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Author Topic: 100 Days of Practice  (Read 4870 times)

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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #100 on: February 22, 2020, 04:25:43 PM »

Here's the Banks of Kale Water on the D row- also linked to in the one row thread.

Seems pretty good, no? How do you think it went? You seem to have the box under control and don’t get your fingers tied up in a big knot, seems like a win?
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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #101 on: February 22, 2020, 04:49:15 PM »

It's progress, that's for sure, but still runs away from me, and there are times when I don't really know if I am embedding bad habits. Better than knocking out more of the same old stuff though.
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #102 on: February 22, 2020, 10:32:03 PM »


Here is the link: http://accordiato.fr/tenue.html#bretelles

Everything was going swimmingly until I came to this part; "Adjust your suspenders correctly.
Put on your suspenders as usual and look in a mirror"


That's not for me. I just don't have the legs for it!
That class of thing might go down well in France...but where I live?
What would the neighbours think?
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #103 on: February 22, 2020, 10:35:12 PM »


Here is the link: http://accordiato.fr/tenue.html#bretelles

Everything was going swimmingly until I came to this part; "Adjust your suspenders correctly.
Put on your suspenders as usual and look in a mirror"


That's not for me. I just don't have the legs for it!
That class of thing might go down well in France...but where I live?
What would the neighbours think?

I think suspenders are what ladies use to keep their stockings in position.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #104 on: February 23, 2020, 02:08:09 AM »

Day 16
A youtubes~ - I also made a playlist of all my practice videos, which this is obviously a part of. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HislyPf9C5g in case that doesn't work

Because of all the strap talk, I thought about mine a bit. When I'm standing I usually have my box strapped onto me pretty tight, so I demonstrate a little bit where I'm at with that. Obviously, everyone's different, and boxes will sit on that person differently - obviously your typical man and woman are going to have different stuff going with their upper bodies, which I'm sure has been discussed with painful awkwardness many times before. My goals for my straps are that:
a) I don't typically bend my right wrist / 'morris death grip', or put a lot of force through my right arm/thumb, while playing. I work with computers for a living and I have enough weird clicks in my arms and shoulders from that to be getting any more from playing the box. This does mean that I like my keyboard quite central on my person.
b) The buttons won't go anywhere even if I'm not actually using my right hand at all - in this case, the box can only rotate into my sternum, because of my tight left strap shoulder won't let it try and slide to my right.  I employ a back strap on this box, otherwise, I'll almost always lose that shoulder strap while playing, and since it's fairly tight, it absolutely will catch my elbow and really mess me up.

I have no idea if that's helpful or informative in any way, but, it's what I like.

After that, I brushed up Day Trip to Bangor, a tune I did for ThotM a while ago (and lost the video for due to terrible amounts of dropped frames) but was an important part in box learnery. I spent about 10 minutes refreshing the whole tune and getting back to a 'I would post this on melodeon.net' standard, but it has been on my mind quite a bit recently and I have played it back into memory for a bit at morris practice, not this but last Thursday. Mostly, it was just the last part that caused problems, but, it is quite a fiddly tune. Somewhat interestingly, it has the same beginning note sequence as Vals I Lekstugan.

Then, I had a bit (more) of a whirl at Parallel Popcorn - I've tried learning it a little bit already over the past few days, but, I don't have it all in memory ye. I have made some little notes on the score that I mostly forgot to read, but I have worked out how I want to play it, I think.

Bit of a longer video than previously but idk who cares. I try to practice for literally an hour, it's hard to form a narrative out of that!
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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #105 on: February 23, 2020, 10:48:03 AM »

Gena
That strap talk mimics my own requirements. I don't want any force at all going through my right thumb - partly because I play with it, partly because I too have enough stresses in hands due to previous career and having been a climber.
The box stays anchored, but can still wobble at the front unfortunately.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #106 on: February 23, 2020, 06:25:10 PM »

Gena
That strap talk mimics my own requirements.

