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Author Topic: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?  (Read 2734 times)

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Jesse Smith

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2018, 09:57:41 PM »

Many tunes come from.songs, and most of those that don't can be sung. Phrasing generally comes naturally when singing and in general wherever you would take a breath while singing you might end your musical phrase on other instruments. Sometimes it makes sense to clip the last note of a phrase in a staccato way to give a light bounce to the music.
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george garside

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2018, 10:33:45 PM »

indeed they do and that  leads to the question of  accompanying singers ( other than yourself).  It is important that you don't try  to lead the singer ( unless its  a large number of singers eg church congregation or choir etc etc).  I find it easier to follow the singers phrasing if you can see their face  so you can see the gob  not singing for a fraction of a second whilst they breath.  If a facial view isn't possible watching the side of the neck can yield the same information.   The audience , if any, will probably think the singer is following the musician  and if that's the case you've got it spot on and you and the singer are as one.

george
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Sebastian

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #22 on: January 27, 2018, 11:48:09 AM »

Short version: I'm having issues playing and I don't have a good box.
Short version: It's you. Part of the issues will go away with time, part of them you have to learn to ignore. (There is already excellent advice here in this thread for the problem you describe.)

Extended version of the rant:

I read Gena's excellent and completely correct answer and I understand how a better accordion can improve one's playing (and the joy of playing).

Nevertheless I'm always a bit taken aback when I hear that all to often people complain about their less than optimal boxes. I know others will disagree (and that's, of course, legitimate), but to me that is not a bug, it's a feature.

From the videos you have posted it is clear that your accordion works and sounds basically ok. (I don't like its dry tuning, but that's only my personal preference. Most nowadays don't like wet tuning.) Other than e. g. the bayan, the diatonic accordion is not meant to be a super-high-performance professional instrument. (That's at least my opinion. Others may disagree.) If you want a musically good instrument, than go and get a bayan or a Hohner Gola or something like that, but don't bother yourself with the daft playing system of the diatonic accordion. For the diatonic accordion it's not only ok that it sounds and plays sometimes a bit rough, but this belongs intrinsically to the diatonic accordion. Those 'imperfections' are an essential part of the diatonic accordion. Those musical 'imperfections' can be partially overcome by you, the player (and that's partially what makes playing the diatonic accordion so interesting to me), but the box itself is always a bit rough. It's not meant to be 'a good box'. The melodeon, it's a 'chavs' or yobs' instrument.

(Maybe that's why I never took a liking to Castagnaris.)
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george garside

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #23 on: January 27, 2018, 12:30:10 PM »

if you can't overcome a boxes 'imperfecions' make a feature of them! eg pokerword 'clack' = free of charge percussion!

george ;D
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Winston Smith

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #24 on: January 27, 2018, 12:52:12 PM »

"The melodeon, it's a 'chavs' or yobs' instrument."

Wow! That's a bold statement Sebastian, but one which I think might be acceptable to many melodeon aficionados. After all, in their most basic form, they're ridiculously easy to play (I know, I know, that's a simpleton's generalisation, but easy enough to be able to quickly enjoy.) and that's what we chavs like; little application or effort required to get a (self) satisfying result!
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Eshed

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #25 on: January 27, 2018, 01:39:52 PM »

... It's not meant to be 'a good box'. The melodeon, it's a 'chavs' or yobs' instrument.
That's a really interesting outlook, although I will contend that there exists a range between a Gola and a toy melodoen.

I hope I didn't come across as complaining, it's more to do with my inability to analyse the state I'm in.
As a guitar player I know how the properties of a guitar (action, size, string tension etc.) affect my playing and how my lack of skill does.
I feel it immediately when playing an instrument and even if I didn't, I could go to a music store or to a friend and try to play on other guitars to get a wider picture.

Unlike the guitar, I have no straightforward way to take another melodeon for a test drive. I'm entirely in the dark, which has a very big contrast to what I'm used to (although it appears I will have to) and that's why I was asking here.
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Lester

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #26 on: January 27, 2018, 01:54:01 PM »

I hope I didn't come across as complaining, it's more to do with my inability to analyse the state I'm in.
As a guitar player I know how the properties of a guitar (action, size, string tension etc.) affect my playing and how my lack of skill does.
I feel it immediately when playing an instrument and even if I didn't, I could go to a music store or to a friend and try to play on other guitars to get a wider picture.

Unlike the guitar, I have no straightforward way to take another melodeon for a test drive. I'm entirely in the dark, which has a very big contrast to what I'm used to (although it appears I will have to) and that's why I was asking here.

The main problem with lower end boxes is that the reeds are poorly set up so take a time to start, so the player presses a button and applies pressure (preferably at the same time  (:) ) but the reed is slow to speak which confuses the player. This is easy to diagnose, just play notes very quietly, one at a time, a good reed will speak at very low pressure but, as I suspect with your box, you will hear escaping air then one of the two reeds will sound then eventually the other will join in. If this is the case a decent fettler can improve the box out of all recognition in a very short time.

GPS

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #27 on: January 27, 2018, 01:55:04 PM »

The melodeon, it's a 'chavs' or yobs' instrument.


