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Chris Drinkwater

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About Chris Drinkwater

  • Birthday 09/30/1947

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    Traditional folk music, playing the English concertina, keeping my marbles intact.
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  1. I don't suppose Sandra has ever considered recording some teaching videos, like Pauline de Snoo and Simon Thoumire and posting them on Youtube, to give an insight into her style of playing the English concertina. I was lucky enough to do a weekend of workshops with her when she was a guest tutor with WCCP some years ago. Chris
  2. A very nice instrument, Richard. Judging by the seeming lack of wear to the plating adjacent to the thumb straps, it doesn't look as though it has been played very much in its life. I have one, also with Nickel-plated ends, slightly earlier than yours, serial number 28617, dating from October 1920. I bought mine from a friend some years ago, who had originally purchased it from Chris Algar, still it its original leather case which is in reasonable condition. (Most concertinas have passed through Chris Algar's hands at some stage in their more recent life!) Where did you get yours from? They are truly wonderful instruments and when you make chords with the lower notes, it can sound like you are playing a church organ! The only thing missing on mine, which would be useful, given the size and weight of it, is some wrist straps. I have the fittings for them but not the straps. Colin Dipper's wife Rosalie, was going to make some for me a while back but had no suitable leather in stock at the time. Chris
  3. Well, I don't play Irish music but as the fortunate owner of a 64 key baritone Treble, it does have its advantages, as Geoff points out above. Chris
  4. The last time I saw Steve Turner playing a year or so ago, I also asked him about his unusual instrument and while I can't remember everything he told me about it, what Cohen has posted seems to fit in with some of what I remember he told me and especially it being still in old pitch and that it had previously belonged to a former salvation army musician from Doncaster. Of course, as he uses it solely to accompany himself singing, it doesn't matter that it is tuned to old pitch. Chris
  5. I suppose, if you play the concertina, there's always treble ahead! Chris
  6. Both my parents played the recorder a little bit when I was young, but I wasn't particularly encouraged by them to learn to play an instrument of any sort. It was only when I was in my early teens, after becoming interested in traditional folk music, that I bought a harmonica and learned to play some simple melodies on it by ear. This became the foundation for my liking for free-reed instruments but I didn't feel confident enough to upgrade to something bigger, like a melodeon or concertina, until I was in my forties. I then plucked up courage and bought an English concertina. When I first started to learn to play the concertina, I knew very little about the theory of music and couldn't sight read, so I began learning tunes by ear, as I had done with the harmonica. Over time, by training my ear, this ability improved considerably, and when I felt confident enough to go to local tunes sessions, I discovered that virtually no one else brought music dots along; everyone seemed to learn and play by ear. Since then, I have taught myself basic music theory and basic sight reading, which has helped me gain a better understanding of western music in general but I still prefer and find it easier to learn by ear. I see the dots of a tune as a starting point from which to make my own interpretation of the tune. My method is to get the dots for a tune I want to learn, score it up using Noteworthy Composer and then I can play it back to myself as many times as I like while learning it by ear but I also have the dots to refer to as a reference if necessary. Most traditional folk music tunes are 32 bars long with often repeated phrases, some of which are common to many tunes and thus not too difficult to memorise, compared to the long scores solo classical pianists have to learn to play without the dots, for example. Like learning any skill, it takes time, patience, determination and regular practice to master an instrument and make progress on it. Twenty years on and I am still learning and always will, as long as I keep playing! Chris
  7. There must be a catch in it, somewhere! Chris
  8. Don't they have interesting door knockers in America Jody? Are the English ones anything like these shown in Google Images? https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=American+Door+knockers&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjG1OGGwebJAhVFshQKHegcB7kQ_AUICCgC&biw=1270&bih=883#tbm=isch&q=English+Door+knockers Chris PS If Google can get away with showing these pictures of door knockers, I am sure you can!
  9. I have problems recording for TOTM at the moment, so I thought I would reprise an earlier contribution to TOTM, Josefin's Dopvals, lovely baptism waltz composed by Roger Tallroth for the christening of his neice. https://soundcloud.com/aeolaman/josefins-dopvals Chris
  10. Nice, Jim. My wife, who has done a lot of calling, heard it with me and was dancing and singing the chorus at the same time! Chris
  11. Calliope House was written in America by an Englishman who lives in Edinburgh. Calliope House was written in America by an Englishman who lives in Edinburgh. Yes, it was written by Dave Richardson of Boys of the Lough, to be accurate and name after the house of piper and arts administrator George Balderose in Pittsburgh. Chris
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