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Help - I've bought a melodeon!

Ruth Archer 30 Jul 07 - 07:49 AM
GUEST,Sapper STILL stuck at Shrewsbury 30 Jul 07 - 08:09 AM
Folkpicker 30 Jul 07 - 08:10 AM
The Borchester Echo 30 Jul 07 - 08:15 AM
GUEST,Ruston Hornsby 30 Jul 07 - 08:23 AM
The Borchester Echo 30 Jul 07 - 08:27 AM
GUEST,Ralphie 30 Jul 07 - 08:31 AM
The Sandman 30 Jul 07 - 08:34 AM
Mr Happy 30 Jul 07 - 08:35 AM
Folkiedave 30 Jul 07 - 08:45 AM
Folkiedave 30 Jul 07 - 09:36 AM
Ruth Archer 30 Jul 07 - 09:38 AM
Ruth Archer 30 Jul 07 - 09:42 AM
Mary Humphreys 30 Jul 07 - 09:46 AM
treewind 30 Jul 07 - 09:55 AM
Folkiedave 30 Jul 07 - 09:56 AM
Ruth Archer 30 Jul 07 - 10:24 AM
Greg B 30 Jul 07 - 10:35 AM
Dave the Gnome 30 Jul 07 - 10:48 AM
Folkiedave 30 Jul 07 - 11:01 AM
Ruth Archer 30 Jul 07 - 11:04 AM
Folkpicker 30 Jul 07 - 11:32 AM
greg stephens 30 Jul 07 - 12:19 PM
Dazbo 30 Jul 07 - 12:46 PM
Ruth Archer 30 Jul 07 - 01:18 PM
Greg B 30 Jul 07 - 02:30 PM
Dazbo 30 Jul 07 - 03:45 PM
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Subject: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 07:49 AM

Any useful advice on learning to play?


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: GUEST,Sapper STILL stuck at Shrewsbury
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 08:09 AM

You silly, twisted young lady you!!!
What did you go and do that for????


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Folkpicker
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 08:10 AM

I think JK has bought out a video. My mate Pip is doing a melodeon workshop at Broadstairs, don,t know if that has gone or is on at mo. One thing i know is third button down from top each row down up on each button and follow this pattern down up down up down up up down and you have a scale i.e G and D if its a G/D row.

Hope this helps


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 08:15 AM

First, morph into Zaphod Beeblebrox to try and get your head(s) round the totally baffling concept of diatonic madness.

Then sell it and get an English concertina.


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: GUEST,Ruston Hornsby
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 08:23 AM

Have a look at melodeon.net - there's quite a lot of helpful stuff on there, advice, links etc. Most of it hasn't been updated recently but the discussion forum is active enough. This is a UK based site started by John Squires.


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: The Borchester Echo
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 08:27 AM

John Spiers.

melodeon.net


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: GUEST,Ralphie
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 08:31 AM

Well Ms Archer.
As you are going to be a Sidmouth, you could do worse than to track down Mr Rennie, who is doing various workshops on all sorts of musical subjects.
Offer him a booking for Housewives' Choice in one of your venues, and I'm sure you will get personal tuition, free of charge!!!!
See you at the weekend
R


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: The Sandman
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 08:34 AM

Dave Mallinsons book is quite useful.
If I were in your position,I would make a diagram of the two rows,then presuming you have a d g,you can see immediately,what notes you have on each row,and you will become aware that you have at least five noTes the same on each row,But in a different direction,.
after that, start playing just up one row,when you have found a tune which has say only two major chords,start thinking about your bass side[merrily we roll along]IThink,the Three note jig.
Mallys book on morris tunes and country dance tunes for the melodeon,is agood starter.


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Mr Happy
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 08:35 AM

Mallys Melodeon Methods [Absolute Beginners] is the tutor book I started with, see here:http://www.mally.com/details.asp?id=2


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 08:45 AM

Started? she has already started......all around Warwick Festival - "I've got a melodeon". Da da da ta da da.....

If Sam the cowhand she nearly went off with had been a melodeon player - she would never have gone back to Daaaayvid......


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 09:36 AM

She needs a tutor with the Archer's theme tune in anyway........

Dave


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 09:38 AM

Not ALL over Warwick - just in your gazebo, Uncle Dave. By the way, did you (and your customers, and Moor and Coast's customers) enjoy my spirited attempts at Speed the Plough?

Trading lessons for bookings, Mr Jordan? Do you think I have no scruples? Saying that, I still have a festival ceilidh to fill...

Funnily enough, Folkpicker, JK saw me carrying my new box yesterday and highly recommended "Learning to play the English melodeon" by JK...

Thanks for the advice re John Spiers's site and the books - I will be busy!


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 09:42 AM

I'm not exactly encouraged by a page that begins "One of the most frustrating aspects about the melodeon..."

Oh good.


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Mary Humphreys
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 09:46 AM

Meet me on Sunday afternoon somewhere at Sidmouth - I will bring one of Anahata's one-row melodeons - probably the G box - and we can make a right old cacophony together because all I can manage is a scale - with wrong notes everywhere. I will persuade Anahata to come along we can have a two-on-one workshop with him for free. It is about time I learnt to play the d****d things - we have so many lying around at home!
PM me for details.
Mary


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: treewind
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 09:55 AM

I've not seen JK's video, but from the description I've seen, it will be useful for a long time (well, unless you learn very fast!). According to somebody on another Mudcat thread recently, the pace is quite fast - "he doesn't take any proisoners" was the phrase used...
You couldn't have a better and more inspiring master of the instrument to follow though - I've learned more from watching and listening to JK than anyone else.

