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Author Topic: A  (Read 5700 times)

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GBbox

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Re: A
« Reply #20 on: August 31, 2015, 10:31:50 PM »

Never tried to play in A major on a D/G box, and I've moved to the A/D/G a lot of years ago, so it's too late. Yet, with both the tonic and the dominant chords on the pull, I really think that playing a regular pattern with the left hand for me would be most of the times impossible. At least is what I've found trying to play in D major on my G/C 2 and 1/2 row box, with the D and the A both available as pull chords only, and the Bm chord that's pull only too.

Maybe the odd tune where you can use the subdominant, since the D chord on the D/G is available both as a push and as a pull chord, could offer here and there a chance to recover, and I guess one could try to move from the A chord to the E chord, or the other way round, via a bar or two in C, if they could be played mainly on the push, but the exceptions do not break the rules.
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Re: A
« Reply #21 on: August 31, 2015, 11:07:45 PM »

It's definitely possible for a lot of tunes - and many melodeon players do learn some of the more well known tunes in A.

However ... that sinking feeling when you realise that you're in a session with a load of fiddle players with Scottish/Northern repertoire is something I have to admit that I identify with.

The fact is that even if there are no G# notes in the tunes - A is really quite an uncomfortable key to play in.  If you naturally play across the rows with an eye towards playing the right chords too on a D/G, most tunes in A have a great deal more pull notes than push ones leading to an imbalance where you need great bellows control and a gulping air button to stop the bellows from ending up at full extension.  A far better way to approach A tunes is to stick to the D row and play like you would on a one-row which is nice and spiky, cajun-like even.  Unfortunately this push pull approach doesn't match brilliantly with the more flowing Scottish type tunes and can sound a little out of place.
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Jack Campin

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Re: A
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2015, 11:44:37 PM »

This would be something like a worst case, then?

Code: [Select]
X:1
T:The Lea Rig
S:Chambers, Songs of Scotland Prior to Burns
M:4/4
L:1/16
Q:1/4=50
K:A
(c>B)| c2E2     E2F2  (A3B)     A2c2  |(B3c)     (dcBA)   c2F2F2
(c>B)| cE3      E2F2  (A3B)     A2(ae)| f3e      (fgae)   c2A2A2||
 e2  |(fe)(f>g) a3c   (dc)(d>e) f3A   |(BA)(B<c) (dc)(BA) c2F2F2
(c>B)| c2E2     E2F2   A3B      A2(ae)|(f3e)     (fgae)   c2A2A2|]

The G#s are unimportant, but your bellows would end up stretched out like a bandoneon?
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Chris Ryall

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Re: A
« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2015, 08:07:16 AM »

Last year I went to the bar in W Wales's "Fire in the Mountain festival - found myself in with a bluegrass session, and joined in with the plucky banjos. Most tunes had a mixolydian blue b7 (so mode 5 of my D row) and yes, all on the pull but … hey, "this is fun"!

But after 14 consecutive tunes in A my left arm told me to leave for elsewhere :|glug
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Anahata

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Re: A
« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2015, 08:23:30 AM »

This would be something like a worst case, then?

Code: [Select]
X:1
T:The Lea Rig
S:Chambers, Songs of Scotland Prior to Burns
M:4/4
L:1/16
Q:1/4=50
K:A
(c>B)| c2E2     E2F2  (A3B)     A2c2  |(B3c)     (dcBA)   c2F2F2
(c>B)| cE3      E2F2  (A3B)     A2(ae)| f3e      (fgae)   c2A2A2||
 e2  |(fe)(f>g) a3c   (dc)(d>e) f3A   |(BA)(B<c) (dc)(BA) c2F2F2
(c>B)| c2E2     E2F2   A3B      A2(ae)|(f3e)     (fgae)   c2A2A2|]

The G#s are unimportant, but your bellows would end up stretched out like a bandoneon?

Haven't tried playing it, but I think the F sharps would come to the rescue as push notes on the D row, and D bass/chord usually fits with them too.
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Theo

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Re: A
« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2015, 09:04:49 AM »

It's definitely possible for a lot of tunes - and many melodeon players do learn some of the more well known tunes in A.

