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Author Topic: Absolute beginer B/C  (Read 2189 times)

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hopey

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Absolute beginer B/C
« on: January 06, 2009, 12:58:56 AM »

Hi,
    I'm just beginning to learn the melodeon. I have some musical knowledge, I played banjo/violin for a good few years, so I appreciate the need to learn scales to begin with.
 What I'm finding tricky is fingering. For example playing a scale in C - I start with my index finger and end an octave higher with my little finger - what do I need to do now to continue
 into the upper register ? Is it a question of jumping with my index finger ?  Is there a standard fingering ?
   Are there any teachers in the north Herts area ?
                                                                    Keen but confused.  Many thanks
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Stiamh

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Re: Absolute beginer B/C
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 01:35:41 AM »

Well you _could_ jump with your index finger but in my opinion it's much better to shift the hand in small increments. To give you an example, in an earlier thread I described various strategies for playing a scale on one row, starting with just two fingers. Go to this thread: http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,97.15.html - and scroll down to reply no. 15. This is for a box with a D row, but if you move all the notes down a tone you can do the same thing on your C row.

Few people on here agree with me about the value of _not_ using the little finger, but watch good Irish B/C players and take note!

Cheers
Steve

risto

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Re: Absolute beginer B/C
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 06:20:08 AM »

.. I played banjo/violin for a good few years,

And using the pinky comes so naturally after that, doesn't it? At least does for me, but I have decided not to take sides again about what Steve said about the pinkybusiness, considering myself as a beginner. Anyway, there are good B/C players who use the pinky all the time. Also John Williams uses pinky. In any case, even if mostly using the three strongest fingers, there certainly comes times when using the pinky is a natural way to go.

Quote
..  Is there a standard fingering ?

No there is not, John Williams teaches some principles on his DVD, worth watching, though you'd want to see other DVDs as well.

When playing two octaves you need to get your index finger again on the second octave root note. The C scale is best played with three fingers as many others. When using three fingers for the C scale you need to change you hand position twice to get the index on the second root. One trick is to change hand position at the same time when you change bellows direction on the same button. This gives a rather smooth going. When you try this you will see that there are several option where you could do the changing of hand position. Take your pick.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 06:23:01 AM by risto »
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george garside

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Re: Absolute beginer B/C
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2009, 01:36:34 PM »

Hi,
    . For example playing a scale in C - I start with my index finger and end an octave higher with my little finger - what do I need to do now to continue
 into the upper register ? Is it a question of jumping with my index finger ?  Is there a standard fingering ?
   Are there any teachers in the north Herts area ?
                                                                    Keen but confused.  Many thanks
[/quote

playing on row in C you can move index finger up to higher C whilst playing it with little fingeri.e. make the move whilst playing a note so that there is no time lag,  However in say G, D or A on a 21 key box it is hardly worth while as there are not many higher keys than high D or A so you can either quickly slide the hand to move a finger to the required key of stretch the little finger to reach it.

As far as general fingering there is definately no single correct way of doing it but there are a number of manouvres that can be practised and which are then used on a 'best fit' basis  according to the particular bit of a tune you are playing.  As to whether or not to use the little finger  it is a bit daft to completely ignore it  or to be dogmatic about whether or not to use it.  It again depends on the requirements of a particular bit of a particular tune  and there are atimes when it is very useful and times when  it is more expedient to 'walk' up or down the keyboard using just 3 fingers. 

One way to develop technique is to play scales the full length of the keyboard  whilst experimenting with a veriety of fingering methods untill you find what works best for you, bearing in mind that you may have to jugle these techniques around when playing tunes rather than scales.   Very often if the fingering  feels clumsy there is a better way of doing it OR you are playing faster than you can & need to do it all slower untill it comes right.

