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#1 LDT

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 03:52 AM

Arrrggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggh!
*sigh* that's better.
I hate music. :angry:

for me a key is something you open a lock with...and a semiquaver is a half eaten cheesy snack.

I don't understand the jargon. Plus how can it be the same note when the dot is in a different place....does that mean I need a different button. And how do I tell which row to use?

I feel like I'm sitting on one side of a chasum and on the other is music and everyone is enjoying themselves and I'm stuck on the wrong side with no way of getting across.

I try but everytime I read some thing with all the technical words my brain shuts off. :( its so annoying.

And I can't tell a bum note if it was wiggled in my direction.

I'm hopeless and stupid....and in need of a large bar of chocolate.

#2 PeterT

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 04:10 AM

I'm hopeless and stupid....and in need of a large bar of chocolate.

On C.net, we supply the support ....... you buy the chocolate.

Take a step back and see what progress you have made in the last two months, then look for ways to bridge that gap.

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Peter.

#3 Simon H

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 04:50 AM

Music is an amazing and endlessly rewarding subject, first thing is not to see it as a hopeless challenge. Many, many fine players have little understanding of the theory, many fine players do not read a note of music. The great thing, unlike many fields of human endeavour, music is one area that you do not have to understand the theory before being able to enjoy it. The difficulty is that many musical theory descriptions get very deep very quick, and you can find yourself feeling swamped with obscure jargon.

I have a real difficulty at the moment understanding intervals and as soon as the descriptions get into quality, harmonic and melodic, etc etc I start to glaze over. Then I pick up the concertina and play some tunes, not caring a damn what the intervals are.

One of my favourite ways of learning is to play tunes on midi or ABC software and watch the notes highlighted as the tune plays.

simple scales, understanding keys, and some basic rythym and chord theoory will be enough to keep up with the fast pace of your progress.

Discussions on esoterics of tunings, modes, and so on are not necessary for you to understand to be a good player.

#4 Sebastian

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 04:54 AM

I don't understand the jargon. Plus how can it be the same note when the dot is in a different place....does that mean I need a different button. And how do I tell which row to use?


Hey, I studied musicology for quite some years. It would be terrible for my Ego if you could understand all this gibberish at once! I would have the feeling that I'd have thrown away years for no use! :lol:

The dots are relatively easy to understand (even if it needs practice to internalise it). The position of the dots on the line is only relative. It tells you only that the next dot is five steps higher or two steps lower than the current dot. To know the absolute note, you need the clef. There are three of them, but you will encounter only two.

http://de.wikipedia....nschluessel.png
Mostly you find the G-clef (aka Treble clef). It is an embellished circle round one line and it defines this line as being a G-note. From this base you can count on: the space above is an A, the first line above is an B etc. Mostly it sits on the second line from the bottom.

http://de.wikipedia....sschluessel.png
Than there is the F-clef (aka Bass clef). Between the two dots of it you will find the line with the F-note, but lower than the F with the Treble clef. Mostly it sits on the second line from above.

Notation is abstract. It tells you the pitch. You can use it for singing the notes, playing them with piano or with concertina. It has no specific information for playing them on the concertina. That's why it doesn't tell you wich row to use and that's why there is no 1:1 connection between the notation and the buttons to press.

On a 30-button concertina you should as a starting point use the middle-row, using the upper helper row and the lower row only if the right note doesn't exist on the middle row. (But that's only a rule of thumb you can and will deviate from.)

I'm ... in need of a large bar of chocolate.


Good idea! :)

Sebastian

#5 LDT

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 05:14 AM

Hey, I studied musicology for quite some years. It would be terrible for my Ego if you could understand all this gibberish at once! I would have the feeling that I'd have thrown away years for no use! :lol:

All we ever did in music at school was got told not to touch the keyboards and make up silly rhymes to remember FACE and EGBDF.
:(


Notation is abstract. It tells you the pitch. You can use it for singing the notes, playing them with piano or with concertina. It has no specific information for playing them on the concertina. That's why it doesn't tell you wich row to use and that's why there is no 1:1 connection between the notation and the buttons to press.

I wish there was a standard tabulature like for guitar.

On a 30-button concertina you should as a starting point use the middle-row, using the upper helper row and the lower row only if the right note doesn't exist on the middle row. (But that's only a rule of thumb you can and will deviate from.)


I want to try and keep it on the RH side but then I use (for example) a certain note on one side and there's another one dot in a different place but still the same letter..what do I do then? stay on the rH side or take a leap and go to the LH side.

I'm ... in need of a large bar of chocolate.


