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Author Topic: 100 Days of Practice  (Read 4883 times)

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Pearse Rossa

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #60 on: February 19, 2020, 04:04:23 PM »

..... or even someone who said that one-row was too hard for someone of my skill set,....

Pete, I take it that's a reference to me. I did say something daft, but certainly not what you have implied.
Clive stepped in to put me in my place (rightly so), and as far as I am concerned I did make amends and clarified
the situation.
I'm disappointed now. I thought you had accepted my apology.
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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #61 on: February 19, 2020, 05:25:33 PM »

Sorry, Arty - I wasn't throwing stones, just the opposite - accepting that honest criticism is something we should expect from friendly supportive colleagues here. But that thumbing down was the opposite, just hiding behind the anonymity and without any benefit. I'll of course go back and re-read, but I was trying to highlight that as an honest point you were making. Clumsily worded from me.
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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #62 on: February 19, 2020, 05:35:26 PM »

..... or even someone who said that one-row was too hard for someone of my skill set,....

Pete, I take it that's a reference to me. I did say something daft, but certainly not what you have implied.
And sorry to you, Pearse. Of course your apology was more than welcomed - and unexpected, and this wasn't meant to open a wound. I was mistakenly using a comment to highlight how we can feel, but as with my apology to Arty - the intention was to say that your comment (which perhaps I've misinterpreted anyway) and Arty's were of the good kind. Not a hit and hide action like a thumbs down, but part of the process of a civilised forum.
I can see, as with all types of online discussions, written words don't always achieve what one may intend to convey - so please Arty and Pearse, accept that I was trying to include you as positive ways to make contributions. I hope you can both see that now. Sorry if I've misread things in the first place, and sorry to fan any flames unintentionally. I've read my post again, and it reads to me the way I intended it but words are funny things and don't always behave the same way to the reader.
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #63 on: February 19, 2020, 06:06:42 PM »

Thanks Pete. It's all good...and I know what you mean...I can't seem to open my mouth without putting my foot in it!
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arty

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #64 on: February 19, 2020, 08:24:57 PM »

That's OK Pete, don't worry about it.  (:)
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #65 on: February 20, 2020, 03:36:58 AM »

Day 14
https://youtu.be/DUKKMC-6oBk
I needed to get out of the house, so, finally took the car out to someone to practice. So, I went to the beach, there's a nice little foresty hill that doesn't have anyone's house on it and it's in a wonderful spot to catch all of the horrible miserable wind that comes with the horrible miserable weather we're having here at the moment. I had a good time, but, cold fingers don't make for accurate fingers. After a play through of crested hens to warm up a bit, I attacked Vals I Lekstugan for a bit. I'm interested in getting the chords into the 'fancy bits' where currently they're dropping out, and fixing my lost C# in the B music. I had another little practice later in the evening, working on fixing both those things, and adding in one of the more fanciful transitions that I've yet to include. The two people who went by in my 10-15 minutes of playing seemed to enjoy it.

I imagine listening to Vals I Lekstugan every day may be getting a little old, for some - at this point all the pieces are basically there, and you can see how it's matured under the fingers over the last couple of weeks, with highs and lows. I'll see if I can come up with some compelling repertoire to play the next couple of days to distract.
« Last Edit: February 20, 2020, 03:40:04 AM by Gena Crisman »
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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #66 on: February 20, 2020, 12:35:07 PM »

That is real progress. I've been trying much simpler stuff with far less development.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #67 on: February 20, 2020, 02:56:54 PM »

Well, to be honest, I found the first step to getting good at doing difficult things was to start trying to do difficult things. I decided that some things I thought were difficult or complicated, actually weren't so much, and that some simpler things were deceptively hard.

May I ask, how's the one row playing going, Pete? I'm interested to know how much you're finding having an actual one row rewarding, and if you've found anything translates back to the n row, where n >= 2.
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Squeaky Pete

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #68 on: February 20, 2020, 03:32:58 PM »

I found the first step to getting good at doing difficult things was to start trying to do difficult things.
If there's one thing I've taken from your playing it's this.
Metal Shredder and Liberty Bell both made me smile and this Vals is growing in me.

