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Author Topic: Silly brand new newbie bass issue  (Read 5465 times)

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Lizwardo

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Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« on: December 09, 2008, 09:44:52 AM »

Hi all

I bought my first melodeon on Saturday, having wanted to play one for six years, and have barely been able to put it down since (already addicted  :D)

I haven't got a tutor yet (waiting for Mally's book to arrive in the post, and am hoping for John Kirkpatrick's DVD for Christmas) so I've just been playing around with the assistance of the beginner's info from this site.  I've pretty much nailed the treble for Winster Gallop so I decided to try adding basses.  However, I found that as soon as I did the treble seemed to drop out. The first note on each push/pull is there, but then there's nothing until I change direction again.  Is this something that should improve as I get more control over the bellows?  Or do I have a problem?!  :-\ 

I'm also having to play quietly at the moment, as I live in a flat that I share with two other girls, in a building with three other flats, in the middle of a terrace. Could this affect it as well?

Sorry for all the silly questions!  Any advice or reassurance will be much appreciated!

Rob2Hook

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #1 on: December 09, 2008, 10:13:05 AM »

Welcome to the sometimes embarrassing world of music practice!  I used to think that the neighbours were noisy until they asked me to stop playing polkas just before their kids' bedtimes - they were hyped up from dancing for hours!

If you're trying to play too quietly, then a lot of control will be lost and the slightest imbalance in the airflow between bass and melody will, as you say, leave you with insufficient air to make the next reed speak.  I was very lucky to be able to have a thrash at lunchtimes in a sound-proof room at work.  At home, I adopted a rule of not playing between 9pm and 9am - similar to any other noisy activity.  That salved my conscience enough to play at whatever level I needed to at other times.

Best of luck,
Rob.
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Lizwardo

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #2 on: December 09, 2008, 10:20:18 AM »

Thanks Rob.  I'm going home to my parent's detached house for two weeks over Christmas, so I should have plenty of opportunity then to really make some noise! 

george garside

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2008, 10:52:20 AM »

Hi all

I bought my first melodeon on Saturday, having wanted to play one for six years, and have barely been able to put it down since (already addicted  :D)

I haven't got a tutor yet (waiting for Mally's book to arrive in the post, and am hoping for John Kirkpatrick's DVD for Christmas) so I've just been playing around with the assistance of the beginner's info from this site.  I've pretty much nailed the treble for Winster Gallop so I decided to try adding basses.  However, I found that as soon as I did the treble seemed to drop out. The first note on each push/pull is there, but then there's nothing until I change direction again.  Is this something that should improve as I get more control over the bellows?  Or do I have a problem?!  :-\ 

I'm also having to play quietly at the moment, as I live in a flat that I share with two other girls, in a building with three other flats, in the middle of a terrace. Could this affect it as well?

Sorry for all the silly questions!  Any advice or reassurance will be much appreciated!

Hi Liz & welcome to menet.  I suggest you leave the bass off completely untill you can manage a few tunes on the treble end without having to think too much about them.  The bass reeds are bigger & use much more air than the trebleso the 'trick' is to play the bass notes very short which is done by tapping the buttons quickly & lightly as if they are red hot. - a nice stacatto um- pa   rather than an  uuummmm -paaaa!  Lift the fingers off the buttons between strikes.  This has 3 -  beneficial effects - it greatly reduces the air consumption - it stops the bass sounding turgid - it minimises the effect of any discord between treble & bass as the discordant notes are not around for long enough to do much damage!
Learning to play quietly is well worth doing as in so doing you have to develop much finer bellows control and it also opens up the world of 'dynamics' (loud & soft)  If you can only play loud you have no choice but to play loud. If you can play quietly it means you have the skill required to vary the volume even on an individual note which will greatly enhance the overall effect of the proceedings.

hope this of some help.

george
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brianleach

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2008, 12:00:11 PM »

Hi Lizwardo.

Another one from the S & B forum!! Not sure how many that makes. What do you think Ellie?

Brian
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Ellie

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2008, 01:10:04 PM »

A fair few of us now! Welcome Liz - thought that was you :) Good to hear you're getting on with it. Impressed you've tried out the basses already though  :o I'm still struggling with adding them in properly!

I have the same problem as you with the treble not sounding, but as George says, that doesn't happen if you only play a very staccato bass. Control of the bellows is everything! Good luck, and have fun ;D

Lizwardo

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2008, 01:16:11 PM »

Hehe, there's a lot of us here, Squeezy has a lot to answer for I think! I'm not seriously trying to put in the basses yet, just messing around really, just wanted to make sure that the problem with the treble was just a technique thing and not an instrument issue!!

The disturbing thing is, I've only had my melodeon for four days, but I'm already looking at various websites and reviews trying to decide which model to get next!  Early onset MAD? Oh dear....

Ellie

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2008, 01:19:25 PM »

Early onset MAD? Oh dear....

Ah, but then you look at the prices and think "maybe in 2 years"... ;D

brianleach

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #8 on: December 09, 2008, 01:44:53 PM »

Quote
Early onset MAD? Oh dear....

It's only just starting I'm afraid. The more you learn about the melodeons and keys etc the more you realise that one (or two or three - sorry got carried away) isn't enough.

However finding time to practice more than one and not getting confused between boxes is another matter altogether!

