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Author Topic: Studies and Technique exercises  (Read 1172 times)

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WjssBremner

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Studies and Technique exercises
« on: April 12, 2018, 12:36:12 PM »

Hi All,

Does anyone know of any collections of studies and technique exercises for melodeon similar to those that would be available to classical instruments?

Thanks,
Will
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playandteach

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #1 on: April 12, 2018, 12:45:58 PM »

http://mustradem.com/boutique/en/

If you follow this link, it will take you to a page of video collections - at a price - for learning with Milleret. Scroll down and on the left hand side there are 3 books by Milleret and Pignol which are about as comprehensive as I've found in the world of melodeon playing. They don't suit all styles nor all instruments, so ask more or tell us more what styles you'd like to play before investing in these. I've tried the books and the videos and they do have much going for them, but I haven't stuck with them for a variety of reasons.
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WjssBremner

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #2 on: April 12, 2018, 02:01:13 PM »

What would you say that the outcome of the books would be? I'm essentially looking into things that would improve my technique, for both slower and faster passages. Basically trying to find things to use in practice to ingrain runs and arpeggiated parts etc.
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playandteach

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #3 on: April 12, 2018, 02:45:22 PM »

What key box do you have. I'm more than happy to loan you the books for a while - you can use them with any key, but you'd have to get your head round transposing the ideas to other boxes.
They do have some of what you are asking for - combinations of exercises with melodic fragments.
If I were starting out to teach myself a rigorous right hand technique, though I'd start with building my own exercises. I have often thought of it, but my layout is so unusual that it wouldn't be much use to anyone else.
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stevejay

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #4 on: April 12, 2018, 05:07:45 PM »

Learn new tunes. Where you fumble or slow down are your exercises.
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george garside

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #5 on: April 12, 2018, 05:41:08 PM »

my first thought are that the melodeon is not a classical instrument in the sense of  having lessons in a conservatory  and studying exams and grades  and that collections of ''studies''  wri'tten for one particular genre of melodeon and or for a particular type of music played thereon  may in some way inhibit and discourage the freedom of expression that is so much part of melodeon playing.

As others have said, devise your own exercises  to suite your box and the type of music you want to play. eg exercises on a semitone 'melodeon' eg BC would be quite different to those on a 4th apart box eg DG and boxes with extra half rows or third rows  can be handled differently aagain.

My suggestion would be to  'lift' tricky bits our of tunes you play or are learning and use them as 'studies whatever you want to call them.

a couple of examples  from my melodeon world  could be the fast run down in harvest home ,  playing morpeth rant across the rows on a DG.  playing a slow air  eg sweet hesleyside  with feeling making maximum use of dynamics  and pauses in the right places

Whatever you play there will be similar but maybe different examples of chunks of a tune just waiting to be 'studied'

george
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Jackhumphreys

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2018, 06:16:35 PM »

I don't know of published stuff. But it's possible to make up your own.  Here's what I do for a three-row box, some of them influenced by teenage piano practice.

Some exercises are designed to mobilise fingers so they can move independently.
Others are designed to help fingers to learn the keyboard for playing keys and chords automatically.
Maybe best to use a metronome to ensure regularity when playing exercises. Start slow.

Scales (up and down)
Push-pull scales over two octaves in the main major keys.
Pull scales for major and minor.  So for DG box I currently practice  E, A, D,  others are possible.
Chromatic scales starting in various places e.g. from A,

Push-pull  patterns in four-finger segments, stepwise up the row
e.g.  GABC  DEF#G'   F#EDC BAG;  move up  a button: ABCD EF#GF# EDCB AGA, move up: BCDE F#ABD F#EDCBAB, move up etc.
Same idea but in threes  instead of fours.
Same but starting at the top of and working down step by step.

Left arm bellows practice playing In and Out with unchanged buttons:  many repetitions; various tempos.
IOIO  IOIO  IOIO IOIO IOI;   OIOI OIOI OIOI OIO ..... 
Same idea in threes:
IOI OIO IOI  OIO IOI OIO IOI O--;   OIO IOI OIO IOI OIO IOI OIO I --

Chords
Take a key and practice the main chords and moving from one to the other;  e.g. in G  chords of G, D, C, A, E, F,
For each chord, quickly finding inversions.  Doing arpeggios on each chord.

Stepwise spread chords
Arpeggio on G, then move up a button to Arpeggio in A, then up again e.g.
GBD G'DB GBD G' -  move up: ACE A'EC ACE A' -  move up etc.
Same ideas but in fours.
Same idea but starting at top and coming down.

FURTHER IDEAS
What I don't do, but would be a good idea:

Practising different kinds of articulation e.g. in scales:
-Staccato.
-Notes with slight crescendo then sudden button cut-off (There must be a name for this effect)

Playing scales, tunes and patterns on the basses.

Practising different  bass/chord patterns, as taught by various youtubes e.g. Parisselle,  Geoffroy.





boxer

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2018, 07:21:04 PM »

I speak from purely my own experience on B/C and wouldn't preach, but, as someone said above, the melodeon or button accordion isn't a classical instrument and it's unlikely that you'll play classical music on it.  You probably will want to play dance music, and to do that well you'll need to teach yourself how to do things that can't be written on a stave, and don't figure to quite the same extent in classical music.

