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Everything posted by LoM

  1. I like that reply. So in a sense you're saying that learning the melodies, ornaments, and self-accompaniment is pretty simple to pick up because the instrument is designed for folk music? That's interesting. I'll need to look into that. I think it's pretty neat that it's such a young instrument with a definite designer and inventor. Many of our modern instruments don't have that but are the product of many previous designers. It'll be fun reading about Jeffries and his intentions.(Any resources about the maker is welcomed to this thread). As for "dynamism". It's understandable. But does the bellows create a dynamic range at all? Like, pushing it harder makes it louder and pushing it softer makes it quiter? Being able bend notes is cool, but it's definitely not a deal breaker. As for the low-attack... hmm... I guess i'll figure out what that's like when I try it for myself. As for playing in outlying keys, I think I can deal. As of right now i'm still only interested in Irish music and whatever tunes I like, i'm sure all the keys will be there. I've gotten use to transposing tunes and songs to different keys because I can't always sing in the range of the singer. Mairéad Ní Mhaonaigh is a pure soprano, I can't sing that high. Not well anyway lol.
  2. Learning Curve. I didn't learn about this term until I was almost an adult. Though, since I first heard it it's caused me to look at learning music, and learning everything else, quite differently. It's a pretty vague and ambiguous term as well, so i'll try my best to make clear what i'm asking. In a simple sense, on a scale from 1-10, 1 being as easy as the Ukulele/Recorder and 10 being as difficult as the Flute/Uilleann Pipes, what would you rate the Concertina's difficulty? In my opinion, people get piano confused. I'm often asked if it's the hardest instrument to "learn". I then go into my pre-meditated and rehearsed spill about how it's easy to learn because of it's logical and intuitive setup, but difficult to master because of it's extensive melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic capacity. Because of it's high learning curve, I would never consider it difficult to learn, especially compared to any string, woodwind, or brass instrument. Though, I would consider it one of the unmasterable instruments only because of it's range of capabilities. And it's low maintence, rarely having to get it tuned, never having to touch the strings, not having much at all to worry about really... On my scale, I would rate piano no higher than a 4. An instrument like fiddle, goodness... The learning curve is so far back, there's a 3-year period called "Beginner's Awfulness". They teach you to not expect to sound any good until around 3 years in. Talk about humbling! Getting a good tone out of the bow, syncronizing your bow strokes with your left hand, and playing in tune proves too difficult. Throw in all the wacky things you can do with the bow hand and the left hand, and you have an instrument difficult to learn and difficult to master. It's also high maintenance, always having to tune and change the strings, watching the bridge, the pegs, and fine tuners... On my scale, I would rate it no lower than a 7. The one thing slightly intimidating about the concertina is it's "blind-side". The fiddle has a lovely view of the fingerboard, and the piano has a swell view of the keyboard. The plectrum instruments don't have too bad a view either, though it can get uncomfortable. But the concertina is completely blind. Not sure how much that'll mean when I get one in my hands. The bisonoric bit doesn't bother me all too much. I've fumbled with a bisonoric button-accordian and it didn't seem too tough, though, it did have a familiar low/high scale pattern. I assume the hardest thing to pick up on concertina is self-accompaniment because of the bisonoric factor, but I could be wrong. I'm not afraid of a challenge, I just like to know what to expect. In the broader since, I'd like to know what kinds of things did you pick up on right away, and what things took a bit of time. If you're a teacher, do you notice a pattern in your students of concepts, techniques, and skills that prove to be more difficult to grasp than others?
  3. Thanks everyone for sharing your lovely stories It's always nice to hear how others got into the music. Glad it worked out well for you, hopefully it works well for me as well.
  4. Yes Alex, she is very proud And she is still alive to this day to see me pursue the passion Andy, yea it's also made me a little more excited realizing that this will be the first "wind" instrument I learn, and the fact that it is wind gives it it's special tone. I guess the reason why it's the exception is because it's not "airy", like flutes are, but smooth and full of tone. Maki, you're a true champion man, sticking with the music until you found the right instrument! Most people give up on the "right" instrument! John, isn't it lovely? I consider my instruments my friends. Piano = Child-hood friend turned best friend Fiddle = Long lost friend Concertina = The lovely stranger Ruediger, glad you made it! If it wasn't for the wonderful and generous people that have walked into my life, this music thing would've never happened... Azalin, that's an awesome story! I would've fallen off my bike and had a heart-attack from that kind of culture-shock. That's great you've gotten to go to workshops with the pros! I've been to two fiddle workshops and they really changed things for me! Thanks for sharing!
