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Author Topic: Seconds/Harmony  (Read 1159 times)

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« on: March 01, 2018, 10:33:10 AM »

Anyone know a good source of information about writing seconds for the melodeon.
Thank You


  • Chris
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Re: Seconds/Harmony
« Reply #1 on: March 03, 2018, 12:30:34 AM »

Make sure that it doesn't creep to far into the dead zone below the lowest key note. A good arpeggio is a start and this can be worked into a counter melody.
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My other melodeon's a fiddle, but one of my Hohners has six strings! I also play a very red Hawkins Bazaar in C and a generic Klingenthaler spoon bass in F.!! My other pets (played) are gobirons - Hohner Marine Band in C, Hohner Tremolo in D and a Chinese Thingy Tremolo in G.

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Re: Seconds/Harmony
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2018, 12:56:03 PM »

it's something I am trying to get to grips with. I do not have a natural talent for it :(
I know a number of people who seem to be able to just do it. They seem to play thirds, chords and arpeggios that work.
I think it's probably the same on any other instrument, including voice, so it might be worth looking in other areas.
There are sections in an awful lot of tutor books and videos but they don't make me feel sufficiently wiser.
I'll probably just carry on trying to work out what those I admire are doing, but I've been thinking of trying this . I haven't first hand experience of Maggie's More Melodeon tutor, but it seems to cover some of the right ground (scroll down).
Can anyone recommend it?

In terms of practicing, I am trying an old trick of recording a tune right through once, including repeats then trying things out against it, looped.
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Re: Seconds/Harmony
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2018, 07:38:26 PM »

As suggested by Chris, I think it's probably down to a fairly thorough knowledge of chord structures; before picking up the melodeon I was a rhythm guitarist and then a bass-player (still am, first and foremost, actually!). This means I tend to think of tunes in terms of their underlying chord structure, so it becomes not exactly second nature, but fairly easy to improvise a countermelody, much in the fashion of a lead guitarist or a jazz instrumentalist improvising a solo. I realise that I have the advantage of decades of work as a semi-pro and occasionally full-time musician, but the basic principle of using the component notes of accompanying chords to construct a descant applies whether you're doing it on the fly or bar by bar in the privacy of your own home. And I agree - countermelodies largely above the pitch of the tune tend to work better. That doesn't mean you should never drop into the lower register, but don't go down too low and don't stay down there too long!

Academics please note - I am using the terms "countermelody" and "descant" in the general sense of "another tune that fits the same chords" rather than in any strict musicological sense!

« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 07:41:23 PM by GPS »
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. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

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Chris Ryall

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Re: Seconds/Harmony
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2018, 12:28:04 PM »

If you mean sus chords? I do it all the time. Just shove a finger across both rows. Some work, some don't sound too good, and importantly the CONTEXT of the 2nd = sus9 chord depends on the bass played aganst it.

Another thing experiment with is to hold the clashing notes, and "walk" bass up or down against it. Context changes. "feel" for the right moment to resolve … it can totally replace standard V chord dominant turnarounds 😀

Good too in song, where your voice is doing the heavy lifting. I often just tap a finger across the main rows, a little musical "noise" and great in Am, G D or even C major. Again, experiment is the key. Keep it brief. More may be less
« Last Edit: March 10, 2018, 12:29:52 PM by Chris Ryall »
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Re: Seconds/Harmony
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2018, 02:46:55 PM »

This might be relevant... (At the time of writing it's still uploading.)

Anyway, gm0lze's enquiry inspired me to spend my lunch hour making it!

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