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Steve Wilson

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Posts posted by Steve Wilson

  1. I have long pondered how to get young people, children and teenagers, to take up concertina. In Australia in proportion to the player base there are hardly any young concertina players and apart from Ireland I imagine it's much the same for the rest of the world.


    Thanks for posting these links Noel, and thanks Alex if you read this for pioneering your little program which has the potential to significantly change the future for concertina usage and appreciation. THIS COULD BE A GAME CHANGER IF A FEW OF US WERE TO BECOME MOTIVATED. In Australia schools usually jump at the chance for community involvement, community members coming in to run programs. There must be a few retired teachers among us and in fact almost any of the reasonably accomplished among us could do what Alex is doing if the program was structured and with the necessary resources, recordings, sheet music (not to mention concertinas, see next paragraph).


    Of course the main thing that needs to happen is for a cheap concer to become available and so it would have to be a midi concertina. There have been posts before about midi concers, most recently

    Electronic (Midi) Concertina - Current Options?

    Started by Bruce Thomson, 21 Mar 2016 icon_tag.pngMIDI electronic


    Great work is being done by the likes of Bruce, Robert and Jim and others I'm sure. I encourage you all to pursue this midi project with urgency cause I want one for Christmas.


    Cheap concertinas and motivated teachers could advance concertina usage significantly.

  2. What music type am I? I'd say I'm pretty much a plodder.


    In the music strata I'm a level below the top, those that have music in their bones, who can just feel it and consequently express it in their playing. There are lots of 'em in these forums and a few I know in the posts above. In the level below we second tier ones, well speaking of myself, have to work hard at it. Yes we have the music in us to a degree but for me it takes a fair bit of effort and a lot of practice to work up a song with an accompaniment more complex than a simple melody line or simple chording. It's not uncommon for me to work on a new song for two or three months before I consider I'm ready to perform it. And I practice a lot. In fact due to fairly recent health issues I'm driven, totally besotted with the concertina, and driven in aspiration of perhaps one day squeaking over into the lower part of that upper strata of musos who have it in their bones.

  3. I can't seem to watch one of your videos without wondering just a little if I should have chosen the English system after all...


    Bob Michel

    Near Philly


    Oh no Bob, your anglo playing is a delight. Well on second thought you could acquire and play an english as well! After the NFF at Easter I've become inspired to have a go at anglo. I do play a button accordion so anglo should be a snack, the only concern being spreading one's time too thinly. That's why I stopped playing accordion and banjo and all the rest of 'em.

  4. 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.



  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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