  5. Sorry for the long post, but I don't think there's a better place for me to express this. My interest in concertina is by far the most peculiar interest I've ever had in an instrument. I wasn't originally interested in music. My great grandmother bought me a piano when I was about 7 years old. I became fascinated with it when I realized I could learn music by ear. That fascination drove me for almost 10 years before I fell in love with music. Within' that 10 years, I became interested in violin, mostly cause I didn't like my singing voice and there was a handful of classical pieces I wanted to learn. It was almost a year from the day I decided to get one that I received one. Some friends found out I was interested and gave me one Christmas. I wrestled with the instrument for about a year before I realized I didn't wanna play classical, or rock, or jazz... One day I realized that there was Irish music. A wild, fun, beautiful, and free style of music. A kind of music I had never played on piano. Since then, it's been all tunes, and lovely songs. Learning more about a music and culture that had fascinated me for quite some time before. Living in Austin, Tx. for 3 and a half years, I developed an interest in more music, many of the people I associated with being musicians, or enthusiasts. I had a very short-lived interest in bass guitar and ukulele after finding out how easy they were. I would've gotten a uke, but a delayed shipment that continued to get delayed caused me to refund my order. I had a bass for a while, was keeping it for someone. But it didn't grab me. So I decided it was just infatuation and moved on. With concertina, it was none of that. First off, and I may get flogged for saying this here, but I don't particularly like free reeds(I'm a string man). Just like woodwinds and horns/brass, I'm very indifferent towards them. But concertina(along with the Uilleann and small pipes) is definitely the exception. Instruments like these, their tone is so unique. I don't even know how to describe the energy, the magic I feel. Not to sound childish but they leave me at a loss for words. I feel so happy and easy going when I hear a concertina especially. And I mean, from the first time I ever heard one http://youtu.be/7Igvp6Aw66I I've been seriously considering taking it up. I mean really? http://youtu.be/MWosPa3SuNM after witnessing something like that, who wouldn't consider it!? Over the last 3 and a half years, I've heard this instrument in sessions, on cd's, in videos and slowly but surely it's worked it's way in. I finally cracked when I heard Caitlin Nic Gabhann's album, recommended by a peer from thesession.org. It's official. The decision has been made. I already have a session, teachers, even a repertoire. And thanks to resources like this, I'm already learning. The hard part is getting the instrument. But when I get mine in my hands.... Sphew, I can barely contain my excitement. Thanks for allowing me to get that off my chest. No one else understands lol. So what's your story? What brought you to the concertina world?
  6. I don't play concertina yet, but I know all about stubborn mistakes. One thing that helps me is "slow ironing" them out. If I notice myself consistently making a mistake, I take the time to diligently focus on that one phrase(or those phrases, there tend to be at least two trouble spots for me per piece) until that mistake is corrected. Look at it this way, you have 95% of the piece down pat so you only have 5% to fix. Don't worry about the other 95%, just get the 5% fixed. Then you'll have all of it down! Confidence is very important when it comes to playing a piece correctly. If you let yourself get tense and anxious as the phrase approaches, the more likely you are to make a mistake. And if you do make a mistake, it just means you'll have to "iron" a little harder until that wrinkle is gone. You'll figure it out. (If push comes to shove, slow down, a lot. Repetitively play the phrase at a tempo where you know you can play it perfectly. When you're confident and it's second nature, increase the tempo and do it over again. It can get tedious, but for some phrases, it's the only way. But it always works.)
  7. If I was able to find a steel reed set, how much would it cost?
  8. What about this? I'm not sure how difficult concertina making is, but i've always wanted to build an instrument and have never seen a kit like this for any other instrument. http://www.concertinaconnection.com/clover%20kit.htm
  9. No problem Michael! With this in mind, i'll take notes so I can remember for myself when the time comes to make the buy! Thanks for the incentive
  10. Lukmanohnz, definitely. I obviously don't know a lot about concertinas so the review would only be on the playability and the tone which are the two most important things in the long term in my opinion. How I see it, an instrument that's inherently difficult to play because of a poor setup, and has poor tonal quality, has a ceiling/cap for how easy it can get and how good it can sound. Whereas an instrument that's comfortable and feels good, and sounds great all on it's own, has the potential to give a young player the motivation they need to move forward, until the player is really good and can make the instrument sound great.
  11. Lukmanohnz Like a review from a beginner's perspective?
  12. "2. Do you intend to play "ITM" in the strict sense, or just traditional Irish music, maybe even with added harmony? Your choice might be biased by that I'd guess...." I intend to play the way i've heard the others play. With a subtle self-accompaniment. Fortunately, the person I first heard play concertina, Ernestine Healy, teaches an 11 week and a 13 week course in the Online Academy of Irish Music. How awesome is that? Even better, Edel Fox teaches an 18 week course on the basics! So I'm leaning very heavy towards the Anglo because i'm going depend heavily on their instruction. Not sure if I said this but concertina is very foreign to me, and even though i've held one or two, i'm taking it's potential difficulty to heart. I doubted how difficult the fiddle would be and i've struggled since the beginning. I had no idea why I thought it would be easy lol. But i've learned from that experience so I plan on utilizing every resource I have for concertina. As for the "Noel Hill" style, i'm with Doug Barr. I have full albums of Noel Hill and Caitlin Nic Gabhann, and they definitely have distinct styles. Caitlin mentions in an interview that it was her teacher, Mícheál Ó Raghallaigh, that may have influenced her the most. I absolutely love her playing. Her self-titled album is amazing. Her repertoire and style all around are wonderful.
