Posts posted by ConcertinaFace
Thanks David for passing that thread along! I will follow up, there are certainly some Houston concertinists who can help him.
I'm a volunteer with the Gulf Coast Cruinniú, an Irish music workshop weekend in Houston, TX. We are exploring the possibility of including an anglo concertina workshop in the 2023 weekend, which will take place June 2nd-4th. However, we want to make sure that there will be some interest before committing to this plan! If you would possibly be interested in attending this workshop, please fill out our interest form so we can get an idea of possible attendance/feasibility.
I'm also a broke millennial anglo player who likes oldtime tunes! Nice to meet you!
I play mostly Irish music but I love playing at oldtime jams too. Do you have a jam where you live? I feel like I got most of my tunes and oldtime tune "sense" from jamming with fiddle/banjo players but obviously this is not workable if you don't have other oldtime players in your area.
I'm not a music reader so unfortunately I don't have any book suggestions of my own but lots of people I have talked with love the Gary Coover books. Do you like learning by ear too or would you prefer a book?
I got an anglo concertina endplate done over the summer to cover up a scar - Skyler at Gully Cat Tattoos in Austin TX gets any creativity points I earned since he did the (amazing I might add) design for me!
Just an update, the 2019 festival dates are March 28-30.
Ok y'all those pictures came out HUGE and fuzzy! ?If they aren't working for you let me know and I'll try again!
Late to the party on this one but adding my two cents just in case anyone is still dealing with this.
I have delrin buttons and also tiny hands so I find myself slipping off the buttons especially on my pinky finger if I am not careful. What has helped me is to concentrate on where my fingers fall on the buttons to slightly increase the amount of skin touching the button for more gripping power.
I have received the good advice to play on my fingertips for speed and accuracy and this has helped me a lot. However, I stay on the buttons more easily if I move my finger slightly forward so that the button is in contact with the top of my finger pad. My finger is a little more fleshy there so the button can sink in a little more and has more skin to grip it.
I have attached two pictures to show you how this looks on my hand. The first "finger pad" picture is my finger sitting a little bit forward for more grip and the second "fingertip" picture is my finger on the very tip of the button without the extra grip.
Hope this helps (and Merry Christmas!)
Hi McDouglas, to answer your first question the workshops finish up in the late afternoon, around 4:00-4:30 if I remember correctly.
To answer your second question, we accommodate all systems at Old Pal by focusing more on tunes and techniques that are relevant to the whole group vs. a specific system. We don't really get into in-depth fingering systems for example since that would tend to favor one group over the other, but we learn tunes all together and usually have some time where everyone can demonstrate something that they are learning/like to play and get a little individual feedback.
Hopefully you are able to join us this coming year!
Erica (aka ConcertinaFace)
If your New Year's resolution is to play more concertina...
...then join us for the concertina workshops at the Old Pal music festival in Palestine, TX!
What: A music festival full of workshops, concerts, jamming, friendship and above all FUN!
Who: We are excited to welcome Jody Kruskal back as our instructor this year! Jody specializes in old-time music and will be offering classes both at beginner and advanced levels, making this a great experience for concertinists of all levels.
When: The festival will open with a concert on the evening of Thursday, March 22 and run all day Friday-Saturday on the 23rd and 24th.
Where: The Museum for East Texas Culture located at 400 Micheaux Street, Palestine TX
Workshops, sessions, concerts:
Workshops are offered for many old time instruments as well as singing (including Sacred Harp). The concertina workshops will be on Friday and Saturday, and will include:
· Beginning the concertina, with Jody Kruskal: two sessions
· Intermediate/advanced concertina, with Jody Kruskal: focus on chorded style, two sessions
· Master Class, with Jody; one session.
· Irish tunes, with Dan Worrall and Erica Braverman. Revisit tunes from Ann Kirrane’s workshop last year, and learn some new tunes from the north Clare repertoire. One session.
Sessions, mostly featuring old-time and old-timey music, occur at all hours of day and evening. Musicians with various instruments (including Appalachian and hammered dulcimers, fiddles, banjos, etc.) are very welcoming and the sessions are accessible to all. This has always been the main strength of Old Pal.
Concerts occur every day at lunchtime and in the evening. Jody will be one of a myriad performers, in a homey turn of the (last) century former auditorium.
Learn more about Jody and his music at https://www.jodykruskal.com/.
Please visit the Old Pal website at http://www.oldpalmusic.com/Home.html to learn more about the festival and this year's performers.
Find more information on lodging and activities in Palestine here http://www.visitpalestine.com/.
You can also search the concertina.net forums for the word “Palestine” for reports of workshops in previous years. This is our fourteenth year of concertina workshops at this great festival!
PLEASE NOTE that there is a charge of $35.00 in addition to the festival admission price for all participants in the concertina workshops. This fee helps our instructors to cover their travel costs.
We want to hear from you!
