timings, everything at the moment is a whole note wether I want it or not.

I work on a ship, on the midnight to midday shift and the only place I can practice is underneath the helideck so I can't really blast out the tunes at the level I wish which is annoying as I my Jack needs to be pushed (no pun intended) to get the lower notes out.

Still this is all "part of the fun" of learning something new and that with practice I am sure this darkness will pass.

Anyway that is enough, ranting over. I might go and have some Horlicks and go and lie down in a dark room for a bit.

Thanks for listening ;)

#2 Hooves

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 01:29 AM

Ok, I know that I have only been learning this silly concertina for just over a month, which in the big scheme of things isn't long at all but I seem to have reached a hiatus. :angry:

I am trying to practice for approx 1 to 1.5 hours daily and my scales of C and G are near perfect, the runs of fourths and fiths are getting better.

Though as soon as I try to play anything recognisable it all goes out of the window. Either all the dots in the books are in the wrong place or the keys have moved around the board. I am sure that I am regressing. :blink:


You just need to start practising your tunes more, and less scales. Its the same for any intrument, at some point you need to stop practising scales and focus on actual music. I try learn my songs in 2-4 bar phrases.

If you keep fumbling the tune, take a break and improvise for awhile.

#3 meltzer

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 01:19 PM

It sounds to me like you've reached one of the sticking points in any learning process -- the space between having to think about everything, and it becoming instinctive. This often feels like a backward step (because you find yourself stumbling over stuff that used to come easy), but it isn't really -- it's just the know-how making its way from your brain to your fingers.

It'll happen repeatedly as you get better, and hopefully it'll keep happening as you continue to improve (because it's one of the signs that you are improving). Good advice about improvising, I reckon -- you'll probably find you can "do" far more than you think.

#4 RiverHamble

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Posted 09 December 2007 - 08:06 PM

Thanks for the posts guys.

This process is truly annoying bit I have just had a quick practice before going on shift and although I did the same as yesterday (albeit with more tunes) I think I am a little bit further down the road.

My partner and her parents have told me they want a recital of carols on christmas eve, lol, they may not be able to sing along but at least they should know what it is.

I'll just keep plugging away and sooner or later I'll get there.

#5 fiddlerjoebob

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 08:35 AM

Relax....

Enjoy....

Why else would you want to do it? ;)

#6 asdormire

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:10 AM

Why else would you want to do it? ;)



Fame, Fortune, Babes,...especially Babes.

Alan

#7 Theo

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:37 AM

Ok, I know that I have only been learning this silly concertina for just over a month, which in the big scheme of things isn't long at all but I seem to have reached a hiatus. :angry:

I am trying to practice for approx 1 to 1.5 hours daily and my scales of C and G are near perfect, the runs of fourths and fiths are getting better.


Just be glad you aren't trying to learn the fiddle, after a month you would still be struggling to get a note in tune! At least the concertina looks after that for you. :lol:

#8 fiddlerjoebob

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 12:16 PM

Why else would you want to do it? ;)



Fame, Fortune, Babes,...especially Babes.

Alan



Yes...well..er, that was the "Relax and Enjoy," I had in mind, of course.

Randy

#9 m3838

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 02:29 PM

Just be glad you aren't trying to learn the fiddle, after a month you would still be struggling to get a note in tune! At least the concertina looks after that for you. :lol:

Hm.
I disagree on both accounts. Not everybody struggles with the fiddle. I was a witness to at least two cases, where at a workshop strangers picked up violin and the sound came out just right. It was in Hawai'i and one of the strangers was me.
A concertina just "seems" to be user friendly, but to get from squacking in tune to playing takes some time. A concertina is specifically difficult instrument, much more difficult than a piano, for example.

