It is currently Tue Nov 24, 2020 6:39 am

All times are UTC - 6 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next
Author Message
 
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 1:22 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Sat Dec 14, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 392
Location: The Swamp (go Gators!)
Been on the pipes for a long time (never long enough though)...


Try not to slag off on me too bad as I know the question is rather set up for it... however, I am diving into a Saltarelle C#/D box after getting bitten by the free reed box and any general advice starting out would be appreciated. Just for context, I have been playing the uilleann pipes for a decade, and ran the Florida Tionol until it became the SE Tionol... so i have been around the music all my life and have played for a while, but the misadventures into box-land is new so helpful hints (i.e. don't use your pinky terribly much) to help me out until I get to the Catskills this summer would be gladly returned in kind.

I posted this on the session as well, so if you are interested in what folks will say in addition, you can check that thread as well... Looking for all the help I can get since there are no box players anywhere near me (and i thought it would be hard to find pipers!)

Cheers,

maze


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 8:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 2175
Location: Montreal
One of the answers you got about the pinky on thesession.org had it right, in my opinion: only ever use it for the highest note in a phrase. In my experience it really is worthwhile trying not to use it at all except for high Bs in the early stages. What you need to develop is mobility, the ability to scurry confidently around the keyboard, and learning to rely almost exclusively on the first three fingers is the best present you can give yourself.

Other tips:

1) Get used to using the air button little and often.

2) Experiment with using C# and F# on the outer row to smooth things out as much as possible. But always consider not using them, precisely in order not to smooth things out, where it suits the tune.

3) Work on developing the strength of your left arm. If your Saltarelle is brand new, you'll have no choice :)

4) Play lots and lots of polkas.

5) When you have to play the same note twice or three times, you can hit it with different fingers. This can come in very handy in jigs with repeated notes - Connaughtman's Rambles to give just one example. Effectively removes the speed barrier imposed by hitting the button twice with the same finger, or just to get a smoother feel if that's what suits you.

You can use the same idea in passages where on another instrument you would play a long roll, for example: just play the note three times, say with fingers 1-2-1. The kind of thing you can hear Josephine Marsh, to give just one example, doing all the time.

6) I can't give you any advice on using the basses since I'm next to useless at it (not that I'm much more advanced with the right hand) but I think that you can't be a complete box player unless you can make good use of them. Worth bringing them in at an early stage.

Steve


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Apr 15, 2006 9:09 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jun 03, 2004 3:14 pm
Posts: 2012
Location: SoFla
there are a couple of boxplayer lists where a lot of C#/D players hang out:
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/irishbox/
http://launch.groups.yahoo.com/group/IrishTradAccord/

join em and read the archives, there's some good information to be had.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:02 am 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 36257
Location: Where else?
StevieJ wrote:
1) Get used to using the air button little and often.


Eh?

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:21 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 2175
Location: Montreal
Nanohedron wrote:
StevieJ wrote:
1) Get used to using the air button little and often.


Eh?


Thinking of immigrating to Canada, are you?

BTW Maze, here's one I forgot: ignore the advice of people who tell you not to slide a finger from one row to the other.

Steve


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 10:43 am 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 36257
Location: Where else?
StevieJ wrote:
Nanohedron wrote:
StevieJ wrote:
1) Get used to using the air button little and often.


Eh?


Thinking of immigrating to Canada, are you?


I do have my ties to your fair land already. :D

Seriously, I was wondering what you meant as it seems contradictory as it's worded, is all.

I have a need to keep up on things. Every now and then I consider the idea of taking up the bosca cheoil, although in my case it'd likely be B/C, so there's obviously a limit to what would apply for me in this discussion. FWIW, it seems the majority of box players in my neck of the woods play C#/D.

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:14 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 2175
Location: Montreal
Nanohedron wrote:
Every now and then I consider the idea of taking up the bosca cheoil, although in my case it'd likely be B/C, so there's obviously a limit to what would apply for me in this discussion.


Not so obvious. Most of what I said ought to be very useful to a beginner on any kind of diatonic box I think.

In the bit about smoothing or not smoothing things out, on a B/C the notes you have available in both rows (and both directions) are B and E.

On a C#/D Kerry polkas are very good for practising fast runs involving constant bellows changes. I don't know how true this would be of the B/C, haven't really tried transposing them into "B/C fingering".

OK I can see how my wording about the air button could be confusing... to someone who's never tried a cordjun. By using it "little and often" I mean depressing the button for a short length of time but doing so frequently.

