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LateToTheGame

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About LateToTheGame

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    Chatty concertinist

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    Concertina, wooden flute, whistle et al
  • Location
    Chicagoland

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  1. I'm in a similar age group with no underlying health conditions. You won't find me even going out to eat when things open more. I know how hard it would be for my family if I got sick. Lots of folks still depend on me for care taking and mentoring. If I were 30 and not interacting with older folks, maybe. We can't control other's behavior around us in public so I avoid going out as much as possible. If I were in a smaller town with no tourists or out-of-towners, maybe. Music has become a solitary activity. But after all my decades of experiences and changes it is just another thing to adjust to.
  2. Anyone have any experience with USPS within the states? I sent a concertina a couple of weeks ago and it arrived 2 days ahead of schedule. I would have sent it priority but my son was doing the in person stuff at the PO and things got mixed up. I had forgotten this tip I was told a year or so ago that if I wanted to ship a valuable piece with USPS I should send it registered mail. With registered mail within the USPS a signature is required from every person who handles it. While this may slow things down a bit (or not) each person who touches it will careful damage along the way.
  3. When my kid played sax he had a neoprene strap. It was elastic enough to provide some give, but stable enough. The neoprene part of the strap is often pretty wide to distribute the weight of an instrument, (though I did notice they had a trombone hand strap that might be interesting.) Alternatively, if you can stitch, an inexpensive computer bag or wine bag might give you material to experiment with. Though, neoprene does vary in weight and thickness and therefore strength.
  4. As the whole earth has made a siesmic shift, many great players and teachers are now reaching out online. John Williams of concertina fame is making himself available online. He's become quite a multi instrumentalist, performing with concertina, accordion, whistle, flute, guitar, piano and bohran to name a few. And he has experience helping aspiring violinists make the transition into excellent fiddle players. Over the years I have seen him guide students of varying ages and levels of talent into happy musicians. He is a teacher steeped in the tradition with an encouraging spirit. Years ago I took flute lessons with him, then decided late in life it was time to pursue the concertina so I know of which I speak.
  5. An old neighbor of mine who I have lost touch with had a tastefully stained modern hybrid. It was a cheerful green with wood undertones. I can't remember the maker, but it was a nicely made hybrid with decent action and sound. I do believe it was an instrument made in the US about 10 years ago so that sort of narrows things down.
  6. The rochelle might frustrate you sooner than you want. It is good for figuring out where your fingers go, but you will grow out of it if you want to develop any speed. I have heard some great things about the new Blackthorn, but I have not seen one. I would ask around about that if you are considering the Swan. I recently saw a post in a FB forum where someone received one with a defect, got great customer service for a replacement and is quite pleased. Sorry about the italics, but my computer just defaulted to this for this post and won't let me out. HaHa I have mostly played C/G but have alternated between playing some tunes across the rows then relearning them along the rows and going back and forth. I'd think the easiest way to get going on an instrument in a different key would be by learning a new tune. You could do that while you wait. Shifting the key of a tune you might be learning to a key where it demands to be played across the row. It may sound weird at first, but could change your brain finger connection a bit while you wait for the right instrument. Just thinking outside the box here, so to speak. Enjoy!
  7. Define a long period of time... My Dipper came in its box in 2017 if I remember correctly, and it has lived there ever since. This type of box has only been around for 4 or 5 years give or take, so the jury may be out on that. I guess if I were concerned regarding humidity I could put a hydrometer in there to check. If I were in, say, in a rain forest, putting it in there would perhaps require some drying agent since the air I'd close in with the concertina would be pretty humid. I do know of someone who planned to take a concertina to sea in a small sailing vessel. It could be an issue there. Likewise if I were in a desert humidification might be required. I do live in the midwestern US where humidity fluctuates pretty wildly from summer to winter, but my house is humidified in winter and air conditioned in summer so things are pretty even.
  8. I'd contact the Dippers and ask where they get theirs. There may be a UK source.
