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Author Topic: How long did it take you to feel like you "got somewhere" with the melodeon?  (Read 2257 times)

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JohnAndy

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[Off-topic: flute music]
« Reply #60 on: February 26, 2017, 05:53:04 PM »

I'm playing the Hindemith at the moment with my daughter. She actually even likes the slow movement.
Yes, I rather like the Hindemith also. I played it once in a chamber music club concert with my pianist friend - but about 40 years ago so I don't remember it very well!

But the French flute repertoire is where we have the best times.

Yes - I would guess you already know the Poulenc Sonata and the Fauré Fantaisie then. Are there any others that you particularly enjoy?

She has now run out of grades, so I'm wondering what to do to make her feel like she is making progress.

What does her teacher think? Could she start working towards a diploma? Learn the Prokofiev Sonata? Apply to the National Youth Orchestra?

Including spending potential melodeon money on a Webb headjoint.

I have a Webb headjoint on my Webb & Wessell flute and it is a wonderful headjoint. I've tried it on friends' flutes sometimes and it usually works much better than their own headjoints  (:)

However, I've been told that Webb headjoints are actually very variable in quality. Make sure you get a good one! I saw that Just Flutes have one for sale - are you looking at that one?
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Edward Jennings

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"players................who claim to be able to play a long list of tunes but who do little more than belt out the right notes in the right order (ish!)"

Mr Garside, we haven't even met, so how can you describe me so succinctly?
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Edward
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playandteach

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My daughter is a reluctant player - she'd rather dance - so NYO is out (and very competitive on the flute). The Webb is from a Webb and Wessell (is yours also stainless steel keywork?) that was played for many years by June Scott in the Philharmonia. She sat directly in front of me, so I know it's a good one. June now plays on a Lafin. We've played the 1st movement of the Poulenc together, and are working on the Chaminade and Faure slowly now.
Diploma is a good possibility, but she's still 15 so there's time.
I guess (to keep this on topic) me daughter is at the stage where progress is not seen every month and that always makes it harder, so really the progress is more about learning new pieces than becoming a better player.
I got somewhere within a couple of months on the melodeon because of previous accordion experience (and other instruments of course) but then suffered repeatedly as it is impossible to maintain that speed of progress. It's a bit like a relationship - early progress is engaging, but the real skill is to keep the flame alive during the steady bits.
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JohnAndy

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Yes, stainless steel mechanism; it originally had synthetic pads but I had Stephen convert the keywork to take traditional skin pads in the end. It works very reliably with very little maintenance!

Back to melodeons, I agree about the decreasing rate of progress - it takes a lot of work now for me to get a noticeable improvement. On the positive side though, it's just so easy to pick the melodeon up for a quick play, and it's satisfying to be able to play a tune complete with harmony - so if I have a few moments free for playing, it often ends up being the melodeon that I turn to rather than flute or sax.
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Sedonaleodeon

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Great attitude Melissa, something tells me you'll be fine. As has been said already right hand wise you'll pick up tunes quite quickly on the amount of time you are putting in your box. Left hand trickier. Just try to enjoy. I also put the box down when I reach the pain barrier rather than force myself to 'get it right!' and it is surprising how you 'Get it right' the next time you pick up the box.
As for 'Expert' well.... I hear the 10,000 quote but let us all remember:
An ex is a has been and a 'spurt' is a drip under pressure.
Ta Da!
Best of luck

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george garside

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   . I also put the box down when I reach the pain barrier rather than force myself to 'get it right!' and it is surprising how you 'Get it right' the next time you pick up the box.
 

'tis very true for most people. It seems like the brain sometimes needs time to 'programme' itself and quietly gets on with so doing even when we are asleep.  If I am getting nowhere with a new tune  I either forget it and play stuff I know or put the box away and leave the brain to do a bit of auto festering!

george
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malcolmbebb

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Yes, others have said this and I find it - sometimes you leave a tune for a while, and when you return it's easier.
Saw an article somewhere suggesting that for older learners, short bursts with sleep in between works better.
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Julian S

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Auto festering ! I love that. Now we need a word to describe the ability to forget the wonderful variation, chord sequence (or in my case fingering) which one comes up with, from one hour to the next... :'(
Two steps forward, and unfortunately two back sometimes - but then mysteriously an even better way of playing a piece can arrive to cheer me up. Just searching on t'internet for different approaches to favourite tunes can lead to new inspiration - who says that's not the 'right' way to play a traditional tune...
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Thrupenny Bit

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We often talk about leaving tunes for a while and the brain seems to digest, as said here - or George's priceless 'auto-festering'!.
I often wonder what is going on during the learning process. There is obviously much more than remembering which button to press when..... more of a psychological process. If only we knew  what that was I really think we all could do with understanding this process.
As a side note, the other weekend a tune popped into my head from 20 odd years back, when then playing concertina. Now on melodeon it seems to be 85% there, just needs 'melodeon remembering'. How does that work?
The wonders of the mind...... quite baffling.
Q
being thoughtful for a change  ;)


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Thrupenny Bit

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

george garside

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probably in much the same way as the brain learns to operate the gob in childhood i.e. think it and speak it without sending conscious instrucctions to the gob. Provided you  are fluent on an instrument it then becomes a question of think it and play it - or something like that???

george
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george garside

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A   aid to 'getting somewhere'  on the box  is , rather than thinking in terms of 'must learn a new tune'  to think in terms of what can I do with a simple tune to make it suite a particular purpose rather than right notes in right order.  as an  example 'the Blaydon races'' can be played as a balad ,  march, two step or jig and can be adapted on the hoof  into a waltz.  Each requires  different speed, phrasing and rhythm  and a didfferent way of 'plying the gaps'.

