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Author Topic: Going it Alone  (Read 2518 times)

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Gromit

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #20 on: March 29, 2019, 05:49:36 PM »

Quote
I'm also trying to finger switch (there's probably a correct term) as much as I can mostly because it makes sense to my brain to do so

I tried finger switching, sliding, cross fingering and eventually came up with what works for me ie. a bit of everything which allows me to have my fingers in the right position for the next notes.


A few years ago I read (on his site) that Damien Connolly was planning on producing a C#D version of his book but I've no idea what's happened to it, might be worth contacting him.
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Stiamh

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #21 on: March 29, 2019, 08:57:52 PM »

A few years ago I read (on his site) that Damien Connolly was planning on producing a C#D version of his book but I've no idea what's happened to it, might be worth contacting him.

He told me a while back he'd given up the idea of doing a C#/D book - I think he was quailing before the prospect of having to do the same amount of work as the B&C one had involved. He was then thinking of doing video-only C#/D tutorials but that project must be on the back burner, because this was several years ago.
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richard.fleming

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2019, 09:07:14 AM »

I've read a lot here about people warning against getting stuck in a rut of only playing down the rows and not across. Others suggest playing a single row then adapting to cross row playing. Lots of opinion on the subject it seems. I'm not even considering basses. Hah

Ignore the stuff about whether to play up and down the rows or to do 'cross-rowing'. That is pretty much an English DG notion; you don't actually have any choice. An Irish tune even if nominally in D is quite likely to have a note or two that you can only find on the C#  row, and the sooner you get used to that the better. (The College Groves, for example, which has a C natural that you can only get on the C# row). And the keys of G, or A, of course, will  always have some notes you won't find on the D row row. And there are many tunes in other keys. To talk about 'up and down the row' is like saying you'll only play the white notes on the piano. I'd start by playing tunes in D and G and A, and get used to using both rows. It may help to think of it like a piano but with the black notes on the outside,   Also play around on the keyboard to find where a note on one row is duplicated on the other. Look at the keyboard layout charts on this forum, but also get physically used to knowing where they are, because they may give you an easier option in a tricky passage. And my advice would be not to overthink about which fingers to use; do what comes naturally; other people's advice is based on their fingers and nervous system, not yours. The sooner you can play while thinking about the tune and not about where you fingers are the better.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2019, 09:50:16 AM by richard.fleming »
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Old Paolo Sopranis in C#/D and D/D#

Pat McInnis

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2019, 04:01:53 PM »

Ignore the stuff about whether to play up and down the rows or to do 'cross-rowing'. That is pretty much an English DG notion; you don't actually have any choice. An Irish tune even if nominally in D is quite likely to have a note or two that you can only find on the C#  row, and the sooner you get used to that the better. (The College Groves, for example, which has a C natural that you can only get on the C# row). And the keys of G, or A, of course, will  always have some notes you won't find on the D row row. And there are many tunes in other keys. To talk about 'up and down the row' is like saying you'll only play the white notes on the piano. I'd start by playing tunes in D and G and A, and get used to using both rows. It may help to think of it like a piano but with the black notes on the outside,   Also play around on the keyboard to find where a note on one row is duplicated on the other. Look at the keyboard layout charts on this forum, but also get physically used to knowing where they are, because they may give you an easier option in a tricky passage. And my advice would be not to overthink about which fingers to use; do what comes naturally; other people's advice is based on their fingers and nervous system, not yours. The sooner you can play while thinking about the tune and not about where you fingers are the better.

Overthink? Me? It's like you've known me my whole life. Some great advice here. I really am at the "baby steps" phase of the journey but tips like this will hopefully stay with me to help burn the good habits into my head. One of the big things i've been working on is not looking down when I play. Not only does it look silly and hurt my neck but it also helps me to feel where the notes are instead of looking for them. Also, learning tunes that I already know on the whistle will probably help as well. I need to resist the urge to get ahead of myself. It's like driving with your brakes on.
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george garside

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2019, 04:57:57 PM »

before learning 'tunes' in DG & A I would suggest those 3 scales are learned and practised  so the fingers know the 'route' without the need for conscious thought ( more or less!). i.e. learn scale of G and then have a go at G tunes, then same for D then A rather than learning the 3 scales before having a go at tunes.

Then have a go at simple tunes  played very slowly so you have time to sort out the fingereing that best suits the chosen tune(s) bearing in mind that a different tune (in the same key) may work better with different fingering and also  that different parts of  a tune may best suite the use of 2, 3 or 4 fingers and that there are no hard and fast rules to adhere to other than making absolutely sure you ALWAYS have a spare finger available for the next note , be it higher, lower or at t'other end of the keyboardor on t'other row

george

george
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jorden

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2019, 05:42:19 PM »

The sooner you can play while thinking about the tune and not about where you fingers are the better.

