Melodeon.net Forums

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Welcome to the new melodeon.net forum

Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7   Go Down

Author Topic: How long did it take you to feel like you "got somewhere" with the melodeon?  (Read 5183 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Melissa Sinclair

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 220
  • Got my first squeeze... box(es)
    • Melissa's Melodeons

I'm not being impatient. I know it takes time and practice. I'm just wondering what people's experiences are. I am especially curious about adult learners - who didn't play a like instrument or piano ahead of time (as you learn to untie your hands in piano, concertina, etc).

If I practice 1-2 hours a day most days. Let's say 5-6 times a week, and you were to make a guess, how long would it take to play some tunes - like say... some tunes of the month here on Melnet?

I know everyone is different, but what is some ballpark? We were all new to this at one point. Hearing people's experiences would help me I think!
Logged
Plunking on my 1st box: Vintage burl Hohner in GC,  a lonely Hohner Liliput in CF, and a borrowed Streb to have a "silent Melodeon" and a melodeon of many keys!

stevejay

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 676

The first songs are the hardest, and there is something to be said for perfecting 3 or 4 before moving on.
The skills you have obtained will now transfer to the other songs you are working on.

Try not to be too militaristic with yourself about the whole thing. A few minutes of focused practice a day helps.

 I believe if you were to ask most players of any instrument what "stage" they are in, they'd agree they are always learning and perfecting.
It isn't a destination, but a journey as the cliché goes...

Focus on easier tunes that you like. There are LOTS of easy tunes, and if you don't want to go too crazy, stick with diatofiddle, the loffet site or a website you like.  Print out a few tablatures/music, and digest them before you move on.

*****Honestly, one you are proficient at reading tablature, it becomes MUCH easier! I use the music, tablature and youtube in combination.

I know I got a lot better over time, and the steps were not always clear to myself.  Not using a thumb strap and use of my thumb on the treble were milestones however.

Try to wean yourself of the tab/music whenever you can. After a while, use the tab/music to check yourself, but use your intuition. YouTube slows tunes to 1/2 speed so you can check yourself. Playing without paper is way more fun!

One last thing, stay loose in your body. When we try to learn a new skill, it can create tension in the body. Just stay loose and comfortable, otherwise you can cause pain.

Sorry this was sort of disjointed, but I tried to reflect on my path the best I could.

« Last Edit: February 24, 2017, 03:13:17 PM by stevejay »
Logged

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3533
  • happily squeezing away in Devon

I remember wondering such things when I started up, and Theo simply said ' it takes time.....' and it does!
Steve is quite right, enjoy the journey, sit back and squeeze away, it'll come ......
If you  managed 1-2 hours a day most days of the week I suspect that is far more than most of us achieve so you should progress quickly.

My biggest problem for Tune of the Month was learning it within the month, or at least getting somewhere close so I could video it, but you can add to it any time after the month has finished should you want to.
I used to get frustrated because I was so much quicker at learning tunes on the concertina. I now have speeded up my learning immensely on melodeon and have also realised some tunes simply don't sink in whilst others get in the brain fairly quickly.
As with learning anything, the initial period of learning is hard and slow. Once you have basics under your belt you find progress speeds up.
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Edward Jennings

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 800
    • "Our Luxor B&B" Luxor life, slice by slice.

We're all very different in our patterns and speeds of learning, or so it would seem.

I spent 40 years or so playing "with" the English concertina. (I say "with" because I never sought, let alone found, any help or instruction; it was more like a relatively expensive toy!) So coming to the melodeon was an entirely different experience for me.

Nevertheless, I found that I was able to get a tune out of the treble end straight away, it felt very intuitive. Although I still haven't much of a clue about the left hand and/or hand coordination, I can pick up lots of tunes on the right hand within a minute or so. It's only the actual control of my fingers which is a problem!!!

