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Go Cat Dave

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About Go Cat Dave

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  • Interests
    Music! Ukulele, Guitar, Piano, Sax and Concertina!
  • Location
    Maine, USA
  1. Go Cat Dave might ask for the same regarding the US... (and it's in a Tenor's range!) If there is one in stock, I'll see it today. Today is the day my wife and I make our trek down to Sunderland!
  2. And, I finally get to check them all out in person this Saturday when my wife and I make the pilgrimage down to the concertina mecca, The Button Box! That sounds really interesting! I bet I would like that Crane system. I love that! And I will definitely take your advice when I am down at The Button Box this weekend and pay close attention to the different sounds of the different models. I believe they only rent the lower end models. So I see my self leaving there with a rented Elise Duet and a bunch of dream instruments dancing like sugar plums in my head.
  3. I would love to have one of those! And I might even get to touch one on Saturday. This weekend my wife and I are driving down to Massachusetts to spend a few hours at The Button Box! I'm so excited to check out all of the different instruments. My plan is to rent an Elise Duet. But we'll see what happens once I'm there.
  4. Thank you so much, David, for the support, encouragement, and the donation! You made my day! And I really appreciate that you took the time and initiative to share my concertina quest with others! It will be wonderful indeed if it goes viral and I find myself in the position to afford a high quality instrument. But, no matter what happens, I am going to find a way to get started with the concertina. Even if it means renting a student model for a while. Where there is a will, there is a way.
  5. I can't seem to find the 'Click here for video' links.
  6. It looks like my wife, Peg, and I will be making the trek down to The Button Box in two weeks. I'm excited to check out all of the concertinas they have in stock. I won't be able to buy one just yet. But I'm hoping to rent an Elise Duet and begin my concertina journey.
  7. Thanks, Robin! It looks like my wife and I will be making the trek down to The Button Box in two weeks!
  8. Thanks, Jim! Yeah, I'm thinking of making a pilgrimage down to The Button Box in Massachusetts one of these weekends and seeing about renting one of their Elise Duets. I can't wait to get my hands on one. Thanks again, for the encouragement! Dave
  9. Actually, the funny thing is that I'm less interested in learming established concertina styles as I am in bending the instrument to my own dastardly purposes. I do recognize that there will be a tremendous amout of technique that I'll be able to learn by observing folks playing the concertina in established concertina styles. And I do look forward to learning some concertina classics. But, I think the first thing I would do is learn to play some of the chords that I use most when I accompany myself singing on guitar, uke, etc. And then play around with buttoning and bellowing until I discover a way to produce the sorts of rhythm patterns I like. A lot of what I play is American 1950's style rock and roll, doo wop, teen idol crooner type stuff. I am also a BIG fan of female sung ballads. So I can see myself trying to pick out some favorite melodies and then slowly add accompaniment notes to fill out chords in places. So, I guess I would start out in my comfort zone, transferring what I already like to do. But eventually, I would also like to learn about Irish and dance tunes etc. I don't see myself ever aspiring to be one of those virtuoso players who can play incredibly fast runs of notes. Mainly, I want a new, portable, fun way to make the music I like where ever I happen to be. As for sustain, perhaps that's not the right word. What I mean is that I presume you can hold a note for a longish time on a concertina by continuing to pull open or close the bellows whereas on a ukulele, the strings tend to stop vibrating quickly because they are so short. So if I am playing a ballad melody where the music rises up to a dramatic high note, instead of the note ringing, "eeeeeeeeeeeeee", on a ukulele it just goes "plink!"
  10. Mostly the same advice posted here. Watch lots of videos. Try and get your hands on some actual instruments to see what appeals. Consider renting before buying.
  11. First, a big thank you for the warm and informative replies! Second, I think that I now realize that I *must* make a pilgrimage down to the Button Box and get my hands on some of these instruments rather than try to make a decision through logic alone. It will probably be a few weeks before I can do that. So, in the meantime, I plan to watch videos like you've recommended. That should help me better sort out what sound I would like best and which models seem like they would suit my style of playing. So again, a big thank you to jggunn, BlueJack, Geoff Wooff, Chris Timson, and Dirge, for your quick and helpful replies. I will be sure to keep you all updated as my concertina quest progresses! P.S. And thanks again to the folks who messaged me privately as well.
  12. Hello, My name is Dave and I have recently taken an interest in the concertina. I'm hoping that this forum might be a good place to meet friendly folks who are enthusiastic and knowledgable about this very unique little instrument. I have yet to purchase a concertina of my own. I am still in the research phase. I do have some prior background in music. Mostly, I play guitar and ukulele. I also play piano and tenor sax to a lesser degree. Still, I feel like I'm searching for my holy grail instrument. An instrument that is portable like the ukulele, but not as quiet. An instrument where melody notes can be be played with a lot of sustain like with an electric guitar, but without the need to drag an amplifier around. An instrument that excels at playing both melody and accompanyment simultaneously like a piano, but which can be easily picked up and brought outside to play in the back yard. An instrument that can be very expressive like the saxophone. I think that the concertina may well be my holy grail instrument. Now that I've begun focusing on the concertina, I've become aware of how many variations there are. In a word, MANY. I am hoping that perhaps some of you folks who have been on the concertina path might be able to share some guidance and tips to help get me started on my journey. So far, I think I've narrowed it down to the English style concertina. Most of the music I play, I figure out by ear/memory. So I would want an instrument capable of playing in any key. I understand that the Anglo instruments are more limited as to which keys one can play in. Also, I think that the concertinas, which play two different notes on the same button depending on whether you are squeezing or pulling the bellows, would make things more complicated for me. But, obviously, I cannot say from personal experience. So I was wondering if some of you might introduce yourselves and tell me which sorts or concertinas you prefer and why. I am excited and curious to see what the concertina community is like and I'm anxious to learn as much as I can about this instrument. Thanks! Go Cat Dave
  13. I'm sorry to have offended you Mglamb. It was not my intention to offend you or anyone. I did look at some of the models you mentioned with fewer buttons. And I may still go that route. However I mostly play by ear and fear that I will run into trouble with running out of notes on these models and get frustrated with the limitation. My preference would be to start with the same instrument which I intend to use for the long haul so that I do not have to retrain my brain to a new key setup once I have internalized the first one. That was my thought anyway. So I was taken aback when I saw how expensive these concertinas were. I decided to try to save up the money. But I also know how life can be and I do not doubt that there will always be practical, household, financial demands which will always appear, certainly to my wife, more important than a $3000 musical instrument for me. Then my imagination kicked in. I thought, what if I could earn money specifically for the concertina? What if I could create a piece of music and an entertaining video that some people would enjoy and find value in? If they liked the song, perhaps they would want to buy the mp3. Perhaps there would be others who would like to join in on a fun adventure to see if I can reach my goal, maybe kicking in a few bucks or maybe just rooting me on. Just a bit of fun. I guess there will be some people who are offended by my "cheek". I'm hoping there will be more who will smile and have a little laughter added to their day. No harm done. Or at least not much. Again, sorry to have offended you. Sincerely, Dave Kearney
  14. Hey Gang, I do not yet have a concertina of my own. However, I'm working very hard to change that. Hopefully, this video will help me move one step closer! Go Cat Dave
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