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Everything posted by TimTim

  1. Hi Geoff Wooff, I have a Jackie but I am certain I haven't exhausted its capabilities as I am really a beginner. Unless I am totally deaf I find legatos pretty easy (I'm not saying I do it well or beautifully but lets say that everything I play becomes legato...) I suppose that it doesn't help that I learn with music sheets for the violin (Celtic Music for Violin by Jessica Walsh) and when I listen to the CD it's full of those gorgeous variations and ornaments totally out of my reach for now (and maybe for ever). I find that "Drunken Sailor" actually helps me practicing the "staccato" (I think?)
  2. Thanks Mikefule, I'm trying to get more "expression" or whatever and variation in what I do but I have to say it doesn't show at all! I need to set up some exercises to understand what's going on I suppose. I need to get this staccato thing also. It's funny, I find concertina easy to "start" - in the sense that I was pretty happy being able to play all the notes and all but after that... !!
  3. Dear DaveM and Don Taylor, Thank you very much for your posts ! It's honestly all I needed, being able to put some words on my problem, good indications of where to look... Thanks a lot!! Don Taylor, indeed I'm surprised that having the bellows rest on the knee is even considered but I'll look into it. The link to the Fiddlehed is great !! DaveM, thanks for reminding me about playing scales in different ways... Good night everyone ! Tim
  4. Hello everyone, this time I simply don't know where to start my research on this forum.... Long story short: I simply can't get my head around the Butler tutor and things like that so I've been practising/learning/deciphering music sheets for violin (easy ones!). I love it as the melodies are beautiful (celtic and gypsies) and I have a CD so I can actually try to get the rhythm (not good enough at reading it..). My question: are there any exercises or tips to help me understand or pick up the way notes seem to bounce ? You know, everything I do sounds sluggish as hell, I can play faster but it's just fast slug. Can someone point me in the right direction? I don't expect any magic trick at all but I'm just lost...there might be a technical term for that and that would already help me in my research! Thanks a lot for any answer you may have
  5. Hi Christine, I apologize for not replying earlier but I've been swept away from my computer for the past few days ! So it took you about five months to get there, it's good to know. It seems to me that I can feel some progress and more ease every day - I had a day off a couple of days ago (against my will) and when I came back to my concertina my fingers were so strong and precise ! As for the fun, I simply have no words to describe how much I enjoy it!! Good luck to you !
  6. Thank you Geoff, George and Don ! I'd read elsewhere about the 100 h for a Jackie - though I'm pretty sure there's already a difference since the first day I had it. As for long sessions vs short ones, I've read several debates here on this forum - sometimes heated ones ! But I must admit that even when I have only time for 15 min, the next day it's like my body has absorbed most of it and that I've improved, so I agree that short sessions seem to be working on me. I've also noticed that if I stop because I'm tired, when I pick up the concertina a few hours later it's like I've learned something in the meantime ! I've decided to follow your advice, Geoff, and just get a feel of where I want to put "expression" or whatever the name of that thing that escapes me still is. And muscle memory is actually a thing, I catch my fingers following the music faster than I can read the notes (after having played the tune over and over, of course), like they're finding their familiar place on the concertina. So I'll try to ignore the demons - you wouldn't believe how active they can get after only a few days (actually hours ! ) of playing. I also need to come to terms with the fact that - as a beginner at least - I won't manage anything more unless I really know those tunes by heart, without having to look at my music sheet. Again thanks everyone ! I've enjoyed every bit of this forum and heavens knows I've been reading a lot ! Tim Tim
  7. Thank you Geoff, for some reason your reply already makes me feel better. I know that my difficulties are partly due to the newness of my Jackie and mostly to my skills, so I'll continue practicing. I'll try to play my tunes even more slowly than now so I have time to experiment with the bellows. The Jackie already feels a lot less stiff than at the beginning (but it might also be because my hands are getting used to it, I used to have pains after ten minutes, now I can go on for very long sessions...) Again thank you ! Tim
  8. Hello, I've had my Jackie since the 10 of September and have been working on just a couple of tunes (normally for violin). I can find all my notes quite easily, accidentals included.... but I struggle a lot finding out when to reverse the bellows. I try to end on closing the bellows but even that is very tricky, and during the "piece", I can't seem to be able to feel when to change directions. I've read that you're not suppose to change directions in the middle of a bar - but it sometimes sounds better if I do. I also have the problem that reversing the bellows mean my next note is slower to sound - to compensate I have to give a firmer push but then it makes it sound harsher than I like. Can anyone give me a hint? Otherwise I feel I'm reduced indeed to pushing the buttons in the right order and not respecting the specificity of this instrument... I've tried various ways of playing each tune, just to experiment and see if I could get a general idea...but I end up with bellows open and with no better result. It might help to know that the tunes I'm working on are Gypsy tunes and should therefore be very much open to interpretation...and I manage to make them sound like boring and even tunes. Tim
  9. Just a quick update to all beginners : be sure to check Steve's website (that he refers to above)... He gives you the opportunity to download his "chord wheel" and make your own at home.. Such a great idea, Steve, thank you very much !!
