Melodeon.net Forums

Discussions => Teaching and Learning => Topic started by: Noah on April 10, 2019, 05:21:15 PM

Title: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Noah on April 10, 2019, 05:21:15 PM
Hi I recently purchased a Hohner club Ib in C/F in  purple pearlescent and have a note/key chart from off the internet, at first I decided to concentrate on the C row and learn that but soon found some notes easier to cross row, but I end up feeling swamped with all the possibilities, should an absolute beginner concentrate on learning one row as if it were a one row box ? then progress to the other row or is cross row from the start the best way to learn?
hope my question makes sense.
Regards
          Noah
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: playandteach on April 10, 2019, 05:41:41 PM
Either will work. From my own experience I would say don't fix yourself to one style of playing too soon: by which I mean, by all means stick to one row for a month or so, but break out into cross row playing after you've got the hang of using the bellows to change pitch, and to learn where the notes are. I'm still tempted to get or borrow a one row to build the skills I neglected early on, having stuck straight in with cross rowing.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Tufty on April 10, 2019, 05:47:21 PM
I came at it from the other direction from playandteach! I started with a one row and only much later started to cross rows. My advice would be to try to get used to both asap, this gives you a bigger tool kit that you can choose from depending on the style you want to create.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on April 10, 2019, 05:56:25 PM
I started cross rowing from the beginning, looking at the notes in a phrase and how best to play them without frantic bellows waggling. Fitting this in with the appropriate chord accompniament.
I suspect everyone comes into it from a different angle.
Q
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Lester on April 10, 2019, 05:57:56 PM

I started cross rowing from the beginning, looking at the notes in a phrase and how best to play them without frantic bellows waggling. Fitting this in with the appropriate chord accompniament.
I suspect everyone comes into it from a different angle.
Q

I play tunes on a one row without 'frantic bellows waggling' ???
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on April 10, 2019, 06:21:49 PM
Indeed you do, and do it very finely. That's not what I was referring to.
I have seen examples in the past where excessive waggling and bellows slap was the style. I didn't want to developed that style. Nothing against playing along the rows, it's something I do as well. It was just my attempt at the beginning to prevent me getting into bad habits at the start.
Q
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: John MacKenzie (Cugiok) on April 10, 2019, 06:28:21 PM
I am self taught, and don't read music in any shape or form. I play the rows, but with use of notes from the adjacent row, if it's not in the key I'm playing in, but is available nearby.

SJ
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Eshed on April 10, 2019, 06:29:20 PM
Hi I recently purchased a Hohner club Ib in C/F in  purple pearlescent and have a note/key chart from off the internet, at first I decided to concentrate on the C row and learn that but soon found some notes easier to cross row, but I end up feeling swamped with all the possibilities, should an absolute beginner concentrate on learning one row as if it were a one row box ? then progress to the other row or is cross row from the start the best way to learn?
hope my question makes sense.
Regards
          Noah
Is the box still clubbed? Does it have the gleichton? If so, it might be best to cross-row sooner rather than later.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Squeaky Pete on April 10, 2019, 06:42:41 PM
Play however you like and using any technique you like.
Just get familiar with your box. Keep playing with it.
Sooner rather than later you'll find yourself playing something and it will sound quite natural.
You'll think aha!
Of course everyone will tell you different ways are best, but just keep picking it up and playing.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Peadar on April 10, 2019, 07:19:01 PM
You don't need to go into cross rowing to start with. You could also start with one of the D/G tutorial books and for the purposes of the book consider the instrument in your hands to be a D/G. If on the other hand you have already worked out the Scales you may be best get your hands on a Piano Accordion beginers book- effectively C is the home key of that instrument so the easy tunes at the start of the book are all in C.

(Ignore the fact that most English melodeon players regard the PA as being an instrument of the night. You come from Cornwall and we all know that isn't really in England!)
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Alan Pittwood on April 10, 2019, 07:36:40 PM
It is the case that there were so many questions that you might have asked before making the purchase.  And so much you could have said about what your musical intentions are/were.   At that stage you would have received a large number of mostly helpful comments [in the same way that the Earth is mostly harmless (per The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)].   

Put simply, you have bought a melodeon in C/F that may or may not be Club tuned [having the unisonoric (same note sounds for both ways of the bellows) button].   If it has then you will have to cross-row to play the key of F, the inner row.   If it has not, then you may play push/draw up and down both the rows to get the sounds of the keys of C and F.   And then you will also be able to get the minor keys (Dm, Am), the mixolydian modes (Gmix, Cmix) and the dorian modes (Ddor, Gdor) that are availabe.

You may find others who want to play tunes in C/F (the joke about Hooke's Law has been done, many years ago) or accompany songs in C/F.  If not, you will buy other melodeons, play in other keys and, perhaps, go completely MAD.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Fred on April 10, 2019, 08:02:01 PM
Is the box still clubbed? Does it have the gleichton? If so, it might be best to cross-row sooner rather than later.

