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Tune Of The Month For September, 2013: Hop And Skip

TOTM Jody Kruskal

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#55 Pete Dunk

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 05:09 PM

 
Strictly speaking, I suppose a concertina is a "wind instrument", and that one is definitely a "bass".  ;)

 

Ah yes but what a bass! The bass concertina tends to be ponderously slow to speak at the bottom end of its range so either you have a very responsive concertina or you are very good at judging how early to start the note so it sounds at the right time. I rather suspect that the truth lies somewhere in between as some of the busier passages are just a little blurred so to speak but even so that is a remarkable performance of a bass playing melody.



#56 Robert Fisher

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 08:06 PM

Two months late, but we haven't been disallowing "Tune of the Month" entries once the particular month is over.  (Good thing, too, considering how few "on time" contributions we've been getting in most months.  B))
 
Continuing my "fun" experiments with my low instruments -- though some might consider them bass canards, -- I've recorded the melody of Jody's Hop and Skip on my "G-bass" Lachenal.  This isn't the same instrument I used for William and Nancy.  That one goes down to the low C of a cello and has a 4-octave range.  This one goes even lower -- to the G below, or 2 octaves below the low G of a fiddle or treble English, -- and has a 2½ -octave range (highest note is middle C).
 
I'm playing this 3 octaves below where the tune is "written", and I hope Jody will forgive me for nicknaming this particular rendition "Hippo Skip".  :D

I assume that this bass plays in both directions - I couldn't hear you 'taking a breath' at any stage. The only Bass that I've ever played only sounded in one direction and I had a terrible time adjusting to that.



#57 Robert Fisher

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Posted 07 December 2013 - 08:07 PM

Very late but here's mine

http://youtu.be/p5eijze-Y6U

 

Nice to see the left hand doing its stuff :-)



#58 JimLucas

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 02:42 AM

 

Strictly speaking, I suppose a concertina is a "wind instrument", and that one is definitely a "bass".  ;)

 
The bass concertina tends to be ponderously slow to speak at the bottom end of its range...

 

In my experience, with perhaps a dozen concertinas going down to the cello C or the G below, this is not a necessary characteristic of low bass reeds (nor of baritones, for that matter). Most of those basses I've tried, both double-action (sounding in both bellows directions) and single-action, have been quite responsive, though a few have indeed been sluggish. I would say that the sluggishness I encountered was most likely due to improper adjustment of the reeds and valves. If others experience sluggishness where I don't, I suspect that the person trying the instrument isn't adequately aware of the adjustments needed in handling the deeper instrument. (See below.)
 

...so either you have a very responsive concertina or you are very good at judging how early to start the note so it sounds at the right time.  I rather suspect that the truth lies somewhere in between as some of the busier passages are just a little blurred so to speak

 
A bit of both, perhaps, but definitely some other factors, as well:

  • Since the early '80s until this past week this concertina hasn't been played more than a few hours per year, so it still needs quite a bit of working in to restore its former glory.
  • About a week ago I moved it from where it had been stored -- where the temperature had already gone down to about -7° C (about 20° F)  this winter -- to a room at +7° C (about +45° F) and a couple of days ago from there to a room at 17° C (about 63° F), where I did the recording.  I suspect the various parts are still readjusting their relationships under the new conditions.
  • A far bigger factor than slow-speaking reeds, but one that may be confused with that, is that the levers and buttons on all the basses I've played are longer.  Someone used to short travel who doesn't compensate for the longer travel will be opening the chambers later than they think, and that definitely contributes a delay.  In fact, a few dropped notes in my recording are due to the fact that I normally don't press the buttons "all the way to the bottom", and my adjustments there were too short.
  •   Also the necessary amount of "punch" to deliver pressure to the bellows is greater for the bass, not just because of the size of the reeds, but also because of the larger bellows cross section.  As with button travel, someone who tries to make do with the same strength they would apply to a treble or tenor-treble -- or even tries to compensate but doesn't do so adequately -- won't be applying adequate pressure to start the low reeds quickly.
  • Finally, I think some of the valves are too supple and sometimes get sucked into the vents they're supposed to cover.  The result, which can also happen with higher-pitched concertinas, is a delay in the valve opening and thus a delay in the note sounding.  In the worst cases (two notes in particular, one only on push and the other only on pull), an important note sometimes didn't sound at all, because it didn't sound before I released the button.  When that happened, I cheated, immediately repeating the few notes containing the "gap", then eliding the offending bit from my recording and leaving the bit that worked (because the first try had loosened the valve enough for it to come quickly free the second time).  ;)

Edited to incorrect use of a couple of words.


