Jump to content


Photo

Too Much Choice


80 replies to this topic

#19 Sebastian

Sebastian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 58 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Berlin

Posted 27 October 2008 - 10:08 AM

I use the lower row all the time, in every tune I play.


I too, so what?

And please tell me how it is a misuse if you use the bottom row to play more smoothly?


Because it wasn't designed for that.

You see, people are playing blues on a diatonic harmonica. Do you think Herr Richter had blues players in mind when he conceived his tone layout? You can play blues harmonica only by playing contrary to the intentions of the inventor. That's why I used the word "misuse". If that's not the perfectly correct choice of word, well, than you should restrict the use of this forum to english natives. <_<

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?


I do believe that after five years of playing one should have a different concept than in the beginning. After five years of playing one should of course be able to consider the buttons as one keyboard. After five years of playing one should already have a stable repertoire and one shouldn't despair on the question how to connect a 'dot' to a specific button. After five years of playing one should have no problems in sight reading or to play in Bb major a tune notated in A major or to improvise a bridge in Ab minor. And after five years of playing you could maybe have forgotten the problems you had during the first five months of playing.

In the beginning, before you really got acquainted with your instrument, you see: "Oh, I've two possibilites to play that dot on the first line. Which one is the right? Oh, and for the next dot I have even three possibilities! Gosh, it's complicated, isn't it? Well, I think I'll switch to the piano."

I'm convinced that in this situation it is higly recommandable, leeds to a deeper understanding of the instrument and to much more rapid playing progress to know the concept of rows.

After some time, after having acquired a firm standing, you will of course explore the added possibilities, e. g. cross row playing etc. If you play in minor keys you will necessarily get more in touch with the accidental notes in the first row. When you start playing notated tunes, tunes notated in different key, you will of course need the accidentals. But all that is second to the first step, that is: getting a feeling of some confidence on the instrument.

The concept of rows follows the historic evolution of the instrument. It is the same for the whole group of free reed instruments: accordion, concertina, harmonica. First: one row. Than: second row, a fifth above. (Why a second row a fifth above instead of simply the missing accidentals? - Because of the modulation of normal continental folk tunes in the middle of the tune. That's what it is made for!) Last: The upper row, the accidentals and turned push-pull option for the fifth of the main row. That follows exactly the same line of evolution as the club accordion (even predated it). Even the turned G/A is due to the concept of rows.

The question was: How to connect a certain dot to a certain key?

I answered: In the beginning, use the buttons of the main row.

You said: That's bad advice.

Forgive me, but I didn't see your answer to the question. <_<

Edited by Sebastian, 27 October 2008 - 10:15 AM.


#20 Azalin

Azalin

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 970 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted 27 October 2008 - 10:36 AM

The question was: How to connect a certain dot to a certain key?

I answered: In the beginning, use the buttons of the main row.

You said: That's bad advice.

Forgive me, but I didn't see your answer to the question. <_<


That's bad advice because what you describe as the main row, in fact, is not. Actually, when you listen to the teachers I had in East Durham in july, if there was a main row, you could argue it's the bottom one in many situations.

I started playing using the middle row as the main row. It was a bit of a mistake. Please don't make others follow this same mistake. You need to use both, and especially the D/E on the bottom row, and especially the push B on the bottom row, so both rows are as important and they work as a group.

This is very irritating. The advice we give here can have big impact on beginners. To throw advices without having a clue isnt considerate, in my opinion.

#21 chris

chris

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 570 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Leicestershire

Posted 27 October 2008 - 11:38 AM

Hi
I bet this debate is really helping LDT resolve her problems :ph34r:
maybe LDT could find a 'live' teacher to give her a few 'beginners' lessons - may be money well spent.
chris

#22 Sebastian

Sebastian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 58 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Berlin

Posted 27 October 2008 - 11:47 AM

This is very irritating.


It is indeed. Well, than consider my postings as obsolete.

#23 LDT

LDT

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1435 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:UK, Essex

Posted 27 October 2008 - 12:13 PM

I bet this debate is really helping LDT resolve her problems :ph34r:

I have now lost track of the thread. :blink: lol!
*sigh* oh well.