Eshed is asking the real questions here. If it is still clubbed, go for cross rowing if you want to play in F. Whenever you want to play in C, it's still easily possible to just play the outer row on its own.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Peadar on April 10, 2019, 10:54:46 PM
Quote
It is the case that there were so many questions that you might have asked before making the purchase.  And so much you could have said about what your musical intentions are/were.   At that stage you would have received a large number of mostly helpful comments [in the same way that the Earth is mostly harmless (per The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy)].   

In fairness, to any and every beginner, there are so many questions that you don't know enough to ask until you have actually bought your first accordion/melodeon and begun to work out what you can and can't do with it. Volume v tone...work rounds for the tune you want to play that demands the sharp you haven't got...and even working out how you actually hold onto the instrument once you (try to) take a tune out of first gear.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Dick Rees on April 10, 2019, 11:02:53 PM
Noah...

There are many paths to take, but whichever one you choose will be made easier by a thorough listening knowledge of the music you wish to play.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on April 11, 2019, 01:17:02 AM
soon found some notes easier to cross row, but I end up feeling swamped with all the possibilities,


That is the melodeon god's way of telling you to spend more time investigating the possibilities. It will start making sense sooner than you expect. The possibilities are not endless.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Noah on April 11, 2019, 09:22:43 AM
thankyou everyone for the advice, its been really helpful, definitely feeling less muddled
  Noah
 
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Jesse Smith on April 12, 2019, 03:07:00 AM
Hi Noah, welcome to Melnet! I think the most important questions are: what kind of music are you keen to play, and (as others have asked) does your melodeon still have the club layout (the C in both directions in the middle of the F row).

I think everyone who is past the complete beginner stage uses both rows to some extent, but there's a wide spectrum of how they are used, and the style of music you play will definitely tilt you towards one end or another. For example, I am learning to play traditional English dance music, and I think it is fair to generalize that most players in this style play mostly on the rows, picking notes from the other rows as necessary to get the desired left hand chords, to make right-hand harmonies work, and sometimes to grab short notes without having to reverse the bellows. But in this kind of music the bounce of the bellows reversals is a fairly fundamental part of the style. This is quite different from the typical Continental style that often emphasizes long phrases over held left-hand chords, where crossing the rows is necessary for sustaining the chord and for the smooth legato phrasing often used.

With regards to the club tuning, if you have the C in both directions, it means you're missing the D on the F row and you will *have to* cross to the C row in order to play a full scale in F. But the club tuning allows you to play almost two full octaves in F without reversing the bellows, so if you are into that sort of thing it's quite an advantage! ;)

In the end, regardless of the type of music you play, you will want to be able to play along the rows *and* play across the rows. I think mostly it comes with practice and just learning which buttons are which notes, and then just thinking about when and why you might want to cross over to the other row for a particular musical effect. As long as you are learning some tunes in C and some tunes in F I think you'll get familiar with it soon enough.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: george garside on April 12, 2019, 10:56:38 AM
not sure whether or not its been mentioned on this thread but a careful study of the
cf keyboard chart ( available on here)) will enable you to plot different ways of playing various scales etc
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Thrupenny Bit on April 12, 2019, 06:47:27 PM
Yes, George has a good point.
When first starting up, I printed off a couple of keyboard layouts for my box.
I then coloured in all the notes on push, then used another colour for the pull. The visual prompt helped me to remember where the notes were.
All people work differently and learn through different prompts, but at the beginning it helped me to understand what note was where.
Q
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Noah on April 14, 2019, 10:20:58 AM
thankyou everyone for taking the time to advise me, I really do find it a help.
theres been so many helpful answers and questions i,ll do my best to reply to them here.
my C/F Hohner is still in original club layout, it has the C on push and pull in the middle of the F row, I come from a background of 6hole Irish flute and Low Whistle. I love Irish music and haunt 'the session' as a matter of course, lately I have been enjoying Mazurkas/Waltzes and some French tunes.
 Whilst I realise a D/G melodeon would have been better suited to my interest in Irish music the C/F became available locally and within 'my budget'
 On taking onboard all the advice I have been learning the C row with a lurch every now and then for an accidental, I can see as pointed out so kindly that the ease of cross rowing will come with time and practice.
kind regards
 Noah
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on April 14, 2019, 04:36:14 PM
Have you checked the pitching of your instrument?
I have found these older ones are not always at standard modern pitch (A=440)
Might be worth finding a tuner app.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: richard.fleming on April 15, 2019, 08:15:19 AM
You don't need to go into cross rowing to start with.

Bear in mind that Peadar says in another post that he got his first melodeon in February. Other more experienced players may disagree with him.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Lester on April 15, 2019, 08:25:15 AM
You don't need to go into cross rowing to start with.

Bear in mind that Peadar says in another post that he got his first melodeon in February. Other more experienced players may disagree with him.


Bear in mind that Lester who has been playing for >40 years (almost entirely English tunes) agrees with Peadar, but it does depend on the type of music you want to play.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Winston Smith on April 15, 2019, 08:57:37 AM
"but it does depend on the type of music you want to play."