My experience is that I can only start thinking about the tune *after* I have found a workable solution for the fingering...
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george garside

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2019, 07:53:53 PM »

But how do you find a workable solution to the fingering without thinking about the tune??

george
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boxer

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2019, 08:36:35 PM »

IMO the tune (whatever instrument you best remember it being played on) should be firmly embedded in your brain before you even pick the box up.
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richard.fleming

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2019, 11:58:57 AM »

The sooner you can play while thinking about the tune and not about where you fingers are the better.

My experience is that I can only start thinking about the tune *after* I have found a workable solution for the fingering...

I guess I mean the feeling that the tune goes straight from your thoughts and back in through your ears without your being conscious of your fingers at all. Probably the zen of box playing!
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Old Paolo Sopranis in C#/D and D/D#

george garside

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #29 on: March 31, 2019, 12:56:10 PM »

IMO the tune (whatever instrument you best remember it being played on) should be firmly embedded in your brain before you even pick the box up.

indeed - it should be humable or whistleable

george
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Stiamh

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #30 on: March 31, 2019, 03:10:45 PM »

My experience is that I can only start thinking about the tune *after* I have found a workable solution for the fingering...
I guess I mean the feeling that the tune goes straight from your thoughts and back in through your ears without your being conscious of your fingers at all. Probably the zen of box playing!

I think I use a combination of approaches definitely including the zen one you allude to Richard. But in between bouts of zen sartori or whatever it is, I think paying attention to fingering is extremely worthwhile. What you learn in doing so goes to feed the zen current, certainly.

George said something on here, probably at least a decade ago, that I found very useful, too, as another approach - something like "develop the brain-button connection rather than the finger-button connection" - which I took to mean that if you knew which note or button you wanted to play, the brain would make automatic choices for you which spared you the agony of thinking about fingering while you are engaged in playing (as opposed to practising) a tune. Bit of a lightbulb moment for me, thank you George :|glug which I threw into the mix along with fingering analysis and playing by zen/sink or swim. Whatever helps, whatever gets you closer to your goal...
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playandteach

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #31 on: March 31, 2019, 03:46:21 PM »

before learning 'tunes' in DG & A I would suggest those 3 scales are learned and practised  so the fingers know the 'route' without the need for conscious thought ( more or less!). i.e. learn scale of G and then have a go at G tunes, then same for D then A rather than learning the 3 scales before having a go at tunes.

george
George, I know that typed comments can often seem to have a hint of criticism, so please understand that I am asking this in genuine bafflement of how to practise scales, because I'd like to but can't see my way through this issue:
There is a vast amount of options for fingering even a single octave scale, all of which depend on chord choice. Unless I'm mistaken, there is only one note that I don't have a choice about in any one scale: in G major on a DG box (I know you know this already) I can't play the C on the outside row. Everything else is flexible, so what do I practise? Once we get onto different keys, the issue gets broadened, because I only have one G chord choice, but 2 D chord options.
GAB over a G chord is a different fingering to GAB over an E minor chord. (Again I know you already know this).
Has anyone got these scale patterns? I tried writing some but gave up at the huge choice of options.
So how do you practise (which means a repetitive action) something that keeps changing?

If anyone could come up with a set of precise exercises which embed the scale knowledge I'd willingly practise them.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #32 on: March 31, 2019, 08:30:55 PM »

...There is a vast amount of options for fingering even a single octave scale, all of which depend on chord choice. Unless I'm mistaken, there is only one note that I don't have a choice about in any one scale: in G major on a DG box (I know you know this already) I can't play the C on the outside row. Everything else is flexible, so what do I practise? Once we get onto different keys, the issue gets broadened, because I only have one G chord choice, but 2 D chord options.
GAB over a G chord is a different fingering to GAB over an E minor chord. (Again I know you already know this).
Has anyone got these scale patterns? I tried writing some but gave up at the huge choice of options.
So how do you practise (which means a repetitive action) something that keeps changing?
A couple things occur to me reading this:
Yes - it's useful to practice scales to develop fluency of fingerings, and you know your way around the box well enough now to be able to identify those places where options are several and those places where options are limited, e.g. as you have mentioned, the C natural is only available on the G-row pull. Another obvious one is that C# is only avalable on the D-row pull.

For complete scales, try to become fluent using both cross-row patterns and also just push-and-pull, up-and-down the rows. Also, especially when doing the latter, practise using the full range of the keyboard - we all know how the fingering patterns change from the lower to the upper octave.

However, possibly more directly useful than complete scales is to practise fragments of scales, because these will crop up over and over again in different tunes with different rhythmic and harmonic setings. The GAB scale fragment against G major and E minor chords which you mentioned is a good example:

With a G major chord you can (i) play GAB smoothly on the cross row push or (ii) by bellows waggling entirely on the G-row. For (ii) you can't have the G-major chord sounding on the middle note pull A. So you have to break the rhythm of the LH bass/chord. This immediately gives a different rhythmic feel, and lends itself for example to a 6/8 rum-ty tum-ty bass-gap-chord bass-gap-chord rhythm of a jig.

