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Question re fifth jumps on EC

Mary B

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I think Dave Townsend prefers to tuck the index finger under the middle (or at least - I've seen fingering he's notated where he chooses this in situations where I would be more inclined to tuck the middle under). For fifth jumps you should be able to do both without much difficulty.


However - I think the middle-under preference/tendency is "better" in the general case - when you want/need to make bigger jumps or play chords, or when you're considering rows other than the one containing middle-c. For example, when playing in octaves the buttons pressed on each end go "high-low-high-low-etc", and I'm not sure I could do that with the "index finger under" orientation of the hand. I tend to rotate my hand anyway (moving the little finger to the back of the rests, or off it) so that the right hand rotates clockwise when viewed from the side. That way my first two (index + middle) fingers tend to play upper notes, and my latter two (middle + ring) fingers tend to play lower notes. Little finger doesn't get much use in playing, but being released from the rest gives it and the whole hand freedom. E.g. see

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Thank you for the advice. I enjoyed the video. I have been trying to learn that waltz as a single line melody. Your version with harmony notes is wonderful.




From your comment, I see that I need to be able to play the fifth jumps both ways, since the other notes will influence the fingering. That gives me a goal for learning to play better with the middle finger underneath.

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Jim and Martin,


Your discussion of the A dorian mode has explained something that was puzzling me about a tune "The Pikeman's or Halting March" in the Richard Carlin book. The key signature has one sharp, and the chords he suggested to play with the tune were A minor and G. I always thought A minor had the same key signature as C major. I am guessing that the tune is really in A dorian, not A minor. I am not used to playing modal tunes. They weren't common in the folk music I played on the guitar.

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Guest Martin Gibson

Mary, Irish and Scottish and English music, is mostly in four modes.

The major key[ionian] ,Dorian, Mixolydian and occasionally Aeolian[flat third flat 7 and flat6]

When harmonising with chords A dorian uses A minor, A mixolydian uses A major[ of course both these modes can also use A modal chords[dyads] or power chords,chords that avoid the third].It is quite common for A dorian tunes[in their simplest form], to go between Aminor and g major, and d mixolydian tunes to go between d major and c major .

so as regards harmonising Dorian is in effect minor, and mixolydian,uses major.

I am not sure about Aeolian tunes,but the Tonic is minor, so A Aeolian would use A minor

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