|| : LEARNING A FIRST TUNE
Necessary materials :
- hurdy gurdy
- cassette recorder
- little sticky labels
- For this exercise one numbers the fingers f the left hand from "1" for the little finger to "5" for the thumb.
In the words of the proverb: "practise makes perfect" and the practice of the hurdy gurdy does not deviate
from this rule. Also, after having worked on some of the rules, the working of the wheel and of the keyboard, we are at
last able to move on to serious matters and hear a melody emerge from our instrument. The piece for today is a bransle de
champaigne (Number 10, Code Gervaise - 5th book of dance - 1550), of the 16th century. It is played on the four notes C,
D, E and F (DO, RE, MI and FA) on a hurdy gurdy tuned in G. Counting from the head of the hurdy gurdy the keys are
numbers 3, 4, 5 and 6.
There are two ways to learn a melody :
by ear, or by sight reading.
In this lesson we will look at both.
LEARNING BY EAR :
This requires a good aural memory. This method, because it does not always result in exact reproduction of the melody,
has the advantage of allowing the player to stamp his or her personality onto the piece quickly.
- Exercise 1 :
- Listen to the melody played slowly and try to play it back at the same speed while sounding each note accurately.
- Listen to the melody at its normal speed and try to play it back at the same speed.
- Notes :
- We do not give any indication of which finger to use for each note. This is in the spirit of learning by ear; which is hard at the beginning, but very rewarding.
FOLLOWING A SCORE :
Part 1 :
Part 2 :
Part 3 :
- Preliminaries :
- Tune your hurdy gurdy to G and prepare it as indicated in December's lesson.
- Use only one melody string (chaterelle). You can use the other one and the petit bourdon tuned to C once you have learnt the melody.
- Stick the little sticky labels prepared at the end of the last lesson behind the corresponding keys.
The tune is played on 4 notes : C, D, E F (Do, Ray, Mi and Fa) correspond to the 4 black keys numbered 3, 4, 5 and 6 starting from the head of
the hurdy gurdy. Play at 120 beats per minute and the time used is .
That means you must make two turns of the wheel per second, or two turns of the wheel per bar. As in lesson number
3 the numbers above the notes indicate which fingers to use. You can check which is the correct note by looking at the
labels you have stuck behind the keys.
- Preliminaries :
Following a score does, primarily, require knowledge of the notes (which one supposes has been gained at this stage of the lessons), but also
how to turn the wheel correctly to produce the notes and th rhythm. Click HERE
to know a little more before going any further.
- Exercise 1 (practice) :
- Set the metronome to 60. A bar will be completed every 2 beats (giving the time signature).
- Play the tune one bar at a time (and then one part at a time) at the speed of 60 beats a minute without
turning the wheel. This is in order to increase your familiarity with the keyboard. Do not clench the fingers
but keep them relaxed.
- Play the tune one bar at a time (and then one part at a time) at the speed of 60 beats a minute while turning
the wheel. At this tempo, you must play one turn of the wheel per second, and two turns per bar. The first time
try to achieve this requirement without worrying about how often you are turning the wheel for each note. It is
only when this is fully mastered that you can go on to the second point.
- Exercise 2 :
- Set the metronome to 120. At this tempo, you must make two turns of the wheel per second but still 2 turns of the wheel per bar..
- Repeat everything from exercise 1 at this speed.
- Once you have mastered this, you can play the entire melody as follows using both melody strings and the petit-bourdon:
part 1 (twice) - part 2 (once) - part 3 (twice)
repeating as many times as you like!!!
- During this lesson pay most attention to the number of turns of the wheel per bar rather than bothering too much about the numbers of turns of the wheel for each note, which will be the object of the next lesson.
FOR NEXT TIME :
Once you can play the tune well record it on a cassete, repeating the melody two or three times.
First page of Lessons - Top of the page - French version
Copyright juillet 2003 - Xavier AIME - Reproduction interdite -Traduction Helen Proudfoot