Melodeon.net Forums

Discussions => Teaching and Learning => Topic started by: MelonBox on February 04, 2020, 11:18:52 AM

Title: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: MelonBox on February 04, 2020, 11:18:52 AM
I'm starting a new project! General aim: to be a better musician.

First post is up where you can find out all about the reasons for and my objectives for making this commitment work around a busy schedule:

https://melbiggsmusic.co.uk/2020/02/04/100-days-of-practice-my-new-project-free-download/

If you feel inspired to join in, it would be great to see your posts/links to videos here on this thread. Let's get better together  :||: :|||:

Mel
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Chris Rayner on February 04, 2020, 07:18:04 PM
A better musician!?  <Sound of credulity being strained>😉
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Julian S on February 04, 2020, 08:17:56 PM
Definitely up for the hundred days of practice - but the challenge for me is making sure it is more effective and focussed. If I could stick to working on a tune (or maybe a couple) a day, plus scales etc. that would be a start...but changing long term habits and behaviour isn't easy !

J
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 04, 2020, 09:58:13 PM
I practised today - I worked on a piece I'm intending to do for Theme of the Month, and in the latter half, for about 25 minutes decided I should finally get around to learning Vals i Lekstugan. (Torader's performace for reference (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WvHF53aWovQ))

Session began with the benefit that I can hum/sing the tune, however, necessarily totally familiar with it in a DG box playing key, so, I had to adapt to that for a bit first. I printed sheet music I made some time ago, and slowly figured out each bar, and referred to the above video a couple times just for a hint on which way to play some of the D chord passages (since they could be played on push or pull).

I suppose, in terms of what I have done so far, I have built a sequence of things my fingers will be doing in each bar for the A music, and a little for the much simpler low octave B music - you'll note that I sometimes pause at the end of each bar while my brain regurgitates the next sequence of finger waggles it will be sending. I'm less interested in keeping the pulse right now, especially due to the complicated nature of the tune. (edit also, looking at the box is already no longer something I'm doing at all at this stage)

I also figured I'd try youtube's video editor to just trim the start and end off where I manhandle my stupid phone but it turns out it might takes hours before it updates the actual video, so, I won't do that next time. I think it's finally just done updating it, but, it's here, anyway, https://youtu.be/9UyNopvAFQY

I then went back and corrected some of my ABC notation for the tune. My quest for tomorrow is to have slept between now and then and that should provide some fabulous progress benefits, and then I'll need to figure out the high octave B music properly.

Still love this tune, although maybe I won't in 100 days...

Let's get better together  :||: :|||:

Oh, and btw that tune you're working on sounds mad, I love it.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Winston Smith on February 04, 2020, 10:05:03 PM
I have to say that the application and obvious devotion that you people have astounds me! I take my hat off to you all.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Martin P on February 05, 2020, 08:12:50 AM
But what to practice. Tunes you know well, but need refining or new tunes?
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Julian S on February 05, 2020, 08:45:19 AM
Of course, the other big question is how long to aim for each day.  I could easily spend today going through the tune files and planning a programme with a mix of old tunes which I enjoy playing but have never completely mastered, and I keep finding new ones which divert my attention but offer challenges.
The sensible part of me (still got one somewhere) reminds me that I also ought to focus on tunes in the 'performance' repertoire - always more problematic when other musicians are involved. Keeping a diary will help me focus and review progress I think.
And I reckon I might need to invest in more embrocation for sore muscles and lots of coffee  ::)

J
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 05, 2020, 10:56:07 AM
Well, one advantage of having 100 days is, you have plenty of time to figure those things out - it gives you time to practice practicing. Keeping a diary or physical notes can be super worthwhile - just the act of writing them can have a significant benefit. I tend to print out and write notes on scores for tunes I'm learning.

Good daily practice, to me, would be anything from 15 to 60 minutes of intentful, motivated & reflective playing. Outside of that, you can be planning, taking notes, thinking about and writing music, which all contribute to self improvement. If you can't actually play your instrument on a specific day, you can still make plans and select things to work on. Reviewing what feels effective for you can help guide future practice - ultimately, it's all about you.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Andy Next Tune on February 05, 2020, 11:03:22 AM
Julian, not being sure what to practice and how long for is exactly the type of prevarication my brain regularly undertakes as well!!!! (:)

I've given some thought about Mel's challenge and I see the real benefit as building the discipline to find time to practice every day. Exactly what you do will vary - tunes for a gig, tunes for the next morris practice, new techniques, stuff from a workshop, TOTM,....whatever. But if we are practising for a little while every day, I suspect we will eventually find time for everything!!!

The next bit of prevarication is when to start. Now, I'm busy today and out on Saturday............
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: arty on February 05, 2020, 12:45:37 PM
I can’t bite my tongue any longer!

I am shocked because I thought everyone practiced. I thought everyone practiced, pretty much, every day. I bought my first instrument eight years ago and I have practiced nearly every day since, save those days when I have been ill, working or out for an evening. On those days, I miss it! I can’t imagine not practicing every day, it is a really enjoyable and important part of my life.

I will practice every evening for at least an hour, spending half an hour on new pieces and difficult phrases and then the last half an hour, I play pieces I already know well, just to keep them going. On Sundays, I regularly play for two to three hours.

Before I bought my first accordion, I did the same with my guitar and my oboe. It is not a hardship, it is something that I enjoy and I look forward to it each day.

Obviously, I need to get a life!  ;D
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on February 05, 2020, 01:21:48 PM
I can’t bite my tongue any longer!

I am shocked because I thought everyone practiced....It is not a hardship, it is something that I enjoy and I look forward to it each day.


Have to agree with Arty. If it's a chore something's going wrong.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Julian S on February 05, 2020, 03:13:30 PM
Certainly isn't a chore for me...I stopped playing for a few days recently due to neck pain and I missed playing so much. Normally I play for at least a couple of hours a day, and as my wife is working towards an approaching violin exam she doesn't complain !
But I just need to be more organised and focussed about my practice, and set some goals, (whilst also thinking about posture whilst playing)

J
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Lyra on February 05, 2020, 09:50:38 PM
Might as well give up then, if finding it hard to practice, as clearly doing everything wrong.
There's a gazillion reasons (external and internal) why people find it hard to practice (note: not find it a chore), so hurrah for those who find it a joy but have a little sympathy for those who struggle. And thank you Mel for highlighting it.
/rant
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Winston Smith on February 05, 2020, 10:08:46 PM
You'll remember the ad "Don't cook, just eat"? Well, I would say, "Don't practice, just play!"
 
Eventually, by playing the tunes you enjoy and can play, you'll get better at diving about the keyboard and then you may well get the urge to want to play better, simply because you're more confident and therefore you may be more willing to actually put the work in to get it just that bit better, and then better again.

It didn't work for me, but as an old codger, I'm happy to just knock out tunes which appeal to me and tickle my fancy! Nothing depends on me playing well.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Squeaky Pete on February 05, 2020, 10:19:11 PM
I agree with Mr Smith.
I've been trying to play tunes that I thought were well beyond my skill. The process is helping me find my way around the keyboard in different ways and I'm discovering a lot.
I admit I've never done scales and exercises, I just try and play the tune.
At present I manage maybe four sessions of practice per week of around an hour. And it's all learning new tunes or reinforcing existing ones.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 05, 2020, 11:41:44 PM
Day 2, More Vals I Lekstugan
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ZhTBv7Okjo

Not completely happy with my C music transcription still, but fixed a lot of the things that were incorrect, and improved the A & B transcriptions. But I imagine it'll start to make sense as I can start to play it.

Probably going to be fluent on the A and B parts of this tune tomorrow, but, tomorrow is Morris night so idk if I'm gonna be practicing this in a recordable way.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Corinto on February 06, 2020, 10:51:56 AM
Agree with Pete and Winston.

Play a tune, and once more, and once more, ad libitum ... till it starts to sound like music ...
Average an hour every day, sometimes more, when at home and grandkids at school ...
Weekends and holidays more disorderly ...
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: JohnS on February 06, 2020, 02:55:41 PM
'Even when he was 90 years old, Pablo Casals known as the world's greatest cellist, practised this instrument for four or five hours every day. Someone asked him why at his age, he still worked so hard on the music, and he responded, "Because I think I am making some progress."'

So really it should be N Days of Practice, where N = number of days between now and the time when you are physically incapable of doing it any more.

Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Winston Smith on February 06, 2020, 04:54:48 PM
"So really it should be N Days of Practice, where N = number of days between now and the time when you are physically incapable of doing it any more."

If improving, beyond much where you are now, is that important to you, of course. But if practice can become a chore, then just play! I think there's a possibly fine line between just playing and practice, but I do believe it's there.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 06, 2020, 11:28:56 PM
Day 3 - I practised today, kinda - No video, as I'd expected, but I stole moments between tunes at Morris practice to play Vals a bit. Additionally I confirmed my C music transcription as best I could earlier today with my preferred melodeon app, since I don't have an actual GC instrument.

I also worked on playing not for joe in the upper octave, muscled my way through Twiglet to see how loud I could be since our morris band was a bit thin compared to normal, and worked on my RHS chords for Worcestershire Monkey/Weasel's Revenge, in particular the A music where choices are a bit limited.

Also, we bought a car, finally.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: JohnS on February 07, 2020, 08:58:19 AM
Quote
I think there's a possibly fine line between just playing and practice, but I do believe it's there.
I would say that if you play a tune with the intent of making it just a little bit better than normal then that's practice.  Or just a bit differently. 

That might involve isolating a section of the tune for special attention.  But even if you sail through the tune and are quite happy with it then that's still more playing time under your belt and it will have reinforced the tune in your memory.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Julian S on February 07, 2020, 09:09:56 AM
The advantages of retirement - my diary shows that so far I've been spending at least an hour each morning and afternoon playing, concentrating on three or four tunes.
Farewell to Muirheads - I hadn't heard it before the TOTM and thought it would be an interesting project. If You Will Not Have Me...- thinking particularly about overall speed as part of a set (views on what speed to play 3/2s at welcome !), and bass/chord variations. One bar is causing me problems as the fingers run away so time for metronome I reckon. Then there's Sweetness of Mary (the tune just popped into my head during a sleepless night). I'm hoping that the fiddler will like it enough to learn, and I'm thinking how to make it work in performance if need be. And there's Rain on the Woodpile, which I doubt I'll play in public but is an excellent practice tune because I have to focus on speed control, fluency, chords, avoiding mistakes (if only !) and making the transition to the second tune in the Leveret set 'Terminus'. I also need to set aside extra time to perfect a tune I wrote for a Border dance...and I haven't picked up the G/C for two weeks...good job I don't have a job !
Whilst I can't post recordings, I think I will do some simply as a way of monitoring and reviewing progress !