And not even only that! In every sphere there are those who want to excel, for whichever reason, while some players just want to make music of a sort which pleases themselves and maybe some other, likeminded, "plebs".
After over 50 years of singing in a choir, I've realised that I'll never be a Pavarotti, but that doesn't mean that I'm particularly dissatisfied with my efforts, or that many people who listen don't enjoy it!
We cannot, and should not, expect everyone who plays melodeon to aspire to the skills of young Cohen, or JK (or whosoever) just because a certain type of player (or listener, come to that) demands a highly artistic, in their opinion, type of performance or style.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: richard.fleming on April 15, 2019, 09:28:20 AM
"after you've got the hang of using the bellows to change pitch"

Intrigued by this.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: richard.fleming on April 15, 2019, 09:32:04 AM
"but it does depend on the type of music you want to play."

And not even only that! In every sphere there are those who want to excel, for whichever reason, while some players just want to make music of a sort which pleases themselves and maybe some other, likeminded, "plebs".
After over 50 years of singing in a choir, I've realised that I'll never be a Pavarotti, but that doesn't mean that I'm particularly dissatisfied with my efforts, or that many people who listen don't enjoy it!
We cannot, and should not, expect everyone who plays melodeon to aspire to the skills of young Cohen, or JK (or whosoever) just because a certain type of player (or listener, come to that) demands a highly artistic, in their opinion, type of performance or style.

If you make a virtue of amateurism, fair enough.  But if you ask for advice you need to get it from someone with experience, don't you?
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Winston Smith on April 15, 2019, 10:14:55 AM
Hahaha!

I just wonder how many of our members see themselves as professional, then? There's no particular "virtue" in either, IMHO. They are only different states of being!

"But if you ask for advice you need to get it from someone with experience, don't you?"

Surely, but it depends on what you're looking for, as the experience (and mindset, it would appear) of the advisor will colour any advice they give. I'm eternally grateful for the loads of advice I've received on this forum (and hopefully will continue to do so) but social and financial differences, along with differences in personal temperament, can make some very well-meaning advice worthless to the recipient.

I would counsel anyone to take all advice and be thankful for the willingness of the giver to actually give it, but weigh it as befits your needs, wants and resources. It seems to me that melodeonists are a very broad church, and also that there is no pecking order, at least not that I've come across in my journey so far.

Perhaps we could get Brother Corbyn and Mrs May into our little flock? It would be great to see the two of them delightedly squeezing away on the same stage!

Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: richard.fleming on April 15, 2019, 10:48:19 AM
Hahaha!

I just wonder how many of our members see themselves as professional, then?

I don't see myself as professional either, but I have always had to live with wanting to play better, and have thought that that is one of the conditions of being a musician. It is less comfortable than amateurism, but hard to avoid because enjoying music surely involves some appreciation of quality.
I'm reminded of the Seamus Ennis story about the piper given the choice of wishes  (by a fairy or a leprechaun or suchlike) of being able to play so that he pleased himself but nobody else, or being able to please everybody who heard him except himself. Where do you stand on that, Winston?
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on April 15, 2019, 11:34:04 AM
...but I have always had to live with wanting to play better, and have thought that that is one of the conditions of being a musician. It is less comfortable than amateurism...

I am very wary of entering the fray, here, but I think what is going on is a clash of styles.
On the row playing is no more or less skillful, or "professional" than across the row playing. Just different.

{Edit: Don't be put off by partisan statements, Noah. A lot of people would like to be better at both. Some people are. Some people excel at one, or the other,  of them. It's not something to worry about. Now I think about it, it's not limited to two styles, either.]
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: george garside on April 15, 2019, 11:37:15 AM

I

Perhaps we could get Brother Corbyn and Mrs May into our little flock? It would be great to see the two of them delightedly squeezing away on the same stage!
[

quote



more likely to be playing a duet on musical R souls!

george
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: Winston Smith on April 15, 2019, 11:41:16 AM
Richard, I'm happy to continue this discussion but I'm concerned that it may well add to any confusion that the OP might be experiencing. Although it may not be strictly off-topic, I don't think it's particularly helpful to other members.

I'll pm you instead, if that meets with your approval?
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: richard.fleming on April 15, 2019, 11:53:31 AM
[ I think what is going on is a clash of styles.

I'm sorry, I didn't mean to clash. Merely to discuss. I'll get my coat.
Title: Re: muddled beginner on C/F
Post by: playandteach on April 15, 2019, 12:48:11 PM
"after you've got the hang of using the bellows to change pitch"

Intrigued by this.
It doesn't mean anything fancy, just that for newcomers to melodeon, (at least this is what I found), the concept of different pitches with different buttons was easy, but the push pull way of changing notes was less intuitive if you've previously played an instrument that doesn't do that. Especially that the pitch change doesn't always go in the same direction as you move up the keyboard. Nothing more subtle was meant.
I've decided to limit myself for a couple of weeks to only playing in G as I have to use the bellows to cope with the C over a G chord phrase. It really is an Achilles heal.