#24 Azalin

Azalin

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 970 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted 27 October 2008 - 12:36 PM

I bet this debate is really helping LDT resolve her problems :ph34r:

I have now lost track of the thread. :blink: lol!
*sigh* oh well.


I'm sorry, I just wanted to make sure you wouldnt get an advice that would make you practice for hours and hours following the wrong track. I am not well placed to give advice either, having followed some 'wrong' fingering for years and being far from knowing enough about the concertina.

First thing I'd like to say, is that I don't understand why you absolutely need the dots? I learn only by ear, and I'm not sure what your background is, but dots are not a requirement. But ok, dots or no dots, you wonder what buttons to use.

We all agree that best thing to do is to get a real teacher, or attend camps like the Noel Hill camp or similar. You will get *a lot* from it and the teachers will put you on the right track.

Meanwhile, all I can suggest is that you start with some basic rules, being that your index finger will play notes on the first column, second finger on the second column, etc. You will leave the column only when it's necessary, but try to avoid it so that your fingers travel the least.

Second advince is to *never play two different buttons in a row* with the same finger. This is actually going to help you decide what buttons to use. Sometimes, to avoid playing a second button in a row with the same finger, you'll need to use an alternate button.

Third advice would be to use push D/pull E on the bottom row left side G row first button as your first choice, and make use of both pull A (middle row first button or G row third button) to help you avoid playing two buttons in a row with the same finger.

That's what I got from my lessons anyway, and I'm telling you in a very raw way, being that there's no absolute rule.

If anyone wants to correct me on this please do so, there are lot of people out there who got lessons from Noel Hill and others who might have better, more accurate advice.

Edited by Azalin, 27 October 2008 - 12:40 PM.


#25 David Levine

David Levine

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 997 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Co Clare, Ireland / Hopkinton, NH, USA

Posted 27 October 2008 - 01:46 PM

LadyD, there's no better advice than that which Azalin just gave you in the post preceding this one.

Everything he says, if heeded, will help you to become not just a better player, but a very good player.
It isn't intuitive to play as he suggests, and it won't be immediately obvious that it's moving you forward.
But it is the gospel- not because it's in the bible, but because it will help you enormously in the long run.

#26 Dirge

Dirge

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2540 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Napier, New Zealand

Posted 27 October 2008 - 01:48 PM

Why a second row a fifth above instead of simply the missing accidentals? - Because of the modulation of normal continental folk tunes in the middle of the tune. That's what it is made for!

Interesting. I had wondered. Thank you.

On topic. LDT; I know from previous discussions that, for a lot of us, our playing develops in great lurches; you grind away wondering what you have to show for all the effort you are putting in, then one day you think "Oh! I can play that!" or "Oh! I see!". It's like climbing a flight of giant stairs. If you have faith that you will go upwards to keep you working, then you will improve. Later, once you've seen it happen steadily you will just settle down and plod onwards without worrying too much. The occasional passing feeling of being 'stalled' never goes completely though. Sometimes I turn to my wife and say "I'm frustrated with this bloody thing, I must be due a lurch forward". But these days I know it will come if i slog onward.

Old personal recordings sometimes allow you to detect a lurch that you haven't even noticed, I discovered recently, and that's encouraging too.

The main thing is not to give up between 'lurches' like so many failed would-be instrumentalists. Keep the practice going relentlessly.

#27 Boney

Boney

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 685 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bellingham, WA

Posted 27 October 2008 - 04:33 PM

It seems to me Azalin's advice is pretty specific to playing in a modern cross-row Irish style. For a more chordal or "English" style, Sebastian's approach makes sense. It's probably also a better way to approach learning to play by ear for someone who doesn't do so already. Personally, I don't think learning to play along the rows is a detriment to learning to play cross-row later, although it might be considered a "waste of time" if you're already set on playing in a specific "Irish" style.