J
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 07, 2020, 12:50:31 PM
Gena,
So you started a 100 day regime of practice, and your partner bought a car. Trouble at mill?
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 07, 2020, 02:02:52 PM
So you started a 100 day regime of practice, and your partner bought a car.

Ah, well, so, it's really my car actually, so, I suppose I'll be dropping him off in a nearby field...

I am legitimately looking at options for practicing in the car, though - living in flat, one has to be respectful of ones neighbours. Knowing I can just, idk, drive somewhere, chill out and play the melodeon at 1 am? I suppose it's not very cool, but I'm kinda looking forward to it.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on February 07, 2020, 02:12:42 PM
So you started a 100 day regime of practice, and your partner bought a car.

Ah, well, so, it's really my car actually, so, I suppose I'll be dropping him off in a nearby field...

I am legitimately looking at options for practicing in the car, though - living in flat, one has to be respectful of ones neighbours. Knowing I can just, idk, drive somewhere, chill out and play the melodeon at 1 am? I suppose it's not very cool, but I'm kinda looking forward to it.

I find it quite tricky playing melodeon in the car, but I have been known to drive somewhere nice and practice in the open air. I still remember doing this on a hill side near Grenoside, looking out at a rather brilliant view. When I finished I was surprised by a round of applause. I turned round to find a bunch of joggers stood there listening.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Mcgrooger on February 07, 2020, 03:05:45 PM

Whilst I can't post recordings, I think I will do some simply as a way of monitoring and reviewing progress !

J

Why can't you post recordings Julian? I find getting tunes to the point where I feel I can post them is probably my primary motivation to practice.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Julian S on February 07, 2020, 03:29:51 PM

Whilst I can't post recordings, I think I will do some simply as a way of monitoring and reviewing progress !

J

Why can't you post recordings Julian? I find getting tunes to the point where I feel I can post them is probably my primary motivation to practice.

'Technical issues' - I used to be able to simply upload vids from my Kindle to Youtube now pooter says 'no'. I suppose I ought to use my PC if I could find it...
Generally, my motivation to practice is that I think I should be able to play better considering how long I've been playing ! Too many bad habits learnt in my misspent youth I reckon. And also my life does mainly revolve around music and dance - not alone in that I am sure.

J
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Mcgrooger on February 07, 2020, 03:48:52 PM
Ah, right. I post to YT via my PC but I'm sure there are plenty of other ways too ( phones/tablets type malarkey). It's a shame though - seeing melnetters playing is always good.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 08, 2020, 12:29:45 PM
A Two for one Deal from yesterday, so, maybe a 3 for one if I record practice tonight (yesterday was SO's birthday so, no time for video editing really yesterday)

Day 3:
I spent some time at practice making sure I have RHS extras for the dances we were doing, and this is what I came up with. I'm not sure how I would rate everything I would doing here, but, it's getting me thinking about bringing in options for bringing in other notes from the appropriate chord underneath the melody.
https://youtu.be/4FTPwnPCuvQ

Day 4:
I also did some more Vals I Lekstugan work. I tried going through the whole C music for the first time - I swear, I must have something wrong still in my transcription of the 1st repeat ending of the C music still. I'm also getting caught up in the A music at one particular part - this tune being more outside row focused, my accidentals often feel like they're in the wrong direction for the first time in a while. Oh, how the other half lives...

I also played through one of my own tunes, Battle Shorts, to see how that tune is sticking. The answer is, mostly pretty well, although I still get caught up on a couple of parts of it. This is my first tune with a 'weird bridge', which took a bit of practice to get right, but, that's in the past and I'm just checking it's all still under the fingers:
https://youtu.be/OzaGiCI92ok
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: george garside on February 08, 2020, 11:00:47 PM
So you started a 100 day regime of practice, and your partner bought a car.

Ah, well, so, it's really my car actually, so, I suppose I'll be dropping him off in a nearby field...

I am legitimately looking at options for practicing in the car, though - living in flat, one has to be respectful of ones neighbours. Knowing I can just, idk, drive somewhere, chill out and play the melodeon at 1 am? I suppose it's not very cool, but I'm kinda looking forward to it.

many years ago I was living in a hospital staff flat   and the only way I could play/practice the box was  in the car   . I found the best way was to push the front seats as far forward as possible and to sit  in the back seat.  On a number of occasions I  drew the attention of hospital security bods  ??for doing strange things in the back of a car!  They got used to it and left me alone probably seeing me as somebody slightly eccentric!

george

Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 10, 2020, 02:07:18 AM
Day 5, I learnt a tune called 'roman Wall', such is apparently also an Irish tune called the eavesdropper, and remembered how to play travellers joy, which I probably haven't played in almost a year. Here's a short video of me getting that wrong :
https://youtu.be/ZlBWlyirX0I

Today, day 6,I didn't really practice per se, but I did perform at the local folk club and attend a session for two and a half hours. So, plenty of music was played today. I added a lot of rhs chords, figuring out where to adlib them in while playing, and played some harmony lines by just making stuff up on my low scale. That, to me, feels like putting ideas into practice, which must therefore also somehow be a form of practice. QED.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 10, 2020, 11:44:32 PM
Day 7, I fixed my bar of Vals I Lekstugan that kept going wrong, and also learn a bit how to play in E major: https://youtu.be/cCCyLqHFgR8 (spoiler it's awful and I love it)
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Winston Smith on February 11, 2020, 07:17:27 AM
Never mind the actual practice, Gena; the fact that you always "put your money where your mouth is", so to speak, must endear you to everyone on this site. Surely we've all come to love you for that?
Please, keep on sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 12, 2020, 12:41:11 AM
Never mind the actual practice, Gena; the fact that you always "put your money where your mouth is", so to speak, must endear you to everyone on this site. Surely we've all come to love you for that?
Please, keep on sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm.

I appreciate your encouragement. Sometimes I feel like my posts can come across as a little narcissistic? Really my goal is kinda the opposite.

Day 8:
https://youtu.be/SSuDGM5FSp4
So, it would seem I've finally managed to get a C part of Vals I Lekstugan to work. I swear, every time I play this slowly, or without the chords, it just sounds wrong. Compare with this attempt on Day 4 (https://youtu.be/OzaGiCI92ok?t=113) - I think it needed the chords and rhythm to sell it. For reference, I have concluded that this does not sound like trash.

Leaves me a bit of a choice though; so, per this thread (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,21527.msg293897.html#msg293897), I found a midi version of this tune on a website and pulled it apart to get a useful score, which I then compared with Torader's playing and effectively changed to match. The midi has a different run in these 1st repeat bars, that to me sounds kinda a lot smoother? It does hit the accidentals a little heavier, using all 4 in quick succession, buuuuut that probably doesn't bother me, so, I guess I'm not too sure what would cause the difference yet, but I think I might learn this other version as well and then put them side by side (the chords are carbon copied so aren't correlating/necessarily possible)

Code: [Select]
% NB transposed to DG!
% From Torader's playing
"D"AG AB "A"c^c |\
|1 "D"d^d "A" e=f ga | "D"ed "A"^cd "A"BG | "D"D2 z :|2 etc
% From midi import:
"D"FG ^GA "A"^AB\
|1 "D"c^c "A"d^d ef | "D"ed "A"^cd "A"BG | "D"D2 z :|2 etc

Then again maybe I should check that midi import again and check I haven't deceived myself.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 13, 2020, 03:28:49 AM
Day 9
Instead of directly practising today, I wrote a tune, which I also think of as practice. I was prattling around trying to make some Tchaikovsky work, but after deciding I'd need to play it on the box to know, I thought about my other great interest, modes, since Mel talked about playing in them in her practice video today (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fvuX9_W4nE). So, per my day 7 or w/e I've been checking out E major. E is an interesting note on the DG melodeon - We all know you can play in E natural minor, and E dorian, and some people will figure out E harmonic minor, too. But, if I'm thinking, yeah, E major and E mixolydian too, so, what's to stop you completing the set and adding in E phrygian & E lydian?

Well, the main thing is going to be air, but other than that? Turns out, nothing much! To cut a long story short, I've already written a tune for every mode of the G major scale, which for fun, I can play back to back - 8 jigs, one each in G major, A dorian, B phrygian, C lydian, D mixolydian, E natural minor, even F# locrian and back to G major. Takes about 5 minutes to play through without repeats, it's uh, it's tough! I'm getting there on that one, too. But, I've been pretty interested in parallel mode shifts, too, where the tonic remains the same note. In this case, anchoring onto E creates an interesting (to me), and mostly repeatless tune. Surprisingly I've had this tune name, Parallel Popcorn, for a while now, but obviously it fits this bizarre attempt at composing quite nicely.