Probably simpler in the early stages to ignore the B & E on outside row although later thay are very useful, particularly the push B when playing in A ( in A use push B & E as much as possible as this enables bellows to be kept under control without exessive use of air button.

george
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hopey

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Re: Absolute beginer B/C
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2009, 03:50:46 PM »

Thank you for all posts, the more help the better at this stage.
 I've scrapped all I've taught myself in the last two weeks and I'm going to learn 1 finger scales - properly - then try some walking scales.  Not wishing to appear silly, can I still try learning some tunes/songs without fear of getting into bad habits, or, should I stick to scales alone until they're mastered?
 Finally is there a DVD for B/C melodeon that anybody would recommend - with a link if possible.
                                                                                                   Thanks again for your time.
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george garside

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Re: Absolute beginer B/C
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2009, 05:18:53 PM »

Thank you for all posts, the more help the better at this stage.
 I've scrapped all I've taught myself in the last two weeks and I'm going to learn 1 finger scales - properly - then try some walking scales.  Not wishing to appear silly, can I still try learning some tunes/songs without fear of getting into bad habits, or, should I stick to scales alone until they're mastered?
 Finally is there a DVD for B/C melodeon that anybody would recommend - with a link if possible.
                                                                                                   Thanks again for your time.

The more time you spend doing anything with the box the  more you become familiar with it so by all means have a go at a few tunes but don't get hung up about getting them spot on. Better to pick slow tunes to start with as they sound more natural & satisfying than fast tunes played very slowly.  Perhaps something well known like cock of the north in G which is played entirely on the C row with no need to move the hand (if using little finger) and which more or less balances out as far as bellows ins & outs are concerned.  Egans Polka in D is also a good tune to learn as A part can be played without moving hand provided F# is played with little finger.  Also look out for tunes with many repeated bits like blydon races & davy nicknack as you get a lot of tune for relatively little learning!
 Waltzes are also very useful when leaning as they tend to allow more time to sort fingering out without buggering the tune up too much.

george
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Stiamh

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Re: Absolute beginer B/C
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2009, 06:37:41 PM »

If I were you I'd devote most of my time to learning tunes and a little to practising scales. The thing is, your fingering technique is going to keep on evolving and changing for several years as you discover what works for you. And in order for your fingering to evolve, you have to have tunes to work on. There is no absolute standard for fingering these boxes -  don't look for one. Find out what suits you.

As far as DVDs are concerned, this page: http://buttonbox.com/learn-to-play-accordion.html shows most of what's available, with the exception of Damien Connolly's tutor (see below).

Some contributors here recommend the David Hanrahan book. I think it's a waste of money.

The John Williams DVD will take you through about 4 years' worth of learning in one hour. He's pretty loose about questions of fingering, so don't expect a "method." But I like his personality and approach (as well as his playing) and you'll certainly pick up a few things of value from it.

I haven't seen the PJ Hernon DVD or the Derek Hickey CD-ROM tutorial.

Peter Browne's DVD is devoted to advanced ornamentation, including some pyrotechnics in very dubious taste. I'd wait a while before getting that, except as entertainment value. The best part of it is that (unlike John Williams and Damien Connolly he never uses the little finger. (Only winding the lads up here  ;D )

A rather different approach is taken by Damien Connolly in a new tutor book and accompanying DVD. He discusses his approach to fingering in some depth in the book and will help you banish any ideas that anyone might have put into your head that sliding is to be avoided. He gives complete fingering for 29 tunes in both tablature and conventional notation.

I reviewed it towards the end of this thread: http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,704.0.html

and he now has a web site up: http://www.damienconnolly.com/tutor.html

Good luck and don't be shy to ask more questions!
Steve

risto

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Re: Absolute beginer B/C
« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2009, 08:06:09 PM »

Hopey,

A bold suggestion:
I have both the Williams DVD and Hickey CD/(DVD) (Hickey's tutor is a multimedia CD presentation with printable material and video clips, not a DVD) in my book-shelf. I would be interested to see the Damien Connolly and Browne material. If you (or anyone else) is interested in recycling tutor material I am open for suggestions.
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Paolo Soprani 5-row, Roland FR1B-digital CBA button accordion. Guitar, 5-string OT banjo, mandolin, piano...
My one man band recording: http://www.elisanet.fi/rap/Bonaparte_Crossing_The_Rhine_Risto.mp3
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