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Pianist

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About Pianist

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Piano -mainly Baroque
    Early Music
    Folk - all sorts
    Dancing - mainly Scottish
    Concertina for fun
  • Location
    Yorkshire

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  1. Interesting problem. One answer is - don't use your thumbs! Have a look at this by Michael Jary from Swaledale 2013 I saw hime at Swaledale in 2018 and his handling of the box is ... odd! He's a York bloke and has done workshops at the Yorkshire concertina club - https://yorkshireconcertinaclub.weebly.com/news/michael-jary-workshop Hope you find some solutions.
  2. F's relative minor is A flat with Bb Eb Ab and Db. Db is missing and you need C# (if you have equal temperament tuning) so F minor is tricky. But that's the easy one. Bb major has a relative minor of Db ? (and 5 flats) or enchromatically C# and Eb has a relative minor of Gb or enchromatically F# none of which are concertina friendly. I'm a pianist and have found the English the easiest to adapt to. I play some Scottish tunes which regularly go up to E6. As to tunes in "odd" keys the only one that I regularly play is Miss MacDermott (Carolan) which is a minor key version of Princess Royal. In Carolan it's in F minor, but the usual session version is in G minor which is a lot easier to play.
  3. There are only a limited number of finger patterns. Most of the sharp keys (and their minors) use the same fingering. English is a great system for keyboard players because you are used to working with both hands together and doing different things. It also helps (with equal temperament) when you're playing in crazy keys - like Carolan's Miss McDermot in F minor - where you have to do enharmonic substitutions. Basically, the choice of system comes down to your musical background and what exactly you want to play.
  4. We've just moved up to Yorkshire from Norfolk.In Norfolk, we had a local session where people did bring music. It was frowned on because they were almost working as a band with arrangements. Some singers did use i-pads and other devices. Here in Yorkshire, we go to a U3A group which uses dots. The dots are borrowed from a session in Harrogate - http://www.crimple.demon.co.uk/sessions.htm However, some of the versions are dire. This seems true of most tune books - some winners and many losers. Eventually, you get a version you like or adapt a version based on somebody's playing. Dots don't seem to be geographical but vary according to the session.
  5. Well known problem. See https://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/insider/forum/all/high-definition-audio-device-audio-stream-is/f3d7ef5e-ee78-4027-8635-46f0a9355505 for a solution. As to lack of administrator privileges, you need to run powecfg from an elevated command prompt - one with administrator privileges.
  6. I play the EC, my wife plays fiddle. We quite happily use fiddle parts to play tunes together. Depends how old the tunes are, but we like Playford and one thing there is divisions where you add more and more notes to the tune. Sometimes starting at half notes and working up to sixteenth or even thirty second notes. The division can be played over a simple ground or can be a part with the basic melody played over it. That's one technique which gets away from chords or a simple SATB type arrangement. Another (classical) technique is to add something like an Alberti bass as one of your lines.
  7. Head over to thesession.org and check out the (Irish) sessions in New York. Looks lively enough to me. A quick google brings up https://www.jeremyaaron.com/folk-music-timeline/nyc-folk-music-guide with plenty going on.
  8. I'm going from Norfolk. I heard back, eventually, from Steven who apologised because he'd being having problems with online banking. It should be a great weekend. I expect you'll hear from him shortly.
  9. Agreed. Or, if you're playing in F minor e.g. Miss MacDermott (Carolan) then you could transpose to G minor. (But it sounds so much nicer in F minor!)
  10. The big problem is d flat (aka C#) Everything else flows nicely. My own preference is to play c d flat(C#) e flat all on the same side and then start alternating again. Otherwise you end up doing two pairs on the same side - c d flat (C#) and then over for e flat (d#) and f and then back to alternating. I find a single enharmonic easiest to handle although the fingering is awkward it becomes easier with practice. As well as doing straight scales, once you get up to 4 + accidentals, it's worth doing chromatic scales to get a feel for the notes.
  11. Depends how weird you want to get. My "best" is Miss McDermott - the version in O'Sullivan's Carolan biography is in F Minor (4 flats) - that certainly exercises the fingers even though it is a slow air.
  12. I started with Alex Wade's book and found it excellent - https://www.amazon.co.uk/English-Concertina-Absolute-Beginners-Traditional/dp/1899512802 She's also an excellent tutor. Alistair Anderson's book is also excellent.
  13. Swaledale caters for all levels including absolute beginner and all systems There were about 50 people there last year. It's held at Grinton Lodge Youth Hostel but you can go as non-residential as well. We usually get a cottage in Reeth for the weekend - my wife plays fiddle so comes along for some of the events. We usually stay until Monday so we don't need to pack up and leave stuff in the car on the Sunday. It attracts people from all over.the UK and beyond.
  14. I'm now retired and working on Piano. I gave it up twice, once as a child and once in my 30's both times because of pressure of work. It's not portable so I looked at guitar but that didn't work. Then I tried English concertina and it slotted in naturally. I'm more of a dots than an ear player and find the EC quite natural after the piano. (I play a lot of Baroque stuff so two hands working against each other isn't a problem). Why do people give up? Time pressure is one good reason - you can't find time for the work needed to improve. I gave up guitar because It wasn't working for me. I couldn't get the sound I wanted and knew that however hard I worked it wouldn't happen. EC fits nicely for a pianist because you have finger dexterity and can read music.
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