Jump to content

Why so much pulling?


Recommended Posts

As I work my way through the Coover books I have I've found that there are quite a few tunes that have much more pulling than pushing. I'm learning the Kesh right now and it's rather annoying to have to do a big breath on an eighth not in the middle of a run.

 

Is there a reason for so many notes on the pull? Can I just switch and push on the left for some of them? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear you are having a problem with this tune. I try to balance push and pull as much as possible - air management is always difficult when learning a new tune, and there are times when some instruments just take too much air regardless. Big gasps are to be avoided, but you can feather the air valve while playing a note to gain more bellows room in either direction.

 

Especially with Irish music, you can also look at using the alternates of the left side #9 & #10 buttons and the right side #1 & #2 buttons. Same notes, different directions, so if one direction causes an issue then simply use different buttons.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Gary

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I just now played through the tune several times on my Marcus 30-button - I never had to touch the air button, and still had plenty of bellows left. 

 

Air is always a frustrating problem when learning, but once you get it up to speed with a lighter touch, everything should work much better. Best of luck on learning this fun tune!

 

Gary

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My impression is that some Irish tunes are very much on the pull because their melodies are all arpeggios on the D chord. Rolling on the ryegrass, the burnt old man etc. Since the D chord, on C/G is on the pull, there you go, pull pull and pull.

All this pulling proved very difficult at first, because slower playing requires more air, and I often ended up using the whole bellow capacity. 
I guess the solution is just practicing and learning to produce notes with less air.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, gcoover said:

I just now played through the tune several times on my Marcus 30-button - I never had to touch the air button, and still had plenty of bellows left. 

 

Air is always a frustrating problem when learning, but once you get it up to speed with a lighter touch, everything should work much better. Best of luck on learning this fun tune!

 

Gary

I think perhaps the speed does make a difference. I've been throwing in some pushes on then left hand and it's been working well but maybe I'll just have to go faster. 

 

Practicing a 6/8 jig at 65bpm, or even 70bpm, is absolute torture, lol.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beginners often play way too hard, trying to force out the tune, and possibly mixed with a bit of frustration, which will pass as you become more familiar with it and build up that muscle memory. Also, the cheaper instruments come at the cost of slower reeds that can use a lot of air.

 

I'm seriously wondering if your instrument is a bit leaky or inefficient since at 65 bpm I still didn't need any additional air. Might need to have it looked at!


Gary

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

If you are playing in the major key in one of the 2 main keys of the instrument, the tune will usually be mainly on the push.

 

If you are playing in a different key (for example, D major on a CG box, then there may be a greater proportion of pull notes.  However, playing in a third or fourth major key on an Anglo (D or A instead of C or G, for example) is advanced stuff.

 

However, many traditional tunes are not in the major key.  They might look like they are when you see them written down, and they have all the notes of (say) C major.  However, you will you notice that the home note is on the pull (D on a CG box).  If the home note (tonic) is on the pull, then the tune will  be mainly on the pull.

 

You will start to recognise these tunes with time and practice.

 

You will also find that the air button becomes less of an issue the more that you play.

  1. A beginner tends to play slowly, so each note is longer and requires more air.
  2. A beginner tends to hold onto a note while they are working out what note comes next.  That requires more air.
  3. A beginner tends to squeeze and hold the buttons down, whereas a more experienced player "taps" them percussively for the shorter notes.
  4. A beginner generally tends to leave less "daylight" between the notes.
  5. A beginner is often a bit frightened of using the air button, and takes big clumsy "gulps" of air which disturb the rhythm of the tune.
  6. A beginner tends to stick to a small number of familiar fingering patterns.

 

As you gain experience, you will find:

  1. You play a little bit faster, so you use less air.
  2. You know what note's coming next and you flow into it smoothly without having to hold and think.
  3. You tend to play with a lighter touch, tapping the buttons, except on the long notes.
  4. You find there are gaps between the notes.  The notes make a picket fence rather than a wall.
  5. You start tapping the air button at several convenient moments in the tune, taking small breaths to adjust the volume of air in the bellows, rather than filling or emptying them in one big movement.
  6. You find that there are several possible ways to play a run of notes, and you can choose options which help you to manage the air in the bellows.
  • Like 2
Link to comment
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
×
×
  • Create New...