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About LateToTheGame

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    Concertina, wooden flute, whistle et al
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  1. LateToTheGame

    Tricks To Cover Up Mistakes

    Yeah, just keep going and try not to hit it again. If you can stop sounding it asap that's good too. Sometimes it is easier to iron out the right note later at home. I mostly play the flute in sessions and will back off that note in a phrase if I think I hit it wrong and am likely to do it again. In my flute playing it is often a random g# or f natural, notes not often used in run of the mill tunes that my brain needs an extra nanosecond to process if I don't have that tune down pat. For my own practice though, if I have a note I hit incorrectly I slooooowwwww down and play that measure repeatedly. Then I play the tune up to speed again as my fingers gain more confidence. Muscle memory can play the right notes or the wrong ones. Sessions vary on their attitudes towards this from the, "If you don't know it don't play it." To the, "Hit as many notes as you can hit right, on time, and work on it when you get home.You'll be better next time." Know your musical partners.
  2. LateToTheGame

    Harsh Reed Work Around

    Thanks for all the good suggestions. I will percolate and hesitate and get around to dealing with this in the next few weeks, as is my custom. Shifting it around will be an interesting test. I think Greg J. would have noticed if it needed a reset. I asked him specifically to work with this one and he gave it quite a bit of time. I wouldn't mind replacing the reed itself if that makes sense. With these vintage reeds Conner used it could be hard to find one that blends, but more experienced heads here could comment on that one. Who might have such a reed? I'd assume vintage reeds are scarcer than hens teeth and would require finesse to blend.
  3. I have a connor with a mix of old reeds. One just bugs me. It has been gone over by Greg J. and a master craftsman in accordions here in Chicago. That reed is as good as it will be. Someone had me put a hand over the place on the grill where the air vents, and it sounded much better. Which led me to the ever so inelegant placing of paper surgical tape, like you'd use for bandages on that spot. Which dampened it enough to make it blend better. The tape has a very light adhesive so it isn't gooey, but I assume it would attract dust on the underside if it stayed on too long. So I am curious about an alternative. I've seen old lachenal's and accordions with something like grill cloth on the underside of the ends. Anyone have any experience with this? What glue would be used on a metal ended concertina? etc.
  4. I think one of the posters was referring to silicone tubing used for model airplane fuel lines. I fixed an old red pearlized paper bellowed italian made 20 button that used rubber tubing instead of springs for the action. The original rubber had gotten dried out. In this case it was put on the end part of the button to provide the bounce. The stuff was very stable, cuts with scissors and lasts for ages. If you go this route you will need to find the right size to slip on and stay on. Alternatively contacting Alex Holden or the Button Box may yield replacements. Good luck with your fix.
  5. LateToTheGame


    If you sell this internationally make sure you get the proper Cites II paperwork. It is made of wood and you will need to specify type. If it rosewood or african blackwood you may need a special permit. And with the information available from players here you can establish its date of manufacture so you may or may not need that special permit. But without identification and documentation it may be end up confiscated at customs. There are others on this forum who can speak to this. I had a new concertina imported to the states last year and it did end up in customs for a few days where it was inspected. It did not have any of the restricted woods in it so it passed on to me. The new rules want you to identify the wood species. I can't remember if the term antique had a specific year attached to it. I seem to remember 1947, but others may have more experience with this. Musical instruments are under close inspection these days. I know there has been a lot of talk of this on the chiff and fipple flute web site and guitar makers have been discussing this on the web as well. Just googling Cites II shipping rules will get you a lot of information.
  6. LateToTheGame

    Playing By Ear

    You are exactly right! But the thing that has always astounded me is that I can play on the fly by ear accurately, with my fingers automatically finding the right spot to land to sound the note I cannot name until I my fingers hit it. I've tried off and on to hone the skill of pulling the names of the notes I hear from the air. I know there were at least two recorded classes I listened through years ago, but never could catch it. While I have friends who can hear a tone and say, Bb, or that's g. Minds are amazing.
  7. LateToTheGame

    A Lot Of Newbie Questions

    It looks like every question you asked has been answered. But let me pop in a few thoughts. Music theory will grow on you are you learn new tunes. You find out one is in the key of d, another in the key of g, and depending on how aware of the nuances of Irish Trad your teacher is you will find out some tunes you thought were in minor modes are actually dorian. But let this stuff build up gradually. And these things WILL grow on you gradually. When kids learn music they often learn a new note a week. As far as reading tab or abc's instead of music on staff lines: I'd encourage you to make an effort to read the notes. Right now you are learning if you press such and such a button with such and such a finger it is a g or c or whatever. If you can add the picture of the note on the staff into that learning piece it will benefit you in the long run. You are in the treble staff now, so your trombone memory will fight with you a little bit, but you will get there. I am a great proponent for learning tunes by ear and notes at the same time. I do not sight read well, but having the notes available helps me keep my memory honest. You've also been told that the detailed rhythms played in Irish Trad are usually not printed on the page. We will see a series of notes with exactly the same time value and play them with slight differences. This comes with listening and experience. Every now and then someone tries to "score" an Irish tune with exact notation and it's almost comically hard to read. And you will be using less air as you play faster. That's going to come too. One thing I did when I started out was play every not really loud. A teacher told me once to play a phrase or to of each tune as quietly as your instrument will allow during every practice session. You will give your ears a rest, develop more control of your instrument and a sensitivity that will help you as you continue to play.
  8. LateToTheGame

    Irish Music On Wheatstone System?

