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About McDouglas

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    English concertina
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    Dallas, Texas

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  1. I want to express my profound gratitude to Paul Hardy and to the musicians who make up the Greenshoots and Chiltinas sessions. I am a church music director living and working in Dallas, Texas. I bought an English concertina last Christmas and have taught myself to play it this past year. Recently I was in Cambridge for two weeks studying and observing the great collegiate choirs there. While there I wanted to experience some live music sessions. Paul picked me up in Cambridge and provided transport to a Greenshoots session on a Monday evening at the Black Horse Pub and to the Chiltinas sessions at St Marys Church Hall in Malden on a Sunday. What lovely experiences. Thank you to Paul and all the players for your generous hospitality. I hope one day to return to your "green and pleasant land." Cheers, Douglas
  2. I've heard neuroscientists report the best ways to cultivate connections between brain cells (synapses? not sure if this is the correct term) are to learn a new language or a musical instrument. Let's hope the brain pain gives way to brain gain!
  3. I've just run across a review of two concertina method books with a brief reference to two more on the ICA website. http://www.concertina.org/2009/12/05/conquering-the-concertina-the-concise-english-concertina/ Conquering the Concertina: A Comprehensive Guide to the English Concertina, by Les Branchett. (Gloucester: Sherborne House Publications, 2002.) 49 pp. The Concise English Concertina: A Tutor, by Dick Miles. (Cork: Milestone Publications, 2002.) 32 pp. Contemplating the Concertina: An Historically-Informed Tutor for the English Concertina (Amherst: The Button Box, 2003). Pauline De Snoo’s Concertina Course, vol. 1 (Schijndel [NL]: De Snoo, 2002) The trick may be finding these to purchase. I didn't have any luck on amazon.com. I suppose these methods are too specialized. I did find some (as well as others) on the Button Box website under English concertina instruction section. https://www.buttonbox.com/instruction-concertina.html#english Please add to the list (including title, author and publication info). Let's limit it to methods published in the last 20 years. I'm happy to collate entries and then post a summary list.
  4. Thank you for that perspective. Two questions: 1. Is there another website that focuses on classical and other forms (although I really enjoy the folk tradition that seems to represented here); and, 2. Even if concertina.net doesn't quite represent the global concertina community, is it the most active or largest forum of this sort?
  5. Yes, I also read music as a pianist and choral director. After doing a bit of research I decided it would be easier to learn the English - though I'll admit the alternating button pattern almost defeated me in the early weeks. It's a bit less daunting now but I assure you I make plenty of mistakes. Although I started by learning tunes from Paul Hardy's tune books (great resources, if you don't know about them), I also found myself trying to play various tunes by ear - and consistently doing better at this.
  6. Perhaps I ought to add I've been playing English concertina since last Christmas and I'm loving it. I'm heading to England in a couple of weeks and looking forward to sitting in on some sessions there thanks to Paul Hardy. I plan to ask the players I meet this same question. Cheers, Doug
  7. Good morning concertina-philes, My query today is - why are there more anglo players than english? I am starting from an assumption that there are indeed more anglos based on the number of posts I read here generally and especially, the number of instruments I see for sale. I also see more teaching workshops for anglos than english. So, first question - do you think my assumption is correct? And second, if this is true, why is it true? Curiously, Doug
  8. McDouglas

    Wanted 48key Wheatstone or Lachenal english

    Mike Acott, Good to hear from you. I'd like to connect with you while I"m there if possible. It appears I can take a train from Cambridge to Ipswich. Would you mind emailing me at dthsabbatical@gmail.com more details, photos, etc.? Best, Doug
  9. Good morning all from Dallas, Texas, I am a church musician and beginner English concertina player. Purchased a preowned Jackie last Christmas and have played it almost daily since then. I have been reading and researching on this site and learning from this community with much appreciation. I must confess that I'm beginning to think about purchasing that "next level" of English concertina. I've begun to focus on searching for a 48key treble Wheatstone or Lachenal english concertina in the range of $1,000-2000. (According to one site, that's 774-1548 GBP). I have not had an opportunity to play either instrument so I look forward to doing so. I'm going to be in Cambridge and Edinburgh in October and hope to be able to play some instruments. Two questions: 1. Are there significant differences in the Wheatstone and Lachenal instruments (touch, sound)? 2. If you have something for sale in the price range, will you private message me? Thank you in advance for your responses.
  10. McDouglas

    Fanny Powers - The South Wind

    Your concertina has a wonderful warm sound. So, that's your Wheatstone ME Aeola TT? Do you mind explaining to me what the designation tenor-treble means?
  11. McDouglas

    Beginner English Concertina in PDX

    I purchased a Jackie EC preowned from Concertina Connection in December. I've played a few minutes almost every day for a little more than six months now. This is a great community to ask for advice and help you on your EC journey. Paul Hardy's tune books are an invaluable resource. http://www.pghardy.net/concertina/tunebooks/ I would recommend you find a few tunes you enjoy and then play these almost every day. The frustration at the beginning of finding the right buttons with the right fingers and managing the bellows eventually gives way to more intuitive playing. I even wonder how my brain was rewiring over days and weeks as I began to develop a new sort of muscle memory. Be patient with yourself. Good luck!
  12. McDouglas

    "Top Ten" session tunes?

    I've been in touch with Paul and hope to connect with him at some point.
  13. Watched this entire Ron Harbron video yeterday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R1cuieGmcy8 Enjoyed his playing and seeing the bellows work up close, but he has some great insights about listening and finding your own voice as a a musician and his own discovery of the joy of teaching. Worth watching!
  14. McDouglas

    "Top Ten" session tunes?

    To AndrewCollins question about areas: my trip plan is still a work in progress. I'll be in Cambridge for two weeks but will definitely take the train to London. Maybe in Edinburgh/Glasgow for a week but that's tentative. I plan to be in the UK from October 8-29 this fall.