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Author Topic: B/C tutorial wanted  (Read 1724 times)

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kenakordeon

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B/C tutorial wanted
« on: September 29, 2015, 01:15:40 PM »

I've been playing single row D (Quebecois) for not quite three years and also have been learning tunes on D/C# (Quebecois in keys other than D, G and A and beginning jazz).  A friend has lent me a B/C accordion. (Hyde, from Australia. A very nice instrument.) I'd like to learn how to play the B/C if only to satisfy my curiosity as to why this system is as popular in Irish music as it is.

Can anyone recommend tutorials/books/videos/on-line lessons that might start beyond the basics of "this-is-a-push-and-this-is-a-pull" and move right off into learning tunes in the keys of D, G, A and the relative minors?

Thank for any help.

Ken
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DaveCottrell

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2015, 01:22:48 PM »

I like "The Box"  by David Hanrahan.  It is a good beginner BC book and not very expensive
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Stiamh

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2015, 02:00:58 PM »

Hi Ken! Having a B/C is an ideal opportunity for you to discover why the C#/D is as popular as it is in Irish music :)

(All except Ken please note - this is not an attempt to vaunt the superiority of C#/D over B/C. It's just a gentle ribbing because a couple of years ago I suggested to Ken that he would be better off for Irish music with C#/D than going the D/C# route à la Joe Derrane/Denis Pepin.)

Back to Ken: I'm being serious actually. I don't think you need a tutor coming from D/C# if you use a pretend C#/D as a way in.

For example, learn to play in C#/D "A" fingering on the B/C - using the same buttons as you would use for Amaj on D/C#, but with the rows reversed. Once you have got comfortable with that, hey presto, you have learned how to play in the key of G on B/C.

G is an easier key than D to start with on B/C, anyway.

Then try Dm on the B/C - using your Em fingering from D/C#, mostly all on the main row. That's another big thumbs-up for the B/C: Dm is a bit of a wrestling match on C#/D, at least when you first try it, but on B/C it's as easy as, well.... Em on a D box.

Having said that, if you want a tutorial I have a spare copy of Damien Connolly's tutor that I'd be happy to let you have. I wouldn't bother with the Hanrahan book at your stage (I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, actually).
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Johnjo

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2015, 02:57:45 PM »

I've been playing single row D (Quebecois) for not quite three years and also have been learning tunes on D/C# (Quebecois in keys other than D, G and A and beginning jazz).  A friend has lent me a B/C accordion. (Hyde, from Australia. A very nice instrument.) I'd like to learn how to play the B/C if only to satisfy my curiosity as to why this system is as popular in Irish music as it is.

Can anyone recommend tutorials/books/videos/on-line lessons that might start beyond the basics of "this-is-a-push-and-this-is-a-pull" and move right off into learning tunes in the keys of D, G, A and the relative minors?

Thank for any help.

Ken

Take a look at the Online Academy of Irish Music. www.oaim.ie They have some free lessons you can try before you have to pay for membership.
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boxer

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #4 on: September 29, 2015, 03:36:14 PM »

Hi Ken

the things that make B/C what it uniquely is are the ones that don't lend themselves to clear or simple explanation.  Hanrahan's book neatly dodges this problem by not even bothering to try.

As well as the recommendation immediately above, have a good look at a B/C keyboard chart (free of charge on this site) and start working tunes out for yourself, and have a look at John Williams' DVD whilst you're at it.

Good luck
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george garside

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #5 on: September 29, 2015, 04:02:32 PM »

Hi Ken
 .

As well as the recommendation immediately above, have a good look at a B/C keyboard chart (free of charge on this site) and start working tunes out for yourself, 

Indeed!   It can also help to think in terms of the C row being the main road ( as well as giving C scale on the row). G is all on the main road exept for a 'diversion' to the B row for F# .  Learn that scale until comfortable at speed.  The D scale = 2 'diversions' A scale = 3 diversions  .  Going the other way,  so to speak, F is  all main road exept for a diversion to the B row for Bb

george



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KLR

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #6 on: September 29, 2015, 06:03:49 PM »

The Button Box seems to have all the DVDs.  Connolly's is very impressive, interesting approach and layout, and the offer of a loaner copy isn't something I'd pass up.  Hanrahan's book isn't good for much really, there's hardly anything beyond the real rudiments.

