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Author Topic: what can I play?  (Read 2423 times)

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Reece Johnson

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what can I play?
« on: June 08, 2019, 12:59:47 AM »

hello.

i'm new to the melodeon. when looking for songs to play I cannot find anything that fits within the range of my
bass even after transposing. i'm looking for songs other than the stereotypical irish , English , Scottish reels etc.
one of the tunes I want to learn is the theme from monkey island. and I have seen it done on this video (video below) but I cannot
figure out how to play it as well as what the limitations of my instrument are. with piano accordion its a matter of "oh
I need a cm" and that's it a cm is there but with melodeon a lot of the chords are majors.

I currently own a hohner corona 3r  g/c/f although i'm looking into getting a club tuned one or might even try to get my g/c/f
retuned although I think that will just be more costly however having more pre-made basses sounds pretty good to me.


but yeah what are my options for this box?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qk7CPvl4SQU
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Lester

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2019, 07:46:14 AM »

On a G/C/F you can play any of the ~500 tunes from HERE albeit in different keys as they are mostly played on a D/G. The tunes are almost entirely played up and down the row so will move from one instrument to another.

Sebastian

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2019, 08:56:36 AM »

when looking for songs to play I cannot find anything that fits within the range of my bass even after transposing.

I currently own a hohner corona 3r  g/c/f
With a GCF you can play all you want. First step is to understand how to form minor chords on the bass side: You combine the bass note of the minor chord with the major chord a minor third up. For example: to form a G minor chord you play the G bass and the Bb chord. Both exist on the pull as you need it to play in D minor.

Could you provide the concrete notes for a tune and write where exactly you have a problem?

Rob Lands

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2019, 09:06:09 AM »

Are you talking about your Bass voice range?  CF is a reasonable Key for the higher male voice.  If so, its a question of working out what keys/ note range you are happy with first.
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playandteach

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2019, 09:08:05 AM »

Could you list a bunch of tunes you are interested in learning and then we might be able to help. We might suggest alternative chords or alternative keys or similar songs etc.
If the one device you find yourself liking (which I suspect may be the case) is modulations to distant keys, then that can cause problems. I'm not sure how a club system will improve matters. Depending on your experience on other instruments, willingness to stick at it and budget maybe a 12 bass is worth considering.
Most of us picked up the melodeon because of hearing someone play something we liked. Who would you wish to play like?
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Eshed

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2019, 10:23:29 AM »

Hi Reece,
The above tune specifically is played on a C/F club but uses an Eb chord which isn't available on a G/C/F. I'm pretty sure you could transpose it to Am and then you have Bb (both chord and note).
You still don't have the Fm chord, but I'm faking it as well (actually Bbm on the scale of Dm) by just pressing the bass button.

I don't think the club box allows that much more than a three row one, so if you do get a club box you will soon find new tunes you can't play. The diatonic boxes are ridiculously limited in terms of bass accompaniment (if, like me, you care about that) and moderately limited in terms of notes available.
Well, except B/C/C# I suppose, but I think that's an entirely different kind of beast.
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I'm playing all the wrong notes but not necessarily in the wrong order.

Sebastian

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2019, 03:57:59 PM »

The diatonic boxes are ridiculously limited in terms of bass accompaniment
I would like to disagree a bit to this sentence (not to the rest of what Eshed wrote; I agree particularly on the idea to try to play Monkey Island in A on a GCF box).

The club bass layout provides the three main chords for three major keys and one minor key (+ many additional chords as well). The three-row bass layout provides the three main chords for three major keys and two minor keys.

On a GCF you have all necessary chords to play in the key of G major, in the key of C major, in the key of F major as well as in the key of D minor and the key of A minor.

(A CF Club box is for playing in the keys of C major, F major, Bb major [hence the Eb major chord mentioned by Eshed] and D minor.)
« Last Edit: June 08, 2019, 04:00:44 PM by Sebastian »
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Dick Rees

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2019, 04:48:54 PM »

In playing music for nearly 70 years, I find limitations in the instrumental mechanics and in my understanding/perception of the tunes.  There are simple pieces which lose a lot when played with both hands on a diatonic box...and there are seemingly complex tunes which can be done quite well IF you let the box tell you how it wants to go.

We learn tunes in a genre or style and conciously or subconciously establish patterns in our playing as we build repertoire.  Then there are those moments when we somehow come upon something that breaks a pattern in a surprising and significant way, a fortuitous accident which brings the whole process into sharper focus and informs all which has come before.

I live for these "can do" moments.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2019, 05:22:04 PM »

Eshed seems to be coping ok.

A club box only has 8 basses, same as simple  ordinary two rows.

Maybe a Handry would suit you?

https://folkworlpian.com/handry-44-18

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Sebastian

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2019, 05:51:14 PM »

A club box only has 8 basses, same as simple  ordinary two rows.
That’s wrong.

Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2019, 06:03:16 PM »

A club box only has 8 basses, same as simple  ordinary two rows.
That’s wrong.

I am happy to stand corrected. I should have said "the club boxes I have seen".
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Greg Smith
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Theo

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2019, 06:17:14 PM »

Usually club boxes have 8 basses but the layout is different from standard 8 bass on a two row.
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Sebastian

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2019, 06:31:36 PM »

I should have said "the club boxes I have seen".
No. You saw eight bass buttons like on a two row, but the note layout is different. Speaking in D/G terms: On the two buttons, where a two-row D/G melodeon has the C bass and C major chord (on push and on pull), a Club melodeon has the C bass and the C major chord only on the pull, but has on push an F bass and an F major chord. This F major chord is the missing chord for playing in the key of C major.

A Club box is de facto a 'three tonalities' melodeon for playing in the three related tonalities of D, G and C, just like a three-row accordion in DGC. (Well, in fact, Club accordions are mostly in the keys of CF(Bb) and BbEb(Ab), but the internal relations stay the same.) What can be done on a Club box can (grosso modo) also be done on a three-row and vice versa. The differences concern essentially fingering patterns and amount of buttons/reeds/weight.

GPS

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2019, 08:02:35 PM »

there are seemingly complex tunes which can be done quite well IF you let the box tell you how it wants to go.



Spot on!    (:) (Need a "thumbs up" emoji!)

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2019, 12:09:17 AM »

Not quite the same as "ANY complex tune can be played on a two row" - the trick is (a) to choose your tunes carefully and (b) learn how to fake around chords you don't have.
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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #15 on: June 09, 2019, 12:22:24 AM »

Are we in danger of putting off a newcomer to both the forum and the instrument with confusing subtleties? I'd say welcome to a great bunch of experienced and friendly souls who are going to guide you through this bizarre but rewarding journey. You will probably find that you eventually embrace the limitations and contrary to what you currently think you may even get to enjoy the traditional repertoire. But even if you don't, your views and questions will always be welcome. You are tomorrow's expert.
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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #16 on: June 09, 2019, 09:22:06 AM »

Hi Reece, welcome to the forum. It may be worth investigating a 3 row 12 bass box with a stop to take the thirds out of the chords. Playing across keys is certainly possible to some extent.
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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #17 on: June 09, 2019, 09:25:22 AM »

Hey, hey, Reece. You stirred things up a bit! Nice one.

From what you say,  you already have a bunch of musical skills on the PA. What is you repertoire like on that and what made you feel you fancied something different? Any examples? This might make sensible comment easier.
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Reece Johnson

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #18 on: June 09, 2019, 06:06:02 PM »

sry for not responding I've been real busy.


my repertoire on PA is huge so there's some things that can be easily play eg. chicken dance. however other things not so much. one song I would love to learn is the theme from monkey island and the le chuck theme. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YjTV5TZLjJw&t=2s) although this one I'm unsure of as I haven't really looked yet. the main problem with songs is the lack of minor chords. eg. an easy song on accordion is katyusha but on gcf I have a d minor and a minor but no g minor. etc.

as for the instrument itself I like the bisonoric nature of it. as well as the fact that they are quite clever in that with a cgf or club they add reversals on so you can play in either direction.in total its must a cool instrument.

especially with the monkey theme i'm currently learning it on PA so it's not really a big thing but owning a instrument which sort of fits the tune (pirates) is just kinda cool.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #19 on: June 09, 2019, 08:00:22 PM »

sry for not responding I've been real busy.

...the main problem with songs is the lack of minor chords. eg. an easy song on accordion is katyusha but on gcf I have a d minor and a minor but no g minor. etc...


The normal way of coping with missing minor chords is to play the root note of the chord on the bass keys, coupled with the major chord whose root is a minor  third up from the minor chord you want. Clear as mud?

In practice, this means that, to get a G minor, you play the bass G note plus the Bb major chord. I think these are both available on your instrument (I am a DG player, so I am going by the layouts available from the melnet home page).

The notes you get by doing this are G, Bb, D and F. When combined, the chord you get is actually Gminor7. This is accepted as a near enough compromise by the vast majority of melodeon players. 

The same principle can be applied to get the other key missing minor chords you are  likely to need playing the easily accessible minor modes (the aeolian and dorian) of the fundemental keys of G, C and F.

For instance you get Dm7 by playing D bass with F major, you get Am7 by playing A bass with C major.
You soon get into the habit of doing this.

Of course, this only works where you have the bass combinations available in the same direction. I don't know for sure what chords you have. I'm looking at this layout http://forum.melodeon.net/files/site/gcf31corona.gif It may be nothing like yours.

[Edit: Just noticed you already have a Dm and an Am, but the principle still applies. Anyway, the m7 gives variety, which makes for a spicey life. You are likely to find a bit of creativity like this useful]
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 08:09:24 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Greg Smith
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