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Everything posted by W3DW

  1. Eileen Og (or Oge) is found in The Session as Pride of Petravore. A composed song, you'll find multiple versions on YouTube. I couldn't find The Dancing of the Sheets in Google, either. It appears that "Dancing IN the Sheets" is some big popular song. I'll work on this - it's a song about the Black Plague (lots of fun!) and has a fine melody. I've known the tune forever and don't know where to find it... Daniel
  2. OK. Looking for tunes harmonically similar and rhythmically different, then. A Fig for a Kiss? Aileen Og? The Dancing of the Sheets? Daniel
  3. Since you've asked all-stars to work on it without adequate improvement and your tape makes the reed sound good, why not install heavy paper or perhaps some felt inside the metal end where you've placed the tape, using rubber cement or another non-permanent adhesive.
  4. I'm a happy Beaumont player, and I selected it because I felt that my harmonic preferences would be better served by the Beaumont rather than the smaller Peacock, and I'm very glad I did so. Also, it's a delightful instrument. Reaching across the instrument when you run out of keyboard on the side your playing will always happen unless you get a 90 button Hayden, but 52 keys allows far less of this awkward interruption of the familiar chord/harmony patterns. I was SO happy to be free of the Elise's gaps! If you are inclined toward the Beaumont, call the Button Box - they have a shop Beaumont which allows potential buyers to try it out. Perhaps you could arrange a home trial. Enjoy your new Hayden! Daniel
  5. For me, it'll depend on what you mean by "sing 3 notes". If you are suggesting that you just randomly choose 3 unrelated notes and then seek to play them, you'll find very few that can because you'd need to have perfect pitch. You would have to be able to say "I hear a C#, an A and an F#" first, then know where to find them. Not many musicians have this skill. Perhaps you are suggesting that someone choose 3 notes of the C scale at random, not notes adjacent or in arpegio as you state. In this case you are likely to find that many musicians will know where to find the buttons to match. Those who play by ear should do very well, and I would expect those who depend on reading do well also. If you choose random tones (like a C#, an A and an F#) from the key of C, the exercise would be a bit more challenging because musicians are accustomed to playing MUSIC by ear and not oddities of the scale by ear, but I think most play-by-ear folks would still locate the buttons. I'd need a moment to sort it out and then play you back the pitches.
  6. I play the Hayden duet system and started on an Elise, which is the Concertina Connection's intro duet instrument, the duet equivalent of the Rochelle. A pleasing concertina in it's own right, it is designed to be the least expensive proper entry level instrument, and I feel they succeeded nicely.
  7. Use your little fingers. They may feel slow, clumsy and weak when you start out, but they will become much smarter and stronger in short order. In the end you may decide to use them only in certain situations, or even not use them at all, but you won't be able to judge their utility without giving them a fair trial. Enjoy your new concertina!
  8. I really enjoyed the Maureen Dwyer link you attached-it reminds me of my marching band days, though her tune has a much more advanced chord structure than the marching repertoire! JeffLeff is doing a great job on his Hayden, and you'd have to be amazingly talented to get a significantly bigger and richer sound than the arrangement he has recorded. Is this the sound you are after? Ms. Dwyer's instrument has SO much more going for it than a Concertina! Multiple reeds and the greater range do so much for the presentation, and the huge keyboard makes the chord sequences more orderly and accessible than a concertina of any description. Even a middling accordion of any design would make a far more satisfying rendition of this musical style. But if you find LeffNeff's approach satisfying, that's wonderful. All of us here work to get the most out of our delightfully portable concertinas, and I, for one, enjoy the game. I play a 52 button Hayden Beaumont, which is about as many buttons as you can practically obtain in this modern system. Yes, I still wish it had a few more buttons, for convenience, but it has everything I need. I am attracted to the logical pattern of the Hayden. However, there is a good supply of larger Mccann vintage concertinas available at good prices, and they would clearly help make a bigger sound. Go to the Button Box site for two current examples of larger Mccanns. I found them a bit big for my plans and definitely wanted a Hayden, but your view may differ. Welcome! I look forward to hearing what you come up with. Daniel
  9. David Barnert's suggestion above is, of course, an excellent one. If you can patiently teach your brain to move from "I see a middle C and my right first finger activates it right THERE" to also where it also accepts a movable DO concept to where you can read an F above middle C in the key of F, and your brain says "This is the root note, DO, which is always under my first finger on this line of buttons when my fingers are set in the place for the key of F so this note is right THERE" then you will have a very useful concept for our isomorphic Haydens. I'm not sure how learn-able this is for a non professional who requires complete versitility. I just came wired this way. Not all brains are interested in acquiring strongly different views of music, and this simply may not mesh with the strengths of your musical apparatus. Many folks associate a note with a specific physical action: a trumpeter sees middle C and down goes valves one and three. A fiddler sees a high G and the left middle finger goes exactly THERE on the first string, and if you have forged a relationship with your right first finger and the Hayden note C, you are in excellent company. So you have a go-to strategy of transposing music into C, and reading music using this finger-button