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Author Topic: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM  (Read 11591 times)

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michik

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2010, 10:34:04 AM »

I'm also a beginner, playing since June 2009 (9 months) now
but I do not find the TOTMs too difficult ... for sure, they are a challenge for me but, not a 'mission impossible'
I don't hestitate to be 'in time', so I post my recordings weeks after the 'official end'.

What works for me:

*) Listening to such music consciously.

*) Following the rythm and the melody with my hands and voice
like I do for Orange in Bloom: ta dadata dadada dadeeda daaaadee ... while beating a 1-3 rythm on the table
that really helps the get an idea how such tune may sound.

*) Dancing ... I do bal folk dancing on a weekly basis (with Marinette Bonnert, goes more or less like
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T0ee_eW5jMY or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1m6LPacGlA
recordigs are from not our dancing evening)

*) Accordeon lessons (weekly)

*) Doing exercises and playing tunes from the tutor book by Yann Dour

*) Dance while accordeon playing .. it's a challenge and a nice experience

*) finally playing the tunes myself  ;D
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 10:41:09 AM by michik »
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juker

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2010, 11:31:40 AM »

Speaking as a beginner (playing just over a year) who has participated in every TOTM so far, I think it is just fantastic and has been good for my playing. I am currently trying to relearn StP like Lester (love the stops) and am learning The Plane Tree with bass notes only (no dum chinging!) - it is all a great challenge and while it will take me a long time to become competent, if indeed that ever happens, the whole experience so far has been a lot of fun and very interesting.
So far as deciding what is a difficult tune and what is not, I found Princess Royal to be a very challening tune to learn though it is described as a beginner's tune. I got my vid in though! Heaps of pleasure in watching so many terrific performances by others too - still wishing I could slavishly copy DTN ;D
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Ziachmusi/Louise

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #22 on: March 15, 2010, 10:00:37 AM »

I can back Juker all the way. I'm certainly a beginner, had my pokerwork since last July. TOTM has been great for me, it's made me more focused and STP was the first tune that I managed to learn to play from memory. Since then I've learnt all TOTM tunes most of them out of my comfort area (and not always my cup of tea) and it's been a great fun. I'm not up to more than just learning the bog-standard version but it's great to see what others can do with a tune. It certainly helps me if someone hints on which bass notes to use but when not then it's a case of trial and error. I think the hardest thing is just to do it and to post what ever has been achieved. I think the TOTM works well as it is -  it works for me ;D
Louise
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Hasse

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But fundamentally I'd say the quint/D/G system is all about the bass, especially when you begin. So you need to accommodate that into your tune (with several of its chords playing only one direction).

...?

The D/G system is certainly not all about the bass. It's more like also about the bass, but certainly not all about the bass  ::) I've heard lots brilliant D/G playing involving no bass at all.
 


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Hasse

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #24 on: March 17, 2010, 09:44:29 AM »

OK...  (:)
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Stiamh - away for the summer

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #25 on: March 17, 2010, 12:33:56 PM »

But fundamentally I'd say the quint/D/G system is all about the bass, especially when you begin. So you need to accommodate that into your tune (with several of its chords playing only one direction).
...?
The D/G system is certainly not all about the bass. It's more like also about the bass, but certainly not all about the bass  ::) I've heard lots brilliant D/G playing involving no bass at all.
OK - but can we perhaps agree that half-tone systems - B/C C#/D etc - are not about the basses?
Quote from: me
Formulate a rule about traditional music, no matter how carefully, and sooner or later you'll encounter a fine player who flouts it magnificently.

All that aside, you can say that semitone boxes are not about the basses and I won't argue with you. I'd like it better if turned it around and said they are all about melody. And hasn't trad. music  always been about melody (until maybe guitars and melodeons got in on the act)?

But why not just let every box player decide what they want to do with their system? These sweeping statements imply a judgment (e.g. disapproval of the quint player who concentrates on the right hand and neglects the left), don't they?



