correct speed

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correct speed

Post by accordian » Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:50 pm

iv'e been trying to record myself
today to show a friend how far
im getting on a song and just
wondered whenever I play
both hands it seems that the speed
isn't quite right and so Iv'e been
trying to work on it. that being said
i'm not sure how to go about this
as when playing one hand the speed
is perfect and has the "mood" of the song
with it but when both hands the speed is
consistent but the "mood" of the song goes
this could be my microphone not
being the most expensive but i'm not sure.

george garside
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Re: correct speed

Post by george garside » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:29 pm

could be that you are no playing the bass in sympathy with the treble (melody) of the tune. To me the bass is there to enhance but not overpower the tune nor to detract from the rhythm that must be inherent in the way the treble is played.

From what you have said about the tune, ?song, being ''perfect'' when played without the bass is indicative of the bass being the problem , maybe too complex, too heavy, too slow, lacking in rhythmic quality etc etc

george

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Re: correct speed

Post by accordian » Thu Apr 26, 2018 12:15 am

george garside wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:29 pm
could be that you are no playing the bass in sympathy with the treble (melody) of the tune. To me the bass is there to enhance but not overpower the tune nor to detract from the rhythm that must be inherent in the way the treble is played.

From what you have said about the tune, ?song, being ''perfect'' when played without the bass is indicative of the bass being the problem , maybe too complex, too heavy, too slow, lacking in rhythmic quality etc etc

george
forgive me my musical terminology
isn't quite up to scratch. when you say
sympathy do you mean in sync?

as for your second paragraph when
you say to heavy and to slow do you
mean in terms of keeping melody and
bass in sync and i'm unsure what you mean
by rhythmic quality.

thanks

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Re: correct speed

Post by Geronimo » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:08 am

george garside wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:29 pm
could be that you are no playing the bass in sympathy with the treble (melody) of the tune. To me the bass is there to enhance but not overpower the tune nor to detract from the rhythm that must be inherent in the way the treble is played.

From what you have said about the tune, ?song, being ''perfect'' when played without the bass is indicative of the bass being the problem , maybe too complex, too heavy, too slow, lacking in rhythmic quality etc etc
That's the funny thing about a forum: ask 10 people, get 12 opinions. In my book, bass/chords are the rhythmic foundation. Apart from general speedups and slowdowns, they should not at all try to accommodate the treble. It's only when they are dependable on their own that the tune has the chance to meaningfully diverge from rigid timing and doing so, get highlighted by the differences to the consistent backdrop.

So for me, it's important to give the bass a nice consistent articulation that I could listen to for hours and then drape the treble over it, always making sure that the bass stays rock solid. That gives the treble the leeway to "sing".

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Re: correct speed

Post by george garside » Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:07 pm

I would strongly argue that the inherent rhythm must come from the treble and whatever bass is played either long chords or rhythmic tapping of bass and or chord buttons bust be synchronised with the inherent treble rhythm and timing.
This is much the same as a bass instrument - eg bass guitar, drums, piano playing bass with both hands etc etc must be ''in sympathy'' ( which is a common sense rather than a musical term) with melody instruments such as fiddles, flutes, brass or other blowy or stringy things.

An accordion is in effect two instruments and the two must be synchronised and in sympathy so that neither buggers up the effect of the other! ( and preferable each enhances the other)

george

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Re: correct speed

Post by JeffJetton » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:41 pm

accordian wrote:
Wed Apr 25, 2018 8:50 pm
iv'e been trying to record myself
today to show a friend how far
im getting on a song and just
wondered whenever I play
both hands it seems that the speed
isn't quite right and so Iv'e been
trying to work on it. that being said
i'm not sure how to go about this
as when playing one hand the speed
is perfect and has the "mood" of the song
with it but when both hands the speed is
consistent but the "mood" of the song goes
this could be my microphone not
being the most expensive but i'm not sure.
Practice with a metronome?

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Re: correct speed

Post by Geronimo » Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:46 pm

george garside wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 1:07 pm
I would strongly argue that the inherent rhythm must come from the treble and whatever bass is played either long chords or rhythmic tapping of bass and or chord buttons bust be synchronised with the inherent treble rhythm and timing.
This is much the same as a bass instrument - eg bass guitar, drums, piano playing bass with both hands etc etc must be ''in sympathy'' ( which is a common sense rather than a musical term) with melody instruments such as fiddles, flutes, brass or other blowy or stringy things.

An accordion is in effect two instruments and the two must be synchronised and in sympathy so that neither buggers up the effect of the other! ( and preferable each enhances the other)
Well, for me the accordion is at least three instruments, but the two on the left side are the rhythm group. The relation of rhythm group to lead is not specific to playing the accordion. We won't likely resolve our different opinions here.

