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Author Topic: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts  (Read 512 times)

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Stevie D

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low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« on: March 07, 2017, 01:11:43 AM »

Hi all, quick background, Im new to the forum and the melodeon. I kind of wandered over from the concertina site. Why? well a few weeks ago a fellow walks up to me in church and says "i hear your the squeeze box guy, i found one in the attic and it needs a home" I'm thinking I'm getting a schoeler east german concertina or monster PA, but what does he give me? A lilliput in Eb Bb. so I do a little research, watch some videos and Im hooked.  The lilliput needs some work but I'm not sure what to do with it, but thats not this thread! Theo is fixing up a nice G/D pokerwork that Im planning on grabbing but i need to decide on a layout and Im looking for input. I definitely want accidentals. Do I want low notes? how often do others find themselves using them? This would force a fourth button start right? are there any other layouts that give a fourth button start? What low notes do you get or do some folks add additional accidentals instead? Are there other factors to consider that a new player may not have thouhjt of? Please share!
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Huw Adamson

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Re: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 05:50:34 AM »

Hi, a start would be taking a look at these two row layouts, http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/page,keyboard_2_row.html
Personally I don't have low notes, and do have accidentals on my D/G pokerwork. Playing music /almost/ entirely in D and G, I use all 4 of my accidentals, but have never found myself wanting more than these. I have found myself wanting low notes though, and if I had them, I'd use them. There is only one tune I play that I use the top note for, and I doubt I would miss it much if I got low notes instead.
I don't know anyone with a two row with more than two accidental buttons. If they want more accidentals they usually get a helper row.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 07:18:05 AM »

Hi Stevie,
Welcome aboard.
I changed my DG melodeon very soon after starting learning from a 3rd button start to a 4th button as I could see the logic to it. I use the 'Low G Anahata ' layout which shunts every button except the accidentals down one slot, and inserts a G/A ( D row ) and B/C ( G row ) into the keyboard. Take a look off the forum's Home page, left hand side, check out Layouts.
This means having the lowest keyboard note as a low G it means it's the lowest note on a fiddle, so as a lot of old tunes were played on fiddles before melodeons were invented, it gives the same range.
I use these extra low notes frequently, couldn't live without them.
I also use all accidentals at the chin end frequently too.

I have acquired a BbEb Hohner with a helper row, but had the equivalent Anahata layout put on that so all my boxes are the same, and yes both accidentals and low notes are used!
Hope this is of some help.
cheers
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

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

penn

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Re: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2017, 07:20:00 AM »

A liliput has a helper row, so with no accidentals at the chin end, third button start has low notes too. The main consideration on a liliput is whether to declub or not.
Steve
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Stevie D

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Re: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2017, 09:23:50 AM »

Thanks for the input everyone. Penn, while i have al lilliput, and i will get to that in the future, I'm asking about the pokerwork 2 row layout. Sorry if I confused anyone by mentioning the lilliput
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Lester

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Re: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2017, 09:37:25 AM »

All my boxes are this layout G Scale, gives you useful low notes in sensible directions and only a slightly increased distance to the accidentals.

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Stevie D

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Re: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2017, 09:57:00 AM »

Thanks Lester, and thanks for your tune a day, it has been entertaining, informational (i found the title to melody thats been stuck in my head) and educational (the clean recordings with several go rounds makes it easier to learn tunes by ear, not my strong point)
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Dazbo

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Re: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2017, 12:37:56 PM »


I definitely want accidentals. Do I want low notes? how often do others find themselves using them? This would force a fourth button start right? are there any other layouts that give a fourth button start? What low notes do you get or do some folks add additional accidentals instead? Are there other factors to consider that a new player may not have thouhjt of? Please share!


The only low note I regularly miss is a low B.  Val, who used to post here quite a lot, had the D/F# button on the G row changed to a B/F# which I always thought was a good solution; you still have the low D (on the D row) and only miss out the low C for the G scale and leave the accidentals where they are.  I find low notes and 4th button starts too much of a stretch to get to the accidentals, especially for the Eb or F so bear that in mind if you have smaller hands/shorter fingers.

But do you really need extra low notes?  I know this is something of a heresy for many DG box players but if a tune needs fistfulls of low notes you can always learn it in the upper octave and you get a free octave and a bit of low notes to play with >:E
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« Reply #8 on: March 07, 2017, 01:16:36 PM »

I looked into the problem of stretching to the accidentals before changing to 4th button start, as I do have very small hands.
I made a point to learn tunes with accidentals and so the stretch has become normal, and I really couldn't do without those low notes now.
But we all are different, and play different tunes!
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

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

Tufty

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Re: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2017, 03:46:50 PM »

I have D/G boxes with both 3rd and 4th button starts and find that I almost never use the low notes but use the accidentals a lot. So my preferred system is the traditional 3rd button + accidentals. However it is worth saying that I spent 30 years with this system before trying a 4th button start, so it may well be habit on my part. Also most of my boxes are three voice (MML) so I do use both octaves, no "dusty end " for me! On a full size box I do find the leap up to the accidentals a bit of a strain, I was kicked out of violin class aged 11 because the teacher said my fingers were too short and they still are ;D. Like most things with melodeons the trick seems to be to try all the options and find what works best for you. On a GC 4th button would be madness, IMO, as I pointed out to the Music Room when they made their Sandpiper GC 4th button!
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Edward Jennings

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Re: low notes, accidentals and 4th button starts
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2017, 04:42:47 PM »

"On a GC 4th button would be madness"

Mmmmmmmm! I have a G/C and find that many of the tunes I play cannot be played in the top half of the box, 'cause there's a note missing. On the bottom end, there's no accidentals, the notes just keep getting lower, and that's what I like, the low sound. However, I do find that I have to keep pinching (lower again) notes from the left hand side as well.
So, I would certainly consider changing to 4th start if and when I have the cash and/or something needs to be done inside which is more serious than it really needs at the moment. 
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Edward
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