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Author Topic: Getting started with GC  (Read 2137 times)

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-Y-

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #20 on: May 06, 2019, 05:26:25 PM »

It all sounds sensible. I would, however, choose your key not on the sonority but on the type of pieces you might like to learn. If you like English pieces, then DG is probably wiser, if you like French, then GC works well. You can of course apply any learning to any keyed box, but it does make some sense to pick according to style.

I don't really understand this argument. Our instruments are transposing instruments. True, the pitch will change depending on the tuning, and it may not produce exactly the same effect, but if you go for a fourth-apart system, the style with which you play is by far more important than the pitch of the instrument (the same cannot be told for semitone-apart system).
You could very well play French style pieces with a D/G instrument, it will only sound higher. It may be related to the fact that, broadly speaking, the key of any tune does not really matter in French traditional music (whereas it's not the case for Irish music, I don't know how British music is in that respect), you just play it at the pitch that suits you.
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Y.

Planchée, folk music from Eastern BrittanyIsidore et les sans-soucis, folk music from Québec

(please excuse any misspelling or odd wording, english is not my mother tongue)

playandteach

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #21 on: May 06, 2019, 05:34:15 PM »

It all sounds sensible. I would, however, choose your key not on the sonority but on the type of pieces you might like to learn. If you like English pieces, then DG is probably wiser, if you like French, then GC works well. You can of course apply any learning to any keyed box, but it does make some sense to pick according to style.

I don't really understand this argument.
It's not really an argument, just a view, and for two reasons. The first is that tunes that go quite high on GC boxes (Chevaux de Bois for example - this is David Henley playing from this forum) can sound very squeaky on DG boxes. The second reason is that if you know you like the music from one of those two countries then you might as well get a box that means you can play along with youtube recordings, even if you don't want to play with others. It also helps you learn from video where you get a good idea of which buttons to use.
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Serafini R2D2 GC, Castagnari Sander DG

Dick Rees

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #22 on: May 06, 2019, 07:05:42 PM »

I have generally played solo or been the band leader, so I play the pitch I like and the fiddlers have to lump it.  As a fiddler myself that doesn't seem like a big deal.

 I think there are a few other issues in box preference:

1.  For D/G you have 3rd or 4th button start.

2.  LH/bass layout as to how the bass notes relate to each other.  I find the C low of the G/C to have a     better feel for comping and bass runs whereas the D/G seems "jumpy" when instead of a one step interval I get something an octave off.

3.  Club layout/gleichton.  I'll admit I like it, especially for O'Carolan tunes and anything needing that one "extra" chord/bass on the pull.

But I'll admit to loving the challenge of being able to play everything on one 21/8 box...in one way or another.  If I had to play in "other peoples keys" I'd just take my little Weltmeister 60 bass or a Melodica.
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Kon

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #23 on: May 07, 2019, 02:16:53 AM »

This is getting beyond my abilities to reply to everyone individually, but just wanted to say I really appreciate everybody's input and am reading along attentively - thank you for your comments and suggestions.
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GC Erica

Peadar

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #24 on: May 07, 2019, 08:03:46 PM »

Don't worry. It's part of the nature of this forum. If you scroll up you'll probably find that most of the questions bear no relation to the question you originally posed.

If you haven't decided on your ideal/immediately attainable starter box by now I suggest going down to your nearest music shop and buying a "Chanson" child's button accordion ( The Busker is an alternative model...which appears to come off the same production line). Either way it will set you back about  £25 (£22 for the box and £3 for the busfare to the music shop).

For that modest investment you get a small but genuine 2 octave box in C. Sure it has limited capabilities, but you can use it to learn to play a scale , use the air button and play a few simple tunes. Do not under-rate "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". It is also a box you can let your mates try without too much anxiety.

