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Steve Wilson

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Posts posted by Steve Wilson

  1. Thanks for sharing this Simon, I had a quick squizz and realized I've a major entertainment event for later in my day. Over an hour of you guys playing, fantastic. Pity about the jokes being cut out, now I'll just have to be satisfied with some boring concer playing (just joking).


    I would love to see yourself and Ian live but it would be twenty hours on a plane and some thousands of dollars. Have you thought about touring Australia (and NZ). I'm not sure how economic it would be but hopefully you could cover costs. Brian Peters is appearing at our National Folk Festival in Canberra this Easter, maybe have a word with him about touring. You'd have to be on the ball about applying for NFF. Applications are in June only (one month!) for the following year. You'd certainly pick up other gigs around the country.


    Sooner or later I'll have to catch up face to face.



  2. Very nice Mike, I enjoyed that. I imagine you re-tuned the G# down to F or did you actually replace the reeds? You must have stuck that F in somewhere.


    As an aside, you seem to be shy about showing you face in your videos, you're not that ugly, going on your profile photo.

  3. Thanks all for the comments.


    This is great, Steve. Good luck with it. I particularly appreciate your candidness in the "Cancer & Me" section.


    If it wasn't for cancer David I wouldn't be playing concer as I do today, wouldn't have these beautiful concertinas, wouldn't be on C-net. Cancer's been a gift to me.



    Love the new website, Steve. Looking forward to the CD too. I'll come and pick one up when I'm in Pambula next year

    cheers and beers



    Ho, coming for a visit Mart, great. I hope paradise hasn't changed too much since you were last here. Cheers.

  4. I'm not too sure what's "organic " about concertinas, some leather in the bellows, some wooden bits but pretty much a product of the industrial revolution. For song accompaniment I would suggest that the english with its chromatic scale is more organic/industrial than an anglo. But then a duet(Hayden?) may offer expanded possibilities.


    Mmmm... I've toyed around with a Hayden. For instrumental piano type music...great, but for song accompaniment it can be a bit heavy. But not for all songs, some can be accompanied well with a duet. Generally I favor the english with its lighter feel and its versatility over the duet or anglo. Not quite high enough in G/C? Then go to A or D without having to worry about bellows direction on those accidentals.


    Jim's suggestion to try all three systems is very sound if you have that option.


    Good luck. Cheers.

  5. Indie rock & punk? that was the late 70's & 80's wasn't it? I'm not sure what they call it these days but I don't think it's punk and indie rock.


    But ah... good ole rock 'n roll, there's nothing quite like AC/DC!


    On my gigs, I play Rock/Pop and even songs that have a kind of punksound to them. The reactions are really good. I honestly think that a Concertina is an underestimated Heavy-Rock instrument.


    Here is an example, https://soundcloud.com/squeezer-stefan/highway-hell-test1



    You know these days I think concertina is underestimated generally in regard to contemporary music.


    But ho Stefan, you are an innovator. Highway to Hell on concertina, wacko! Except with the distortion it doesn't sound like a concer. Can that be backed off a little to bring the concertina sound through a bit? That's not a criticism, just wondering? Carry on.


    The future for the concertina depends upon younger people taking it up, and if that means their sort of music so be it. However it's not happening in Australia. Will the concertina carry on or just die with all of us old blokes?


    Cheers Steve.

  6. G'day DKM?,


    Welcome to Cnet and the world of concertinas, in your case the english.


    Firstly, self taught is OK, you develop your own style. Take it easy with working the bellows, relax and hopefully the cramping will diminish and disappear.


    It's great that you're into song accompaniment, exactly what I do and chording is a great start. Don't be scared of chord theory, it's really quite simple. Keep in mind that chords can be played in various inversions so there is choice regarding accompaniment. You might like to download this file.


    pdf.gif Computer generated Chord Wheel v1.pdf 397.19KB 123 downloads


    Stick it on some cardboard, cut out, pin together. There's intervals for major and minor chords, the others you have to work out but it's pretty easy. Rather than memorising chord shapes it's better, I think, to learn your scales and how chords are built from the scale. 1,3,5 for a major chord, 1,3b,5 for a minor chord, etc. The chord wheel should help.


