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Everything posted by Halifax

  1. Thank you all for your thoughtful responses! Doug: I took your advice to heart and took my concertina to a hooley---even though I thought I wasn't ready. It was great! So much more fun (for me) to snuggle up in the corner with the band than to be sweating it out on the dance floor. And playing next to another concertina made me realize that my mistakes weren't unforgivable and that I could catch up. So thanks! Bill N: Good advice regarding muscle plasticity vs muscle memory. The other concertinist at the hooley made fingering suggestions that make good sense and I'll have to work against muscle memory to incorporate. So, I'll work on plasticity. Mr. Jones: You bring up a good point. Ya gotta be able to see the big picture in order to best map out the fingerings for phrasing. It's good that so much of the Irish music has a loose pattern to it, so I usually have a pretty good idea of where things are going note-wise. Just got to get my fingers to figure things out. Jim: I did not know about using the stronger finger, and that concept has greatly changed the way I look at the buttons. Makes great sense. I will try out your suggested fingerings, they sound like they make a whole lot of sense. Again, thank you all. Sorry for the delay in my reply, I've been taking a few days to let your advice soak in. Now, back to playing, everyone!
  2. Just started playing this summer. Y'all have such good advice, I'm interested in what you have to say about fingerings. I'm working with Edel Fox a bit via her lessons on OAIM and I'm following her fingerings for "Maggie in the Woods." It works, I'm happy, seems to make sense to my fingers. But on my own, I'm learning the Kesh jig from a music book, so I've no guidance on fingering variations. Is there a trick to it? Thanks!
  3. It sounds as if you have sorted it out, but I need to add my voice to the "don't check the concertina" crowd. I've seen a French Horn in a hard case absolutely destroyed by baggage handlers/equipment. Heartbreaking! Have a great trip. Christine
  4. Thank you all for your replies. Now that I've had some time to settle in with the Morse, I think it is more of a timbre difference than a tonal difference. I guess I'm just coming at things from a background as a horn player; I was used to being able to lip tones up or down as needed.
  5. "In the bar the music was in full swing. Musicians from other bands had begun to arrive. The beat of the bodhran was the dominant sound but fiddles, concertinas, melodeons and accordeons were in no way subdued by the many drummers beating out the age-old throbbing timbre of the bodhran, thunderous when demanded, gentle and muted too as a solitary concertina player rendered a tune whose words told of heart-broken exiles in far-off lands. Finally only the bodhran of Donal Hallapy was heard in accompaniment as the concertina player coaxed the delicate note, teased the long note, jerked the short and wrestled the powerful from the insignificant instrument." page 90 The Bodhran Makers by John B. Keane
  6. Thanks, Dana. Now that Canada Day is over, I'm back to the computer! Good tip to check the notes with the octave; they sound pretty well in tune when I do that. Interesting bit about the guitar tuner being not as picky as a piano tuner. Thanks again, Christine
  7. Thanks very much, Chris for your explanation. I guess as I get to know the instrument better, I'll be glad to have notes of different timbres for different pieces.
  8. I've been messing around and getting to know my new Morse Ceili and have noticed that --- how do I explain this --- two of the Cs that are supposed to be the same (right-hand second row and third row) sound a bit off, as in one sounds just a tich higher than the other. I can hear it, my perfect-pitch kid can hear it, but it doesn't register as a problem on my guitar tuner. Am I just being fussy? Do new reeds need to settle in (they are metal, aren't they?)? Are they affected by Maritime Damp? Thanks, all.
  9. Thanks for your reply, Ceemonster. I plan on using my ears quite a lot. It's a social instrument after all! Best, Christine Halifax
  10. Y'all are the best. Thank you for your thoughtful and informative answers. My boys play Irish and Cape Breton fiddle and their hands never leave first position. So it looks like I'll be able to play with them with my Anglo. When I get it. And learn the notes. Thanks again. Christine Halifax
  11. Thanks very much, Bob and Daria. The Morse does look good to me, and the workshop is just a couple of hours away from my Dad in Boston, so when I visit him I can check things out. Christine
  12. Hello, All: I've been spending all my musical energy for the last 10 years pushing my kids to play fiddle and I finally decided to start nagging myself to practice instead. So I'm buying a c/g 30 button Anglo concertina to play Irish music for myself and stop living through my kids! I've found the Button Box to be such a great resource to find out about the differences between instruments, especially since they have videos of the various concertinas they offer. But often I find the clicking and clacking of the buttons distracting. Is this usual in all instruments, or just the less expensive ones? And is there a brand/type that y'all prefer? I love the idea of a sort of mellow/brignt tone, if that's even possible? Thanks for any insight you can offer.
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