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Author Topic: Regarding the difference between systems?  (Read 3571 times)

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Winston Smith

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Regarding the difference between systems?
« on: May 14, 2018, 08:12:53 AM »

"the possibilities for crossing over on both C#/D and B/C are much more limited than on 4th tuned boxes."

This was an encouraging line to read, as it implies (well, to me!) that the half-step systems are  played mainly on the row, and therefore more suited to those of us who've started off with a good old 1 row. Is that a fair assessment, do you think?

I'm asking as I've recently bought a half-step box, but have yet to have a go at it 'cause the tuning is so wet that it actually sounds out of tune to my sensitive, but half deaf, ears. (Theo reckoned it would suit Sir Jimmy Shand, if that gives an indication of whereabouts the tuning is!) 
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Theo

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2018, 09:18:48 AM »

There are a few who play halfstep boxes on the row and of course you can do that if you want to. But in general the point of a half step box is to be chromatic so you can cross rows to play in any key.  In practice the number of players who can genuinely play in any key is tiny.  I can think of two.  So as with any box it’s up to you.  It’s your instrument so use it the way that suits you and your music.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Winston Smith

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #2 on: May 14, 2018, 09:31:15 AM »

In my excitement, I'd forgotten about the chromatic facility which seems to be the main point of that system and a complication I hadn't reckoned on for a minute or two there. Back to the drawing board, I suppose! Thank you for bringing me back to earth, oh wise one.
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Theo

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2018, 10:00:39 AM »

Edward, my main point was meant to be that you can play it in a way that suits you.   
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Winston Smith

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2018, 10:32:33 AM »

Yes, I know, Theo. But that doesn't get me where I'd like to be. i.e. Not the one who's always out of step with everyone else, although that would be the same with a half-step, too! It seems that I can join in with most things (once I come to terms with the tune, anyway) with my 1 rows, but I feel there's a certain "stigma" attached to being the odd-man-out. (And I know that that's nothing to do with the intention/attitude of the other players, don't get me wrong here.)
It's akin to the frustration of being the only "by-ear" player in a gathering, whilst everyone else is discussing which note to play and on which row.
It's probably some character flaw caused by my mother smoking whilst she was pregnant! My problem, I now don't really know why I brought it up!
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Theo

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 10:41:53 AM »

Just do your own thing.  You've as much right to that as everybody else!
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2018, 10:59:16 AM »

Yes, I know, Theo. But that doesn't get me where I'd like to be. i.e. Not the one who's always out of step with everyone else...It's probably some character flaw caused by my mother smoking whilst she was pregnant! My problem, I now don't really know why I brought it up!

What Theo said. I have to say, down in these parts, it's the people dependent on dots who look like the odd ones out. My character flaw is that I am rubbish at picking tunes up by ear (and my mother smoked, too). Rejoice in the skills you have. I envy them.
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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2018, 11:30:19 AM »

"the possibilities for crossing over on both C#/D and B/C are much more limited than on 4th tuned boxes."

This was an encouraging line to read, as it implies (well, to me!) that the half-step systems are  played mainly on the row, and therefore more suited to those of us who've started off with a good old 1 row. Is that a fair assessment, do you think?

In the case of B/C, no, not a fair assessment at all. In think it was Brendan Mulkere (London-based teacher of Irish music) who said that moving from a one-row D to a B/C required a "brain transplant". You will use a lot of row-crossing - it's just that mostly, unlike on a G/C, you won't have a choice about it. What there are far fewer of on a halfstep box are reversals - only two in fact.

You could look at a C#/D more in the way you describe, but I feel it would be a very reductionist view of the system's possibilities. You could happily play all the D and Em tunes you like on the D row and only use the C# row when you have to. Probably a lot of people do just that. But if that's what you want to do, why not stick with your one-row?
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Tiposx

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2018, 11:50:37 AM »

Hi Edward
I am a fan of one-rows in various keys and a newcomer to b/c. I use the b/c in three ways:
-On the row in C:
-On the row in B:
-All over the place for Irish tunes in D and G that have accidentals.

That might help a little.
Tiposx

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2018, 12:07:04 PM »

Stiamh, you've opened up a whole other can of worms, there!

So, disregarding whatever key you're playing in; does that (Mr Mulkere's quote) mean that the fingering is different between each semi-tone instrument to play the same tune? Now that would need a brain transplant, I'm sure.
I was always under the impression that the fingering was (like the 4th apart boxes) basically the same for each box, regardless of the combination of keys e.g. B/C, C/C# etc. It seems to me that knowing music must create a tremendous handicap in some circumstances, but I'm sure that I should be wrong there!

Thanks all for the responses, I think that you've confused me enough now, haha! I'll carry on regardless, eh? (As usual.)

Edited to add:
I've just seen your posting Tiposx. And thank you, that is certainly more encouraging, although I expect that your playing skills are way way ahead of mine in order to be able to do that in the first place. Helpful? Yes.
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Tiposx

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2018, 12:15:29 PM »

Hi Edward
I am not a good player at all but I like the challenge of the b/c. I find it very hard indeed to learn a tune on it in D or G. I find the pa much easier but it doesn't sound nearly as good.
Good luck!
Tiposx
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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2018, 12:27:59 PM »

I was always under the impression that the fingering was (like the 4th apart boxes) basically the same for each box, regardless of the combination of keys e.g. B/C, C/C# etc.

Correct, fingering is the same. Just the keys change. Just as a D/G player can pick up a G/C box and play any of her tunes using exactly the same fingering and it'll sound fine. But in a different key.