#10 tony

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 02:36 PM

Just be glad you aren't trying to learn the fiddle, after a month you would still be struggling to get a note in tune! At least the concertina looks after that for you. :lol:

Hm.
I disagree on both accounts. Not everybody struggles with the fiddle. I was a witness to at least two cases, where at a workshop strangers picked up violin and the sound came out just right. It was in Hawai'i and one of the strangers was me.
A concertina just "seems" to be user friendly, but to get from squacking in tune to playing takes some time. A concertina is specifically difficult instrument, much more difficult than a piano, for example.


You must be a very rare breed, I'm with Theo on this one, but then perhaps you have a very good ear.

#11 m3838

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 02:56 PM

Just be glad you aren't trying to learn the fiddle, after a month you would still be struggling to get a note in tune! At least the concertina looks after that for you. :lol:

Hm.
I disagree on both accounts. Not everybody struggles with the fiddle. I was a witness to at least two cases, where at a workshop strangers picked up violin and the sound came out just right. It was in Hawai'i and one of the strangers was me.
A concertina just "seems" to be user friendly, but to get from squacking in tune to playing takes some time. A concertina is specifically difficult instrument, much more difficult than a piano, for example.

You must be a very rare breed, I'm with Theo on this one, but then perhaps you have a very good ear.

I do have good ear.
But violin aside, I think Concertina takes as much time to master, as violin, if not more, if you aspire to make music. I made this discovery and would like to patent it.

Edited by m3838, 10 December 2007 - 02:57 PM.


#12 njurkowski

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 03:06 PM

Just be glad you aren't trying to learn the fiddle, after a month you would still be struggling to get a note in tune! At least the concertina looks after that for you. :lol:

Hm.
I disagree on both accounts. Not everybody struggles with the fiddle. I was a witness to at least two cases, where at a workshop strangers picked up violin and the sound came out just right. It was in Hawai'i and one of the strangers was me.
A concertina just "seems" to be user friendly, but to get from squacking in tune to playing takes some time. A concertina is specifically difficult instrument, much more difficult than a piano, for example.


I think it's all in what you plan on doing with the instrument - you can push the envelope of what's possible with any musical instrument, and the fact that you get to use two more fingers on the piano (plus the extended range combined with having every note available to both hands) means that the music can be that much more complex. It takes far longer to learn a piano piece for me (for all the time I've spent with the Well Tempered Clavier this semester, I'd like to be able to competently play more than two fugues...alas...). If you're planning on playing Prokofiev piano concertos or Chopin's ballades, the piano can be a much more difficult instrument than most anything written for the concertina at present. That's not to say the concertina (of any type) can't be a fiendish little beast to learn, of course.

#13 m3838

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 03:29 PM

I think it's all in what you plan on doing with the instrument - you can push the envelope of what's possible with any musical instrument, and the fact that you get to use two more fingers on the piano (plus the extended range combined with having every note available to both hands) means that the music can be that much more complex. It takes far longer to learn a piano piece for me (for all the time I've spent with the Well Tempered Clavier this semester, I'd like to be able to competently play more than two fugues...alas...). If you're planning on playing Prokofiev piano concertos or Chopin's ballades, the piano can be a much more difficult instrument than most anything written for the concertina at present. That's not to say the concertina (of any type) can't be a fiendish little beast to learn, of course.



Apples to apples, let's stick to this.
For any piece of music, a concertina is more difficult, because it makes sounds by pushing the buttons, but accectuate it by pulling the bellows, because piano has nice decaying sound by just banging on the key and concertina takes skill to sound, much like a violin, and also because piano has that range, that concertina doesn't, so it takes a bit of fiddling to make music work. Concertina is also more restrictive, takes more planning, and exceptionally difficult to play with good dynamics, as it lacks the power.
I think the fact that piano music tends to be so much more complex, proves my premise that it is easier to learn.

