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]   Go Down

Author Topic: Using the bellows to add feeling....  (Read 771 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

arty

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1140
Using the bellows to add feeling....
« on: April 09, 2017, 02:05:31 PM »

In a previous post on another topic, (Absent Friends - Keith Hancock / Remco Sietsema), Remco made this statement, while talking about putting emotion in to the sound of a melodeon:

"my melodeons are always tuned flat, so I'm in control of what the sound is. But, with this sound comes a great responsibility, because you need a good technical skill. But if you know how to use the bellow properly, you can give it a "HAMMOND LESLIE BOX" effect, this little extra that gives it the WOW factor. That's what makes it emotional and personal"

I find the air button is the most difficult button on the melodeon to master. In an email I received from Massimo Craveri, on this same subject, he told me that Stephane Delicq used the air button as a kind of volume control. He told me to practice resting my thumb on the button with just enough pressure that the air button was fractionally open and then to vary the pressure, to increase or lower the volume. It does work and I can do it but only while playing the treble side alone.  As soon as I start playing basses, I forget about the air button because my left hand is too busy! I can see Massimo doing this on his videos and also I can see Alessandro Pepino (a friend and student of Stephane Delicq) doing the same. They achieve so much feeling in their playing, as does Remco.

The bellows and the air button are a difficult thing to master and I know this topic has been debated at length on this forum but, as far as I can see, not in relation to putting emotion, or feeling in to the sound coming from the melodeon. Can anyone give me advice to further understand what Remco is doing with his bellows in order to get the WOW factor he talks about?

My instrument has the standard Castagnari tuning, (i.e. fairly dry), which is what I presume Remco refers to as 'flat'. Any clues, advice or help would be very much appreciated. It is fascinating.  (:)

Logged
Pre-Pokerwork C/F, Castagnari Laura G/C, Beltuna Sara 3 A/D

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Online Online
  • Posts: 4830
Re: Using the bellows to add feeling....
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2017, 02:37:45 PM »

the air button  can be used to 'feather' changes of bellows  when playing eg slow airs  by as you suggest just opening it a very small amount  the actual amount of 'press' needed has to be discovered by trial and error and practice and will be different on different boxes.

It can also be used as a sort of 'air brake'  to quickly drop the volume if required and again experimentation and practice are the order of the day.

Another useful exercise to help develop dynamics ( volume variation and control) to put some emotion and feeling into playing is:-

first establish the middle volume of your box by holding a note and pushing anad pulling very hard - then while keeping the note playing gradually reduce preesure until the note can only just be heard.

Then aim to play most of most tunes around mid volume so you can put in feeling etc by increasing or decreasing volume for  a boar or two or even for a single note. 

Think of the bellows being to the box player what the bow is to the fiddler

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.  Melodeon DG & BC and piano accordion tuition

arty

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1140
Re: Using the bellows to add feeling....
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2017, 03:03:59 PM »

Thank you George, for all that. A lot there for me to keep in mind as I practice. 
Part of the problem is to do with modern living - I live in a small flat and I have to be thoughtful of neighbours, as do many people who play the melodeon, I guess. As a result, I feel that I am quite good at playing at low volume, which is necessary each evening when I put in the practice time. Maybe I will go and sit in a field somewhere to try the 'pushing and pulling very hard' bit!
Logged
Pre-Pokerwork C/F, Castagnari Laura G/C, Beltuna Sara 3 A/D

Nick Collis Bird

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3697
  • Been squeezing melodeons for over 48 years (badly)
Re: Using the bellows to add feeling....
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2017, 03:50:33 PM »

It's true. Get out into a field and have a blast. Although I'm not in a situation where I have to keep noise down, there's something to be said about playing outdoors. And even more exciting..... somewhere extreme.
This happened to me once. I took the box down to the pier car park in  Swanage and started playing. To my surprise people were looking for a hat to throw money in, I couldn't believe it, the " non-mels" seem to throw money at any sound whatever it is.  :o
Logged
Has anyone heard of the song. “ Broken Alarm-clock Blues” ? It starts   “I woke up this Afternoon”

arty

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1140
Re: Using the bellows to add feeling....
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2017, 05:15:10 PM »

Ha ha ha! Thanks for the tip Nick, I'll take my hat!
Logged
Pre-Pokerwork C/F, Castagnari Laura G/C, Beltuna Sara 3 A/D

Rob2Hook

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2009
  • Castagnaris, Hohners & Baffetti
Re: Using the bellows to add feeling....
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2017, 07:48:08 PM »

Funny that.  I first tried to get a tune out of a melodeon by the gate to the pier.  Even then people were trying to throw money at us!  Now I can knock out a fair few tunes, no-one even dips their hand in their pocket...

Rob.
Logged
Pages: [1]   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.