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About McDouglas

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    English concertina
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    Dallas, Texas

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  1. 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.
  2. 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?
  3. 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!
  4. McDouglas

    "Top Ten" session tunes?

    I've been in touch with Paul and hope to connect with him at some point.
  5. 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!
  6. 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.
  7. Watching Rob Harbron is certainly instructive!
  8. McDouglas

    "Top Ten" session tunes?

    Thank you all for this guidance. I do understand it is best not to insert myself into a local session. And truth is, I would mostly like to listen and learn. I have a good friend, a mandolin player, who was telling me the other day about an amazing experience in Edinburgh once where he showed up with his instrument and just lingered on the edges of the session. The leader was quite hospitable and invited him to sit in - and it turned out to be an incredible evening. However, he tried it again later at another pub and it just didn't work. Sometimes, magic happens, I suppose.
  9. I'm working through Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook and loving it! The Blackthorn Stick and Off to California are among some of the tunes I"m trying to commit to memory. I'm going to be in England for three weeks this fall and wondering if I will be good on my English concertina to sit in on some sessions. So, this question comes to mind: What ten tunes are most commonly played in sessions that I should have in my fingers and by memory? This may be an oversimplified question as I imagine "favorite tunes" are very much a local matter. Still, I would love to hear your opinions.
  10. I am going to be in Cambridge, England for about two weeks this fall, approximately October 8-21. While I'll be based in Cambridge, I'll certainly make trips to London. Would anyone recommend live music venues that would include concertinas or sessions or maybe even concertina shops in the area worth visiting? I bought a Jackie EC from Concertina Connection at Christmas and have practiced almost every day since using Paul Hardy tune books or playing by ear. Have really enjoyed it and dream of one day adding buying a vintage concertina. Any information especially from someone who lives in the area would be appreciated.
  11. McDouglas

    From Piano To Concertina

    Thank you all for your responses here. Given my background and personal preferences it is more likely I will play classical literature than a steady diet of ITM. Suppose I'l just have to keep frequenting pubs and enjoy a hearty stout along with some Irish music. Perhaps one day I will give an Anglo a try but for now I've settled on an EC. Have found a preowned Jackie at Concertina Connection and it will be more than adequate for a beginner such as I. I look forward to continuing to learn from this community.
  12. I'm new to this forum and to the concertina community and need some advice. A bit of background: I am a choral conductor and pianist. I'm the music director at a church in Dallas, Texas. I read music fluently and play by ear a bit but not am not gifted this way. In recent years I've discovered I enjoy a good stout in an Irish pub so have become curious about ITM (Irish Traditional Music) and that lead to doing some research on the concertina. I understand in broad terms the different key arrangements and the terms unisonoric/bisonoric of the English, Anglo and Duet systems. Here is my question: as a pianist and music reader will I make faster progress with which system? What do you think will be more intuitive and therefore I will be able to manage the learning curve in order to make music? I'm eager to hear your responses. McDouglas in Dallas