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Chording


Alan Caffrey
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Good day to you all,

here's a request for help; I'm an isolated player with no one else to help me! Now I can work out some chords easily enough when I'm playing a tune, I'm talking Irish style here, in G (on a C/G anglo) but it seems so much harder if I'm playing a D tune. I was trying to put some chords in Denis Murphy's slide and am just stuck! I'm looking at the Comhaltas dots of the tune - if you can point me in the right direction I'd be eternally graterful.

 

 

Best wishes, Alan.

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What's the problem? Is it that you don't know what buttons to use for each chord, or you don't know what chord to play when, or something else?

 

Daniel

 

Good day to you all,

here's a request for help; I'm an isolated player with no one else to help me! Now I can work out some chords easily enough when I'm playing a tune, I'm talking Irish style here, in G (on a C/G anglo) but it seems so much harder if I'm playing a D tune. I was trying to put some chords in Denis Murphy's slide and am just stuck! I'm looking at the Comhaltas dots of the tune - if you can point me in the right direction I'd be eternally graterful.

 

 

Best wishes, Alan.

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I can work out some chords easily enough when I'm playing a tune, I'm talking Irish style here, in G (on a C/G anglo) but it seems so much harder if I'm playing a D tune. I was trying to put some chords in Denis Murphy's slide and am just stuck! I'm looking at the Comhaltas dots of the tune - if you can point me in the right direction I'd be eternally graterful.

Alan, I'm puzzled about what you're trying to do. According to many discussions on this site, "chording" is incompatible with "Irish style". Occasional harmony notes or octave playing, but not a regular underpinning of chords. That's "English style".

 

If you want to play Irish tunes in "English style", you should note that the players of that style generally prefer G/D anglos (for a repertoire that consists largely of tunes in G and D), rather than working out complex patterns (in terms of both buttons and bellows directions) to get a similar chording effect on the C/G. One problem you've probably already noticed is that in the key of D, a standard C/G anglo has a very limited selection of "bass" notes... no low D or F#, and on many (most?) instruments, the lowest A in only one bellows direction.

 

If you want to work with the harmonies (I wouldn't call them "chording") used to a greater or lesser extent by Irish players, you'll find that they're only thrown in here and there, and are rarely full "chords". There are some nice examples in Frank Edgley's tutor for the anglo. Maybe not as many as you'd like, but I think they should at least give you a start on understanding the possibilities.

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Yes, let me clarify: I'm talking really about the Irish style of adding a harmonizing note (or two) occasionally, and not about the full chording through a tune as in English style. And I play across the rows. Options in D just seem very limited.

 

Thanks, Alan.

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But limited in what way? The notes of a D chord are available on the left hand side on the pull (and the notes of an "open" D, namely D and A, are there on the push as well) and the notes of an A chord are there on the push, and in your style you're not even looking for full chords. So where are you running into a problem?

 

Daniel

 

Yes, let me clarify: I'm talking really about the Irish style of adding a harmonizing note (or two) occasionally, and not about the full chording through a tune as in English style. And I play across the rows. Options in D just seem very limited.

 

Thanks, Alan.

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Well, you could try a trick like, Every pull A gets a lower pull D, Every push G gets a lower push D. Every pull lower D gets a pull Low A on the G row. Take a tune like Old Hag you have killed me, and every g and a on the left hand gets a D, or hag at the churn, first part all g and a get low d, as you enter second part of the tune you can sustain a low d as all pull notes in right and left hand. I noted an ABC for a student once as follows.

 

:A2G ADD|A2G Adc|A2G ADD|EFG EFG:|

|AdB c3|Add efg|AdB c2A|GEG AED|

AdB c3|Add efg|age dcA|GEG AED||

 

adding push and pull low d under appropriate notes as

 

I:A2G ADD|A2G Adc|A2G ADD|EFG EFG:|

(D D D )(D D D_( D D D )( D D )


|AdB c3|Add efg|AdB c2A|GEG AED|
AdB c3|Add efg|age dcA|GEG

(D____) (D_____) (D D ) (D_______) (D_DD D)

AED||

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Continuing along the lines of what Lawrence said: against a right-hand F#, play a left-hand D or A (or both!). Against a right-hand E, play a left hand A or B, or a left-hand E and B together.

 

Daniel

 

Thank you!

I'll try those - it's that 'does this sound right?' thing; especially when you have no one to teach you , and say'this is good.' Thanks for your help, especially Lawrence.

Alan.