#28 Azalin

Azalin

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 970 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:04 PM

It seems to me Azalin's advice is pretty specific to playing in a modern cross-row Irish style. For a more chordal or "English" style, Sebastian's approach makes sense. It's probably also a better way to approach learning to play by ear for someone who doesn't do so already. Personally, I don't think learning to play along the rows is a detriment to learning to play cross-row later, although it might be considered a "waste of time" if you're already set on playing in a specific "Irish" style.


Very good point. I should have specified the suggestions are for more modern cross-row irish style. I really don't know anything about other styles.

#29 m3838

m3838

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2629 posts

Posted 27 October 2008 - 05:20 PM

Why a second row a fifth above instead of simply the missing accidentals? - Because of the modulation of normal continental folk tunes in the middle of the tune. That's what it is made for!

It's just an opinion, not fact.
It doesn't explain why german diatonic multi-row boxes are so multi-row.
On 5-7 row Austrian accordions you can play chromatically, any music you want. Just like Continental Chromatic.
Of course, if the idea was to play in any key, accordions would be designed differently to begin with.
But it wasn't. It was simple instrument for simple folks, for who wall of sound and ease of playing was far more attractive than musical value.
They simply added another key, then another key, than another, then came out with chromatic versions, but many were already trained to play multi-row.
Many useful gimmicks of two row, tuned in 5th are just as chancy as those tuned in 7th, or 4th.
Three row tuned in 5th has no need to be push/pull, it's just redundant, but tradition maintains it.
144 notes bandoneon has no need to have different notes on push/pull either.
3 row British Chromatic has no need for push/pull. 35+ Anglo has no need for push/pull. Nice tricks it provides can be balanced off by similarly nice tricks of uni-sonoric system.
Speaking more, a piano has no need to be tuned in Cmaj with accidentals. 5 row button chromatic has no need for 2 rows. 120 basses may be reduced to 48.
I modified 20 button Lachenal to have C diatonic row and G converted to the rows of accidentals - works just as fine.

#30 Sebastian

Sebastian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 58 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Berlin

Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:10 AM

It's just an opinion, not fact.


*sigh*

Edited by Sebastian, 28 October 2008 - 02:16 AM.


#31 LDT

LDT

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1435 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:UK, Essex

Posted 28 October 2008 - 09:10 AM

It seems to me Azalin's advice is pretty specific to playing in a modern cross-row Irish style. For a more chordal or "English" style, Sebastian's approach makes sense. It's probably also a better way to approach learning to play by ear for someone who doesn't do so already. Personally, I don't think learning to play along the rows is a detriment to learning to play cross-row later, although it might be considered a "waste of time" if you're already set on playing in a specific "Irish" style.

I want to be able to play both English and Irish style....(what would you call a mixture of Anglo style perhaps? ;) )
I don't like being put in a box...even if its a 'squeeze'box...and I'm greedy. :P I wouldn't be able to choose one 'style' and stick to it.

Edited by LDT, 28 October 2008 - 09:18 AM.


#32 tombilly

tombilly

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 339 posts
  • Location:The Emerald Isle

Posted 28 October 2008 - 09:28 AM

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.


Well, LDT
you obviously believe in calling a spade a spade!! And you probably are hopeless and stupid in that you don't seem to have much patience!! You need to walk before you can run, so just practice walking for the moment. As suggested above, you can learn by ear .. after all you learnt how to talk and I'll bet you can hum or sing along various well known melodies that have stuck in your head. If you find yourself humming TV advert jingles etc., then you can learn by ear. So just play those bits of melody on the instrument - of course, you'll know if you hit a bum note - don't be so ridiculous. It'll sound 'wrong', so just try a few buttons to get the 'right' sound. That's learning to walk.

After that, you need to learn a repetoire of tunes whether in English or Irish style. Listen to them, get them stuck in your head like the TV jingle and go from there.

Report back next year ..........

:rolleyes:

#33 dwinterfield

dwinterfield

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 84 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Boston

Posted 28 October 2008 - 10:16 AM

You've got lots of good advice here, so I'll add a couple of general thoughts that come from playing several instruments poorly before coming to the concertina. I come to this as someone who has no special musical talent. Some people learn music really fast. Not me. That doesn't mean you can't play and play well.

