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Discussions => Teaching and Learning => Topic started by: Cam Button on January 03, 2019, 09:13:16 PM

Title: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Cam Button on January 03, 2019, 09:13:16 PM
Hi Melnet,
I recently purchased a black dot double ray Hohner in BC, and I'm trying to think of a reason to keep my C#/D box. As a novice I think the Hohner with its louder full voice will be more forgiving to learn with.
Cam   
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: John MacKenzie (Cugiok) on January 03, 2019, 10:04:40 PM
Keep it, if you can afford to, it's another string to your bow, when you get better at playing.

SJ
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Stiamh on January 04, 2019, 12:29:57 AM
The B/C defeats lots of adult learners. Hang on to the C#/D until you are sure this is not going to be your case. (:)
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Cam Button on January 04, 2019, 02:53:49 AM
Thank you.
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: richard.fleming on January 04, 2019, 08:39:44 AM
I've played both tunings over a period of over 50 years, and I can't agree with Stiamh that B/C is more difficult. But I've never been able to play both at the same period of my life. If I take up the C#/D I seem to lose the B/C.  I suppose I might learn to play both if I worked really hard at it, bit there aren't many players who do this. I think you should decide which style  you prefer, and choose the box that is most suited. If you like the old press and draw style, hang on to the C#/D. If you are more on favour of the style of, for example, Joe Burke, stick to the B/C.
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Stiamh on January 04, 2019, 10:10:49 AM
I've played both tunings over a period of over 50 years, and I can't agree with Stiamh that B/C is more difficult. But I've never been able to play both at the same period of my life. If I take up the C#/D I seem to lose the B/C.  I suppose I might learn to play both if I worked really hard at it, bit there aren't many players who do this. I think you should decide which style  you prefer, and choose the box that is most suited. If you like the old press and draw style, hang on to the C#/D. If you are more on favour of the style of, for example, Joe Burke, stick to the B/C.

I don't know from personal experience that the B/C is more difficult, because I didn't start out on it. I did find learning to play in D on the B/C after C#/D challenging, though. My comment about people being defeated by B/C was based on seeing all the evidence of people abandoning the B/C after a very short time. The lesson I draw from that is that B/C is not a system for people who want to dabble with the box (is any system?).

However Richard I'm sort of surprised that you find it difficult to keep both systems on the go. I would have thought that the farther you go down the semitone box route, the more the two systems converge. That's my experience anyway - but then I do make a conscious effort to keep learning from B/C style even though I am going to stick to C#/D. That way I can play in E major and F# minor (for example) when the occasion demands - and have fun playing a tune in whatever key it seems to flow easier in! (:) 
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Barlow on January 04, 2019, 10:47:58 AM
As a beginner B/C, if I can stick my tuppence worth in:

I sometime wish I had started on C#/D.
I could get along great with the B/C when I was playing in key of C (and maybe G and F). All the basses were there more-or-less when I wanted them and I was sussing the box out nicely. That was within a year and I felt I was flying with it.

Then it came to playing sessions and - I knew it was coming - I had to realign my playing mostly in keys of D and G. It was, and is, a struggle. It really was like learning all over again, probably worse because there was a degree of the dreaded unlearning to be done. Had I started with C#/D then I would have been a lot further on in terms of session playing than I am now.

(and I feel at present I have gone past the point of no return with the B/C to revert to C#/D)

Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: deltasalmon on January 04, 2019, 01:54:58 PM
Even if you play with the B/C fingering you can still play on the C#/D to get a brighter sound. Johnny B Connelly does this on a track or two of his Bridgetown album (or maybe he's just playing in E on the B/C but the same effect would happen playing on a C#/D without the need to modify your fingering)

