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Reiterating a note


Earl Cameron
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I didn't find any advice by searching the site for this. Some tunes have a note that recurs twice in a row, in a sequence of eighth

notes. One particular tune is Eileen Curran. There's recurring notes all over the place. This puts me in an awkward position on

the concertina in that I'm trying to accent the repetition of the note more often than not. I'm releasing and repressing the button

and also using coordinated bellows activity to try and make it sound good. But when I'm playing at faster speeds this breaks down

and it's generally a lot of physical work. Another solution is to play F before G instead of GG and it gives the tune a better flow.

Generally I don't worry too much about this on other tunes but this tune is just full of repeated notes and it makes my concertina feel

wonky and slow to try and reiterate notes in Irish reels at a lively pace.

 

I saw some concertina players here

 

http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_327_5_aoife_ni_argain_ann_mcauliffe_and_maura_walsh/

 

and their finger patterns looked wrong to me. I don't see anybody using their accidental rows nearly as much as

I am forced to for this tune. The player at stage right seems to be all on the A row, is she using an Bb/F instrument?

maybe that is the real answer but it still doesn't answer how to handle these pesky double notes.

 

X: 1

T: Eileen Curran

M: 4/4

L: 1/8

R: reel

K: Gdor

|:BAGF DGGB|AFcF dFcA|BAGF DGGA|BABc dgga|

|bgaf gdde|fdcB AFFA |BAGF DFGA|1 (3Bcd cA BGGA:|2 (3Bcd cA BGG^f|

|:g2 g^f gbag|=f2 fe fgaf|g2 g^f ~g3 a|bga=f dgga|

|bgaf gdde|fdcB AFGA|BAGF DFGA|1 (3Bcd cA BGG^f:|2 BdcA BGG2|

Edited by Earl Cameron
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I didn't find any advice by searching the site for this. Some tunes have a note that recurs twice in a row, in a sequence of eighth

notes. One particular tune is Eileen Curran. There's recurring notes all over the place. This puts me in an awkward position on

the concertina in that I'm trying to accent the repetition of the note more often than not. I'm releasing and repressing the button

and also using coordinated bellows activity to try and make it sound good. But when I'm playing at faster speeds this breaks down

and it's generally a lot of physical work. Another solution is to play F before G instead of GG and it gives the tune a better flow.

Generally I don't worry too much about this on other tunes but this tune is just full of repeated notes and it makes my concertina feel

wonky and slow to try and reiterate notes in Irish reels at a lively pace.

 

I saw some concertina players here

 

http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_327_5_aoife_ni_argain_ann_mcauliffe_and_maura_walsh/

 

and their finger patterns looked wrong to me. I don't see anybody using their accidental rows nearly as much as

I am forced to for this tune. The player at stage right seems to be all on the A row, is she using an Bb/F instrument?

maybe that is the real answer but it still doesn't answer how to handle these pesky double notes.

 

X: 1

T: Eileen Curran

M: 4/4

L: 1/8

R: reel

K: Gdor

|:BAGF DGGB|AFcF dFcA|BAGF DGGA|BABc dgga|

|bgaf gdde|fdcB AFFA |BAGF DFGA|1 (3Bcd cA BGGA:|2 (3Bcd cA BGG^f|

|:g2 g^f gbag|=f2 fe fgaf|g2 g^f ~g3 a|bga=f dgga|

|bgaf gdde|fdcB AFGA|BAGF DFGA|1 (3Bcd cA BGG^f:|2 BdcA BGG2|

 

what type of instrument are you playing? i definitely would press and lift back up and press again, as you describe. this is no effort at all even at top speeds for me on a hand made instrument. now, if i had a chinese made instrument then that might be a different story. as far as the finger goes it is too early here to play along with the recording without waking up my roommates. i would assume they are playing it in Gdor, but might they be playing it in Adorian? i must admit i just woke up and might not be thinking or seeing straight, but i didn't see any Bb's being played by any of the players.

 

as an aside, what do you refer to as the A row? all 3 rows have at least 1 A in them!

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Yeah I meant the G row so if they were playing in A dorian it would make sense. To my ears it sounds like G dorian still.

But maybe they are playing Bb/F instruments, then it would make perfect sense if they were in G dorian on the F row.

Anyway I'm playing a cheap stagi that was given to me. Never had the pleasure of playing a handmade instrument. It sounds great

I should probably upgrade soon because I'm probably being held back by my instrument at this point. Do you know anything about the Morse concertina? How about their "custom" option?

 

Thanks,

Earl

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I'm not an anglo player, but why wouldn't you just use cuts or strikes to separate the notes? Or in the B section try rolls. Perhaps the Stagi is too stodgy? I'd probablly play the tune up a step in A dorian, but that is probably because I play D whistle so much...

Edited by cboody
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Well traditionally we play this one at a session in G minor with another reel in F major

I have no trouble with the one if F major so it's not the tonality but the trouble is

what to do with repeated notes. I'm finding that I can cut the low F's. I can also lead

into some of the G's with F notes. So I guess I'm figuring it out just wanted to know

if there was some sort of known solution.

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I didn't find any advice by searching the site for this.

The Search facility here is -- in my experience -- terrible. Long ago it used to be good, but with each new update from Invision it seems to get worse. These days if I want to find some content on concertina.net I use Google's Advanced Search, which allows me to restrict my Google search to a single domain, e.g., concertina.net. I've just done that, and I'll give a few results below, among my other comments.

 

I saw some concertina players here

 

http://comhaltas.ie/music/detail/comhaltaslive_327_5_aoife_ni_argain_ann_mcauliffe_and_maura_walsh/

 

and their finger patterns looked wrong to me. I don't see anybody using their accidental rows nearly as much as I am forced to for this tune. The player at stage right seems to be all on the A row, is she using an Bb/F instrument?

