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McQuillen's Squeezebox


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Arrangement of McQuillen's Squeezebox for C/G Anglo in G, using a variant of the melody from the Free Fiddle Lessons Youtube channel. gcoover-style tablature.

 

Transposed from D to G to try to get the melody mostly on the right hand. I'd like to incorporate fingering for the chords in the future.

 

Quote

X:1
T:McQuillen's Squeezebox
L:1/4
M:4/4
K:G
|: "G" B c | d>e d c | B d g e | d>e d c | B2 A B |
w: \_ *  | \_ *  \_  * | \_ \_  *  * | \_ *  \_  * | \_ \_ \_ |
w: R1 R1 | R2 R2 R2 R1 | R1 R2 R6 R2 | R2 R2 R2 R1 | R1 L5 R1 |
c>d c B | A d f a |[1 "C" g>a g e | "D7" d2 :|[2 "G" g>a "D7" g f | "G" g2 g a ||
w: *  \_ *  \_ | \_ \_ \_ \_ | *  \_ *  *  | \_ | *  \_ *  \_ | *  *  \_ |
w: R1 R2 R1 R1 | L5 R2 R6 R7 | R6 R7 R6 R2 | R2 | R6 R7 R6 R6 | R6 R6 R7 |
|: "G" b>c' b a | g d g a | b>c' b a | g2 f g |
w: *  \_ *  \_ | *  \_ *  \_ | *  \_ *  \_ | *  \_  *  |
w: R7 R8 R7 R7 | R6 R2 R6 R7 | R7 R8 R7 R7 | R6 R6 R6 |
"D7" a>b c' b | a d f g |[1 a b c' b | a d' d' c' :|[2 a g b a | "G" g2 |]
w: \_ *  \_ *  | \_ \_ \_ *  | \_ *  \_ *  | \_ *  *  \_ | \_ *  *  \_ | *  |
w: R7 R7 R8 R7 | R7 R2 R6 R6 | R7 R7 R8 R7 | R7 R8 R8 R8 | R7 R6 R7 R7 | R6 |

 

mcquillen_g.pdf

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/30/2022 at 7:57 PM, Owen Anderson said:

Arrangement of McQuillen's Squeezebox for C/G Anglo in G, using a variant of the melody from the Free Fiddle Lessons Youtube channel. gcoover-style tablature.

 

Transposed from D to G to try to get the melody mostly on the right hand. I'd like to incorporate fingering for the chords in the future.

 

I missed your original 30 June post - must pay more attention!

 

That's very interesting - to me at least!

 

Here's the modified ABC code generated when I present the untabbed ABC to my own software:

 

Quote

X:1
T:McQuillen's Squeezebox
L:1/4
M:4/4
K:G %1-sharp (nominal key of G)
|: "G" B c | d>e d c | B d g e | d>e d c | B2 A B |
w: \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ \_\_ * * \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ \_\_ \_\_
w: R1 R1 R2 R2 R2 R1 R1 R2 R6 R2 R2 R2 R2 R1 R1 L5 R1 GCCGX
c>d c B | A d f a |1 "C" g>a g e | "D7" d2 :|2 "G" g>a "D7" g f | "G" g2 g a ||
w: * \_\_ * \_\_ \_\_ \_\_ \_\_ \_\_ * \_\_ * * \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ * * \_\_
w: R1 R2 R1 R1 L5 R2 R6 R7 R6 R7 R6 R2 R2 R6 R7 R6 R6 R6 R6 R7 GCCGX
|: "G" b>c' b a | g d g a | b>c' b a | g2 f g |
w: * \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ *
w: R7 R8 R7 R7 R6 R2 R6 R7 R7 R8 R7 R7 R6 R6 R6 GCCGX
"D7" a>b c' b | a d f g |1 a b c' b | a d' d' c' :|2 a g b a | "G" g2 |]
w: \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ \_\_ \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ * \_\_ * * \_\_ \_\_ * * \_\_ *
w: R7 R7 R8 R7 R7 R2 R6 R6 R7 R7 R8 R7 R7 R8 R8 R8 R7 R6 R7 R7 R6 GCCGX
 

 

On first inspection, it's exactly the same as your tabbed ABC code (apart from some fine detail like

the number of over-bars over each note).

 

I see you have gone for a single line of tabs using L and R to distinguish between left and right hand.

I had to do the same. I don't think it's 'possible' in ABC to keep them separate (as in the printed books,

and in your later hand-written score).

(I can think of a way to do it, but it would be so messy that I can't be ar*ed...)

 

I had to modify your basic ABC code very slightly to get it right (my program doesn't like |[1 or :|[2 at

the start of 1st and 2nd plays, it prefers |1 and :|2).

