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Halifax

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Everything posted by Halifax

  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. That's a good tip, RAc. I'll try it. Thank you.
  4. 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?
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. 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
  8. 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?
  9. Perhaps you could incorporate a bellows from a set of Irish pipes? I'd love to see this creature in action...
  10. Now I'll never be able to see oil tankers the same way...
  11. Thanks, all who offered synonyms for "concertina player." So, I sang my new song at our local last night. The late-staying sessioners contributed chords and a musical interlude. No recordings exist, and it was a one-off, so you'll have to use your imagination. But here are the lyrics: The Devil’s a Sonopneumaticist He was a worn-out demon, too tired to sin. We recognized him as he walked in. The faithful asked, “Where’s yer violin?” He said he lost it in a poker game with St. Michael and his Seraphim. Don’t you know the Devil, he’s a squeezer He’s a hexagonal wheezer And he plays his tunes and he taps his cloven foot. And he drinks expensive whiskey Which the barman waters down And the tunes they suffer when the Devil comes to town. He said, “Now I play the concertina.” He pulled one out and commenced to squeeze her. He wrestled out a terrible din o din. Then he twisted his mouth into an evil impish grin. Don’t you know the Devil, he’s a squeezer He’s a hexagonal wheezer And he plays his tunes and he taps his cloven foot. And he drinks expensive whiskey Which the barman waters down And the tunes they suffer when the Devil comes to town. I don’t believe in Heaven, I don’t believe in Hell I don’t believe in Jesus, tho’ I wish him well. I believe in jigs and reels and my Carroll. She’s got a 7-fold bellows and a sound like sweet caramel. Don’t you know the Devil, he’s a squeezer He’s a hexagonal wheezer And he plays his tunes and he taps his cloven foot. And he drinks expensive whiskey Which the barman waters down And the tunes they suffer when the Devil comes to town.
  12. RAc, you are speaking my language. Challenge accepted.
  13. These are all good! Keep them coming! And thanks! cdm
  14. Squeezer wins! Although Hexman is pretty good, too. Thanks, both! cdm
  15. I'm writing a spoof on a western song. It seems like there are lots of casual terms for guitar players (picker, axeman), but I can't think of one for a concertina player. Anybody? Thanks, Christine
  16. Recently, I was at a conference for organizers of music festivals and I bemoaned the fact that although our festival is in a student-heavy environment, we don't have lots of students attending. I was worried that a lack of young people meant the traditions would die out. Then, a fellow festival organizer said, "you wanna know how to get students to come to your trad music festival? Wait till they're 40." If I run the numbers, the average age of our local session attendees is about 46. So perhaps the traditions are alive and well, but fostered by those of us who have a clearer sense of our mortality than the young ones who are trying to invent new traditions. Don't worry. They'll come around!
  17. And then, sometimes one has to accept that the fiddle and concertina are very different instruments with different properties and different kinds of magic. That's why they can sound so good together. Daniel, I often listen to that that video of Cormac Begley playing Master Crowley's on a loop as I work. I love how the music grows and grows! Best, Christine
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