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Everything posted by dwinterfield

  1. Wally Carroll has developed an adjustable hand rest. Now I've always sensed, with sufficent practise, our fingers can get used to playing any button they can reach. That said, when my Carroll arrived last year, I adjusted the left hand rest so that the F# is exatly alligned with my left pinky. There are lots of flaws in how i play, but i can't use reaching for the F# as an excuse any more. Button placement matters, but so does everything else in the design of the concertina ends.
  2. Michael I haven;t had a similar experience but I've had torn rotator cuffs on both shoulders. Talking to the surgeon and physical therapist, i've learened that there small muscles in the shoulder and upper arm that have very discreet functions. They only fire to assist a specific motion. You never know they are there till they aren't working right. Pain is often a result of inflamation. The type of pain you describe is very familar to me. A good PT ought to be able to help you sort it out. Or an orthopedic doc if you're inclined to go that route. Good Luck
  3. I've had surgical reapirs to both shoulders so what follows is my understanding from talking to Docs, PTs etc rather than any actual medical knowledge. Most pain and limitation in movement is from inflamation. The rotator cuff, biceps tendon, labrum etc. all come together in a pretty small space. If your anatomy isn't just right, they may be chaffing against each other. I had bone spurs on the under side of the the acromion bone leading to torn rotator cuffs after 60+ years of wear. If you get frozen shoulder and it gets better, it may be inflamation that reduces when you stop to motion that caused it or take OTC anti-inflamatories. If it returns, there is probably some sort of structural issue that leads to the inflamation. Shoulder problems are very common. The technoloy to fix them has improved immensely in the past 20 yrs. They can fix most of these issues. I've had surgery on each shoulder (2 yrs apart). The surgery was short and arthroscopic. No hospital time. The pain is significant, but managable with meds. The post surgery is essential but slow (6 months). The result is full range of motion in both shoulders, no pain and no limitation on any activity. Good luck
  4. Paddy: Check you private messages.
  5. I'm in Duxbury, MA if you'd like to play the Geuns Wakker hybrid.


  6. Paddy:

    Saw your post. I have a Geuns Wakker, 30 button C/G. Nice condition, about 5 years old. It's a hybrid with accordion reeds. I realize that if you're looking for a Jefferies, a hybrid may not work for you. Harry Guens sells these for $3400 although it is reduced if shipped the US and the VAT is deducted. I'd be looking for about $2500.