Anyway here's my tune. Should all be possible to play with casta style accidentals, the only worry would be air balancing, which is something I do take into account when writing tunes, but without trying it, there may still be some problems. As is normal for me, it's written in the key of G and all the accidentals are aggressively marked - should play fine as a midi, too.
edit - should add; Sequence is E 'Wonder Scale' aka Mix+b6, E Phrygian, E Mixolydian, E Harmonic Minor, E Major, E Dorian, 4 bars of E Dorian+#4 that I liked too much to throw out, E Lydian, E natural minor, E Mix+b6.
Code: [Select]
X:38
T:Parallel Popcorn
C:Gena Crisman 12/02/2020
%%titlefont Consolas, 22
%%subtitlefont Consolas, 16
%%partsfont Consolas, 20
%%partsbox
%%gchordfont Consolas, 18
%%MIDI program 21 % Accordion
%%MIDI chordprog 1 % Piano
M:3/4
Q:1/4=100
L:1/8
P:WPMHVDFLNWE
K:G
% E is versatile
% I can do E major, E mix, E dorian, E natural minor, E harmonic minor,
% A tiny bit of E Phrygian and E lydian
% That's what this tune is now
% Let's start with the wonder scale - Major 1-5, natural minor 6-8
P:W
"E5"[E]2[E^G]2[EB]2|"A5"[Ec]4"D5"B2|"E5"[E]2[E^G]2[EB]2|"A5"[Ec]4"D5"d2:|
% OK let's get our jam going
% our push chord is a D5, that fits with: Natural Minor and Phrygian
P:P
"E5"e=f e=f eB |"a"A2 "D5"A4 | "g"GB "D5"c2 "G5"d2 | "E5"e6 |
"D5"=f2 =fe d=f | "E5" e2 E4 | "D5" dc dc BA | "E5" e4 B2 |
% OK, done, now we modulate to a major sounding mode
% Let's go Mix
P:M
"E5" e2 ed^cB |"D5"d2 d^c BA |"A5"^c2 ^cB A^G| "E5"E2 ED ^CD |
"E5" ef ed ^cB |"D5"d2 f2 a2 |"A5"^c2 ^cB "B5"f2| "E5"e4 B2 |
% Next is: Dorian or Minor or Harmonic.
% Harmonic let's us play the Major card next maybe?
P:H
"B5"B2 BF B^d | "E5"e2 ef gf | "B5" B2 BA GF | "E5" E6 |
"C5" cB Ac ^de | "E5" gf e4 | "C5" cB AG "B5"FB, | "E5" E6 |
% Now let's bend this major by repeating our phrase
P:V
"B5"B2 BF B^d | "E5" e2 eB ^GB | "B5" B^c ^d^c BF | "E5" E6 |
"A5" ^c2 ^ce ^cA | "E5" ^G4 E2 | "B5" F2 F^G BF | "E5" E6 |
% now we bend back minor, we haven't done natural or dorian, dorian makes sense to me:
% This feels like more of a bridge
P:D
"A5"E2 "D5"D2 "A5"^C2 | "E5" E2 E4 | "A5" E2 "D5" F2 "G5" G2 | "E5" E2 E4 |
"D5"d^c B4 | "E5"EF G4 | "A5"^cB A4 | "D5"DE F4 |
% So, weirdly this was supposed to be lyidan, but it ended up has Dorian #4, a mode of B harmonic minor!
% OK I guess, let's take 4 bars of it to bring in the Bb, because B is waaay too many sharps for our chords to cater for
P:F
"G5"G2 _B2 G2 | "E5" E6 | "G5"_BA G2 _B2 | "B5" B6 |
% how on earth do I play E lydian. The chords would be E5 B5 and my 'look at me' chord would be F# major
P:L
"E5"e^d B4 | "B5" F_B =B4 | "E5"e^d e2 f2 | "B5"B_B F4 |
% Yes this is definitely lyidan and not B major.
"E5"B_B ^G4 | "B5" F2 _B2 F2 | "E5"B_B ^G2 "B5"B,2 | "E5"E6 |
% And finally E natural minor
P:N
"E5"EF GF B,D | "C5"EF GF c2 | "D5"Bd BA F2 | "B5"Bd BA D2 |
"E5"EF e4 | "C5" EF e2-e [cg] | "D5" [dA]2[dG]2[dF]2 | "B5" BF "D5"AD "B5"[B,F]2 |
P:E
%%MIDI gchord b
"E5"[E^GBe]6||
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Squeaky Pete on February 13, 2020, 08:47:19 AM
Sorry about that sidetrack, Gena. But I look forward to a rendition one day.
For various reasons I can't practice everyday at the moment, sometimes not for 3 or 4 days on the trot. However by putting in some serious work I've managed a reasonable rendition of both Origin of the World  (in Amin on the DG 2.6) and In Continental Mood. Both of these tunes were presented to me by Keith the fiddler as he has recently learned them and plays them well.
There were a few aha moments. Mainly when two bars went together seamlessly and when I found the right balance of cross rowing and on the row.
Despite having played in band known for French music, I've never really felt happy playing across the rows and I now think the rest of my playing will improve as a result.
The arpeggios in OotW have made me think of exploring the construction of other chords too, so my rationale that playing tunes is better for me than scales and exercises is ringing true.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Julian S on February 13, 2020, 11:27:18 AM
Some tunes are just wonderful as a way of stretching and improving ones playing - and Ootw and In Continental Mood certainly are amongst my favourites for that. I would also include a large number of Naragonia tunes, personally, and most of Leveret's recordings !
And on that subject - just heard about Halsway Naragonia weekend in late November...just hope I can flex other commitments so I can get there.

J
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: MelonBox on February 13, 2020, 11:35:40 AM
Day 9
Instead of directly practising today, I wrote a tune, which I also think of as practice.

Wow Gena! This is some incredible leg work on modes, and stunning use of ABC - I've never seen or heard anything like it but it's really interesting. Thanks for this. I must confess that it's taken me a while to get my head around modes, and I still work out the sclaes in a flow chart fashion (that's how a mate (nigelr of this parish) described them to me and it's kind of stuck!)

Really impressed by how this thread has taken off by the way. I get overwhelmed with the amount of text, but I have scanned through everyone's inputs and comments and am delighted at the inspiration that's coming out - in both directions!

Gena - this will take me some going at, but I'd love to use your Parallel Popcorn to study if that's OK? It might be the most painful series of videos but a really great study I think! Thanks so much for posting :-D
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 13, 2020, 07:03:37 PM
Gena - this will take me some going at, but I'd love to use your Parallel Popcorn to study if that's OK? It might be the most painful series of videos but a really great study I think! Thanks so much for posting :-D

Certainly, go for it! But, it should be noted that I do write for my instrument - I'm not sure which way you fall on the the direction of your accidental plates - My D/G has a draw G# & F, press D# & Bb, which is the opposite from most eg Hohners/starter boxes etc you'll come across, but, most castagnari instruments I've played are configured that way around? I think it's very difficult to play in parallel modes without this, well, accompanied anyway.

Also, I imagine plenty of sections of the tune come across as a little hamfisted. My approach to modal tune writing is, like almost all of my tune writing, informed primarily by chord choices, so, sometimes I have to try and find some melody to get me where I want to go, a little bit like trying to find loose change in ones pocket. The intent though, cycle through as many modes on the same tonic, ideally alternating 'major'ish to 'minor'ish was definitely achieved and I'm happy with it for that, it was really only intended as a bit of a silly exercise.

So yeah, please do try and have some fun with it, or, if you ever want something else to sink your teeth into, I can probably oblige - pretty much all the tunes I write are modal or have some silly objective of some kind.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: arty on February 13, 2020, 08:03:40 PM
I have just come across this blog on a French site, which I thought was very relevant to this post:  https://blog.antoineherve.com/in-praise-of-slow-practicing-b67f31229e97
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 14, 2020, 02:10:24 AM
Day 10
https://youtu.be/9X3yT6wugoE
Thursday Night = Morris Night. We did a bit of teaching, a bit of going over existing dances, as is normal. One dance, Blue Jay (http://www.anonymousmorris.co.uk/dances/bluejay.html), care of Bogarts Breakfast uses a tune - The Carpathian Tune - which is one of the few that uses an accidental in our dance repertoire. It was amongst the first tunes I learnt for morris because I thought it'd take me so long to get that I'd best start early. As a result, I learnt this tune on my original Scarlatti Nero, which is a fairly normal size 2v box. The B music for this tune opens with 3 bars of "Am" AB E AB E | "Em" GA E GA E | "Am" AB E A B |, and, as I struggled with the pull push pull, pull push pull pattern to put those off beat notes on the press, which would balancing the air usage a bit but still make the chords work, I would play all 3 bars fully on the draw and dump the air out on the following bar. At the time, that was perfectly viable. My next box, a black pearl 2, being a bit smaller, could just about do this too but would run close to my bellows limit. On my similarly sized, but 3v equipped, Oakwood, I would run up against my air limit fairly regularly, especially now that I'm now leading the band, also. Something had to change, and thankfully, something already did - me. I can now comfortably handle that previously vexing bellows pattern, it's just a case of actually remembering to do it and rewriting my memory of this tune to, so, this was an exercise of that.

Obviously, since I had a camera on me, I made a complete hash of the first part of the tune. Also, it's neat to see how massively different I look when I'm playing for morris vs sitting at home for all y'all.

Sorry about that sidetrack, Gena.
In my opinion, Origin of the World is never a side track! It's one of my favourite tunes to play, and one I'll play at the folk club. I'm interested to know more about playing it in Am, although I know it's only available to 2.5 rowers. I found playing it in Bm to be, I suppose, challenging at first and then also very informative. Definitely I would suggest learning some of your main arpeggios - just knowing where to find some of the notes and what I you might like to do with them has been beneficial to me for accompanying singing and just for enabling other similar musical shenanigans, I guess.

Wow Gena! This is some incredible leg work on modes, and stunning use of ABC - I've never seen or heard anything like it but it's really interesting. Thanks for this.
Also, I should actually say, thank you for these compliments, I appreciate them.

I'm also glad to be supporting this thread idea in some way, too, so, thank you, also, for proposing it.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Matt (Kings Norton) on February 14, 2020, 10:21:31 PM
Mel, your post got me working again, only 10 minutes a day and half an hour Saturdays and Sundays as that’s all I can find time for, but it’s made a lot of difference, I’m on about day 40 and just focused on some simple goals so thank you for the idea.  The focus does make a difference.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 15, 2020, 02:01:02 AM
Day 11
https://youtu.be/HY9c_JcCSqI
I figured out the alternative run up for Vals I Lekstugan that I pulled from my reference midi. The chords are a little bit 'pardon me can you say that again?', but I'm not sure what my alternatives are.

I'll have to Compare/Contrast with Day 8's version, at https://youtu.be/SSuDGM5FSp4?t=144

Also I had kinda a mixed bag in terms of achieving new things I wanted to. Probably just from extreme practice fatigue. I played liberty bell to chill out, which seems surreal in a way - one thing I have noticed is that, following my multi finger playing adventures with Fair Bolton and La Mal-Aimable, I've improved pinky playing accuracy my Liberty Bell arrangement's first D section.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 16, 2020, 02:16:57 AM
Day 12
https://youtu.be/Ckr0Fq8O-tU
Vals I Lekstugan is going fairly well, my fingers behaved mostly today.
So instead of more of that, here is my tune, 'The Mode Show', as referenced on day 9 - 8 tunes played back to back, ascending through the modes of the major scale. I always have trouble with the 2nd tune of the set, Moth Song, in particular the B section of it, so, I drilled it quite a bit today and then decided to just keep going - I had to wrap around to tack on the first tune of the sequence afterwards, so, there's a little bit of a tempo mismatch. It's such a long tune I edited out some gratuitous arpeggio attempts towards the end, also - that's the other part that tends to go wrong, but, I'm working having better fingering for both this section and Moth Song.

I'd like to get the piece more performance ready, since it's fun to share it with people, these two sections are the main sticking points, really. It's interesting to write at tune and discover what you find comfortable that you thought would be ridiculous, and very uncomfortable but you expected to be genuinely straight forwards.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 18, 2020, 12:28:25 AM
Day 13 (I'm sick apparently, so, I skipped yesterday)
https://youtu.be/TFXMr_HHLZI
Vals I Lekstugan begins to take proper shape, with (generally) improved accuracy in the low and high B music with an ending tacked in principal, and more fluency through the longer arpeggiated transitions. I still don't like the chords in the C music that I'm playing, but, referencing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m_R5_G7HhA the note progression seems closer to a guy closely related to the composer, although lowered by an octave from where it ought to be.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: arty on February 18, 2020, 09:23:39 AM
I was really saddened earlier this morning, when I looked at Gena's latest practice video, to see that 4 people had viewed it and she had already collected 2 'thumbs down'.
Who are these people? What happened to 'if you have nothing constructive to say, say nothing at all.'