I envy people who can sight read the dots or ABC or whatever, but I'm essentially lazy so I'll never get around to that degree of learning at my age. Plodding on and playing what I enjoy most will probably suffice, I think. (In saying that, I might feel differently after attending the North East Playgroup in May, we'll see.)
Logged
Edward
Windy Nook.
Hohner 1600 D/G. Hohner 114's in C & G. Hohner 1140 in C. International One Row 2 voice in D. National Band 3 stopper in G. Titchy 2 voice No-Name in A/D. Plus projects and parts of projects.
http://ourluxorflat.blogspot.co.uk/

Joan Kureczka

  • Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 31

Don't beat yourself up if you can't achieve the 1-2 hour goal. Consistency is the most important thing even if some days it's only 15 minutes or so of practice. Also, over-practicing in the beginning may set yourself up for a lot of elbow and/or shoulder pain. I had to get a squeezy rubber doughnut and build up left arm strength before that resolved, when I started. Seems to be a common problem -- I found lots and lots of posts related to elbow and shoulder issues here.
Logged

Melissa Sinclair

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 220
  • Got my first squeeze... box(es)
    • Melissa's Melodeons

There are days I get an hour, some 15 minutes... some none at all, but I know myself VERY WELL, if I don't plan for it, it won't happen. My husband and I need to schedule dates or else we never go out...

Date night tomorrow night too!
Logged
Plunking on my 1st box: Vintage burl Hohner in GC,  a lonely Hohner Liliput in CF, and a borrowed Streb to have a "silent Melodeon" and a melodeon of many keys!

folkloristmark

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 111
    • street entertainers

One year
Logged
Mark Taylor
Folkloristmark

Tufty

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 427
  • Dino Bincis etc

I was playing in folk clubs after about a year but only simple, basic tunes! I was 21 at the time, it would take longer if I was starting now (age 60).
Logged

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3533
  • happily squeezing away in Devon

Joan has made a very good point -  build up practicing slowly as you are also getting your muscles and joints working too.
Overdoing it might lead to joint problems, take it easy!
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

penn

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 290

8 months.
I've just checked and I got my first box from Theo in Jan 2012 and did my first totm in August 2012. I had a background playing guitar for more than 30 years, occasionally professionally, although you could get away with a lower technical standard in punk rock bands, and I didn't start to read music 'til I picked up the box.
Steve
Logged

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4034

I dislike the notion of spending an hour a day or whatever 'practicing' as it has a 'compulsory'  'must do' connotation!

I know its just playing with words but I encourage my students to 'play' as often and for as long as they can which has connotations of a pleasant activity that is enjoyable!

I also recommend keeping the box handy out of its case, perhaps covered with a towel to keep the dust out' so it can be picked up whilst waiting for the kettle to boil or whatever.  Often the kettle has switched itself off long before playing has finished! I still sometimes pick up a box for a 'quick burst' and find myself 'enjoyably, playing an hour later.

 the time it takes to get reasonably  up  is related to 2 things enthusiasm  and perseverance neither being much use without the other!   Using my book 'DG Melodeon a crash course for beginners' which is DG specific I would expect on the basis of perhaps 3 or 4 hours  a week , possibly in small bites, the average person to be getting the hang of the thing in something like 12 weeks

For what its worth my book will work for other 2 row quint boxes eg CF or GC provided you deem or pretend it to be a DG box. In other words you follow the book but instead of the tunes coming out in D or G they will come out in C or F.or whatever.

george
Logged
author of DG tutor book "DG Melodeon a Crash Course for Beginners".    Available on ebay as a 'buy now' item. Put in melodeon tutor book for full info.

Melissa Sinclair

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 220
  • Got my first squeeze... box(es)
    • Melissa's Melodeons

I dislike the notion of spending an hour a day or whatever 'practicing' as it has a 'compulsory'  'must do' connotation!