Now I'm attacking that Musette Valse with the same determination that got me 90% towards Origin of the World. I'm now nearly ready to rehearse OotW with other instruments.
Having played in a band that had a cracking melodeon player where I mostly filled in bass lines behind, I've never had any need to be a good player. The odd occasions I was on box were because I was accompanying pipes or gurdy. I played for Morris, but that's a different story.
I'm enjoying the challenge, and finding serious practice is rewarding in both senses.
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Little Eggy

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #69 on: February 20, 2020, 04:57:29 PM »

Gina your Day 14 video is a delight!  Funny, skilful, picturesque, and entertaining.  What a wonderful instrument the melodeon is!   Thank you for posting your videos.
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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #70 on: February 20, 2020, 05:08:30 PM »

Well, to be honest, I found the first step to getting good at doing difficult things was to start trying to do difficult things. I decided that some things I thought were difficult or complicated, actually weren't so much, and that some simpler things were deceptively hard.

May I ask, how's the one row playing going, Pete? I'm interested to know how much you're finding having an actual one row rewarding, and if you've found anything translates back to the n row, where n >= 2.
Having an actual one-row was the only way to have the discipline to play on the row, when cross rowing is so much easier. I'm still playing with positioning, fingering, bellows placement etc. so the actual progress is limited by the testing of options. The main benefit is in just making me sit down and play the same tune and taking it apart into sections. I don't feel I'm much better than when I started. The Serafini is much more forgiving for playing on the row than either the Hohner or the Sander, which surprises me as I though smaller reeds would aid the ability to flip direction.
I haven't yet insisted on refingering a button on the bellows change, but I suspect that is the cleanest answer.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #71 on: February 20, 2020, 07:57:30 PM »

Having an actual one-row was the only way to have the discipline to play on the row, when cross rowing is so much easier. I'm still playing with positioning, fingering, bellows placement etc. so the actual progress is limited by the testing of options.

That's interesting! I thought your idea to get a one row made a lot of sense - I always try to find a balance between cross rowing vs reversing the bellows in my playing. Being that your box is set up specifically for the former, coaxing the latter out of yourself through limitation feels a lot like trying to get to a similar kind of place, but, starting at the other end of the spectrum. So, seems legit, I hope it starts to work.

I've generally found melodeons to have like, 'precision' would be one point of a triangle, opposed to both 'power', and 'kinda being a bit lame' as the last point - precise boxes tend to lack a bit of power, less precise boxes tend to let you put a bit more power through them.. or are just a bit more lame - hopefully it's the former! I think there's a lot of different kinds of precision - too, like how the buttons feel & move, how the reeds react, and how the far end of the bellows likes to move. Your playing generally comes across to me as being really quite refined, although that could just be from playing in a house, but, I can imagine you'd be quite attuned to figuring out what your instruments like and don't like, so I reckon you'll learn quite a bit from all this. I mean, I hope you know you're like, really quite good? Right?

The refingering every button has always sounded like gumph to me, though - I use fingering changes to free up my hand to move around, which I do so enthusiastically - but, to each their own! Perhaps I should give it a try, too - why not, after all? There's almost always a lesson to be found in something new.

I should probably go practice.
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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #72 on: February 20, 2020, 09:15:46 PM »

Thanks, Gena. That gumph comment is going to draw a line in the sand. It's more than a little humbling how slow progress is these days with any new skill, but I see the value in on the row stuff. I'll try to record something to demonstrate the difficulties.
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #73 on: February 20, 2020, 11:00:58 PM »