Good idea! :)


I think I'll buy one of those 1kg bars

Edited by LDT, 24 October 2008 - 05:29 AM.


#6 Ptarmigan

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 06:31 AM

Discussions on esoterics of tunings, modes, and so on are not necessary for you to understand to be a good player.


Aint that the truth!

How many times have you come across someone in a session or at a festival who can recite to you chapter & verse on the history of such & such a form of music or an instrument, can wax lyrical about old musicians & what they passed on & talk for the Olympics on the theory of music, modes etc etc but when it comes to playing a tune .... they turn out to be very average!

Reminds me of a music shop owner I knew in a wee country town in Scotland, who could talk the hind legs off a Dolphin about music & who's favourite trick, while you were in the shop, was to pick up an out of tune Fiddle & bring it up to bang on Concert Pitch ... by ear! Ta Raaaaa :lol:

Anyway, I was organising a session one weekend, at my house, so I invited him over to play a few tunes with us!! All I got was a blank look from him ... then he replied ~ "Oh I can't play any music on the Fiddle ~ I can only tune it!" :huh: :blink: :wacko:

As I learn to play a new instrument, I always like to record the odd tune, then, when I listen back to my efforts later, I can hear that YES, I really am getting a little better. After all, that should be your main aim, don't worry about being better than anyone else, that's a pointless quest cause if you go down that road, there's always going to be that faster gun, who's going to come strolling into town to blow your ego away! :P
If I were you, I'd be content to just aim to keep getting a little better than yourself & you'll do alright.

Cheers
Dick

#7 LDT

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 06:46 AM

As I learn to play a new instrument, I always like to record the odd tune, then, when I listen back to my efforts later, I can hear that YES, I really am getting a little better. After all, that should be your main aim, don't worry about being better than anyone else, that's a pointless quest cause if you go down that road, there's always going to be that faster gun, who's going to come strolling into town to blow your ego away! :P
If I were you, I'd be content to just aim to keep getting a little better than yourself & you'll do alright.


I just feel that if I can't read music and I can't learn by ear.....how can I learn a tune without someone writing down what buttons to use? (I feel guilty having to rely on other people to work it out for me)
That's why I'm stuck. :o :( and I can't improve as fast as I want.

Edited by LDT, 24 October 2008 - 06:59 AM.


#8 Ptarmigan

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 07:04 AM

As I learn to play a new instrument, I always like to record the odd tune, then, when I listen back to my efforts later, I can hear that YES, I really am getting a little better. After all, that should be your main aim, don't worry about being better than anyone else, that's a pointless quest cause if you go down that road, there's always going to be that faster gun, who's going to come strolling into town to blow your ego away! :P
If I were you, I'd be content to just aim to keep getting a little better than yourself & you'll do alright.


I just feel that if I can't read music and I can't learn by ear.....how can I learn a tune without someone writing down what buttons to use?
That's why I'm stuck. :o :( and I can't improve as fast as I want.


I'm just wondering what kind of tunes you are trying to learn?

I'll be honest, when I start a new instrument, I start off by finding & getting comfortable with lots of kids tunes, Twinkle Twinkle, Jingle Bells & the like.
The point being that when I play those tunes, I can hear very easily when I hit a bum note.
If I were to start by trying to learn to play tunes I didn't know, I'd never know when I was hitting the right note.
Might be worth a try.

As for not improving as fast as you would like ... join the club, I think we're ALL in the that same boat ......... so grab an oar! :lol:

Cheers
Dick

#9 LDT

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 07:10 AM

I'm just wondering what kind of tunes you are trying to learn?

whatever I'm given.

I'll be honest, when I start a new instrument, I start off by finding & getting comfortable with lots of kids tunes, Twinkle Twinkle, Jingle Bells & the like.
The point being that when I play those tunes, I can hear very easily when I hit a bum note.
If I were to start by trying to learn to play tunes I didn't know, I'd never know when I was hitting the right note.
Might be worth a try.

I got bored of twinkle little star very quickly
http://www.youtube.c...FB10DEAA535D3CE


As for not improving as fast as you would like ... join the club, I think we're ALL in the that same boat ......... so grab an oar! :lol:

:)

#10 Ptarmigan

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 07:19 AM

I got bored of twinkle little star very quickly


Och, did you only learn to play it in one place? :blink:

For fun, I'd root around & see how many other places it can be played, on your machine. ;)

Sounds like your doing great. Those video clips are a great idea of checking your progress.

