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Author Topic: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted  (Read 913 times)

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jorden

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c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« on: March 26, 2019, 03:53:43 PM »

I'm struggling with finding a good fingering solution for this run in the Top of Maol polka (https://thesession.org/tunes/3454):

Last two bars of both parts is

e/f/g/e/ dB

On my c#d I have the f# as a magic note, so I should probably use it with the e/f/g part. First solution was to just play it on the row, but at speed I find it hard to make that sound right.

So maybe something like this?
e/f/g/e/ dB (f# outer row)
1 2 3 2  1 1


Any suggestions?

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richard.fleming

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 04:10:44 PM »

F# on the outer row without a doubt, somoother, easier.
« Last Edit: March 26, 2019, 05:35:45 PM by richard.fleming »
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Stiamh

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 06:21:27 PM »

That's a lot of buttons in a tight space in very little time, and I think it it all depends on the size of your hand and fingers. I have a student with big hands - his fingers are half as long again as mine are, and some of the fingering I suggest he really cannot cope with!

That said, like Richard, I'd use the outer row f# too. The way you have it there works fine for me. Another way you could try would be exactly the same except play the second note as well as the first with 1 (slide across).

e/f/g/e/ dB (f# outer row)
1 1 3 2  1 1

Another way - might work depending on finger dimensions - probably not for John Whelan  ;)

e/f/g/e/ dB (f# outer row)
2 3 2 1  2 1

Another way (altering the melody - hold on the to e and play a descending triplet)

e (3g/f/e/ dB (f# outer row)
2    3 3 2  1 1

Time for me to update my signature   (:)
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jorden

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2019, 09:09:00 PM »

Thanks guys. I could manage the first alternative, but not the one starting with the 2 finger. Maybe the buttons on the box are too small?  :|glug

Descending runs seem more difficult. When to shift your 3 or 2 finger etc. I alway end up shifting my 1 finger three times in a row or something silly like that. Playing slowly that works, but at greater speed not so much.
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Stiamh

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2019, 11:39:17 AM »

Thanks guys. I could manage the first alternative, but not the one starting with the 2 finger. Maybe the buttons on the box are too small?  :|glug

Descending runs seem more difficult. When to shift your 3 or 2 finger etc. I alway end up shifting my 1 finger three times in a row or something silly like that. Playing slowly that works, but at greater speed not so much.

You will see many experienced players shifting their first finger repeatedly. On the one hand there's nothing really wrong with that, and it's bound to happen, especially when you are playing tunes that you haven't particularly worked on.

On the other hand, my rule of thumb is that if I find myself shifting my index twice in a row, it's a sign that there is a better way of handling the situation, and analysing the offending passage carefully often yields eureka moments of how to do things in a more efficient and - more importantly - more secure manner.

Several good players recommend using the middle finger as the default shifting device, when a passage forces you to play two buttons with the same finger, and I have found this helpful, though without making a hard-and-fast rule about it.

Another thing I like to remind myself is that restricting yourself to two fingers often gets you out of trouble (I think I'll add that to my signature presently!). A recent example is the run of descending arpeggios in current tune of the month, The Origin of the World, which several contributors have highlighted as being tricky.

bg eB GE | af dA FD | gd BG DB, | CE Ac ec |

On C#/D, and hence the D row, the first two bars are easy and I would play both of them 32 13 21 (or 321 321). The next two bars are trickier on a D row because of the gaps between buttons, and after trying them a few times I realised that 21 21 21 | 21 21 21 | made the whole thing simple and sure-footed. For me anyway - each to his own.