  9. A recent discussion on the buy and sell page regarding the latches on pelican cases leads me to share a case identical to the one my small Dipper came in a couple of years ago. I assume they are available beyond the US, but I bought one one Ebay US for another small concertina. The listing reads 10" Deep Waterproof Case Box 4 GoPro Camera Gun w/ Pelican Style foam. The Dippers did not use the foam, but lined the box to fit the concertina exactly. But you could likely use the foam too. I don't know if the box comes in other sizes, but the latches are faced front and very easy to open and close. Since I play more than one instrument in a session I leave it on the floor at my feet, take the concertina out of the latched case quickly and pop it back in a latch it up easily.
  10. Have you looked into the pelican camera boxes and their look a likes in other brands? I know some sizes fit anglos. I am not sure how much bigger an English is. Good Luck!
  11. True. And Clare has an out sized influence in the Chicago scene. You are right about the folk revival being different than the ITM folks, but I thought I'd just add a bunch of info. In the eighties I thought I was more interested in the folk revival style as I had an interest and backgound in 5 string and guitar, but ITM just sort of grabbed me at one point. I think, here, it is the lively community of superb musicians that are willing to sit down and play with us mere mortals. LOL
  12. If you are trying to accompany your own singing you may want to find the keys setup that works best for your voice. Though I suppose that your could play in any key on any anglo the button combinations and octave you play in may be off. Check out Barleycorn concertinas for examples of some of the less than common keys available. If you know the key your voice prefers you could ask them what they have in stock that fits you. The Button Box in the US also occasionally has odder keys in their used stock if your voice is not a good fit with the C/G or D/G instruments that are most available. If you can spend some money you can get an instrument that will last you for the rest of your life. I remember going to a Roberts and Barrand concert years ago and at least 2 concertinas were used. It was before I learned to play so I didn't ask what keys or what type.
  13. Chicago has a mighty concertina session tradition with John Williams as one of the central figures in both performance and session music. While I have seen lots of concertinas in sessions I have only ever seen one English in my 30 years of sessioning in this neck of the woods. And that player years ago borrowed my anglo to advance his Irish Traditional music playing. As for banjos, while there is one fellow that plays the 5 string in town, the tenor is the go to banjo for session or performance. I know at least one player that plays 5 string and tenor as well as mandolin and guitar as a professional musician. He always plays tenor at Irish sessions when he plays banjo. While there are some great performers playing 5 string banjo currently as well as the players mentioned above, they are still the exception for session playing or singing accompaniment at least around here. I think I saw a video of Winnie Horan playing a 5 string a couple of years ago, but I don't actually remember. I was researching 5 string banjo in Ireland for my 5 string playing session mate some years ago and discovered that the 5 string as well as the 8 string were played widely in Ireland in the 1800s and the turn of the century but the tenor gradually took over. This may have been an availability trend since tenor banjos were used in English and music hall music so they may have just been around. Mick Maloney wrote a bit of a history of the banjo in Irish music I read some time ago. Most modern Irish session playing centers around a particular flat picking style that plays the melody as well as provides a foundational rhythm. While most 5 string player use finger picks or a clawhammer style that other session players sometime find disconcerting. Those styles sort of flow rather than rat-ta-ta-tat or da dee da dum as it were. If you are trying to accompany yourself singing you could play banjo or guitar or concertina. We have a great bohran player here in town that accompanies himself on bohran for that matter. LOL There are a couple of questions you might consider as you think about an instrument. Will you be playing mostly alone or try to play with others in a session scene? If you are playing on your own, the instrument you pick will just need to be the one you are most attracted to. The next question is how many dollars will you ultimately have to spend on an instrument. You can get an excellent banjo for less half the price of an excellent concertina. Concertinas are amazing. But they are also mechanical marvels that take a lot of time and skill to produce. Even the cheapest anglos that you will grow out of in a couple of years will cost $500. While good antique english concertinas may cost less because there is a smaller market for them. So there is that. Have I confused you enough? I toss out all that info since I as a newbie flailed around quite a bit trying to find out what I wanted to play and how. More information back in the day would have been welcome. I really am not trying to drive you insane.
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