I want to make it clear (as it's not clear) that I don't time myself. I play until I'm tired, too frustrated or whatever. I don't have a clock on me and I don't check a clock. It just turns out, that it's usually about an hour that I've had enough. Sometimes it's 30 minutes one part of the day, another time of day it's another 30 minutes. This is not a chore and I don't want to make it one. But when I have the time, it averages to an hour almost always. At work if I were to play, it would need to "stop" before I'm ready to stop, because I cannot take a break for an hour  ;D


For what its worth my book will work for other 2 row quint boxes eg CF or GC provided you deem or pretend it to be a DG box. In other words you follow the book but instead of the tunes coming out in D or G they will come out in C or F.or whatever.

How can this be really? I've wondered about this... aren't the half steps on different buttons? or maybe not? Haven't tested it yet!
Logged
Plunking on my 1st box: Vintage burl Hohner in GC,  a lonely Hohner Liliput in CF, and a borrowed Streb to have a "silent Melodeon" and a melodeon of many keys!

Bobtheboat

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 556
  • 'On the cut' near Lichfield, UK

It's supposed to take 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything!!  >:E Bob
Logged
'Rowbotham Erika Extraordinaire' (12 bass + stop G/C/acc), Hohner Liliput Bb-Eb. Castagnari Rik G/C/acc

Melissa Sinclair

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 220
  • Got my first squeeze... box(es)
    • Melissa's Melodeons

It's supposed to take 10,000 hours to become an expert in anything!!  >:E Bob

I just read that yesterday which kind of led to this questions. It's amazing how everything rounds so nicely in "expert" opinion.

10,000 years to be an expert. 10 years to be an expert, an hour a day to make progress. walk 10,000 steps a day to be healthy, etc.
Logged
Plunking on my 1st box: Vintage burl Hohner in GC,  a lonely Hohner Liliput in CF, and a borrowed Streb to have a "silent Melodeon" and a melodeon of many keys!

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3533
  • happily squeezing away in Devon

It's been said before, boxes such as DG, GC, CF, BbEb that are 4 steps apart will transpose tunes because pressing the buttons and push/pull in the same set sequence will work across those boxes. The tune is merely played in another key.
.
So..... If you take a look at a tutor book, they often start with simple tunes and by numbering buttons above the music dots on the page.
Say it's a tune for a DG box. If you pick up a CF box and press the same numbered buttons, the tube comes out  in the C or F key.
It's the reason people develop MAD, and own them in different keys, cos pressing the same buttons on another box means the tune comes out the another key.
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

RoVaBen

  • Member
  • *
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 16

It took my about 6 years from my 22nd to be able to really play the things I want. ( I am now 31) this means that if I take the time and effort I can play most things I see on youtube or things I get on paper. Perfection is of course another thing, I have lots to learn on making my music dynamic.

That was the moment I really felt I won't have to play things just to learn to play.
As a sidenote, there were some years I didn't play a lot, and I definitely never had the time to play 2 hours 6 times a week. I can imagine going way quicker then, probably more like 2 or 3 years.
Logged

Melissa Sinclair

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 220
  • Got my first squeeze... box(es)
    • Melissa's Melodeons

It's been said before, boxes such as DG, GC, CF, BbEb that are 4 steps apart will transpose tunes because pressing the buttons and push/pull in the same set sequence will work across those boxes. The tune is merely played in another key.
.
So..... If you take a look at a tutor book, they often start with simple tunes and by numbering buttons above the music dots on the page.
Say it's a tune for a DG box. If you pick up a CF box and press the same numbered buttons, the tube comes out  in the C or F key.
It's the reason people develop MAD, and own them in different keys, cos pressing the same buttons on another box means the tune comes out the another key.
Q

Oh I was thinking, getting it in the same note. as I look at the note on the page, but yes, if you are playing by which finger.
Logged
Plunking on my 1st box: Vintage burl Hohner in GC,  a lonely Hohner Liliput in CF, and a borrowed Streb to have a "silent Melodeon" and a melodeon of many keys!

