judyhawkins Posted April 16, 2013 Share Posted April 16, 2013 (edited) Elsewhere someone asked if the Button Box has plans for a Haydentutorial; no; but I'm going to dive off the edge (wheeee!!!) and trymy hand at it. Can't foist a new version of the Hayden system on anunsuspecting world and not at least offer *some* kind of usermanual...So, here's a first lesson based on what I've been doing to teachmyself the Hayden system.There are two sections: first one, for folks with no musicalbackground at all; then in the second section I'll present some ideasfor folks with more musical background.------------------------ Section One ---------------------------Ok: so: you've got a Hayden system concertina (any type -- Stagi,Elise, Beaumont, Peacock, Wheatstone, Tedrow....), you've probablyfigured out some way of holding it so you can get sound out of it:basically, sticking your hands through the hand straps, leaving yourthumbs outside (so you can hold onto the thing and work the bellows.)Put the instrument on your knee, whichever one is comfortable; or bothknees, or in your lap: try different places, and find what is mostcomfortable. If you need more ideas, or visuals, google "angloconcertina hold" for ideas -- you hold Haydens the same as Anglos.Now: you probably have a button chart telling you what buttons playwhich notes on your particular instrument. If you don't, there's onesomewhere on the internet (or if you can't find one there, try theButton Box),Find a C note on the right hand side. (or, really, any note with twobuttons to the right of it, and call it "C" for now.)Put your index finger on the C. Let's call that finger "1".Put the next finger, number "2", on the next button, a D;And the third finger, number "3", on the next button, which is an E.Pull on the thing to start air flowing, and type 1, 2, 3, or:C D Ejust like on a computer keyboard.So: that was the first three notes of a tune called "The First Leavesof Spring." Now here's the first half of the tune, spelled out in letters:C D E E D CD C D E D CPlay that slowly, several times. If it's hard to get your fingers tobehave --- coordination happens if you just keep at it slowly. You'rejust using fingers number 1, 2, 3, going back and forth.(If you're feeling like this is hard and weird, you're right; just keepat it slowly and it will get easier and more familiar. Learning toplay music is all about taking on hard things, doing them many timesslowly until they stop being hard things, with various strategiesalong the way for making it easier for hard things to get easier.I've got a lot of little things that have worked for me, and I'mhoping you will find them useful.)Here's the second half of the tune. It starts off exactly like thefirst half of the tune, but then it changes:C D E E D CD E D C - -I put dashes to show that you hold the C note longer, since it's thefinal note.Ok. Play that many times, until you are comfortable with it; nextpost I'll show you how to put a left hand part to it and make it sounda lot more like something real.--------------------- Section Two --------------------------For people who are more advanced:One of my first questions on the Hayden was what fingers should I beusing?At the session the evening before the concertina workshop, I wassitting between two very experienced Hayden players, and I askedthem. They both said they mostly use the first three fingers,reserving the pinky of the right hand for the occasional note way outin the upper right. They use their left pinky hardly ever, if at all.An exercise for you: Here's the abc for the whole tune, right andleft. It's written in G, but my suggestion is to play it on everybutton on the instrument, looking at the written music and gettingyour head around two things:1) be thinking about what ACTUAL key you are playing in (yourbutton/note chart will come in handy here!)2) meanwhile using the written notes to tell you when to go up andwhen to go down. Use the written notes as a kind of graphicalrepresentation. It's an exercise in transposition, in ignoring theabsolute pitch information that's written on the page. You'relearning a new instrument, it'll be easier now than any other time.[if you aren't familiar with abc, there's an abc converter onconcertina.net]X:1T:The First Leaves of SpringM:3/4L:1/4K:GV:1 clef=trebleV:2 clef=bass[V:1] |: GAB | BAG | AGA | BAG | GAB | BAG | ABA | (G3 | G3) :|[V:2] |: G3 | B3 | c3 | d3 | G3 | B3 | c3 | (B3 | B3) :|Try this starting on every button on your instrument. You'll getREALLY familiar with the beginning of the major scale, and you willhave to work very hard around the split between the left hand and theright hand to piece the scales together. If you do this, you will bemoving very fast towards becoming an expert Hayden player.You'll also get to know how the outer reaches of the instrument feelto you: all the notes will become comfortable and familiar.Here's the same tune in its minor version:X:1T:The Last Snows of WinterM:3/4L:1/4K:G minorV:1 clef=trebleV:2 clef=bass[V:1] |: GAB | BAG | AGA | BAG | GAB | BAG | ABA | (G3 | G3) :|[V:2] |: G3 | B3 | c3 | d3 | G3 | d3 | c3 | (B3 | B3) :|This will keep you busy until I can get together some more stuff foryou to work on.A brief road map of my self-teaching approach: find simple tunes youlike a lot; learn them at the written pitch with a simple left handaccompaniment and then transpose them all over the instrument. You'vegot about the most tranposable musical object ever made, right therebetween your hands; this is great for when you want to transpose, andHORRIBLE when you get lost and you're playing a half step off fromeveryone else.Next post I'll talk about not getting lost in the wasteland of nosignposts that is perhaps the most annoying characteristic of theHayden system.Judy Hawkins Edited April 20, 2013 by judyhawkins 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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