Melodeon.net Forums

Discussions => Teaching and Learning => Topic started by: Lisa Wielunski on May 01, 2018, 10:15:23 PM

Title: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: Lisa Wielunski on May 01, 2018, 10:15:23 PM
Hi!

So, I’m having a lot of fun getting to know my instrument. And I’ve started taking guitar tabs and lead sheets and playing from those - but I categorically reject any piece where I’d have to stay in the same direction for more than two measures or so.

But now I’ve been starting to figure out some of these melodeon-specific notations, and it looks like the expectation is that this instrument CAN ‘inhale’ for five measures or more... are there tricks for getting through long lines that I haven’t figured out yet?
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: Pete Dunk on May 01, 2018, 10:54:04 PM
Hi Lisa, welcome to the forum!  ;D In order to answer your question it's important to know the type of instrument you have, one row, two row, three row and if it's more than one row is it a semitone box like B/C or B/C/C# or a fourth apart box like D/G or A/D/G?
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: Martin P on May 01, 2018, 10:56:03 PM
What style of music are you playing? Unusual to have such long measures not requiring change in direction. If you need to change bellows direction, then cross row.
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: george garside on May 02, 2018, 10:17:44 AM
Hi Lisa.  What Martin has just said  to which I would add -stick to simple well known tunes, eg ones you can hum or whistle,  until you have really got the hang of bellows control.

Other thoughts include

 avoid playing long bass notes or chords in same bellows direction as so doing greatly increases air consumption. 

the bellows control the volume  push or pull harder and the volume increases as does the air consumption
be more gentle and settle for a lower volume  and use less air. The volume can of course be varied  in different parts of a tune often to good effect.

It is ok and can be quite effective to leave the bass off  here and there in a tune

If you havn,t already got one get a decent tutor book making sure its the right one for the system you are playing

george


Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on May 02, 2018, 10:49:00 AM
Hi Lisa.  What Martin has just said  to which I would add -stick to simple well known tunes, eg ones you can hum or whistle,  until you have really got the hang of bellows control.

If you havn,t already got one get a decent tutor book making sure its the right one for the system you are playing


Or, even better, get a decent tutor (:)
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: Lisa Wielunski on May 02, 2018, 12:24:19 PM
Thanks!

I have a three-row GCF, and it feels like it goes through air super quickly.  I think I had bad luck with the first couple of tunes I found - most are looking more manageable now that I go through the whole list.

Hoping that by the end of the summer I can afford a better instrument and a couple of months of lessons.


LJW
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: malcolmbebb on May 02, 2018, 12:38:10 PM
Air management is an issue frequently reported by new players, and it improves with practice. There is hope! Tuition, or just guidance if you can find another player nearby, can help of course.
The other consideration is to check that your box, if it's an older one, may have some small air leaks which will make air control more difficult.
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: James Fitton on May 02, 2018, 01:25:00 PM
The best advice I recall being given on this topic when I started out was "Sip, don't gulp!" In other words, keep your left thumb resting on the air button, and practise taking tiny bits of air when you get the opportunity. Notes will still sound, and will be barely affected if you do it gently. So if there's a long run you need to or want to play mostly on the pull, for example, just take little extra sips each time there's an opportunity for a push note. Or vice versa. Gulps are fine if you've a long break where you don't need to play anything (because you're accompanying someone else, for example, and they have a part where you just keep quiet) but they are best avoided in the middle of tunes.
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: Howard Jones on May 02, 2018, 01:54:47 PM
Besides air button control, look for alternative ways of playing a phrase.  Many of the notes can be found in both directions on different rows, so it is often possible to play a phrase in the "opposite direction" in order to avoid running out of air.  However you also then have to think about chords, as the chord you want may only play in one direction.

Working out the best way to play a tune includes trying out different playing options, chord choices, and how to manage the bellows.  With experience it all becomes a lot easier, but even experienced players will try out a number of different possibilities before settling on a preferred way of playing a particular tune (and even then it may evolve further over time). 
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: Gary Chapin on May 14, 2018, 03:11:30 PM
The best advice I recall being given on this topic when I started out was "Sip, don't gulp!" ...

