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Author Topic: what can I play?  (Read 2138 times)

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Dick Rees

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #20 on: June 09, 2019, 08:25:58 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]

Exactly.

Then there are a half-dozen or so playing tricks to overcome the seeming contradictions of differing directions for bass notes and triads as well as working your arrangement and phrasing to raise expectations for a particular chord and then make it appear to be there when you simply thicken the RH and/or substitute a beat of LH silence or use only a light percussive button flip rather than a triad.

A lot of the "suggestion by phrasing" involves how you set up the RH.  Then, too, anticipating or delaying a melody note by half a beat can leave you room to fit in something in the LH which if both hands sync to the beat would be less functional.

There's a lot of sleight of hand and auditory trickery which can be brought to bear.  An implication can be as good as the note/sound itself if you set up the expectation by arrangement.

I would recommend finding and studying pieces of interest played on various diatonic boxes to focus on how experienced players approach things.  Study what can and is being done before trying to adapt your chromatic experience to a diatonic approach.  It really is a different instrument, not a lesser instrument.  Open yourself to it.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 09:19:16 PM by Dick Rees »
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #21 on: June 09, 2019, 09:23:57 PM »


...There's a lot of sleight of hand and auditory trickery which can be brought to bear.  An implication can be as good as the note/sound itself if you set up the expectation b arrangement.


Anahata is a master of this. It's worth having a root around for some of his videos. One of him playing F chords on a DG comes to mind. I still don't really know where his F chords come from. I think it's voodoo.
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Anahata

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #22 on: June 09, 2019, 10:54:06 PM »

The only example that comes to mind is Vedder Michel when I go into C the 2nd time through the tune.
That's a RH only F chord, and relies on my having an F♮ on pull; then you have the A and C on the G row to make up the chord.
There's no bass, but for that sort of comedy stunt you don't really need it.
And what Dick Rees said, too:
Quote
An implication can be as good as the note/sound itself if you set up the expectation by arrangement.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #23 on: June 09, 2019, 11:06:59 PM »


The only example that comes to mind is Vedder Michel when I go into C the 2nd time through the tune.


It might have been that [actually, yes, that was what I had in mind]. It was something that changed key to a none DG standard key. Whatever it was I was seriously impressed at the time and never forgot how effective it was. Like most of  melnet it moved from now to a memory very quickly, with no easy way of restoration. I wish there was a sticky guide to "clever" stuff.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2019, 11:10:25 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Dick Rees

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #24 on: June 10, 2019, 12:52:12 AM »

The only example that comes to mind is Vedder Michel when I go into C the 2nd time through the tune.
That's a RH only F chord, and relies on my having an F♮ on pull; then you have the A and C on the G row to make up the chord.
There's no bass, but for that sort of comedy stunt you don't really need it.
And what Dick Rees said, too:
Quote
An implication can be as good as the note/sound itself if you set up the expectation by arrangement.

When faced with arranging things involving a RH chord or other such "remedy" I often find that working one or more other  similar iterations into the piece tends to diffuse the impact or soften the focus of a single such occurence. 

In the Vedder Michel example (certainly a masterful arrangement) I would look to mirror, echo or repeat the phenomenon of the RH F chord so as to draw attention away from the F and make it equal to another chord using the RH even though such a chord or chords could be found in the LH.  IOW, you uave made the F an equal partner in the arrangement without it being such a singular occurence.
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Anahata

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #25 on: June 10, 2019, 01:01:41 AM »

I would look to mirror, echo or repeat the phenomenon of the RH F chord so as to draw attention away from the F and make it equal to another chord using the RH even though such a chord or chords could be found in the LH.  IOW, you have made the F an equal partner in the arrangement without it being such a singular occurence.

Yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I took you to mean when you were talking about setting up expectations, and if I was to spend more time working that tune up into a performance arrangement, I'd certainly look at such possibilities.
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Dick Rees

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #26 on: June 10, 2019, 01:09:19 AM »

I would look to mirror, echo or repeat the phenomenon of the RH F chord so as to draw attention away from the F and make it equal to another chord using the RH even though such a chord or chords could be found in the LH.  IOW, you have made the F an equal partner in the arrangement without it being such a singular occurence.

Yes, that's exactly the kind of thing I took you to mean when you were talking about setting up expectations, and if I was to spend more time working that tune up into a performance arrangement, I'd certainly look at such possibilities.

Yup.  Sorry to be so verbose.
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Anahata

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #27 on: June 10, 2019, 06:37:12 AM »

No need to apologise, I was just enjoying two minds thinking alike!
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Sebastian

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #28 on: June 10, 2019, 09:00:20 AM »

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)
If you could provide the PA notation for those two tunes, the forum would come up with concrete ways how to play them on your box.

Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #29 on: June 10, 2019, 10:44:12 AM »

I bet Eshed could help.
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Greg Smith
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Sebastian

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #30 on: June 10, 2019, 11:07:35 AM »

I found the notes for the Monkey Island Theme here. It is notated in A minor. The chords used are: Am G F C Dm E Bb. From the Hohner Website I downloaded the note layout page for the GCF Corona. All chords are present on the base side.

The song should be playable if you start on the outer row on button 6 (in the Hohner diagram) on the pull. In the second half of the mesure the chord switches to G. You could stay on the pull and play buttons 16, 15, 24, or you could switch to push and play buttons 6, 25, 5. The second measure starts with an F chord which you have only on the push. In the melody play button 25.

If you proceed like that, where do you encounter problems?

