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Kurt Braun

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About Kurt Braun

  • Rank
    Chatty concertinist
  • Birthday 03/04/1944

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  • Interests
    Concertina performance, instruction, playing with others, singing, Crane duets, interesting and amusing songs and getting to know other players both on and off line.
  • Location
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana

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  1. Well, I try to practice chords as arpeggios (no hopping) quite a bit. When searching for a chord fingering, I first play the chord as an arpeggio and use that fingering for the chord. I must admit that for songs and tunes learned in the early years, I still find myself playing vertically adjacent notes with one finger. But I consider it to be an old (and bad) habit. Good to see people still interested in playing Cranes. Kurt
  2. I can't work out what McKay and Lakeman are doing either. It is a shame because I find their playing so much more interesting and organic than what I do. Left hand stride (alternating bass notes and chords on the left side) certainly is daunting. Mostly I just do in with more simple tunes with easy and common chords. It sure is fun when it works out! I'm singing much more than I used to (thanks to a ukulele detour). Bass notes on the left and chords on the right and singing the melody is great fun. Then move to chords on the left, (or bass notes and runs) with melody on the right for interludes. Here are two other techniques I've been using in more recent years. Octave doubling a single line: Play the line with both hands an octave apart. (I got this idea from Dan Worrell.) This can be just the melody or you can do improvisation. This is fun tool for playing with others. Your octave playing can turn your 'tina into a virtual saxophone for breaks or taking leads. Or, do fills even while the singer solos. Remember, saxophones never play the whole or even most of the time. A little goes a long way. Two sided melody: This is for those who can play chords on both ends and can play single lines on both ends as well. Also great for smaller Duets where there is little overlap between ends. Pick a tune or song in an octave where the melody line goes above and below the overlap. When it goes below, play the line on the left and the chords on the right. When it goes above, do the opposite. Like old time music, it is better than it sounds! Kurt
  3. Listen to Andrew McKay and Geoff Lakeman for Crane assisted singing ideas. Also try bass on left, chords or arpeggios on the right, while singing an save melody playing for intros, instrumental breaks and endings.
  4. This is Saturday (the second day of our three days of Winter). I will be playing by the fireplace this evenig. Meanwhile, I made motel reservations for the Palestine, TX weekend. See you there.
  5. "A difference, to be a difference, must make a difference." Do any of you have an opinion on what difference an arc over the cheveron (or vis versa) makes? I think the columns on the chevron layout are closer than on the arc.
  6. Even playing slowly, the nature of the musical phrase can, and often does, require that the two notes be connected. If we don't use the same finger on two succeeding notes, the choice of articultion is musical rather than fingering convenience or comfort.
  7. Did any c-netters go to Clifftop this year. If so, could you share about your experiences, other tina players who where there, how concertins were recieved, fit in, etc.? Thanks.
  8. The low last night was 80 and relative humidity 89 percent here in Baton Rouge. That said, I travel in air conditioned cars and do not leave instruments in them when parked during the heat of the day. In the summer, I pretty much stay inside with the air conditioner on. I never check my concertina when flying.
  9. Playing by ear is the norm at Palestine, especially among the old time and dulcimer folk who love to jam and jam and jam.
  10. Check this out as well http://www.cranedrivinmusic.com/page3.htm
  11. I have to say that my favorite thing about playing a Crane is wonderful camaraderie and helpful fellowship among the the players, experts and students of the instrument.
  12. David, For me, I can't begin to imagine what was being attempted here. I am glad you are turning it into something more useful. I'd be much more interested in trying it when it is "normalized," or from my perspective, made playable. Kurt
  13. I'd say that no tradition is both a blessing and a curse. But back to the topic, I used to play saxophone in a big band. With the right hand doing the melody and lots of chord changes in the left, the duet can remind me of a big band sax section. When singing or jamming, I try to emulate a guitar (bass line on the left while strumming chords on the right). Surprisingly, the ukulele has also influenced my playing and singing. The uke does lots of rhythms and quick chord changes to jazz up songs. This can be done by playing chords on both sides with independent rhythms. Just chords will also help with learning tune or song structure. I do sacred harp (shape note) singing, but I can't say it has influenced my concertina playing. Sacred harp is kind of a thing unto itself for me.
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