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Posts posted by mathhag

  1. So I do have very dry heat in my house. Forced air and sometimes a wood stove. I will be turning it down when we are away and I think I will leave the concertina in the basement . In the future I may get a small room humidifier for when I am playing also. Since it is a Dipper , I always try to follow any advice from Colin and Rosalie.

    Thank you all for these great suggestions.

  2. I know I sometimes obsess 

    i will be away for almost a month. My house will be heated. What should I do to be sure my Concertina is not too dry?

    i use a tool that tells me the humidity it I will not be here to adjust.

    if I just put it in a plastic bag I’ll that be enough?


  3. I just finished an eight hour drive. Most of the time I was enjoying the three CD set ANGLO INTERNATIONAL. What a joy! Best purchase. 

    Since I was driving i didn’t have the liner notes but a certain set on the third CD just captured my heart. When I got home I found the artist is Niall Vallely. I was particularly taken with track six. Amazingly it is The Mathematician  (that’s me at heart), The Independent (so I have been called) and Sean McGuire’s reel ( my mother’s maiden name is McGuire). Coincidences are such fun.

    Anyway I have now found out that once upon a time he made a cd tutorial. None of the links to find it work. If anyone owns a copy and would part with it please contact me.

    or if you can direct me to a source

    many thanks,



  4. Just wondering if a REAL novice would be able to attend. I just returned from Boxwoods at Lunenburg Nova Scotia. It was a great experience with Mairaid Hurley. She was a wonderful teacher and can really shred a concertina when she performs. But the other players had at least 5 years experience. I started playing last September and it is my first instrument. I would love to attend more training since I live where I have no teacher but don’t want to be out of place as the slow one.

    Amazing that I am already thinking about next year

  5. Do you dance at all yourself, by chance? Way back in my youth I used to play clarinet, and always found it a bit tricky to really get the rhythm. But then over the last several years, before I picked up the concertina, I started going to contra dances, and it's done so much to improve my sense of rhythm. Now when I sit down to play a jig or a reel, I just imagine that I'm dancing to my own music, and everything just kind of falls into place - my feet know where the beats need to be, and they communicate it to my hands.

    Dancing is my soul. I love it and do it daily. Seems like it should help

  6. Is this a perception problem, like you don't know what to play from the notation, or a playing problem? If it's a playing problem, be sure to keep the metronome slow enough that you can keep up with it flawlessly. Speed comes with practice, once you get the notes and rhythm ground deeply into your head and fingers.

    I think it is some of both. I really don’t understand the beat notation and I probably need to play slower until I get it down pat.

  7. Help

    I have been playing since late September. On my own alas.

    I have been practicing many tunes using Gary Coovers books , abc notation,some tunes that Doug Barr gave me and OAIM . I think I am making progress BUT

    I am pretty sure I need to work on rhythm or cadence or whatever we want to call it.

    If I really know a tune I might be alright but I want to really develop a solid understanding.

    Any recommendations? I am trying to use a metronome . It is difficult but I will stick with it if that is the best way.

    This is my first instrument and I do not really read music.

  8. The Cites II rules allow you to carry a personal instrument with up to 22 lbs of a restricted wood. It is only the commercial shipping of these woods that is disallowed. There is a special exemption for selling and shipping antique instruments but that requires documentation and proof of age by an expert. I would be more worried that bone buttons might be mistaken for Ivory which would mean immediate confiscation. Has anyone had any experience with this? There is a list of restricted woods on the Cites II website, so check before you buy anything that needs to be shipped across borders. An ebay flute was recently confiscated because its seller didn't realize that the wood he was sending was on the restricted list. He disclosed the wood species on the shipping label as requested without being aware that it was a problem.


    I'd be interested in hearing from others who have traveled with their personal instruments. I know even antique guitars have some problems due to ivory, true tortoise or certain kinds of pearl which has had them confiscated.


    If you have a concern about your instrument you can email US Fish and Wildlife. They got back to me quickly. I would think having a print out of an email stating that it was ok to travel with your personal instrument might be a handy thing to have in your instrument case. And if you can dig up any documentation regarding when you purchased it that might be a good idea as well.

    Do you happen to have the email address of the person at US Fish and Wildlife that got back to you? I called once and the person I spoke with really did not know as much as you seem to know.

    I really need to get this straight because I would like to just keep the Dipper I recently got and sell my Morse. The Morse , by the way is quite nice. I just only need one.

  9. I spent the better part of a year exploring this repertoire not too long ago. Here’s the YouTube playlist:




    And here’s the discussion thread, with documentation for all the songs, that accompanied it on this site:




    There are plenty of omissions, as my choices were skewed toward Tin Pan Alley (i.e., American) songs of the period, whether war-themed or not. But I tried to strike a balance between familiar chestnuts and more obscure numbers, to give a sense of what people were singing on this side of the Atlantic, at any rate, in the teens of the last century.


    I had a lot of fun working up (Anglo) concertina arrangements for the songs. Enjoy!


    Bob Michel

    Near Philly


    This is just a wonderful set of tunes. Thank you

  10. Can anyone tell me about their current experiences or if they know the specific rules for taking a wooden Concertina across the US/Canadian border? I know there is a problem with Rosewood and Ebony but I dont know about other woods or how to find out. I am about to buy an older Dipper but we dont know what wood is on it and I do have to cross the border now and again.

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