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Author Topic: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?  (Read 967 times)

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Richard J Delong

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Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« on: April 05, 2018, 09:24:51 AM »

Hello!

I just purchased my first accordion, a beautiful vintage Hohner Pokerwork C/F, and although it hasn't arrived yet I've been wondering if there are any good learning resources available for a C/F box, such as books, websites, or other help?  Also, do something akin to "tabs" exist for these particular boxes, showing button numbers and push/pull?  I believe I've seen these available for some boxes, but I'm under the impression that each tuning would require specific tabs, so are there any C/F that exist?

Anyway, your advice or suggestions would be hugely welcomed!  I don't necessarily aspire to play a certain type of music, but I would love to play a sea shanty, Celtic tune, or English melody one day if possible (which I get the impression may all be best played with other specific tunings) but I'd be happy with whatever I could manage and am most drawn to slow, lilting melodies....

Thank you for your help!

Rich
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Winston Smith

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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2018, 10:46:50 AM »

Perhaps what I say should be taken with a pinch of salt, as I'm certainly not a skilled player. But......I'm always rather surprised that new players are looking for instructions as to button numbers and whether to squeeze or pull the bellows, as they seem to be over complicating the issue altogether! This might be because I'm a non-music-reader, and therefore dependant upon what I hear, rather than following the "dots" or whatever. I just cannot see it from the other point of view.
Would you not find it easier to just imagine (or sing out) a tune and then find the first note on the instrument and experiment from there? Mind you, it's possible that this method will forever tie you to the simpleton type of playing which I've grown accustomed to, or that could be just laziness on my part! 
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Helena Handcart

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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #2 on: April 05, 2018, 12:31:50 PM »

Would you not find it easier to just imagine (or sing out) a tune and then find the first note on the instrument and experiment from there? Mind you, it's possible that this method will forever tie you to the simpleton type of playing which I've grown accustomed to, or that could be just laziness on my part!

Not everyone's brain works that way, mine certainly doesn't and I found initially learning with colour-coded pushes and pulls on numbered buttons (Ed Rennie's system) far easier than trying to learn by ear like this - certainly in the early days.  As an added bonus it also got me reading music within a few months.
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syale

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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #3 on: April 05, 2018, 02:35:50 PM »

But......I'm always rather surprised that new players are looking for instructions as to button numbers and whether to squeeze or pull the bellows, as they seem to be over complicating the issue altogether! This might be because I'm a non-music-reader, and therefore dependant upon what I hear, rather than following the "dots" or whatever. I just cannot see it from the other point of view.

Different folks have many perceptions on what works for them. I found the tabs enormously helpful. I now pick up around 80% of tunes by ear but still resort to tabs sometimes. I would say that far from complicating it for me it made it so much easier. The trick is of course not to be totally dependent on the tabs, akin to training wheels (stabilisers).

Stephen
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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #4 on: April 05, 2018, 03:16:12 PM »

Hi Richard,

You shouldn't worry about the absolute pitch of the tabs you found. Accordions are like transposing instruments so that the fingering indicated by the tablature is independent of the pitch of the instrument. Of course, it means that when there is a score, you're not producing the same sound, but you could just as well see it as a transposing instrument like clarinets and such. I don't know if it's all clear, but point is: you may use any tab or method based on tabs you like, irrespective of the pitch of the instrument.
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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2018, 04:22:15 PM »

Hi Richard,

You shouldn't worry about the absolute pitch of the tabs you found. Accordions are like transposing instruments so that the fingering indicated by the tablature is independent of the pitch of the instrument. Of course, it means that when there is a score, you're not producing the same sound, but you could just as well see it as a transposing instrument like clarinets and such. I don't know if it's all clear, but point is: you may use any tab or method based on tabs you like, irrespective of the pitch of the instrument.

Y. is correct. If you see music with tabs for a GC or AD box you can ignore the music notes and just use the tabs. The result is that you have the tune but your box will produce the tune in a different key. If the tabs document comes with a midi file you can listen to, the music you hear will have a different pitch than your playing of the same tune with the CF box hence it is transposing the music.

Stephen
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Richard J Delong

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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #6 on: April 05, 2018, 06:14:22 PM »

Wow, I really didn't know that tabs for other tunings could be used - thank you! 

I'm coming to music fairly late in life, but I've been playing the tin whistle for a little while now and have found the basic tab system for that instrument (black dots to indicate closed fingering) to be such a great tool for me to become familiar with songs and learn melodies.  Yes, I aspire to learn by ear, but the tabs seems to give me a good starting point to approaching a song and learning the basic melody...

With that in mind, can any of you recommend specific books or websites that have been helpful to you that could be applicable to the Pokerwork?  Or perhaps you can recommend other methods for musically non-gifted folks to learn simple songs?  I have never touched a button accordion in my life, but my father (who passed away years ago) played one when he was young and I'm really excited to try.

Thank you all again for your time in responding!!

Rich
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Roger Howard

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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #7 on: April 05, 2018, 07:12:59 PM »

Welcome aboard!


CF diatonic accordions are widely used in the Netherlands. If you find tablature helpful (which I do), a good place to start might be
http://www.ggms.nl/CFbladmuziek.html. If your Dutch is a good as mine ( ;)), just pick a page (
http://www.ggms.nl/W1bladmuziek.html, for shanties, for example). I expect Google will provide some sort of translation!


