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About Pianist

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    Piano -mainly Baroque
    Early Music
    Folk - all sorts
    Dancing - mainly Scottish
    Concertina for fun
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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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!)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. The point of practice is to build up memory - both muscle memory and knowledge of the music. Short bursts help that by simple repetition of moves before you get tired - mentally or physically. Focused bursts mean you have a specific aim - a skill or phrase to master - you have to avoid practicing mistakes so you focus on getting it right - first time., every time. The important part is not the actual practice but the reflection on what you were doing and how to achieve your goals - that's the focus that allows the practice to seep into the subconscious and become a skill.
  14. The answer as to why the bagpipe scale is as it is is down to drones. This - http://publish.uwo.ca/~emacphe3/pipes/acoustics/pipescale.html - has more information than anybody needs on tunings but makes the point that the notes have to be consonant / congruent with the drones to produce a nice sound. (?? a nice sound on the pipes ??). The principles of tuning are similar to that of an a cappella choir or barbershop quartet who also use perfect tuning to get accurate harmonies without unpleasant overtones which might arise from mean tone tunings.
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