Diatonic Accordions
#1
I've had to start a new thread on this as when I posted an update on the "Does anyone play diatonic" thread, it didn't show up in recent postings/active topics or anywhere else.

An update on my progress with the diatonic.

I love it !!!

I've have not found it as difficult to cope with as I expected though perhaps that's just beginner's luck. There are literally hundreds of simple tunes which are great for learning and a couple of months on, I'm not sure how to continue so it's time for some tuition.  Fingering and bellows technique will be easier to sort out now before bad habits become too set.

Some of the beginners' tunes use a major chord where clearly there should be a minor chord which to me grates. I have been told that it is part of the charm of the diatonic ....  The only minor chord on a G/C box is Am.  However, I have learnt that you can use Dm7 and Em7 and the sound is an awful lot nicer.

I'm thinking of changing to a Stelvio 2 row G/C which is easier to play than the Hohner and it also has a tirette you can pull to neutralise the chords, ie remove the middle note.  I'll see on Wednesday how this sounds, and will plan for some tuition at the same time.  

The diatonic is so different from the chromatic, but then horses for courses ....
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#2
Congratulations! Good to hear it's going well.
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#3
Good luck, glad to hear you're enjoying it.
There is, of course, a whole world of enthusiastic diatonic discussion over at melodeon.net.

"I have been told that it is part of the charm of the diatonic" yes, I think it's important to hold onto that charm, borne of simplicity and limitations. When you see the big, two and a half row diatonic boxes with sixteen basses, even though there is wonderful music made on them, you start to think - why not just play chromatic!
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#4
Hi Sally,

Most of that sailed way over my head, but it sounded very impressive. Very best of luck with all the stuff you are doing.

Big Hugs,

Stephen.
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#5
I've had a look at melodeon.net - lots of interesting stuff and it looks a friendly place - thanks Tom.  Yes, I agree about the charm and will stick with simplicity !  The lightness of the boxes is just amazing.

Stephen - I'm still playing the chromatic !  Our group is going to play at a sea shanty festival at Paimpol (Brittany) which is held every 2 years.  We're very pleased to have been accepted !

From what I've read so far, it seems that the notation of music specifically for diatonic is virtually non-existant in the UK.  The French way of notating makes it much easier to learn a tune - a bit like painting by numbers !  It tells you when to push and pull and each button on the right hand has a number.  The treble staff is also included, as are chords so you have a choice of what to use.

There is masses of sheet music available for free on French sites but I can find nothing with the same "tablature" format on UK sites.  Whilst there are of course copyright laws in France, they don't seem to be quite as obsessed with making available or downloading free music as the Brits.
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#6
I'd guess the vast majority of diatonic players are self-taught and "by ear." I've only ever met one person who could read music fluently on diatonic, but he's a superb all-round musician on many instruments.

I think the big choice learning diatonic is "up and down the row" sticking to one row whenever possible, versus, "across the rows" taking notes wherever they can be found.
It depends on the style of music of course, but I think a lot of people start out wanting to avoid bellows direction changes, then as they develop, they realise they are a vital part of the music.
Even dedicated "up and down the row" players will sometimes "cross row" to get the bass chord they want.


If you are keen to go from music how about "cutting out the middleman" - have your layout chart to hand and start de-coding sheet music, OK g, that's here, f#, that's there, and gradually build fluency?

Alexandra Browne produced a very interesting book called "Diatonic Liaisons" - she comes to diatonic from a classical background and the book presents tunes from a number of master players in the French/English tradition, with detailed analysis of how they are played. I think she sells it online.
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#7
Strange.... I thought I'd written a reply .....  Confused
Thanks for the info, Tom, and "Diatonic Liaisons" sounds interesting.

I find myself playing across both rows because that's the way the French tablatures show the notes.  It doesn't seem to be a problem - perhaps because I've already played a chromatic button accordéon.  I also find myself using more of the single bass buttons to vary the sound but that's probably because I also play by ear and it's what I hear players doing.  Youtube is a great teacher !!

The French tablatures are very explicit and I'm counting on the fact that once familiarity with the notes is ingrained, which notes are pull and which are push, that life should become easier !  The sheet music is a useful support but not essential - as a beginner, it does speed up the learning process.
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#8
(12-03-2019, 09:09 AM)Corsaire Wrote: There is masses of sheet music available for free on French sites but I can find nothing with the same "tablature" format on UK sites.  Whilst there are of course copyright laws in France, they don't seem to be quite as obsessed with making available or downloading free music as the Brits.

There are lots of apps and sites that convert one format to another. I used this one: http://members.quicknet.nl/j.coolegem/ab...mefaE.html to go from tons of downloadable ABC files to the tablature you mention.
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#9
Thanks Jazz, I'll have a look at that.
I use Tunebook to download ABC files but its just in treble clef notation.
By the way, I've exchanged the 2915 for a Stelvio G/C 2 row - the difference in playing is incredible, so much easier.  Stelvios were designed by our local accordion shop and made to spec in Italy.  Excellent value for money.
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#10
Good to hear!
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