Well, if your current set up doesn't provide you with that (maybe it does, idk, you... don't seem to say?) - if you fancy having some more faff, if you haven't tried hiking the box up on your chest a bit more, I'd say give it a go? I either do that, or, I tend to cross my legs and balance the melody side on my leg (I assume this is visible in my other videos). When I'm double strapping, the top of my box hits about midshoulder and is fairly straight up and down - which I think implies a couple of ticks tighter than you're wearing your box atm. But, where you're wearing it seems very normal to me too, I just keep mine unusually tight by most people's standards - I think, anyway. It's definitely worth noting down exactly how your straps are now, though, just so you can definitely put it back how it was, but, you probably know that.

But I mean, is the more pronounced front corner wobble from one row playing style actually bothering you particularly? I find it quite hard to get a read on how you think your own playing is going sometimes, or if you can hear/notice/like the difference between the styles. You play your cards fairly close to your chest - by comparison I tend to sort of just, I dunno, dump my cards all over the table? I try to not dump my cards on other people's tables though, so, I'm interested in what you think - if you're getting the sounds you were interested in or not etc.

Also, being a climber is super cool.
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george garside

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #107 on: February 23, 2020, 07:17:21 PM »

if/when using 2 straps on any size of box from a 2 row to a 120 bass piano box the standard STARTING POINT for strap adjustment is to have the  left strap a bit shorter than the right strap  so the keyboard  is more or less under the chin  rather than sticking out on your right hand side  and so in turn meaning your right arm and elbow is flapping around in mid air rather than being close to your lright side to facilitate movement up and down the keyboard using just the elbow joint rather than the shoulder and elbow joint.   

once the left/right adjustment has been sorted  both straps are adjusted by the same amount to bring the top of the box very roughly about a stretched handswith bellow the chin when standing upright and looking straight ahead.

Once those settings have been achieved  a series of small adjustments  may need to be made  to suite a particular persons anatomy.

I have used that system on  2 row 8 bass to 120 bass for longer than I care to remember and it works well and enables playing seated or standing with absolutely the same strap adjustment.

I don't think there are any similar 'norms' for   a one row  but for what its worth I only play a one row whilst seated  resting the box on my right knee and using a fairly long thumbstrap to allow my thumb to rest on edge of keyboard rather than restricting hand/finger movement by gripping the keyboard with thumb behind it.  I do occasionaly  add  a thin right hand shoulder strap   but that is not essential.

The whole purpose of any  strap set up is to  allow maximum unrestricted movement of the hand and fingers over the whole length of the keyboard  and any setup that restricts that in anyway is not doing the player any favours!

george

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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #108 on: February 23, 2020, 07:17:29 PM »

Gena
I do notice that when the box is fully still - which I've only achieved by using Stiamh's technique of sticking one corner of the bellows into a closed position, then bellows reversals are much tidier. I just haven't found a way of getting there easily. And of course, I couldn't do that in the A minor GC tunes as they require long pulls, so I'd need a way of having a range of positions. I also overshare, but sometimes opt out as it looks like I'm fishing for compliments.

But my main learning tool is to understand what it is I'm trying to achieve in greater depth rather than just getting on with it. I have this thing with names too, I really don't think I know someone's name if I don't know how it is spelt. I need to know if it's Kathryn or Catherine. I had a Boxer called Gina when I was a kid. I did climb a lot, but I was always a coward at it - enjoying the movement more than the exposure. I'll tighten the straps for a bit and report back.

George,
That all makes sense to me, and is what I'm trying to achieve.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2020, 07:19:04 PM by playandteach »
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george garside

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #109 on: February 24, 2020, 12:29:41 AM »

I prefer to play (on all my boxes) with the bellows in more or less a fan shape  i.e. with the bottom more closed than the top.  This helps to enable fine control and encourages  maximising use of the air button to balance the ins and outs and avaoid as much as possible long distance 'outing'.   Obviously on a box with small bellows  there are times when the bellows go out  a fair way as a necessity but the trick is to return them to much nearer closed as soon as the tune so permits.

When learning a new to me tune I experiment to decide    the places where the air button can best be usef   as this is an essential part of playing a diatonic box well. 

tapping both treble and bass buttons lightly can both reduce air usage and make a tune sound better as can leaving the bass off completely for a bar or three  both to enhance the tune by varying it and by  timing the bass free bits  to assist with air control.