Brian
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Alison Scott

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2008, 02:12:21 PM »

MAD comes and goes, though. I'm so insanely happy with my lineup of melodeons at present I can't imagine ever wanting any more. Plus I really need to sell the one that nobody is playing. And besides, my husband seems to have MAD even worse than I do. And anyway, my next instrument purchase is almost certain to be a ***banjo***.

Ebor_fiddler

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2008, 10:19:52 PM »

A WHATTTTTTTT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 ;D
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Bob Ellis

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #11 on: December 10, 2008, 01:39:16 AM »

Hi Liz and welcome to the insane world of melodeonism,

George recommended:
Quote
I suggest you leave the bass off completely until you can manage a few tunes on the treble end without having to think too much about them. 

While George is right, I would add that as soon as you can play a few tunes without thinking too much about them, start trying to add in the basses. The longer you leave it, the harder you will find it. While it feels strange at first, and the melody will suffer while you try to get the hang of the basses, there is a kind of rhythm to the way hands and brain co-ordinate to play both at once that will soon become second nature.

Good luck,

Bob
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #12 on: December 10, 2008, 07:27:54 AM »

....I would add that as soon as you can play a few tunes without thinking too much about them, start trying to add in the basses. The longer you leave it, the harder you will find it. While it feels strange at first, and the melody will suffer while you try to get the hang of the basses, there is a kind of rhythm to the way hands and brain co-ordinate to play both at once that will soon become second nature.
I agree with Bob, especially with the bit I have italicised. Get those basses going straight away.
Good luck from me too :)
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Skipy

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #13 on: December 10, 2008, 10:13:06 AM »

A WHATTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 ;D

Shouldn't the exclamation marks be question marks? I think maybe you were in shock!  ;)

However, I do whole heartedly agree, PLEASE Alison, think long and hard about this, there are FAR TOO MANY Banjo's and 'Banjo Players' (Hhmm..... Banjo Players? Somehow that just doesn't sound right!) out there already! Please, Please think again?  :D

Skipy
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Bill Young

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #14 on: December 10, 2008, 12:00:13 PM »

A WHATTTTTTTT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 ;D

Shouldn't the exclamation marks be question marks? I think maybe you were in shock!  ;)

However, I do whole heartedly agree, PLEASE Alison, think long and hard about this, there are FAR TOO MANY Banjo's and 'Banjo Players' (Hhmm..... Banjo Players? Somehow that just doesn't sound right!) out there already! Please, Please think again?  :D

Skipy

Time to recycle these old chestnuts?

Rob2Hook

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #15 on: December 10, 2008, 12:16:17 PM »

Yes, get the basses going!!  If you wait too long, you'll learn all your favourite tunes with the bellows going the wrong way and the basses won't fit!

Just the other day a friend asked for a manuscript to learn a tune we urgently need for our Christmas charity bash.  We chose North West Morris as it give the biggest set, blocking the passageway and making it so much easier for the pan handlers to mug pedestrians...  Yes, we do a Charity collection every Christmas.  Warning!  If you go Christmas shopping in Winchester, you have been warned.  Anyway, he learnt the tune as being in G maj - unfortunately it's in E min and so he is playing it on the wrong row!  No basses at all!

Rob.
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Matthew B

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #16 on: December 10, 2008, 03:48:40 PM »

Get those basses going straight away.
Good luck from me too :)
I have to agree with George's reasoning around the issue of learning the basses, but I've never managed to follow such sound advice.  If the button's there, you really do have to push it, just to see what happens.
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finnhorse

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #17 on: December 10, 2008, 09:28:04 PM »

Get those basses going straight away.
Good luck from me too :)
I have to agree with George's reasoning around the issue of learning the basses, but I've never managed to follow such sound advice.  If the button's there, you really do have to push it, just to see what happens.

I jumped right in with them, I couldn't wait.  A week later I could play bass along with the majority of what I had learned on the right hand.  I can't separate them now.  Do you practice scales?  What helped me most to wrap my head around making both hands go together at the same time was to play scales over bass patterns.  In other words, you play the scales in time with the basses.  Try walking up the stairs on the outside row while playing an alternating bass pattern in the appropriate key:

2/4 time for Winster Gallop might be:
A-a- A-a- A-a (BASS-chord BASS-chord BASS-chord, counting ONE-two ONE-two ONE-two)

Master that playing the scale on top.  For simplicity's sake you don't have to remember any tune while practicing scales and then give it a whirl behind Winster Gallop and it should come more naturally because you are familiar with the pattern.

3/4 time:
A-a-a A-a-a A-a-a (one-two-three one-two-three)

etc.
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meltzer

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #18 on: December 11, 2008, 06:48:03 AM »

Thanks Rob.  I'm going home to my parent's detached house for two weeks over Christmas, so I should have plenty of opportunity then to really make some noise! 

That's how my parents' neighbours always know that I'm up on a visit, too.  ;D
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joe

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Re: Silly brand new newbie bass issue
« Reply #19 on: December 15, 2008, 11:43:27 AM »

Whenever I go back to my parent's house I play the melodeon for a good hour at least, as I get very little opportunity at home to play as loud as a melodeon should be played!

Play with basses fairly early on, but when you can play confidently with basses in, play without them for a while. Its strange what you can learn doing things like this.

A comment I received this weekend:
'I've never seen anyone play a pokerwork quite like that!!!'
hmmm.
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