 

The end-of-line 'tags' in my version tell me that the tune has been tabbed using Gary Coover-style

tabs (GC), that its for a C/G concertina (CG) and that a cross-row mapping has been used (X).

 

So - questions:

 

1) How did you arrive at what I call the 'lyrics' model for adding concertina tabs to a simple ABC

tune specification?

 

2) Do you have a program to do this, or did you lovingly create that tabbed ABC 'by hand'?

(your second post makes me think you do have a program?)

 

3) If you do have a program, how 'flexible' is it (ie: different note/button mappings. different concertina

configurations).

 

4) There is an 'alternative' - the individual tabs can be added to the ABC code as 'text annotations'.

Did you try that?

 

I should declare an interest - I don't normally use GC-style tabulation - the program to generate GC-style

tabs (melody only) was 'spin-off' from my project to add ABT-style tabs to ABC tune files.

 

 

Edited by lachenal74693
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(1) I got the lyrics model from someone on this forum. I actually thought it might have been you!

 

(2) I’m doing it by hand. I have thought about writing a program for it (I think finding good chord arrangements would be an interesting optimization problem), but writing a parser for ABC seems like a nightmare.

 

(4) I have not experimented with that. One thing I did notice is that abcjs does not support escaped underbars, which messes up the rendering of the push/pull bars. I reported a bug upstream and it looks to be fixed in the next release!

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33 minutes ago, Owen Anderson said:

(1) I got the lyrics model from someone on this forum. I actually thought it might have been you!

 

(2) I’m doing it by hand. I have thought about writing a program for it (I think finding good chord arrangements would be an interesting optimization problem), but writing a parser for ABC seems like a nightmare.

 

(4) I have not experimented with that. One thing I did notice is that abcjs does not support escaped underbars, which messes up the rendering of the push/pull bars. I reported a bug upstream and it looks to be fixed in the next release!

 

1: Yes, I did post an example a while back as a partial answer to another query. It probably used ABT-style tabs,

but it's the principle that counts. 

 

2: I started out doing this stuff 'by-hand' but it was slow, tedious and error-prone. I got pissed off with this, so I

wrote a program. The 'project' kept me sane(?) during Coronavirus lockdowns. I have no plans to add automatic

chord generation, or any other fancy stuff which requires me to write a 'complete' ABC-parsing tool...

 

4:  The 'text-annotation' model looks different on the page, and has some dis/advantages when compared

to the 'lyric' model. I haven't created a 'text-annotation' version of the program which uses 'over-bars' to

indicate 'pull'. It would be possible, but messy. I don't have any plans to actually do this, my (preferred)

ABT-style tabs use '^' to indicate a 'pull'.

 

I don't use abcjs, or any web-based applications, but that's an interesting point. I'm an EasyABC user, and it

seems to handle everything I've thrown at it so far. Basically, I'm a card-carrying dinosaur, I guess...

 

Thank you for the speedy reply!

Edited by lachenal74693
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(1) If I were inventing tablature from scratch, I agree that ABT-style seems more intuitive. But I'm already fairly invested in learning gcoover-style via his books, so I might as well stick with it.

 

(2) I'm actually quite interested in the chord technical challenge of optimizing chordal arrangements. It's similar to some of the constraint optimization problems I've encountered in my engineering work. But ingesting the tunes is a big hurdle.

 

(4) I use the abcjs plugin for Visual Studio Code when hand-writing ABC code to get a live preview, so getting that bug fixed will save me a lot of futzing.

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10 hours ago, Owen Anderson said:

(1) If I were inventing tablature from scratch, I agree that ABT-style seems more intuitive. But I'm already fairly invested in learning gcoover-style via his books, so I might as well stick with it.

 

(2) I'm actually quite interested in the chord technical challenge of optimizing chordal arrangements. It's similar to some of the constraint optimization problems I've encountered in my engineering work. But ingesting the tunes is a big hurdle.

 

(4) I use the abcjs plugin for Visual Studio Code when hand-writing ABC code to get a live preview, so getting that bug fixed will save me a lot of futzing.

 

(1) Heh! I fully understand. I hit the ABT-style tabs after the Coover-style tabs, but still very early on in my

musical 'career' - early enough for me not to have invested a lot of time with the Coover tabs, so it was

easy to make the  decision to go with the ABT tabs which, as you suggest, seem more intuitive.

 

(2) Me too, but I'm inherently lazy, and am not actually familiar with the sort of programming techniques

needed to do this sort of job. It would be difficult enough to 'optimise' the fingering, let alone doing the

chords as well! My own project had limited objectives (1: generate 'advisory' fingerings for 'simple'

tunes, but do it for a range of concertina configurations (G/D, C/G, Bb/F), 2: do it for a range of simple

note-button mappings (along-the-row, X-row, mixed), 3: capability to add simple note-name tabs,

4: handle key-changes 'on-the-fly'). I've done all that, so I'm done - apart from tidying the whole thing up.