PS I am the proud owner of a Chanson...so is my 6 year old grandson.
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Howard Jones

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #25 on: May 08, 2019, 12:15:23 PM »

1.  For D/G you have 3rd or 4th button start.

I think it's probably worth explaining this.  Because the D/G is higher pitched than other melodeons, we tend to play in the lower octave, whereas a G/C for example is usually played in the higher octave.  This means we may find we don't have some of the notes when the tune drops too low. 

Starting the scale on the 3rd button, which is standard, you have the choice of having the top (chin end) buttons tuned as either lower notes in the scale or as accidentals.  At some stage in your playing you will find you need both.  Starting the scale on the 4th button allows you to have both a pair of low notes and a pair of accidentals, at the expense of some very high notes at the knee end which you'll probably never require.  This is so useful it is starting to become the standard D/G layout with some makers.

Kon

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #26 on: May 08, 2019, 03:16:53 PM »

Thanks for explaining that in more detail Howard! I must admit it did go over my head at the time. I assume the same problem doesn't arise on a GC, for the reason you mentioned (playing in the higher octave) - does that mean a 3rd button start with accidentals on the chin end are standard on GC?
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Dick Rees

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #27 on: May 08, 2019, 04:44:02 PM »

Thanks for explaining that in more detail Howard! I must admit it did go over my head at the time. I assume the same problem doesn't arise on a GC, for the reason you mentioned (playing in the higher octave) - does that mean a 3rd button start with accidentals on the chin end are standard on GC?

Yes.
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Kon

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #28 on: June 19, 2019, 10:09:33 AM »

An update on this as promised:

I have bought Nigel's old GC Erica and am pleased to bits with it, and I had a lovely time at the North-East melodeon playgroup, where I learned to play a tune thanks to heartshaped1's excelllent tuition.

Now my plan is to get on with practising and learning a second tune. I have just ordered Pignol & Milleret Vol. 1 and hope to steadily work my way through that, supplemented with tuition and/or playing with others as or when opportunities arise.

Thanks again for your help and the friendly introduction to the forum!
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GC Erica

Michael Montcombroux

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #29 on: June 19, 2019, 04:31:01 PM »

Kon, as a GC player myself (Castagnari Brancu), I followed this threat with interest. My take on the Milleret books is that they are excellent but often challenging (read quirky) for a beginner. I gravitated to the more user-friendly Yann Dour Accordéon diatonique, Le livre du débutant (vol 1 of 2 in French and English) available from:
www.editionscaruhel.wix.com/site-officiel
The Yann Dour learning curve is far less steep and, in my humble opinion, much more fun, without wishing to knock P&M.
Michael
« Last Edit: June 19, 2019, 04:34:13 PM by Michael Montcombroux »
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Castagnari Brincu G/C

Kon

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2019, 09:06:57 PM »

Thanks for the input Michael! I had stumbled across Yann Dour, and my current plan is to buy Le livre du débutant once I get fed up or bored with M&P - just figured I may as well start with one, and I am at least theoretically drawn to M&P's apparently more technical approach. We shall see!

If you have any other advice for starting out in GC I am all ears!
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GC Erica

richard.fleming

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #31 on: June 20, 2019, 08:46:56 AM »

All the difficulties of choosing which system - which might have huge implications for your future as a melodeon player - would be put off if you chose to play a one-row. The advice you get here is a peculiar mixture because while people are often knowledgeable and want to be helpful, most people think the system they play is the best way to go. I have strong views too but I'll not trouble you with them because what you need is to get to a point where you can see for yourself which way to go, and playing a one-row might keep you going as an aspiring player while you work this out. It might be cheaper,  it wouldn't matter too much which key it was in because playing up and down the row can be transferred to any box, and whatever you learn will never have to be unlearned in the future. And don't base your choice on the idea that you will be playing by yourself, because you are almost inevitably going to find  that playing with other people is where you get the real buzz.
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playandteach

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #32 on: June 20, 2019, 10:49:59 AM »

Richard, I think Kon has made a start by buying a GC box, but I agree that with my own playing the GC style of French tunes in A minor leaves holes in the push pull techniques that might be supported by one row practise. However, in the mean time there's plenty to get on with on the GC.
Kon, do let me know if I can be of help, either in suggesting tunes or in any other way. GC is my thing, although I'm not as experienced as many players here.
I recently did a couple of videos on playing right hand chords to learn where the notes are.
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Serafini R2D2 GC, Castagnari Sander DG

Kon

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Re: Getting started
« Reply #33 on: June 20, 2019, 03:42:57 PM »

Thanks playandteach!

