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About Breve

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  1. I bought a used Minstrel through the Button Box & I'm happy with it. Being female I have smaller hands and had found the Rochelle too big for me and cumbersome. Bellows are easier to manipulate than say a Stagi, but still a little on the stiff side - the only other one I have to compare is a Herrington that has easier bellows. The buttons are smaller and aren't as high (sticking up height) as others. This may make it a little more tricky for larger fingers. Whenever I try to play another person's concertina, this is what's most obvious to me. As for action, it seems fine to me and I can
  2. I can add my 2 cents worth as I started on G/D. I bought a concertina on Ebay and discovered it was a G/D. I enjoy the chording harmonic style but also wanted to play Irish trad. I discovered some Irish tunes can be played and some not as well. You'll end up doing a lot more fingering on one side than the other, meaning everything is mostly happening on the right hand side, with only an occasional dip to a note on the left hand side. I used to try and figure out how to involve the left hand more as I didn't want the choppy in-out bellowing all the time. (Just my preference) I was deliberat
  3. Apologies, the link I provided is to his subscription course - which only whets your appetite of course unless you play a secondary instrument - fiddle or banjo. This is the better link- it breaks down his theory of learning to be a musician into digestible chunks. https://clawhammerbanjo.net/the-immutable-laws-of-brainjo-deconstructing-the-art-and-science-of-practice/ Index to all the lessons: https://www.banjohangout.org/blog/36259
  4. Re Memory training: Can you hum the tune without difficulty? Easily bringing it to mind? For me this is the key. It means my brain has "taken in" the melody so when I attempt to play it even if I get a note wrong I know instantly it's wrong. The process of how we learn is a fascinating study. I found the information at Brainjo helpful. This is a book/ blog by a neurologist who also plays banjo and explores how the brain learns and remembers and how you can use these ideas to learn a music instrument as an adult. https://www.brainjo.academy/aboutbrainjo
  5. RE OAIM 6 months is far better value. Put it this way, if the beginner lesson set is 18 tunes, then that's 3 tunes a month to learn. A busy person who is working should be able to fit that into their schedule. If you have more time, go outside the set of lessons and explore the other tunes offered by other teachers, plus take time to learn to play along with the VR session tunes. Getting up to their full speed can be challenging. I found that if I pushed myself I could get 2 lesson tunes a week under my belt, but I couldn't keep up that pace for long. After a month of that, I'd
  6. As I'm getting towards the end of these beginner lessons now, I've fallen into this approach of how to use those animation graphics. They show me the sequence of buttons to play to make the melody and I don't worry about the red/green buttons and what they mean. I then watch her bellows which tells me whether to push or pull. Listening as I play along with her confirms whether I have the sequence correct or not.
  7. Good luck with it! Another aspect I liked in the 18 beginner lessons is that you're not stuck in the same key for all the tunes.
  8. I'm currently working my way though the OAIM beginner Edel Fox lessons. My goal is to get through the 18 lessons then take a breather for a while before re-subbing. Things I like: Edel does variations which you can ignore if you just want to play straight melody, or else use her variations as a guide to ornamentation. She explains more as the lessons progress, eg compare 1st lesson (Maggie in the Woods) with lesson 7, (One Hundred Pipers) which has chords and triplets added. The play along jam recordings are very useful once you're familiar with the tune. There's often more th
  9. Looks like O'Flaherty's Irish Music retreat will be held online this year. This is usually held at the end of October, Midlothian TX. Details: https://oflahertyretreat.org/
  10. Muse Score (free music composing software) is a place to try and find the music for popular tunes from video games, anime etc. Of course you have to be able to read music and maybe transpose. This link has several examples of music from Sailor Moon - there's a simple melody one that might work for you if transposed up an octave. I don't know how accurate it is though to the melody. Other suggestions are search google images. https://musescore.com/sheetmusic?text=sailor+moon+theme
  11. Hi ButtonBilly, congrats on your new-ish instrument and the learning journey. Seeing as you got some freebie Caitlin Nic Gabhann lessons why not subscribe and continue? She does a good job. But that's if you want to play Irish of course. Otherwise it's a matter of memorizing button layout and tab notation. Gary Coover's is the easiest (for me anyway). The trick is to be able to read the notes and know the button layout automatically without worrying about the tab notation and this takes a little time and practice to memorize. Also do a lot of learning by ear, it really helps. I also recommend
  12. Hi Amytchickadee, I recognize your problem - I've wondered if it's something to do with the internal design - acoustics and mechanics. I found this comment on the Kensington concertina website - the maker is explaining his approach to making concertinas and his design goal: See the comment about higher notes disappearing in overtones of lower notes. www.kensingtonconcertina.com is the website URL if you want to read the rest. (I've never played a Kensington concertina btw.) Originally, I wanted to produce an instrument with a sound that was close to
  13. @Newbie Anglo: Give yourself more time to memorize the corresponding tab number with the staff note. I found it helpful if I played a piece slowly saying to myself out loud the name of each note on the staff as I played each note via the tab numbering. At the beginning I needed to have a printout of the button layout nearby to refer to as I played from the tab, but I got past that stage. Repeating the name of the note for each button number reinforced memorization and sped up the learning curve. Also it helped me to do sight reading practice - playing unfamiliar tunes of Coover's tab, not jus
  14. I'll be much closer to home (Texas) - the O'Flaherty's irish music retreat is held in Midlothian, Tx which is a little town south of Dallas. I saw the Noel Hill camps are still listed as going ahead for 2020. I'd like to get to one of those one day. Perhaps next year. Yes and I agree cross rows is key. Thanks for the good wishes.
  15. An update to this: The used Minstrel C/G arrived yesterday. It's a plainer looking instrument with the matte black finish and not as nice looking as my G/D. The buttons are a little rough around the edges - so little things like that are noticed. But it has a milder/sweeter tone and less "honky" sounding than the G/D Herrin. I think volume is a bit less too. Action of buttons etc seems good (as far as I can tell with my slow playing) and I'm glad I didn't get a more basic entry level 'tina. This will suit me for quite a while. As for initial impressions on how brains learn/rewire
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