Basically it's just scanning a line of ABC music and generating a tab every time I hit a character which was

a musical note. No suggestion of doing an exhaustive 'parse' of the ABC code...

 

(4) I may have misunderstood what you mean, but I get a 'live preview' using EasyABC. Note that I'm not

for one moment suggesting that you do the same - folks work the way they want/need to - long may it

continue...

 

A closing point: I saw later that your ABC code had lined-up bar lines which serve as handy 'place markers'

in the line of tabs. I presume that makes it easier when doing 'hand-editing'? I never thought of that! I'm now

trying to work out how to reliably add the bar lines to my program. I already got it working for the ABT tabs,

but the Coover tabs are a bit more problematical (they use two w:lines). The point being that you took the

'lyric' model and modified it slightly to meet your own needs, and now I am looking at incorporating

your modification into my program. This sort of cross-fertilisation is a 'good thing'!

 

Edited by lachenal74693
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I poked around with this a little bit this morning. I'd personally spell some chords differently (or use different chords). For example, you play Gmaj/B throughout most of the first part, and in the first measure of the second line this leads to pairing a B with the C's in the melody (unless maybe you have a different note on left-hand button 6 push?). That didn't really work for me, so I might try the chord in root position, at least for that measure.

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5 hours ago, mathhag said:

Can some one point me to basic understanding of the ABT tabs? I use simple ABC notation but this is interesting.

 

Australian Bush Traditions (ABT) tablature for (Anglo) concertina is described on the ABT web page which is

a jolly interesting page if you like Aussie music (I do).

 

You can cut to the chase, and go straight to the tablature/tutor page by following this link. This is the tab

scheme I use by choice, though I tend to put the tabs under the staff, rather than over the staff as shown on

the web page.

 

Here, for comparison, is Owen's original example, tabbed using the ABT system. This is my own preferred

option, so the program which generates this sort of stuff is the one on which I have spent most time. The

other versions of the program, including the one to generate Coover style tabs lag a bit behind this one...

 

Quote

X:1
T:McQuillen's Squeezebox
L:1/4
M:4/4
K:G %1-sharp (nominal key of G)
|: "G" B c | d>e d c | B d g e | d>e d c | B2 A B |
w: R1^ R1 R2^ R2 R2^ R1 R1^ R2^ gR1 R2 R2^ R2 R2^ R1 R1^ L1^ R1^ ABTCGX
c>d c B | A d f a |1 "C" g>a g e | "D7" d2 :|2 "G" g>a "D7" g f | "G" g2 g a ||
w: R1 R2^ R1 R1^ L1^ R2^ gR1^ gR2^ gR1 gR2^ gR1 R2 R2^ gR1 gR2^ gR1 gR1^ gR1 gR1 gR2^ ABTCGX
|: "G" b>c' b a | g d g a | b>c' b a | g2 f g |
w: gR2 gR3^ gR2 gR2^ gR1 R2^ gR1 gR2^ gR2 gR3^ gR2 gR2^ gR1 gR1^ gR1 ABTCGX
"D7" a>b c' b | a d f g |1 a b c' b | a d' d' c' :|2 a g b a | "G" g2 |]
w: gR2^ gR2 gR3^ gR2 gR2^ R2^ gR1^ gR1 gR2^ gR2 gR3^ gR2 gR2^ gR3 gR3 gR3^ gR2^ gR1 gR2 gR2^ gR1 ABTCGX

 

The end-of-line tags tell me that this tune has been tabbed using the Australian Bush Tradition system (ABT),

for a C/G concertina (CG), using a cross-row note/button mapping (X).

 

I also attached the PDF.

 

McQuillen's Squeezebox.pdf

Edited by lachenal74693
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9 hours ago, Steve Schulteis said:

I poked around with this a little bit this morning. I'd personally spell some chords differently (or use different chords). For example, you play Gmaj/B throughout most of the first part, and in the first measure of the second line this leads to pairing a B with the C's in the melody (unless maybe you have a different note on left-hand button 6 push?). That didn't really work for me, so I might try the chord in root position, at least for that measure.

 

Thank you for the feedback! My chord theory is weak, so this is great feedback. Just to make sure I understand, what you're saying is that I should be playing the Gmaj chord with the G as the lowest note?

 

Any other feedback on the chordal arrangement appreciated, I'm very much still learning here,

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12 hours ago, lachenal74693 said:

(4) I may have misunderstood what you mean, but I get a 'live preview' using EasyABC. Note that I'm not

for one moment suggesting that you do the same - folks work the way they want/need to - long may it

continue...