Steve


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 16, 2006 12:24 pm 
Offline
Moderatorer
User avatar

Joined: Wed Dec 18, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 36257
Location: Where else?
Thanks!

_________________
"Time is the wisest counselor of all." - Pericles

"I remain not entirely convinced of it." - Nano


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Apr 17, 2006 9:11 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 777
Location: Takoma Park, MD
Oooh, another opportunity to give advice!

I respectfully disagree with StevieJ. Developing and using your little finger is a good idea. I tend to follow Paddy O'Brien's advice to use primarily your index, middle, and ring fingers in the lower octave, and your middle, ring, and little fingers in the upper. I generally (though not always) do rolls like he does too, i.e. without the tap: note (cut) note note.

I use one strap and sit with the bottom of the keyboard on my left leg, tilting the box forward so that the bottom front corner of the box is braced against the outside of my thigh. With my thumb against the edge of the keyboard, the box stays pretty stable. Tilting it forward makes better ergonomic sense for my hands and wrists, and it also discourages looking at the keyboard.

FWIW some of the first few tunes I learned on the D box were the Home Ruler, Paidin O Rafferty (that's a fun one; you can do it totally without shifting), and the Patrick Street set of the Concertina Reel, Walter Sammond's Grandmother, and Brendan McMahon's.

Edited to add: I can't find the exact quotation, but Elizabeth David's advice on omelettes applies equally well to accordion technique. I.e., there is only one correct way to make an omelette: your own. Stick to this method, perfect it, scorn all others.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 11:51 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 2175
Location: Montreal
Ro3b wrote:
I respectfully disagree with StevieJ. Developing and using your little finger is a good idea. I tend to follow Paddy O'Brien's advice to use primarily your index, middle, and ring fingers in the lower octave, and your middle, ring, and little fingers in the upper.


It seems there are really two distinct schools of thought on this issue - with a grey area in between no doubt. Rob has been playing boxes of different stripes for far longer than I have, and so normally I would be inclined to defer to his experience - were it not for the way I heard the advice and the effect it had on my own playing. So Maze, I think it's something you should keep an open mind on, experiment with and do whatever works best for you. (You are still reading, aren't you?)

My natural inclination on taking up the box was to try to make as much use of the little finger as possible. After I had been playing for a year I got 5 minutes of advice from a very fine C#/D player, Noel Scott. He really stressed not using the pinky at all, basically, and developing the ability to scoot up and down the keyboard using either just two or three fingers.

It seemed totally counterintuitive, but Noel being such a great player, I decided to give it a trial for a few weeks and set about relearning all my tunes without the little finger. The effect was instantaneous. I can't say my box playing took off, because it's still nothing to write home about, but almost. Mobility and confidence improved immediately and tricky passages involving the 4th finger miraculously became easy.

I'm curious to watch other players more carefully but I don't encounter many. I did stare at Jacky Daly's right hand for a week in the Catskills last year and I can tell you he very rarely uses the little finger. In fact a week's worth of tunes that he taught us, he pointed out one place where he thought it was a good idea to use the little finger - for a B-b-B jump - and apart from that I don't think I saw him use it at all (not counting graces).

I wonder if the pinky is more useful for B/C players because of the more frequent cross-rowing. But then Noel Scott played B/C for about 20 years before switching to C#/D a few years ago. And Ena O Brien, a well-known B/C player in Canada, does not use the 4th finger herself (though she apparently tells others they should!).

Make of all this what you will. My experience is limited after all.

Question for you, Rob: when you say 'cut' with reference to P O'B's rolls, do you mean a higher note or the semitone-lower note on the outer row?

Steve

PS Just noticed Rob's edit about omelettes. :) Absolutely right - but nothing says you shouldn't watch good cooks making them and try things out for yourself.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 2:13 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 13, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 777
Location: Takoma Park, MD
Quote:
It seems there are really two distinct schools of thought on this issue - with a grey area in between no doubt. Rob has been playing boxes of different stripes for far longer than I have, and so normally I would be inclined to defer to his experience -


No no no no, I've only been playing D box for a couple of years; there's no reason at all to pay attention to what I have to say. :-)

Quote:
Question for you, Rob: when you say 'cut' with reference to P O'B's rolls, do you mean a higher note or the semitone-lower note on the outer row?