To me how the air button is 'played' is every bit as important as how the notes are played

george


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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #110 on: February 24, 2020, 11:01:14 PM »

Day 17
https://youtu.be/4IsrRzQLEGw
I guess I'm working on Farewell to Muirheads? I'm not a fan of this tune particularly - it's relatively straight forwards but really wants a less shallow accompaniment than our instrument typically implies, I think - otherwise it does seem to become pretty waltzy. So far, I'm not really convinced the box is the right tool for the job.

Per the above video, I was thinking of playing it in one of the forbidden scales of the D/G, I was thinking perhaps E major originally. Now I'm gravitating towards A, at this point, just because it gives me a lot of harmony options, should I wish to explore them. E feels a lot more familiar than earlier in this process, mainly due to my popcorn related adventures, and low A scale is under my fingers since that's my preferred place to play the hesleyside reel now. Middle A scale, not so much.

Well, anyway, that was my today.

Gena
I do notice that when the box is fully still ... then bellows reversals are much tidier.

I also overshare, but sometimes opt out as it looks like I'm fishing for compliments.

Right yeah, a little bit of 'I want to play a note' gets robbed to 'the box moving a bit' on every reversal - I feel you. I hope you find a fix for that which works for you, as that is definitely something that has bothered me. I should say it's bothered me regardless of how cross-rowey my playing was, too, and finding a good solution can be navigating between a selection of compromises. I thought I had a good set up figured out with the black pearl II I had, but, after a particularly long weekend of morris, I had a big blister on the front corner of my thumb from the required 'gentle' behind-the-keyboard steadying I'd been using to stop the box moving.

Re the 2nd part there, and, I appreciate it's possible I'm way off base here, but sometimes I see you proffer a video but seem rather glum, or down on it? Like you're comfortable complimenting & praising others but, when it comes to yourself, you seem to go in the other direction sometimes? Case in point: I don't think anyone who climbs anything can really be a coward? And, I mean OK, maybe you were? It's still cool though! I don't really think of that as sharing, rather than as having gone out of ones way to be belittling oneself maybe?

I'm just saying, sometimes I'm confused. I'm interested in and enjoy reading your posts, I just also wonder sometimes if you're like, doing OK, yknow?
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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #111 on: February 25, 2020, 06:37:44 PM »

I'm totally fine, thanks for asking though. It's just that there's stuff I know, and stuff I don't really know. And if I'm going to be proud of the stuff I know then I should be humble about the stuff I only know a bit. My wife trained with a bunch of top climbers and outdoor pros, so I know my limitations. But I'll stand toe to toe with anyone about clarinets. My posting on youtube was originally PA stuff to help my brother-in-law who wanted to learn, but I opened it up to the general public, with disclaimers about my own playing experience. I've carried on the same vibe here - happy to post, not happy to have others assume that I'm demonstrating the way it should be done.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #112 on: February 26, 2020, 02:40:56 AM »

Day 18:
https://youtu.be/8g1nU2rhmEA
More work on this months TotM. Settled on playing it in A, working on arranging it and figuring out any chord issues. I'm enjoying playing in 2v mode really only towards the basement of the instrument, anything past about the D in the middle has me reaching for the 3v stop. Also featured: me actually looking at the keyboard.

In other news, lovely chap that I know, David from Sarum Morris kindly let me have a play on an instrument he has when I met up with him at a session yesterday. He has a Dino Baffetti Super 3 in GC. The conclusion I've reached is, maybe I should get a GC (a cheap one, though - it turns out cars and oakwoods are expensive). Someone at the session mentioned, Gena, if you like playing other melodeons, I have an old one row in C that a friend of his used to own, so, I of course said yes, please do bring that along to the next session! So, now I also need to learn some one row tunes & techniques...
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MelonBox

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #113 on: February 26, 2020, 03:17:26 PM »

I've made the first 10 days (I did last week...) I've summarised all the videos so far, including a summary vlog in this handy post (via link)

https://melbiggsmusic.co.uk/2020/02/26/100-days-of-practice-10-days-of-melodeon/
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #114 on: March 01, 2020, 05:48:47 AM »

Did you know, if you can't sleep, it's a great idea to just go on the internet and post videos you haven't gotten around to making. I've had this video recorded for days, since wednesday I think? But, been still sick and busy since then and didn't get around to editing it until yesterday and then didn't get around to like, posting it either.

