Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Gail_Smith

Getting The Volume Right When Playing Chords (English System)

Recommended Posts

Does anyone have any useful tips on adjusting how much oomph to use on the bellows to get the volume right when playing a chord or counterpoint melody as part of a tune?

It's hard to hear yourself- but i have been told that I tend to over-do the volume when I'm pressing down several keys. I'm not sure if its subconscious overcompensation or just because its easy to accidentally push or pull harder when lots of fingers are involved.

Practice with a phone? Or is there another way? Thanks.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone have any useful tips on adjusting how much oomph to use on the bellows to get the volume right when playing a chord or counterpoint melody as part of a tune?

It's hard to hear yourself- but i have been told that I tend to over-do the volume when I'm pressing down several keys. I'm not sure if its subconscious overcompensation or just because its easy to accidentally push or pull harder when lots of fingers are involved.

Practice with a phone? Or is there another way? Thanks.

Practise a lot. Play with your eyes closed and listen. Think about the phrasing of the tune. It's not so much the absolute volume (how loud) but the relative volume (where it gets louder or softer) that matters. If you crank out everything at the same intensity, the whole thing sounds too loud. Most tunes work in 2, 4 or 8 bar phrases (4 bars is probably most common) and it is usually (but not always) best to surge on the first half and retreat on the second half of the phrase.

 

The main thing with any problem in music is to listen to yourself as you practise.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When extra voices are added the perceived loudness will naturally increase. Whether this is to do with the fact that more air is needed and thus more force is applied to the bellows or ,as you say, because you feel there are more points of contact enabling greater pressure to be applied, I am not sure but, it is important to separate the action of pushing and pulling the bellows from the action of pressing the keys.

 

Some concertinas have very little dynamic range which could cause irregularites in the output volume varying with the number of keys being pressed at any one time and, on the other hand some fine concertinas are very senstitive to changes in shove and tug of the bellows.

 

Recording oneself is always a good idea , perhaps even post a recording for others to hear. Also it might be helpfull to say here which model of EC you are using .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Recording oneself is always a good idea , perhaps even post a recording for others to hear. Also it might be helpfull to say here which model of EC you are using .

 

I agree with Geoff - recording ones own playing is enlightening and useful - listen critically to your recording, and even get a second opinion (by posting here, or on Sound Cloud with a link posted here to your recording).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I remember recording myself playing my first Duet, 'ORRIBLE Then someone pointed out that the Left hand was in Old Pitch and the Right in New Pitch. UGH I had it re-tuned and sold it to help finance a Tenor Treble from Hamish Bayne, much better

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for replies. I have a couple of Lachenal concertinas - one is a wooden-ended standard job and the other is a metal-ended ediophone that i use to compete with melodeons :}

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×