Edited by JimLucas, 08 December 2013 - 03:45 AM.


#59 JimLucas

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 03:41 AM

I assume that this bass plays in both directions - I couldn't hear you 'taking a breath' at any stage.0

 
Yes, this one and also my "cello" bass (sometimes called a "C-bass" to distinguish it from those that go down to the G below) that I used on William and Mary, December's TotM.
 

The only Bass that I've ever played only sounded in one direction and I had a terrible time adjusting to that.


I've tried a few of those. A little awkward at first, but I quickly got used to it. (After all, I'm a singer, so I'm used to doing that with my lungs.) It's a matter of being aware of how much bellows you have left and deciding on the fly where in the music you want to insert the brief "pause". And brief is definitely the word.  Those "gills" (as I call them) allow an extremely quick* "breath", but not if one is tentative about really "snapping" the bellows open.

 

*  I don't have a way to measure such a short time (nor do I have a single-action bass handy), but I would say less than a tenth of a second is possible even on a large bass.



#60 felix castro

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 05:25 AM

 

Very late but here's mine

http://youtu.be/p5eijze-Y6U

 

Nice to see the left hand doing its stuff :-)

 

Nice to hear your version, I like to see the left hand for learning more about lef hand accompanyment. I suppose that the concertina that you are playing it is your new concertina in G/D keys ?



#61 felix castro

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Posted 08 December 2013 - 05:28 AM

 

I was surprised with the sound of your concertina, it sounds more like a cello or a bass wind instrument than to a concertina.

 
Strictly speaking, I suppose a concertina is a "wind instrument", and that one is definitely a "bass".  ;)
 
But there were concertinas specially made to sound more like a clarinet or bassoon.  They were called "clarionet" and have specially shaped reeds, and (at least sometimes) metal tubes above the lower reeds.  Also at least one with similar reeds (made by Wheatstone for Alf Edwards, I believe) to mimic a saxophone.

 

Yes, I wrote too quickly, sorry, I wanted to mean a mouth blown brass wind instrument, like the bombardinos (I don't know the name in english) , etc.



#62 maki

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 03:21 PM

http://m.youtube.com...h?v=0UAqkFcZPpI

My first effort now on youtube.
Funny how being recorded throws a hitch in your get along.
Still, not my worst take, not by far.

#63 alex_holden

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 03:43 PM

http://m.youtube.com...h?v=0UAqkFcZPpI

My first effort now on youtube.
Funny how being recorded throws a hitch in your get along.
Still, not my worst take, not by far.


The link above didn't work for me, try this instead: https://www.youtube....h?v=0UAqkFcZPpI

Very nice, and well done for putting a recording up! :)

#64 blue eyed sailor

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 03:43 PM

This link does it for me...

 

This is not bad at all, nice spirited approach to the tune...!

 

(only fault IMO is the rising broken 7th chord 0:27-29 - way too slow if I recall the tune rightly, though you may be aware of that anyway)

 

Keep it up!

 

Good wishes - Wolf


Edited by blue eyed sailor, 28 September 2014 - 04:07 PM.


#65 maki

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 04:06 PM

Thanks for the encouragement.:)
Its hard to believe that I've been playing that tune for a year.

#66 Jody Kruskal

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Posted 28 September 2014 - 10:33 PM

Hey Maki, thanks for posting my tune and reviving the thread. How nice to see folks still playing it.


Edited by Jody Kruskal, 28 September 2014 - 10:33 PM.


#67 maki

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Posted 29 September 2014 - 06:04 AM

Hey Maki, thanks for posting my tune and reviving the thread. How nice to see folks still playing it.

Its a great tune that deserves to be played.
I liked enough that I bought the COOL TUNES FOR HOT DANCES CD and book of sheet music.





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