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 [2] 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.  (Read 1315 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Katie Howson

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 118
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #20 on: August 18, 2017, 08:27:12 PM »


<Lovely stuff, Steve. Having just got my own son a decent working PA, this is inspiring.>


Stiamh, get him (or you!) a copy of the Cat's Rambles by Michael Sheehy - Sliabh Luachra music on an old beat-up PA, masterful playing. (I might be a bit biased, but I think I have taste!)

Having recently started experimenting with a C#D after decades of playing one-row and D/G boxes I have been surprised to realise how little opportunity there is to change direction on it. Two very different beasts, it's really more like a one-row in D with all the accidentals. Enjoying the challenge anyway!

Logged

Phil B

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 104
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #21 on: August 18, 2017, 08:37:43 PM »

"There are few PA players indeed who can impart a lively bounce to their playing, so much so that when you do hear it you still look for the melodeon!" Quote from Rob2Hook.
If you get the opportunity one day listen to Michael Sheehy , he has a published CD called "The Cats Rambles" a remarkable PA player.
Logged

Phil B

  • Regular debater
  • ***
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 104
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #22 on: August 18, 2017, 08:41:19 PM »

Katie beat me to it but I am happy to endorse her views PB
Logged

GPS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2715
  • MAD as a wet Hohner........
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #23 on: August 18, 2017, 09:02:14 PM »

Over the years I've seen melodeon players frantically thrashing the bellows for all its worth and I really dislike that style of playing.


That drives me up the wall as well; it's nothing to do with on-the-row playing, it's to do with bellows control. I'm  an up-&-downer most of the time, and it's extremely rare for my bellows to be more than a third open - usually only about a quarter. Armfuls of bellows certainly don't add "bounce" - quite the reverse.  The lift (IMHO) comes from the inherently staccato style as a result of the rapid changes of bellows direction, and cross-rowing, by its nature, leads to a far more legato end result.  Feel free to disagree!!

Graham
Logged
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

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3546
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #24 on: August 18, 2017, 09:16:31 PM »

Ah thanks Graham, it's not just me then that hates bellows thrashing!
I remember a couple of Sidmouths ago sat opposite Ed Rennie in a session, his bellows hardly moved at all but he delivered a tune with good volume and light and dark within the tune, really impressive with such tight bellows control.
Surely treating the buttons as if they're red hot can produce a staccato effect even if cross rowing?
It just means more conscious effort to clip the notes to gain the lift. Just another way to achieve the same end?
QW
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

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

GPS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2715
  • MAD as a wet Hohner........
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #25 on: August 18, 2017, 09:30:48 PM »

Surely treating the buttons as if they're red hot can produce a staccato effect even if cross rowing?
It just means more conscious effort to clip the notes to gain the lift. Just another way to achieve the same end?
QW

Yes, I'm sure it can - though whether it will sound quite the same may be another matter, as the dynamics inside the box will be a little different!! I'm not qualified to judge..........  ;D

Graham
Logged
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

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4039
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #26 on: August 18, 2017, 09:44:16 PM »

Over the years I've seen melodeon players frantically thrashing the bellows for all its worth and I really dislike that style of playing.


That drives me up the wall as well; it's nothing to do with on-the-row playing, it's to do with bellows control. I'm  an up-&-downer most of the time, and it's extremely rare for my bellows to be more than a third open - usually only about a quarter. Armfuls of bellows certainly don't add "bounce" - quite the reverse.  The lift (IMHO) comes from the inherently staccato style as a result of the rapid changes of bellows direction, and cross-rowing, by its nature, leads to a far more legato end result.  Feel free to disagree!!

Graham

absolutely spot on Graham.  I too always keep the bellows as near closed as possible for fine control  . Great armfuls of bellows and waving them around as if trying to take off removes all poosibility of fine control as pushing often results in the bellows taking on the form of a snake before they actually start to compress air!  Its the ability to instantly change the direction     and PRESSURE of the air,often for only a fraction of a second together with a  light touch on the buttons that provided a subtle but accurate  degree of bounce or dunt.

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.