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No problems on the chords at all. I used to play uilleann pipes and the chords are really based on them ( regulators)for the most part. I tend to call them double stops instead of chords( because I usually only add one note), and I am very cautious not to overdo it. On jigs especially Ii can say that I try to mimic what a piper would call vamping. If you break down the jig to six beats, and also the strong down beats of 1 and 4 ( I say 1 and 2, and really never count all 6 in my head ) try the following. I try things like xxDxxD xxxD___ under the tune, with the low D falling under any A or G. In listening to recordings you will here this pulse being used. Another one to experiment with is the octave G, and of course playing in octaves throughout most of the b part. I suggest the jig "Ship in Full Sail"

 

DGG BGG|dGG BGG | efg dBG | ABA AGE |

DGG BGG|dGG BGG | efg dBG | ABF G3 :||

dgg bgg |aga bge |dgg bgg |a3 age |

dgg bgg |aga bge | efg dBG | ABF G3 :||

d^cd dBd | e3 efg | ded gdB | A3 ABc |

d^cd dBd | e3 efg | efg dBG | ABF G3 :||

 

In east Galway this is only played as the first two parts, and octaves are great for the second part. The vamping mentioned above works nicely in the A part. 1st two and 5th 6 bars. a hanging low D works for all of bar 4 until the last note, and again in the 8th bar. These are just ideas to try, not saying right nor wrong.

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  • 1 month later...
No problems on the chords at all. I used to play uilleann pipes and the chords are really based on them ( regulators)for the most part. I tend to call them double stops instead of chords( because I usually only add one note), and I am very cautious not to overdo it. On jigs especially Ii can say that I try to mimic what a piper would call vamping. If you break down the jig to six beats, and also the strong down beats of 1 and 4 ( I say 1 and 2, and really never count all 6 in my head ) try the following. I try things like xxDxxD xxxD___ under the tune, with the low D falling under any A or G. In listening to recordings you will here this pulse being used.

 

I do this quite a bit as accompaniment to jigs on the fiddle. Adds a bit of spice to the "one-and-a two-and-a, one-and-a two-and-a" (Division of labour: fiddle + tina approx. = pipes) :P

 

My approach to chording on the concertina is similar to the rhythm guitar: I've learned the left-hand "chord shapes" for all the chords I need (including the 3-chord trick in D on the C/G Anglo :rolleyes: ) and I use them in their 3-note form for accompaniment (the uillean pipes have 3 regulators, right?), with "thinned out" versions for my solo playing (usually airs and song tunes).

 

Cheers,

John

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What's the slide?

 

Denis Murphy played quite a few :)

 

D major is techinically quite a difficult key on the anglo concertina, particularly compared to G. If you're playing a C/G anglo then literally any combination and number of notes on the inside row on the push gives you a G chord of some description. You have to work it out a bit more for D. Also, the fast rythm of a a slide makes chording a bit more difficult than in other types of tunes.

 

-Post up the tune itself anyway and we'll have a better idea of what you could do to it or with it

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Alan, I'm puzzled about what you're trying to do. According to many discussions on this site, "chording" is incompatible with "Irish style". Occasional harmony notes or octave playing, but not a regular underpinning of chords. That's "English style".

 

But Jim, haven't you missed a few discussions of lately?

I had the impression that "melody only" approach is not only out of fashion, but has never even been an "approach". It seems after all the discussions, that melody only was a short lived branch-out, esp. if you watch young players with Anglo concertina. I was quite impressed with those Young Irish players on Youtubes, that Leo put together.

Full and rich harmony, cleverly applied, nice rhythm, skillfull sinkopation - very serious competition to "established" players, technically not any worse, to say the least.

And what is this contrast between "harmonization" and "chording"? Aren't chords - harmony? Why harmony on the left, melody on the right is considered "chording" and belonging to "english style", and "harmonization" is opposed to it?

If I hadn't a music teacher, I'd be completely lost by now and probably picked up a few wrong ideas.

The question posed was a good one, but vaguely composed.

Really, is the question about fingering the all possible chords on C/G Anglo, or only in D?

Alan is looking at single line dots for Denis Murphy's slide and wants to add harmony, but probably can't find the right buttons at the right moment. I'd suggest to find piano or accordion arrangements for Denis Murphy's slide.

 

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Alan is looking at single line dots for Denis Murphy's slide and wants to add harmony, but probably can't find the right buttons at the right moment. I'd suggest to find piano or accordion arrangements for Denis Murphy's slide.

 

 

A tenor-banjoist acquaintance of mine regularly visits music workshops in the West of Ireland, and regularly returns with sheaves of paper with dots on them. Dots for jigs, reels, polkas, slides, what have you (but never a single song - yawn!) Our group does occasional dance tunes for a bit of variety, and we work them up form the friend's dots. And they always have chord symbols over the stave. For guitarists, accordionists and the like, I assume. I usually leave the dots to the fiddler (who's classically trained) and follow the chord symbols on my C/G Anglo. One of the pieces we've worked up that way is "Dennis Murphy's". Works very well!

 

Cheers,

John

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