association. Excellent! You might find it possible to transpose directly from your music with this old visual trick. You have a tune written in G, and you want to play it in C. The tune is written in the treble clef, and of course G (DO) is on the second line of the staff. Imagine that the second line of the staff has turned into the ledger line of middle C, and that the three staff lines you see above this on the actual music are the first three lines of your new imaginary treble clef - the first two upper ledger lines complete the illusion of the relocated staff. Just read away using your preferred index-finger-yields-a-C- in-the-first-Hayden-line linkage and you'll have it transposed. If the tune is in F, where DO the treble clef first space, imagine that space is now accompanied by two lines above it, and that the one line that is actually below it is accompanied by two additional ledger lines, and read away in whichever octave makes sense to your fingers. The easiest transposition is a tune written in the treble clef in the key of A - just pretend you are reading bass clef, and you don't have to re-imagine the staff at all. This is hardly a new idea, of course, since this is exactly what the tenor and alto clefs are: simply five-line four-space clefs with the notes renamed from our accustomed treble and bass staffs with the goal of writing music that is not covered with ledger lines. I learned this trick from my teacher while playing brasswinds, where Bb is no-valves, and low C is valves 1&3 and the note-to-valve linkages are strongly fixed in my brain. If you can successfully go squinty-eyed and see the reimagined staff solidly enough to play on it, you can get by without resorting transposing with pencil and paper, recreating the score in the key you need. Maybe it will work for you, and prove easier than wrapping your brain around the movable-DO concept. We're all wired so differently! Isn't it fun? Daniel
  10. RAc sees this issue just as I do. Whether it is an A in the key of C, or E in the key of G, that note is La, or VI. There is no conversion to do for me, and the note position is there more naturally than the note name. I explained this to the long-suffering Dr. Ron Cox who taught Ear Training and Sight Singing to me in college decades ago, and he regarded this as a bug, not a feature, but it sure helps me in the Hayden world. I mostly play by ear. Daniel
  11. I'm really pleased by the fingering discussion here, and especially by the existing threads referenced by our forum colleagues. Don Taylor's comment "It is probably worth giving some significant thought to this early on." is exactly correct - I cannot imagine that wandering into the fingering wilderness without a plan would bring satisfactory results. The fingering advice you will find in your tutor is entirely suitable to a beginner, especially one unfamiliar with the language of music, but it seems that you may progress quickly beyond this book. I used this book since it came with my Elise starter concertina, and it introduce the notes - with recommended fingerings - a few at a time. I summerized these recommendations as follows: It generally suggests finger use by zone, and that's good as far as it goes, but considering finger use within the context of the scales and music you're playing is important. The posts above will take you in that direction. May the upcoming 6 weeks pass quickly. Daniel
  12. Mr. Brent, you've found the only Hayden-specific tutor I know of. It's worthwhile but basic, and spends a lot of time teaching you to read music. Will you be mostly learning from music or by ear? You'll see that the repeating pattern of the scale goes, in visual terms: DO... FA SO LA TI DO RE ME as you ascend up the scale and up the illustration above, in the primary keys. The tutor suggests you finger this pattern as follows, index is 1 and little finger is 4 1 .... 3.... 1 2 3 4 on the right and 4 3 2 1 on the right hand 1 2 3 3 2 1 Every one, including Brian Hayden himself, will tell you this is NOT an inflexible rule, but I recommend it to you for starting out, because it will make things simpler, and starting this way will help you incorporate your little finger into your playing which will serve you well in the future. Some folks never use their smallest finger and play wonderfully, but give it a whirl because, rather logically, it increases your possibilities by 33.3%! Your little finger already is used to the work of the piano, especially on the left, and I feel that it is more important that you use the little finger for FA on the left side than using it for TI on the right. Practice with it as you start, and I guarantee you it will do things in two months that seemed impossible when you start. Daniel
  13. I believe your choice of Hayden duet concertina is an excellent choice given your musical preferences and piano background. And know I'm very biased, happily playing a Button Box Hayden Beaumont! On piano, you'd probably start a tune with a bit of right hand melody with a bit of close harmony added while providing some left hand boom-chuck-boom-chuck bass note and chord accompaniment. As you start the lyrics the left hand might play more bass notes and less chord pattern since the right hand can take up more counter-melody and assist with chord duties. An instrumental break would see the right hand provide melody with full-force harmony all around. Good news! This strategy will work the very same way on your Peacock! You'll find you might play fewer notes at one time both for clarity and to manage the air needs placed on the bellows. And, unlike the piano-Forte, you cannot play some notes louder and others softer. You'll learn to shorting the duration of the notes you want in the background to create the same effect. And you now have an advantage over the piano - there are about two octaves on each side, and you can reach these notes at one time! Welcome, and enjoy. Daniel
  14. Getting the correct set will be a challenge - bending them just past their elastic limit as with metals won't work. You'd need to heat them and hold them in a new position until cool and hope you guessed correctly.