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3546
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #27 on: August 19, 2017, 10:20:51 AM »

Steve - Just caught up with your son's video.
I really like that, I can understand your pride!
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

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

playandteach

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1600
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #28 on: August 19, 2017, 09:21:56 PM »

Lovely playing from mini freereeder.
I play entirely cross row and wish I didn't. A retirement project perhaps. I do think that the bounce happens because of the need to change bellows direction  but that doesn't mean it can't be played dejust rately with bounce cross row. You just need to add it. And of course that means you can play a smooth left hand should you want to whilst playing cross row with bounce.
Logged

Tone Dumb Greg

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 392
  • How to eat an elephant? Have a party
    • Dartmoor Border Morris
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2017, 09:17:24 AM »


...Surely it is down to your phrasing of music and the emphasis of the beat that gives the bounce, not whether that note is pushed or pulled?
Q
Possibly Swimming against the flow!

You are, of course , correct in saying this. It is quite a common and very valid point of view, and something beautifully demonstrated in Steve's lads playing. I suppose I am suggesting that there may be virtue in following the natural way.

It is possible to develop skill enough to play across the row with rhythms that emulate the "English style" (if I can call it that, in the hope that we mostly have a fairly common understanding of what that means) and other styles, such as, Cajun that start from a similar point, but why do that? Why not do what comes naturally on a melodeon when playing a melodeon?

I am not dissing cross-row "continental" styles, by the way. I love them, I just wish I could play them better. I'm just describing what seems to happen with me when I learn a tune to play for "British" dance.

I think it comes down to what happens with bellows control. I seem to have observed the opposite results with regard to bellows waving (as entertaining as that can be). One row playing allows me to keep the bellows fairly close together (not too close as you lose freedom for the tune to play). Playing across the rows I tend to keep the bellows going in one direction across a phrase, or, sometimes, collection of phrases. This can lead to the bellows being fully if extended or closed, if I'm not careful.

The thing about bellows reversals in quick phrases us that they work best when the movement is so subtle that you can't actually really see it. Just hear it as a sort of rhythmic pulse. It's something that I am only now starting to get an inkling of. I think it's something to do with why I find my self playing some phrases across the row, in the early days of playing a tune, that I later play up and down. I f I try to do that in the early days it just comes out as a mush. Bonnets O' Blue was the the tune I was playing when I first noticed this. The little diddle dee diddle dee diddle dee dah sequences in the B part.

Logged
Greg Smith
DG Pokerwork
DG Saltarelle Piroulet

Rob2Hook

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1898
  • Castagnaris, Hohners & Baffetti
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2017, 10:15:49 AM »

Well, that set the cat among the pigeons!  I didn't mean to offend anyone playing PA (or melodeon) and the discussion has brought forward examples of those who have risen above the natural tendencies of each type.  I only meant to observe that a diatonic instrument tends to sound "lumpy", especially when the player is still learning what can be achieved and a PA has a natural tendency toward a legato sound.  Once a player has become comfortable with his instrument (s)he can go on to learn bellows dynamics and button/key control, extending the palette of sounds.

Whether it is fortunate or unfortunate is a matter of opinion, but free reed instruments are commonly seen being played by people who don't have the ability to discern the very differences we are discussing and so will never develop the necessary skills.  Such is the nature of amateur/folk music.  Many of the great blues guitar players had limited playing ability, but they played what they could with great feeling.  Likewise, some box players are limited to what the PA or melodeon naturally does - which is fine if they have the right instrument for the job!  Truly talented players can indeed get both sounds from either instrument.

Just for the record, I fell into playing melodeon by accident when I reached my limit morris dancing.  Having played only for dance, the above is as much a critique of my own limitations as anything else!

Rob.
Logged

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4039
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2017, 11:50:32 AM »

It is indeed true that  bounce or dunt can be added on any sort of accordion provided the player has the skills so to do   as can smooth /lagato playing including on one row boxes or 2 row boxes played on the row by deliberately smoothing the ins and outs with  refined bellows control and perhaps a touch of the air button as what I think of as a sort of 'air brake!'

However I think the built in and almost unique  bounce of diatonic playing , particularly on the row, comes from the entirely random ,in that it varies from tune to tune,  little in and out bumps which are in addition to the rhythm that is deliberately put in by the player.