#14 fiddlerjoebob

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 03:51 PM

I have been playing the fiddle for 20 years. I have been playing the concertina for 6 months. For me the concertina has been easier to start learning. The first notes on the fiddle were raw scrapings. But, over time...I have learned many fine things on the fiddle. Many of which, I find, are the same for the concertina; like the melodies themselves, musical expression, tonal color, timing and that sort of thing. So, I have a better idea where I want to go with this new instrument than I had when I started the fiddle. I guess the importance of that can't be understated.

I have enjoyed every moment on the concertina, from the first tentititive button pushes and bellows squeezes. In all my six months as a concertinista I have had a remarkable amount of fun.

yup! :lol: :P :P :lol: :P :lol: :rolleyes: :o

Randy

#15 Pete Dunk

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 06:12 PM

concertinista

Is that what you see when there's too much vodka in the Orange Blossom Special? :huh: :wacko: :blink: :P

#16 njurkowski

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 09:02 PM

I think it's all in what you plan on doing with the instrument - you can push the envelope of what's possible with any musical instrument, and the fact that you get to use two more fingers on the piano (plus the extended range combined with having every note available to both hands) means that the music can be that much more complex. It takes far longer to learn a piano piece for me (for all the time I've spent with the Well Tempered Clavier this semester, I'd like to be able to competently play more than two fugues...alas...). If you're planning on playing Prokofiev piano concertos or Chopin's ballades, the piano can be a much more difficult instrument than most anything written for the concertina at present. That's not to say the concertina (of any type) can't be a fiendish little beast to learn, of course.



Apples to apples, let's stick to this.
For any piece of music, a concertina is more difficult, because it makes sounds by pushing the buttons, but accectuate it by pulling the bellows, because piano has nice decaying sound by just banging on the key and concertina takes skill to sound, much like a violin, and also because piano has that range, that concertina doesn't, so it takes a bit of fiddling to make music work. Concertina is also more restrictive, takes more planning, and exceptionally difficult to play with good dynamics, as it lacks the power.
I think the fact that piano music tends to be so much more complex, proves my premise that it is easier to learn.


Is it easier to plunk out Mary Had a Little Lamb on a piano than on a Concertina? Maybe. But I don't think that means that the instrument is inherently easier to learn. To be able to coax out the large number of tone colors that a piano has available takes a subtle, practiced touch - anyone "just banging on a key" isn't really playing the piano at all. Also, the fact that crescendoing though individual notes on the piano is impossible makes dynamic control that much harder. I find it's much easier to get a smooth, seamless crescendo on a concertina than on a piano.

Just because the level of technical demand for piano pieces is higher doesn't mean that the concertina must be an inherently more difficult instrument. The reason that technical demand for the piano is higher is that there is a centuries old conservatory culture wrapped into that instrument. Competition among keyboardists is fierce, and has been for four-hundred years, and composers have always pushed the envelope of what the instrument is expected to do. There is no real demand for virtuoso concertinists (at least, in the same way as there is demand for virtuoso piano players), and thus there is less competition. If the concertina had a similar history, I guarantee that the technical expectations for the instrument would be mind-blowing. There would certainly be no talk about "The X concertina just isn't suited to X type of music," as is often seen (mainly thinking here about the English with regards to chordal or contrapuntal playing).

#17 m3838

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 10:31 PM

The reason that technical demand for the piano is higher is that there is a centuries old conservatory culture wrapped into that instrument.


Firstly I stated that we shouldn't compare more difficult music demanded from a piano, to simpler music expected from Concertina. Let's compare apples to apples. If "Mary had a little lamb" is easier on a piano, than it means that piano is easier. That's exactly the reason for piano music been more complex, and for centuries of conservatory culture wrapped around the keyboard and not Bag Pipes.

There is no real demand for virtuoso concertinists (at least, in the same way as there is demand for virtuoso piano players), and thus there is less competition. If the concertina had a similar history, I guarantee that the technical expectations for the instrument would be mind-blowing. There would certainly be no talk about "The X concertina just isn't suited to X type of music," as is often seen (mainly thinking here about the English with regards to chordal or contrapuntal playing).


