Perfect Layout

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Reckon104
KVRist
118 posts since 16 Jul, 2018

Post Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:09 am

This is quite an interesting question. I had read this thread before, and basically understood the argument in favor of the tritone layout, but now that I've spent a little time checking it out further, I have some more thoughts.

The most obvious benefit, for me anyway (and particularly for two handed piano style playing) is that it does largely mitigate the "square shape" problem, which is no small thing in terms of coming to terms with two handed playing. I still run into it (as I did real time when making the video). I have mostly gotten used to it, but man, would it be nice if that weren't an issue. So that is a very big check mark on the side of going with the tritone layout.

There are other good arguments in terms of ease of scale conceptualization, etc. (many of which are mentioned in the above thread). However, many of these are personal taste, in my opinion. I also think for players who tend to stick with 3 fingers, the 4th layout is easier in many ways. But again, it gets into personal taste, usage requirements, etc.

As far as my video goes, just in terms of actually playing the shapes (leaving aside the "square shape" problem), I still prefer the 4th layout. I don't find I have to twist my hand much, if any, to make the shapes, and actually find the stacked 4th in the right hand to be less optimal with the tritone layout for a number of reasons. One of them is that I often extend that stack (to other "non fourth" notes, up and to the right of the stack) with my pinky and ring finger. This becomes impossible if you use the pinky-ring-middle fingering. So you would need to use a relatively more awkward "thumb-index-middle" fingering, and then hitting the extensions becomes challenging. Not that this couldn't be overcome, but again, as it is, I find the stacked fourth generally easier in the 4th layout The stacked 5ths are marginally easier in the tritone layout, but not all that significantly for me.

Another thing that I really like about the fourth layout, is that when using 5 fingers, one can roll right up the pads chromatically (the row above is a half step above the 5th note if you are playing all the notes chromatically). I am coming to the conclusion that to get the most power out of the LinnStrument (if replacing the keyboard layout is your desire), all five fingers eventually have to come into play. I am working on a layout where my left hand is confined to a five note across area on the left side (in a split layout), and the fact that it all flows chromatically up the pads makes this much easier to implement and conceptualize. Also, playing scales with all five fingers moving up the pads is an interesting approach which I am experimenting with, and it only makes sense with this chromatic continuation between rows.

However, obviously this five fingered approach is not the the norm (to say the least) among current LinnStrument players, so it could be argued that these points may turn out to be something of a dead end in terms of the user base. Time will tell.

Another critique of my position could be that it is simply "confirmation bias." Maybe I am looking too hard for excuses not to have to spend the time to re-learn aspects of playing the instrument.

In any event, I can certainly understand why someone would prefer the tritone layout. And when the "square problem" is considered, it becomes quite a compelling argument indeed, particularly for two-handed, improvised playing.

John the Savage
KVRist
410 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: Perfect Layout

Post Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:46 pm

Reckon104 wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:09 am
... Maybe I am looking too hard for excuses not to have to spend the time to re-learn aspects of playing the instrument.
I don't think so. And the proof is in the proficiency with which you play.

In my opinion, as per the argument I put forth earlier in this thread, the "perfect layout" is the one you understand, connect with, and are ultimately compelled to use. Period. The more this debate wages on, the clearer that point becomes. Every tuning scheme has its pros and cons, and there's simply no sidestepping the work it takes to become a proficient player regardless. This has been true of every instrument throughout history, and holds true with the LinnStrument.

So, again I say, to anyone still scratching their head - pick one, and practice, practice, practice...

Someone here made the rather bold claim, a while back, that "the guitar tuning isn't all that useful, because you cannot play the LinnStrument like a guitar...". That's an interesting perspective, if a little misguided; nevertheless, I invite this person to throw down in whatever tuning scheme they prefer, but they better bring their A-game. 8)

Cheers!

