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Dave Coffin This is what I want to be able to do


StephenTx
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This is what I want to be able to do.   On CNET I was browsing and someone mention Dave Coffin(actually the discussion was him using wrist braces so I wondered what those were and I did some Internet searching).  But when I ran into was very educational as I viewed yes many sessions on YouTube.   This is exactly what I would like to be able to do with regards to playing I know he’s playing chords but what he’s doing sounds a little bit different from what I’ve heard before because it’s all chords. I would like to have a discussion and hear peoples thoughts on his technique and what he is doing is beautiful. I hope this works 

 

 

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He's playing an English system, singing the melody  and  playing sustained chords (as opposed to oom-pah) behind the melody.    So the chords are contributing harmony but not rhythm.   You may be responding to the chord progression,  (from minor to major in the third line) or to the arrangement of notes in the chords. They are very good and so is his playing and singing.

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Hi thank you for your response. Yes I do know it is an English concertina Bass baritone and that he is singing the melody.But other than that being a health care provider, I have 
no idea of The response not through any fault of yours up definitely but my
Lack of knowledge  of music theory. I understand that he is singing the melody but 
I am completely lost with Regards to the cord progression. Is this hard to learn and how do you determine search for a piece of music? ThanK
you for taking the time to respond Stephentx 
Edited by StephenTx
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Stephen,   to  my ear  the  chords  David is  using  sound like  those  folk guitarists  might  choose  to  accompany  their  singing, so  searching for  song  books with  chords  noted  along with the  melody and words  of  songs,  rather like  "Fake Books",  would be  a good  starting place.

 

Ok those  types  of  scores  tend to  note  the  chords  like this   ;   G, D7, C.  These are  the  the  chords of  what  is  known as  '  the  three chord  trick'  for  tunes in the key of G major.  With these one can make a  simple   accompaniment  to a G major  tune  or song.

 

The notes  of  these chords  are    G , B and D = G  chord.     D, F#, A and C= D7 chord.    C, E, and G  = C chord.  If you want the  Minor versions  of   chords  just  flaten the  major thirds  i.e.       G,  Bb,  D  =  G minor  etc.  This  is  a very  simplified  explanation  and  one does not  need to  use all these  note  or  in the same order, or octave, to  create  the desired  harmonies.

 

Of  course  ,you do  not  need to  sing  to  play like this.  You could  add a chordal  backing to someone else's singing  or, as  I  tend to  do,  play a tune  and add  chordal  harmonies .  Start with a simple tune  that  you know  well,  a  Christmas carol or  nursery  rhyme   perhaps.   When playing a  melody note  add another note  that  appears  in the  same  chord  and see if you like it  or wish to  choose another note  for  your  harmony.  Playing it  by  ear  you might learn  just as quickly  as from a book.

 

Somewhere on the Internet  you will find  chord  charts  giving the individual  notes  for  all  keys.

 

Is  this is the sort of thing  you want to  know ?

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Hi Stephen,

 

I believe it's important to understand that David has a very strong carrying voice. It doesn't matter what instrument he uses to accompany himself (except, for obvious reasons, winds, pipes and a mouth harp ;-)) - it'll always sound great. Here's a recording of one of the mightiest voices of all times singing the same song with A capella accompaniment:

 

 

 

 

And here the same individual accompanying himself on the guitar:

 

 

 

 

As arkwright points out, David uses a minimalistic and very tasteful accompaniment, just enough to reinforce the harmonies below the melody. A perfect match for both the tune and the voice. Geoff Lakeman does similar things on the duet.

 

The only thing to add to Geoff Wooff's explanations is that playing harmonies isn't that hard; you'll need to memorize the basic chord shapes on your instrument and find a groove that suits the piece (again, if the voice carries the song, which it generally should do, less is typically more). You may want to get a "fake book" which has the chord symbols written over the lyrics lines so you know where to change chords as you sing.  A knowledge of the theory behind it is helpful but not crucial.

 

Edited by RAc
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15 hours ago, Geoff Wooff said:

Stephen,   to  my ear  the  chords  David is  using  sound like  those  folk guitarists  might  choose  to  accompany  their  singing, so  searching for  song  books with  chords  noted  along with the  melody and words  of  songs,  rather like  "Fake Books",  would be  a good  starting place.