To help make this a great festival for everyone, we want your input! Please reply to this post or email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information to assist us in meeting your needs or to ask us any questions you may have.
1) Are you planning to attend this year's festival (either definitely or tentatively)?
2) Are you more interested in attending beginner or intermediate/advanced level workshops? If you have questions about which level you should register for, please let us know and we can assist you!
3) Would you be interested in participating in a group masterclass with Jody?
Thank you and we hope to see you at Old Pal!
Ah I hope you are able to come too someday!
Where do you live in Australia? My parents took a cross-country trip there and loved it.
Thanks Jody! I have met Jim at a concertina gathering here. I'll let him know that I'm planning to be there!
Kind of late to the party on this one but I found this thread through another that just got posted.
I had no intention of playing the concertina at all until about an hour before I rented my first one. One of my friends works in a music shop that had just started carrying Rochelle anglos. I walked in on some unrelated errand and saw one of them sitting on the counter. When I asked about it, she told me that it was her concertina and that she had started learning to play initially so that she could understand them better from a sales point of view but ended up completely loving the instrument.
I asked if I could just push a button or two and she said that she would just get one of the rentals from the back to properly teach me a tune. She showed me how to play Terry Teahan's Polka and I was hooked! I walked out of there with a rental concertina and started working on learning some more tunes. I think that having someone right there at the beginning to give me an idea of how the instrument worked made the difference.
I played the piano and violin growing up but nothing has stuck for me like the concertina did. People joke with me and say that it's genetic because my grandpa played the English concertina (not sure what he would say about his granddaughter playing the anglo!) but I think that I enjoy the puzzle of figuring out the "path" of each tune in the buttons.
When the concertina rentals from the shop got a little more publicized and they wanted to offer lessons (they have local musicians teach private music classes), I became the concertina teacher! This is not because of any great skill or talent but because no one else wanted to do it, I am a teacher so I figured I could handle individual adult students after telling roomfuls of children to quiet down and stop picking their noses. I just had my first student today and it was great! He was very enthusiastic and he has a great ear, so it will be fun to see what tunes catch his interest.
I don't think I could ever stop now, I'm having too much fun! Hopefully the concertina won't skip a generation this time and if I have kids someday maybe they will play too. I won't even be mad if they play a different system than me.
Hi Shelly and Jody!
Thanks so much for the information about Old Pal! I know several people who go every year and they love it. I definitely plan to attend this year!
Jody, I read through the page but I wasn't sure who to email about registration. Do I talk to Dan Worrall or Jerry Wright?
I play an Edgley C/G concertina, but when I was first starting I rented a Rochelle from a music shop here called Fiddler's Green. Fiddler's Green also has a Sunday session with slow tempos for beginners at the start. However, there is a pub session downtown at the same day and time and that is where I usually go for tunes. I was already there for sean nós dancing and I just decided to stay for the concertina! Plus, musicians get free pints, which is a pretty solid incentive for me to do a lot of things!
I hope you are able to come down to Austin, there is so much to do and such great live music! While you are here we would love it if you came to a session, here are the links for each location:
Fiddler's Green: http://fiddlersgreenmusicshop.com/weeklyirishsessions.html#sthash.3TJJPYif.dpbs
B.D. Riley's (the pub, check the calendar before you come by to make sure that the session is not cancelled for a Patriot's game): http://bdrileys.com/calendar/
Also B.D. Riley's will compensate session players for parking so contact me before your trip and I will give you directions to the parking garage.
I'm ConcertinaFace! I live in Austin, TX and I started playing the anglo concertina last March. So far my roommates don't mind!
I play mostly Irish music but sometimes I play old-time music too, generally at the weekly sessions here. I am also a sean nós and flatfoot dancer and I can play about five chords on the mandolin if I remember them. There is a very dedicated trad scene in Austin so I have had lots of help from people suggesting recordings to listen to, teaching me tunes and jamming with me. I was also fortunate enough to go to the O'Flaherty Irish Music Retreat in Dallas this past fall which was excellent, Niamh Ni Charra taught the concertina classes and she is a wonderful teacher!!
I did AmeriCorps for two years so the plan is to use the rest of my scholarship (after I finish classes this spring) to go to the Blas summer school at the University of Limerick and Willie Clancy week! Right now it is all a bunch of red tape but I am hoping that things will work out in my favor.
I'm excited to talk with all you other box players on this forum! I am enjoying the concertina so much and it is definitely definitely worth all the chipped nail polish, raised eyebrows on first dates (you play a what?) and time spent convincing people that no, it's not a bomb, I promise.
in General Concertina Discussion
You might also want to check out some of the local Irish sessions! (if you are interested in playing Irish music) The players there might know someone with a concertina you could rent or buy, and they will also have good ideas on where to find some beginner-friendly music. I know there is a group that meets at the Penny Whistle Pub which is near the University of St. Thomas, but I would also check and see if there are other sessions closer to your area.