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Author Topic: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA  (Read 562 times)

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Blake

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Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« on: April 29, 2018, 10:08:29 PM »

Hello Everyone!
I'm eager to introduce myself, as I received and misplaced my login information for some time.

Im learning G/C melodeon. I started with a Pokerwork, and have graduated to a nice little Castagnari Benny. I am working through the Pignol-Milleret books. I'm near the beginning of Book 2. My background is trumpet, cello, and English Concertina (Morse Baritone Geordie.)

My experience learning the melodeon has been a surprising challenge! It's not been unlike learning the cello, where every measure of the exercises needs to be worked at carefully to establish a fluency. Is this your experience also?

Another vague question that I'd appreciate your opinions on, is what is the balance of difficulty vs payoff learning to play by ear with this instrument from your experience. Historically, I've always read music. With the two scales on the G/C and the push/pull, I can see noodling around reading music will be quite difficult. I have occasionally caught myself spontaneously using cross row fingering, perhaps from the drillings that the P-M book have provided. I'm thinking in investing in some play-by-ear practice would be good. On the English concertina, I almost exclusively read, and sometimes memorize.

Is anyone here from my area? I'd love to participate in any sessions. There is a session in State College, PA, which is exclusively Irish and by memory, so to play along would be a considerable commitment in a single direction. I loathe to do that this early in my introduction to this instrument.

Are there any songbooks/tutors that you recommend at this stage in my development?

Thank you so very much.

Blake

PS Dear Moderator,  I didn't see a specific introductions thread. Please move this if I missed it.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« Reply #1 on: April 29, 2018, 10:20:02 PM »

Hello Blake and welcome.

For what it's worth, you already have a capability to read music. Work on picking up tunes by ear and you will have a skill that will make you welcome in any session.

Greg
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Greg Smith
Is not the space between Heaven and Earth like a bellows?
It is empty, but lacks nothing.
The more it moves, the more comes out of it.
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Blake

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Re: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« Reply #2 on: April 29, 2018, 11:18:47 PM »

Thanks, Greg! So simply put! I know it's not gonna be that easy. :D. Thank you for the welcome.
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Matthew B

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Re: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2018, 02:19:50 AM »

Where in Central PA?  I was in Bloomsburg for a while, and have friends in Harrisburg and College Station.  Pretty country, but quiet on the weekends in my experience . . . .
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Blake

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Re: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2018, 02:50:01 AM »

Where in Central PA?  I was in Bloomsburg for a while, and have friends in Harrisburg and College Station.  Pretty country, but quiet on the weekends in my experience . . . .

Hi Matthew,
I'm about an hour south west of State College (Probs what you mean by College Station). Yes. As far as Melodeons and Concertinas go, very quiet Deafening as far as I can tell!

Was thinking-hoping that near Bedford there'd be a thriving Appalachian folk music culture that I can tap into, but so far it hasn't amounted to much of an 'Appalachian Spring.'   I continue to seek people to play with, but so far my dogs howling to the oaks and maples is the most folks music that I hear. I hope I'm wrong in my impression. I am certainly eager to meet other squeezers, fiddlers, and tooters!
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2018, 09:12:01 AM »

Hi Blake,
Welcome to the madhouse, otherwise known as Melnet!
Good to have a fellow squeezer on board.

Learning by ear - some very notable players can only play be ear.
Your previous experience will stand you in very good stead with the dots, but I recommend you start to develop learning by ear. It is a skill like any other so practice it and keep on practicing.
I have no expereicne of GC or the Fench tunes, but I assume it'll be the same as my DG and English music, where the dots are a good start but often don't *exactly* represent what is being played. A final tweak by ear is often the way to exactly play the music you're trying to learn.

I also find that as I've progressed, playing by ear in sessions becomes easier the more it's done. As I've got to know my instrument, my fingers go to notes without the brain telling me, so as a tune progresses I recognise and build on phrases already built into my playing. Repetition over a few sessions means the tune gets learnt by absorption which is nice!
Probably the traditional way of learning in reality where traditional musicians in past times had no idea what the dots were!
Give it a go....
cheers
Q.
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Blake

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Re: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2018, 01:26:38 PM »


I also find that as I've progressed, playing by ear in sessions becomes easier the more it's done. As I've got to know my instrument, my fingers go to notes without the brain telling me, so as a tune progresses I recognise and build on phrases already built into my playing. Repetition over a few sessions means the tune gets learnt by absorption which is nice!

Thanks, Thrupenny! This is a great goal ^^^!
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MarioP

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Re: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2018, 03:21:04 PM »

There’s this famous big accordion store in Philly seems like those guys may have greater information to your current questions perhaps make a new customer as well: libertybellows.com
They are friendly eve though I never bought from them enjoy! And yeah work ur way into play by ear I do play alongs it helps but I don’t like playing without the music now so watch out 😂
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tom f

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Re: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2018, 05:49:56 PM »

Hi Blake,
You ask about suitable tutors for the G/C accordeon.  I note you are already using M&P.  Theirs is a very thorough method but quite dry and a little light on tune repertoire.  I also use Yann Dour's Accordeon Diatonique series.  These are specifically for the G/C instrument and are available from www.editions-caruhel.com.  Yann is based in Brittany.  There are 3 volumes - beginner, melody (right hand) and accompaniment (left hand).  The books are well written in French with English translation.  The books are full of classic French and other popular tunes and have standard musical notation as well as tablature and accompanying CDs.  Good luck with your new venture!
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Blake

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Re: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2018, 07:02:16 PM »

There’s this famous big accordion store in Philly seems like those guys may have greater information to your current questions perhaps make a new customer as well: libertybellows.com
I'd love to get there! I did sell a Fantini converting accordion through them and they were fair in pricing and good to deal with on the phone. Next time in that part of the state, I'll be sure to go. Thank you for the reminder.
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Blake

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Re: Hello from Central Pennsylvania, USA
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2018, 07:04:08 PM »

Yann Dour's Accordeon Diatonique series.
Excellent to hear! I just ordered the 2nd book (probably right hand) on ebay. It's no doubt at customs for an indefinite period. Can't wait to try it out now. Thank you!
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