Keep it up Gena, I for one, really appreciate your videos and Mel's too. I practice every single night and it is good to be aware of others doing the same.

Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 18, 2020, 10:14:35 AM
Me too, Arty. I now only link that type of video here and hide it from general viewing, but whilst that limits the trolling it does hurt that bit more when you know it comes from melnet.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 18, 2020, 05:41:55 PM
Haha, yeah so, nearly every video I post on melnet (including unlisted ones such as these practice videos that can only be found via the links I'm posting here) since my August 2018 TotM submission will regularly receive between 1 and 4 dislikes. Only a few have been spared.

A few other people have noticed this trend on the videos I make, too. I can only assume that at least someone on this site dislikes specifically me at this point. Like I assume one or two people just cycle through a few google accounts to chain down vote, but, maybe I've got a little collective who follow my posting.

The thing is though, I guess in a way, I don't really mind? If someone wants, or needs, an outlet, I guess they're free to register their displeasure for my actions. Sure, I suppose I'd prefer they just tell me why they don't like me, or my videos, because hey maybe it could be constructive, but, presuming it's been the same person/people all this time, they haven't done so yet and they seem pretty convinced. And, I'd much rather they downvote me vs downvoting someone else (although, making this post may change their behaviour) because I know a) ultimately, that's not going to actually stop or discourage me, or make me change what I'm doing, and b) that it does genuinely effect some people - and why shouldn't it, if someone behind a nearby hedge went 'boo' every time after you played, it would get a bit off putting.

But, I have plenty of outlets, including here, that offer a large amount of positivity and encouragement, and I've been through some things in my life that have helped me better identify when I'm being true to myself, or doing a good thing - even if some people don't like it, think it's wrong, or think it shouldn't be allowed. Even if that other person is sometimes actually also me? I'm still working on challenging the part of myself that eg stops me from saying something nice because when I try, I feel can come off as clumsy, or shallow, especially if I can't say in excruciating detail why what I thought they did was good and how I, truly, understand what it is they were doing. Like, I posted a tune I wrote here and received some really positive comments, and I still needed a 2nd attempt to actually say 'thank you'. I can come across as a know-it-all, and at worst as someone-who-has-to-be-right - and have a history of just generally being acerbic, so, maybe someone just doesn't like me for that. And in some ways, I can't imagine this post really helps.

Plus, I've also thought about if I actually want to try to catch and identify them, too. So, if you're reading this, mystery downvoter/s: most people do think you're being a bit of a dick. And, continuously being a dick in a small social circle really can get you kicked out, eventually. You may feel safe because you don't think what you're doing is a big deal, or because you're able to hide your actions behind a veil of anonymity, or because people can't speak out about you - But that only works until someone can prove it's you that's doing it. Imagine what people would think if they found out you've been anonymously trying to make someone feel bad for a year and a half? Because I can tell you, that's exactly how people will interpret your actions.

Outing you doesn't help you, though, and in a way it also perpetuates a cycle of abuse. So, if you need someone to dump on for a while, you just carry on, but, I hope one day you'll recognise how what you're doing really only functions to try and hurt or bully people, and that's really not cool - there are better ways. You can always send me a message.

Anyway, I'm still sick, so, I think I'll be skipping today, too.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Winston Smith on February 18, 2020, 07:37:20 PM
It also happens to me, Gena. (But probably 'cause of the way I play!)
It's a pity they don't have something else to do with their time and lives, poor buggers.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Kon on February 18, 2020, 07:39:27 PM
Hey Gena,

Take this post in lieu of a like/thumbs-up/upvote on your most recent post. I think it's a very mature and balanced response to a disappointing aspect of online interactions, and I really appreciate your openness about the challenges of being true to yourself and giving positive feedback.

I've just been lurking on this thread so far, but that made me come out of the woodwork. While I'm here, let me also say that your enthusiasm and dedication are inspiring, and even if I'm not actively participating it always cheers me up to see a new post.

Retreating back into the woodwork now,

Konrad
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Nigel on February 18, 2020, 08:31:46 PM
Hey Gena. It's easy for me to say this but just ignore them. As Arty said 'if you have nothing constructive to say, say nothing at all.'
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Anahata on February 18, 2020, 09:07:41 PM
I get a few dislikes nearly every time too. I read somewhere that they can be a side-effect of robot software designed to increase the exposure of certain videos by somehow gaming YouTube's inscrutable algorithms. I've no idea how that works.
I've also seen them go away sometimes. Maybe someone clicked the wrong button and then realized later...
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 18, 2020, 11:43:29 PM
If you'll pardon the addendum - I can assure you that the accruement of youtube disapproval isn't going to change anything I do - it hasn't so far. Maybe I need to stress the whole, 'year and a half thing' more but, this has been going on for a year and a half. In that time, it's been noticed by others - a couple people have left comments on the videos, I think another post on melnet before or via a pm, I don't recall, but, certainly people have noticed and taken the time to ask about it, so, I thought I should probably mention it.

And before someone thinks 'oh, well, that's an awfully big post for someone who doesn't care', may I introduce you to: my posting history (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php?action=profile;area=showposts;u=9134), haha.

So, as Anahata mentioned, I considered if for a while maybe this was something automated, or, bots crawling the website, or, whatever. Sooo, to be honest I've already kinda set up a few traps to assess how automated it might be - just the usual things, like checking it's this social group and not a subscriber to me (yes), check if it is any youtube video I post or just my own (just mine), observing how other people's videos receive these votes (TotM threads have generally few people achieve 1 or more thumbs downs, ~90% of all of my videos I've ever posted outside of this thread have received at least 1), see if a video I uploaded months before posting here suddenly gains downvotes the day I post it here (yes) - the usual things one might do. For me, I feel like I can illicit a human response, rather than a robotic one, so, I think it's prooobably a person/people - like it could be a bot but it sure seems like it's a bot that doesn't like me, y'know?

It's troubling for this community that something like this is happening, but, like for me, ultimately: lol. For real, I really hope someone did make a bot to target people they don't like and then downvote their youtube videos, because, oh boy wow, that would funny! Anyway, I'm interested to see what the future holds.

Thanks for the comments; stay cool, cool people. Also; go practice.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 18, 2020, 11:57:00 PM
I've also noted that the people who downthumb don't tend to upload. I'd like to think I have a thick skin, and for some well intentioned comments - such as Arty not thinking I engaged with folk music, or even someone who said that one-row was too hard for someone of my skill set, I do. These folk had opinions, and tastes and that's fine, but I noticed that some members or maybe just one or two, would pounce eagerly to make sure I knew that my contributions were worthless. These simultaneously hurt more AND less. That's life. Gena, I don't fully get everything you say, but you say it with heart and application. Bravo (yes, I know it should be Brava, but I can't quite bring myself to say it).
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Anahata on February 19, 2020, 07:52:19 AM
How do you know who gave you a downthumb, or that they don't upload?
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on February 19, 2020, 08:45:44 AM
...I've also noted that the people who downthumb don't tend to upload...

I don't know about thumbs downs, but the negative comments that appear occasionally do seem to come from people who never post examples of their own playing.  and don't seem to have any intention of ever posting any.

Gena's attitude is impressively positive and her response strong, as is P&T's
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: arty on February 19, 2020, 09:21:40 AM
I too, have had several ‘thumbs down’ on my YT videos. At first it upset me, then I had a very strong feeling as to who it was, (very dangerous because I am quite likely to be wrong), then I found it funny and now I am pleased because at least I have been noticed. The worst thing of all, surely, is to be completely ignored!
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 19, 2020, 10:15:45 AM
How do you know who gave you a downthumb, or that they don't upload?
You're right of course that I can't know for sure, but I had a bit of an issue with someone pouncing on my posts in threads too, seemingly hovering to kill a thread response. It's a danger to assume anything, and a danger to post as much as I do. I know it can seem that I might start to think my opinion carries weight because of the number of times I chip in. I just simply enjoy the community here, and it has become a habit to contribute - but I can see how it might look.

Anyway, I have been practising two on the row pieces, the Banks of Kale Water and Seven Stars, and it has been an interesting journey - experimenting with basics such as positioning the box and straps, fingering choices, and nice to leave the chords alone for a while. Curious too, how different the box can sound when it is leaning further away from you.
The bellows anchoring is, I'm sure a great tip, and also interesting is the different problems on different boxes with reed and valve response. I was thinking of playing both tunes on-the-row, then cross rowed (which I haven't actually been practising yet).
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Ellisteph on February 19, 2020, 10:48:44 AM
Day 13 (I'm sick apparently, so, I skipped yesterday)
https://youtu.be/TFXMr_HHLZI
Vals I Lekstugan begins to take proper shape, with (generally) improved accuracy in the low and high B music with an ending tacked in principal, and more fluency through the longer arpeggiated transitions. I still don't like the chords in the C music that I'm playing, but, referencing https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-m_R5_G7HhA the note progression seems closer to a guy closely related to the composer, although lowered by an octave from where it ought to be.
I think your progress by day 13 is remarkable; you'll only get a thumbs up from me (and you have). Thanks for sharing this project with us and hope you feel better soon.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: arty on February 19, 2020, 12:46:43 PM
I'd like to think I have a thick skin, and for some well intentioned comments - such as Arty not thinking I engaged with folk music, or

Pete, that is a complete misinterpretation of what I said.....

In fact, if you go back to that conversation, as I have just done, you will see that I was actually paying you a huge compliment!
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Pearse Rossa on February 19, 2020, 04:04:23 PM
..... or even someone who said that one-row was too hard for someone of my skill set,....

Pete, I take it that's a reference to me. I did say something daft, but certainly not what you have implied.
Clive stepped in to put me in my place (rightly so) (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,24944.msg296761.html#msg296761), and as far as I am concerned I did make amends and clarified
the situation. (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,24944.msg296776.html#msg296776) I'm disappointed now. I thought you had accepted my apology (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,24944.msg296778.html#msg296778).
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 19, 2020, 05:25:33 PM
Sorry, Arty - I wasn't throwing stones, just the opposite - accepting that honest criticism is something we should expect from friendly supportive colleagues here. But that thumbing down was the opposite, just hiding behind the anonymity and without any benefit. I'll of course go back and re-read, but I was trying to highlight that as an honest point you were making. Clumsily worded from me.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 19, 2020, 05:35:26 PM
..... or even someone who said that one-row was too hard for someone of my skill set,....