    Mark Mahoney

  7. Regarding he air button, I wonder if you might modify the length of the hand rail. I had an outstanding hybrid, but found that the hand rail was too long for the structure of my thumb. Because of the length of the rail, I had to curl my thumb over the top of it to reach the air button. The maker shortened (by about an inch) the hand rail for me and it was never a problem again. I don't know how the rail on a Stagi is mounted. If it's screwed on, you should be able to get at the screws by removing the end. If it's glued, you could probably trim it in place, but be very careful not to mess up the finish.
  8. Perhaps it's more that NH has been coming to the US teaching 45-60 students a yr. for decades. He's probably taught more people in the US to play concertina than anyone else and maybe more than everyone else. When he comes to the US he's an event. In Ireland, I suspect he's just around and much more routinely accessible to students. I've been to camp and know and like the "system". I've also been to classes and workshops taught by former students. They'll pull the d far more often than NH. It's all okay.
  9. Brian - What was your Carroll # and might you tell us what you got and how it plays? Thanks Mark Oh, yeah. That would have have been the 2005 Noel Hill Midwest school, right? Thank you for passing that along. Brian ps I didn't pay him to write that
  10. The publicity may lead to a period on irrational exhuberance in the global concertina market but the spike will end, the bubble will burst and I'll still be waiting patiently on Colin's list.
  11. I recall Noel Hill saying that when Charles Wheatstone invented the concertina, he was intentionally creating an instrument that would be in the same harmonic range in an orchestra as the violin. I'm not sure this is quite the right way to be looking at it. Range is one thing, harmonics is another. Wheatstone's 48-key English concertina has the same range as the violin: that is, they have the same lowest note and although the violin has no theoretical highest note, it generally confines itself to the notes that are also found on the concertina. But that says nothing about the sound of the instruments or how they blend. For that, you look to harmonics, which involves the shape of the vibrations, the presence of overtones, the timbre of the sound. Violins and concertinas have rather different timbres, so one might expect differences in their harmonic structure, although I have not seen a harmonic analysis. I'm very comfortable that what you say is correct. What I wonder is whether it's also from a 21st century prespective. Today, anyone can play into a computer and do all sorts of harmonic and tonal analysis. Wheatstone wouldn't have had any of the electronic tools that let us do that. I suspect he would have been able to match the range and then experiment with reeds, bellows, action etc. and used his ear to refine his product. I wonder is he thought he had succeeded or even what he considered sucess. Maybe one of the historians knows.
  12. I recall Noel Hill saying that when Charles Wheatstone invented the concertina, he was intentionally creating an instrument that would be in the same harmonic range in an orchestra as the violin.
  13. i always wonder at this. i learn from said teacher, and have learned to use all the buttons. i have heard this before as well from many other sources, and i can never figure out why. also, it is confusing, because even if they do not use the same buttons as you do, surely they should have the tools in their concertina-toolbox to play any tune. sometimes i wonder if people learning pay attention at all. i'm always interested in learning how others play. i'm sure you're so busy this time around at the fleadh since you guys are hosting it that you wont have time to sit and "talk shop" about fingering, but i'd really like to see how you approach the concertina some time. As the most challenged person in the room that day with Frank, I will comment that one of the joys of learning to play the concertina is sitting with different teachers. Students don’t always put themselves in the right class. Frank was very patient. That particular class was a bit beyond my skill level and I did find it quite frustrating. While I didn’t learn the tunes that day, it was one of the most enlightening moments I’ve had as a student. I had the same experience that some “along the row” players have had at Noel’s camp. I still have those tunes and will re-visit them. Since that class, I’ve jumped into the world of alternate fingering with “said” teacher and with Chris Stevens in the Boston Comhaltas classes. I’m also in a practice ceili band at Comhaltas and my new complaint is that the whistle and fiddle folks can pick up new tunes quicker because they don’t have to spend time deciding which d to use.
  14. From a note an attendee sent Linda and she passed along.
  15. Irish players will feel right at home. Chris Stevens and Edel Fox both teach ITM on Anglos. I'll be in Edel's classes as I see Chris every week and Boston Comhaltas school. Chris is a great player and teacher, comfortable and patient teaching at all levels.
  16. This is awlful and sad. I'd met Rich briefly a couple of times at workshops. When I headers like this, I think - Here's another story about of elderly player from an earlier generation who has passed on. --- This is just all wrong
  17. Armagh Polka is the name of this tune in book 1 of the Comhaltas tune books.
  18. Pretty much the same for me. Years ago, in a completely different venue, I signed on as dwinterfield aka Daisy, our 13 yr old English Setter with tan ticking on a white background, looking very much like a field in winter. Since then, I've used that name on many web sites simply because it's easy for me to remember. On more "formal" or "legal" sites I'm Mark Mahoney. I've found that if I have too many names on the web I often forget who I am.
  19. No one has ever commented on my expression. However, a few yrs ago a fellow at Noel Hill camp from New Mexico asked about "concertina face". It seemed his friends suggested he had it. There's also a song floating around the net about octagonal zombies with their little square boxes.
  20. You've got lots of good advice here, so I'll add a couple of general thoughts that come from playing several instruments poorly before coming to the concertina. I come to this as someone who has no special musical talent. Some people learn music really fast. Not me. That doesn't mean you can't play and play well. One teacher helped me understand that early playing involves being "painfully slow" and endless (mindless?) repetition. Twinkle might be boring, but when you can play it fast ten times in a row with no mistakes and without thinking about what your fingers are doing, you'll be able to play lots of other more interesting tunes. It's great to play by ear if you can, but, for me, it's very slow. I keep working on it but if I only play by ear, I'd learn a tune every two months. Since the nuns taught me to read music 50 yrs ago, I read music. That said, reading music for Irish tunes will only show you notes. The only way to learn how it should sound is to hear others play it, either in person on in recordings. Computers and slow down devices are very helpful. The written verison of Irish music is only an out of focus image of how it should be. For me, it took a year or so to distunguish a jig from a reel, on a recording at full speed. Find a way that works for you to get the notes and then listen and listen and listen to get the music. Once the music get into your head, the wrong notes will be obvious. Playing music is all about failure. I play most every day. I can play some things pretty well and I play them, but the new tunes are always hard. I screw them up. Every person on this site plays something wrong every day. And every day, or week or month, we eventually get it and move on to the next failure. It's the way to learn and improve. I know people who avoid music and other pursuits because they can't deal with the constant failure as the price of routine success. A wise person told me about musical freedom. To me that means we should each strive for the level of playing that gives us the freedom to play our music at will in a manner that gives us satisfaction. For some that means playing alone. Others want to play with other players. Some want to play for other people. Some want to be professionals. Good luck. I am often baffled at how good it feels to play 8 bars of something perfectly after struggling with it for .....
  21. Outstanding. Your happiness is an inspiration to all of us waiting on Colin & Rosalie's list. How long I wonder, were you a neighbor of mine on the list? I'm a relative new arrival, having resided there for about a year now.
  22. I was playing the whistle and wanted something simpler and easier to understand.
  23. David I mean before surgery. My range of motion was always good. I never showed many signs of shoulder impingement. My primary problem was pain, initially while sleeping and later throughout the day. It included constant aches and periodic sharp, short duration pain, particularly when reaching up or back. After the surgery, range of motion is very limited. Arthroscopic or not, surgery traumatizes the tissues in the shoulder. After surgery, I wore sweat pant for 2 weeks because I couldn't get my hand around to work a button and a zipper. (I could still paly the concertina though) Three months after surgery, with my arm extended, I could barely raise my hand to shoulder level. All of this has now improved. The PT folks were constantly testing, measuring and adjusting her treatments to spots that needed it. As the PT put it, most of physical therapy is about managing the development of scar tissue inside the shoulder. Surgery creates quite a lot of it and it starts to form immediately. The challenge is to work the scar tissue inside the shoulder so it becomes supple and flexible. It all worked out. PT is over and I have no further visits scheduled with the Doc. Correcting my earlier post, my wife reminded me that there was one stitch in each of the holes in my shoulder. She (a nurse) took them out after a week and after that, band aids were just fine. Mark
  24. David Good fishing. Sorry to hear about your shoulder. My surgery left 4 tiny holes in my shoulder. They required band-aids, not stitches. 6 1/2 months later, I can barely find the scars. I am thoroughly satisfied. There is no limitation on my activities. My range of motion is 90%- 95% of normal, meaning I can't tell the difference from before. I'm still taking an anti-inflammatory twice a day. When I'm taking the pills, I notice a little brief discomfort maybe twice every three days. When I stop the pills, I notice the same sort of discomfort 8-10 times a day. They tell me that this will eventually go away. mark
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