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Everything posted by Halifax

  1. Enjoy the Muse for as long as she stops to visit! When you think of a tune: While you make some tea, that’s an infuse muse. When you’re feeling sad, that’s a blues muse. In the grocery forgetting to pick up milk, that’s a confuse muse. And then think of the tune that follows, that’s an ensues muse. After drinking some whiskey, that’s a booze-abuse muse.
  2. If you liked the feeling and sound of the Morse, go for it. Have the Button Box fix her up just like new. I second that they know what they're doing and It's worth it. Those are good instruments; built to last.
  3. I think you've hit the nail on the head, Susan. I think it's an endurance problem. I need to crosstrain for the concertina, lol.
  4. It's a good instrument, but you may be onto something, as it's often a very loud session.
  5. It might limit my repetoire too much if I limit my playing to "pull" days and "push" days, lol!
  6. They might be a little stiff as the machine isn't so very old. I've been warned not to treat the leather at all, and wouldn't want to damage the beautiful papers, so I guess the cure is just more playing.
  7. Fair questions. I play seated on a wooden pub chair with the concertina sitting on my left leg. I try to have reasonable posture, but yeah, sometimes I hunch a bit so I can hear over the other session instruments. It might be an endurance problem. I do try to keep my posture as neutral as possible.
  8. I'm a reasonably strong and capable woman. Recently, I've started to turn a corner in my playing and can lead a set in our local session. And I don't know if it's because I used to play tunes twice over and now do it thrice or even four times (if the situation calls for it), but my upper arms (deltoids/triceps) feel like overcooked spaghetti noodles at the end of an exuberant set. Muscle fatigue via polkas, I guess. Any suggestions on excercises to strenghthen the pushing and pulling muscles?
  9. 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).
  10. That's a great photo, Peter Laban!
  11. Congratulations! Also, I'm impressed with your patience.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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]
  15. 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.
  16. 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
  17. 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!
  18. Yay! What a great post. I'm so glad we've become friends! It'll be fun to play together some day. xo
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
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