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Author Topic: C/C# Anyone?  (Read 1807 times)

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Tiposx

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C/C# Anyone?
« on: February 02, 2018, 06:54:41 PM »

Does anyone play a C/C# box? I usually play one-rows but I have recently acquired a lovely old Pokerwork in this tuning and my inital impression is that it seems to work quite well the irish traditional music I mainly play. I read the recent thread on the demise of certain tunings with interest - it seems to say that the C/C# has fallen from grace. I know the basses are a little odd for itm but am I missing something?
Tiposx
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george garside

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2018, 08:16:00 PM »

CC# is great for the 'flat' keys. 

george
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Tiposx

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #2 on: February 02, 2018, 08:23:52 PM »

That's a pity - flat keys are not what I play. I play almost entirely in D or G and the relative minors, with a few accidentals. If only my loveley Hohner 1040 boxes (I have 3) had a helper row!
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Stiamh

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #3 on: February 02, 2018, 08:26:40 PM »

Play in a few Irish tunes in D on your C/C#. I think you'll quickly find out why it's not a suitable tuning.

But stick to playing inside-out and you will have something usable. B/C style, it'll give you a nice, bright-sounding Eb box, and in C#/D style, a nice mellow-sounding C# instrument.

BTW C/C# tuning has been discussed on several threads on the forum. A Google search should turn them up.

Here are a couple to get you started.

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php?topic=2673.0
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php?topic=12704.0

triskel

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #4 on: February 02, 2018, 11:02:54 PM »

If only my loveley Hohner 1040 boxes (I have 3) had a helper row!

And that's exactly how C/C# boxes used to be played, like a 1040 with a helper row, in English traditional music - before D/G took over. See The rise of D/G (and the fall of "English Chromatic" C/C#) since 1949

Whilst, as Stiamh has already said, these days a C/C# is either an Eb box for a B/C player, or a lower keyed box for a C#/D player, which is how two people I know (Brendan Begley and Conor Connolly) use them. But most C/C# boxes (and there are lots of them!) tend to finish up getting bought cheaply and converted to the "more useful" keys of B/C or C#/D...  :(

Edited typo
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 07:43:02 AM by triskel »
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gettabettabox

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #5 on: February 03, 2018, 12:28:21 AM »

...and they can be played in concert pitch using outside in, lovely for C, reasonably so for tunes in G, but not so easy in D...and I never tried A!
Just makes things a bit more difficult.
I have never attempted it in company.  (:)
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Tiposx

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #6 on: February 03, 2018, 05:49:25 AM »

Thanks for the advice and links. The story is that I bought it advertised as a "bargain" d/g needing some work- for that read "everything needs sorting out". By the time I had substantially got into re-taping the bellows I noticed with a sinking feeling the legend "Cis" on the reed blocks. So it seems I have been mugged a bit! Anyhow it has become a really nice sounding and playing box. I just haven't decided what to do with it yet.
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Barlow

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #7 on: February 03, 2018, 09:42:02 AM »

Wouldn't a C/C# be useful for a B/C player to accompany a singer whose voice prefers say, D and G to be a semitone up?
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george garside

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #8 on: February 03, 2018, 11:06:00 AM »

in effect that is what a BCC# is  - a combined BC and CC# box  so 12 keys need only 5 scales.  The combination also provides much easier fingering than on either 2 row box as  there are reversals for everything exept GD & A ( there are also 2 Bb's but in sale direction!)

george
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triskel

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #9 on: February 03, 2018, 12:23:01 PM »

Wouldn't a C/C# be useful for a B/C player to accompany a singer whose voice prefers say, D and G to be a semitone up?

Which is what I meant when I said "an Eb box for a B/C player" - B/C being considered a D (or "concert pitch") box in Irish circles.
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KLR

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2018, 10:24:07 AM »

I play Irish music on the B/C/C# and sometimes play a bit of a scale on the C/C# rows, and know what its plusses and minuses are, and there's a good reason the Scottish players (and the Irish musicians in turn) went with B/C instead, you have a much smoother path playing scales, and once you get the trick of arpeggios you're in business; those require bellows changes on each note and sliding fingers from row to row, but with practice it makes sense.