Also, there have been a few (myself included) people who have started on the B/C and switched to C#/D. I suppose there have been the same the other way but I think probably more switching to C#/D than the other way around. For me, C#/D seemed more intuitive with the D row and playing in the key of D. An added bonus is the ability to switch between C#/D box and melodeon without much issue. Of course players like Damien Mullane have no trouble switching between B/C and melodeon and players like Dermot Byrne don't really get hampered by key at all, for a beginner I think it's easier to pick up, especially if you're going to be self-taught without a tutor to help.
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: richard.fleming on January 04, 2019, 02:43:18 PM
I think some people fall into the trap of mostly playing in D on the C#/D box, especially if not coming from a semitone-box background. Important to avoid that. Actually both G and A are relatively easy on the C#/D.
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Danny on January 06, 2019, 11:05:46 AM
Hi I am a beginner on the B/C box. Initially I made a conscious effort not to delve into the why's and why nots of this system, all I knew was that it is used for Irish Music. Now, a few months down the line I am finding out more about playing this box, but I intend to continue along this road. I know from experience with other instruments how "easy" it is try an "easier" route only to find you hit similar problems again. I have organised some lessons, so hopefully I will gain more knowledge and skills to improve. My way to learn, and I did this with tenor banjo, is to select different tunes that present various challenges. Along with scales etc it seems to work for me.
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Stiamh on January 06, 2019, 04:17:31 PM
... I intend to continue along this road. ... I have organised some lessons, so hopefully I will gain more knowledge and skills to improve. My way to learn, and I did this with tenor banjo, is to select different tunes that present various challenges. Along with scales etc it seems to work for me.

Good for you Danny. The most important thing is to keep at it. The next most important thing is to look for help. If you feel you are not progressing satisfactorily or cannot solve a problem, ask for help. (But subject the advice you get to a careful trial before adopting it or making it into a rule.)

The rest of the time, watch other players carefully, on video, or even better, live: particularly in the early stages, I think you can learn something useful from sitting next to just about any player (sometimes, even, things that are useful not to do!).

And... keep at it.  (:)
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: kenakordeon on January 11, 2019, 09:29:15 PM
I know the B/C system as being played only (or mostly, anyway) in Irish music. Can anyone provide links to players using it in maybe other than the Celtic musics? I've seen and heard many talented musicians playing the B/C so I'm guessing someone is doing someone different with system. I tried for a short while to learn it but I was too earlier into my D/C# journey (which has ended) to make any sense of the B/C.

Ken
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Danny on January 21, 2019, 10:10:15 AM
Hi
Don't know whether I'm posting at the right place, but I have a similar dilemma with regard to starting with a B/C box and changing to another type, namely DG.
I am a complete beginner with 3 months experience. I chose the B/C box because I love Irish music, and I love learning this method. I have just purchased a 2.5 row DG box.
The only reason I have done this is because it is so hard to find a BC player/tutor in this area that I decide to add the DG. It won't stop me playing Irish tunes, only now I have a
Tutor who can guide me along the way,
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: george garside on January 21, 2019, 11:47:12 AM
I think some people fall into the trap of mostly playing in D on the C#/D box, especially if not coming from a semitone-box background. Important to avoid that. Actually both G and A are relatively easy on the C#/D.

as they also are on a BC!  E is dead easy on a BC.  plus of course B & C played on the row.  so BCGDAE  (mostly treble only) are easy provided the sscales are practiced.  The 'flat' keys are ,to me, more difficult perhaps because on the BCC# I simply use the CC# rows  so Ab is the same fingeringas G, F as E etc etc.

george
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Gromit on January 21, 2019, 03:35:54 PM
Quote
..so hard to find a BC player/tutor in this area..

Obviously not as good as one to one tuition but I found Damien Connolly's The Irish Accordion Tutor very useful, mine came with a CD and the book gives info & suggested fingerings for tunes.

There's also The Box: A Beginners Guide to the Irish Traditional Button Accordion - cheaper and more basic.

Both are for B/C players

Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: george garside on January 21, 2019, 05:25:43 PM
Hi
Don't know whether I'm posting at the right place, but I have a similar dilemma with regard to starting with a B/C box and changing to another type, namely DG.
I am a complete beginner with 3 months experience. I chose the B/C box because I love Irish music, and I love learning this method. I have just purchased a 2.5 row DG box.
The only reason I have done this is because it is so hard to find a BC player/tutor in this area that I decide to add the DG. It won't stop me playing Irish tunes, only now I have a
Tutor who can guide me along the way,
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: george garside on January 21, 2019, 05:29:00 PM
  box.
The only reason I have done this is because it is so hard to find a BC player/tutor in this area 

   


Where is ''this area''? ----- if we knew that somebody  may know somebody  that can help!


george
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Steve_freereeder on January 22, 2019, 09:14:45 AM
Where is ''this area''? ----- if we knew that somebody  may know somebody  that can help!
It's Sheffield (I think).
Danny approached me a while back but unfortunately I couldn't help, not being a B/C player myself.
Title: Re: Should I keep my C#/D box?
Post by: Cam Button on February 02, 2019, 08:52:59 PM
I find C#/ D easier to play. So the B/C is on its way to Indianapolis. A PA player there wants to try his hand at B/C. Thank you for your help. Cam