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Author Topic: How do you D/G players manage...  (Read 3646 times)

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Stiamh

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How do you D/G players manage...
« on: October 19, 2009, 01:59:46 PM »

Without a G bass on the draw?

Attempting the other day to show one of my beginner students how he could add woomph to a tune in D that he had started working on by using the basses, I borrowed his D/G Morgane and was startled to discover that there is no G pull bass, forcing him to cross over onto the G row for any notes that require a G chord.

Since the tune was a slow majestic affair (Farewell ye banks o' Sicily: F#3 | G2 B | A2 F# | F#>E D) I didn't want a "red-hot bass button" approach, and definitely not an oom-pah-pah accompaniment despite the tune's being in 3/4, but long dramatic chords using both buttons for the starting phrase. Well beggar me, I concluded, to do this he'll have to open the bellows a yard wide before starting, and playing the whole phrase on the push felt, well, very odd and unsatisfactory to me, used to playing almost everything on the D row.

Any advice for making this sort of phrase easier and punchier while using full basses? Looking at it I suppose playing the B on the D row (without bass) might help a bit.
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Ollie

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2009, 02:03:15 PM »

I personally just use the Em, which is the relative minor of G. Works for most tunes.
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LJC

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2009, 02:12:48 PM »

Em, cross for a G push, don't play a chord. I think its good to encourage crossing for better chords, it sets you up in the long run.

I get really irritated at most of the local sessions where no one crosses to play a G on the push during the Sloe (the B notes in the A part). It's really simple, and most times just forcing any old chord over an offending note just doesn't work.

Here enters the joy of 12 basses.
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Peter G

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2009, 03:14:04 PM »

Wow I must be getting somewhere at last!  (:) I had realised that just punching the D basses doesn't work for this bit of music but not worked out how to make it sound right. The bit of music I downloaded doesn't have any bass notation and my musical ear is still too primitive to add them in myself. Can anyone put me on to a version of the dots with indication of the bass notes? I have to add I can't actually play it properly yet anyway so now' s the time to change the fingering!  :||:
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Owen Woods

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2009, 03:56:26 PM »

Well, I can't remember missing a push G very often, but if it does come up then using an Emin with or without the bass would be the way to go. Or use the pull C, depending on the rest of the implied harmony.
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EeeJay

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2009, 05:29:53 PM »

Since the tune was a slow majestic affair (Farewell ye banks o' Sicily: F#3 | G2 B | A2 F# | F#>E D)

How's about bars 1-3 on the G row - 1st and 3rd bars on the pull, with the D pull bass? Maintains the bellows control, gives the 'lonesome' pull emphasis on the main beat... 4th bar... F# (G row) and E (D row) on the pull (against D pull bass)... then swap basses and push for the D...

Alternatively, keep it all on the D row... and swap push/pull D bass chords... giving a 'drone-y' effect (and/or try combining of the pull A chord and D bass)...

Anyhow, just a few ideas...

Ed J
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Theo

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2009, 05:36:09 PM »

Alternatively, keep it all on the D row... and swap push/pull D bass chords... giving a 'drone-y' effect (and/or try combining of the pull A chord and D bass)...

Anyhow, just a few ideas...

Ed J

You can drone a D bass and play a repeated chord sequence over it such as D A G A.  It works well with some tunes, not at al with others.

I learned the crossing over to G and B on push to get the G chord early on, it seems fairly normal now.  Its just one of those quirks of the system.
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TomB-R

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2009, 05:57:14 PM »

Here enters the joy of 12 basses.
But once you start down that road you'll end up with B/C/C#, PA or CBA!
 ;D
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waldoB

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2009, 06:41:30 PM »

The D/G is a very very clever system.   Look at what can be done starting scales on notes other than the home keys for part scales in other keys.   
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Howard Jones

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2009, 06:59:47 PM »

As the others have said, use the push G.  If you're having air problems with too much pushing, you could use the pull D to recover some bellows and play part of the melody on the G row.  You could also use the pulled A chord as an opportunity to recover some air.  Other opportunities can be found with judicious use of the air button to grab additional air while playing a note on the pull (or push, if you need to close the bellows more).

A common mistake by novices is to think that tunes in D must be played only on the D row, and tunes in G only on the G row.  Most of the notes are available on both rows and in both directions, so it makes sense to use them.  Treat it as a whole instrument, not as two one-rows in the same box.

craigus

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2009, 07:13:41 PM »


Since the tune was a slow majestic affair (Farewell ye banks o' Sicily: F#3 | G2 B | A2 F# | F#>E D) I didn't want a "red-hot bass button" approach, and definitely not an oom-pah-pah accompaniment despite the tune's being in 3/4, but long dramatic chords using both buttons for the starting phrase. Well beggar me, I concluded, to do this he'll have to open the bellows a yard wide before starting, and playing the whole phrase on the push felt, well, very odd and unsatisfactory to me, used to playing almost everything on the D row.