 

Ok those  types  of  scores  tend to  note  the  chords  like this   ;     G, D7, C.  These are  the  the  chords of  what  is  known as  '  the  three chord  trick'  for  tunes in the key of G major.With these one can make a  simple   accompaniment  to a G major  tune  or song.

 

The notes  of  these chords  are    G , B and D = G  chord.     D, F#, A and C= D7 chord.    C, E, and G  = C chord.  If you want the  Minor versions  of   chords  just  flaten the  major thirds  i.e.       G,  Bb,  D  =  G minor  etc.  This  is  a very  simplified  explanation  and  one does not  need to  use all these  note  or  in the same order, or octave, to  create  the desired  harmonies.

 

Of  course  ,you do  not  need to  sing  to  play like this.  You could  add a chordal  backing to someone else's singing  or, as  I  tend to  do,  play a tune  and add  chordal  harmonies .  Start with a simple tune  that  you know  well,  a  Christmas carol or  nursery  rhyme   perhaps.   When playing a  melody note  add another note  that  appears  in the  same  chord  and see if you like it  or wish to  choose another note  for  your  harmony.  Playing it  by  ear  you might learn  just as quickly  as from a book.

 

Somewhere on the Internet  you will find  chord  charts  giving the individual  notes  for  all  keys.

 

Is  this is the sort of thing  you want to  know ?

Geoff   Thank you there’s always some questions ”Play the three chord trick”you mean the 1,3,5?

yes I have a Chord chart.  But what if I know the words and I don’t want to get hung up my having to pay the melody but just want to play the chords like Dave is doing.  Show this to complex of a question to ask on here but that’s what I would like to be able to do.  Believe it or not my voice is very similar to Dave Coffins, yeArs of voice lessons (Musicaltheater and opera in Younger days)
guess what I’m trying to figure out and your discussion tricks are helping me get closer to it although I get lost when you start talking about the “minors“ 

So if I’m going to play chords it seems like I always need to know what key I am singing in in order to figure out what chords to use.

Stephen

 

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14 hours ago, RAc said:

Hi Stephen,

 

I believe it's important to understand that David has a very strong carrying voice. It doesn't matter what instrument he uses to accompany himself (except, for obvious reasons, winds, pipes and a mouth harp ;-)) - it'll always sound great. Here's a recording of one of the mightiest voices of all times singing the same song with A capella accompaniment:

 

 

 

 

And here the same individual accompanying himself on the guitar:

 

 

 

 

As arkwright points out, David uses a minimalistic and very tasteful accompaniment, just enough to reinforce the harmonies below the melody. A perfect match for both the tune and the voice. Geoff Lakeman does similar things on the duet.

 

The only thing to add to Geoff Wooff's explanations is that playing harmonies isn't that hard; you'll need to memorize the basic chord shapes on your instrument and find a groove that suits the piece (again, if the voice carries the song, which it generally should do, less is typically more). You may want to get a "fake book" which has the chord symbols written over the lyrics lines so you know where to change chords as you sing.  A knowledge of the theory behind it is helpful but not crucial.

 

Rac(is that your name) first of all thank you for taking the time to respond. As I mentioned to Geoff I have a very similar voice to Dave very strong Voice training musical theater and opera. When I ran into Dave singing I thought to myself this is what I want to do I don’t want to be tied to the Sheet music.  What did you mean by the statement  “basic chord shapes on your instrument and find a groove that suits “

Why would the chord shape change by instruments (I am sure I must be taking this too literal). Thanks again

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11 hours ago, StephenTx said:

Rac(is that your name) first of all thank you for taking the time to respond. As I mentioned to Geoff I have a very similar voice to Dave very strong Voice training musical theater and opera. When I ran into Dave singing I thought to myself this is what I want to do I don’t want to be tied to the Sheet music.  What did you mean by the statement  “basic chord shapes on your instrument and find a groove that suits “

Why would the chord shape change by instruments (I am sure I must be taking this too literal). Thanks again

 

Hi Stephen,

 

sorry, my name is Ruediger, RAc is the shortcut I've used for decades to pull together my first and family name.