Next higher note in the same row, generally, assuming it's in the scale of the key I'm in. If I'm rolling B in a tune in the key of G, I'll go to the outside row and cut with the C natural.


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 3:44 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 2:01 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Alabama
I'm curious to watch other players more carefully but I don't encounter many. I did stare at Jacky Daly's right hand for a week in the Catskills last year and I can tell you he very rarely uses the little finger. In fact a week's worth of tunes that he taught us, he pointed out one place where he thought it was a good idea to use the little finger - for a B-b-B jump - and apart from that I don't think I saw him use it at all (not counting graces).

.[/quote]

Steve,

Yep, that's right. But remember he taught mostly polkas and slides. One of the things I really wanted to get into was more of the technical side of his playing but it became pretty clear after the first couple of days the class just was not going in that direction. But he's surely not a stickler for technique in the way Billy Mac is. I'd like to be able to watch him closely in a setting other than a class to see what he does with things like Dm, C, etc. But the class at East Durham was not the place for it, unfortunately.

So I say don't go out of your way to use the little finger, but if it's convenient and makes sense, do it and don't worry about it.


Rick

_________________
"You cain't teach what you don't know anymore'n you can come back from where you ain't been".-- John Osteen


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 4:29 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 12, 2002 6:00 pm
Posts: 1625
Location: Isle of Geese
Imo, Jackie Daly uses his little finger a lot more than Mairtin O'Connor. anyway, i'm just playing for over a year now and like to use my little finger a lot for cuts. but i don't use it at all on the basses. And fwiw, peter browne has a tutorial dvd for B/C , but roughly the same ornamentation works for Cs/D, you just have to choose what suits you best.

http://www.simplyirish.com/prodView.asp?idproduct=2437


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 6:35 pm 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Thu May 17, 2001 6:00 pm
Posts: 2175
Location: Montreal
Thanks Rob, that's what I would normally expect a cut to be but in that video that lixnaw mentions, P. Browne uses the term "cuts" for semitone upward slides from the outer to the inner row. (I have to say BTW that as incredibly skilful as Peter Browne is I don't warm to his style of playing at all.)

Another reason I asked is that I heard someone, and it might have been Jackie Daly, say that Paddy O B never learned to do 5-note rolls and simply plays for example GF#G instead.

Anyway Rob you shouldn't be so modest. I have a great deal more to be modest about, but since I discovered the squeezebox I can't stop running off at the keyboard.

Rick I just tallied up the tunes he actually taught us (rather than demonstrated) and yes polkas predominate with 3 sets (9 tunes), but there was only one set of slides (3 tunes), 2 sets each of jigs and reels (4 tunes for each) and 1 hornpipe. Anyway I was staring at his hand during all the demonstration pieces, which did include a few reels though none in D minor or C - I made sure I sat on the right side of the room to do that! But you're right about his reluctance to teach fingering and the like. I asked him on the first day and he said no very firmly!

Cheers
S


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 8:08 am 
Offline
User avatar

Joined: Tue May 24, 2005 2:01 pm
Posts: 64
Location: Alabama
Hey Steve,

Yeah, you're right about the tune count. Going over the MD recordings of the class when I got home though confirmed what seemed the case to me at the time-- we spent considerably more time on the polkas. Which is OK if that's what you went there for (I think a lot of the folks did), but I didn't. Though there were some cool tunes, the way I see it 3 sets of polkas in a week-long workshop is about 2 sets too many! Other people in the class seemed to be just fine with that though, so to each his own I guess.

I should have taken my Mengascini, the Saltarelle I have was only 2 weeks old at the time and was still pretty stiff!

Edit-- just got back from a lunchtime gig downtown (had to wear a tie, yecch!). It was weird to actually think about what fingers I was using, but I tried to keep track of what tunes I used my pinky on quite a bit.

From what I can remember:

Jig of Slurs
Atholl Highlanders
Mullingar Races
John Stinsons #1 and #2
The Mason's Apron
Earl's Chair
Master Crowley's (in the B part)
Dusty Windowsill (has those octave jumps Steve talked about)

And there probably were others. I don't think we did any Bm tunes, but those seem to be a good place to use the little finger up high.

Rick

_________________
"You cain't teach what you don't know anymore'n you can come back from where you ain't been".-- John Osteen


Top
 Profile  
Reply with quote  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 40 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3  Next

All times are UTC - 6 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
[ Time : 0.089s | 11 Queries | GZIP : On ]
(dh)