Similarly with the E minor chord. Smooth cross-row of the GAB on the pull allows you to have the chord and/or bass going continuously like a drone, or by waggling up-and-down on the D-row allows you to play the rhythmic jig rhythm as above.

Practising the same GAB fragments in the higher octaves too gives you additional versatility.

You can apply the same reasoning to other scale fragments. Another commonly encountered example would be ABC against an Am7 chord or a D chord. Other useful fragments might be up-down GAG, or down-up GF#G, again possible by both cross-row or waggling, but which give different rhythmic effects and chordal possibilities. Experiment, say in the key of G major, finding all sorts of three- or four-note fragments and working out which bellows/fingering styles give you which effects.

So - to summarise, because there are so many possibilitles of complete scale fingerings and row choices, it's perhaps more useful to become fluent with scale fragments so you can begin to mix and match them at will, giving you different rhythmic and chordal options and styles. 

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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #33 on: March 31, 2019, 08:48:55 PM »

Did you decide to go DG or semitone, Pat? I can't see a post where you said what you'd decided to do, though I may have missed it. It's probably worth committing yourself to one system for now, because the approach is different for each and so are the details of the skills involved.
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george garside

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #34 on: March 31, 2019, 08:49:30 PM »

or as the extremely talented tony hall put it . Keep a note going with one finger and then try pressing other buttons until it makes a sound you like - then practice and remember that combination of notes - or words to that effect

george
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Pat McInnis

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #35 on: March 31, 2019, 11:02:02 PM »

Did you decide to go DG or semitone, Pat? I can't see a post where you said what you'd decided to do, though I may have missed it. It's probably worth committing yourself to one system for now, because the approach is different for each and so are the details of the skills involved.

I did not switch to DG. I stepped away for a day or two and the thread went a little sideways. In a good way mind you. I'm trying my best to follow what the heavy hitters on the forum are talking about but it's a little advanced for me. As long as people are learning from the info provided then it seems like a good thread.

I'm committed to playing C#D but have been messing about with my GC box since it's in nicer tune than my C#D and I'm just playing on single rows at this point.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #36 on: March 31, 2019, 11:10:41 PM »

I'm committed to playing C#D but have been messing about with my GC box since it's in nicer tune than my C#D and I'm just playing on single rows at this point.

I suspected so. You can always be like George and play both systems, but I am convinced the way forward is to commit yourself at this stage in your playing. Stiamh seems to have  been giving you giving the best advice.
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Greg Smith
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Pat McInnis

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #37 on: April 01, 2019, 02:28:50 AM »


[/quote]
I suspected so. You can always be like George and play both systems, but I am convinced the way forward is to commit yourself at this stage in your playing. Stiamh seems to have  been giving you giving the best advice.
[/quote]

Yes, he is the Yoda to my Skywalker thus far.  ::)
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #38 on: April 01, 2019, 09:16:49 AM »

Quote
I suspected so. You can always be like George and play both systems, but I am convinced the way forward is to commit yourself at this stage in your playing. Stiamh seems to have  been giving you giving the best advice.
Quote
Yes, he is the Yoda to my Skywalker thus far.  ::)

Re-reading your original post, I am impressed by your Early Onset MAD, by the way.  One thing I would suggest is that you get your C#/D box fettled so that your instrument can become a friend you can you can work with, rather than fight. It will make a big difference to your enjoyment level and will  speed up your learning.
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Greg Smith
Is not the space between Heaven and Earth like a bellows?
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george garside

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Re: Going it Alone
« Reply #39 on: April 01, 2019, 10:29:57 AM »

I'm committed to playing C#D but have been messing about with my GC box since it's in nicer tune than my C#D and I'm just playing on single rows at this point.

 
 If playing on single rows the treble end works just the same on both semitone and 4th aprt boxes eg C#D, DG etc as eg a D row is a D row etc etc.  The difference  is that the semitone box  is in theory able to play all 12 keys but that would require great skill - but several keys other than the on the row keys are fairly easy to play. 

The 4th aprt boxes tend to be played mostly in the home (on the row) keys  with some people playing mostly 'on the row' and others 'row crossing to achieve better bass harmony.  Whether or not to 'row cross' is a choice that depends largely on the type of music being played.

The differences between the two systems  is  not that great  as both need mastery of the common 2 notes per button which is  shared by all so called 'diatonic' boxes.  However as others have said it makes sense to fully get the hang of one or t'other first rather than trying to learn both at the same time.  In a sense playing on the row on a semitone box is not utilising its capabilities but is obviously ok if ,eg you want to just play in C# or D or B & C or whatever.

george

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