    Good luck (practice,practice,practice) with your journey an post some samples(soundcloud or youtube) before too long. It's great to share and good for your playing too.


    Cheers Steve.

  7. G'day Susan,


    I feel you're probably getting better overall, especially if you're putting in towards an hour a day, or most days. As individuals some of us have the music in us more than others. Some people just have it, it's in their bones. Others have to work at it a bit more. I've always regarded myself as a plodder. I've played concer for forty years and never really progressed very far until a few years back when a life changing event spured me to action. I decided then that I'd aim to play concer as well as I possibly could with whatever time I have available in this lifetime. A purpose so to speak. Now I play a couple of hours a day most days (I'm a stupid fanatic actually). And you know what, that sort of practice really does lead to improvement. Sometimes, on bad days, it's disappointing. What the hell, have a glass of wine or two and start again the next day(probably without the wine is a good idea).


    I wonder do you have some sort of record keeping regime? Tick off those tunes. Note the bits that need attention. Deal with problem bits straight away. Then the next day too. And remember getting it right won't happen with twenty minutes of practice. Five minutes practice a day over two weeks is far more beneficial.


    Cheers Steve.


    P.S. By the way, there's more music out there than just Irish music. Take a look.

  8. Straps,loops, who cares what they're called, they're very useful for me. I get tendon problems in the thumbs so the straloops diminish the pressure on the thumbs when drawing the bellows. I have the straps attached at the top by the same screw used for the thumbstrap so they actually do come across the lower back of the hand. Don't any problems playing or chording the lower register notes.

  9. I was astounded upon viewing these two videos.





    Tatiana (orTatyana) almost rhymes with concertina doesn't it!


    Currently I am working up a song I've composed as an acknowledgement of the historical role of concertinas in circus. Concertinas have long been associated with the circus, most notably used by clowns but also acrobats. I've come up with "The Flying Concertina", a light hearted fantasy where a concertina used in a trapeze act takes on a life of its own. The circumstance of this thread begs for a sneek preview. Here's the first half of the lyrics:-


    The Flying Concertina


    Oh what happy days when the circus comes to town

    The acrobats amaze and there’s sure to be a clown

    There’s elephants and horses and cheeky chimpanzees

    But best of all of course is the girl up on trapeze


    For when she summersaults and flies then the people shout with glee

    Imagine their surprise when she swings it musically

    She plays a concertina while swinging by her knees

    With summersaults between a tune up on trapeze


    She is the lovely young Sabrina with her flying concertina

    She squeezes on that funny little box while swinging way up there on high

    You know that everyone who’s ever seen ‘er adore the lovely young Sabrina

    With her flying concertina making music in the sky


    One night young Sabrina when high up on trapeze

    Let go her concertina when she just had to sneeze

    That little box he took his leave a chance not to be missed

    What followed you may not believe but here’s what happened next........


    What happens next? Well you'll just have to wait. It will be some time before this one is ready for performance. At my age it's not easy working up those trapeze skills. :blink:

  10. I do songs with concer accompaniment and have found the best solution for me is to have the mic about half a meter directly in front but angled up towards my voice. I'm using a reasonable quality mic, a Sennheiser Mk4 condenser so I have to put it through a mixer as it needs phantom power. Then into the computer where I use Cooledit, similar to Audicity. For video you have to sync but that's not hard, just do the clap at the beginning then edit it out.


    Works well enough for me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLyUNv6bxPo

  11. G'day Bob and All,


    I'm not sure if I'm supposed to lob in a song that's not on your list Bob but here goes. There's an Aussie WW1 song written by a Corporal Neil McBeath who served in the AIF (Aust. Infantry Force) in WW1, not sure if he was near or in the action. The song "I'm Going Back Again to Yarrawonga" was performed in a review by the troops and later published in 1919 and then recorded by Ella Shields. As the title suggests it's one of those heading home songs with Yarrawonga being a country town in southern New South Wales. For so many of those rural youth back then, trapped in poverty on the family farm, six shillings a day and a chance to travel the world was irresistible. Little did they know....


    Here's my slightly wobbly version. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLyUNv6bxPo At the time Mahonga was apparently a well known Australian race horse. There is another verse which I don't do.


    Cheers Steve


    PS I think I've finally got my recording balance sorted. A new mic strategically placed seems to work.

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