    I'm not a good player but have been doodling around for some years. I played all the notes I needed to on my Wheatstone system Connor. I recently got a 34 button Dipper and find I end up using the same old buttons as I did on my Wheatstone. My teacher who is an excellent world class recording artist occasionally would take my Connor in hand to show me something. It worked just fine. I think you get used to what you have. Doesn't Noel Hill play a Wheatstone? Or didn't he used to back in the day?
  9. LateToTheGame

    D/a Vs C/g Starting Out?

    You will drive yourself a little nuts. When you switch to a C/G every note will be in a different place. So you will have a new muscle memory system to learn. Depending on how supple your brain is it may be sort of ok, but I would have a tendency to tell you it is a time waster. Put it up on ebay yourself if you missed the return time period and chalk it up to a learning experience. Or save it for it you want to transpose some day. My first instrument was a Stagi D/G that i bought in error. It still lives in a closet somewhere. Having a c# in a different place played with a different finger isn't going to help when you switch to a C/G.
  10. LateToTheGame

    Playing By Ear

    My brain makes me take the extra step, "My fingers are here on this instrument so it must be a d," g, b or whatever.
  11. LateToTheGame

    Playing By Ear

    What I find interesting is that my brain allows my fingers to find notes on multiple instruments, but won't allow me to sing a note in the open air and identify it. LOL
  12. LateToTheGame

    Newb Fingering Question

    For slow play-- Vibrato can be achieved for slow airs by gently waving the fingers of the hand opposite to hand keying the note you are sounding. (Almost as if you were secretly waving to a friend across the room). It is a very subtle move that doesn't actually move the bellows but rather vibrates them. You are not working the whole hand, just the fingers. It is hard to explain. I have watched the move for years before I picked up the concertina, and it makes a huge difference for slow play. Someone else may be able to explain this more clearly. As for the rest of the question, learning the notes... Play a note as many ways as possible as you teach yourself the instrument. As you add chords and ornaments you will want to be able to access some notes on the push or the pull or in a line or geometrically. I found using my g row b to be invaluable when I hit tunes with c#s for example. Tunes I initially played linearly I now often playing "across the rows" because I need the flexibility for the next note.
  13. LateToTheGame

    Bad Habits

    I am a great fan of the Online Academy of Irish Music. Edel Fox, Ernestine Healy, and Liam O'brien teach a series of lessons designed to systematically build on each other. I have an extraordinary teacher as well, and far from being insulted that I am bringing extra information into our lessons, we use the stuff I am learning on OAIM as a springboard to tweak things, as well as bringing up repertoire we might not have thought of. I highly recommend it. I also want to second the suggestion of playing as quietly as your concertina will allow for at least part of every practice session. As a beginner I was guilty of one volume practicing to the point of making my ears hurt. My teacher looked at me during one lesson and said, "Play like you're trying not to wake up the babies." I do that consciously every session and it makes me so much more aware of what is going on in my body as well as the music.
  14. LateToTheGame

    Pentangle.....concertina !

    I heard that song sung by them for so many years before I was aware what a concertina was. I thought the backing was some sort of organ of some kind. It is unmistakable now...
  15. LateToTheGame

    Crossing Borders

    The Cites II rules allow you to carry a personal instrument with up to 22 lbs of a restricted wood. It is only the commercial shipping of these woods that is disallowed. There is a special exemption for selling and shipping antique instruments but that requires documentation and proof of age by an expert. I would be more worried that bone buttons might be mistaken for Ivory which would mean immediate confiscation. Has anyone had any experience with this? There is a list of restricted woods on the Cites II website, so check before you buy anything that needs to be shipped across borders. An ebay flute was recently confiscated because its seller didn't realize that the wood he was sending was on the restricted list. He disclosed the wood species on the shipping label as requested without being aware that it was a problem. I'd be interested in hearing from others who have traveled with their personal instruments. I know even antique guitars have some problems due to ivory, true tortoise or certain kinds of pearl which has had them confiscated. If you have a concern about your instrument you can email US Fish and Wildlife. They got back to me quickly. I would think having a print out of an email stating that it was ok to travel with your personal instrument might be a handy thing to have in your instrument case. And if you can dig up any documentation regarding when you purchased it that might be a good idea as well.