However ... that sinking feeling when you realise that you're in a session with a load of fiddle players with Scottish/Northern repertoire is something I have to admit that I identify with.

I live with sessions like that and they are great!   It's not really more difficult, just different, and as with all learning it gets easier with regular practice.  The air management becomes a non issue too with a bit of practice.
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george garside

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Re: A
« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2015, 09:10:34 AM »

and those who get to that stage would find a BCC# quite easy to get the hang of!


george ;D
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Sebastian

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Re: A
« Reply #27 on: September 01, 2015, 12:12:40 PM »

The G#s are unimportant, but your bellows would end up stretched out like a bandoneon?
The notated G#s are unplayable, because they are not there on a melodeon. A normal two-row has them only in the lower octave (where they don't appear in the melody). That was already said here.

It tried to play the ABC you provided. The first bar plays quite easily, but from the second bar on you have to make sacrifices, and it is a pitty, because the tune could be played really nicely if you would start one note bellow.

(As others have mentioned, too: After ten minutes of playing it in A I was reminded of those "300 pushups a day" contests.)

Mike Hirst

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Re: A
« Reply #28 on: September 01, 2015, 02:12:59 PM »

This version of The Lea Rig, from the Athole Collection, works well on D One Row, so should be no problem for D/G players.

Code: [Select]
T:Lea Rig, The
T:An Oidhche a Bha Bhainis Ann
R:Reel
B:The Athole Collection
M:C|
L:1/8
K:A
c|AFEF A2AB|A/B/c BA BFFB|AFEF A2Aa|f2ec eAA:|
|:a|f2 (ec efac|B/B/B (BA BFFB|1 AFEF A2 (Aa|f2 (ec eAA:|2
AFEF ABce|faea cAA|]

Same setting is also found in Bremner (and other sources) under the alternative title 'My Ain Kind Dearie'.
« Last Edit: September 01, 2015, 02:19:28 PM by Mike Hirst »
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Sebastian

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Re: A
« Reply #29 on: September 01, 2015, 04:52:11 PM »

This version of The Lea Rig, from the Athole Collection, works well on D One Row, so should be no problem for D/G players.
It's interesting. I just played it on a one-row, and it works. But when I try to play it on a two-row box, I become aware of the wrong LH chords.

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Re: A
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2015, 06:21:13 PM »

This version of The Lea Rig, from the Athole Collection, works well on D One Row, so should be no problem for D/G players.
It's interesting. I just played it on a one-row, and it works. But when I try to play it on a two-row box, I become aware of the wrong LH chords.

I am often aware of this when playing a one-row four-stop instrument with only two basses/chords.
Because of the richness of the LMMH right-hand side playing the melody, you can somehow get away with harmonic murder on the bass side. The 'wrong' chords and basses don't seem to matter quite so much; they begin to take on a percussive quality. I think it was Anahata of this parish who described the effect as 'grunt' and 'different grunt'  (:).  But when played on a normal two-row instrument, even a three voice on LMM setting, you lose that effect and the wrong chords start to jar.
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Jack Campin

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Re: A
« Reply #31 on: September 01, 2015, 06:51:55 PM »

That reel from the Athole Collection is only remotely related to the "Lea Rig" song tune.  (I thought of it because it's a flowing, lyrical tune without much harmonic movement - that reel is a lot choppier).
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Anahata

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Re: A
« Reply #32 on: September 01, 2015, 06:55:25 PM »

I am often aware of this when playing a one-row four-stop instrument with only two basses/chords.
Because of the richness of the LMMH right-hand side playing the melody, you can somehow get away with harmonic murder on the bass side. The 'wrong' chords and basses don't seem to matter quite so much; they begin to take on a percussive quality. I think it was Anahata of this parish who described the effect as 'grunt' and 'different grunt'  (:).  But when played on a normal two-row instrument, even a three voice on LMM setting, you lose that effect and the wrong chords start to jar.

It may be the LMMH treble side, but I think part of it is that the basses and chords on a 1 row (especially a Hohner) have a less well defined pitch. I suspect this is because lower pitched reeds are used. On my Castagnari Max, I found the LH bass notes were too well defined and I taped off the highest of the three reeds (converting LMH to LM). Those top reeds are well into treble clef range and really interfere when they aren't actually the right note.