  10. Hi Steve, Thank you for the link ! Yet another website I'm happy to know about ! I can't open it on my old rotten computer but I'll have a good look at it tomorrow on my other one. By the way , a small update to others : I've found this video on ornamentation - not the most helpful maybe but it still illustrates some bits and pieces - It is by Dick Miles. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h18W_uixChs As for practicing lots and lots... alas, my neighbours have come to realise that something definitely changed since last Monday ! When it's too early in the morning or rather late in the evening, I play very softly but sometimes I slip and....aargh ! Tim
  11. Hello, I'm sure this must have been posted elsewhere but I wanted to bring it up again. Martyn ( I don't if it is his name on this forum) made a series of videos calleds English Concertina for Beginners. I have found this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tgSviQ0iKSoparticularly helpful ; he shows on a piano how chords work and it suddenly makes sense. The next video is about other chords than the main ones and is also very helpful. As a complete beginner, anything that can demistify music theory is very precious to me. Now if someone could do something similar for rolls and ornementation in general.... Thanks a lot to Martyn for his videos (the last one is just lovely !!) - he makes the whole thing less daunting and for us beginners without teachers, it's invaluable. Good luck to all the beginners out there, Tim, who has just started on Jackie and just can't get enough of it.
  12. Hello, From what I've understood, Scholer concertinas are really not well considered - it's unlikely you can find spare parts. You'll probably have to buy other Scholer concertinas to take the bits and pieces off...and it remains to be seen whether it's worth it. As for original handstraps well, if it's like on mine, others might already be worn-out too, so if you plan on playing this Anglo you'll have to get new straps anyway (I find my Scholer rather heavy). This thread might also help: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=15865&hl=scholer Good luck anyway, TIm
  13. Yes, that's what the lady said. I assumed it would be another name for Stagis but even so I'm surprised I can't find them mentioned anywhere at all. But anyway, I've ordered a Jackie from Harry Geuns and that's sorted ! Tim
  14. Hello, A friend of mine paid a visit to an accordion shop in Brussels (the name is Hamelrijk). When she inquired about concertinas the lady told her they only sold the best, made in Italy, under the name Hamelina. The odd thing is I haven't been able to find anything on Hamelina concertinas and I was wondering whether someone would have heard about it? Maybe as another name for Stagi? But even so, how come nothing pops on the net? Thanks for your help, Tim
  15. Then if you go on musicfree.com they'll present you with their three different games. Also I think it's one of the first entries when you google Treble Defender. Enjoy !
  16. Dear beginners who struggle with music notation and would like to cross the rubicon, I thought I'd share what I have come across this last few days. If you struggle to read the notes: https://www.musictheory.net/exercises/note You get to choose the clef (Treble, Bass or both) and the range, so it's really progressive and you learn in no time. If you want to read the notes a bit faster: http://www.readmusicfree.com/trebleclefdefender.html It's a very nice game - completely addictive (you have to type the name of the note that appears before it's too late... it goes faster and faster - amazingly efficient) If you have a smartphone or a tablet, here are two apps I've been playing with and that I find really impressive: Musink (again for sight-reading) and Rhythm trainer (err...for rhythm and time notation). To the musicians out there: I'm well aware this won't turn me into a musician overnight or even a decade, but it brought be from not knowing anything about music notation to being able to read more or less reasonably... (I still struggle with rhythm, though). PS: I've been reading hundreds of comments and am amazed by the quality of this forum. I thought I'd never have anything to contribute to it but I hope this can be of help... It certainly made a world of difference for me in just a couple of hours. All my love to everyone,
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