In this sense, every tune's a one-off, and the best things you can bring to the instrument are an open mind and creative thinking, especially when it comes to working out fingering and bellows patterns, which IMHO are one of the keys to creating steady rhythm and clear phrasing, and although the aim is the same in every case - that the tune should make you want to dance - the fingering and bellows patterns are more or less unique to each tune.

Just pick a small selection of challenging tunes and work on them till they're as near satisfactory (to you) as you can get.  Then pick another selection....

Good luck
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playandteach

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #8 on: April 12, 2018, 11:13:16 PM »

I do buy into the philosophy that there are things that can't be taught and can't be learnt, but not for techniques. I support the hunt for better technical exercises for our instrument. Yes, context is even more important as bellows direction is crucial for learning tunes - that's one reason why I need to know the chords behind a tune even if not playing left hand (for example learning tunes for sessions), but someone with time and understanding could really help the next generation of players with appropriate exercises.
I do also believe that these may be best created from existing repertoire, just as the Milleret and Pignol books do, but possibly using British / Irish tunes / styles.
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WestOz

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #9 on: April 13, 2018, 07:30:28 AM »

GbHandlebar has put half a dozen tutorials/exercises on YouTube to improve technique.

Here are a few links:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkCNoqXybG8&t=31s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KBwue8vc62s&t=19s
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m4fG9aVIiTA
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Howard Jones

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #10 on: April 13, 2018, 09:16:02 AM »

I think the "just pick it up and play it" attitude is a very British approach (and it has certainly been mine).  On the continent I believe the diatonic accordion is much more accepted as a 'proper' instrument and is often taught in music schools.
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george garside

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #11 on: April 13, 2018, 10:02:53 AM »

I wonder if the ''pick up and play'' method of learning  comes from having previous mouthie experience.  I played a mouthie, not particularly well, as a young teenager  and at some point a mate of mine obtained  a melodeon.

 I found I could knock a tune out of it more or less straight away , got one myself, and 60 years later am still learning.

How many of us came to thebox from the mouthie?

george ;)
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WjssBremner

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2018, 10:39:09 AM »

Thanks everyone this has been really useful!
I'm currently playing on d/g and a/d/g boxes. The only reason I mentioned classical playing is that the complex practice system is what I'm used to when learning/playing an instrument. I think I'll compile a list of difficult excerpts, exercises and scales, as that seems to be the best way forward. Does anyone have any tune suggestions that might be good to include?
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Steve C.

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2018, 01:11:36 PM »

"complex practice system" = Milleret and Pignol (!)
As a proud owner of vols. 1-3, I am on volume 1, page 28, 3 years later....
Pedalogical, but no fun.  Does make one learn some discipline, tho.
(too old for discipline)
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Robin Tims

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2018, 05:46:10 PM »

I wonder if the ''pick up and play'' method of learning  comes from having previous mouthie experience.  I played a mouthie, not particularly well, as a young teenager  and at some point a mate of mine obtained  a melodeon.

 I found I could knock a tune out of it more or less straight away , got one myself, and 60 years later am still learning.

How many of us came to thebox from the mouthie?

george ;)

Yes, funny that, I did too. At school in my early teens, along with a buddy or two, I played a Hohner Super Chromonica mainly for Pop music (hence the need for a chromatic). Later my dad found me a very leaky old one row box in C of no recognisable brand and I found not much difficulty in playing some tunes (in C !!) but the family took the pi*s terribly about my breathing in and out with the leaky bellows (habit I still have a bit, particularly with Anglo Conc). Meanwhile the chromatic harmonica got a bit worn and I bought another, costing, it seemed to me at the time, an absolute fortune. Later, at 21 I was given a new 48 bass Hohner Student PA before I just forgot music for many years to then re-emerge with a used Hohner Pokerwork, Mally books, and the rest is history and a familiar story, Morris, NW Clog teams, and the rest.

Rob

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Stiamh

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #15 on: April 13, 2018, 09:04:20 PM »

I'm currently playing on d/g and a/d/g boxes.

I'm glad you told us that. I play semitone systems, but if I played a 3-row such as an ADG I would put a lot of effort into memorizing and practising all the different ways that scales, passages or runs can be played across the rows.

Just be careful: a friend of mine came to button boxes after years of playing classical music. He became obsessed with achieving mastery of the 3-row keyboard and all its possibilities and got very good at playing scales - but never very good at playing tunes. This is no exaggeration. No reason it should happen to you, but beware...  (:)

george garside

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Re: Studies and Technique exercises
« Reply #16 on: April 17, 2018, 09:36:27 PM »

I agree that putting time and effort in practicing  and memorising alternative ways of playing scales on an ADG box  is  useful unless of course you are going to treat it as  more or less 3 one rows or maybe just as a DG with an A row.

however as a 4th apart and semitone player I can't resist mentioning that if  the BCC sharp ( and the trichord is exactly the same size and weight as a corona) is actualy less complicated to play in 12 keys than is an ADG  because the accidentals in opposite directions are always where you want them.

My choice of box is a simple small 8 bass2 row Dg for 'english' ceilidh, session and morris  and the BCC#  for anything else and occasionaly some of the foregoing.

whatever system is played developing a thorough knowledge of what notes can be had where and in what direction  and what combinations of buttons can be used in either direction for right  hand chords  is in my opinion essential to progressing beyond the basics.

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