 

Sorry for being unclear. Of course the chord shape in the sense of chord construction does not change; a C major chord is always C-E-G, and an A major minor chord is always A-C-E. It's two things that change in between instruments:

 

1. The position of the respective chord notes under your fingers. Trivially, a C major chord on a guitar is fingered differently than on a concertina, and likewise, differently on an EC concertina and an anglo. That's important because your fingers need to be able to remember the chord positions autonomously so you change between chord positions without even thinking about it. I believe that's what you're wondering about, but it's all memorizing: A guitarists never needs to consciuosly recall at which position of the fretboard to find a C chord; his/or her fingers know. Likewise, your fingers need to do the same thing on your instrument.

 

2. Not all instruments allow you to finger each chord in the 1-3-5 note order; frequently you need to finger chord inversions and/or leave out individual chord notes. On concertinas tuned to equal temperament, for example, the third is frequently omitted because equal temperament makes thirds sound less satisfying.Thus, frequently you'll finger a chord fragment or inversion rather than a full chord. That's important because it means that in some transpositions of the same tune, you may not have the same range of chord notes available as in others; it will sound differently.

 

By "groove" I believe I mean pretty nuch the same as arkwright - some songs sound good with Oohm-pa accompaniment style, some with arpeggiated chords, some with only the root note of the chord played, some with counter melodies, and so on. For each song you'll need to find an accompaniment pattern that suits the piece.

 

Congratulations to your voice and your training, I've always envied people who can sing well, I never could... I'm looking forward to hearing you sing!

 

Does that answer your question?

Edited by RAc
Corrected error pointed out by David Barnert
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1 hour ago, RAc said:

 

Hi Stephen,

 

sorry, my name is Ruediger, RAc is the shortcut I've used for decades to pull together my first and family name.

 

Sorry for being unclear. Of course the chord shape in the sense of chord construction does not change; a C major chord is always C-E-G, and an A major chord is always A-C-E. It's two things that change in between instruments:

 

1. The position of the respective chord notes under your fingers. Trivially, a C major chord on a guitar is fingered differently than on a concertina, and likewise, differently on an EC concertina and an anglo. That's important because your fingers need to be able to remember the chord positions autonomously so you change between chord positions without even thinking about it. I believe that's what you're wondering about, but it's all memorizing: A guitarists never needs to consciuosly recall at which position of the fretboard to find a C chord; his/or her fingers know. Likewise, your fingers need to do the same thing on your instrument.

 

2. Not all instruments allow you to finger each chord in the 1-3-5 note order; frequently you need to finger chord inversions and/or leave out individual chord notes. On concertinas tuned to equal temperament, for example, the third is frequently omitted because equal temperament makes thirds sound less satisfying.Thus, frequently you'll finger a chord fragment or inversion rather than a full chord. That's important because it means that in some transpositions of the same tune, you may not have the same range of chord notes available as in others; it will sound differently.

 

By "groove" I believe I mean pretty nuch the same as arkwright - some songs sound good with Oohm-pa accompaniment style, some with arpeggiated chords, some with only the root note of the chord played, some with counter melodies, and so on. For each song you'll need to find an accompaniment pattern that suits the piece.

 

Congratulations to your voice and your training, I've always envied people who can sing well, I never could... I'm looking forward to hearing you sing!

 

Does that answer your question?

RAC Your great thank you thank you everyone on has been so helpful. I love this group.   I need to  digest it all C and rest assured more questions to hollow through y’all helpfulness.

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11 hours ago, StephenTx said:

Thank you there’s always some questions ”Play the three chord trick”you mean the 1,3,5?

 

No.

 

1,3,5 is how each chord is built, but doesn’t identify the three chords. The three chord trick refers to using the chords based on the root, fourth, and fifth degrees of the scale (I, IV, and V). For instance, in the key of G it would be G, C, and D chords. “Old Maui” is in a minor key and can be done with just the three chords (albeit both the major and minor versions of the V chord), although most people (including both videos, above) would also make generous use of the III and VII chords as well for this song.

