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Author Topic: That 'a-ha' moment  (Read 3096 times)

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arty

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #20 on: January 26, 2020, 02:53:42 PM »

“that a-ha moment”.....I’m still waiting for mine!

But wait....It is the most illogical, silly, annoying, mad instrument that you could possibly play but, it is also the most satisfying, wonderful instrument.
I think  ???
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Grumpy

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #21 on: January 26, 2020, 03:17:23 PM »

Light Bulb Moment, Finding I had no musical ability what-so-ever and then realising that the melodeon was the ideal way of expressing this. However still find melodeon fun and will continue dispite family comments.
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Chris D, Surrey, UK
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Stiamh

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #22 on: January 26, 2020, 03:19:10 PM »

Light Bulb Moment, Finding I had no musical ability what-so-ever and then realising that the melodeon was the ideal way of expressing this.

Brilliant! And so say all of us...
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playandteach

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #23 on: January 26, 2020, 03:47:15 PM »

Several from me:
1 no question is too stupid to ask - and if people imply that it is then ask someone with more patience or alertness.
2 Practise away from tunes - it takes the pressure off if you are just working at a physical movement and a brain issue rather than spoiling a tune you like.
3 This is so blooming obvious, but not the way I started playing: the chord 1 notes are all on the push with no wrong notes possible (no gap), the minor key starting on the second note of the row scale has all the chord 1 notes on the pull (but has an important gap / wrong note pitfall). Pretty much everything else is a blend, but know those home notes makes melody playing from music much more straight forward.
4 The importance of hearing where the B and C# are in the D scale as those are the notes that flip the bellows direction. If you can hear those in a segment in the tune then it is a big help.
5 Octaves are a different spacing on the push and the pull - easy enough to practise switching between the 2.

I suspect it's numbers 3, 4 and 5 that you are after, rather than tips on how to practise.
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Eshed

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #24 on: January 26, 2020, 04:39:28 PM »

The right hand drives the rhythm as much as the left hand if not more.
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Graham Wood

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #25 on: January 26, 2020, 04:45:56 PM »

Light Bulb Moment, Finding I had no musical ability what-so-ever and then realising that the melodeon was the ideal way of expressing this. However still find melodeon fun and will continue dispite family comments.

Love it....lol. My rendition of 'Braes of Elchies' sounds more like a Braying Elk according to my wife. Obviously room for improvement.
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Jesse Smith

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #26 on: January 26, 2020, 05:55:06 PM »

Well, I have only been playing for about two years so I still feel like I am "at the start", but here a few things I have learned that felt important to me:

Listen to the kind of music you want to play a lot. Sing or whistle the tunes to yourself a lot. You will internalize the dynamics and rhythms of the genre much deeper this way than any intellectualizing of the music can do.

Audio software like Audacity can slow down a tune without changing the pitch. Slowing it down to 50% makes it much easier to figure out fast ornaments, and to hear the bass and chords being used. You can also fiddle with the equalizer settings to bring the bass side forward and make it easier to pick out.

Remember that sheet music or ABC for a folk tune only represents the bare skeleton of the tune, and don't be afraid to add your own ornaments and dynamics and variations.

Regardless of what the sheet music or tablature says, find the pulse of the music and transmit it with the bellows. If you're holding a half note (er, minim) don't just play at a constant pressure for the full duration of the note. Pulse the bellows on the beat into order to keep the rhythm of the music alive.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #27 on: January 26, 2020, 06:16:44 PM »

A key moment was realising that Em tunes are best based on the D row, not the G row. Seems so obvious, now, but, it was far from it when I started.
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Theo

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #28 on: January 26, 2020, 06:19:43 PM »

My a-ha moment was the very first time I had a box in my hands and discovered that it seemed to be alive and breathing when I tried to play it.
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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #29 on: January 26, 2020, 06:41:18 PM »

Something that helped me was thinking of D and G being on the instrument not just as 'the keys that we play in' but also because, musically they are (almost) the opposite of one another. The two keys have a lot of notes in common, and, many of them found in the opposite direction, not just by accident - there is a system, and you can learn it.

I find that concept to be most helpful, placing it on to of the ideas of 'you play Em on the draw on the outside' and 'you can find some reversals on the other row'.
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Howard Jones

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #30 on: January 26, 2020, 07:52:45 PM »

Attending a workshop by Roger Watson who insisted that we should think of it as a single instrument, not as a D row and a G row, and who first showed me the possibilities of cross-row left-hand chording.

