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Tune Of The Month For June: La Luna Dins L'aiga


Jim Besser
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Hi all, Total newbie here. I've greatly enjoied learning from this forum. Here is the first (too slow) tune off Elise, my first concertina. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

From an experienced Hayden player, this is a fine beginning. You have arrived at the necessary waypoint of being able to play articulated chords on the left and melody on the right while keeping a danceable beat. Now you must think about moving beyond that waypoint. Don't play every chord as 1 and then [3,5]. It gets too heavy. Leave notes out of the left hand pattern when you can (for instance when they are present in the melody). The tune starts with a B, so leave it out of the first G chord. When you move to the C chord, the melody sings E for you on the 2nd half of the beat. Also think about some stepwise bass runs. Listen to my entry earlier in this thread.

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Geoff: <this is not your first attempt at playing music.> Thanks for the compliment, but I've had no musical training, skipped band and choir, and although I've wanted to make some music for years, it took my wife getting me the concertina for Valentine's Day to make it happen.

 

 

David: Thanks for the coaching. By "stepwise base run" do you mean the notes of the chord played one at a time rather than together? Is that also called a walking base line? I'll try your suggestion of thinning redundant notes out of left hand chords. I've downloaded your entry and listen to it over and over at speed and slow, but my ear has a ways to go before I can understand and use what I'm hearing. I'm still struggling to get a grip on "What is the left hand supposed to do?".

Edited by Patrick Scannell
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Geoff: <this is not your first attempt at playing music.> Thanks for the compliment, but I've had no musical training, skipped band and choir, and although I've wanted to make some music for years, it took my wife getting me the concertina for Valentine's Day to make it happen.

 

So that's a pretty good beginning!

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Hi Patrick..........since you ask for advice mine would be, practice like crazy; you've got the makings of a fine anglo player.

AND Gary Coover 's book will give you lots of help with what to do with the left hand.

Regs............Robin

 

http://www.amazon.com/Anglo-Concertina-Harmonic-Style-Coover/dp/0615747353

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Leave notes out of the left hand pattern when you can (for instance when they are present in the melody).

Is this a generally good rule to follow?

 

I just tried this out and it does seem to clean up the sound a lot.

 

If so, are there exceptions?

 

Maybe for Morris tunes when you want to emphasize the beat? (Is Morris the heavy metal of folk music?)

 

Don.

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David: Thanks for the coaching. By "stepwise base run" do you mean the notes of the chord played one at a time rather than together? Is that also called a walking base line? I'll try your suggestion of thinning redundant notes out of left hand chords. I've downloaded your entry and listen to it over and over at speed and slow, but my ear has a ways to go before I can understand and use what I'm hearing. I'm still struggling to get a grip on "What is the left hand supposed to do?".

 

Yes, to your questions.
Try this.
The way you recorded it, your left hand plays two G chord patterns and then a C chord pattern. Try replacing the 2nd G chord pattern with the notes A and B, leading up to the C (in the higher octave than you play it).

 

 

Leave notes out of the left hand pattern when you can (for instance when they are present in the melody).

Is this a generally good rule to follow?

Yes.

 

I just tried this out and it does seem to clean up the sound a lot.

 

If so, are there exceptions?

 

Maybe for Morris tunes when you want to emphasize the beat? (Is Morris the heavy metal of folk music?)

I can't think of any exceptions, but you ear will tell you. I play a lot of Morris music and use the rule all the time.

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ok, it's the last day in June, so after a successfull attack of last minute panic (just kidding), I eventually present my contribution:

 

http://www.ruediger-asche.de/tidbits/llda_6_30_13.mp3

 

It's not the best I can do, but at this point (after perceived 2500 takes in 2 major sessions yesterday and today) it's the best I can present. I believe that one of the major drawbacks is that the bass overdominates the melody, so at times the melody notes come out weaker than they should. One way to fix this would be to focus on staccato on the left hand side so more air os left for the right. Other suggestions are very much appreciated!

 

Again, no cheating this time; both hands recorded in a single take in real time.

 

@Patrick: I do agree that for a newcomer not only to the instrument but music in General, this is a remarkable and promising contribution. You've come to a point where you've mastered the rhythm and the basic challenges of the instrument really well. What I believe to hear from your track is that you to pay great attention to each note on a "microscopic" level which is great. The next step imho for you would be to take a little flight and watch the whole thing from a bird's eye perspective, meaning that now all the notes need to find to each other and generate a flow which is the melody. Each note in itself is close to perfect, but the tune is more than the sum of its notes... may I suggest that just for a try you may want to spend a little time with only the melody (meaning you leave out the accompanying voice altogether) so you can focus on the melody - figure out which notes to hold for how long, where to put in sustain, which notes to emphasize and so on. If you then re-add the accompaniment (which may be pretty hard at that point and feel like a step back - but it isn't), I think you may have an even rounder thing... makes sense?