Quote
So, disregarding whatever key you're playing in; does that (Mr Mulkere's quote) mean that the fingering is different between each semi-tone instrument to play the same tune?

Well yes. Is that surprising? If you wanted to play a tune in D on a G/C, could you do it using the same fingering as on a D/G?

To understand the "brain transplant" remark, pick up a B/C and learn to play a reasonably complex D tune that you already play on a one-row D box.

Quote
It seems to me that knowing music must create a tremendous handicap in some circumstances, but I'm sure that I should be wrong there!

I get that you are suffering from a handicap Edward.  >:E My sympathies! However I'm just not sure from your post whether it is from knowing music or not knowing music...  :|glug

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2018, 12:38:30 PM »

I was always under the impression that the fingering was (like the 4th apart boxes) basically the same for each box, regardless of the combination of keys e.g. B/C, C/C# etc.
Correct, fingering is the same. Just the keys change. Just as a D/G player can pick up a G/C box and play any of her tunes using exactly the same fingering and it'll sound fine. But in a different key.....

Broadly correct, but there is a little more to it where a G/C box is concerned. A D/G or C/F box is played mainly in the lower octave, nearest the chin end. But a G/C box is played mainly in the upper octave nearest the floor end.

Yes - you can play a G/C box in the chin-end position, using exactly the same fingering as you would on a D/G, but the tune will come out sounding quite low pitched. Quite nice in some ways; the sound will be very mellow and low. But to play in the 'normal' range of the G/C, it is necessary to play mainly in the upper octave, the fingerings of which will be the equivalent to playing up in the 'dusty end' of the D/G, i.e. a slightly different sequence of pushes and pulls.
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Rees

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2018, 12:38:46 PM »

To clarify. If you play a tune in G on a B/C box, using the same fingering will result in A on a C#/D box.
Likewise if you play in G on a C#/D box, the same fingering will give F on a B/C box.

Even if you don't read music it's a great help to learn the names of the notes on each button whatever system you play.
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Lester

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2018, 12:41:16 PM »

Even if you don't read music it's a great help to learn the names of the notes on each button whatever system you play.
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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2018, 12:49:40 PM »

"I get that you are suffering from a handicap Edward.  >:E My sympathies! However I'm just not sure from your post whether it is from knowing music or not knowing music...  :|glug"

It all depends on where you're coming from, doesn't it? Mine is from NOT knowing music.
"If you wanted to play a tune in D"

Yes, I see what you're getting at there, but I meant to disregard the actual key, and just play the tune. You answered that part in your first two sentences, thanks.

Steve_freereeder;
Do you have an endless supply of spanners to throw into my works?  I'm struggling as it is, without further complications. Just wait till I come across you at Whitby, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr! (Just kidding, of course.)

Thanks also for your intervention, Mr Wesson. Learning which notes are where, is a job which is in hand and ongoing as I learn to do my own tuning. Slow progress, though.

Ditto to Mr Bailey.
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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2018, 12:50:50 PM »

Yes - you can play a G/C box in the chin-end position, using exactly the same fingering as you would on a D/G, but the tune will come out sounding quite low pitched.

Interesting and useful information, but irrelevant to the point I'm attempting to get across...  :|glug

(X-posted with Edward)
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mselic

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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2018, 01:13:49 PM »


Broadly correct, but there is a little more to it where a G/C box is concerned. A D/G or C/F box is played mainly in the lower octave, nearest the chin end. But a G/C box is played mainly in the upper octave nearest the floor end.

Yes - you can play a G/C box in the chin-end position, using exactly the same fingering as you would on a D/G, but the tune will come out sounding quite low pitched. Quite nice in some ways; the sound will be very mellow and low. But to play in the 'normal' range of the G/C, it is necessary to play mainly in the upper octave, the fingerings of which will be the equivalent to playing up in the 'dusty end' of the D/G, i.e. a slightly different sequence of pushes and pulls.

I suppose this must depend on the style of music you play (ie English?), because around here a G/C is not played mostly in the upper octave. The deeper sound is precisely what I like about a G/C, and I wouldn’t shift to a higher octave to avoid it. Also, around here, we don’t really see D/G boxes. I’ve only ever come across one, and I was surprised at just how high-pitched the G row is! I can see why you’d want to avoid playing in the upper octave there...
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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2018, 01:35:51 PM »

Even if you don't read music it's a great help to learn the names of the notes on each button whatever system you play.
This x 1000
I only have 23 buttons on mine.  >:E
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Re: Regarding the difference between systems?
« Reply #19 on: May 14, 2018, 01:48:24 PM »

Yes - you can play a G/C box in the chin-end position, using exactly the same fingering as you would on a D/G, but the tune will come out sounding quite low pitched.
Interesting and useful information, but irrelevant to the point I'm attempting to get across...  :|glug

I've known quite a few D/G players who have picked up a G/C assuming they will be able to play using the same D/G fingering straight away and who are dismayed to discover that they can't, because the sound comes out 'wrong'. You said:

Quote
Correct, fingering is the same. Just the keys change. Just as a D/G player can pick up a G/C box and play any of her tunes using exactly the same fingering and it'll sound fine. But in a different key.

But it won't necessarily 'sound fine'. Compared with a D/G, a G/C definitely has a different feel to the whole melodic and harmonic 'centre' (for want of a better word) of the instrument. So - it's hardly irrelevant to point this out. Quite the opposite.
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