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Everything posted by Halifax

  1. In support of the Ozone treatment, many house inspectors have ozone fans designed to de-stink houses. We recently hired one to get rid of the mouldy smell in our car after we had a drain repaired. The inspector guy said he usually uses the machine to de-stink houses before a sale (cigaretts) or after a fire (smoke).
  2. That's a great photo, Peter Laban!
  3. Congratulations! Also, I'm impressed with your patience.
  4. According to her Facebook posts, she's working on recording the advanced course, and has asked folks to contact her with suggestions of favourite tunes.
  5. Thanks, RAc and Wunks for the links. More specifically, I was hoping to hear feedback on what makes an Irish tune swing. Or perhaps it's one of those "you know it when you hear it" situations for which we don't have English words.
  6. I *think* I know what folks mean when they say a tune has swing, but I'm curious about what other people think. Swing could make a tune sound more lilting, but swing is also important in heavy tunes that depend on a drone note. Is swing a feeling? A tempo? A lightness? A digging-in? I'd love your thoughts. From that Wiki article: When asked for a definition of swing, Fats Waller replied, "Lady, if you gotta ask, you'll never know."[5]
  7. I did hear from one player that when he upgraded, everything got easier, and he played much better. But then, after a few years, he was reunited with his old instrument and he was amazed at how much it had improved.
  8. Hey, Susan! You have lots of good advice here, but I'll put in my two cents of hope. When I first started playing, I got concertina shoulder. I went to a physical therapist and he gave me some exercises to do to strengthen my upper back---they were no big deal, the hardest thing was remembering to do them. The pain resolved over about 6 months and never got so bad that I couldn't play. But now, I do try to watch my posture---it's so easy to hunch over the instrument and to curl your shoulders inwards. Also, when I play a tune I'm uncomfortable with, it's easy to tense up, when it would be better for my body and for the music, to just relax. Deep breaths! xo
  9. I"m hesitant to use my D drone in a session, as I'm still learning my way around it and I don't want to annoy my pals. But last night, the banjo player started in on Julia Delaney's and the accordion player yelled out across the table "heavy breathing!" so she and I droned a fun bass line to the solo banjo. Good times!
  10. Yay! What a great post. I'm so glad we've become friends! It'll be fun to play together some day. xo
  11. Amen to that, Mike. And not as bad as beer in the bellows, but I put my concertina down and turned my back on it for a minute at a recent session, and while I was distracted, another player picked it up and started playing it. Without asking. This annoyed me greatly. Now it never leaves my hands or goes into the case.
  12. Also, if you're impatient and have a smart phone, you could download a tuner app. Then you could map the notes by playing them and writing them down. It might get you hooked, though.
  13. Ah! 1. Find the pivot notes, 2. identify the key, 3. recognize melody patterns (arpeggios, bits of scales, etc), OR 4. supplement discreet chords. I've got a plan.
  14. I'm working on a design for a concert poster and I've made a little watercolour of a concertina player. Any guesses as to whom it is?
  15. That's a good tip, RAc. I'll try it. Thank you.
  16. Susan, I checked the session (www.thesession.org) and there are sessions in Brunswick and Bath that are closest to you. I wonder if you'd have luck starting one in Augusta? Maybe we should start a new thread about how to start a new session?
  17. OMG, Daniel. You've hit the nail on the head. I'm a beginner, sometimes sitting at the table with folks who've recorded cds. Yes, Wunks, regarding the drone. My new squeeze has a low D drone and I'm sometimes a teeny bit put off when it doesn't suit the tune! That said, I try not to overuse it. And Ted, yes that's all very good information regarding figuring out keys. Thanks for a very thoughtful and informative response. Often the fiddlers tell the guitar player the key, so if I pay more attention, I can get about half of the keys in a night. I noticed that lots of your very good advice is geared towards paying attention to others in the session. Presently, if I know the tune, I'm too busy concentrating on notes and tempo to notice which whistle the whistle guy is changing out! But now I'll think to notice. Many thanks!
  18. Are you going to perform for pay? If you are playing in concerts and you're getting paid, they will expect you to have a well-defined work visa. I know my Canadian friends who tour in the US have to prepare buckets of paperwork before they go.
  19. So, to sum up: Practice---let the balm of time help to improve muscle memory. And yes, Isra, to paraphrase the master: In order to learn something fast, practice it slow. Play in more sessions---I'm lucky to live in a place where I have both opportunity and choice. Some of the musicians I play with are so talented, I'm just happy to have a place at the table. Learn some chords and learn to play some harmonies. but don't both necessitate knowing what key the tune being played is? How --- without perfect pitch ---does one figure out the key of the tune that other folks are playing? Granted, I play ITM, so there's an 80% chance it's in G or C, but still? Other than quietly guessing and discreetly noodling, how does one train the ear to hear a key? Many thanks to Wunks, Gcoover, Isra, and RAc
  20. I'm feeling really discouraged. I can't play tunes at a consistent level and am always crashing and burning at sessions, even when I can play the tunes at home. I know the answer to this problem is more practice, but I could use some encouragement. Anyone?
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