Pete, I take it that's a reference to me. I did say something daft, but certainly not what you have implied.
And sorry to you, Pearse. Of course your apology was more than welcomed - and unexpected, and this wasn't meant to open a wound. I was mistakenly using a comment to highlight how we can feel, but as with my apology to Arty - the intention was to say that your comment (which perhaps I've misinterpreted anyway) and Arty's were of the good kind. Not a hit and hide action like a thumbs down, but part of the process of a civilised forum.
I can see, as with all types of online discussions, written words don't always achieve what one may intend to convey - so please Arty and Pearse, accept that I was trying to include you as positive ways to make contributions. I hope you can both see that now. Sorry if I've misread things in the first place, and sorry to fan any flames unintentionally. I've read my post again, and it reads to me the way I intended it but words are funny things and don't always behave the same way to the reader.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Pearse Rossa on February 19, 2020, 06:06:42 PM
Thanks Pete. It's all good...and I know what you mean...I can't seem to open my mouth without putting my foot in it!
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: arty on February 19, 2020, 08:24:57 PM
That's OK Pete, don't worry about it.  (:)
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 20, 2020, 03:36:58 AM
Day 14
https://youtu.be/DUKKMC-6oBk
I needed to get out of the house, so, finally took the car out to someone to practice. So, I went to the beach, there's a nice little foresty hill that doesn't have anyone's house on it and it's in a wonderful spot to catch all of the horrible miserable wind that comes with the horrible miserable weather we're having here at the moment. I had a good time, but, cold fingers don't make for accurate fingers. After a play through of crested hens to warm up a bit, I attacked Vals I Lekstugan for a bit. I'm interested in getting the chords into the 'fancy bits' where currently they're dropping out, and fixing my lost C# in the B music. I had another little practice later in the evening, working on fixing both those things, and adding in one of the more fanciful transitions that I've yet to include. The two people who went by in my 10-15 minutes of playing seemed to enjoy it.

I imagine listening to Vals I Lekstugan every day may be getting a little old, for some - at this point all the pieces are basically there, and you can see how it's matured under the fingers over the last couple of weeks, with highs and lows. I'll see if I can come up with some compelling repertoire to play the next couple of days to distract.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 20, 2020, 12:35:07 PM
That is real progress. I've been trying much simpler stuff with far less development.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 20, 2020, 02:56:54 PM
Well, to be honest, I found the first step to getting good at doing difficult things was to start trying to do difficult things. I decided that some things I thought were difficult or complicated, actually weren't so much, and that some simpler things were deceptively hard.

May I ask, how's the one row playing going, Pete? I'm interested to know how much you're finding having an actual one row rewarding, and if you've found anything translates back to the n row, where n >= 2.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Squeaky Pete on February 20, 2020, 03:32:58 PM
I found the first step to getting good at doing difficult things was to start trying to do difficult things.
If there's one thing I've taken from your playing it's this.
Metal Shredder and Liberty Bell both made me smile and this Vals is growing in me.

Now I'm attacking that Musette Valse with the same determination that got me 90% towards Origin of the World. I'm now nearly ready to rehearse OotW with other instruments.
Having played in a band that had a cracking melodeon player where I mostly filled in bass lines behind, I've never had any need to be a good player. The odd occasions I was on box were because I was accompanying pipes or gurdy. I played for Morris, but that's a different story.
I'm enjoying the challenge, and finding serious practice is rewarding in both senses.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Little Eggy on February 20, 2020, 04:57:29 PM
Gina your Day 14 video is a delight!  Funny, skilful, picturesque, and entertaining.  What a wonderful instrument the melodeon is!   Thank you for posting your videos.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 20, 2020, 05:08:30 PM
Well, to be honest, I found the first step to getting good at doing difficult things was to start trying to do difficult things. I decided that some things I thought were difficult or complicated, actually weren't so much, and that some simpler things were deceptively hard.

May I ask, how's the one row playing going, Pete? I'm interested to know how much you're finding having an actual one row rewarding, and if you've found anything translates back to the n row, where n >= 2.
Having an actual one-row was the only way to have the discipline to play on the row, when cross rowing is so much easier. I'm still playing with positioning, fingering, bellows placement etc. so the actual progress is limited by the testing of options. The main benefit is in just making me sit down and play the same tune and taking it apart into sections. I don't feel I'm much better than when I started. The Serafini is much more forgiving for playing on the row than either the Hohner or the Sander, which surprises me as I though smaller reeds would aid the ability to flip direction.
I haven't yet insisted on refingering a button on the bellows change, but I suspect that is the cleanest answer.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 20, 2020, 07:57:30 PM
Having an actual one-row was the only way to have the discipline to play on the row, when cross rowing is so much easier. I'm still playing with positioning, fingering, bellows placement etc. so the actual progress is limited by the testing of options.

That's interesting! I thought your idea to get a one row made a lot of sense - I always try to find a balance between cross rowing vs reversing the bellows in my playing. Being that your box is set up specifically for the former, coaxing the latter out of yourself through limitation feels a lot like trying to get to a similar kind of place, but, starting at the other end of the spectrum. So, seems legit, I hope it starts to work.

I've generally found melodeons to have like, 'precision' would be one point of a triangle, opposed to both 'power', and 'kinda being a bit lame' as the last point - precise boxes tend to lack a bit of power, less precise boxes tend to let you put a bit more power through them.. or are just a bit more lame - hopefully it's the former! I think there's a lot of different kinds of precision - too, like how the buttons feel & move, how the reeds react, and how the far end of the bellows likes to move. Your playing generally comes across to me as being really quite refined, although that could just be from playing in a house, but, I can imagine you'd be quite attuned to figuring out what your instruments like and don't like, so I reckon you'll learn quite a bit from all this. I mean, I hope you know you're like, really quite good? Right?

The refingering every button has always sounded like gumph to me, though - I use fingering changes to free up my hand to move around, which I do so enthusiastically - but, to each their own! Perhaps I should give it a try, too - why not, after all? There's almost always a lesson to be found in something new.

I should probably go practice.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 20, 2020, 09:15:46 PM
Thanks, Gena. That gumph comment is going to draw a line in the sand. It's more than a little humbling how slow progress is these days with any new skill, but I see the value in on the row stuff. I'll try to record something to demonstrate the difficulties.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 20, 2020, 11:00:58 PM
Day 15
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylkrgfkz-Rc
For something different, I practiced a couple of my own tunes. This time, Custard Mill & The Frog Collector. I was inspired to write these tunes... quite some time ago in fact. Custard Mill is the first tune I wrote after coming to the melodeon, and even that was after about a year and of playing it. I hadn't written any music for about 16 years, since I was a teenager, but, I'd decided I should have a go, because some people don't consider you a musician unless you write music. It's named after Custard Hill, a road near The Drovers Inn, Gussage All Saints, where Anonymous Morris occasionally perform our morris-esque deeds. My goal for this tune was to start each part a different way (Over Em, then over Am, and then over G) because I knew like, some tunes that did that kinda thing (looking at Dorset 4 hand reel). Even from this, my first melodeon tune, I write my music in ABC first, knowing only what is principally possible on my instrument (eg I can play this chord with this note, technically!) and then work out how on earth to play the thing later. My goal really was to just use most of my chords, in ways I wasn't really used to, and be a bit of fun. I also decided I should use all my accidental plates when I got to the C music, too, because, well, obviously?? I'm not certain if this was pre or post Bb/G# flip, but I think it was, although it's agnostic to this. It does request a push D# though, as does the 2nd tune, The Frog Collector.

Have you ever wanted to write a tune that you just felt was like, a little bit cool, a bit raunchy and a bit weird all at the same time? I did, so, I did! I got much more into writing music around the start of 2019, and wrote quite a few tunes with different ideas behind them - The Frog Collector being one of them, named after my friend Emily, who, and I quote, collects hundreds and hundreds of frogs (she may have been being facetious). I really liked Danbury Hill, which pedals off of an E note while descending from the e above it. I wanted to explore the idea of pinching in from both directions at the same time, and still mentally time 'hun-dreds and hun-dreds and hun-dreds and hun-dreds and hun-dreds and hun-dreds of froooogs!' across the last 4 bars. I also liked the long arpeggios (care of Origin of the World) so, I fit those in, too.

Both tunes were designed to be played with thirds in - Custard Mill was before I had a thirds stop, even. Generally speaking the accompaniment is standard oom-pah for both tunes, but, Custard Mill requires making use of the things you technically have but might not normally think to do. For example, you can play a press B fundamental, but then with a pull D chord, to maintain an implied Bm7, same applies to Am7 with a press C chord. E bass G chord, too, is a tool in this manner, although unused here, but, for when you just gotta play the other way around or get some air out the bellows in an Am tune, it can work quite handily. I made use of these a lot when playing with a small Ceilidh band (that didn't really go anywhere) as a large amount of our repertoire came from an accordion player's folder of tunes, and the accompanying chords had little interest in pandering to the 2r8b's particularities. Ultimately, these tunes both present interesting dexterity puzzles, which I've (mostly) conquered - the struggles I have with the B section of Custard Mill are very similar to the struggles I have with other A minor/dorian tunes - my fingers just get tied up a little bit figuring out where they're supposed to be in that upper octave. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, so, I must have a knot there to work out somewhere.

ABC for those who like such things:
Code: [Select]
X:1
T:Custard Mill (atop Custard Hill)
C:Gena Crisman 22/06/2018
%%titlefont Consolas, 22
%%subtitlefont Consolas, 16
%%partsfont Consolas, 20
%%partsbox
%%gchordfont Consolas, 18
%%MIDI program 21 % Accordion
%%MIDI chordprog 1 % Piano
M:6/8
L:1/8
Q:110
P:ABCABC
K:Em
P:A
"Em"EFGe2E|"A"ed^cA3|"D"AFEd2F|"G"G2d G2A|
"C"GFE e2E|"G"DFG d2B|"b"B^c"D"d "b"fe"D"d|"Em"e2ez3:|
P:B
"Am"ABc c2B|"Am"E2A cBA|"b"FE"D"D "b"B2"D"c|"G"dcBG2G|
"Am"ABc c2d|"C"efg "D"agf|"b"fe"D"d "b"bg"D"f|"Em"e2ez3:|
P:C
"G"B^AB "D"=A^GA|"G"G2B dcB|"Em"B^AB gfe|"b"d2-"D"d-"b"d2"D"c|
"G"B^AB "D"=A^GA|"G"GBd"A"=f2e|"B"^d=dBF2G|"Em"E2Ez2B:|

X:9
T:The Frog Collector
C:Gena Crisman 16/01/19
%%titlefont Consolas, 22
%%subtitlefont Consolas, 16
%%partsfont Consolas, 20
%%partsbox
%%gchordfont Consolas, 18
%%MIDI program 21 % Accordion
%%MIDI bassprog 1
%%MIDI chordprog 1 % Piano
Q:3/8=110
M:6/8
P:ABCABC
L:1/8
K:Em
P:A
"Em"BAG E3|"B"^d2e f3|"Am"a3 "G"g3|"Em"e3-e2c|
"Em"BAG E2B|"B"^de^df2^d|"Am"a2b "G"gag|"Em"e6:|
P:B
"Em"bge BGE|"B"f^dBf2^d|"A"A^ce g2a|"B"f3 ^d3|
"Em"ege BGE |"A"AEA ^c2A|"D"=d^c=d"B"^d=d^d|"Em"e6:|
P:C
"Em"eEE eEE|"Em"BAG E3|"Am"A2B E3 | "B" B2c F3 |
"Em"eEe "B"^d2F|"G"d2G"A"^c2A|"B"B^AFB=d^d|"Em"e6:|

I'll try to record something to demonstrate the difficulties.
I'll look forward to that!
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Matt (Kings Norton) on February 21, 2020, 07:29:25 AM
Gena I really enjoyed days 14 and 15, great dance feeling, three lovely tunes, and though I don’t have a good feel for harmony I do know your left hand parts really drive the tunes forward.