You'll learn a lot just trawling through online forums, too.  Search for "BC" here and at thesession.org, lots of good advice and yack and forthright opinions.

B/C is popular because it allows to you play much of the scale without moving the bellows, more so than with C#/D etc.  Arpeggios are more herky jerky though, but those scales couldn't be simpler.  This is why so many B/C players are super smooth, you can play the D scale in the 1st octave with 3 moves of the bellows. 
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george garside

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #7 on: September 29, 2015, 06:10:01 PM »

[ .  This is why so many B/C players are super smooth, you can play the D scale in the 1st octave with 3 moves of the bellows.

I sometimes wonder why we don't all play a continental chromatic - D scale or any other with one move of the bellows!

george >:E ;)
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Lester

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2015, 06:14:31 PM »

[ .  This is why so many B/C players are super smooth, you can play the D scale in the 1st octave with 3 moves of the bellows.

I sometimes wonder why we don't all play a continental chromatic - D scale or any other with one move of the bellows!

george >:E ;)

Or a piano accordion?   ;)

Theo

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2015, 06:24:12 PM »

On a DG box you can play a D scale with only two moves of the bellows!
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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2015, 07:14:49 PM »

As Theo observes, a D/G may seem even "smoother" than B/C.  Not that smooth really matters on a diatonic box. 

On D/G, the one note you can't properly ornament (I don't count just using the next outer row note available for the low note) by playing all the notes of a 5 note roll without change of bellows direction, is one that is possibly the most usually ornamented note in Irish dance music: D.

On B/C you can roll D as fast and smooth as you want, all on the draw (and B and C#, plus F# on the press).

Just a theory.
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KLR

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #11 on: September 29, 2015, 08:45:25 PM »

Well, a purist will say you can't roll anything on a D/G, because the lower grace note on A won't be a G# like Joe Burke intended.   ::)  The grace notes on D/G actually are closer to what the rest of the musicians play. 

A/D/G will give you a roll on D.  Can't think of what the graces are at the moment as I'm practicing the B/C/C# and don't want to get dizzy.   :o  But you can always do what the B/C players do on F#, play a "finger swapping" roll, just repeat F# thrice, and call it good. 

On all of these 3 row boxes I try and not get carried away with the cross fingering, it will paint you into a corner really quickly, where the bellows is out a mile.  I haven't really canvassed the really good B/C/C# players but one of them, Daniel MacPhee, says he just plays the thing like a B/C, using the C# row to control what the bellows is doing.  For Irish music it's also handy for playing a full roll on that F# note.  It could also be handy for making that scale in D less tedious, actually.   ::)  You could use it to break things up.  I play on-the-row, on the inner row, am having a box made in C/C#/D, and B/C is still a bit mystifying to me; but I've messed around with it enough to see how it works.
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george garside

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Re: B/C tutorial wanted
« Reply #12 on: September 29, 2015, 09:24:09 PM »


On all of these 3 row boxes I try and not get carried away with the cross fingering, it will paint you into a corner really quickly, where the bellows is out a mile.  I haven't really canvassed the really good B/C/C# players but one of them, Daniel MacPhee, says he just plays the thing like a B/C, using the C# row to control what the bellows is doing.   

Using the  C# row as Daniel Macphee advocates  can ,depending on the particular part of the particular tune ,  enable use of the air button to be minimised by playing  a number of notes 'out' followed by a similar number of notes 'in'

Learning to play more or less as a BC also has the advantage of being able to play in the 'flat' keys by using (mainly) the CC# rows.

george
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