M'mm ... I wonder if anyone does one in Burberry check finish?
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Lester

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #28 on: January 27, 2018, 01:59:39 PM »

Nevertheless I'm always a bit taken aback when I hear that all to often people complain about their less than optimal boxes. I know others will disagree (and that's, of course, legitimate), but to me that is not a bug, it's a feature.

It is a bug, it's a feature is just a cop out from getting your box set  up to play as well as it can. Why would you invest money in something that can be vastly improved by a craftsman/woman for little cost but put up with it being suboptimal. I just don't get it.

And as for
Quote
It's not meant to be 'a good box'. The melodeon, it's a 'chavs' or yobs' instrument.

That is unmitigated drivel. If I could be bothered I could post many videos of players playing beautiful  music on melodeons but I'm not sure it would change your mind.

Steve C.

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #29 on: January 27, 2018, 03:51:59 PM »

Esched, speaking as a beginner also.  I was looking at my "melodeon playlist" that I go to for tune inspiration (perspiration?) and thinking about your thread....

Not looking for the moment at the melodeon gods (my button box pantheon anyway), I recommend you Youtube these members who, IMHO, play tunes that are clean, approachable, seem learnable by me, have a nice swing, I can hear the notes, plus I can find on Tunefinder! 

Current faves for your consideration: Malcolm Clapp, Pip Ives, Folkbluesandbeyond, McGrooger and Howard Mitchell.  Not in any particular order.  These guys are pros but play in a way that makes one feel like you can do it too.
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Winston Smith

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #30 on: January 27, 2018, 04:42:45 PM »

"and what if it doesn't matter?"

I dare say that to many many people on here, it really does matter. But to some of us, it really doesn't. There are loads of possibilities as to exactly why it doesn't matter, one is certainly that it doesn't have to matter , simply because we aren't in a position to do anything about it!

One man's "little cost" might well be more than another can afford, and although we've all heard "beautiful music" played on the melodeon by the various stars, many of us chavs and yobs will never (or even want to) attain that level of expertise, so that (far from being "unmitigated drivel") the melodeon will always remain a cheap, easy to play and enjoy, instrument, as far as we are concerned.
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Lester

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #31 on: January 27, 2018, 04:48:58 PM »

"and what if it doesn't matter?"

I dare say that to many many people on here, it really does matter. But to some of us, it really doesn't. There are loads of possibilities as to exactly why it doesn't matter, one is certainly that it doesn't have to matter , simply because we aren't in a position to do anything about it!

One man's "little cost" might well be more than another can afford, and although we've all heard "beautiful music" played on the melodeon by the various stars, many of us chavs and yobs will never (or even want to) attain that level of expertise, so that (far from being "unmitigated drivel") the melodeon will always remain a cheap, easy to play and enjoy, instrument, as far as we are concerned.

What I said was "unmitigated drivel"  was
Quote
It's not meant to be 'a good box'. The melodeon, it's a 'chavs' or yobs' instrument.

If it had said:
It's not meant doesn't need to be 'a good box'. The melodeon, it's can be a 'chavs' or yobs' instrument.

That would have been fine.

george garside

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #32 on: January 27, 2018, 05:36:47 PM »

 I can't understand why so many ''beginners'' think they need to get a posh aka expensive box  maybe in the hope that it will enable them to run before thay can walk - same goes for multiple boxes. Maybe its the power of marketing the whole aim of whisch is to make us feel inferior or deprived if we hav.t got whatever they ae trying to flog!

for the first 20 or so of my 60 years of playing I had  a 2 row hohner double ray ( BC equvelent of ercia/pokerwork)  and still have  along with   a bog standard dg pokerwork.  The box I use least is a castagnari  Dg which rarely comes out of its case  and which I suppose I should get rid of.

Tony Hall, John Kirkpatrick, and other top men  stick to the pokerword and make magic sounds therewith.  Proof positive that you don't need a 'posh' box to make good music!


george
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2018, 06:11:43 PM »

I can't understand why so many ''beginners'' think they need to get a posh aka expensive box...
Tony Hall, John Kirkpatrick, and other top men  stick to the pokerword and make magic sounds therewith.  Proof positive that you don't need a 'posh' box to make good music!


george

You can get a very tasty stringed instrument for the cost of a pokerwork. Even the cheapest "beginner" melodeons aren't cheap by the standards of other types of instrument. I feel blessed that Castignaris don't make my favourite melodeon sound, because I am unlikely to ever be able to afford one..
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Eshed

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2018, 06:13:25 PM »

Current faves for your consideration: Malcolm Clapp, Pip Ives, Folkbluesandbeyond, McGrooger and Howard Mitchell.  Not in any particular order.  These guys are pros but play in a way that makes one feel like you can do it too.
Thanks! I think I'm already responsible for at least half the views for some of them...
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Gena Crisman

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2018, 09:09:10 PM »

Yes, it does sound similar! Thank you so much for taking the time to record this  :|||:
While your struggle is audible at times, you sound so lovely, which means that even if the box doesn't make it easier, I do have hope!
In a more practical level, how did you deal with the different response on notes?
Well, I'm sorry to say that, I think what I actually did was buy a new instrument, but that's because an opportunity presented itself to buy an example of a melodeon that I'd been able to try and had been really impressed with. Also, thank you for the compliment, I can assure you that many of the faults you see in your own playing are not as apparent to other people.