 

BTW, musicians generally use Arabic numerals to refer to notes, as degrees of the scale (1, 3, 5) and Roman numerals to refer to chords built on degrees of the scale (I, IV, V).

 

10 hours ago, RAc said:

a C major chord is always C-E-G, and an A major chord is always A-C-E.

 

That’s an A minor chord. An A major chord is A-C#-E. I’m sure Ruediger knows that, but I wanted to make sure Stephen wasn’t confused.

 

If you want to learn to use a concertina in the way David Coffin does in the video above, I would highly recommend learning some music theory. There are dozens of web sites and books that can get you started. You will find that music and playing music make much more sense when you know what’s going on and how the tools are used. Otherwise, it’s like trying to read and write without understanding how a sentence is put together. Being a health care provider is no excuse. I’m an anesthesiologist.

Edited by David Barnert
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2 minutes ago, David Barnert said:

 

That’s an A minor chord. An A major chord is A-C#-E. I’m sure Ruediger knows that, but I wanted to make sure Stephen wasn’t confused.

 

 

Thanks for finding and pointing that out, David. Stupid typo. I'll correct that immediately!

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28 minutes ago, David Barnert said:

The three chord trick refers to using the chords based on the root, fourth, and fifth degrees of the scale (I, IV, and V).

 

If you consider the chords built on every degree of a major scale:

 

I:   1, 3, 5    In G major: G, B, D   (maj)
II:  2, 4, 6                A, C, E   (min)
III: 3, 5, 7                B, D, F#  (min)
IV:  4, 6, 1                C, E, G   (maj)
V:   5, 7, 2                D, F#,A   (maj)
VI:  6, 1, 3                E, G, B   (min)
VII: 7, 2, 4                F#,A, C   (dim)

[Ignore the colors: I typed them all black, the web interface changed the colors.]

 

The I, IV, and V chords are all major chords. The others aren’t (they’re either minor or diminished). Also, between them, I, IV, and V include all the notes of the scale (1 - 7). This is why the 3-chord trick is a thing.

 

But music theory will tell you more than just how to choose chords. It will tell you how to move from one chord to another in a way that makes it sound like the two chords are related to each other:  individual notes in one chord resolve to notes in the next chord (it’s called “voice leading.” Look it up).

 

Edited by David Barnert
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4 hours ago, David Barnert said:

 

No.

 

1,3,5 is how each chord is built, but doesn’t identify the three chords. The three chord trick refers to using the chords based on the root, fourth, and fifth degrees of the scale (I, IV, and V). For instance, in the key of G it would be G, C, and D chords. “Old Maui” is in a minor key and can be done with just the three chords (albeit both the major and minor versions of the V chord), although most people (including both videos, above) would also make generous use of the III and VII chords as well for this song.

 

BTW, musicians generally use Arabic numerals to refer to notes, as degrees of the scale (1, 3, 5) and Roman numerals to refer to chords built on degrees of the scale (I, IV, V).

 

 

That’s an A minor chord. An A major chord is A-C#-E. I’m sure Ruediger knows that, but I wanted to make sure Stephen wasn’t confused.

 

If you want to learn to use a concertina in the way David Coffin does in the video above, I would highly recommend learning some music theory. There are dozens of web sites and books that can get you started. You will find that music and playing music make much more sense when you know what’s going on and how the tools are used. Otherwise, it’s like trying to read and write without understanding how a sentence is put together. Being a health care provider is no excuse. I’m an anesthesiologist.

