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Fiddler's Green Chord Help


dmksails
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I'm a total beginner on the anglo, working my way thru Gary Coover's instruction book.   I sing shanties and would like to get started on Fiddler's Green.  This seems simple as there are only 5 chords - C - F - Am - G7 - Dm.  Gary's book lists how to play theses in a couple of ways, but only for the left hand.  The chords do seem to alternate nicely with pushes followed by pulls. but in a few spots there is a long time between changes of direction and I"m running out of bellows.  Is there another way to play a C on a pull?

 

BTW - I have found charts showing C on the right side, but it's much higher then the C chord on the left.  I also know I could use the air button to get more bellow space, but that makes an annoying break in the songs rhythm.

Edited by dmksails
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C Chord on the pull is a problem as the notes you need are all fairly high-pitched, in particular you are lacking a low C note.  I don't usually play this song myself, but running through it quickly I am not finding any exceptionally long phrases which might cause me to run out of air. The trick is to use pull versions of other chords where possible to manage the bellows.    If you could indicate where you are having a problem you might get more specific advice.  

 

One of the other tricks of bellows management is to use the air button at the same time as playing notes, rather than trying to grab gulps of air in between phrases, which will break up the music.  You might have to use more bellows pressure to compensate, but it becomes instinctive. I find I am riding the air button all the time to make small adjustments, rather than taking large gasps during the gaps.

 

BTW, this is not strictly a shanty, it is a modern song written in 1996 by John Connolly.

Edited by hjcjones
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I also just now gave it a try in the key of C and didn't find any problematic C chord issues. There's a fairly advanced arrangement in Sailor Songs for Concertina in the key of D with only one long-ish section on the pull if that key works for you.

 

Riding the air valve is good when you can plan ahead, and you can also leave out some of the left hand harmony notes which take more air. Leaving out the third works really well (no need for full chords). Also, you can play brief staccato chords, just tapping them for emphasis, no need to play big heavy lengthy chords. It's very common for beginners to push and pull way too hard, which also uses lots of air, so easing up and playing it lightly will save lots of air too.

 

Gary

 

 

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Thanks for the great tips.  One thing I'm confused on is using the air key while playing other notes - not sure how this helps.  When playing the C chord, I'm on a push and running out of bellows space.  Using the air key at that time simply makes the bellows run out of air quicker.  Or am I doing something wrong?

 

 

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Say you have a long phrase coming up which will be played all on the push, and the phrase before is on the pull but isn't long enough to give you sufficient air tp get through that long push, so you run out of bellows.  By using the air button while you play the pull chord you can exteni the bellows further than playing the notes alone would allow, and that gives you sufficient air to play the push chords. 

 

When you're working on a tune you need to think about not only the actual chord sequences but which bellows direction is best to manage the air, and this includes when and how to use the air button.  You may need to try several different ways to play a phrase to find the best solution.  This may seem like a lot to think about, but it does become instinctive.

 

 

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