I haven't checked the actual pitches of the component notes in the chords of a one-row, but they certainly sound different from a two row and I'd guess they are a lower pitched inversion of the chord. Either that or there's something about the mechanical construction that filters out more harmonics - perhaps the "growl box" cavity does this.

All part of the elusive magic of the one row melodeon...
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GBbox

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Re: A
« Reply #33 on: September 01, 2015, 07:27:37 PM »

It's definitely possible for a lot of tunes - and many melodeon players do learn some of the more well known tunes in A.

...

The fact is that even if there are no G# notes in the tunes - A is really quite an uncomfortable key to play in.  If you naturally play across the rows with an eye towards playing the right chords too on a D/G, most tunes in A have a great deal more pull notes than push ones leading to an imbalance where you need great bellows control and a gulping air button to stop the bellows from ending up at full extension.  A far better way to approach A tunes is to stick to the D row and play like you would on a one-row which is nice and spiky, cajun-like even.  Unfortunately this push pull approach doesn't match brilliantly with the more flowing Scottish type tunes and can sound a little out of place.

I didn't stated that playing a regular pattern in A on a D/G box it's impossible, but rather  - I hope you'll appreciate a distinction that's not subtle! - that I would find it most of the times impossible.

Maybe you're right, it could be my approach that fails. I play cross row style to get the right chords, and when I plan the fingering to learn a new tune I tend to think in terms of (mainly) pull and (mainly) push bars. Until  the ratio isn't up to 3 to 1, that's fine, more than that thing are getting harder.

Or maybe we just give a different meaning to the the expression “regular pattern”. For me, it implies to play not just the left hand in time, but to play a correct – i. e. harmonically meaningful – chord progression. If you stick strictly to the D row, how can you play an A bass/chord when you play an A in the melody?

On the D/G box both the A and the E bass/chords couples are pull only. You can't fake them, you can't use any substitution - you miss the C#, the F# and the G# sharp chords -, and only the E bass can be replaced on the push by a B bass note. Even with the tightest control of the bellows, if you don't throw in some push chords I dare say you won't be able to play a correct chord progression.

If you don't mind the basses or the chords you actually play, of course the perspective changes... but then why not playing a one row instrument?

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squeezy

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Re: A
« Reply #34 on: September 01, 2015, 07:44:43 PM »

Hi GBbox - I think you'll find if you read my post again that I was completely agreeing with everything you say, not arguing against it.
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Gary Chapin

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Re: A
« Reply #35 on: September 01, 2015, 08:26:43 PM »

I have a 1 row in A gifted by Brian of this parish....is that cheating? >:E
Yes.
M
No.

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GBbox

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Re: A
« Reply #36 on: September 01, 2015, 10:03:02 PM »

Hi GBbox - I think you'll find if you read my post again that I was completely agreeing with everything you say, not arguing against it.

Sorry Squeezy. I'd just said that something for me was impossible, than you started with that "it's definitely possible..." I got it the wrong way!
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Mike Hirst

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Re: A
« Reply #37 on: September 01, 2015, 11:52:14 PM »

That reel from the Athole Collection is only remotely related to the "Lea Rig" song tune.  (I thought of it because it's a flowing, lyrical tune without much harmonic movement - that reel is a lot choppier).

This is true, however, the point here was not to get involved in discussion on the possible derivation of historical Scots melodies, but to provide an example of a melody which can be played in the key of A on a D or D/G melodeon without compromise or unnecessary difficulty.
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TomBom

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Re: A
« Reply #38 on: September 02, 2015, 01:03:42 AM »

I love playing in A (mix) on a one row in D. Of course there is no A chord on push. My workaround is either leaving out basses and playing A in octaves or substite the melody with A bass & chord.
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Re: A
« Reply #39 on: September 02, 2015, 08:40:43 AM »

After spending a week in Miltown Malbay with Johnny Connolly, I am now able to play The Boys of Bluehill in A entirely on the D row.
I would never have thought it possible but it turns out to be much more fun than the usual boring old D version.
I'll post a video dreckly.
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