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Brandon M
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Hi Ken, I have written a long post. If you plan on replying to it over a while please inform me asap and then feel free to type the rest out. I feel you want to teach and I am trying to learn so I hope you'll answer them all if you can. I'll start by saying I'm sorry for the huge amount of questions, you are the only man around who could answer any of them as far as I'm aware and I was perhaps naively counting on you to help me when I got this thing. I didn't even know if you'd reply, but you did thankyou. It seems like everyone else who ever picked up an aXis dropped off the internet. Do you know any other resources besides your websites and the C-Thru forum? If you answer my questions, it'll be a very large post and I recommend posting it as a blog post. Hi Ken do you have anywhere else I can talk to you better? You don't seem to get alot of comments and I want to commit to this, I spent alot of time reading about this over a year but now I feel like I dived in way too quickly without understanding what I'm doing and I virtually panicked when I realised that. I had talked about jammers for a while and when my girlfriend ordered an aXis for me I guess I didn't know enough and now I'm really bothered I wasted alot of money and my hopes and the thought of having to give up is devastating. I have had a long time fear of music I suppose, I'm indecisive and generally anxious. I picked up guitar for a few months and quit when I was frustrated at practice time and didn't have anything to guide me. I'm 18 and havn't been able to take music class before, but I have a good feeling of rhythm and timing I like to think. You'll have to consider that when you speak to me unfortunately. Why are inversions harder to play? I also am confused on the note capacity. You say the Harmonic has a limited set of notes, what are those notes? With the full set of notes on the WH Jammer, are the pitch shift keys useless and on the standard layout do you need to use them to reach all notes? Why arn't you sure about the ease of playing melodies? You note that on the WH layout chords are always the same shape, I thought they were like that on Harmonic? I thought that was a major selling point. How on earth does Rock Band work? Do you learn what notes the piano is on screen and play them on the aXis? (A seemingly very confusing way to play). You say to pull out the keys with a fork, on your alternativekeyboards website you say to not do that and instead take apart the top part of the aXis. What's the right way? I'm thinking of putting coloured stickers on it instead. Will that be fine? Am I going to have to learn sheet music before I can play anything familiar? I did not expect this, I thought I could look up the notes instead. Why is the harmonic table harder to relate to standard score? Why is the Wicki-Hayden layout also hard? Is a second keyboard on a jammer played in a reverse manner, because it is flipped? Which is the main keyboard then, the right hand? Alot of sections, including practice ones on the altkeyboards website have nothing on them. As you've noted, the learning to learn portion is a hugely daunting part of learning and I fear it'd make me give up and switch to Piano or just quit music entirely. I feel like I just got this and I won't know how to play it and I won't know how to practice it. The velocity on my aXis feels like I can only hit 3 velocities, really quiet, medium or loud; and loud is the most desirable sound I find but it's really tiring to hit. Most importantly, sometimes and I'm not sure why but the keys will not sound and I am thrown off the flow. I also can't go from a quiet sound to a louder sound by varying my touch, if I start slow and then pound the key it'll still be quiet. Is this intended? The silent keys thing is particularly frustrating and I'm wondering if I have to RMA my keyboard? Lastly and most importantly, is it worth playing this instrument if I may not get a second keyboard? Am I wasting my time? I was under the impression that you merely used two keyboards because it was faster and allowed multiple soundfonts, but does the system break without a second keyboard? I've seen your comments on skill transfer but I assume you train your left hand often, if I never train my left hand will I be a bumbling idiot if I try to add another keyboard? With these questions in mind, should I just stick to the standard Harmonic layout? Should I learn on a piano instead until I have a grasp of the music theory I'm dealing with? Due to the lack of practice material getting into the piano seems like a option I should consider. I also see this note: http://www.altkeyboards.com/instruments/sonomes One of us (Ken Rushton) has long suspected that someone who has taken piano lessons, not not locked into the piano mind-set would take off with the new keyboards, as teaching the fingers to hit ergonomically designed keys in different places (especially logical, consistent places that match musical hearing), is a trivial thing compared to all the other things already learned. Among them will be finger-coordination, timing, rhythm, coordination of two hands, etc, etc.