 

A closing point: I saw later that your ABC code had lined-up bar lines which serve as handy 'place markers'

in the line of tabs. I presume that makes it easier when doing 'hand-editing'? I never thought of that! I'm now

trying to work out how to reliably add the bar lines to my program. I already got it working for the ABT tabs,

but the Coover tabs are a bit more problematical (they use two w:lines). The point being that you took the

'lyric' model and modified it slightly to meet your own needs, and now I am looking at incorporating

your modification into my program. This sort of cross-fertilisation is a 'good thing'!

 

 

(4) That's what I'm using VSCode + abcjs for, getting a live preview as I write it out by hand.

 

The bar lines in the lyrics lines are there to help me when hand-writing it, to make sure I don't accidentally skip a note in one of the lines. I also pad out the overbar line with spaces to make everything line up nicely. I've toyed with formatting it such that the notes and the tablature are forcibly aligned, but it didn't really work out.

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14 hours ago, Owen Anderson said:

The bar lines in the lyrics lines are there to help me when hand-writing it, to make sure I don't accidentally skip a note in one of the lines. I also pad out the overbar line with spaces to make everything line up nicely. I've toyed with formatting it such that the notes and the tablature are forcibly aligned, but it didn't really work out.

 

Yes, that's the sort of problem I encountered when I tried to do this with the Coover-style tabbing program

when I looked at this yesterday. It wasn't a problem with the ABT-style tabbing program because that only

uses one w: line to accommodate the tabs so there's no 'alignment' problem, whereas the Coover program uses

two w: lines and lining 'em up is 'awkward'. It's 'do-able' but needs detailed alterations to note-button

mappings for 3 different concertina configurations, 3 different tabbing strategies and several different

keys - messy in other words...

 

Forcing the notes and tabs to line up (as opposed to just the tabs) is similarly problematic. It involves

re-writing the actual ABC music line which is something I try to avoid...

 

This one goes on the back-burner for the time being...

Edited by lachenal74693
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12 hours ago, Owen Anderson said:

Thank you for the feedback! My chord theory is weak, so this is great feedback. Just to make sure I understand, what you're saying is that I should be playing the Gmaj chord with the G as the lowest note?

 

Any other feedback on the chordal arrangement appreciated, I'm very much still learning here,

 

That is what I was suggesting. I'd also recommend the same change elsewhere. Play around with different options and let your ears be your guide. If spelling the chord differently isn't working, try a different chord, starting with the I, V, IV, and vi (G, D, C, and Bm in the key of G major).

 

Since you asked, I'll keep going with my suggestions, but first I want to say that I think it's awesome that you worked this up on your own and that you're listening to feedback. I know that the review process can be really focussed on the negative, and that can get discouraging, but I think that what you're doing here is great. Also, I'm just fumbling around here myself, and what I'm aiming at may be different from what you want to accomplish with your arrangement - there's more than one way to skin this cat.

 

The arrangement of the D7 chord in the last line has some rocky spots for me. For the most part I'd probably drop the seventh and just play a D chord. Where you use LH-pull 9 and 5 (particularly in the second measure of that line), I'd pick buttons 5 and 7 instead. The push notes are tricky, because you're missing most of the notes for a D chord on the push. They're mostly on the "pah" beats, and for those you could stick with LH buttons 5 and 7 on the push, which sounds ok to my ears. That could be problematic if you have other instruments playing harmony, though.

 

At this point, a lot of my changes have led to a more boring harmony. I'd probably follow up by trying different things to add some spice. It doesn't need to be anything fancy, maybe just a different chord spelling here or there, or a minor chord at a key moment. Maybe a few more chord changes in general. Or a different rhythmic style for a few bars. Or maybe it's fine as is. Sometimes a basic harmony is a good thing.

 

Unrelated to the music, you use left-hand buttons 8 and 7 on the push in the harmony a lot. I find 5 and 7 to be an easier combination to hit in most cases. Your mileage may vary.

Edited by Steve Schulteis
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Thank you for the feedback on this! Just to be clear, I didn't create the chord progression here. I took it from the sheet music provided by the aforementioned YT channel. I only did the button arrangement for Anglo. I definitely don't know enough to make my own chords for a tune!

 

I've been busy recently, but I'll report back once I have time to work on a revised button arrangement.

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mcquillen_g.pdf

 

Here's a second attempt at tabbing the chords for this tune. I stuck with the chords as written for now, but the D7 chords definitely gave me trouble in particular. I had to use inversions in a number of places to make it work out. I'm thinking I should revisit the melody line to switch the bellows direction in a few key spots.

 

Feedback welcome.

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