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Chris Ryall

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2010, 01:16:22 PM »

All that aside, you can say that semitone boxes are not about the basses and I won't argue with you. I'd like it better if turned it around and said they are all about melody. And hasn't trad. music  always been about melody (until maybe guitars and melodeons got in on the act)?

But why not just let every box player decide what they want to do with their system? These sweeping statements imply a judgment (e.g. disapproval of the quint player who concentrates on the right hand and neglects the left), don't they?

Broad brush (is this the same as 'sweeping'?) principle does have a  place - but only if it's a useful concept. Agreed. Trad is very very much about melody. Only HalelujAl seems to disagree ;) that Folk has the 'best tunes'.  And I was personally amazed in the 70's when I first encountered B/C music - left end barely used - but fantastic drive and verve!

Does this all mean I 'disapprove' of a parallel style on 'quint' D/G?  Well, as melody it's actually 'the same' as you point out. However I do honestly feel it's a waste of 8 buttons, and I think I might 'disapprove' of anyone teaching that approach to play.  This is a 'beginners' thread after all.

Nice self-quote on rule flouting, I think I may not have been around when you said it.  Absolutely! So many advances (not just in music) have been about 'rule' breaking. There's an apocryphal quote from a medical school dean - "50% of what we'll teach you - will turn out to be wrong".

So time to eat some words then - often a good diet. It is absolutely OK to play just right end of any melodeon.  Caveat from on my own sometimes painful experience - that trying to find useful basses afterwards ... may require a 50% relearn  :-\

[edit]  Steve, tu es gentil et sympa. Mais qui est le mec qui bat les touches basses de sa boite demitone ???
« Last Edit: March 17, 2010, 04:57:55 PM by Chris Ryall »
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Stiamh - away for the summer

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2010, 02:10:41 PM »

It is absolutely OK to play just right end of any melodeon.  Caveat from on my own sometimes painful experience - that trying to find useful basses afterwards ... may require a 50% relearn  :-\

Glad we can find a terrain d'entente.

On a halfstep box the relearn is a good deal less than 50% - only two reversed notes to worry about.  (:) 
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uofdoboe

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2010, 06:04:37 PM »

From a beginner's perspective...

ToTM had started several months before I had even touched a melodeon.  While granted I have an extensive musical background prior to trying the melodeon, I certainly consider myself a beginner on the instrument though perhaps with good facility in reading music and understanding theory.  ToTM has been challenging but I don't consider any of it to have been unreasonably hard yet - it depends what you want to do with it.  I think it would be acceptable to attempt only the melody on tunes if that's the level you're at - nobody's mandating a standard of playing for you to participate.

Furthermore, I live in a rural area of the USA where D/G melodeon is unheard-of.  This really has proven invaluable as far as exposure to other players, watching technique, getting a sampling of styles both traditional and less-so, expanding ideas on chord progressions, etc etc etc.
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nemethmik

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2010, 10:19:15 AM »

I have an extensive musical background prior to trying the melodeon
You are an excellent musician, it was amazing how fast you picked up the tunes. ToTM is definitely for "beginners" like you. In 6 months you are going to be among the best melodeonists. This is great! melodeon.net help talented musicians to become good melodeon pleayers; and this is really very good thing.  
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #30 on: March 22, 2010, 09:27:50 PM »

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oggiesnr

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #31 on: March 22, 2010, 11:28:25 PM »

Way back when I played a B/C box the basses had been retuned to a G/D configuration (Mally did that a lot back then) and so you could play a sensible bass with most tunes.

I could never see the point of only using one side of a two sided box (mind you I feel the same about irish style anglo players who only play melody and uillean pipers who never play the regulators).

Steve
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #32 on: March 23, 2010, 08:11:16 AM »

Gosh - Chris has beautifully boiled down my own concept of our instrument. Apologies to Steve, but I really do believe this is the way the 'quint' (eg D/G) box was designed to be played. I think the evidence is the way the left end chords are arranged.