For me personally, the music wins another dimension once I manage not just using the left hand for "clapping along" with the right hand but giving it a distinct and identifiable consistent character and articulation of its own. Since the rhythm group is quite more tied into the meter by providing rhythmic accents and establishing harmony that usually also changes on rhythmic boundaries, a consistent character almost necessitates not getting distracted by all the tiny foibles the lead voice may engage in. And delegating the duty of proper time-keeping to the left hand actually allows the right hand to engage in more expressive freedoms without the performance losing its frame of reference.

I'm currently rerecording this "Turks Fruit" arrangement I am obsessed with right now and will put up a new version once I get a good enough take. It's actually demonstrating this approach pretty well by now and I think it works out nicely.

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Re: correct speed

Post by donn » Thu Apr 26, 2018 3:45 pm

Geronimo wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:08 am
That's the funny thing about a forum: ask 10 people, get 12 opinions. In my book, bass/chords are the rhythmic foundation. Apart from general speedups and slowdowns, they should not at all try to accommodate the treble. It's only when they are dependable on their own that the tune has the chance to meaningfully diverge from rigid timing and doing so, get highlighted by the differences to the consistent backdrop.
Sure, the bass is the tonal and rhythmic heart of the music. The melody not only doesn't need to mark time so fastidiously, it likely shouldn't. Depending on the type of music, of course. I am of course not talking about deteriorated rhythmic accuracy, more like syncopation where a note may lead the beat for a certain effect. I reckon George does that all the time, and we're mainly just blowing smoke over semantics.

Not that this really addresses the original question. Putting two parts together is likely one of the aspects of playing the accordion that's the most demanding in terms of musical ability. It takes practice of course, and I guess you find out here if you're getting the right kind of practice, when you either get results or you don't.

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Re: correct speed

Post by george garside » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:08 pm

irrespective of differing opinions on the role of the bass and treble ends of a box there is the fundamental problem of the degree not only of manual dexterity but also needing tobe, to some degree at least, ambidextrous.

This is more a matter of training the brain than the hands as the brain has to send different signals down each arm that may be slightly similar but may be completely different. In some ways developing ambidextrous abilities is a chicken and egg situation - are some naturally ambidextrous which makes getting the hang of playing the box easier or does getting the hang of playing the back provide ambidextrosity???

George ???

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Re: correct speed

Post by Geronimo » Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:19 pm

george garside wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:08 pm
irrespective of differing opinions on the role of the bass and treble ends of a box there is the fundamental problem of the degree not only of manual dexterity but also needing tobe, to some degree at least, ambidextrous.
I found what has been helping me get into the right frame of mind was just prefixing the piece at such with two bars of accompaniment only. For another piece, I prepended a trivial theme prefix just in the treble, once a fifth down from the actual theme, one a fourth, then separately the accompaniment (in original pitch) of the first major phrase and then start for good.

Starting the accompaniment off before the actual theme helps in establishing its independent nature, and once the theme starts, of course you try keeping it going in exactly the same manner as you started it alone. This kind of "listening to the accompaniment as a separate entity" thing just is easier to get into if you start off the accompaniment on its own. That way it's easier to get into a separate "background ear".

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Re: correct speed

Post by george garside » Thu Apr 26, 2018 10:02 pm

Geronimo wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:19 pm
george garside wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 9:08 pm

Starting the accompaniment off before the actual theme helps in establishing its independent nature, and once the theme starts, of course you try keeping it going in exactly the same manner as you started it alone. This kind of "listening to the accompaniment as a separate entity" thing just is easier to get into if you start off the accompaniment on its own. That way it's easier to get into a separate "background ear".
I agree!
george ;)

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Re: correct speed

Post by losthobos » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:32 am

I prefer to keep rhythmic tempo with my foot...
Right or wrong make it strong...when in doubt miss it out...

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Re: correct speed

Post by Geronimo » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:43 pm

losthobos wrote:
Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:32 am
I prefer to keep rhythmic tempo with my foot...
In general, that's not popular in orchestra/band settings since then you are competing with conductor and others for visual tempo cues. I also find that it works pretty bad with accordion since it affects the bellows pressure and thus adds unwanted "structuring" to long notes.

If you want to use that sort of corporal timekeeping, it may make sense to practice just using a toe for this purpose. Less distractive for your bellows and fellows.