The same apples to the semitone system including the 80 to 120 bass BCC#'s  as there is often a choice of doing an in and out or playing 2 notes the same direction.  Unless deliberately smoothed the compulsory ins and outs add that random bounce in addition to deliberately added bounce.

The main thing that makes most BC boxes not particularly suitable for so called English style is the lack of suitable bass to drive a steady rhythm ( aadditional to the essential rhythmic playing of the melody).  This is overcome with stradella bass and a BC Erica with 12 stradella is fine for English style  and is easy to play (with bass) in CGDA and with half decent bass in F and E

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.

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3546
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #32 on: August 20, 2017, 11:54:05 AM »

I've just sat down with a cuppa after trying to get to grips with a very intricate tune, and read the latest posts and another thought has struck me.
Trying to sort this latest tune is really early days and it's a finger bender, all over the place, needing frequent chin end accidentals in some phrases.
Rather than thinking about whether a series of notes are along the row or crossed, I am having to think about how to get over to the next phrase of notes. That is dictating how I play the first series of notes. if that makes sense.
I need to play phrase 1 in such a way as to set me up for the next phrase, irrespective of on or cross rowed.
Another facet to the decision on which way to go!
Q

Logged
Thrupenny Bit

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

GPS

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 2715
  • MAD as a wet Hohner........
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #33 on: August 20, 2017, 01:35:06 PM »

I've just sat down with a cuppa after trying to get to grips with a very intricate tune, and read the latest posts and another thought has struck me.
Trying to sort this latest tune is really early days and it's a finger bender, all over the place, needing frequent chin end accidentals in some phrases.
Rather than thinking about whether a series of notes are along the row or crossed, I am having to think about how to get over to the next phrase of notes. That is dictating how I play the first series of notes. if that makes sense.
I need to play phrase 1 in such a way as to set me up for the next phrase, irrespective of on or cross rowed.
Another facet to the decision on which way to go!
Q

Funny you should say that - I've just been refreshing some Scottish &  Irish tunes that I'm going to need for a gig in October; although I know them all to hum along to and I've played them in bands where I've been the bass player they're not part of my normal repertoire and I'm finding exactly the same situation.  They just aren't built the same way as the tunes I usually play!

Graham
Logged
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

Tone Dumb Greg

  • Respected Sage
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 392
  • How to eat an elephant? Have a party
    • Dartmoor Border Morris
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #34 on: August 20, 2017, 02:23:50 PM »


However I think the built in and almost unique  bounce of diatonic playing , particularly on the row, comes from the entirely random ,in that it varies from tune to tune,  little in and out bumps which are in addition to the rhythm that is deliberately put in by the player.

The same apples to the semitone system including the 80 to 120 bass BCC#'s  as there is often a choice of doing an in and out or playing 2 notes the same direction.  Unless deliberately smoothed the compulsory ins and outs add that random bounce in addition to deliberately added bounce.

The main thing that makes most BC boxes not particularly suitable for so called English style is the lack of suitable bass to drive a steady rhythm ( aadditional to the essential rhythmic playing of the melody).  This is overcome with stradella bass and a BC Erica with 12 stradella is fine for English style  and is easy to play (with bass) in CGDA and with half decent bass in F and E

george

I'm glad you said that George, because I just came to realise that a lot of the glory (and it does sound glorious to me, in the right hands) of English playing on a 5th apart (edit: just noticed I put 5th. I meant 4th  :|bl.  If I say 5th, please read it as 4th) or one row diatonic box is what happens with the basses. This is something that cannot really be emulated on an instrument with unisoric basses and, to my ear, is missing on most, if not all, expert playing in an up and down style on chromatic instruments.

The best bass accompaniments are not actually a simple stacato oompah, oompah. Not by a long shot. I think the usual 5th apart arrangement of 3 of the reed sets in a "simple"  5th apart, or single row, instrument is the source of a lot of the musical bounce I hear.

