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ido
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Many thanks Mary B,

for the link to the Matusewitch arrangements. They are very interesting.Whilst several that I've look at are very simple there are some others to get ones teeth into. They look like a graded set of study pieces for one of his students.

 

Geoff.

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when you say trial and error what do you mean I don't realy know if it sounds right or not.

and you're saying there isn't some kind of mathmatical rule of what chords to use?

 

ido,

 

Point one - I always advise beginners to play tunes that they already know by heart from listening. That way, you'll hear whether it sounds right or not. And if you can't listen and play at the same time, make a quick and dirty recording of your efforts - even the recording function of you PC via a built-in microphone will let you hear the result.

 

Point two - of course there are mathematics behind music, but they're very complex. The simplified system that rhythm guitarists and accordionists use is much easier to learn and to apply. Let's start with tunes in major keys:

 

A tune is made up of notes in a scale. The scale has seven notes in it (singers call them doh, re, mi, fa, so, la and ti)

With this scale, you can form 3 different major chords. These are the chords that start on the 1st, 4th and 5th notes of the scale.

 

For example, the scale of C major has the notes C, D, E, F, G, A, B, C, D .... The C major chord consists of C, E and G. The F major chord starts on the 4th note, so it's F, A and C. The G major chord starts on the 5th note, so it's G, B and D.

 

For the very simplest tunes in C major, these are all the chords you will need. Some folk tunes benefit from a minor chord here and there: if you start on the 6th note of the scale, A, and form the chord as A, C, E, you've got that A minor chord you need.

 

Now play your tune in the key of C major, and find out by trial and error which of these 4 chords fits where.

 

To make it easier, forget about what notes form each chord!

Most rhythm guitarists haven't a clue what notes are in their chords - they just know that when I stop the strings like this, I have a C major chord, and when I stop them like that, I have an F major. You can do the same with a concertina. Some tutors (the more folk oriented ones) even have diagrams showing what buttons belong to what chords. Learn the patterns for the C, F, G and Am chords, and off you go.

At the start it's a good idea to use a song book that has the chord symbols for the guitar above the stave. Try the songs with no sharps of flats, and you'll find that these four chords are usually enough.

 

When you're comfortable with that, progress to the key of G major. For this, you'll need the chords of G major, C major, D major and E minor. You know G and C already, so you only have to learn 2 new chord shapes.

 

By this method, you will be able to play appropriate chords, but it may sound heavy and plodding. So try to play just part of each chord, or play the three notes one after the other (arpeggios), or the bottom note followed by the two higher notes together (oom-pah).

 

Millions of rhythm guitarists manage to internalise and quickly change between all the chords they'll ever need for half-a-dozen major keys - and the concertina is, if anything, easier in respect of dexterity and strength. It does take a while to get the chord changes seamless and fluent, but be patient - it will happen eventually!

 

Cheers,

John

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I'm really enjoying this thread. It draws out that learning to play harmony/charods on an English is really two skills. There's the element of acquiring the dexterity to play more than one note at a time, and then there's the element of learning what to play. The first I'm sure (I hope!) is merely a question of practice and repetition. The second is much more difficult.

 

With regards to the Matusewitch pieces, are these listed in order of difficulty on the site or are they random? If they are a series of test pieces, they would be really valuable to use to measure growing ability to play more than just a melody line on an EC.

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Thanks John very helpfull advise. I already know how to play majors and minors and a little dim, and now I know which ones to use.

But the hard part is to figure out what fingers to use because some need stay so I can play the melody and also having to play in different speeds.

I wonder if I can just not use chords in some of the tune (where it's hard) and it won't sound weird.

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But the hard part is to figure out what fingers to use because some need stay so I can play the melody and also having to play in different speeds.

 

Dear ido,

I suppose that's why they invented duet concertina systems! :P

 

I wonder if I can just not use chords in some of the tune (where it's hard) and it won't sound weird.

 

Everything sounds a bit wierd at the start. Playing any instrument is a complex thing, and you can't expect it to sound perfect right from the start. The way to get there is "As much theory as necessary (which is not very much), and as much practice as possible (which is up to you)!"

 

Cheers,

John

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Symon,

The pieces arranged by Matusewitch are listed in alphabetical order. I only looked at two songs; the earlier one (If ever...) seemed more difficult than the later one (Try...). You would probably have to look at all of the pieces and use your judgment about the order of difficulty.

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Hi Ido!

 

I have plenty to learn about chords! but I'm going to try to add something new to this topic, something very simple you will see.

 

You can get the tune you want to play, the Bear Dance for example, and do this:

 

On the beats of the tune, you play another note at the same time: the same note of the melody, but an octave lower.

 

This is not a chord, it is just the same note. But you will see that sometimes you can keep this note for while, it fits to the next notes in the melody, making an effect similar to a chord or a drone.

 

I recorded a video time ago trying to do this, it is

 

I hope this is of some help to you!

 

Fernando

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