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Re: correct speed

Post by Geronimo » Fri Apr 27, 2018 12:55 pm

Geronimo wrote:
Thu Apr 26, 2018 2:46 pm
For me personally, the music wins another dimension once I manage not just using the left hand for "clapping along" with the right hand but giving it a distinct and identifiable consistent character and articulation of its own. Since the rhythm group is quite more tied into the meter by providing rhythmic accents and establishing harmony that usually also changes on rhythmic boundaries, a consistent character almost necessitates not getting distracted by all the tiny foibles the lead voice may engage in. And delegating the duty of proper time-keeping to the left hand actually allows the right hand to engage in more expressive freedoms without the performance losing its frame of reference.

I'm currently rerecording this "Turks Fruit" arrangement I am obsessed with right now and will put up a new version once I get a good enough take. It's actually demonstrating this approach pretty well by now and I think it works out nicely.
Ok, here is. I finally got a mostly correct (and by now even somewhat musical) version recorded nicely: Click this link for a rendition of Paul's "Turks Fruit" arrangement where I try pretty hard to let the treble sing out in a rhythmic somewhat free way over a rhythmic somewhat steady bass and chord foundation. That's particularly relevant for the first minute or two: afterwards stuff fits together in a tighter (and faster) manner so that this kind of "two/three instrument" idea of structuring the rhythms does not survive in a similarly recognizable manner.

Also shows the "start off with two measures of just accompaniment" crutch: I use it at the start of both pieces constituting this sort-of medley and try giving the second one a distinctively separate character. Speakers (or headphones) capable of some bass reproduction are definitely recommended or what I am talking about will be missing to a good degree in the first part.

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Re: correct speed

Post by george garside » Fri Apr 27, 2018 4:07 pm

I won't have anybody in a ceilidh band that doesn't keep time with their foot or even feet. That is so that I can be certain that everybody is precisely in time, not only with each other but also with the dancers!

I am aware that in the classical world keeping time with ones foot is frowned on but that is certainly not the case in the folk/trad world where playing by ear/from memory is often the case.

horses for courses and all that!

george ;)

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Re: correct speed

Post by donn » Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:16 pm

I have had not many, but certainly a few bad experiences with Big Foot.

- The obvious problem, too loud.
- The second obvious problem: not in time. This comes in two flavors:
-- not in time with player's own time. Yes, that does happen. Obviously we're at the low end of the range of musical talent here.
-- the player's off time, and the foot tapping reinforces it.

The most recent of my grievances, I'm playing tuba and naturally seated in back. The tenor sax player is beating his foot, wrong. He's actually an OK player, I don't notice any problem coming through my ears, but at any rate I can count on the trombones - he'd just be one vote, and he'd lose, I never listen to the saxophones (ha ha, I have played in the sax section, but it's true.) That foot, however, is right in front of me like a pulsing light in the darkness (or a conductor's baton, if anyone watches those.)

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Re: correct speed

Post by Geronimo » Sat Apr 28, 2018 6:41 pm

donn wrote:
Sat Apr 28, 2018 4:16 pm
The most recent of my grievances, I'm playing tuba and naturally seated in back. The tenor sax player is beating his foot, wrong. He's actually an OK player, I don't notice any problem coming through my ears, but at any rate I can count on the trombones - he'd just be one vote, and he'd lose, I never listen to the saxophones (ha ha, I have played in the sax section, but it's true.) That foot, however, is right in front of me like a pulsing light in the darkness (or a conductor's baton, if anyone watches those.)
Ah, reminds me of a viola joke (long time in coming): an orchestra is going on an international concert tournee and one day before departure, the conductor is hospitalized and needs an emergency operation. The flights are no longer returnable and the orchestra would be broke without the concert bookings. So what to do?

First chair viola lifts his finger "I did a conducting course". No other options are apparent, they go. The first viola chair pulls off the conductor routine reasonably convincing, the orchestra's collective bacon is saved.

When arriving back at home, the conductor is out of hospital. First rehearsal, and first chair viola is back in his seat, to be met with disapproving glares from his colleagues. So he asks "what is it"? -- "Have you forgotten the concert tour? Where were you?"

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Re: correct speed

Post by donn » Sat Apr 28, 2018 9:08 pm

Just thought of this discussion while practicing a tune I'll be playing in public Monday, nothing spectacular but a lot of notes for me, and I'm required to take it up tempo. The notes are there, about as good as they're going to get anyway; I'm improving on the relative emphasis that I need so the phrases make sense.

And not just dynamic emphasis (i.e., louder) - it seems that the tune benefits a lot from a very slight flex in the time at certain places. Does the left hand vary along with the right? Alas, can't tell. This isn't the syncopation I mentioned earlier, those notes don't conspicuously cross the beat, it's much more subtle. Anyway ... in praise of non-metronomic time.

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