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Author Topic: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers  (Read 3136 times)

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TomBom

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #40 on: March 03, 2017, 10:53:13 PM »

Rather than say it is better, I'll say it has helped me a) get around the keyboard faster and b) hit buttons, esp. remote buttons, with greater certainty. Some varieties of Irish tune have us scooting up and down the keyboard much more than say québécois tunes, and so what québécois (or English) players do, with their own stylistic conventions, and with most of them having their thumbs in a thumbstrap, is of academic interest only to me.
Certainly not. The OP will be interested and I'll seriously try to use only three fingers. I think it'll make fast playing easier.
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boxcall

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2017, 12:24:58 AM »

Seems to me we're saying: Train the little finger equally hard, but then keep in on the bench until needed.
Or keep it on deck swinging at every pitch and not hit anything, just waiting for a chance to hit something (:)

I agree with TomBom Op should be interested as the question was asked.

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gettabettabox

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2017, 12:45:15 AM »

Anahata  and stiamh have it.
Physiologically speaking, the little finger doesn't have it.
Ok for grace note flicks and the occasional isolated top note, but generally not as adroit.
I know because when I switched to (mainly) three fingers,  I went from being a poor player to mediocre. ..which could be considered as progress.
Most of my weak phrases had earlier involved you know who.
others will choose their little finger to open a ring pull can of beans.
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 01:04:57 AM by gettabettabox »
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TomBom

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2017, 01:00:25 AM »

Ok for grace note flicks and the occasional isolated top note, but generally not as adroit.
That's interesting – I find it quite hard to hit quick grace notes with my little finger.

Here's one thread in which I was asked to explain my adherence to the 3-digit school.
Thanks for this really helpful link!
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richard.fleming

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2017, 01:17:48 AM »

Why use three fingers if you've got four? Makes no sense to me.

In a nutshell, because the little finger tends to be weaker and less co-ordinated than the other three.

Try playing a fast trill, first with 1st two fingers, then with 3rd and 4th, and you'll soon hear the difference.
Have you ever watched what Scottish pipers do with their little fingers?
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Stiamh

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #45 on: March 04, 2017, 02:56:10 AM »

...so what québécois (or English) players do, with their own stylistic conventions, and with most of them having their thumbs in a thumbstrap, is of academic interest only to me.
Certainly not. The OP will be interested and I'll seriously try to use only three fingers. I think it'll make fast playing easier.

I now see what you thought I meant. What I actually meant was, "what those other players do is, to me, only of academic interest" (i.e. because my goals are different). Cheers and sorry for the ambiguous wording.

TomBom

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #46 on: March 04, 2017, 10:54:41 AM »

 (:)
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mselic

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2017, 03:19:44 PM »

Thank you everyone so far for your feedback - this has been a most interesting and helpful discussion. The funny thing is, when I first started learning to play the one-row, my assumption was that it was actually poor form to *not* use the pinkie. I resisted playing passages using only three fingers because it seemed to make more sense to use all four, and I figured I needed to strengthen the weakest finger and increase its dexterity. I don't think I will abandon the pinkie, as I find it invaluable in many instances, but I will certainly be rethinking how I move forward and will be experimenting with using three fingers more and more. We'll see where it takes me...
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GPS

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #48 on: March 05, 2017, 06:44:37 PM »

Apologies in advance for the fact that this may not be the most constructive response in this thread, but it seems to me that there is a simple answer to the question "3 or 4 fingers?" - namely, "yes".

Horses for courses, I guess.....

Graham

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Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch undergoing a rebuild. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 000-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

Squeezing in the Cyprus sunshine

mselic

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #49 on: March 05, 2017, 07:34:12 PM »

Just to be clear - I'm not looking for the *correct* answer to my question, as it is obvious that either method is acceptable. You must understand that I am coming from a place of being entirely self-taught, having learned everything from recordings of music that like (including audio files of YouTube videos). I live in a part of the world where the music I play is not particularly common, and I have yet to come across another 4-stop melodeon player who plays Irish music. As a result, I have no real way of getting feedback on my particular area of discipline, no one from whom I can learn and better myself, or whom I can emulate. My only real sounding board, apart from other non-melodeon musicians, is this forum. It is in the interest of improving my skills as a box player that I choose to step back and look at what I'm doing and see where/if there are areas where adjustments can be made that might be of benefit. The feedback of other players in this regard is most helpful at the moment, if for no other reason that to be aware of how it is that others accomplish the same thing. Thanks for all the feedback.
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Beltuna Cajun in D, Hohner 4 stop in G

Bob Ellis

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #50 on: March 05, 2017, 10:07:31 PM »

Putting people who are playing in isolation in touch with other like-minded musicians is surely one of the main purposes of this great forum.  :||:|||:
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george garside