Steve_freereeder

  • Grumpy old git (sometimes)
  • Content Manager
  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4927
  • MAD is inevitable. Keep Calm and Carry On
    • Lizzie Dripping


For what its worth my book will work for other 2 row quint boxes eg CF or GC provided you deem or pretend it to be a DG box. In other words you follow the book but instead of the tunes coming out in D or G they will come out in C or F.or whatever.

How can this be really? I've wondered about this... aren't the half steps on different buttons? or maybe not? Haven't tested it yet!
It works because all the fourth-apart tuned instruments, D/G, C/F, G/C, A/D, etc. have the same layout of diatonic scale on each row of buttons. You can use the same fingering in the same position for a scale or tune on any of them and the tune will come out sounding just the same, except higher or lower in pitch.

It's like saxophone fingering: you can use the same fingering on any sized saxophone (or clarinet for that matter) and the tune will come out the same, but sounding at different pitches.

It's been said before, boxes such as DG, GC, CF, BbEb that are 4 steps apart will transpose tunes because pressing the buttons and push/pull in the same set sequence will work across those boxes. The tune is merely played in another key.
.
So..... If you take a look at a tutor book, they often start with simple tunes and by numbering buttons above the music dots on the page.
Say it's a tune for a DG box. If you pick up a CF box and press the same numbered buttons, the tube comes out  in the C or F key.
It's the reason people develop MAD, and own them in different keys, cos pressing the same buttons on another box means the tune comes out the another key.
Q
Oh I was thinking, getting it in the same note. as I look at the note on the page, but yes, if you are playing by which finger.

I guess you are over-thinking this again. Treat the melodeon as a transposing instrument. If you are playing on a melodeon of different tuning other than the one in which the written music specifies, then forget trying to correlate the written note on the page with the actual pitch of the note which emerges from the instrument. Just use the indicated fingering; the tune will still come out sounding as 'the tune' but the actual pitch will be higher or lower, depending on the tuning of your instrument.

Overall, in crude terms, forget the bloody written music - chuck it away (or at least close the book). Play by ear: just pick up your box, push and pull the bellows and waggle your fingers on the buttons to play the tunes of your choice, regardless of what actual pitch they sound in. Use the basic home row layout of your instrument to play tunes in the easiest, most comfortable fingering position.
Logged
Steve
Sheffield, UK.
www.lizziedripping.org.uk

Lyra

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 462

Two things I notice is that like when you learn to drive, some things that were impossible yesterday become "duh" the next day (2nd to 3rd gear - eek!), and sometimes you just need time for the brain to absorb things. Which is my excuse for the non-practice days  >:E but I honestly think is true. But definitely things click rather than gradually improve.
Also that point about some tunes go in no problem and others just feel like 2 steps back.
I'm not learning off tab, so what holds me back is decisions - do I want to do it this way or that way?  (And then remembering what I decided!)
Logged

Edward Jennings

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 800
    • "Our Luxor B&B" Luxor life, slice by slice.

"Overall, in crude terms, forget the bloody written music - chuck it away (or at least close the book). Play by ear: just pick up your box, push and pull the bellows and waggle your fingers on the buttons to play the tunes of your choice, regardless of what actual pitch they sound in. Use the basic home row layout of your instrument to play tunes in the easiest, most comfortable fingering position."

Hurrah!
Logged
Edward
Windy Nook.
Hohner 1600 D/G. Hohner 114's in C & G. Hohner 1140 in C. International One Row 2 voice in D. National Band 3 stopper in G. Titchy 2 voice No-Name in A/D. Plus projects and parts of projects.
http://ourluxorflat.blogspot.co.uk/
Pages: [1] 2 3 4 5 6 7   Go Up
 


Melodeon.net - (c) Theo Gibb; Clive Williams 2010. The access and use of this website and forum featuring these terms and conditions constitutes your acceptance of these terms and conditions.