My practice video (https://youtu.be/bvzH1NEqQGU) is something that any dislikers can really dislike; jo one needs to watch it, putting it out in public is meant to make me try harder.  They’re my two most recent tunes (out of maybe five...). Recording cruelly exposes all the flaws and this one also shows how hard I still find it to concentrate for the huge length of time of two minutes (I missed one whole section of the first tune and didn’t realise and I run into trouble at the end) and how hard I find it to go from one tune to the next / why’s that so hard?  I know what I need to do, practice...
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Steve_freereeder on February 21, 2020, 08:40:48 AM
...The Serafini is much more forgiving for playing on the row than either the Hohner or the Sander, which surprises me as I though smaller reeds would aid the ability to flip direction.
I haven't yet insisted on refingering a button on the bellows change, but I suspect that is the cleanest answer.

There is a hard-to-describe 'something' about playing on a one-row four-stop instrument which makes the on-the-row experience different from any other (even from a two row LMM instrument).

A well set-up one-row four-stop seems to have a momentum all of its own which is very forgiving of blips and errors in fingering. Perhaps it is due to the rich mix of reed sizes and sounds associated with each note, I don't know. I may be talking airy-fairy nonsense, but that is my experience.

I seem to have needed an excessive number of hyphens in the above, sorry.

... I mean, I hope you know you're like, really quite good? Right?
Yes, Pete - Gena is right! I hope you will believe her (and me)!
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 21, 2020, 07:11:25 PM
Here's a very short sample of some practice product. I recorded once through The Moon and Seven Stars on the row, and once through cross row. I then cut them up to go: A section on the row, A section cross row, B section on the row, B section cross row. They weren't quite the same tempo, especially B sections - but I'm only trying to explore the pros and cons of both styles, and this is an example of practice rather than performance. Hence only linked to here, not on wider viewing.
For context: I've practised the on the row version a lot as I've never tried that way of playing before, and hadn't practised the cross row version other than as a quick once through before the camera started.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0tqR7JY2t8&feature=youtu.be
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 21, 2020, 08:18:05 PM
That's neat, Pete! Those do appear exactly as advertised, and actually do sound roughly the way I, personally, would have expected. What do you think so far, though? It seems like you've got a good handle on fingering for what I think is quite a tough tune for on the row playing.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Little Eggy on February 21, 2020, 08:50:51 PM
The Cross Row version is clearly smoother but I prefer the single row style as it sort of captures the essence of the melodeon more.  Maybe something to do with urgency and bounce.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Stiamh on February 21, 2020, 09:00:24 PM
Pete, your treble cabinet is noticeably much more stable in the cross-row passages. Would you enjoy on-the-row playing more if there were less, er, wobble?
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Dick Rees on February 21, 2020, 09:25:33 PM
Risking thread drift, this popped up in my YouTube bin today.  Hope posting the link is acceptable.

Practice

https://youtu.be/f2O6mQkFiiw
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 21, 2020, 09:26:38 PM
Here's the Banks of Kale Water (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5RNVvytuVI&feature=youtu.be) on the D row- also linked to in the one row thread.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 21, 2020, 09:33:08 PM
Pete, your treble cabinet is noticeably much more stable in the cross-row passages. Would you enjoy on-the-row playing more if there were less, er, wobble?
You're right of course. I sat in my usual cross row position, though I had been practising in a variety of positions. I think for the bracing of the melodeon on the crossed leg I'd need to work out a different strap length, and didn't want to adjust between takes. Can you in fact, stop the movement of the treble end without bracing it on a leg? My cabinet has always flipped like that with all pieces, but of course as it happens only on the bellows change, that's much less with cross rowing. What's your solution? (might be of course that a straighter bellows movement can avoid the wobble).
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Lester on February 21, 2020, 09:43:33 PM
Whilst I know people like multi straps and thigh bracing etc I will just leave this here as food for thought

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj1CtZ022rU (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj1CtZ022rU)
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Stiamh on February 21, 2020, 10:02:48 PM
Lots of food for thought posted by Lester while I was writing this.

However... Yes, I rest the treble cabinet on my left thigh and use a single strap. And, following a tip from Sabin Jacques when I was just starting, I keep the front bottom edge of the bellows pretty well closed most of the time, and push my left hand forward, creating a convex curve of the bellows as you look down on the instrument.

This also creates a sort of line of force running diagonally through the instrument between the left hand and right thumb, nicely illustrated in a sketch that Howard (?) posted in a thread started by Daddy Long Les a few years back that I can't seem to find now.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Dick Rees on February 21, 2020, 10:09:40 PM
Here's the Banks of Kale Water (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5RNVvytuVI&feature=youtu.be) on the D row- also linked to in the one row thread.

Looks like you're going to really enjoy the one-row.  If I may make a fingering suggestion:

Instead of a strict "4 fingers for 4buttons", try dropping a finger on the way down and "crab" it to move your overall position on the fly rather than making a quantum shift.  Here's all I have for notation for the first 8 beats, no pick-up. 
 I index M middle R ring P pinkie

ll d/f#d ll
...R/PR...

ll c#/ec# ll
...R/PR...

ll b/db ll
...M/PR...

ll af#df# ll
...RMIM...

You may find that maintaining contact with the keyboard and avoiding "jumpy" shifts will help with steadying the box as well.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 21, 2020, 10:16:28 PM
However... Yes, I rest the treble cabinet on my left thigh and use a single strap. And, following a tip from Sabin Jacques when I was just starting, I keep the front bottom edge of the bellows pretty well closed most of the time, and push my left hand forward, creating a convex curve of the bellows as you look down on the instrument.
I can see that Lester's round the arm thing works, and your bellows anchored thing works. But for me resting it on my left leg (without thigh) doesn't help, it's just the keeping the bellows shut at that corner that makes it work. Still experimenting. Tried Chris Brimley's 1.5 straps, could not get that going for me, but maybe it's a strap length thing.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 21, 2020, 10:20:56 PM
Thanks, Dick.
I've actually tried several fingering options, including only using 2 fingers - which works surprisingly well. There was just a limit to how many recordings to do tonight. It's good to find new problems.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Dick Rees on February 21, 2020, 11:24:02 PM
Thanks, Dick.
I've actually tried several fingering options, including only using 2 fingers - which works surprisingly well. There was just a limit to how many recordings to do tonight. It's good to find new problems.

Here's a more standard notation.  Took a while for the new file size to download
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: arty on February 22, 2020, 08:23:02 AM
Pete, your treble cabinet is noticeably much more stable in the cross-row passages. Would you enjoy on-the-row playing more if there were less, er, wobble?
You're right of course. I sat in my usual cross row position, though I had been practising in a variety of positions. I think for the bracing of the melodeon on the crossed leg I'd need to work out a different strap length, and didn't want to adjust between takes. Can you in fact, stop the movement of the treble end without bracing it on a leg? My cabinet has always flipped like that with all pieces, but of course as it happens only on the bellows change, that's much less with cross rowing. What's your solution? (might be of course that a straighter bellows movement can avoid the wobble).

I had exactly the same problem of the treble cabinet swinging about until it was pointed out that my straps were badly adjusted. To be fair, they weren’t ‘adjusted’ at all, they had merely been put in a position where the box felt comfortable, when I first started and that’s where they had remained. Until, of course, a few years later and I was starting to learn faster and more rhythmic music, the problem started to show itself.
Completely by chance, Yann-Fanch Perroches put up a post about fixing problems, on a French site that I am a member of and that sorted me out. Only then did I realise how it had been slowing my progress.
Unfortunately, all the advice is written in French but you could copy and paste each paragraph into Google translate, which does help a lot if you are not French speaking.
Here is the link: http://accordiato.fr/tenue.html#bretelles

If you follow his advice on the adjustment of the straps, I think you will find it makes a massive difference. And you may have to adjust your straps, say in the summer when you might be wearing a T-shirt, compared to the winter when you are in a thick sweater or a body warmer.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 22, 2020, 08:53:15 AM
That's interesting, Arty. I've always thought my strap adjustment was good but I'll check that site out. My French might be ok enough.
I was on the verge of posting a question about strap mount location and was wondering whether to post a separate thread on construction but actually playing around with this is part of my current practice.
The question is: the box is secured well against my torso but that leaves the front of the box free to waggle. What are the implications of repositioning the mounts to the middle or front of the box?
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: xgx on February 22, 2020, 09:14:10 AM
Check your suspenders in the mirror Pete :)

If your strap mounts are the same as YF's then it would suggest that getting a good fit with the suspenders is all that's needed.

Edit:
I do wish that the well meaning tutors would stop showing the wrong way to do things!
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Lester on February 22, 2020, 10:09:36 AM
I do wish that the well meaning tutors would stop showing the wrong way to do things!
There are no wrong ways,  just different ways which may not suit you
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Little Eggy on February 22, 2020, 10:18:48 AM
Horses for courses.  Ed Rennie on keeping the bellows barely open at all times versus the French guy practising with wide open bellows!  It’s an interesting video, though with a lot of useful advice.  Thanks for posting.  I have a fair bit of French but you don’t really need to know the lingo because there are little videos which give the advice clearly.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: xgx on February 22, 2020, 10:22:38 AM
I do wish that the well meaning tutors would stop showing the wrong way to do things!
There are no wrong ways,  just different ways which may not suit you
Wrong!
It's not about the right or wrong way per se...  the simple fact is, that when teaching, the student will, sure as x are x, remember the 'Don't do it this way' ....
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Steve_freereeder on February 22, 2020, 10:42:41 AM
I do wish that the well meaning tutors would stop showing the wrong way to do things!
There are no wrong ways,  just different ways which may not suit you
Wrong!
It's not about the right or wrong way per se...  the simple fact is, that when teaching, the student will, sure as x are x, remember the 'Don't do it this way' ....

I do take exception with this. People who know me and have been in my workshops and lessons will hopefully think of me as a 'well meaning tutor'. (If not, then I have failed somewhere along the line :().