 

@Squeezecat: What the heck are you doing with the accompanying voice in the second part? This downward bass run is a killer, wow! Great version, I believe to hear a Morris touch to it?... btw, I don't have a soundcloud account, but if there is a way to either import my track or add it to your compilation anyways, that'd be much appreciated, thanks!

 

@Sarah: I like the way you get the best out of the melody! From your contribution comments, I believe that your problems regarding balance between melody and accompaniment are similar to mine, but your resolution (curttng down on bass notes in favor of a clean melody) is probably superior to mine in absence of a better one...

 

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I eventually present my contribution:

 

Sweet! Sounds like you made that just for me. It clearly projects the nice clean (mostly 1-5, yes?) accompaniment that I'm working on. Also, thanks for your advice. Yes it does make sense. I'll give more attention to the melody as well. Lots to work on....

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ok, it's the last day in June, so after a successfull attack of last minute panic (just kidding), I eventually present my contribution:

 

http://www.ruediger-asche.de/tidbits/llda_6_30_13.mp3

 

It's not the best I can do, but at this point (after perceived 2500 takes in 2 major sessions yesterday and today) it's the best I can present. I believe that one of the major drawbacks is that the bass overdominates the melody, so at times the melody notes come out weaker than they should. One way to fix this would be to focus on staccato on the left hand side so more air os left for the right. Other suggestions are very much appreciated!

 

 

Very nice, complex arrangement. One suggestion: vary the accompaniment pattern more varied. It's almost mechanical sounding, the way you're playing it. I think you have the makings of a great arrangement, it just needs more variety!

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Rudiger,

your recording needs to be balanced I think, either by moving the micorphone positiion so that it favours the right hand side or if that is not possible then by making a 'mute' or 'baffle' for the bass side. this is discussed earlier in this thread. I have a similar problem with my Duet and moved the microphones to about a 45° angle to the right hand side.

 

Other than that I like your approach to the piece.

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I eventually present my contribution:

 

Sweet! Sounds like you made that just for me. It clearly projects the nice clean (mostly 1-5, yes?) accompaniment that I'm working on. Also, thanks for your advice. Yes it does make sense. I'll give more attention to the melody as well. Lots to work on....

 

glad to be of help! You'll find the score in response #21 in this thread. It's mostly fifths, but on the Crane, the position of the bass notes makes it very attractive to accompany a phrase in which a D is followed by a G (in G major, so we are a talking a dominant-tonic resolution here) with an F# leading/resolving bass, so I tend to (ab?)use the third here frequently. I try to make the bass line as interesting as possible without giving it too much a life of its own (especially with simpler melodies, it's easy to overkill a piece).

 

@Geoff - thanks for the advice - my microphone setup allows for this kind of thing, so I'll give it a shot next time around! I actually have two condensor mikes recording into a stereo track, so there is room for improvement on that end. Thanks for your kind words too!

 

@Jim: Thanks as well for your kind words! Right now I'm still sticking to the arrangement closely because I'm still fairly new to playing two handed - once the chord positions have worked their way into my brainstem and allow me to vary notes without thinking about it, I'll grant myself more liberty (I hope). Very helpful input, thanks again!

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Leave notes out of the left hand pattern when you can

 

David, is this a move in the right direction? It is unedited, and played on a (hot-diggity!) Beaumont.

 

Thanks.

 

I've got limited internet access at the moment. I'll get to this when I can.

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Leave notes out of the left hand pattern when you can

 

David, is this a move in the right direction? It is unedited, and played on a (hot-diggity!) Beaumont.

Congrats on the Beaumont.

 

 

You're headed in the right direction, but why do you drop out the melody when you do the walking bass thing? Also, they move at twice the speed I had in mind. They should replace an "oom-pah," not just a "pah," as you have it.
I would avoid the parallel octaves in the B section, in the measure with the C#. Whatever you do with the left hand (A-E or A-G, followed by F#), don't double the C# on the left. It makes a strong statement in the melody that doesn't need to be repeated in the harmony.
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> why do you drop out the melody when you do the walking bass thing? Also, they move at twice the speed I had in mind. They should replace an "oom-pah," not just a "pah," as you have it.

 

That was a run from the G in the G-chord to the C in the C-chord which I thought you suggested. The passing B note overlapped a B in the melody, so I passed the lead to the left hand for 2 notes hoping it would sound interesting. Guess it sounded more like a dropping than a passing, so it didn't work. At least is was intentional. I'll try something different next time, and keep working on how to incorporate a walking base.

 

>I would avoid the parallel octaves in the B section, in the measure with the C#. Whatever you do with the left hand (A-E or A-G, followed by F#), don't double the C# on the left. It makes a strong statement in the melody that doesn't need to be repeated in the harmony.

 

Your observational skills are way better than mine, and I was playing! Per your advice I was trying to avoid duplicating notes between hands and missed that. I'll try to be more attentive. Thank you for your helpful suggestions.

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