David,  you certainly shot my theory about being a healthcare provider! 🙂 my bad I just spent time studying other things or working rather than devoting time to music theory which I am doing now.   Small world I am a C R N A, Previously a director of a school of anesthesia and transitioned into administration over the years. I spent most of my career in Hawaii moving to the mainland being recruited by Columbia Presbyterian in New York City as executive director of corporate operating rooms. On the merger of Cornell and Columbia the hand writing was on the wall and I took a VP position in Texas.  For The past 15 years I work for The Joint Commission five of which were as a full-time Surveyor I currently am a Associate Director of standards interpretation. I have a great job in that I telecommute full-time. 
I completely understand what you’re saying about music theory that’s exactly what I’m trying to do. And I do appreciate all the valuable information everyone is providing. I have books on music theory but somehow it doesn’t sink in as well as some of the discussions also I have found there’s some great YouTube classes which I have started.  So I am focusing it.  Back in 2012 I took Skype lessons from Pauline de Snoo but my right hand Thumb joint gave out on me and I had to have a thumb arthroplasty. Too many years squeezing the bag and typing. So I have just recently rejuvenated my efforts. . Trying to get away from having to constantly just read the music to play to being able to sing Accompanying  myself with the chords.  I have a big voice ( similar to Dave Coffins) as one of my avocations  in earlier years was musical theater and opera having taken years of voice lessons.   Are you still practicing? Well I gave you probably more information than you wanted to know but I do appreciate you taking the time it’s very helpful in trying to sort all this out as I am studying  music theory.  Stephen

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4 hours ago, David Barnert said:

 

No.

 

1,3,5 is how each chord is built, but doesn’t identify the three chords. The three chord trick refers to using the chords based on the root, fourth, and fifth degrees of the scale (I, IV, and V). For instance, in the key of G it would be G, C, and D chords. “Old Maui” is in a minor key and can be done with just the three chords (albeit both the major and minor versions of the V chord), although most people (including both videos, above) would also make generous use of the III and VII chords as well for this song.

 

BTW, musicians generally use Arabic numerals to refer to notes, as degrees of the scale (1, 3, 5) and Roman numerals to refer to chords built on degrees of the scale (I, IV, V).

 

 

That’s an A minor chord. An A major chord is A-C#-E. I’m sure Ruediger knows that, but I wanted to make sure Stephen wasn’t confused.

 

If you want to learn to use a concertina in the way David Coffin does in the video above, I would highly recommend learning some music theory. There are dozens of web sites and books that can get you started. You will find that music and playing music make much more sense when you know what’s going on and how the tools are used. Otherwise, it’s like trying to read and write without understanding how a sentence is put together. Being a health care provider is no excuse. I’m an anesthesiologist.

Dave Ps I just viewed your videos “beautiful “!  How long have you been playing?

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30 minutes ago, StephenTx said:

Are you still practicing?

 

Well, as long as we’re in the “Too Much Information” mode, I am retired. I turned 65 in February and thought I might work another year or two. But I have some medical “comorbidities,” so in late March, when I saw the writing on the wall I decided to isolate at home, taking an extended unpaid leave of absence. As this dragged on for months, I realized that it made sense to just retire and be done with it, so I did. BTW, I also had a hand in student nurse anesthetist education, although it was not the major fraction of my workload. You might appreciate what was my internet sig, back in the days of monospaced fonts, when ASCII art was cool:

    ______      /\/\/\/\
   <______>     | | | | |  David Barnert
   <______>     | | | | |  <davbarnert@aol.com>
   <______>     | | | | |  Albany, NY, USA
   <______>     \/\/\/\/

  Ventilator   Concertina
    Bellows      Bellows
  (Vocation)   (Avocation)

 

That grew out of a moment, decades ago, when I was playing for my Morris Dancers in a public venue and made eye contact with someone in the crowd I knew from work. I instinctively turned my hands sideways so I was playing the concertina up-and-down like an anesthesia machine and we both had a bit of a chuckle.

 

26 minutes ago, StephenTx said:

Dave Ps I just viewed your videos “beautiful “!  How long have you been playing?

 

Thank you. I have been playing other instruments virtually all my life, starting with the cello at age 10 (still playing), and also including guitar, banjo, recorders and hammered dulcimer. I started playing the concertina (Hayden Duet and no other) in the mid 1980s.

 

But although I love attending musical theatre and opera, I am not much of a singer. See my descriptions on concertina.net of my limited theatrical experience:

 

https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/22935-what-is-your-concertina-highlight/&do=findComment&comment=206803

 

 

https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/20597-sous-le-ciel-de-paris-david-barnert/&do=findComment&comment=191871

 

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