Playing in D or G with the C and C# rows requires a bit of awkward pivoting of the fingers, and bellows changes practically everywhere - more than playing on the D row, I think, and definitely more than with C#/D.  It's actually handy with the B/C/C# to use the inside rows and make some tunes punchier than what the B/C delivers, Garret Barry's Jig for instance, the first part can be push/pull on every note if you want; and I like the pull F# for a tune like Dinny O'Brien's as it can be sounded cleaner than the alternating bellows required with the B/C.  Lark in the Morning is another tune I go to the inside rows for, the 4th part; it sounds stronger, especially on my old Hohner which has a somewhat anemic outside row push F#.

But with C/C# rolls are out, except for C and F#, and push C# - not exactly critical stuff.  And like I said, you'll be doing an awful lot of shoving the bellows around; again, I'm not surprised that B/C won out. 
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george garside

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2018, 10:48:22 AM »

having learned originally to play in FCGDAE B F#on a BC  ( mainly for Scottish and English stuff)   I  use the inside CC# rows on the BCC# for  Ab Eb  Bb .  The ideal setup from a playing point of view would be a 4 row BCC#D  as  the alternative notes would be the same for the flat keys as the sharps. it would  probably be too bulky and heavy to be practical

george
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Tiposx

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2018, 12:55:08 PM »

Even though buying this c/c# box wasn't planned, it is clear to me that the music I play increasingly requires a chromatic box. Since reading these replies (thank you they are very helpful ) I have been attempting the trickier parts of a couple of tunes transposed both up and down a semitone and played as if on c#/d and a b/c box. I have played d/g and c#d before but never touched a b/c instrument.
Big surprise to no-one but me I find that the b/c is very suited to my style and requirements. Oh dear! - thinking cap on again.
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Winston Smith

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #13 on: February 04, 2018, 01:36:31 PM »

Does that mean that the C/C# might be moving along in the near future? I've had a fancy for a semitone box to try out, for a while. I've actually had a couple, but they ended up being the cheap (and really nasty) sort which had faults which meant that I never even got to play them!
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Tiposx

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #14 on: February 04, 2018, 01:57:47 PM »

I do my own fettling so I have some options - I could convert the right hand side for the price of 20 reed plates, or even buy a complete set of hohner blocks (which would cost more than the entire instrument stands me at). Or of course I could buy yet another box and sell this one. Judging by the comments it won't exactly fly off the shelf. Still thinking about it.
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Tiposx

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #15 on: February 09, 2018, 01:48:40 PM »

The Pokerwork is now converted to b/c. Time to learn all over again!
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KLR

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #16 on: February 10, 2018, 02:57:21 AM »

Switching from C#/D to B/C was the most confusing thing I've ever undertaken as a musician, and I used to play the pedal steel guitar!  Specifically, getting used to playing E major scales on the C row to get concert pitch D took months of constant practice to become natural.  If I even thought about how you play a D scale on a D row I'd get confused all over again.

Both tunings have their plusses and minuses too.  You can get plenty of satisfaction with either.
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Tiposx

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #17 on: February 10, 2018, 07:22:32 AM »

Hi KLR yes it is a challenge. I spent an hour yesterday trying to learn and memorise fingering of two bars of music! To avoid completely overloading my brain I am not going to re-learn any of my tunes for the b/c. I will learn only new stuff on the new layout. For now anyway.
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richard.fleming

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #18 on: February 10, 2018, 09:34:11 AM »

Why not try D/D#? I just got one and it's great because you can use it as an Eflat box using C#/D fingering, but also play it in 'normal' keys by playing outside in, which seems quite easy to learn,  if you play Csharp/D anyway. Much easier than going from BC to Csharp/D, for example.  I'd recommend it. Not so easy for a BC player, but maybe a way in to semitone boxes for a DG player?
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 09:35:47 AM by richard.fleming »
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george garside

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Re: C/C# Anyone?
« Reply #19 on: February 10, 2018, 09:56:34 AM »

for DG players wanting to  get the hang of a semitone box it helps to practice and get the hang of playing scales rather than initially trying to transfer tunes.  On a BC  the scales of B and C are obviously same as playing on the row on a DG . the easiest way of tackling scales is to start with one accidental on B row i.e G, then have a go at 2 accidentals i.e. D then 3 i.e A.

once you have learned the route  it is relatively easy to play tunes as they only go up or down the route so to speak. As to how many fingers to use opinions differ but  I use 2,3 or 4 depending on the needs of a particular part of a particular tune

Plaaying  a 4th apart and a semitone box  is not difficult  provided the semitone scales are learned as the two systems are sufficiently different  , to avoid confusion. 

george
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