Not melodeon-specific, but when isolating a tricky section of tune to practice include a bar or two before, and a bar or two after it.  The tricky bit doesn't exist in isolation, you need to think how you lead into it and out of it.  You may find how you play the tricky bit alters how you play the easier stuff on either side of it, so your fingers and bellows are where they need to be.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 12:56:13 PM by Howard Jones »
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smiley

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #31 on: January 26, 2020, 09:52:10 PM »

I remember an "uh-oh" moment that turned into an "a-ha".

Turned up to play a gig with my regular bush band only to discover I'd brought the C/F box instead of my usual D/G.
The show must go on, so for all the tunes in D and G I just concentrated on avoiding bum notes and found some useful things about the diatonic box in the process:

1. lots of tunes in G major can be played on a C row  [A major on a D row]

2. some D major tunes can be faked on a C/F box, especially if you have the F# accidental on the chin end. [E major on a D row]

3. a diatonic button box offers a whole lot of extra possibilities if you get out of your comfort zone.
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Peadar

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #32 on: January 26, 2020, 10:20:19 PM »

The first time that, as I was trying to feel my through a tune,  Deo began scratching at the living room door to get IN.

And the realisation (with a 1040/G) that you can play a lot of tunes in D if you are willing to go into the upper octave of the G row.

The big thing for me was the sheer thrill of being able to get a tune out of the box. And realising that you can get by with just 2 bass buttons.
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 10:26:58 PM by Peadar »
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gmatkin

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #33 on: January 27, 2020, 12:51:39 PM »

Mine came in the 1980s or maybe late 1970s, so predated my melodeon playing... But it was very much melodeon related.

I was at a festival workshop with Roger Watson, who was talking box playing. I was there because I admired his melodeon playing and because I thought there might be something for a duet concertina and guitar player to learn.

It turned out I was right. I asked how he approached the job of arranging and he explained that his method was to find a bass line (using any of the available notes) that worked with whatever tune he was working on, and to then find chords that worked with both.

Obviously for him that meant crossing rows, and it also meant using minor 7ths.

That was quite a moment for my younger self. Of course I now realise that (usually brief) clashing harmonies can work also, but his method is still one use a lot.

Gavin
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 01:16:50 PM by gmatkin »
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Andy Next Tune

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #34 on: January 27, 2020, 01:37:55 PM »

A very early one - realising my breathing was in sync with the bellows movements when playing simple tunes, and working to breathe normally. Still find myself holding my breath when learning tricky sequences though!

Further along the journey - 3 chord trick for G row is G, C, D - that's simple, Left Hand follows the Right. For D row it is D, G!, A - and that requires work! Playing that LH G chord usually requires row change on the Right to get those bellows going in the right direction! Similarly you'll often need the A from the G row to go with that nice A bass and chord.
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Dick Sadler

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #35 on: January 27, 2020, 03:17:53 PM »

Don’t stay at home playing with yourself, find a Session. Preferably a Slow Session. You will be welcomed, they will make allowances, you will have an enjoyable time and learn to notice the playing of others, the tempo and if you don’t you will soon be reminded! Recommended.
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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #36 on: January 27, 2020, 03:45:16 PM »



Did not like accordions.  (Sorry)

But one day I sat with a toy melodeon and realized that you could use the air button and start with the bellows extended. THAT  was my moment. 

I've been playing ever since.

(Still don't like accordions.)


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Lin Leighton

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #37 on: January 27, 2020, 04:27:56 PM »

as a beginner, do go to a session - but only go to one at first, so you can learn the tunes they play there, otherwise you will be daunted by the number of different tunes played at different sessions  :||:
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Lin(Rattlejag Morris)

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #38 on: January 27, 2020, 05:29:24 PM »

Realising that cross row playing is just another way to play, and that there are a lot of runs that work in one bellows direction, especially pulling G F# and that pesky pull E and, on a lot of boxes, finding a pull D on the G row. Also the pull G row A and then over to the D row to pull B, C# (and the pull E F# d row G). If you can learn those runs you can do them without waggling the bellows. So I wish I'd started learning that fingering earlier than I did.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2020, 05:31:54 PM by RogerT »
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playandteach

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Re: That 'a-ha' moment
« Reply #39 on: January 27, 2020, 05:31:25 PM »

Realising that cross row playing is just another way to play, and that there are a lot of runs that work in one bellows direction, especially pulling G F# and that pesky pull E and, on a lot of boxes, finding a pull D on the G row. Also the pull G row A and the over to the D row to pull B, C#. If you can learn those runs you can do them without waggling the bellows. So I wished I'd started learning that fingering earlier than I did.
Interesting, as I'm now going back to learning the things I'd shortcut to get going immediately on cross-rowing.
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