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Posts posted by mathhag

  1. I have thought about this post many times but fear there may be no good answer. But here goes

    some of you may know from my previous post that I have only been playing concertina for about 2 1/2 years. It is the first instrument I have ever played and in March I will turn 69.
    I have the great benefit of a glorious instrument, Dipper #47 or 147 if you are Colin ( an insurance story) and I have had the opportunity to learn from Doug Barr, Mairead Hurley, and Noel Hill in person . I am using Caitlín’s wonderful online course and had incredible help from Bruce McCaskey. I have been totally smitten with this instrument. Nice that my husband has been totally supportive. He says I have never wanted to spend money on anything before. I have committed to at least one trip each year to learn more. I live in a VERY remote area


    So I play almost everyday and it is my great joy.


    Finally I get to my question. Right now I have about 30 tunes I can kind of play, using abc notation primarily. I have only ten that I can play by heart and almost to speed. 

    Should I be adding tunes, which I love to do or working on getting the tunes I have better?

  2. So this may seem kind of sappy. I just had to post how happy I am playing  my concertina.  I am finally starting to feel like I am playing music. This morning I played through most of my repertoire mostly by ear. 
    For me this is earth shattering . I started to play the concertina a little over two years ago. It is the first instrument I ever played. I don’t read music but ABC notation really helps me. Also Gary Coover’s books really helped to get me started.

    As did so many helpful folks. I was lucky enough to meet Jody Kruskal and Doug Barr at NESI and they gave me encouragement and Doug gave me my first set. Also Marta Vogel introduced me to Gary’s book . Doug Creighton help me pick out my first instrument and has continued to help me.

    Here was this old woman who wanted to start playing a musical instrument  but everyone kind of said jump right in. So I have. 
    Mairead Hurley was ridiculously patient with me when I attended Boxwoods and couldn’t find a “B” much of the time. Everyone else was very advanced but she helped me a long. 
    I have not mentioned that I live very close to the end of the world with no teachers nearby so I must use online resources or travel. I allow myself one major trip each year for instruction. This past summer I attended Noel Hill’s week. He was fantastic. My husband noted he could hear that I was better at the end of the week.

    My husband has been so supportive. He noted that I have never really spent any money on myself so when I had the amazing opportunity to purchase a Dipper, he said go for it. It is my joy and Colin put up with my gazillion issues about the materials that were used since I need to cross borders. 
    My husband also gave me a subscription to Caitlín Nic Gabhann online course. I love it.

    Bruce McCaskey has been unbelievably kind and helped me in so many ways. We have never met but he has been so wonderful.

    And Halifax aka Christine has been a great online friend.

    This is all to say thank you all for the gift of music in my life.

    • Like 6
  3. 6 hours ago, Halifax said:

    Susan, I checked the session (www.thesession.org) and there are sessions in Brunswick and Bath that are closest to you. I wonder if you'd have luck starting one in Augusta? Maybe we should start a new thread about how to start a new session?

     Actually all of those places are quite far from me , about four hours of driving . But I might try to start one in Presque Isle or maybe right here in Fort Fairfield. 

    Like your idea of a new thread. Not sure if I can find anyone near here that plays ITM


    • Like 1
  4. This is such a helpful discussion. I am a real beginner, exactly two years with my first instrument ever. I also live in a very remote area with no teacher or sessions. I do try and play with recordings and it is more challenging even when I slow them down I am easily distracted.

    What do you think I might do if I wanted to start a “SLOW Session “

    i have been thinking unless I take action , I will never know if there are others around me who want to play .


    • Like 1
  5. Thanks for the info. I may look at the software but it would have to run on my Windows laptop that I hardly ever use. 

    I also looked ABC Easy Notes but could not really understand how to make it work. Many years ago I probably could have. Too bad someone doesn’t make an app to do this. I only use ABC notation but I think this would slowly have me reading music.

  6. Hi Jody,

    You may not remember me but we met two years ago at NESI. I was the old woman who couldn’t stop smiling because I had for the first time found the instrument I wanted to play.  You and Doug Barr helped as I looked for an instrument to buy and were so kind all weekend.

    at the time I bought a Ceili. A few months later, I was lucky in life. I was able to get a Dipper at a gift price. After my family members I treasure it most.

    BUT you absolutely speak truth

    “ A beginner will still sound like a beginner regardless of concertina vs accordion reeds in the box.”

    But as Wolf has said my Dipper sure makes it easy to want to keep getting better.

  7. On 4/17/2019 at 8:28 PM, Daniel Hersh said:


    I agree that accenting the non-repeated notes is the way to approach this, especially since the repeated notes are on the off-beats, so they should generally not be accented anyway.  More pressure on the on-beats, less pressure on the off-beats.  To refine it further, in an Irish jig (such as Irish Washerwoman) there should be more accenting/pressure on the third note of the triplet than on the second.  So put the most pressure on the first note of the triplet, second-most on the third note, and least on the second note.


    Cormac Begley's playing is a good illustration of the effects you can get with changes in bellows pressure.  Here's a jig from him, played on what I think is a bass Anglo concertina.


    This is driving me crazy. What is this tune?

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