One for B/C players

One for B/C players

Just an idle thought: I find the A part of the jig “Humours of Glendart” just about the trickiest piece in the popular session repetoire to play on a B/C box at reasonable speed (without leaving any notes out of course).

Does anyone else find this? or is there an even more difficult passage?

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Re: One for B/C players

i don’t find “glendart” too bad at present….the passages i find tough difficult to play at a clip are those with direction switches on every not. chunks of many d-minor tunes have such passages….i’m thinking of bits of “broken pledge” or smatterings of “jug of punch”…..and i confess that i rearrange, usually in the direction of primitive-izing, such passages…..i also find the d major seventh arpeggio tough….

Re: One for B/C players

It’s not so bad for me - I haven’t really played it much before, but I was able to read it from the screen here with no trouble.
Nice tune, actually, I’ll have to mean to get around to learning it one of these days.

What is it that catches you up there?

What usually catches me up is any F#-A-c nat vamping. D7 arpeggios, or with the F# pedal, anything like that I have to really stop and work through it. Can’t think of any examples, off hand, probably because I’m blocking them out. 🙂

Re: One for B/C players

What’s wrong with ‘leaving notes out’ - flute & whistle players do it all the time. And other instruments too, I think, for variation.

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Re: One for B/C players

Can someone help me:

What is
nat vamping, D7 arpreggios, F# pedal

I also just tried the jig Humours of Glendart, for me it doesn’t seem the most difficult, although I didn’t go for full tilt on it.. is it the ornamentation that causes the problems…as I have only tried to play it straight from the ABCs on this site..

Re: One for B/C players

sorry, here’s some clarification:“F#-A-c nat vamping” = some sort of arpeggio/shuffle/static pattern on F#, A, and c natural. I’m thinking of a tune like the one that goes something like
||DGBG dGBG|DFAF cFAF|… (key of G)
That second bar is hard for me…

D7 arpeggio would be one sort of vamping involving those notes - a D7 chord consists of D, F#, A, c natural.
F# pedal means a pattern which rocks back and forth on the F# note. You’re probably familiar with something like Drowsy Maggie which does this on an E - ||:E2BE dEBE|E2BE AFDF|…

Sorry for my loose usage, I’ve been up all night working, and not as careful as I ought to be with my typing.

Re: One for B/C players

Interesting ceemonster, I thought one of the attractions of bc over c#d was that dminor was supposed to be an easy key . Eminor tunes seem to be amongst the easiest on the c#d and I’d have thought that dmin fitted onto the c-row of bc just as neatly as emin does on the d-row of c#d.

Although it is true that tune structures tend to be different between keys e.g. compare tunes in gmaj to those in dmaj and maybe there are structural differences between dmin and emin tunes.

Or perhaps the difficulty is because playing mostly on one row feels more awkward or unusual to a bc player, whereas it is more or less default for c#d. Sometimes I think that what feels most awkward is waht is only relatively rarely done.

I’ve only been playing c#d for just over a year. Humours of glendart should be a very easy tune, but on the odd occasion I’ve had a go at it I find it difficult to control because of the *lack* of bellows changes on the c#d. But having glanced at the dots on this site I have the opening passage somewhat different with the first couple of bars all on the press after the initial b.

- chris

Re: One for B/C players

I don’t find Dm to be an especially easy key on the B/C box, but there are some Em times I really enjoy playing in Dm - Morning Dew is one of them, Man of the House is another, there are a few more as well.
I agree with you about the difficulty of phrasing well on that |AFD DFA| phrase when it’s all on the push - there are a fair number of jigs that make you do that with the C chord on in the upper end, and it’s hard to keep the rhythm happening on those passages.

Re: One for B/C players

I learned Humors of Glendart a month or so ago.

I did not find it terribly difficult. The area where I had some issues is on the F#- in apregiation, the bellows change have always given me brief. I have the same issue in tones with c nats in D-C-b triplet.

In a similar vein, I am working on Mayor Harrison’s Fedora and it has some quirky bellows changes. It’s in the Em mode and I think it is the second group of four notes in the first bar are really hard to hit clearly given a bellow change. it seems like I am doing a chromatic three times out of ten. Herself just loves when I site there and hammer a tough phrase and still screw it up after a bunch of reps.

Another one you might try to work out the type of phrasing of Glendart is Sixpenny Money. My teacher gave me that one as a follow up to Glendart. Probably fothe the same reason you mention.

Re: One for B/C players

always give me greif. right elbow tendonitis and I am trying to type with my left hand!

fine action on the mouse is alot of fun also. Dominant right hand I suppose

Re: One for B/C players

I was going to say, @ ramblingpf, try the tune in E on your C#/D box and you’ll see what the BC players are stumbling over.

But I just did and the difficulty I expected didn’t materialize. You have to play A F#AF# - but the jig phrasing helps you. Or rather, the obligatory bellows changes help you make it sound like a jig.

All from my perverse point of view as a press-and-draw player, but the first part of Glendart seems pretty anodyne. Surely there are far more difficult passages in the B/C repertoire than this?