One thing I will never do is to proscribe any way of doing something because I think it is 'wrong'. We are all individuals and what works for one person may not work for another, for very good reasons. Lester has succinctly written: 'There are no wrong ways, just different ways which may not suit you', which I totally agree with. In my workshops I always say 'there are no rules; find what works best for you and do it that way'.

I think all the tutors whom I know personally are also 'well meaning' and will have the same opinion.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: arty on February 22, 2020, 10:46:31 AM
Horses for courses.  Ed Rennie on keeping the bellows barely open at all times versus the French guy practising with wide open bellows!  It’s an interesting video, though with a lot of useful advice.  Thanks for posting.  I have a fair bit of French but you don’t really need to know the lingo because there are little videos which give the advice clearly.

Obviously you don’t have enough French to understand that ‘the French guy’ is not practicing with wide open bellows, he is showing how to make new bellows more supple and also, to keep older bellows supple, which are normally not opened very much, in the course of play.

Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: xgx on February 22, 2020, 10:56:12 AM
I do wish that the well meaning tutors would stop showing the wrong way to do things!
There are no wrong ways,  just different ways which may not suit you
Wrong!
It's not about the right or wrong way per se...  the simple fact is, that when teaching, the student will, sure as x are x, remember the 'Don't do it this way' ....

I do take exception with this. People who know me and have been in my workshops and lessons will hopefully think of me as a 'well meaning tutor'. (If not, then I have failed somewhere along the line :().

One thing I will never do is to proscribe any way of doing something because I think it is 'wrong'. We are all individuals and what works for one person may not work for another, for very good reasons. Lester has succinctly written: 'There are no wrong ways, just different ways which may not suit you', which I totally agree with. In my workshops I always say 'there are no rules; find what works best for you and do it that way'.

I think all the tutors whom I know personally are also 'well meaning' and will have the same opinion.

It's really simple, it's NOT about whether a method/technique is right or wrong!  Please re-read.

Steve  I don't recall any of your workshops that I've attended where you've used 'This is the wrong way to do it' in preference to 'This is the way to do it'. 
 

Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Stiamh on February 22, 2020, 10:59:46 AM
Unfortunately, all the advice is written in French but you could copy and paste each paragraph into Google translate, which does help a lot if you are not French speaking.
Here is the link: http://accordiato.fr/tenue.html#bretelles

There is of course no right or wrong way to use Google translate, but it's a lot easier to paste the entire URL into Google translate. You'll soon arrive at: https://translate.google.com/translate?hl=&sl=fr&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Faccordiato.fr%2Ftenue.html
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Stiamh on February 22, 2020, 11:14:29 AM
I do wish that the well meaning tutors would stop showing the wrong way to do things!

<diversion>The strangest examples of this that I have come across are on the CD that accompanies Gilles Poutoux' book. He very solemnly demonstrates four (IIRC) "incorrect but frequently heard" ways of playing each tune type he discusses (e.g. reel, jig, hornpipe) before showing a more correct way. The most interesting thing to me is that he can, on demand, actually play tunes in four different wrong ways (e.g. evenly with no accents, evenly with accents on the wrong beat, unevenly with no accents, etc.). Impressive, amusing (which I don't think is the intended effect), but decidedly weird! </diversion>
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 22, 2020, 04:25:43 PM
Here's the Banks of Kale Water (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5RNVvytuVI&feature=youtu.be) on the D row- also linked to in the one row thread.

Seems pretty good, no? How do you think it went? You seem to have the box under control and don’t get your fingers tied up in a big knot, seems like a win?
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 22, 2020, 04:49:15 PM
It's progress, that's for sure, but still runs away from me, and there are times when I don't really know if I am embedding bad habits. Better than knocking out more of the same old stuff though.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Pearse Rossa on February 22, 2020, 10:32:03 PM

Here is the link: http://accordiato.fr/tenue.html#bretelles

Everything was going swimmingly until I came to this part; "Adjust your suspenders correctly.
Put on your suspenders as usual and look in a mirror"


That's not for me. I just don't have the legs for it!
That class of thing might go down well in France...but where I live?
What would the neighbours think?
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on February 22, 2020, 10:35:12 PM

Here is the link: http://accordiato.fr/tenue.html#bretelles

Everything was going swimmingly until I came to this part; "Adjust your suspenders correctly.
Put on your suspenders as usual and look in a mirror"


That's not for me. I just don't have the legs for it!
That class of thing might go down well in France...but where I live?
What would the neighbours think?

I think suspenders are what ladies use to keep their stockings in position.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 23, 2020, 02:08:09 AM
Day 16
A youtubes~ (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HislyPf9C5g&list=PLgP8jcxM5pmnnB2S8NPEKntv1vC7r61-k&index=15&t=0s) - I also made a playlist of all my practice videos, which this is obviously a part of. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HislyPf9C5g in case that doesn't work

Because of all the strap talk, I thought about mine a bit. When I'm standing I usually have my box strapped onto me pretty tight, so I demonstrate a little bit where I'm at with that. Obviously, everyone's different, and boxes will sit on that person differently - obviously your typical man and woman are going to have different stuff going with their upper bodies, which I'm sure has been discussed with painful awkwardness many times before. My goals for my straps are that:
a) I don't typically bend my right wrist / 'morris death grip', or put a lot of force through my right arm/thumb, while playing. I work with computers for a living and I have enough weird clicks in my arms and shoulders from that to be getting any more from playing the box. This does mean that I like my keyboard quite central on my person.
b) The buttons won't go anywhere even if I'm not actually using my right hand at all - in this case, the box can only rotate into my sternum, because of my tight left strap shoulder won't let it try and slide to my right.  I employ a back strap on this box, otherwise, I'll almost always lose that shoulder strap while playing, and since it's fairly tight, it absolutely will catch my elbow and really mess me up.

I have no idea if that's helpful or informative in any way, but, it's what I like.

After that, I brushed up Day Trip to Bangor, a tune I did for ThotM a while ago (and lost the video for due to terrible amounts of dropped frames) but was an important part in box learnery. I spent about 10 minutes refreshing the whole tune and getting back to a 'I would post this on melodeon.net' standard, but it has been on my mind quite a bit recently and I have played it back into memory for a bit at morris practice, not this but last Thursday. Mostly, it was just the last part that caused problems, but, it is quite a fiddly tune. Somewhat interestingly, it has the same beginning note sequence as Vals I Lekstugan.

Then, I had a bit (more) of a whirl at Parallel Popcorn - I've tried learning it a little bit already over the past few days, but, I don't have it all in memory ye. I have made some little notes on the score that I mostly forgot to read, but I have worked out how I want to play it, I think.

Bit of a longer video than previously but idk who cares. I try to practice for literally an hour, it's hard to form a narrative out of that!
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 23, 2020, 10:48:03 AM
Gena
That strap talk mimics my own requirements. I don't want any force at all going through my right thumb - partly because I play with it, partly because I too have enough stresses in hands due to previous career and having been a climber.
The box stays anchored, but can still wobble at the front unfortunately.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 23, 2020, 06:25:10 PM
Gena
That strap talk mimics my own requirements.

Well, if your current set up doesn't provide you with that (maybe it does, idk, you... don't seem to say?) - if you fancy having some more faff, if you haven't tried hiking the box up on your chest a bit more, I'd say give it a go? I either do that, or, I tend to cross my legs and balance the melody side on my leg (I assume this is visible in my other videos). When I'm double strapping, the top of my box hits about midshoulder and is fairly straight up and down - which I think implies a couple of ticks tighter than you're wearing your box atm. But, where you're wearing it seems very normal to me too, I just keep mine unusually tight by most people's standards - I think, anyway. It's definitely worth noting down exactly how your straps are now, though, just so you can definitely put it back how it was, but, you probably know that.

But I mean, is the more pronounced front corner wobble from one row playing style actually bothering you particularly? I find it quite hard to get a read on how you think your own playing is going sometimes, or if you can hear/notice/like the difference between the styles. You play your cards fairly close to your chest - by comparison I tend to sort of just, I dunno, dump my cards all over the table? I try to not dump my cards on other people's tables though, so, I'm interested in what you think - if you're getting the sounds you were interested in or not etc.

Also, being a climber is super cool.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: george garside on February 23, 2020, 07:17:21 PM
if/when using 2 straps on any size of box from a 2 row to a 120 bass piano box the standard STARTING POINT for strap adjustment is to have the  left strap a bit shorter than the right strap  so the keyboard  is more or less under the chin  rather than sticking out on your right hand side  and so in turn meaning your right arm and elbow is flapping around in mid air rather than being close to your lright side to facilitate movement up and down the keyboard using just the elbow joint rather than the shoulder and elbow joint.   

once the left/right adjustment has been sorted  both straps are adjusted by the same amount to bring the top of the box very roughly about a stretched handswith bellow the chin when standing upright and looking straight ahead.

Once those settings have been achieved  a series of small adjustments  may need to be made  to suite a particular persons anatomy.

I have used that system on  2 row 8 bass to 120 bass for longer than I care to remember and it works well and enables playing seated or standing with absolutely the same strap adjustment.

I don't think there are any similar 'norms' for   a one row  but for what its worth I only play a one row whilst seated  resting the box on my right knee and using a fairly long thumbstrap to allow my thumb to rest on edge of keyboard rather than restricting hand/finger movement by gripping the keyboard with thumb behind it.  I do occasionaly  add  a thin right hand shoulder strap   but that is not essential.

The whole purpose of any  strap set up is to  allow maximum unrestricted movement of the hand and fingers over the whole length of the keyboard  and any setup that restricts that in anyway is not doing the player any favours!

george

george
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 23, 2020, 07:17:29 PM
Gena
I do notice that when the box is fully still - which I've only achieved by using Stiamh's technique of sticking one corner of the bellows into a closed position, then bellows reversals are much tidier. I just haven't found a way of getting there easily. And of course, I couldn't do that in the A minor GC tunes as they require long pulls, so I'd need a way of having a range of positions. I also overshare, but sometimes opt out as it looks like I'm fishing for compliments.

But my main learning tool is to understand what it is I'm trying to achieve in greater depth rather than just getting on with it. I have this thing with names too, I really don't think I know someone's name if I don't know how it is spelt. I need to know if it's Kathryn or Catherine. I had a Boxer called Gina when I was a kid. I did climb a lot, but I was always a coward at it - enjoying the movement more than the exposure. I'll tighten the straps for a bit and report back.

George,
That all makes sense to me, and is what I'm trying to achieve.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: george garside on February 24, 2020, 12:29:41 AM
I prefer to play (on all my boxes) with the bellows in more or less a fan shape  i.e. with the bottom more closed than the top.  This helps to enable fine control and encourages  maximising use of the air button to balance the ins and outs and avaoid as much as possible long distance 'outing'.   Obviously on a box with small bellows  there are times when the bellows go out  a fair way as a necessity but the trick is to return them to much nearer closed as soon as the tune so permits.

