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off-beat rolls


Irina
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Off-beat rolls: I think technically they are backbeat rolls but what I mean are 'three notes to be ornamented that sit on and-two-and' in Irish reels.
e.g. the beginning of the Silver Spear:
FAAA BAFA
How do you play those to give it a nice groove and emphasis on the Two (when counting one-and-two-and...)?
I used to play flute and like many flute players and pipers I'm a sucker for dissecting ornamentation and getting the microtiming and in-ornament-emphasis right. But on concertina I can't  play the versions I can think off well enough yet to hear which one I might like best. Once it's automatic and fluid at speed.
So far I've been doing concertina 'rolls' /crans.
FA(dB)A
That doesn't give it the punchy 'offbeat' feel I want.
In saw a video by a box player recently who said to just play three notes. So
FAAA
That I find very hard! Clearly three notes but not staccato...  
Than there is 
FA(B)AA
and
FAA(B)A
and both of those with (dB) between two As. 
Is there any way that most people do it? Anything that's especially nice?

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I assume you mean Anglo, which I don't play but I do have one and these two approaches work for either uni or bi-sonoric instruments:

Use a doublet followed by a short bellows change note ( several variations of this ).

Use a bellows shiver or shake by stiffening your arm either with or without a bellows change ( usually results in 4 rather than 3 notes )

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@Steve Schulteis - yes! Alternating fingers I find much easier than same finger to neither blend into one note nor play too stacatto. On C-row E that is. Other notes /starting with another finger needs more practice.

@wunks Anglo, yes.I gave that a try. A pull and A push. So that's yet a other option! That bellows shake thing I need to be shown. Does that work on pull, too? 

 

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1 hour ago, Irina said:

@Steve Schulteis

@wunks Anglo, yes.I gave that a try. A pull and A push. So that's yet a other option! That bellows shake thing I need to be shown. Does that work on pull, too? 

 

Push, pull or both.  On an Anglo I'd assume one or the other.  If you incorporate a bellows reversal (I'd call that a "shake") you'll get different notes in your roll which you may not want.  For a "shiver" Use push or pull depending on where you want to end up. I've learned it both ways.  You can practice this without the concertina by clenching your right hand fist thumb up and stiffening your arm. You will feel it pulse or"spasm".  You can control that pulse to 3 beats.  Move your forearm up and down after each 3.  When you can do that, change the motion to side to side.  Voila!

You'll need to unclench your fist to play of course!

Edited by wunks
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To make a sort of trill like shake ( Anglo) I use a very quick moving of bellows .. but it is a thing you need to practice, and hard to explain exactly how to do the effect. Yes, you do 'shake' the bellows in and out, but very slightly enough to affect the sound, not particularly with hard pressure. You will get then higher , followed by the lower note beneath depending upon which button you are using. And that is achieved even using only one button pressing on its own.( In then out very rapidly).

It can take only the slightest wrist action to achieve this effect ( I use it to make a pseudo type trill like ornamentation, quite often.

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This trill thingy sounds intriguing! i can imagine that - when one day I find a more experienced player who can show me, and once Inmaster it - I'll put it everywhere for a while. And annoy everybody around me with it! Until the excitement wears off and it gets used in fitting places only.

But for now I'm trying to get a nice groove going on reels with some basic ornamentation. Those three A on the 'and-two-and' pop up in several Irish reels and I'm always muddling them up. Which I want to change. I think I'll start with three As with alternating fingers and A(B) AA.

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The repeating of similar notes ( like this A notes) rapidly is always a bit of a challenge.  I attempted pieces where one note( in note group) is followed by three repeating same notes ( let's say B followed by three G notes).. played at a fairly quick tempo, and you just have to play them best you can; maybe play slowly until you get used to the method. If the requirement is on a stronger finger, for playing those notes, then it can be easier, but if falls onto smaller fingers, a little weaker, again keep at the practice, and do not be put off if progress seems slow. I tried out a piece meant for mandolin ( Vivaldi), and it posed similar problems, of a lot of short quick, repeated notes. I am not saying it was greatest performance, but I got through it.

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Another option, which probably works only for G & A rolls, is to repeat the main note using 2 different buttons, i.e. A left middle, right-hand B, A left middle, A inside left.

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For the repeated A notes at the start of The Silver Spear, you can also use a "phantom button" tap:

All on the draw:
 

Left side G row ring finger

Left side C row index finger
While continuing to pull, tap the right side above the buttons with your right middle finger
This causes a brief disruption in the airflow and re-articulates the note

I find this most useful primarily on the first octave draw A.  Doesn't work so well for push notes, like the same pattern with G.



 

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3 hours ago, eskin said:

...you can also use a "phantom button" tap...

That's interesting. I sometimes use the 'tap technique', in a fairly unstructured way, to achieve a 'pseudo-staccato' effect. First time I can recall it being mentioned...

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17 hours ago, lachenal74693 said:

That's interesting. I sometimes use the 'tap technique', in a fairly unstructured way, to achieve a 'pseudo-staccato' effect. First time I can recall it being mentioned...

 

If you search the forum for "phantom button" (make sure to require all search terms) there are various references to it over the years. One such occurrence: 

 

 

 

Edited by Steve Schulteis
Provided a better link - not sure why I grabbed that other one
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Thank you Michael. I’ve heard of the phantom button before, but hadn’t previously seen such clear instructions. I’ve followed those now, & the A roll sounds great.

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1 hour ago, Mic said:

 I’ve followed those now, & the A roll sounds great.

So you use that twice for AAA? Three notes seperated by two 'slaps'? 

So far I'm happiest with alternating fingers. Or AA(dB)A. Which is an A followed by a 'cran' as I'd play on three notes that start ON beat but in  the space of two notes. Somehow that makes me give the second A more of an attack and thus putting the emphasis where I want it. At my very moderate practice speed... I think banjo players do something rhythmically similar. One 'normal' A followed by an AAA triplet. Which could be nice too... 

In a sample lesson by Caitlin Nic Gabhann she says to just do three pulls, not lifting the finger. I find that very hard! 

There's just too many options for nearly everything on concertina! 🙃

But great fun to play around with!

 

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No, the first two notes are on different buttons, only the last note is a result of the "slap". All are on the pull. Are you sure that Caitlin doesn't advocate using alternate A buttons all on the pull, I can't imagine doing it all on the same button.

 

Edited by eskin
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@eskin Ah! Now I got it! Will try! I thought the two different As were alternatives to try this on... Thanks!

 

I might have got her wrong but it's a roll on the F... it's at about 3:50

I was watching on the phone so maybe she is lifting her finger or doing something else but from what she says it's 'just the bellows'?

Edited by Irina
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13 hours ago, Irina said:

@eskin Ah! Now I got it! Will try! I thought the two different As were alter arrives to try this on... Thanks!

 

I might have got her wrong but it's a roll on the F... it's at about 3:50

I was watching on the phone so maybe she is lifting her finger or doing something else but from what she says it's 'just the bellows'?

 

Caitlín is doing a bellows roll in the video - she plays the note, then jerks the bellows to sound it again, and then plays the note again if that makes sense, not a great description on my part, maybe someone else familiar with the technique can describe it more clearly?

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Yes, she's definitely just using the bellows for the F roll.

Interesting!  Very cool.  I've literally never done that in nearly 20 years of playing.

 

That's the beauty of this instrument, so many solutions to the same problem.

Edited by eskin
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