  15. Welcome! Like you, I wanted to try the concertina after playing other traditional instruments, though I chose the Hayden duet system. I bought a Concertina Connections Elise, which is the duet equivalent of the Rochelle, andI found it to be a suitable introductory instrument, and enjoyable even within its low budget specifications. I traded it for a new Beaumont Hayden (there aren't vintage instruments because the Hayden system is new since the 1970s) both to play a better instrument and also because the Beaumont has 52 buttons (approximately the number specified by Hayden in his patent) rather than the abbreviated 34 buttons on the Elise. I mention this because I quickly wanted to play tunes that required the full chromatic scale which was not possible on the Elise. You might encounter the same frustrations on a vintage 20 button Anglo, since its 30 button big brother has much wider capabilities including the very Irish ability of playing a C/G in the beloved key of D! On the other hand, you've played a two row non-chromatic accordion happily, so a vintage 20 button might be just right. Best of luck, and happy new year.
  16. Welcome, Ms. Ontario! I'm glad to hear that you are happy with your Stagi, and I hope your knee is coming along well. Don't get too excited about the comments you've heard about these entry level Stagis. They can have some mechanical issues, and you have somebody who can sort them out if they occur, so great. If it sounds good to you, it just plain sounds good. Let it take you far! With lots of practice you may some day outgrow it, but for now you've chosen well. I look back with fondness to the Hayden-system Elise that got me started; I hope you'll do the same with your Stagi.
  17. I remember that early on I loosened my wrist strap and found it easier to use my little finger. Maybe that's just me, but worth a try.
  18. You'll probably still want some great tunes to go with that pint, so drop by thesession.org which will give you the music to thousands of session tunes - you will find them ideal as you start to sort out fingers and buttons. Also, your EC has a small technical advantage over other systems because you get to share a fast melody between both your hands, while I gotta fly along with just my right. Jigs and reels! My Elise was the duet cousin to your Jackie, and I hope yours will serve you just as well. Mine worked admirably as proof-of-concept trainer and was lots of fun too.
  19. Great choice! Please keep us posted!
  20. Perhaps a word of explanation would help, Mr. McDouglas. When playing jigs and reels at speed in ITM, a bisonoric concertina (or accordion) is reversing bellows rapidly throughout the tune which creates a driving rhythm which has become part of the role of free reed instruments in this idiom. The wrist straps of an anglo (and a duet as well) are used to good advantage to give a crisp attack on the draw notes. It would take more effort on an EC, but folks do it gracefully. Quite correctly, if ITC were your only goal, go anglo. I also enjoy ballads and hymns and songs for which the duet is ideally suited, and when I play at our local session, I reverse bellows in the same manner as I would on an anglo, and they invite me to return!
  21. When I read "faster progress" and "intuitive", I think Hayden duet. It follows the piano plan of chords/accompaniment on the left and melody/harmony voice on the right. Best of all, the pattern of the notes and chords is the same in the primary keys, and the greater the number of buttons, the more keys will follow this pattern. It's like playing in C all the time! Down side? They are the least common system, as there are no historical instruments to buy since it was (re-) discovered in the 60s. Good news? An Elise model by Concertina Connection can get you started for about $450, and it plays easily in D, C, and G which will get you off in running at any session. I found mine to be a suitable first instrument, which I've since outgrown. The comment that different systems appear logical and intuitive to different folks is entirely true. Anglo instruments are "traditional" to ITM, but I personally find different notes on push and pull to be illogical, and there are thousands of great Anglo players out there who would have it no other way! I think my piano background shaped my preferences. Consider EC, too. It imitates the piano with sharps and flats adjacent to the natutal "white" keys. It's logical to me as well, but duet suits my desire to construct great accompaniment. Enjoy your search!
  22. And are your little fingers having as much fun as you are?
  23. I don't know if it'd be a "terrible habit", but I DO know your little finger will get smarter and stronger pretty soon if you keep at it. I recommend you use it exactly as suggested for a few months, and re-evaluate then. Chances are good that it'll do its job fine. Maybe you'll elect not to use it regularly after a good trial, but at least it'll know its job if you find yourself in a particular spot where it will be of advantage.
  24. Ah, you're right, Mr. Wolf, I remembered that incorrectly. I'd be even more concerned that featured treble notes would be consistently sharp. And since this is a compact low-button design, it will be more common to have to swap sides to complete a melody line. Would we notice the "bump" between sided?
  25. Yes, you never know, and I still hope you build it. But I'm wondering... First, I do have doubts that octave notes with the lower note sharpish will yield a happy warm vibrato. But also, there will be plenty of opportunities to play bass figures, melodies and countermelodies on the bass side like with any duet system, and I'm wondering if having the whole bass side a bit sharp might get irritating. Equal temperament tuning has us all comfortable with intervals that beat - particularly thirds - but having ALL of the lower half slightly sharp means that if other instruments are also playng along, the ensamble fourths and fifths will beat, too, and I'm not sure that'll make all ears happy. On the other hand, if you plan to play this concertina solo, only a rare listener who is blessed/cursed with perfect pitch would notice. Still, in the worst case you could set the left side to 440 as well, and have a unique solution of your own design. W3DW P.S. Picking up Hayden is pretty intuitive - I bet it wouldn't take you long at all!
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