Back in my day, we only had huge CLUNK CLICK Tape Recorders! B)

Cheers
Dick

#11 fiddlerjoebob

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 07:28 AM

I feel like I'm sitting on one side of a chasm and on the other is music and everyone is enjoying themselves and I'm stuck on the wrong side with no way of getting across.


Here is one of my favorite poems.......Seems some how appropriate.

fjb


..................................................................


I have the feeling that my boat has struck,
down there in the depths
against some great thing
And nothing happens.
Nothing... silence... waves... nothing.
Or, has everything happened, and are we standing quietly now in the new life?


JUAN RAMON JIMINEZ:


#12 LDT

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 07:47 AM

I got bored of twinkle little star very quickly


Och, did you only learn to play it in one place? :blink:

well I played it in my room..in the living room....and in the garden. ;)

For fun, I'd root around & see how many other places it can be played, on your machine. ;)

How would I know where to start and where to go? :(

Sounds like your doing great. Those video clips are a great idea of checking your progress.

Back in my day, we only had huge CLUNK CLICK Tape Recorders! B)

I try to record one every time I reach a certain stage I'm happy with.

#13 hjcjones

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 07:48 AM

I just feel that if I can't read music and I can't learn by ear.....how can I learn a tune without someone writing down what buttons to use?


Playing by ear and playing from music are really two different skills.

To play by ear, you need to already know the tune and have that in your head. The easiest way to do this is to listen to someone else play it. If you're learning from notation, you can use software to play back the score so that you can hear how the tune goes - this should also help you to understand how notation works.

Find the starting note, by trial and error if necessary. Then work you way up or down the scale until you find the next note, and so on. This will be much easier if you start in the "home" keys of C or G so that you can play up and down the rows - but don't be afraid to play a note on one of the other rows if that's the better option. To begin with, this will be painfully slow, but with practice you'll find that you start recognise the intervals between the notes and know instinctively which button to go for.

Written down, this sounds terribly difficult, but with practice it becomes second nature. You'll find that a lot of tunes, folk tunes especially, contain similar phrases, and in time you'll build up a mental "library" of fingerings which will allow you to reproduce these phrases without needing to work them out every time.

Playing from notation means that you not only have to be able to read the dots but also know where to find each note on the instrument. Even then, on a concertina you may have a choice of more than one button for each note (unlike, say, a piano, which has only one key for each note), so you will still have to experiment to find the best fingering. The notation will only show you how the tune goes, it won't tell you how to play it on concertina.

They are both good skills to have, so try to develop both. Learning to play by ear will let you pick up tunes quickly in sessions, or play tunes you've heard without having to get hold of the music, or improvise. Playing from notation will let you learn the tunes more quickly, if only because you don't have to copy them into software to play back. I'm an ear player, but there are lots of times when I wish I could sight-read.

This online music lessson website explains the principles of music notation in simple language and you can listen to the examples. Don't get too bogged down trying to understand harmony, circle of fifths etc until you understand the basics.

There are tablature systems for concertina, but there's no agreed standard, and IMHO they're not very intuitive - by the time I've worked out a fingering from tab I could probably have found it by trial and error.

#14 CaryK

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Posted 24 October 2008 - 11:45 AM

I wish there was a standard tabulature like for guitar.


Hang in there LDT and be patient with yourself. Many of us were (or still are) in your situation. While there is no standard tablature for the anglo, I did find one that was helpful to me at first. It is the tablature presented and used by Bernard Levy in his tutor, "Demystifying the Anglo concertina". He even has drawings of the finger positions your hand should be in when you play particular notes or chords. So at first, I took all tunes I was trying to learn and put his tablature codes above each note. It really helped me progress a lot . . . . at first.

But after about a year I became familar enough with standard notation itself and its relation to my choices of buttons that I no longer have to rely on tablature. I only use it in rare cases where I want to remember a particular choice of buttons to use to play an especially tricky measure or two. If you don't play by ear and music notation is relatively new to you (my situation exactly, when I started), then I found this was not a bad way to get started being all on my own with no one to guide me at the time. I think there are 4-5 anglo concertina players in all of Western New York (that's out of a population of well over 1 million).

Since then I have gone onto learning and mostly playing in a cross-row style (learned from Noel Hill), but I don't regret starting with Levy's tutor and still use what I learned to broaden and make my cross-row playing more flexible.

I've seen other very logical, well thought out tablatures for anglos but Levy's is supported by detailed hand drawings, nice tunes to practice it with, and explanations as to why you play the note with that choice of fingers. If you already have Levy, stick with him, and don't worry about your pace of progress at first. It WILL pick up exponentially once you get past a certain point. If you don't have Levy, his tutor can still be purchased in several on-line stores. Best o'luck. Cary

Edited by CaryK, 24 October 2008 - 11:52 AM.