Day 15
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ylkrgfkz-Rc
For something different, I practiced a couple of my own tunes. This time, Custard Mill & The Frog Collector. I was inspired to write these tunes... quite some time ago in fact. Custard Mill is the first tune I wrote after coming to the melodeon, and even that was after about a year and of playing it. I hadn't written any music for about 16 years, since I was a teenager, but, I'd decided I should have a go, because some people don't consider you a musician unless you write music. It's named after Custard Hill, a road near The Drovers Inn, Gussage All Saints, where Anonymous Morris occasionally perform our morris-esque deeds. My goal for this tune was to start each part a different way (Over Em, then over Am, and then over G) because I knew like, some tunes that did that kinda thing (looking at Dorset 4 hand reel). Even from this, my first melodeon tune, I write my music in ABC first, knowing only what is principally possible on my instrument (eg I can play this chord with this note, technically!) and then work out how on earth to play the thing later. My goal really was to just use most of my chords, in ways I wasn't really used to, and be a bit of fun. I also decided I should use all my accidental plates when I got to the C music, too, because, well, obviously?? I'm not certain if this was pre or post Bb/G# flip, but I think it was, although it's agnostic to this. It does request a push D# though, as does the 2nd tune, The Frog Collector.

Have you ever wanted to write a tune that you just felt was like, a little bit cool, a bit raunchy and a bit weird all at the same time? I did, so, I did! I got much more into writing music around the start of 2019, and wrote quite a few tunes with different ideas behind them - The Frog Collector being one of them, named after my friend Emily, who, and I quote, collects hundreds and hundreds of frogs (she may have been being facetious). I really liked Danbury Hill, which pedals off of an E note while descending from the e above it. I wanted to explore the idea of pinching in from both directions at the same time, and still mentally time 'hun-dreds and hun-dreds and hun-dreds and hun-dreds and hun-dreds and hun-dreds of froooogs!' across the last 4 bars. I also liked the long arpeggios (care of Origin of the World) so, I fit those in, too.

Both tunes were designed to be played with thirds in - Custard Mill was before I had a thirds stop, even. Generally speaking the accompaniment is standard oom-pah for both tunes, but, Custard Mill requires making use of the things you technically have but might not normally think to do. For example, you can play a press B fundamental, but then with a pull D chord, to maintain an implied Bm7, same applies to Am7 with a press C chord. E bass G chord, too, is a tool in this manner, although unused here, but, for when you just gotta play the other way around or get some air out the bellows in an Am tune, it can work quite handily. I made use of these a lot when playing with a small Ceilidh band (that didn't really go anywhere) as a large amount of our repertoire came from an accordion player's folder of tunes, and the accompanying chords had little interest in pandering to the 2r8b's particularities. Ultimately, these tunes both present interesting dexterity puzzles, which I've (mostly) conquered - the struggles I have with the B section of Custard Mill are very similar to the struggles I have with other A minor/dorian tunes - my fingers just get tied up a little bit figuring out where they're supposed to be in that upper octave. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't, so, I must have a knot there to work out somewhere.

ABC for those who like such things:
Code: [Select]
X:1
T:Custard Mill (atop Custard Hill)
C:Gena Crisman 22/06/2018
%%titlefont Consolas, 22
%%subtitlefont Consolas, 16
%%partsfont Consolas, 20
%%partsbox
%%gchordfont Consolas, 18
%%MIDI program 21 % Accordion
%%MIDI chordprog 1 % Piano
M:6/8
L:1/8
Q:110
P:ABCABC
K:Em
P:A
"Em"EFGe2E|"A"ed^cA3|"D"AFEd2F|"G"G2d G2A|
"C"GFE e2E|"G"DFG d2B|"b"B^c"D"d "b"fe"D"d|"Em"e2ez3:|
P:B
"Am"ABc c2B|"Am"E2A cBA|"b"FE"D"D "b"B2"D"c|"G"dcBG2G|
"Am"ABc c2d|"C"efg "D"agf|"b"fe"D"d "b"bg"D"f|"Em"e2ez3:|
P:C
"G"B^AB "D"=A^GA|"G"G2B dcB|"Em"B^AB gfe|"b"d2-"D"d-"b"d2"D"c|
"G"B^AB "D"=A^GA|"G"GBd"A"=f2e|"B"^d=dBF2G|"Em"E2Ez2B:|