  13. Well thanks everyone for all the advice, wisdom, and opinions. I have a better idea of what I'm dealing with now and what options are best for me. I'll definitely be heading up to see Greg Jowaisas in the coming weeks. I'll also be looking over this thread and the site to see what else I can learn about this wonderful instrument. -Cheers!
  14. Ceemonster is right about how I feel about missing notes. My head almost exploded when trying to play some slow airs on a harmonica. I couldn't wrap my hand around why would one note be doubled, but one note missing. I haven't touched that harmonica in probably a year. Missing low notes and high notes isn't completely devastating. But I would need all the notes of the chromatic scale around middle C. Life just isn't the same without them. But transposing isn't new to me so if there were diatonic scales that had all the notes, I could surely compromise. Not to mention I would be learning Irish concertina repertoire so I don't think there would be much of an issue of missing notes?
  15. Thanks for that bit Mikefule. Since money is definitely the determining factor for me, I think the Rochelle may be a great choice because ConcertinaConnection does offer it's full-value trade in. My idea is that I could be learning the Rochelle while saving up for a better instrument, instead of starting concertina months or years from now because I couldn't afford a higher model at first.
  16. "I think that the question you need to ask yourself is how long you will be happy with a budget instrument, seeing as how you are not a musical n00b." I think i've learned to manage. I've gone through several piano keyboards throughout the years and am very excited to be replacing my stand-up piano this year. I also started fiddle on an entry instrument. But from my experience with the entry fiddle, it was very difficult to play because of it's poor setup and really high action. I really took off when I got a better fiddle. I think I may be able to deal with the tone of the Rochelle, it being an acoustic instrument with it's own sound, rather than a sound effected by your finger calluses or bow technique lol.
  17. Thanks maki. The best I can afford in the near future is the Rochelle. My biggest concern is, does it sound like a toy or a real instrument?
  18. I've been playing Irish music on piano and fiddle for 3 and a half years now and i'll definitely be playing it for the rest of my life. That decision has already been made. I couldn't imagine playing anything else on the concertina. "the Rochelle will get you plenty far enough down that road before you need to get into thinking about spending thousands on a better quality box." Really now? That's quite a statement. I've been trying to find sound clips of it but there's nothing like hearing and touching the instrument live. With cheaper instruments there's always that fear of it being too harsh, not being able to stay in tune, and it's technical playability. But from what i've read and heard, the Rochelle seems like not only the best option, but a good option all around. Greg, thanks. I'll be replying to your message shortly.
  19. Hello all! My name is Jerone I've been a musician for a number of years now and I think i've finally made a decision on the 3rd instrument i'd like to learn. The Concertina! It's so neat, a lovely sight, and has such a bright and friendly timbre. No wonder after hearing players like Ernestine Healy, Edel Fox, Noel Hill, and Caitlin Nic Gabhann, I fall in love with it. Last night I checked out the list "Current makes of concertina" and hadn't realized there were so many, and so many variations. It's wild!(Thanks for making that for us Daniel Hersh) But as I looked through the list and read about them, I just got more and more confused about which concertina would be right for me. Here's the thing. I've been a pianist for 16 years now, and it has proven difficult for me to transition to less "intuitive" instruments(Learning fretless bowed instruments is NO joke). I've been playing fiddle for almost 5 years now and it's been very difficult, but very rewarding. I love the piano and fiddle and glad I stuck with them. Given all that, i'm excited about moving on to another keyed instrument, but very intimidated by learning a single-action bellows instrument. From what i've read, the English seems like the obvious choice. But here's the plot twist... I would be playing Irish music exclusively on the concertina. With that, I would have to consider the Anglo. What makes the idea of learning the Anglo even more significant is the fact that I wasn't raised in Irish music and am still learning about the "lilt" and "lift". I understand how important it is for Irish music and I hear it in the accent of the Anglo concertina. That complicates the decision for me. When I make a decision on concertina, i'm sticking to it. The same system and the same number of buttons. So much time and money to invest in a new instrument, I wanna make the right choice. I'm sure that you folks have some very valuable opinions and I look forward to your input Thank you for your time! Cheers! Other questions: Are there any entry level concertinas made with concertina reeds? Do the concertinas with accordion reeds still have a distinct sound from accordions? Can the same note be found in two different places like on stringed instruments? Fellow beginners, what has your experience been with your concertina?
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