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Author Topic: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon  (Read 5754 times)

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tiny

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I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« on: November 08, 2017, 07:16:17 PM »

I have been thinking for some time about giving up playing the melodeon.

 It is fair to say that playing has been an on and off love affair for around 37 years. I have had long periods of time when I have not played, but I have always been interested in listening to English Folk Music. It occurred to me today that I don't really want to play anymore. Its sad but maybe could be liberating.
Has anyone else gone through this?
Lizzy
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lizzy in Hoppicking Herefordshire

Helena Handcart

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2017, 07:26:11 PM »

Only overnight, after seeing the likes of Squeezy, Andy Cutting, Saul Rose, Ollie King, JK etc. in concert.  The usual cycle is first half of gig: wow I'm really inspired, second half of gig: wow, I'm never going to bother playing again, morning after: sod it I want to play  :|||:
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David J

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2017, 07:31:54 PM »

Nicely put, Helena.
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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2017, 08:13:46 PM »

Personally, no I haven't; but I have experienced the same feelings with other activities I have been involved in over the years. There's no simple answer; obviously as a committed melodeonista I would say no, whatever you do don't leave us; on the other hand, if it really doesn't give you pleasure any more and the drive to do it has gone then there is only one course of action. I really don't know; only you can truly decide what's best for you. I know this is no real help, but I can empathise with your feelings as I have had to make similar decisions in other fields. Don't rush into a decision; think about it, sleep on it,sleep on it some more and if you still feel the same way in a couple of months or so , then maybe......

Graham
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mselic

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2017, 08:53:40 PM »

I think the key to answering your question lies in your reasons for doing so. If it is coming from a place of genuine disinterest, that's one thing, but if it's coming from a place of feeling unworthy, not good enough, frustration, or any space or feeling of lack, then I would strongly suggest you not give up for such reasons. I know the feeling, but giving up from such a space is rarely an empowering decision, and results in a feeling of contraction rather than one of expansion or joy.  If it brings you joy, keep doing it. If leaving it behind brings liberation, then you have your answer. Follow what makes you feel bigger, better, and more free : )
« Last Edit: November 08, 2017, 08:56:39 PM by mselic »
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Julian S

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2017, 09:09:56 PM »

I had a one-to-one tutorial session with a great player last year - a 'significant' birthday present from my wife. I have to say that as we went home afterwards I seriously considered taking up the banjo or stamp collecting instead but sanity returned quite quickly...because I realised that playing traditional music has been the great love of my life and no matter what level or ability we achieve it can be wonderful fun and a fantastic way to switch off from life's pressures.
I also have gone through periods when I didn't play for months - I could easily have decided to give up playing completely - but I'm so glad I simply left the box in it's box. It didn't seem to mind. And I very much echo the comments of GPS and mselic !

J


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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #6 on: November 08, 2017, 09:39:02 PM »

If you do finally decide to give up, speaking from my own experience with an English concertina, I would strongly encourage you to keep hold of your favourite box. I sold my concertina after hardly playing it for a number of years, but after another couple of years I had the urge to squeeze again, and it got worse and worse. Not having the funds for another decent concertina, I moved on to a £7.01 melodeon from good old eBay. The rest is history, and now, although suffering from M.A.D., I'm a happy man again.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 04:08:08 AM by Edward Jennings »
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playandteach

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #7 on: November 08, 2017, 10:32:56 PM »

I absolutely have felt that way. For me it was too long a period without identifiable progress. I started writing tunes, the first time this happened. The second time I move into DG English stuff for a change. Now I'm trying to learn by ear and memory rather than dots. So if one area of melodeon playing has plateaued then I seek different challenges. Feeling frustrated again at losing the tunes that I have just learnt but this time I have a group to play with every week and that makes a real difference.
I gave up the piano accordion quite happily, though like Edward I wish I hadn't sold the Brandoni. (I would like a quality small accordion again for when odd keys come up, but I can't justify the cost just now).
37 years is a long time. The clarinet gave me up after a similar period and I haven't let myself miss that.
Is there something else you'd like to do with the time instead?
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tiny

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2017, 08:44:25 AM »

Thanks you all for your time, helpful comments and suggestions and for sharing your own thoughts.

I think the main reason is having enjoyed playing English tunes up and down the rows for many years, for Morris and in sessions and enjoying it, I now play across the rows more often than not, and complicated tunes which I can't free myself from some form of notation as I can't always remember all the chord structures. The group I play with sight read very well and quite often choose music that does not sit easily on the melodeon, so I struggle with that, and feel the pressure for lots of practise.  I can read music but not quickly onto the box..(as discussed in another thread.)  Perhaps I have got out of touch with why I originally played. In the past I used to  play and not think too much about it, so maybe I now overthink it. Perhaps I should go back to playing more simple tunes that I am able to play well and enjoy and without notation to support.  What would I do with my extra time?  that is a very good question. I'm considering training to be a listener in the Hospice but I could still play and manage that. I am retired so indulging in my interests.
It has been really helpful to read others experiences thank you, I'll keep thinking.
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lizzy in Hoppicking Herefordshire

george garside

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2017, 08:48:47 AM »

.)   . Perhaps I should go back to playing more simple tunes that I am able to play well and enjoy and without notation to support.   .

I think you have just hit the nail right on the head!

george ;)
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tiny

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #10 on: November 09, 2017, 09:27:18 AM »

Thanks George  (:)
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lizzy in Hoppicking Herefordshire

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #11 on: November 09, 2017, 09:31:26 AM »

it is fair to say that playing has been an on and off love affair for around 37 years.