Nor do I t understand why Dm should be difficult, or even not especially easy, either. Em and esp. E dorian = God’s gift to C#/D players.

But then, playing on the row does seem to be an alien experience to many B/C players, at least those who haven’t graduated from a one-row instrument. This summer I watched a B/C teacher showing a class a very simple tune, a waltz, in C: a few of the students seemed at a loss to know where to look for the notes. They kept fumbling around on the outer row… is this unfamiliarity with the basic scale of the diatonic box why Dm isn’t straightforward?

Re: One for B/C players

Thankfully I find Glendart not to hard to play, but It makes me envious when I see C#/D players playing the second part of the Wise Maid with a degree of ease. I find it a particularly difficult part to play on a B/C.

Re: One for B/C players

Zippy - for me, the trick for those D-F#-A passages is judicious use of the air button. Geting the air just right on those brings them out nicely, I find.

Re: One for B/C players

Free Reed- I’m glad to hear you say that, I thought I might be the only one having trouble there. I’m getting it, but slowly.

Re: One for B/C players

🙂 Wise Maid was the first tune I tried to work on on the button box, a borrowed cc# tryingfingering for both finger systems.

Easy to work out where the notes are on a c#d. But I still have trouble in the second part, probably because it was the first tune I tried and I can’t now get out of the bad choices I made on first playing it 🙂

I’m working away at the c#d on my own with nobody to get advice from, and it is great fun, but I’m sure I’m picking up loads of “bad” habits. I think bc would be much harder to mess about with without someone to give help.

I tagree with Jeeves, emin is probably easier for c#ders tahn dmin for bc players cos c#ders are playing emin all the time and it feels natural. It isn’t all down to button placement but also familiarity, I suspect.

- chris

Re: One for B/C players

[What’s wrong with ‘leaving notes out’ - flute & whistle players do it all the time. And other instruments too, I think, for variation.]…hear, hear, i like this line of reasoning….🙂

[Interesting ceemonster, I thought one of the attractions of bc over c#d was that dminor was supposed to be an easy key .] yeah, you’d think, since the tonic, the third, and the fifth, are all in one direction. and in tunes using mostly those notes, d-minor IS easy on b/c…(unless you’re one of the players who finds keys mostly in one direction NOT to be easy. i personally like them, would rather use the air button a bit than yank the box back and forth one-row style, but that is a subjective thing….)….but some d-minor tunes seem to have passages with the d, the c succeeding each other a lot, and also the a, g, and f, in succession a lot, meaning a bunch of yanking back and forth, and i am not satisfied with my yanking-around passages at higher speeds. relaxed speed, ok.


Re: One for B/C players

Thanks Jon

I do that some already. The other one where the f# gets clipped too often is Farrel O’Gara. They come very quick

d minor is an easy key. you do mention a couple of the challenges though

Re: One for B/C players

thanks all

I am surprised and pleased by the number of replies - it’s made me think

as a matter of interest the particular bit I find hard about Glendart is the opening sequence of 3 note groups B-A-G, A-G-F#, F#-E-F#

the fingering I use is 3-2-1, 3-2-1, 3-2-3

as you can see, my third finger leads each group and it alwas seems to lose its way getting to F# on the outside row for the third group - that’s my only but massive problem with the piece

its probably the fact that my hand needs to rotate to get 2nd finger alignment right for that last group

perhaps I’ll finger the third group 2-1-2 and hope that my second finger is more accurate

I find E minor and D minor equally straightforward. Playing tunes in C is a good idea - I play Brid Harper’s (in C ma) in a set with Return to Milltown (D mi). Its good exercise.

I also play Splendid Isolation in G mi, though only at 96 bpm.

When I’m short of somehting to do (not often these days) I play through all 12 major scales. Its quite interesting to see how the keying and bellows patterns vary (of course B and C are the same up and down the row, but the “magic” note options are different for both) and its surprising how quickly you get to remember them.

I try never to leave notes out of tunes.

thanks again

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Re: One for B/C players

No wonder I couldn’t reproduce your difficulty. I don’t put any Gs at all in Glendart - anywhere - and your opening phrase, to my ears, totally denatures the tune. As in GAG 😀

I play


Re: One for B/C players

“I don’t put any Gs at all in Glendart”

You did that time… 🙂

Re: One for B/C players

No gs in the tune for me either Jeeves. Whenever I tried on the c#d I naturally went for BAF AFD FAF DFA as the opening phrsae but messing about just now I realise that Es like those you give creep into the second time the more-or-less same phrase come up. I might try it with the es from the start, it isn’t a tune I try often.

Had to pick up a enarbye mando to work out how I’d open it on a banjo/mando: BAF AFD 3(EFF)F DFA or maybe BAF A3(DDD) etc. Sorry not sure how to write triplets in ABC.

Tunes sometimes come out differently for me on strings or box, but I don’t have any Gs for Glendart on either instrument.

- Chris

Re: One for B/C players

of course you’re right

B-A-F# , A-F#-E , F#-E-F#

for me its still a dog at 126

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