Best wishes

Roger
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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #8 on: April 05, 2018, 07:35:51 PM »

I'm always rather surprised that new players are looking for instructions as to button numbers and whether to squeeze or pull the bellows, as they seem to be over complicating the issue altogether!
Interesting. This is my impression, too. Even if I am decidedly, what you could call a music-reader, and therefore often dependant upon what I see. But the crux is: I have an idea of the tune in my head and try to find the right buttons accordingly.  (:)
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Matthew B

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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2018, 07:39:23 PM »

CF diatonic accordions are widely used in the Netherlands. If you find tablature helpful (which I do), a good place to start might be
http://www.ggms.nl/CFbladmuziek.html. If your Dutch is a good as mine ( ;)), just pick a page

But beware the "Dutch reversal" -- or as its described on the trekharmonica tab scores "twisted 5th button on the inside row".

In the Netherlands the fifth button on the inside row is frequently back-to-front when compared to the melodeons you find elsewhere in the world.  The trekhamonica tab is written for Dutch reversal boxes and so you'll have to tweak it a bit to make the tunes work as written in the conventional notation. 
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AirTime

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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2018, 08:36:12 PM »

I'm always rather surprised that new players are looking for instructions as to button numbers and whether to squeeze or pull the bellows, as they seem to be over complicating the issue altogether! This might be because I'm a non-music-reader, and therefore dependant upon what I hear, rather than following the "dots" or whatever. I just cannot see it from the other point of view.

Totally!  The existence of youtube (in particular) has made learning by ear (& sight) very easy. Rich - it is simple to take a tune in a youtube video & alter the pitch to the key of C/F. It's also easy to slow the tune down to make it easier to follow the sequence of notes & (importantly) whether the bellows are being pushed or pulled.

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Richard J Delong

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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2018, 08:41:32 PM »

Thank you all again for the excellent advice!

To be honest, I have always loved music but it has only been in the last few years that I've made an attempt to play and (amongst so many other wonderful affects its had on my life) I really think it's improving my ability to "hear" the melodies of tunes... I've always been a little "tone deaf" or something, having a hard time translating what I hear into high or low notes, so this is where tabs for the whistle have been incredible, allowing me to ease into learning a new melody, then (ever so slowly) start to hear the proper melody in my mind... I hope that makes sense, but I just wanted to express how healing its been for me to begin learning music, particularly in this respect.

Thanks again for the support.

Rich
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Richard J Delong

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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2018, 08:46:53 PM »

I'm always rather surprised that new players are looking for instructions as to button numbers and whether to squeeze or pull the bellows, as they seem to be over complicating the issue altogether! This might be because I'm a non-music-reader, and therefore dependant upon what I hear, rather than following the "dots" or whatever. I just cannot see it from the other point of view.

Totally!  The existence of youtube (in particular) has made learning by ear (& sight) very easy. Rich - it is simple to take a tune in a youtube video & alter the pitch to the key of C/F. It's also easy to slow the tune down to make it easier to follow the sequence of notes & (importantly) whether the bellows are being pushed or pulled.

Aloha AirTime,

So are you saying that I could just slow down the video, then copy the sequence of fingering they are using, even if their instrument is in a different key?  That's so interesting, I know very little about diatonic accordions but I was under the mistaken impression that a G/C box (for example) would play totally different notes corresponding to which button was pushed compared to a C/F...

Again, this forum is such a help to a complete beginner like me, and any other advice you all have about the best way to approach learning (slowly and steadily, as I found that I learn all things best) will be put to use as soon as my box arrives!  Any books to recommend?

Rich
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Sebastian

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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2018, 09:10:00 PM »

So are you saying that I could just slow down the video, then copy the sequence of fingering they are using, even if their instrument is in a different key?  That's so interesting, I know very little about diatonic accordions but I was under the mistaken impression that a G/C box (for example) would play totally different notes corresponding to which button was pushed compared to a C/F...
The overall pitch will be higher or deeper (so they are, in fact 'totally different notes'), but the internal relation between the tones will be the same.

If you sing a song, it's not really of much importance whether you start it a bit lower or a bit higher, but the internal structure, the internal relations between the tones, will remain the same.
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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2018, 09:16:11 PM »

It's the same as learning a tune using whistle tablature. It doesn't matter what key whistle you play it on, it will still be the same tune, just in a different key. Diatonic instruments all do this.
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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2018, 09:29:37 PM »

Diatonic instruments all do this.
Chromatic instruments do this too.  (:)
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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2018, 10:22:16 PM »

Diatonic instruments all do this.
Chromatic instruments do this too.  (:)

So if I learn  tune in D on a CC# instrument and I want to play it in the key of D all I need to do is get myself a DD# instrument?
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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2018, 11:02:17 PM »

So if I learn  tune in D on a CC# instrument and I want to play it in the key of D all I need to do is get myself a DD# instrument?
No. If you learn a tune in D on a C/C# instrument, you need a C/C# instrument, if you want to play it in the key of D.  ;D

(But I was in fact thinking of keyboard instruments or chromatic harmonicas etc.)
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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #18 on: April 06, 2018, 08:44:40 AM »

[[ADMIN]]

Off topic posts removed. 

Please remember the original question and keep replies reasonably relevant!
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Re: Learning Resources for C/F Pokerwork?
« Reply #19 on: April 06, 2018, 10:29:16 PM »


So are you saying that I could just slow down the video, then copy the sequence of fingering they are using, even if their instrument is in a different key?  That's so interesting, I know very little about diatonic accordions but I was under the mistaken impression that a G/C box (for example) would play totally different notes corresponding to which button was pushed compared to a C/F...



Just to be clear: A GC box WILL play totally different notes than a CF box if you you push the same sequence of buttons. However, the TUNE itself will be the same .. just in a different key.
But additionally, it is possible to change the pitch of the tune in a youtube video, so that the key will be the same as the one available to you on your CF box.  This (combined with the ability to slow down the tune) is a very useful aid to learning.
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