But, if I hadn't bought it, the only real answer I ever had was air. Specifically Air sufficient in pressure/duration to get the note to sound. I picked up my Nero again today for about 30 minutes, and played some tunes with my higher notes that don't like to sound, including Weaver's March, in order to try and figure out what I would do to make them behave better. Playing at a slower pace did help, as well as not using the air button as much as I normally might while playing (though just because the response is different to what I'm used to), but also accepting a level of volume above minimum I felt made a larger difference.

This is easy to diagnose, just play notes very quietly, one at a time, a good reed will speak at very low pressure but, as I suspect with your box, you will hear escaping air then one of the two reeds will sound then eventually the other will join in.

This is exactly the case: the G where the main scale starts, light bellows pressure results in a sounding note, the same pressure applied to the high G results in the air noises Lester describes, which if you'll recall, this note was trying to hide away while I played Rakes of Mallow. The same is the case with the top note in the run in Morpeth Rant that never ends up really sounding in the B music in several places.

I'm not sure what one can do, being based where you are. One suggestion I had for a friend of mine in the states hoping to record guitar work was to see if local colleges or universities allow access to music practice rooms in any capacity, at least for maybe an evening you could try and examine what makes a difference. The ones at the college near where we live are available for rent for a small sum and if it means getting to make a racket for a couple of hours it might be at least liberating. Understanding where your box is at and scale of any issues is probably quite valuable.

I think the reality is that my nero just isn't 'tuned' (metaphorically, like an engine) to make playing at that speed and with that level of volume particularly viable, at least, not for me. I may try again tomorrow, and try and record and focus on how I end up playing it to make it work for me - I felt like I was nailing that B section by making a few such changes today. I certainly hope you're able to keep faith in both your playing and your instrument as I genuinely enjoy the videos you've put up.
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Winston Smith

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2018, 09:56:13 PM »

Lester, I've been led to believe that the Nero (if that's what it is?) just wasn't a good box, and neither was it meant to be, a good box. Therefore would it really be right to say that it "doesn't need to be" one.
Also, seeing as we seem to be discussing Eshed's Nero......I really cannot imagine the likes of squeezy or JK (or players of your calibre) being too happy about having to play one, along with most of the members on here, which tends to reinforce the description of them as a chav's or yob's instrument.

But it's all academic, or at least subjective, so I'm probably being a bit over pedantic here.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2018, 10:43:30 PM »

Well, to help clarify a little, eshed doesn't have a Scarlatti Nero, but he did liken his box to the wooden Scarlatti boxes which is why I piped up to begin with - they may or may not have similar reeds in them that may or may not have received some similar amount of care and attention. Specifically, he plays a Gankine GC box, with a G in bellows tape displayed proudly on the front of it, at least based on his post history. They're purported to crop up new on ebay from time to time, which was good for him because he lives in Israel.

I think it might actually have the scope to become a pretty nice little box but it's hard to know without laying hands on it to compare, or at least, to hear the difficulties he has with it. It could just need attention from someone who knows their stuff, or, like the nero, might have some components that leave a little much to be desired.
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malcolmbebb

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2018, 11:03:20 PM »

I think there is sometimes a snobbish attitude to some boxes here. Nobody makes boxes that aren't meant to be good boxes - they are meant to be as good as their sale price, of which the manufacturer gets a very modest portion, allows.

The Nero came out as being a cut above the basic Scarlatti boxes, and that seems to be the view I get from people who play them - and from having a go myself.
A friend has gone from beginner with one, he's getting on OK, he's not desperate to chuck it away. Gena got a pretty fair way with hers. Yes, they'll get another box eventually, but we know about that...

There is a well known conflict with any musical instrument for beginners - nobody wants to pay a lot of money for something they might not keep up with, but they are more likely to keep up with it if they do spend a lot of money, but they don't know know that without spending a lot of money they don't initially want to spend... we've been round there many times.

From my perspective, the Nero is aimed to break that loop - it's not as good as a Costalotti, but is better than the lower end boxes. Yes we all love old Hohners (even if many of us don't actually seem to play them any more), but not all newbies want to take a chance on a second hand box, or faff about getting one overhauled, and so on.

So, staying with the Nero, if it meets its objectives - good enough to enable people to keep learning, at a price they're willing to pay, then it's good enough.

(I have a friend who is learning on a wooden Scarlatti - she knows it's a cheap box - she's happy with it. )



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Sebastian

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Re: Is it me or the box and what if it doesn't matter?
« Reply #39 on: January 28, 2018, 10:10:44 AM »

although I will contend that there exists a range between a Gola and a toy melodoen.
Yes.  ;D

Quote
I hope I didn't come across as complaining
No, not really. Your questions are to the point and originate of you playing and listening attentively to your playing.

It was I who was complaining, not so much about your posting, but about a tendency (maybe not even so strong here on melnet), but which I experience sometimes in melodeon circles. Maybe I should've posted it as a new thread.
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