...if they were playing in A dorian it would make sense. To my ears it sounds like G dorian still.

I just tried playing along with it, and it's definitely sounding in A (dorian) on my computer, so you shouldn't expect either their fingerings or their bellows reversals to be much help to you playing in G (dorian).

 

Some tunes have a note that recurs twice in a row, in a sequence of eighth notes. One particular tune is Eileen Curran. There's recurring notes all over the place. This puts me in an awkward position on

the concertina in that I'm trying to accent the repetition of the note more often than not. I'm releasing and repressing the button and also using coordinated bellows activity to try and make it sound good. But when I'm playing at faster speeds this breaks down and it's generally a lot of physical work.

. . .

Generally I don't worry too much about this on other tunes but this tune is just full of repeated notes and it makes my concertina feel wonky and slow to try and reiterate notes in Irish reels at a lively pace.

i definitely would press and lift back up and press again, as you describe. this is no effort at all even at top speeds for me on a hand made instrument.

Is everyone else away for the weekend? I know this question has been raised in the past and several individuals (including myself) have recommended using two different fingers for the repetition of a note.

 

I do sometimes use the same finger for repetition, but generally only when the repetition is relatively slow and I want space in between. Where possible, I try not to use the same finger twice in succession, whether on different buttons or the same one. I find that in general it gives me more control of both rhythm and expression.

 

Here is one thread from 2009 that includes relevant suggestions.

 

And here's another, from 2010, though I recommend taking shaunw's advice with a grain of salt, since his claim regarding Butler's teaching is clearly contradicted by a quote (in the last post) from the Butler book itself.

 

And this 2004 post by Jonathan Taylor contains what I think is useful advice for all concertina players.

 

Both in general and for this particular tune I would recommend you try using different fingers for all the repetitions, possibly excepting where it's an eighth note following a quarter note. Try experimenting with different sequences to find one that's comfortable in each instance. But I would also suggest that -- where possible -- you consider using different buttons. In both octaves the repeat G's are available on the push on two different buttons, for which you would naturally use two different fingers. (The same is true of pull A's if you were playing in A dorian.) So why not do some cross-rowing and use them both, one for each note in the repetition?

 

I would go even further: The A part contains the sequences D-G-G-Bb, D-G-G-A, and (an octave higher) d-g-g-a. Try doing each of them in each of the following ways:

  • Play the first two notes on the push and the second two on the pull (using the pull G in the 3rd row).
  • Play the first three notes on the push -- using a push D and two different push G's -- and the fourth one on the pull.
  • Use a pull-pull-push-pull sequence.
  • Or push-pull-push-pull.
  • Or...?

See which one(s) you like. If you can get comfortable with more than one sequence, then you might use different ones at different times.

 

A similar variety is also possible with the g-d-d-e sequence.

 

For the phrase-ending Bb-G-G sequences my personal recommendation is pull-pull-push, so that the one resulting bellows reversal helps emphasize the second G in its role as the end of the phrase. The fingering I would use would be index-middle-index (using the G in the C row), so that I could easily add in the octave-lower G (using either the ring or little finger) for emphasis, if I felt like it.

 

I would do it the same way where it continues as Bb-G-G-f#, since that high f# is really part of the next phrase (often called a "pickup"), and a bellows reversal between the second G and the f# helps emphasize the division between the phrases.

 

CAVEAT: I am not a "traditional" Irish concertina player, nor even a very accomplished anglo player. (My main squeeze is the English.) I'm mostly self taught, and my above suggestions aren't derived from the very few lessons I've had from such native players. They do reflect what I have found, through trial and error, to be helpful in developing my own playing. And so I suggest you try them, and see whether or not they suit you.

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For repeated As or Gs in either octave, Irish players often use the two doubled notes on the C AND G row. I.e. for the G, coming from the B flat, the first G would be the push G in the G row, the second G would be the push G in the C row. This works really well in this tune.

 

You can use this technique also for some fast triplets: e.g. cA (3AAA or BG (3GGG as alternative to crans.

 

For the repeated high Ds and low Fs I'd use a cut. Although only two repeated notes shouldn't be too big of a problem, might just need a bit more practice.

 

I only use the B flat on the accidental row, maybe the high A before the B flat in the accidental row as well (4th into 5th measure of the B part). This tune is not yet in my repertoire; playing it at full speed will show which fingering works better.

 

Thanks for bringing that tune back to my attention. It's such a great tune and it's been on my concertina to-do list for a while. Too many tunes and not enough time! :)

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At a Chris Sherburn workshop last weekend we used repeat As and Gs on both sides using different rows, also all same direction ornaments eg ABA GAG etc. Mick Bramich recommends octaves eg DdD to use diff buttons. I also use shakes , taps while holding the button down and also wiggling the opposite fingers so the strap jiggles the note. That's best on the pull. I've never managed what I can do on melodeon where I use up to three fingers on the same button in quick succession like PAcc players like Phil Cunningham do a lot, there's not enough space between buttons.

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At a Chris Sherburn workshop last weekend we used repeat As and Gs on both sides using different rows, also all same direction ornaments eg ABA GAG etc. Mick Bramich recommends octaves eg DdD to use diff buttons. I also use shakes , taps while holding the button down and also wiggling the opposite fingers so the strap jiggles the note. That's best on the pull. I've never managed what I can do on melodeon where I use up to three fingers on the same button in quick succession like PAcc players like Phil Cunningham do a lot, there's not enough space between buttons.

 

Anything useful here? Alas, I have suggested to this chappie that he should film from above and behind but troublesome priest that he is, he does not get it -- so you cannot see the full fingering repeats here, but you can hear em praps.

 

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