I made a very conscious 'play in chords' decision abour half-way through my career - previously an up/down the rows fella. It  has loads of advantages. I'd commend careful re-read of Chris's 'essay' ;) to anyone who wants to start up, expand technique, play texture against other people, whatever. Thanks Chris
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Chris Ryall

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #33 on: March 23, 2010, 10:34:46 AM »

.. like the Chrises I always start working on tune at the bass end. But for me part of the exercise is in trying to find less obvious bass/chord sequences. Even on the 12-bass the options are limited, and its fun to try to exploit what you have to the full.
nat is a b9th in the Em scale so it's gone phrygian, and "cool"  8)  If you can somehow weave F into the music line - we could even get a little shiver!

I think you need to resolve back to chords with F# for B music, but who knows ... "mid-tune crises" perhaps?   :D  or "just the jb"  ;D

« Last Edit: March 23, 2010, 10:45:32 AM by Chris Ryall »
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #34 on: March 23, 2010, 12:54:41 PM »

Quote

Hmm, I'm not sure that this entirely comes under the thread title, but it's cracking good stuff!  In my score pdf, you could replace the Am in bar 2 with an F chord, and the D in bar 17 with a Bb, and then you'd get a really Breton effect.  Better still, that D could have a Bbdim chord (ie pick some sort of run from: Bb C# G E), but I think that may be taking the poor D/G/Acc button accordion beyond its reasonable practical constraints!
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Chris Brimley

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #35 on: March 23, 2010, 01:02:04 PM »

By the way, jb, I entirely support your bass run ideas on playing the box - if were playing in my own mostly (or if I could persuade the others in the band to follow the concept), I'd do the same.  I think it's still necessary to plan the chords first if you're playing in a band, but why not give yourself that personal space if you're not?
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Stiamh - away for the summer

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #36 on: March 23, 2010, 01:10:56 PM »

So like the Chrises....

les tsi-kriss
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ladydetemps

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #37 on: March 23, 2010, 01:13:00 PM »

Gosh - Chris has beautifully boiled down my own concept of our instrument.  Thanks Chris
For a moment I thought you were talking to yourself. lol!

OwenG

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #38 on: March 23, 2010, 01:25:19 PM »

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Anahata

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Re: Discussion: Beginners & TOTM
« Reply #39 on: March 23, 2010, 02:43:04 PM »

The big issue: do you feel that allowing the left hand to dictate the right, i.e. putting harmony in the driving seat, compromises the phrasing and rhythm of the melody?
Only if you let it. Anyway playing it all on one row also compromises the phrasing and rhythm. Part of the art of playing any instrument well is not to let these technicalities interfere with the music.

Quote
Put it another way: if you were totally freed from the need to provide a l-h accompaniment, would you choose to do the r-h differently in order to make the melody more... well, more anything?
You can do that, but it's lazy. The "best" way is to play the RH so it sounds musical even when for other reasons (like chord requirements) the instrument is working against you. It's a great advantage, for example, to be used to playing consecutive notes with some space between them even if they are all in the same bellows direction, and to get the smoothest possible transition between notes even where there's a bellows reversal between them, and then you can play anything either way. The first is just finger co-ordination; the second is both that and bellows control, and time spent practising it pays dividends.

Another common problem when you let the LH dictate the RH playing is that you are using different fingers from the ones you are used to for a particular sequence of notes. My attitude to that to to see it as alarm bells signalling a gap in my technique, rise to the challenge and practice until they are used to it!

Years ago my cello teacher showed me the same thing: sometimes a particular way of bowing would make the phrasing easier, but it was in a context where you couldn't play it that way, and you had to practice "the hard way" (e.g. with the bow directions reversed) till you could make it sound just as good. Hard to do at first, but once it's under your belt it's another step to that elusive state of being "able to play anything"!
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