There is a great demand for accordion virtuosos, and the competition is very tough. However, even the mind blowing virtuosity of, say, some Russian conservatory bayan graduates doesn't guarantee the music been fit to the instrument.
It's much discussed and complained about.
"Crescendoing" on a Concertina may be just an illusion, heard only to the player, as Concertina has relatively modest voice. Certaily the piano has larger spectrum of dynamics.
May be you are right and nobody expects Concertina player to be as good as Bayan player, and supply meets demand, but may be not, and Concertina fits specific niche, that it can't leave.
The very best professional Concertina player of today can be compared to very mediocre professional piano player technically. I think it's the difficulty level. Not that I say that piano is better, each has it's unique place, but you wouldn't argue that Bandoneon is as difficult to learn as piano? What is the difference between Bandoneion and Anglo? English is easy to learn the notes with, but the sound extortion is still, a hog to move ahead.

Edited by m3838, 10 December 2007 - 10:33 PM.


#18 njurkowski

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Posted 10 December 2007 - 11:19 PM

The reason that technical demand for the piano is higher is that there is a centuries old conservatory culture wrapped into that instrument.


Firstly I stated that we shouldn't compare more difficult music demanded from a piano, to simpler music expected from Concertina. Let's compare apples to apples. If "Mary had a little lamb" is easier on a piano, than it means that piano is easier. That's exactly the reason for piano music been more complex, and for centuries of conservatory culture wrapped around the keyboard and not Bag Pipes.


In a semantically literal way, you may be right, but in practice, this is totally wrong. Part of what is considered in deciding "the difficulty of an instrument" is the literature a competent player is expected to be able to play, and the level of technical skill a competent player is expected to achieve. With that it mind, I must say that the piano is flat out more difficult. A piano player from any tradition (folk, classical, jazz, whatever) is expected to be able to do more complicated things than a concertinist, and someone who could only play single lines on the piano would not be considered a pianist by other musicians. Music isn't about the mechanics of pushing a button, so it's very misleading to say that the piano is at all "easier." There is a reason conservatory piano students practice six hours a day...

And speaking of apples to apples, the bagpipe can't at all be compared to the piano - the two instruments have such fundamentally different possibilities that they couldn't possibly fill the same niche. A concertina at least has many of the same possibilities as the piano, so it is fair to compare them - though obviously, with a more limited range and fewer fingers available, it is more limited.


There is a great demand for accordion virtuosos, and the competition is very tough. However, even the mind blowing virtuosity of, say, some Russian conservatory bayan graduates doesn't guarantee the music been fit to the instrument.
It's much discussed and complained about.
"Crescendoing" on a Concertina may be just an illusion, heard only to the player, as Concertina has relatively modest voice. Certaily the piano has larger spectrum of dynamics.
May be you are right and nobody expects Concertina player to be as good as Bayan player, and supply meets demand, but may be not, and Concertina fits specific niche, that it can't leave.
The very best professional Concertina player of today can be compared to very mediocre professional piano player technically. I think it's the difficulty level. Not that I say that piano is better, each has it's unique place, but you wouldn't argue that Bandoneon is as difficult to learn as piano? What is the difference between Bandoneion and Anglo? English is easy to learn the notes with, but the sound extortion is still, a hog to move ahead.


I wish we had the same regard for the accordion in the states that the Europeans do, but I don't think you could argue that there is an analogous regard (at least on the same scale) for the concertina anywhere. Clearly, there were very skilled players of the concertina in the past, judging from accounts and the extant literature. There is no reason that couldn't happen again, beyond the fact that a very small subset of the population at large is interested in the concertina. It has nothing to do with the difficulty - if you have skilled musicians who are interested in an instrument, they will transcend any perceived difficulties. Just look at the history of the modern flute for proof: music that was considered "unplayable" fifty years ago by masters is now being regularly played by graduate students.



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