#15 Sebastian

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:00 AM

I wish there was a standard tabulature like for guitar.


No, cause you would be limited to concertina music and couldn't speak with fiddlers, harpers, piano players, ...

I want to try and keep it on the RH side but then I use (for example) a certain note on one side and there's another one dot in a different place but still the same letter..what do I do then? stay on the rH side or take a leap and go to the LH side.


Sorry, I'm not shure I did understand the question. Why should you stay on the right hand side? There is no barrier between the two sides of the concertina. They form a continuum. But there is, however, a barrier between the middle row and the lower row (they form two different major scales), so that I stay on the middle row, whenever I can do so.

(But maybe that's just because I do prefer 20-button-concertinas.)

I think the best advise for learning a new instrument (= become aquainted with it) is to play tunes one already knows by heart, as Ptarmigan already said. Don't you have popular songs in England? In Germany we do have lots of them (Zogen einst fünf wilde Schwäne, Märkische Heide, Ännchen von Tharau, die schöne Bernauerin, In Mutters Stübele, Loreley, Wenn alle Brünnlein flließen, ...) Just try to play some of those. Or what pop/rock music do you listen to? Theses tunes are playable too. Or what about the songs you sing during mass?

I'm sure you know many more melodies than just Twinkle, twinkle. :lol:

#16 PeterT

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:21 AM

Sorry, I'm not shure I did understand the question. Why should you stay on the right hand side? There is no barrier between the two sides of the concertina. They form a continuum. But there is, however, a barrier between the middle row and the lower row (they form two different major scales), so that I stay on the middle row, whenever I can do so.

(But maybe that's just because I do prefer 20-button-concertinas.)

Hi Sebastian,

Whilst I am in general agreement with what you have posted, I believe that with any Anglo of 30 or more keys, players should try to get away from the rigid concept of rows. The instrument should be considered as a keyboard, albeit with some notes in unexpected places.

As to melody on right hand, left hand, or split between the two, it really depends on the style of music to be played. LDT appears to have expressed a preference for "melody right hand, chords etc. left hand".

Regards,
Peter.

#17 Sebastian

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 08:27 AM

Whilst I am in general agreement with what you have posted, I believe that with any Anglo of 30 or more keys, players should try to get away from the rigid concept of rows. The instrument should be considered as a keyboard, albeit with some notes in unexpected places.


Yes, that makes sence.

Nevertheless, a beginner playing the twinkling star has usually two or even three "button press possibilities" for every note and has to make a choice which button to use. In this situation I think it is really helpfull to know about the concept of rows: The middle row is the main row, the lower row is an addition you use when the melody moves onto the new key. (And of course you can misuse it to play more smoothly, if you want to reduce bellow changes.) The upper row is in fact no row but only a collection of helper buttons. :)

To avoid the need for transposition on the fly, I think it wise to play without notation in the beginning and only tunes you know by heart.

As to melody on right hand, left hand, or split between the two, it really depends on the style of music to be played. LDT appears to have expressed a preference for "melody right hand, chords etc. left hand".


If you play like I said above, you will necessarily play in the key of the main row. Because normal melodies don't drop beyond the fourth note beneath the keynote, you will need only the first button on the left hand side for melody playing, that is, "melody right hand, chords left hand" will automatically fall into place. :)

#18 David Levine

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Posted 27 October 2008 - 08:47 AM

In this situation I think it is really helpful to know about the concept of rows: The middle row is the main row, the lower row is an addition you use when the melody moves onto the new key. (And of course you can misuse it to play more smoothly, if you want to reduce bellow changes.) The upper row is in fact no row but only a collection of helper buttons.


This is really a gross oversimplification. The bottom row is in a separate key and is a scale unto itself. It isn't just "an addition," as you say. It makes the concertina much more interesting and flexible.

I use the lower row all the time, in every tune I play. And please tell me how it is a misuse if you use the bottom row to play more smoothly?

And the top row is more than just "helper buttons." They give you the accidentals, like the black keys on the piano. You need them for playing in keys other than C, G, and their related minors. Are the black keys on the piano also only "helper buttons?"

Peter is absolutely correct when he says: The instrument should be considered as a keyboard, albeit with some notes in unexpected places.

I don't want to be mean to you, but how long have you been playing and how accomplished are you that you are so free with bad advice? Usually people should be playing at least five years before they give bad advice. Until then you only be receiving bad advice, and not handing it out.



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