Don't be daunted by stuff about "frustrations" - it's common to all folk instruments that they have limitations. Learning how to get the maximum music with the fewest resources is what makes it fun.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 09:56 AM

Speed the Bloody plough......

What's wrong with Barwick Green?


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 10:24 AM

You've got a deal, Mary! Looking forward to it!

Poor Anahata may not know what he's in for, though...Dave actually kicked me out of his gazebo because I was driving the customers away...

I'll PM you my phone number.


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Greg B
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 10:35 AM

Just play it!

Start on the inner row in the right and the upper four buttons
on the left.

Honk out some 3-chord melodies that you know well. The
'1' and '5' notes, where the melodies likely begin, are
on the 'press' two buttons apart.

On the left hand, five minutes experimentation will show
you the I, V, and IV chords 'oom' and 'pah' bits.

The instrument is made to be played intuitively by untrained
musicians. If' you're a trained musician, it will be even quicker
to fit the things you already know into the layout of buttons.

Once you've gotten the hang of that inner row for basic stuff,
you can move on to the outer row, which handles the chordal
structure of tunes a bit differently.

Don't 'overblow' the thing--- you need less air than you think.


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 10:48 AM

I never learned to play one myself - well, not beyond the general principles, but Dave Mallinson had some tutorials that seemed to be good. But then again the list of instruments that I can't quite play could be a testement to either my abilities or to my choice of tutor;-)

Cheers

Dave


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Folkiedave
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 11:01 AM

Dave actually kicked me out of his gazebo because I was driving the customers away...

That Ruth Archer is prone to exaggeration - like "kicked". "Gently ushered out" would have been more accurate. I did use a boot - but only because the site was a little muddy and it was what I had on at the time.


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 11:04 AM

"Just play it!"

Your confidence is very kind, though possibly somewhat misplaced...

I have every intention of sitting down and getting to know my melodeon properly tonight, so all of your advice is most welcome.


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Folkpicker
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 11:32 AM

The guys right, just play it, the wrong notes become right after a while when the old ear gets kicked in, i've recently took up anglo and am practising some tunes and song stuff, my mate Will Pound of Steam chicked fame who i play in a duo with showed me some stuff. Everyone in folk is really giving in general, people in general are nice and will show stuff. Its all very inspiring. Shure you'll do FANTASTIC!!!


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: greg stephens
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 12:19 PM

Greg B wrote:

"Start on the inner row in the right and the upper four buttons
on the left".

If your D/G box is laid out like mine, change that "upper" for lower" or you'll spend the rest of your life worrying why it sounds funny!


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Dazbo
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 12:46 PM

Brilliant! Another convert to the best instrument in the world:-) It's amazing how good you can sound with a simple tune and bass accompaniament.

The Dave Mallinson book is good for a D/G starter and there are also ones by George Garside, Maggie somebody and some bloke with a beard (best ask on the forum on Mel.net - it comes up regularly starter books).

The JK videos are available on one DVD now, I've not found them too helpful to learn basics from as I prefer to work from music rather than by ear still a very useful reference work though. I sometimes play them just for enjoyment.

My best tip for learning is don't put it back in its box unless you have to - keep it handy at all times.


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 01:18 PM

Thanks for all the helpful tips!


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Greg B
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 02:30 PM

Right, I don't know me top from me bottom, I just play it.

The thing is, on the inner row, and the corresponding row
of buttons, it's actually near impossible to play a wrong
note, because if you do press the wrong button, you just
played a note that is in harmony with the right note, so
it just comes out a variation.

Playing the chords actually helps keep the bellows moving
in the proper direction.


here's a fingering chart for a D/G. Works just as well if you pretend it's
a D/G. G row is on the inside. See the I/V and IV chords on the
left hand? Note that the four buttons clustered at the bottom
give you OOM-pah for the G and D chords on press and draw
respectively on the outer two and the C-chord in both directions
on the inner two.

You will also observe, through the process of CNA (creative
noodling around) that in most simple tunes, you start on
the press and the two outer lower bass notes. Most of the
notes that you need on the down- or secondary beats (9 in
10 times) will fall easily to hand in the proper direction on
the right hand. Passing tones which require the bellows to go
the other way will generally NOT be either on a down- or secondary
beat. Just the way music is, most of the time.

You begin to appreciate a staccato approach to the left hand,
which also conserves air.

You'll also observe that on the part of the tune which uses the
V (D in this case) chord, nearly all of the notes on the beats
turn out to be those that are available on the draw of the bellows
(as the D chord is).

And of course, on the great ambiguous IV chord portions you've
got the C basses going in both directions, so you can grab the
notes and adjust bellows directions as you will.

As you progress, you'll find that there's more two it--- for
instance you'll observe that there really is a D chord in both
directions, but forget that for now. You'll also observe that
some notes that you might have reversed the bellows for are
available without doing so via a minor excursion to the other
treble row. Don't mess with that yet, either. Save that for
next month.


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Subject: RE: Help - I've bought a melodeon!
From: Dazbo
Date: 30 Jul 07 - 03:45 PM

Oh, and don't forget the air button - it's essential to the instrument so make sure you learn to use it along with the bass buttons and don't leave it for later. One of the problems playing in D or G major is that in many tunes most of the notes are played on the push so you need to be able to get lots of air into the bellows quickly when you get the chance. The opposite is true for the Eminor tunes.

And remember - have fun with it!


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