I've played the above phrase several times, and there's at least six different ways to play it - all on the D row with D drone; crossing over to the G row at various points and using D,G and A chords; putting in an Em instead of a G; doing a bass run of D to G to A to B to D; a bass run of D to C to B to A; playing it all accompanied by a C drone (weird but strangely pleasing!).

This is a really interesting topic. I've never once thought 'I wish I had a G chord on the pull', because I think the layout of the melodeon has a real beauty to it that works both logically AND instinctively. Occasionally there are obstacles to overcome, but they nearly always lead to a solution that you wouldn't have thought of had there been an easy route! Also, the limitations of the instrument give it its charm. Why not a G on the pull? Why not a Em on the push? Why not a B on the pull? Why not an A on the push? Why not an F? If you find yourself asking too many questions like this you might as well buy a piano accordian!!! >:E

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stevejay

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 07:24:18 PM »

What is the "red hot bass button approach" tapping quickly or something?
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Theo

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2009, 07:42:42 PM »

What is the "red hot bass button approach" tapping quickly or something?

Yeah, so you don't burn yer fingers.  :o
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Stiamh

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2009, 07:59:14 PM »

Thank you all. Ed J's suggestion lit up a little light bulb for me - well quite a big one, I must say. Apart from anything else I wouldn't have looked for a D chord on the pull! D drones are another interesting idea.

Em really doesn't cut it for me, at least not in this tune. It's like having to use a thirdless A chord in place of a C on a 8-bass C#/D box. Poor substitute at best, at worst, blech.

(Waldo, no doubt the D/G is a very clever system but that's what we all say about what we have when we've got it figured out. That's why native speakers of French, English, German, Mandarin etc. all consider their language to be the world's richest/most poetic/most precise etc tongue. And it's probably why a lot of B/C players seem to think C#/D is only good for playing polkas.) 

The reason I am (or was) looking at it from a D-row-centric point of view is that I have a class of mixed systems - one-row D, C#/D, D/G, and A/D, with me on C#/D and (as you can tell) knowing next to nothing about D/G and A/D. So the D row is all we have in common, and that's what I teach tunes on. My fiendish plan is to get them all to move to C#/D eventually of course. And the reason I looked for a G pull bass is, well I'm used to one.

Howard, if I had a D/G I'm sure I would learn to look at it as whole instrument, and this discussion has been a useful kick in that direction. My student (who is reading this) might want to put all this in his pipe and smoke it. And then order some C# reeds for that Morgane of his  >:E

Cheers, and thanks again to all of you who answered.

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EeeJay

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2009, 10:30:58 PM »

Thank you all. Ed J's suggestion lit up a little light bulb for me - well quite a big one, I must say. Apart from anything else I wouldn't have looked for a D chord on the pull! D drones are another interesting idea.

Ah, y'see, I was basing my logic on the one row (and semitone) box 'draw' technique... ;)

The D chord/drones can be interesting... on a (non-wooden) Hohner, the D chord is usually a different inversion in each direction... I'm not too sure if the Morgane has the same inversion both ways though... can anyone confirm?

A common mistake by novices is to think that tunes in D must be played only on the D row, and tunes in G only on the G row. 

And not just novices. ::)

Ed J
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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #15 on: October 20, 2009, 08:04:48 AM »

I've always crossed for the G on the push.  It always seemed logical to do it that way - but I've always seen the outer row as the main row, whereas an number of players see the inner (G) row as main.
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Chris Ryall

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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #16 on: October 20, 2009, 09:54:52 AM »

My Oakwood 12 bass doesn't have G pull, but the 18 bass on the Gaillard LH has C pull (the equivalent) it as a note. It is fantastically useful for bass runs, and also for playing in what would be Gm on a D/G.

How do I manage? If its that sort of tune I play in G on the C/G box and have chord both ways  :|glug. But basically I agree, I've always felt that having to 'workaround' absence of a G pull bass was one of those nice challenges of our instrument. Chris
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Re: How do you D/G players manage...
« Reply #17 on: October 20, 2009, 11:37:06 AM »

Just over a year ago I changed one of the basses on my Dony (a 12 bass box) to G pull/A push.
I still cross over to the G row quite often to get the G chord, but I find that on tunes where before I might have "cheated" by using another bass (eg Em) on the pull, I'm now much more inclined to put the G chord in.
I've noticed how accustomed you can get to hearing the "wrong" bass, and thinking it is "right", and how much better the tune can sound with the "right" bass, especially if you are playing on your own. Once you are joined by a guitar or two thumping out the chords, however, and maybe another box playing the "wrong" basses, nobody else will notice the difference!
As in the example that Steve used in his original post, I think it really is the slow tunes where it's most important to get that G bass in, and I still tend to play them by crossing to the G row.
Having the G on the pull does make air management easier, though....for example, I like using it for the first few bars of Lark in the Morning.

quickly edited, having noticed that I had told everyone that I had changed my bass to a G push/A pull! ???
« Last Edit: October 20, 2009, 11:40:59 AM by ganderbox »
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