I really enjoy your videos, particularly your own compositions, and I have got those exercises earmarked to incorporate into my practice, thanks. They seem like a useful way to get to know the keyboard and also to start adding RH harmonies to melodies, which I enjoy in the music I listen to.

But for now I think getting a couple of tunes working right and left hand together might take priority. Thought maybe that's the wrong way round to think about it?

How did you get started then? I hear that you are/have been a professional musician, so your starting point will have been very different to mine now, but I saw in a discussion of the Milleret and Pignol books elsewhere that you didn't get those until you'd been playing for a while and skipped straight to Vol. 2. So I'm curious what you used to get started on the instrument - tuition? Tunes? And whether you have any tips on habits to encourage or avoid in practicing.

In particular, if you have any recommendations of starter-friendly tunes with a French-y feel I would be very grateful, as most of the beginner tunes I've seen so far fall fairly squarely into Morris/English folk territory, which is less my taste. To complicate matters slightly I am currently without a G# at the moment, not sure how much that will restrict the repertoire (my box has low notes instead of accidentals, which I will be changing soon...).
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GC Erica

playandteach

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Re: Getting started with GC
« Reply #34 on: June 20, 2019, 07:02:34 PM »

A minor is the base key for a lot of French stuff, and 3/4 is the most common time signature of the stuff I started playing - of course there are huge numbers of other dance tunes in different time signatures. But for me I waded in with waltzes and mazurkas. As a Delicq fan I played some of his very early in my learning curve.
I also used the Loffet site for pieces which come with tablature. Even if you are a fluent reader this can help as it will give you an indication of whether to try the G chord on the push or pull etc.
If you pm me your email I can send a bunch of stuff through. Probably at the weekend. I was a clarinet player by profession for about 30 years. It is surprisingly similar in right hand shape. Although I do play the piano, I never found the piano accordion sat well in the right hand - a very different hand position, but the clarinet 'hand' slips perfectly onto a melodeon.
If you're keen to get going before I can send you stuff I'd have a look at the Bear Dance, Valse a Ollu, En avant Blonde and Valse Triste.
Here's Loffet's site.
http://diato.org/tablat.htm
Don't click on the navigation link, it just gives you midi files for some reason, just scroll down until you see the tunes, but I've attached those tunes from the site anyway.
For what it's worth, because I never saw the 2 row melodeon as 2 separate keys, the cross rowing is entirely ergonomic. My fingers don't even feel that they go across, it is just like moving up a piano keyboard, and it still surprises me when I see my hand in the video screen changing rows, because they just feel like one continuous scale (first bar of Valse a Ollu for example).
Good luck.
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Kon

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Re: Getting started with GC
« Reply #35 on: June 20, 2019, 07:25:44 PM »

Thanks for this P&T! Will PM you too, though this should see me through for a while. (And all without G# too!)

Really appreciate your support. That looks like a lovely selection of starter tunes, and the tablature is really helpful as reading the music and figuring out where it fits on the box are still very much two separate steps for me.

Interesting comment re cross-rowing. I will see if I can use that idea. The one or two tunes I can play so far are more or less on the one row, but given that long-term I am more interested in music played across rows it makes sense to me to disregard the concept of separate rows, as you suggest.
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GC Erica

Kon

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Re: Getting started with GC
« Reply #36 on: July 23, 2019, 10:53:45 PM »

Have shared a first recording to the "Beginners Showcase", wanted to link to it here in case anyone's interested. Thanks for everybody's help in getting me started!

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,9228.msg288843.html#msg288843
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GC Erica
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