Yes, this. Took me the longest time, but has made all the difference. There are still tunes, though (usually Breton with the entire A section in a minor except the last half of the last bar in G) where I feel compelled to gulp. Doing so without seeming to do so is another skill I value.

Also, with a GCF there are styles that do depend on long streams of pull and long streams of push: Tex-mex, for example. Which is to say that in many places you do have choices you can make to suit your style.
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: Dick Rees on May 14, 2018, 03:46:50 PM
Besides air button control, look for alternative ways of playing a phrase.  Many of the notes can be found in both directions on different rows, so it is often possible to play a phrase in the "opposite direction" in order to avoid running out of air.  However you also then have to think about chords, as the chord you want may only play in one direction.

Working out the best way to play a tune includes trying out different playing options, chord choices, and how to manage the bellows.  With experience it all becomes a lot easier, but even experienced players will try out a number of different possibilities before settling on a preferred way of playing a particular tune (and even then it may evolve further over time).

This.

When I started working on two-row I related it to my other Hohner experience:  the mouth harp.  As such, I tended to breathe with the bellows and had to play sitting on the floor with pillows behind me to cushion my fall when I'd hyper-ventilate and keel over.

There's no "breather button" on your lungs...
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: Rees on May 14, 2018, 03:49:48 PM
Besides air button control, look for alternative ways of playing a phrase.  Many of the notes can be found in both directions on different rows, so it is often possible to play a phrase in the "opposite direction" in order to avoid running out of air.  However you also then have to think about chords, as the chord you want may only play in one direction.

Working out the best way to play a tune includes trying out different playing options, chord choices, and how to manage the bellows.  With experience it all becomes a lot easier, but even experienced players will try out a number of different possibilities before settling on a preferred way of playing a particular tune (and even then it may evolve further over time).

This.

When I started working on two-row I related it to my other Hohner experience:  the mouth harp.  As such, I tended to breathe with the bellows and had to play sitting on the floor with pillows behind me to cushion my fall when I'd hyper-ventilate and keel over.

There's no "breather button" on your lungs...

Yes, when I began playing many years ago my nostrils flared in and out with the movement of the bellows!
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: Dick Rees on May 14, 2018, 03:57:05 PM
Besides air button control, look for alternative ways of playing a phrase.  Many of the notes can be found in both directions on different rows, so it is often possible to play a phrase in the "opposite direction" in order to avoid running out of air.  However you also then have to think about chords, as the chord you want may only play in one direction.

Working out the best way to play a tune includes trying out different playing options, chord choices, and how to manage the bellows.  With experience it all becomes a lot easier, but even experienced players will try out a number of different possibilities before settling on a preferred way of playing a particular tune (and even then it may evolve further over time).

This.

When I started working on two-row I related it to my other Hohner experience:  the mouth harp.  As such, I tended to breathe with the bellows and had to play sitting on the floor with pillows behind me to cushion my fall when I'd hyper-ventilate and keel over.

There's no "breather button" on your lungs...

Yes, when I began playing many years ago my nostrils flared in and out with the movement of the bellows!

Shall we call this the "Rees Syndrome"?
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: baz parkes on May 14, 2018, 05:16:21 PM
There's no "breather button" on your lungs...

Yes, when I began playing many years ago my nostrils flared in and out with the movement of the bellows!
[/quote

Oh, that's what it was...I always thought it was the old Gungrog Marching Powder... >:E >:E
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: gmatkin on May 18, 2018, 01:55:23 PM
Nostril flaring. I guess it might be distracting... G
Title: Re: Push, and pull, and bellows control...!
Post by: MarioP on May 18, 2018, 04:43:29 PM
Lisa perhaps you can post the actual brand and mode of GCF you have?

Perhaps new used? May be you need and overhauling the bellows to hold more air.

Just shooting some ideas that came in ☺️