I'm not knocking unisoric basses, just making an observation and yes, I realise this will not apply to the unisoric C pair or "extra basses" on a 12 or more bass key instrument. And yes, instruments and styles can sound brilliant, but, to me, they sound different. I am sure there will exceptions to this and I would love to hear some.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 12:19:32 AM by Tone Dumb Greg »
Logged
Greg Smith
DG Pokerwork
DG Saltarelle Piroulet

IanD

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1348
  • Too many melodeons...
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #35 on: August 20, 2017, 04:55:30 PM »

Whenever I've taught people to play -- either individually or at workshops -- I've always said that my preference is for up-an-down-the-row as the default with cross-row playing added only where it makes the tune more playable or fit better with the basses, and that this is the "English" style as opposed to the "continental" style where smoother cross-row playing is the default.

Both work well in the hands of players who know what they're doing, both suit their own genres of music -- but if you're playing in "English" sessions or bands (meaning, not Irish or French, but including Scottish/Welsh/Italian/etc) push-pull makes it easier to keep the bounce and avoid too much smoothing out of the tune, and also helps avoid the "faster is better" syndrome which seems to be making a bit of a reappearance recently :-(

I do agree that the trend for many younger players to play much bigger heavier 3-row 12-bass boxes does very often lead to a more "continental" style, and it would be a shame if this lead to the more staccato "English" style disappearing -- and yes I know that some players like the excellent Benammi Swift still manage to be punchy in spite of this, but having played with him in a couple of sessions I can't help feeling that he'd be punchier still (and not so fast sometimes...) on a lighter 2-row 8-bass ;-)
Logged
Oakwood Model 4, Castagnari Dony, Castagnari Tommy, Hohner Preciosa, Melos, Baffetti Binci, Lightwave SL5 and Ibanez SR505 basses, Yanagisawa baritone sax

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4039
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #36 on: August 20, 2017, 07:57:58 PM »

Both work well in the hands of players who know what they're doing, both suit their own genres of music -- but if you're playing in "English" sessions or bands (meaning, not Irish or French, but including Scottish/Welsh/Italian/etc) push-pull makes it easier to keep the bounce and avoid too much smoothing out of the tune, and also helps avoid the "faster is better" syndrome which seems to be making a bit of a reappearance recently :-(quote

quote

The trouble with the 'faster the better' syndrome is that those partaking thereof seem to forget all about dynamics rhythm and phrasing  and just race ahead with a jumble of notes as if trying to get it over aand done with as quickly as possible!  Nothing wrong with fast playing if it is the natural speed for a particular tune and retains  aformentioned ingredients!

I -- and yes I know that some players like the excellent Benammi Swift still manage to be punchy in spite of this, but having played with him in a couple of sessions I can't help feeling that he'd be punchier still (and not so fast sometimes...) on a lighter 2-row 8-bass ;-)


indeed!

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.

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4039
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #37 on: August 21, 2017, 09:49:41 AM »

reading again through the stack of interesting posts on this subject and  comments in particular about not being able to get exactly the same effect with unisonoric basses  it occurs to me that it could well be the imperfect harmony between bass and treble a standard 8 bass box  that somehow catches the ear and helps to provide the umpy bumpy ''english'' style.  eg when playing on the row in D and just um pa ing with only D & A bass being played.  Same on G row if the C bass are not   being used.

same of course goes for a one row with 2 bass

It should be possible to replicate this on same both directions,  eg stradella bass, but I  would certainly find it difficult as it would be totallycounter intuitive and require a great deal of concentration
 
just a thought!
george
« Last Edit: August 21, 2017, 11:21:06 AM by george garside »
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.

Thrupenny Bit

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 3546
  • happily squeezing away in Devon
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #38 on: August 21, 2017, 10:29:42 AM »

As George says, sometimes simplicity is the best thing.
Ollie of this parish demonstrated it well during a spring time instructional down this way, playing Lemmie Brazzle's tune ( in D ) just using the D/A basses rather than a complex set of chords that sound plainly wrong.
Just using the simple D/A bass and chords give it the bounce that is necessary from what is a functional step dance tune.
....and yes I go along the row for this!
Q
Logged
Thrupenny Bit

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

george garside

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 4039
Re: Cross row v across the rows. Evolving techniques.
« Reply #39 on: August 21, 2017, 11:26:13 AM »

bass as slightly tuned percussion!

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.
Pages: 1 [2] 3   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.