So it’s probably also fair to say you are just going through a 'off' period at the moment.     Don’t give it up,  even if you did you will still be a melodeon player on account of the fact you having played it for 37 years :-). 

Don’t stress over it, that’s what takes the fun out of it.    Musicians that can sight read whilst playing aren't necessarily better than you,  you can quite possibly pick up a tune form ear better than they can.   Maybe introduce a tune into your groups repertoire that you know well, and can try to encourage them to try without the dots, and restore the balance! ;-)
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tiny

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #12 on: November 09, 2017, 09:50:13 AM »

  ( Maybe introduce a tune into your groups repertoire that you know well, and can try to encourage them to try without the dots, and restore the balance!)

Thanks Jonathan.

I have tried to encourage play without dots, but they resist saying it  takes up too much time, too much repetition and can't be remembered, and then the discussion of playing by ear and dots starts and thats another thread! :)
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lizzy in Hoppicking Herefordshire

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #13 on: November 09, 2017, 09:57:14 AM »

Yes, it sounds like it's moved from being a pleasure to being a chore and an obligation. As above, move away from your practice group for a while. Maybe just find a few pub sessions and re-discover the fun.
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playandteach

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #14 on: November 09, 2017, 10:06:11 AM »

I can't free myself from some form of notation as I can't always remember all the chord structures. The group I play with sight read very well and quite often choose music that does not sit easily on the melodeon, so I struggle with that, and feel the pressure for lots of practise.  I can read music but not quickly onto the box..(as discussed in another thread.) 
This resonates well with me. I obviously read well on other instruments, but reading on the melodeon - especially DG box (I'm primarily a GC player) is sometimes humiliating. I have to work hard to remember that I am not defined by my weaknesses, but by my strengths. I take pride in the efforts I'm making to improve my memory of tunes, too. And look on the progress rather than the current state of my abilities.
Good luck.
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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2017, 10:39:57 AM »

I can't free myself from some form of notation as I can't always remember all the chord structures. The group I play with sight read very well and quite often choose music that does not sit easily on the melodeon, so I struggle with that, and feel the pressure for lots of practise.  I can read music but not quickly onto the box..(as discussed in another thread.) 

Sounds to me that there is an issue with the company you are keeping, more than with you (:)
They may be very nice people and skilled musicians, but they don't sound like the company I would choose.

1. From a recent thread, it seemed clear to me that sight reading on the melodeon is genuinely more difficult than playing tunes by sight (on most other instruments). This seems to be nearly everyone's experience, including some fine players . It's certainly mine.

2. Unless I'm reading something into this you didn't say, this group seems to skate over tunes, getting another one under their belt, rather than getting to know them. I prefer to embrace them  and experiment over a period of time.

3. There are not really any simple tunes. Just tunes that haven't been fully explored, yet. If you don't believe me dig out something like Squeezy playing No Man's jig with the Eiiza Carthy band. This is probably the simplest melody I know but I bet your group couldn't make a noise this good, without someone arranging it dot by dot for them (if then) and then they would be stuck with one way of playing it .

4. It wouldn't surprise me if they forget how to play it two minutes after they finish playing it.

I could go on, but you get my drift.

Seems to me what you need is to find a group of people who like to enjoy making music rather than a group that idealises demonstrating their superior skills in one small area of it that is not considered important, or even desirable by an awful lot of us.

Even if they are as marvelous as they think they are, it appears they don't make music in the way you enjoy. I would give them up, not the instrument.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2017, 10:53:01 AM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2017, 11:09:18 AM »

I'd like to echo what the recent posts have said. When I started out I found a number of Irish sessions, while great fun I never felt entirely at ease, then folk festivals showed me there was a whole other world of fine English music out there and I knew then where I was happiest.
Pursue your happy place.

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #17 on: November 09, 2017, 11:24:43 AM »


I have tried to encourage play without dots, but they resist saying it  takes up too much time, too much repetition and can't be remembered, and then the discussion of playing by ear and dots starts and thats another thread! :)

Just out of interest, Tiny (Lizzy?), what sort of music are they playing that they don't think  is worth the effort of learning?
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tiny

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #18 on: November 09, 2017, 11:46:20 AM »

Again thanks for all the thoughts, there is more than an element of truth in what has been said above. I really like the people I play with and consider them to be good friends, however musically maybe we come from a different place. We play some English tunes but always with a harmony line or maybe two and yes they don't get played for long before we move onto another tune.  This can work well especially if a group are deciding on whether a tune is to be put into the repertoire, but it can lead to frustration.

"I could go on, but you get my drift" (sorry don't know how to put it into a blue quote)

Yes I do:)  and yours and others thoughts have given me something to really think about. Something that perhaps I have been pushing aside.

I'm going to go and play Oscar Woods Jig. :|||: (:)
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lizzy in Hoppicking Herefordshire

tiny

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Re: I am thinking of giving up playing the melodeon
« Reply #19 on: November 09, 2017, 11:55:08 AM »

"Just out of interest, Tiny (Lizzy?), what sort of music are they playing that they don't think  is worth the effort of learning?"

Yes my name is Lizzy :)

I don't think it is the sort of music that is being played but them wanting to play something once or maybe twice and then move on, so the repertoire is huge. I like playing a tune over and over until you can sink into it and its part of you. Also learning by ear (as we know) is a skill that does take time and patience, but once its there it tends to remain. We occasionally play for events which almost always requires new music to fit in with a theme. As I type I can see the problem, or my problem. Ah well I hope this makes some sense. Thanks again.
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