Day 19
https://youtu.be/ZqJ_OrWVh-I
Basically, I mostly start figuring out my final arrangement for the tune, how I wanted to start, how I wanted to progress, things I could do, and ways to end it. I actually was planning to add a little fake end with an A over a D chord, but, forgot to do this when it came time to actually record, so, I guess I should have tried to get this video made? Something for the folk club, perhaps.

I did have a plan for February's Theme, but, didn't get around to it due to my many days of feeling unwell. I might try to execute that this week, still, or, I may let it go.

Principally, I did practice and play today, but, the lions share was spent preparing for and then recording my TotM submission. So, I guess 4 'practices' were spent on this tune, ultimately? That's like 4 hours, although realistically it's probably more like 2.5 or 3 hours went into preparing/arranging/performing that performance.
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Graham Wood

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #115 on: March 01, 2020, 08:41:52 AM »

Well Gena it all worked out beautifully. I really enjoyed listening to your final arrangement. And as you said: 'Hooray for Leap Years'...... That made me smile. lol
« Last Edit: March 01, 2020, 08:44:40 AM by Graham Wood »
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #116 on: March 08, 2020, 05:57:53 AM »

Phew, been not doing this for a while!

Day 20
https://youtu.be/7PDAPy-uSAA
I worked through Parallel Popcorn a bit, and worked a bit on the tune I'd decided to do for last month's Theme - Waterloo by ABBA. My local ukulele group sometimes plays this, in G, rather than the original D, so, I sort of vaguely know it from wanting to play along to that. I'm not sure if I want to play it in G or D, yet, though. Both, probably. The E minor sequence is a lot easier than a B minor sequence. Air management seemed a touch in D, too, but I didn't end up recording that bit.

The conclusion I've reached is, maybe I should get a GC (a cheap one, though - it turns out cars and oakwoods are expensive)

So, I did it - I bought a 12 bass G/C Pokerwork that Jimmy was selling in the buy/sell forum - I'm interested in going on an adventure of fixing it up and/or messing with it in ways that won't destroy my more expensive & important instruments. I sold my black pearl 2 to my mum, so, 'the balance' is maintained.
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Matt (Kings Norton)

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #117 on: March 08, 2020, 09:29:04 PM »

Once again I don’t expect anyone to watch these..: must be about day 70 by now, oh well.  I’ve started to film myself on Sundays playing a bit too hard for what I can manage.  It shows up where the work is needed. That’s what these two are: https://youtu.be/J7led_d4fr8 and https://youtu.be/2MDAQIEzulc.  I haven’t heard of anyone else taking that approach, probably means it’s a bad idea. Once I get disgusted with the videos they’ll come down.

Interesting and funny to see ABBA; I was thinking for the Film theme of the month Supertrouper would do and give someone a chance to go round the different keys with the riff at the beginning.  It’s in ABBA the Movie isn’t it? I think.
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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #118 on: March 08, 2020, 10:09:51 PM »

Once again I don’t expect anyone to watch these..: must be about day 70 by now, oh well.  I’ve started to film myself on Sundays playing a bit too hard for what I can manage.  It shows up where the work is needed. That’s what these two are: https://youtu.be/J7led_d4fr8 and https://youtu.be/2MDAQIEzulc.  I haven’t heard of anyone else taking that approach, probably means it’s a bad idea. Once I get disgusted with the videos they’ll come down.
Hi, Matt. I did watch, and  there's a lot of good stuff going on, but I would suggest that if it is practice, rather than playing for fun - then keeping it slow and in chunks is the best way to make progress. It could be that you just want to let your hair down every Sunday - and that's all good. Thanks for posting.

Gena
Great to hear that you are picking up a GC. Welcome to the world of pull.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #119 on: March 08, 2020, 10:16:39 PM »

...I’ve started to film myself on Sundays playing a bit too hard for what I can manage.  It shows up where the work is needed.

Like P&T says, lots of good stuff going on but, if you don't mind observations, I've got a couple.
1. Like P& T suggests, slow down. You don't need to go so fast even when you're up to speed with the tune.
2. Start working on the rhythm. The right notes in the right order are just part of the jigsaw.
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