Loch Lomond can be similary arsed about with  and tunes like Maggie can be played legato as a balad, or rhythmically as a waltz  or as  a march or reel. Winster gallop  can be played as a 6/8 instead of a 4/4 and even as a waltz.

As well as being interesting  the above helps would be dance musicians to get the hang of  adjusting the phrasing and rhythm of a tune to meet the requirements of a particular type of dance.

and its good fun!

george
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havaLaff

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George,totally agree with your last post but then, as happened to me,I played a tune that I heard  played for a fast line dance and wanted to play it the same way. The original song was a ballad. I was told wrong phrasing, wrong timing etc., etc..
 So,now I play in the style I like and forget about rigidity of the dots and this enables me to pick up a  tune a lot quicker.
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Melissa Sinclair

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I'm really enjoying the dialogue. I had a long work day yesterday (though did practice about 45 minutes) and have a 12 hour day today in the office. I forgot the GC box at home, but I have the CF in the office and I'll try to sneak some time in between 5pm - 7pm before I have my evening.

It is "clicking" more and more. I'll blog about that later today over lunch or something.

But I have another question related to that... Do you ever "feel" that you are separating your hands. Like, all the pieces I'm learning now - 4-5 short simple tunes, are all with CcGg or AaaGgg, like that on the basses. RIght now I feel "play left and right" like this, and now left and right like that for the next beat, and the next. It doesn't feel like _"left hand like this"_ and _"right hand like this"_ and now put it together to play a tune.  When I listen to these tunes, it feels like left right... but do you experienced players "feel" that... just curious.
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malcolmbebb

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Dino BPII. My wife seems to have claimed the Liliput.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Melissa - yes your brain does somersaults at this stage,
Just keep plugging away. Sound like you're on a good learning curve at present. There will be a period soon where you stop thinking and start to get into the automatic zone where you stop thinking and just start doing.
Keep at it!
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

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

Huw Adamson

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But I have another question related to that... Do you ever "feel" that you are separating your hands. Like, all the pieces I'm learning now - 4-5 short simple tunes, are all with CcGg or AaaGgg, like that on the basses. RIght now I feel "play left and right" like this, and now left and right like that for the next beat, and the next. It doesn't feel like _"left hand like this"_ and _"right hand like this"_ and now put it together to play a tune.  When I listen to these tunes, it feels like left right... but do you experienced players "feel" that... just curious.

I for one rarely consider my hands separately. That is to say, I don't think, 'I am doing this with my left hand and doing this other thing with my right hand'. Even were I to try just playing the left hand of a tune, in my head I'd have to play the right hand at the same time.
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Lyra

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rigidity of the dots
Yes! I sometimes dig out dots for a tune I've not played before but know how "we" play it. The dots are just to give me a handle on things, so will probably approximate what's needed. But I play with a woman who insists on playing whatever's written down, even when it's not "our version" because that's what's written. Drives me nuts!
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george garside

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indeed such individuals  can be a veritable pain in the arse  and   inhibit the natural  spontaneity  of folk and trad music.

george
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george garside

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.

But I have another question related to that... Do you ever "feel" that you are separating your hands. Like, all the pieces I'm learning now - 4-5 short simple tunes, are all with CcGg or AaaGgg, like that on the basses. RIght now I feel "play left and right" like this, and now left and right like that for the next beat, and the next. It doesn't feel like _"left hand like this"_ and _"right hand like this"_ and now put it together to play a tune.  When I listen to these tunes, it feels like left right... but do you experienced players "feel" that... just curious.

Presumably by CcGg  you are referring to what is commonly known as um pa- um pa type of rhythm alternating between bass and chord. Getting the left hand timing can be greatly facilitated by keeping time with your foot ( frowned on in classical circles but pretty normal  amongst trad/folk musicians)  Synchronise   the bass with the foot  - foot down = bass, foot up = chord. Just start playing the melody and tapping your foot to the rhythm that is an inherent pat of the tune and then bring in the left hand in time with the foot tapping.

Idealy you should be playing a short 'um' and a long 'pa'  rather than equal ums and pas.  The long 'um'  occurs on and emphasis the off beat which is where the 'lift' for dancers of foot tappers comes from.  Dancers come down by gravity without your aid and land on the 'UM'  the musicians job is to waft them up again on the offbeat or PA.

george
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Melissa Sinclair

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Yes! I sometimes dig out dots for a tune I've not played before but know how "we" play it. The dots are just to give me a handle on things, so will probably approximate what's needed. But I play with a woman who insists on playing whatever's written down, even when it's not "our version" because that's what's written. Drives me nuts!

Because it's a different skill set. Some people can only do "off the book", some can improvise using the book, some can't use the book at all. So, if it drives you nuts, you either need to write out for her "your version" or find a new partner. Unless her skills are still developing in coming off the book.
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