One teacher helped me understand that early playing involves being "painfully slow" and endless (mindless?) repetition. Twinkle might be boring, but when you can play it fast ten times in a row with no mistakes and without thinking about what your fingers are doing, you'll be able to play lots of other more interesting tunes.

It's great to play by ear if you can, but, for me, it's very slow. I keep working on it but if I only play by ear, I'd learn a tune every two months. Since the nuns taught me to read music 50 yrs ago, I read music. That said, reading music for Irish tunes will only show you notes. The only way to learn how it should sound is to hear others play it, either in person on in recordings. Computers and slow down devices are very helpful. The written verison of Irish music is only an out of focus image of how it should be. For me, it took a year or so to distunguish a jig from a reel, on a recording at full speed. Find a way that works for you to get the notes and then listen and listen and listen to get the music. Once the music get into your head, the wrong notes will be obvious.

Playing music is all about failure. I play most every day. I can play some things pretty well and I play them, but the new tunes are always hard. I screw them up. Every person on this site plays something wrong every day. And every day, or week or month, we eventually get it and move on to the next failure. It's the way to learn and improve. I know people who avoid music and other pursuits because they can't deal with the constant failure as the price of routine success.

A wise person told me about musical freedom. To me that means we should each strive for the level of playing that gives us the freedom to play our music at will in a manner that gives us satisfaction. For some that means playing alone. Others want to play with other players. Some want to play for other people. Some want to be professionals.

Good luck. I am often baffled at how good it feels to play 8 bars of something perfectly after struggling with it for .....

#34 hjcjones

hjcjones

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 954 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Cheshire, UK

Posted 28 October 2008 - 10:37 AM

Although the middle ( C) and inner (G) rows are complete scales in themselves, they complement each other. The G scale contains exactly the same notes as the C scale, with the exception of the F#. So all the notes, apart from F, which you find on the middle row are also available on the inner row. Furthermore, some useful notes can be found doubled-up on the accidental row.

This is why you have "too much choice". Once you understand the underlying logic (and there is a logic to the anglo, albeit a slightly twisted one :)) it becomes easier to decide which of the choices is best. The choice will depend on the phrases you are playing before and after the note in question.

With respect to Sebastian, I think it is a mistake to stick too rigidly to one row or another. Certainly, they will give you a starting point, depending on the key you're playing in. But many runs of notes are actually easier if the fingering crosses the rows - it is not just for experts. Try playing scales, or parts of scales, and find as many different ways as possible to play the same sequence of notes.

Even if you were to play from music, you would still have to choose which of the options for a particular note is the best one. That can only be done by trial and error. With practice, you will find it easier to make the right choice first time. But even now, after playing the damn thing for more than 30 years, I still have to work out arrangements for more complex tunes by trial and error, and it may take some time before I settle on a fingering for a tune which works.



Edited to replace "C#" with "F#" - doh! My excuse is, I've been playing my G/D a lot lately

Edited by hjcjones, 29 October 2008 - 06:01 AM.


#35 Sebastian

Sebastian

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 58 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Berlin

Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:20 PM

With respect to Sebastian, I think it is a mistake to stick too rigidly to one row or another. Certainly, they will give you a starting point,


With all due respect, may I remind you that I wrote:

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.)


In every of the following postings I insisted on two things: 1. This is only a starting point, 2. every player will deviate from this rule of thumb later on.

I have to accept that some die-hard ITMians think this is bad advice. (I'm less inclined to accept that it attests of "not having a clue," but it's useless to argue with a little goldfish who believes that his fishbowl is the vast ocean.)

But I underlined in every single posting that this serves only as a starting point for a beginning payer when he don't know which button to use and that he will go beyond this rule after having acquired some feeling of the instrument.

#36 Azalin

Azalin

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 970 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Montreal, Canada

Posted 28 October 2008 - 12:53 PM

Posted Image



Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users