Edited to put the 321s etc. in the correct order  :-[
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 11:45:23 AM by Stiamh »
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Anahata

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2019, 05:07:46 PM »

Another thing I like to remind myself is that restricting yourself to two fingers often gets you out of trouble

Thank you for that.
I have discovered recently that some passages are easier to play on three fingers than four, so why not restrict things further?
I look forward to giving it a try.
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richard.fleming

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #6 on: March 27, 2019, 06:29:28 PM »

Why not just use one finger? Certainly my attitude to all this two finger stuff. You've got four fingers, use 'em all I say.
Modified to add: I'm watching Joe Burke playing the Foxhunter on YouTube as I type. The most influential Irish box-player and teacher of his generation, to say the least. He's fast, his rhythm is perfect, his ornamentation is, if anything, a bit over the top, and there is great note density. How many fingers is he using? All four, quite clearly, even the little finger.
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 06:58:07 PM by richard.fleming »
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Stiamh

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #7 on: March 27, 2019, 07:11:29 PM »

Ah but Joe Burke doesn't play polkas - so whatever he does is totally irrelevant in this thread  ;)

Seriously though, to each his own, Richard. If you can do everything you want, as well as you want, as fast as you want, and as securely as you want with however many fingers you want, all well and good. It's when you find you can't do everything you want that reassessing your technique may prove useful.  :|glug
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richard.fleming

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #8 on: March 27, 2019, 07:32:48 PM »

Stiamh, Joe Burke notoriously doesn't do polkas, that is true. But the debate about how many fingers to use when playing the button box in general never seems to go away, so I dispute your suggestion that what I say is irrelevant. And if you watch Paudie O Connor from Kerry on YouTube playing Sliabh Luachra music on the BC box you'll see he uses all four too
« Last Edit: March 27, 2019, 07:36:25 PM by richard.fleming »
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jorden

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #9 on: March 27, 2019, 07:37:56 PM »

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Mike Hirst

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #10 on: March 27, 2019, 07:38:09 PM »

restricting yourself to two fingers often gets you out of trouble
I would absolutely agree with this. I devoted the first two months of this year to practicing playing my working repertoire using only two fingers. I have now resorted to using four fingers, but I would argue that precision, technique and understanding have all been improved through the process. I would add, also, that restricting playing to two fingers does not necessarily equate to forefinger and middle. Try other combinations. Little finger and ring is a difficult combination, but exercise will bring strength and the self imposed restriction will open new possibilities.
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Stiamh

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #11 on: March 27, 2019, 07:38:55 PM »

https://thesession.org/tunes/13203
Joe Burke's Polka

 ;)

Composed by Jackie Daly for the express purpose of winding Joe up, btw.
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Stiamh

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #12 on: March 27, 2019, 07:41:14 PM »

Stiamh, Joe Burke notoriously doesn't do polkas, that is true. But the debate about how many fingers to use when playing the button box in general never seems to go away, so I dispute your suggestion that what I say is irrelevant. And if you watch Paudie O Connor from Kerry on YouTube playing Sliabh Luachra music on the BC box you'll see he uses all four too

I was joking about the irrelevant bit, Richard. Hence the smiley. What I really think about what you said is in my next paragraph, which is - to sum up - to each his own.

I won't pretend I'm not somewhat gratified to see Mike Hirst's input though!
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jorden

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #13 on: April 09, 2019, 07:44:25 PM »

https://thesession.org/tunes/13203
Joe Burke's Polka

 ;)

Composed by Jackie Daly for the express purpose of winding Joe up, btw.

In the latest Sé Mo Laoch, featuring Jackie Daly, he plays it for Joe Burke live. (tg4.ie)
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Alan Pittwood

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Re: c#d fingering Top of Maol polka help wanted
« Reply #14 on: April 09, 2019, 08:40:39 PM »

Here is a direct link to S8 - E3 of Sé Mo Laoch [TG4] 7 April 2019, dealing with the music of Jackie Daly

https://tg4.ie/ga/clair/se-mo-laoch/

just scroll down the page a little to get to this programme.   Scroll down further to see the other musicians featured in this series, including the late Alec Finn.
« Last Edit: April 09, 2019, 09:03:40 PM by Alan Pittwood »
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