dr_loop
KVRist
47 posts since 5 Apr, 2011

Re: Perfect Layout

Post Sun Feb 02, 2020 3:04 am

Someone here made the rather bold claim, a while back, that "the guitar tuning isn't all that useful, because you cannot play the LinnStrument like a guitar...". That's an interesting perspective, if a little misguided; nevertheless, I invite this person to throw down in whatever tuning scheme they prefer, but they better bring their A-game.
This 'someone' would rather make a bold claim pretending the guitar tuning is useful to him.
I play guitar for more than half a century and of course I tried to play the LinnStrument like a guitar. And while the guitar tuning of course looks familiar it isn't of much use because (even with guitar straps) you can not hold the LS like a guitar (sure YMMV).
The genius of the guitar tuning is the major third between the G and B strings, bringing the top two strings in accordance to the bottom strings.
This greatly simplifies playing because easy use of open strings and enables techniques like barre-chords, pulling-off and hammer-on. Little of this applies to the LS, so why bother.
So to answer your question: I usually stay with the 4th tuning or I use the User-Mode and some custom software to play in any tuning and scale I dare to imagine. The consistency of Pitchbending is then broken but I take this any day for the resulting benefits :D

John the Savage
KVRist
410 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: Perfect Layout

Post Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:49 am

Again, what does playing the LinnStrument "like a guitar" (whatever that even means) have to do with the point I've been making since the first comment I made in this thread? My point is dead simple...

Every tuning scheme presents equal challenges. So, if you want to become truly proficient at playing the LinnStrument, as you would any other instrument, pick one and practice. To that end, damn straight the guitar tuning is useful to me, 30 years a professional guitarist, and I guarantee that I can navigate it as easily as anyone using the tritone tuning, or any other tuning scheme for that matter. But it has nothing to do with the arrangement of the notes, and everything to do with the fact that I have dedicated myself to it, and continue to develop a repertoire around it.

I started this conversation in a perfectly good mood, with genuine interest, and said nothing to deter people from experimenting if that's what interests them. As always, however, I chose to flatter my colleagues with the assumption that they are actual musicians, and aspire to push themselves in that respect, as good musicians do. Why? Well, because in so far as the LinnStrument is concerned, which was designed first-and-foremost to facilitate virtuosity, what the hell else would constitute the "perfect layout", if not one's ability to perform proficiently on it?

Surely the tuning scheme matters not for the two-finger, hunt-and-peck, modular blippity-bloop that we so often see around here? No offense to anyone engaging in that vernacular of music or otherwise having fun with their LinnStrument; but I was under the impression that we were talking about the advantages and disadvantages of playing the LinnStrument, not poking at it.

You, doc, have managed to get on my nerves with your vaguely argumentative yet ambiguous tone. I apologized to you, a while back, when I thought I'd unwittingly offended you... But, frankly, I no longer care. You clearly know what you're doing—smearing vegetable oil on your LinnStrument and playing mystery modes in esoteric tunings—so good luck to you.

To everyone else, I’m sorry you had to witness this outburst, but seriously… Argh!

Cheers!

dr_loop
KVRist
47 posts since 5 Apr, 2011

Re: Perfect Layout

Post Sun Feb 02, 2020 6:17 am

... witness this outburst, but seriously… Argh!
...yeah, go on on your OneUpmanship-trip if that's all you care about! :roll:
*YOU* are calling me out. And I took the time to answer your questions.
But obviously *YOU* know what a musician is, *YOU* know what a musician must do or what disqualifies someone as a musician (or even a sensible human being), *YOU* are the brightest bulb in the box!
But not even noticing if you contradict yourself within a few sentences:
Every tuning scheme presents equal challenges.......what the hell else would constitute the "perfect layout", if not one's ability to perform proficiently on it?
No! definitely No! Not every tuning scheme presents equal challenges. Period!
Isn't that why you asked in the first place??

This had to be said, but now lets move on, I don't have the time to squander my remaining years with shit like this!

To everyone else, I’m sorry you had to witness this outburst, but seriously… Argh!

BobDog
KVRian
814 posts since 2 Apr, 2015

Re: Perfect Layout

Post Sun Feb 02, 2020 11:49 am

All I know is that you are both wrong and I'm right.

John the Savage
KVRist
410 posts since 28 Mar, 2017

Re: Perfect Layout

Post Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:57 pm

Ha, I actually believe that, Andy. :wink:

Cheers!

BobDog
KVRian
814 posts since 2 Apr, 2015

Re: Perfect Layout

Post Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:51 am

John the Savage wrote:
Sun Feb 02, 2020 12:57 pm
Ha, I actually believe that, Andy. :wink:

Cheers!

If only it was true :)

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