X:9
T:The Frog Collector
C:Gena Crisman 16/01/19
%%titlefont Consolas, 22
%%subtitlefont Consolas, 16
%%partsfont Consolas, 20
%%partsbox
%%gchordfont Consolas, 18
%%MIDI program 21 % Accordion
%%MIDI bassprog 1
%%MIDI chordprog 1 % Piano
Q:3/8=110
M:6/8
P:ABCABC
L:1/8
K:Em
P:A
"Em"BAG E3|"B"^d2e f3|"Am"a3 "G"g3|"Em"e3-e2c|
"Em"BAG E2B|"B"^de^df2^d|"Am"a2b "G"gag|"Em"e6:|
P:B
"Em"bge BGE|"B"f^dBf2^d|"A"A^ce g2a|"B"f3 ^d3|
"Em"ege BGE |"A"AEA ^c2A|"D"=d^c=d"B"^d=d^d|"Em"e6:|
P:C
"Em"eEE eEE|"Em"BAG E3|"Am"A2B E3 | "B" B2c F3 |
"Em"eEe "B"^d2F|"G"d2G"A"^c2A|"B"B^AFB=d^d|"Em"e6:|

I'll try to record something to demonstrate the difficulties.
I'll look forward to that!
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Matt (Kings Norton)

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #74 on: February 21, 2020, 07:29:25 AM »

Gena I really enjoyed days 14 and 15, great dance feeling, three lovely tunes, and though I don’t have a good feel for harmony I do know your left hand parts really drive the tunes forward.

My practice video (https://youtu.be/bvzH1NEqQGU) is something that any dislikers can really dislike; jo one needs to watch it, putting it out in public is meant to make me try harder.  They’re my two most recent tunes (out of maybe five...). Recording cruelly exposes all the flaws and this one also shows how hard I still find it to concentrate for the huge length of time of two minutes (I missed one whole section of the first tune and didn’t realise and I run into trouble at the end) and how hard I find it to go from one tune to the next / why’s that so hard?  I know what I need to do, practice...
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #75 on: February 21, 2020, 08:40:48 AM »

...The Serafini is much more forgiving for playing on the row than either the Hohner or the Sander, which surprises me as I though smaller reeds would aid the ability to flip direction.
I haven't yet insisted on refingering a button on the bellows change, but I suspect that is the cleanest answer.

There is a hard-to-describe 'something' about playing on a one-row four-stop instrument which makes the on-the-row experience different from any other (even from a two row LMM instrument).

A well set-up one-row four-stop seems to have a momentum all of its own which is very forgiving of blips and errors in fingering. Perhaps it is due to the rich mix of reed sizes and sounds associated with each note, I don't know. I may be talking airy-fairy nonsense, but that is my experience.

I seem to have needed an excessive number of hyphens in the above, sorry.

... I mean, I hope you know you're like, really quite good? Right?
Yes, Pete - Gena is right! I hope you will believe her (and me)!
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playandteach

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #76 on: February 21, 2020, 07:11:25 PM »

Here's a very short sample of some practice product. I recorded once through The Moon and Seven Stars on the row, and once through cross row. I then cut them up to go: A section on the row, A section cross row, B section on the row, B section cross row. They weren't quite the same tempo, especially B sections - but I'm only trying to explore the pros and cons of both styles, and this is an example of practice rather than performance. Hence only linked to here, not on wider viewing.
For context: I've practised the on the row version a lot as I've never tried that way of playing before, and hadn't practised the cross row version other than as a quick once through before the camera started.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v0tqR7JY2t8&feature=youtu.be
« Last Edit: February 21, 2020, 07:13:40 PM by playandteach »
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Gena Crisman

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #77 on: February 21, 2020, 08:18:05 PM »

That's neat, Pete! Those do appear exactly as advertised, and actually do sound roughly the way I, personally, would have expected. What do you think so far, though? It seems like you've got a good handle on fingering for what I think is quite a tough tune for on the row playing.
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Little Eggy

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #78 on: February 21, 2020, 08:50:51 PM »

The Cross Row version is clearly smoother but I prefer the single row style as it sort of captures the essence of the melodeon more.  Maybe something to do with urgency and bounce.
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Stiamh

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Re: 100 Days of Practice
« Reply #79 on: February 21, 2020, 09:00:24 PM »

Pete, your treble cabinet is noticeably much more stable in the cross-row passages. Would you enjoy on-the-row playing more if there were less, er, wobble?
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