I'll start by saying I'm sorry for the huge amount of questions, you are the only man around who could answer any of them as far as I'm aware and I was perhaps naively counting on you to help me when I got this thing. I didn't even know if you'd reply, but you did thankyou. It seems like everyone else who ever picked up an aXis dropped off the internet. Do you know any other resources besides your websites and the C-Thru forum? If you answer my questions, it'll be a very large post and I recommend posting it as a blog post. Hi Ken do you have anywhere else I can talk to you better? You don't seem to get alot of comments and I want to commit to this, I spent alot of time reading about this over a year but now I feel like I dived in way too quickly without understanding what I'm doing and I virtually panicked when I realised that. I had talked about jammers for a while and when my girlfriend ordered an aXis for me I guess I didn't know enough and now I'm really bothered I wasted alot of money and my hopes and the thought of having to give up is devastating. I have had a long time fear of music I suppose, I'm indecisive and generally anxious. I picked up guitar for a few months and quit when I was frustrated at practice time and didn't have anything to guide me. I'm 18 and havn't been able to take music class before, but I have a good feeling of rhythm and timing I like to think. You'll have to consider that when you speak to me unfortunately. Why are inversions harder to play? I also am confused on the note capacity. You say the Harmonic has a limited set of notes, what are those notes? With the full set of notes on the WH Jammer, are the pitch shift keys useless and on the standard layout do you need to use them to reach all notes? Why arn't you sure about the ease of playing melodies? You note that on the WH layout chords are always the same shape, I thought they were like that on Harmonic? I thought that was a major selling point. How on earth does Rock Band work? Do you learn what notes the piano is on screen and play them on the aXis? (A seemingly very confusing way to play). You say to pull out the keys with a fork, on your alternativekeyboards website you say to not do that and instead take apart the top part of the aXis. What's the right way? I'm thinking of putting coloured stickers on it instead. Will that be fine? Am I going to have to learn sheet music before I can play anything familiar? I did not expect this, I thought I could look up the notes instead. Why is the harmonic table harder to relate to standard score? Why is the Wicki-Hayden layout also hard? Is a second keyboard on a jammer played in a reverse manner, because it is flipped? Which is the main keyboard then, the right hand? Alot of sections, including practice ones on the altkeyboards website have nothing on them. As you've noted, the learning to learn portion is a hugely daunting part of learning and I fear it'd make me give up and switch to Piano or just quit music entirely. I feel like I just got this and I won't know how to play it and I won't know how to practice it. The velocity on my aXis feels like I can only hit 3 velocities, really quiet, medium or loud; and loud is the most desirable sound I find but it's really tiring to hit. Most importantly, sometimes and I'm not sure why but the keys will not sound and I am thrown off the flow. I also can't go from a quiet sound to a louder sound by varying my touch, if I start slow and then pound the key it'll still be quiet. Is this intended? The silent keys thing is particularly frustrating and I'm wondering if I have to RMA my keyboard? Lastly and most importantly, is it worth playing this instrument if I may not get a second keyboard? Am I wasting my time? I was under the impression that you merely used two keyboards because it was faster and allowed multiple soundfonts, but does the system break without a second keyboard? I've seen your comments on skill transfer but I assume you train your left hand often, if I never train my left hand will I be a bumbling idiot if I try to add another keyboard? With these questions in mind, should I just stick to the standard Harmonic layout? Should I learn on a piano instead until I have a grasp of the music theory I'm dealing with? Due to the lack of practice material getting into the piano seems like a option I should consider. I also see this note: http://www.altkeyboards.com/instruments/sonomes One of us (Ken Rushton) has long suspected that someone who has taken piano lessons, not not locked into the piano mind-set would take off with the new keyboards, as teaching the fingers to hit ergonomically designed keys in different places (especially logical, consistent places that match musical hearing), is a trivial thing compared to all the other things already learned. Among them will be finger- coordination, timing, rhythm, coordination of two hands, etc, etc.
Hi Ken, I have written a long post. If you plan on replying to it over a while please inform me asap and then feel free to type the rest out (I don't want to get worried I scared you off). I feel you want to teach and I am trying to learn so I hope you'll answer them all if you can.
Ken are you still around? I've got questions to ask and an aXis49 coming in the mail. I've been checking out isomorphics for over a year. I havn't seen you post for a few months. Do you have any more thoughts on the Ableton Push as an isomorphic keyboard keyboard? I've noticed videos of it lately. Such as this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nv4vD0FZWso What are the differences between the isomorphic layouts? I know you use Jammer, and I plan to use the Wicki-Hayden layout because it offers dual use with certain concertinas. I don't know if I'll be able to afford another aXis soon though because the shipping to Australia made it $420. What do you think of the layouts listed here: http://www.shiverware.com/musix/ The Park and Gerhard ones. I googled and you commented on them once but didn't say much.
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Sep 13, 2014