Eshed

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #31 on: June 10, 2019, 11:30:23 AM »

I bet Eshed could help.
Disappointingly, Eshed plays by ear.
Since the theme can be played (as shown in my video), I'll focus on the Lechuck theme.
The notes are less of a problem but the chords in Am will be

Am B F E
Am B Dm E
Am B Dm Am
F E Dm E
Dm E Am
F>>E>>Am...

Note how F is always followed by E, and it happens frequently so we need two semitone-apart chords.
Looking at the Corona, we have two options - F and E or Bb and A. The first has a distinct lack of B, but the second seems to have all necessary chords so we transpose into Dm
Dm E Bb A
Dm E Gm A
Dm E Gm Dm
Bb A Gm A
Gm A Dm
Bb>>A>>Dm...

Everything except Gm seems to be available off the bat and Greg has already explained how Gm7 is possible.
I haven't touched melody note directions etc. which might make everything a bit annoying (especially as you will have to use the C# and G# accidentals).

On a regular 2-row it's nigh impossible without making too many alterations to my taste, on a club box you have the basses but it is positively annoying because the accidentals are out to get you.
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Eshed

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #32 on: June 10, 2019, 11:35:34 AM »

I found the notes for the Monkey Island Theme here
These notes conveniently stop midtune right before a Fm chord :D, but as mentioned before, I'm also faking it around second 38 of the video.
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Sebastian

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #33 on: June 10, 2019, 11:42:14 AM »

Note how F is always followed by E, and it happens frequently so we need two semitone-apart chords.
Looking at the Corona, we have two options - F and E or Bb and A. The first has a distinct lack of B, but the second seems to have all necessary chords so we transpose into Dm
I think you describe the way to follow.

These notes conveniently stop midtune right before a Fm chord :D
Very inconvenient. :|bl Then I’ll wait for Reece to produce a fuller score. (:)

Howard Jones

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #34 on: June 10, 2019, 03:01:48 PM »

You have to remember that the melodeon was designed to be cheap to make and easy to play simple diatonic music.  That made it very suitable for the popular music of that period, but when popular music became more chromatic it fell out of favour, except for folk music.  Nevertheless, it is possible to play music of some complexity, but it will always be limited by comparison with a fully chromatic instrument such as the PA or CBA. 

In particular, with only 8 bass buttons your chord choices will inevitably be constrained.  There are ways to fudge chords, as already explained, and sometimes you just have to make do with the chord which fits best even if it isn't the proper one.  You may have to transpose, and sometimes the best key isn't the most obvious, especially when playing in minor keys. 

If you are determined to play more complex music then having a 3rd accidental row (rather than one in another diatonic key) will increase the options on the right hand, and having 12 or 18 basses will increase the chord options.  However you are then starting to drift towards what your PA is already capable of. 

Part of the challenge of melodeon is trying to find ways around its limitations, however you have to accept that some tunes just won't be possible, they are not what the instrument was designed for.  However as the link in the original post shows, 'Monkey Island' can be played on a melodeon.  The differences between club and standard layout aren't so great that they can't be got around.  Study the video - he seems to be using different combinations of chord buttons to achieve non-standard chords - and try to work out what can be done on your own box.

Chris Ryall

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #35 on: June 11, 2019, 03:12:27 PM »

With a big right end like your's I'd strongly advise taping 3rds out of your chords. You have a rich pallate of chords on right end, and when playing melody … sticking a spare finger into a Bb to give that Gm feel is easily learned. I'd suggest Bb + F if feasible!

You only need the tiniest touch and the listener will hear the whole chord. As Anahata says, fake harmony is one of the great joys of the instrument. Also "little bellows shakes". Amazing how often these afford a pleasant, and easy accent or decoration, even when not playing in main row keys.
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Sebastian

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #36 on: June 11, 2019, 08:41:33 PM »

With a big right end like your's I'd strongly advise taping 3rds out of your chords.
And I would strongly advise against that. After muting the thirds you would be left with only hollow fifths. The typical richness of the melodeon sound would be gone. Muting the thirds is castrating the voice of the melodeon. -- And you don't even gain usefull new chord possibilities.

Look at Eshed's examples or look at mine. You don't need to mutilate your melodeon to play the music you are interested in.

Eshed

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #37 on: June 11, 2019, 09:06:52 PM »

And you don't even gain usefull new chord possibilities.
Muting the thirds is a trade-off. As you say, you lose a certain rich quality of sound, but you definitely open up new possibilities (depending on your style, of course).
Just listen to this glorious recording of Frank Lee: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6J5x6vWuYOw
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Sebastian

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2019, 10:05:27 PM »

but you definitely open up new possibilities
But not musically meaningful ones (outside of deep Jazz -- that's why they tend to not use normal Stradella bass accordions in jazz but often free bass systems). Chords don't occur at random. They adhere to the key you are playing in. The Club and the three-row melodeon have nearly all possible chords for the key(s) it is designed to be played in. The two-row is only a little bit simpler. If in a score appear strange chords, they are normally only superficial masks for the right chords. (The other possibility is the occurence of a harmonic shift which has to be tackled slightly differently.) Just play the right chords and add the exoctic flavour by tapping an appropriate additional note on the right hand side.

But this is all very unspecific and vague talk. Whether thirds out is a sensible option is only determinable on the basis of a concrete piece of music, a concrete musical score and it's functional analysis.

Eshed

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Re: what can I play?
« Reply #39 on: June 11, 2019, 10:10:04 PM »

But this is all very unspecific and vague talk. Whether thirds out is a sensible option is only determinable on the basis of a concrete piece of music, a concrete musical score and it's functional analysis.
With this specific bit I agree.
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