When learning a new to me tune I experiment to decide    the places where the air button can best be usef   as this is an essential part of playing a diatonic box well. 

tapping both treble and bass buttons lightly can both reduce air usage and make a tune sound better as can leaving the bass off completely for a bar or three  both to enhance the tune by varying it and by  timing the bass free bits  to assist with air control.

To me how the air button is 'played' is every bit as important as how the notes are played

george


george
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 24, 2020, 11:01:14 PM
Day 17
https://youtu.be/4IsrRzQLEGw
I guess I'm working on Farewell to Muirheads? I'm not a fan of this tune particularly - it's relatively straight forwards but really wants a less shallow accompaniment than our instrument typically implies, I think - otherwise it does seem to become pretty waltzy. So far, I'm not really convinced the box is the right tool for the job.

Per the above video, I was thinking of playing it in one of the forbidden scales of the D/G, I was thinking perhaps E major originally. Now I'm gravitating towards A, at this point, just because it gives me a lot of harmony options, should I wish to explore them. E feels a lot more familiar than earlier in this process, mainly due to my popcorn related adventures, and low A scale is under my fingers since that's my preferred place to play the hesleyside reel now. Middle A scale, not so much.

Well, anyway, that was my today.

Gena
I do notice that when the box is fully still ... then bellows reversals are much tidier.

I also overshare, but sometimes opt out as it looks like I'm fishing for compliments.

Right yeah, a little bit of 'I want to play a note' gets robbed to 'the box moving a bit' on every reversal - I feel you. I hope you find a fix for that which works for you, as that is definitely something that has bothered me. I should say it's bothered me regardless of how cross-rowey my playing was, too, and finding a good solution can be navigating between a selection of compromises. I thought I had a good set up figured out with the black pearl II I had, but, after a particularly long weekend of morris, I had a big blister on the front corner of my thumb from the required 'gentle' behind-the-keyboard steadying I'd been using to stop the box moving.

Re the 2nd part there, and, I appreciate it's possible I'm way off base here, but sometimes I see you proffer a video but seem rather glum, or down on it? Like you're comfortable complimenting & praising others but, when it comes to yourself, you seem to go in the other direction sometimes? Case in point: I don't think anyone who climbs anything can really be a coward? And, I mean OK, maybe you were? It's still cool though! I don't really think of that as sharing, rather than as having gone out of ones way to be belittling oneself maybe?

I'm just saying, sometimes I'm confused. I'm interested in and enjoy reading your posts, I just also wonder sometimes if you're like, doing OK, yknow?
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on February 25, 2020, 06:37:44 PM
I'm totally fine, thanks for asking though. It's just that there's stuff I know, and stuff I don't really know. And if I'm going to be proud of the stuff I know then I should be humble about the stuff I only know a bit. My wife trained with a bunch of top climbers and outdoor pros, so I know my limitations. But I'll stand toe to toe with anyone about clarinets. My posting on youtube was originally PA stuff to help my brother-in-law who wanted to learn, but I opened it up to the general public, with disclaimers about my own playing experience. I've carried on the same vibe here - happy to post, not happy to have others assume that I'm demonstrating the way it should be done.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on February 26, 2020, 02:40:56 AM
Day 18:
https://youtu.be/8g1nU2rhmEA
More work on this months TotM. Settled on playing it in A, working on arranging it and figuring out any chord issues. I'm enjoying playing in 2v mode really only towards the basement of the instrument, anything past about the D in the middle has me reaching for the 3v stop. Also featured: me actually looking at the keyboard.

In other news, lovely chap that I know, David from Sarum Morris kindly let me have a play on an instrument he has when I met up with him at a session yesterday. He has a Dino Baffetti Super 3 in GC. The conclusion I've reached is, maybe I should get a GC (a cheap one, though - it turns out cars and oakwoods are expensive). Someone at the session mentioned, Gena, if you like playing other melodeons, I have an old one row in C that a friend of his used to own, so, I of course said yes, please do bring that along to the next session! So, now I also need to learn some one row tunes & techniques...
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: MelonBox on February 26, 2020, 03:17:26 PM
I've made the first 10 days (I did last week...) I've summarised all the videos so far, including a summary vlog in this handy post (via link)

https://melbiggsmusic.co.uk/2020/02/26/100-days-of-practice-10-days-of-melodeon/
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on March 01, 2020, 05:48:47 AM
Did you know, if you can't sleep, it's a great idea to just go on the internet and post videos you haven't gotten around to making. I've had this video recorded for days, since wednesday I think? But, been still sick and busy since then and didn't get around to editing it until yesterday and then didn't get around to like, posting it either.

Day 19
https://youtu.be/ZqJ_OrWVh-I (https://youtu.be/ZqJ_OrWVh-I)
Basically, I mostly start figuring out my final arrangement for the tune, how I wanted to start, how I wanted to progress, things I could do, and ways to end it. I actually was planning to add a little fake end with an A over a D chord, but, forgot to do this when it came time to actually record, so, I guess I should have tried to get this video made? Something for the folk club, perhaps.

I did have a plan for February's Theme, but, didn't get around to it due to my many days of feeling unwell. I might try to execute that this week, still, or, I may let it go.

Principally, I did practice and play today, but, the lions share was spent preparing for and then recording my TotM submission (http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,25008.msg299154.html#msg299154). So, I guess 4 'practices' were spent on this tune, ultimately? That's like 4 hours, although realistically it's probably more like 2.5 or 3 hours went into preparing/arranging/performing that performance.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Graham Wood on March 01, 2020, 08:41:52 AM
Well Gena it all worked out beautifully. I really enjoyed listening to your final arrangement. And as you said: 'Hooray for Leap Years'...... That made me smile. lol
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Gena Crisman on March 08, 2020, 05:57:53 AM
Phew, been not doing this for a while!

Day 20
https://youtu.be/7PDAPy-uSAA
I worked through Parallel Popcorn a bit, and worked a bit on the tune I'd decided to do for last month's Theme - Waterloo by ABBA. My local ukulele group sometimes plays this, in G, rather than the original D, so, I sort of vaguely know it from wanting to play along to that. I'm not sure if I want to play it in G or D, yet, though. Both, probably. The E minor sequence is a lot easier than a B minor sequence. Air management seemed a touch in D, too, but I didn't end up recording that bit.

The conclusion I've reached is, maybe I should get a GC (a cheap one, though - it turns out cars and oakwoods are expensive)

So, I did it - I bought a 12 bass G/C Pokerwork that Jimmy was selling in the buy/sell forum - I'm interested in going on an adventure of fixing it up and/or messing with it in ways that won't destroy my more expensive & important instruments. I sold my black pearl 2 to my mum, so, 'the balance' is maintained.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Matt (Kings Norton) on March 08, 2020, 09:29:04 PM
Once again I don’t expect anyone to watch these..: must be about day 70 by now, oh well.  I’ve started to film myself on Sundays playing a bit too hard for what I can manage.  It shows up where the work is needed. That’s what these two are: https://youtu.be/J7led_d4fr8 and https://youtu.be/2MDAQIEzulc.  I haven’t heard of anyone else taking that approach, probably means it’s a bad idea. Once I get disgusted with the videos they’ll come down.

Interesting and funny to see ABBA; I was thinking for the Film theme of the month Supertrouper would do and give someone a chance to go round the different keys with the riff at the beginning.  It’s in ABBA the Movie isn’t it? I think.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: playandteach on March 08, 2020, 10:09:51 PM
Once again I don’t expect anyone to watch these..: must be about day 70 by now, oh well.  I’ve started to film myself on Sundays playing a bit too hard for what I can manage.  It shows up where the work is needed. That’s what these two are: https://youtu.be/J7led_d4fr8 and https://youtu.be/2MDAQIEzulc.  I haven’t heard of anyone else taking that approach, probably means it’s a bad idea. Once I get disgusted with the videos they’ll come down.
Hi, Matt. I did watch, and  there's a lot of good stuff going on, but I would suggest that if it is practice, rather than playing for fun - then keeping it slow and in chunks is the best way to make progress. It could be that you just want to let your hair down every Sunday - and that's all good. Thanks for posting.

Gena
Great to hear that you are picking up a GC. Welcome to the world of pull.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on March 08, 2020, 10:16:39 PM
...I’ve started to film myself on Sundays playing a bit too hard for what I can manage.  It shows up where the work is needed.

Like P&T says, lots of good stuff going on but, if you don't mind observations, I've got a couple.
1. Like P& T suggests, slow down. You don't need to go so fast even when you're up to speed with the tune.
2. Start working on the rhythm. The right notes in the right order are just part of the jigsaw.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Matt (Kings Norton) on March 08, 2020, 10:27:30 PM
I certainly don’t mind observations - I do practice slower cos otherwise I’ll never get anywhere, it was just this idea I had to see where the weak points get exposed... which they do.  But yes, thanks for taking the time and absolutely right.
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: george garside on March 08, 2020, 10:43:17 PM
yes- slow down   and in so doing think in terms that the way you play the 'gaps ' between notes  is just as important as the way you play the notes.  Playing the gaps is is probably the first stage of transforming the right notes in the right order into 'music'
Think rhythm  ( inherent in the way the melody is played)  dynamics  ( changes in volume which helps develop fine bellows control) and phrasing ( much the same as using  breaking up the spoken word with full stops,commas etc)

george
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Tone Dumb Greg on March 08, 2020, 11:21:54 PM
I certainly don’t mind observations - I do practice slower cos otherwise I’ll never get anywhere, it was just this idea I had to see where the weak points get exposed... which they do.  But yes, thanks for taking the time and absolutely right.

It would be interesting to hear what it sounds like if you turn the idea around and concentrate on rhythm and let the melody take care of itself  ;D
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: Matt (Kings Norton) on March 08, 2020, 11:46:59 PM
George - will do - gradually - thank you...

Greg - I could probably manage to make it sound bloody awful, but the point is well made - the challenge to myself could be to record something that I actually think sounds good at whatever tempo (which would clearly be a slower tempo).

Thanks everybody, for the time and trouble. 
Title: Re: 100 Days of Practice
Post by: george garside on March 09, 2020, 09:55:02 AM
its worth keeping in mind that the rhythm can change (needs to be changed) if the same tune is played at different speeds.

eg  a 6/8 tune can often be played as  song accompaniment,  waltz, slow march, march, jig,   etcetc  so when deciding to play a tune slower or quicker it helps to 'give it a purpose'  along with the appropriate rhythm rather than just slowing it down or speeding it up.

george
SimplePortal 2.3.5 © 2008-2012, SimplePortal