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Halifax

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Posts posted by Halifax

  1. 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?

  2. 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!

  3. 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

  4. 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?

     

     

     

  5. 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.

  6. 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!sessiun2.thumb.PNG.287a66f47d3eefbcb4610f723fee81f2.PNG

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