A Fistful of Easy Christmas Tunes for DG Melodeon by Mel Biggs
About this book
All tunes in this book are based on the scales of D Major and G Major which make them simple to pick up on DG melodeon/button accordion (i.e. they all have runs of notes in them that are taken directly from their key signature of D or G). They are all familiar tunes so you’ll likely already have them in your subconscious somewhere. This means you already have a ‘mental blueprint’ of the tunes and therefore are already in a good position for putting them on your button box.
Keeping it simple!
The book starts simple and moves to incrementally build on row crossing complexity as you work through the tunes. But don’t panic! That’s why the button numbers are there. Study carefully the left hand basses and chordsand the direction noted in the right hand so you can choose either the pull or push D’s and C’s. Take your time to study any tricky bits you come up against separately from the rest of the tune. For instance, you might find the left hand doesn’t do the easiest option!
Learn to play by ear
The videos are there to guide you visually as well as aurally. Learning to play by ear isn’t a dark art – all it takes is listening skills! Here’s my potted method for boosting your by-ear playing.
Choose a tune and spend some time listening to video on repeat.
The likelihood is that you’ll know the melody (right hand) but perhaps not the chords (left hand). So a great way to really get to grips with what the left hand is up to is to focus your listening directly on what my left hand is doing.
Watch it closely a few times and try to mimic my movements on your own instrument.
It will take a whole lot of patience, practice, and persistence but it will pay off, I promise!
Mel Biggs is a musician, performer and melodeon teacher based in Derbyshire, UK. Renowned the world over for her perceptive, patient and mindful manner in teaching groups and individuals, Mel is a leading light in the world of melodeon tuition; both on and off-line.
Having been teaching since 2009, Mel has an ever expanding toolkit of techniques at her disposal which she adapts to every new teaching scenario. You can expect a bespoke blend of learning-by-ear, call and response playing, analogies, visualisations and pattern recognition, tune deconstruction and notation (in moderation).