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Author Topic: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row  (Read 4386 times)

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Montana Melodeon

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Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« on: December 26, 2007, 09:45:10 PM »

Hi folks, 

I am the only DG melodeon player in Bozeman Montana and am learning to play on my own.  I have the Mally books and enjoy the cross row playing so I can fully use the basses.  Since local sessions are mostly irish music, I am learning some Irish tunes and playing without basses so as to play faster. (just faster not better-but one has to keep up with the fashions)

Anyway once I stopped using the bass all the time I discovered that certain tunes such as Dennis Murphys and Rolling in the Rye Grass play well on just the D row.

I would like to find a short list of tunes that generally work better on the row and another group of tunes that generally work better on the cross row style.

Since I am a beginner I would like tunes with a strong melody.  (Also I play by dots) English tunes are great since it is the playing of Tony Hall and John Kirkpatrick and the Oysterband that got me into the Melodeon game. 

Thank you for your time!  Eric

PS does anyone have the dots to Scotland as played by Tony Hall?




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Open_G

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2007, 12:10:31 PM »

This is an (or possible even THE) eternal melodeon debate and will probably never be resolved. -It is great that you are learning to be able to do both.

This is my take on it:
Single Rowing can often give a tune (especially an English style tune) that added rumpty, tumpty bounce and an element of natural rhythm that can't, quite, be managed when crossing the rows. Often tunes played on a single row are my personal choice for playing for Morris, North West and Border styles.

Crossing the rows enables a smoother faster, more technical method of playing tunes- it enables tunes with lots of quaver notes to be played without the left hand jigging about like it is suffering from a seizure, while enabling more choice on the basses. -Cross row playing would be my choice for sessions and ceilidh playing (where the rumpty and tumpty are freely available from the rhythm section)

As for what tunes work where- If I were you I would take a look at my repertoire, try each tune in both ways and see what you like, you may differ in your personal choice from others so go with what you feel is right for a certain tune.
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Theo

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2007, 12:42:21 PM »

A great Irish tune to start on is The Britches full of Stitches, because it's not got too many notes in it.  On a D/G you can play it on one row or across the rows in any of A D or G.  Its a great tune to start learning the fingering patterns for playing in A, both because it is fairly simple, and because it has no 7th note, so you do not have to fake the missing G# when played in A.

When I'm teaching beginners this is usually the second tune I teach.

Quiet apart from that it is a really great dance tune.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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trombonetom

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2007, 01:25:47 PM »

Theo, could we please have the music for that please.

Dots or ABC, I don't mind.

Thanks
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TomB-R

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2007, 01:50:07 PM »

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GPS

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2007, 04:34:41 PM »

H'mm, not met that tune before; seems like a first cousin of "Spanish Lady".
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Theo

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2007, 10:19:21 AM »

H'mm, not met that tune before; seems like a first cousin of "Spanish Lady".

Interesting,  I'd not noticed that before.  The main difference is probably in the rhythmic feel.  Spanish Ladies feel like a march to me.  Britches is more syncopated, quite a deceptive rhythm.   The deception starts with the first two notes which sound a bit like lead-in (up-beat/anachrusus depending on your use of terminology)  but are actually the first main beat of bar 1.  From then on there are several opportunities to put the stress in unexpected places.  Lots of fun :o
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Montana Melodeon

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #7 on: December 29, 2007, 06:09:46 AM »

Thank you everyone for the usual excellent food for thought.  I think I will keep trying tunes in both styles and see how they come out.  I have a bit of a laziness and so was thinking that you players with more experience have already worked out which tunes fit along row vs across row and was hoping to benefit from that knowledge. 

Of course, every tune I learn only makes me better so perhaps I will amend my request to ask what are good tunes of each type (polka, jig, reel, hornpipe, march and air) that sound great and are easy to work up for a new DG player formerly English Concertina.  I would most enjoy tunes that go well at a less than blistering pace.  But would also sound good when I play them too fast due to nerves.

Thank you again!  Eric

PS. Tunes in A would be great as well, Minor keys great, nationality of the tunes is not important.
     except that I hope in a couple years to fly over and attend some workshops.
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Lester

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #8 on: December 29, 2007, 08:19:59 AM »

For tunes English in style you can't beat The Lewes Arms Tune Book for starters

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #9 on: December 29, 2007, 08:33:28 AM »

.....I hope in a couple years to fly over and attend some workshops.
In that case, I heartily recommend that you go for the Melodeons at Witney weekend, held in Witney, near Oxford, in central-southern England. I think it is the best workshop event for melodeon players in the UK, attracting around 80 players each year, and always some top tutors. It's held in mid-November. In 2008 it will either be 8th/9th or 15th/16th November; not sure which yet. (Anyone else know?)
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Lester

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #10 on: December 29, 2007, 08:50:59 AM »

At a guess it will be the 8th/9th as the 9th is Remembrance Sunday which has always happened during Witney in my memory??

Steve_freereeder

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Re: Tunes to be played along the row or cross row
« Reply #11 on: December 29, 2007, 10:44:36 AM »

At a guess it will be the 8th/9th as the 9th is Remembrance Sunday which has always happened during Witney in my memory??
Yes - that would be my guess too, Lester.
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