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #51 on: March 05, 2017, 10:18:28 PM »

whilst I would agree totally that 2,3 or 4 fingers can and may be should be used on a one row ( according to what works best for the individual player for a particular tune or bit thereof)  I would comment that the only way to strengthen the pinky is to use it other than for nasal coal mining!

george ;)
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Huw Adamson

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #52 on: March 05, 2017, 11:06:18 PM »

Of course, in the melodion training camps of North Yorkshire there are specific exercises and drills specifically to strengthen the pinkie, notably 'finger fencing' and the dreaded 'pinkie press-ups'.
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Ebor_fiddler

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #53 on: March 07, 2017, 12:15:44 AM »

Who told you that Huw? These camps are supposed to be a State secret and participants are sworn never to tell a living soul about them. If you let me know his/her name, I will arrange for them to be shot at their earliest convenience. If you then let me have your address, i will arrange for you to be shot as well - all very humanely of course.  :Ph
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My other melodeon's a fiddle, but one of my Hohners has six strings! I also play a very red Hawkins Bazaar in C and a generic Klingenthaler spoon bass in F.!! My other pets (played) are gobirons - Hohner Marine Band in C, Hohner Tremolo in D and a Chinese Thingy Tremolo in G.

Pearse Rossa

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #54 on: March 07, 2017, 02:37:15 AM »

Of course, in the melodion training camps of North Yorkshire there are specific exercises and drills specifically to strengthen the pinkie, notably 'finger fencing' and the dreaded 'pinkie press-ups'.

A friend of mine went off to one of those camps. He came back with a very strong finger.
Can't say it improved his melodeon playing though!
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playandteach

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #55 on: March 07, 2017, 07:13:10 AM »

But I wouldn't say that to his face. I find that holding down a drone note with the first finger and playing the tune with the other fingers is great training in independent articulation.
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george garside

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #56 on: March 07, 2017, 09:14:00 AM »

that sounds like a good idea
george
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Chris Ryall

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #57 on: March 07, 2017, 09:57:52 AM »

Posted this before - NB Health and Safety Warning

About 1992 I'd moved into a bigger house with quite a large lawn. Needed a proper mower - bought a 'Suffolk Punch'.   Worked fine, except it was reconn'd, and a bit of a bugger to start, and the grass used to block the exit hole on occasion.   No problem: I developed a trick to flick it out - EXCEPT one Sunday I got that trick wrong and ended up with a triple sized and rather tender end of right index finger. At least I still had it ;)

Melodeonism: Hmmm, I had a pressing problem.  Nothing daunted, I relearned all my tunes to play with fingers 3/4/5, until the fracture healed and the pain went away.  About a month.  That has stood me in good stead and nowadays my right hand just … perceives buttons that need a press and move the nearest spare finger in that direction. It doesn't care which, and my Pinkie is as happy to do the jobs as any other finger.   

I can't recommend my mowing technique, but as an exercise 'wrong finger' playing was quick and effective.  I adapted a 'no bandage' verion to get all 4 digits working on my left hand.
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Psuggmog Volbenz

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #58 on: March 08, 2017, 08:58:32 AM »

I play primarily one rowboxes, mostly fast melodic types of music from several cultures. When first learning a tune, I try a variety of fingerings based on where the melody has come from and where it is going with regards to the button locations on the keyboard. I often find the using four fingers makes for less hand shifting. For me, less movement and less larger muscle movement equals increase speed. My little finger function on my left hand is highly developed from playing fiddle, banjo, mandolin and madocello. When I first started playing the melodeon, my right hand little finger was less dexterous. Now, it is approaching the functionality of my left pinkie. There are two aspects to little finger usage. One is anatomical. The little and ring finger share an extensor muscle via a forked tendon. Therefore, there is a mechanical and neurological difference from the other fingers. We can't change the anatomy, but we can improve the responsiveness of the neuropathways involved through mindful, repeated practice. When playing music which involves  the use of octaves, played at the same time, a well fuctioning little finger is essential. 
« Last Edit: March 08, 2017, 09:02:29 AM by Psuggmog Volbenz »
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george garside

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Re: One row playing - 3 or 4 fingers
« Reply #59 on: March 08, 2017, 09:24:55 AM »

I thought it was the middle 2 fingers (excluding the thumb) that were connected as with the hand on a flat surface lifting one sort of tries to lift t'other. The same does not apply to lifting the little finger trying to lift the 3rd finger not does the reverse apply.

the ltlle finger can be strengthened simply by tapping it on the table, arm of a chair or even the steering wheel whilst ddriving along.  better still get hold of an old underwood or similar manual typewriter and learn to touch type - the pinky has to be just as strong as the others.  It is perhaps because I learned to touch type on such a typewriter a long long time ago that I have never had the slightest problem using the little finger when playing a box.

george
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