Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Pianist

  1. Combination of things.Yes, you only need the thumb tips in the straps to be able to get to the first octave. It helps to tighten the straps to make this firmer. Yes, you only need to hook onto the rest to get some control. No you shouldn't be supporting the weight. Rest the concentina on one knee and use that to support the weight. Look at videos of players to see how they do it.
  2. I had piano lessons as a child and picked it up again in retirement. My wife plays folk fiddle and it was a natural match. However, a piano, even a keyboard, is far from portable. I tried piano accordion but to no avail so decided on the English concertina as a portable alternative. The English suits a pianist and it's easy to sight read once you get the hang of it. I started with a borrowed Jackie and then bought one to see how I got on. After going to Swaledale Squeeze in 2017, I ended up with a nice Lachenal and haven't looked back. We both play at two local U3A groups and find it great fun.
  3. Depends what you play. Scots tune (really traditional) often require the fiddler to use 3rd position so high c3 is quite usual. Similarly, both Scott Skinner and Phil Cunningham will start on a low A and work up. Scots tunes can often be in A major so use a lot of G#. Playford tunes will often be in B flat - again a challenge. The real beggar is Carolan who can write in F minor (A flat major equivalent) and the EC doesn't have a D flat.
  4. It's not just Banks. York has lost the physical Red Cow Music store as well. However, there are all sorts of outlets around York catering to all sorts of squeezables. Acorn Music - mainly accordions - is at Stillington. Red Cow is up at Thornton-Le-Dale. There's Squeezebox Marketplace at Boroughbridge. A little further afield is Hobgoblin in Leeds. So the death of Banks is not a total disaster.
  5. C# Major in however many sharps is just D flat major (5 flats with D flat using C# instead) You run across that in F minor or A flat major as well. The real fun is to play in B# major with double sharps - B# C## D## etc
  6. Chopin preferred to start pupils on B major because that fitted the hand to the piano better - long fingers on sharp notes up high, short fingers on white notes down low. That way pupils developed better technique. Maybe we need to look at what is an "easy" scale on the concertina in the same way.
  7. I certainly wouldn't call Alistair Anderson reserved. Anybody who's seen him swinging his concertina around will know what I mean. Not on concertina, I knew a fiddler (English but of Irish descent) who played Scots tunes with a distinct Sligo slide feeling. It's musical background and character , not nationality, that tends to affect playing style.
  8. The York shop has shut, but was a great place to go.
  9. We're very well served here in Yorkshire. I've got two shops near me: Squeezebox Marketplace and Acorn Instruments When I lived in Norfolk, there was also David Robertson a first rate restorer used by Barleycorn who also posts on this site. Don't forget Hobgoblin Music although they tend to be more expensive.
  10. If you're sight reading, you should scan the piece for "fun" bits e.g. B to E on the same side or A# / Db then it becomes a bit easier.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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!)
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  • Create New...