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Gail_Smith

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About Gail_Smith

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    English. mainly traditional tunes - working on adding in more twiddles/chords/harmonies at the moment.
  • Location
    Wirral, UK

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  1. the classic tune that everyone (?) knows is the irish washerwoman. The type of thing I'm trying to explain is in bars 5 and 6 of the B music, where i would want to only "just touch the string" for the repeated g. Its easier to do when the "light touch" note is higher then the melody (as here) because the higher notes do not sound as loud as the lower ones with similar pressure. But other tunes (or indeed this one, if you use the G an octave lower) have the repeated note lower than the melody line - often requiring changes of which finger you have to use on the button to accommodate the rest of the tune. I do use the "drone" approach a bit when the repeated notes are higher than the melody (I like drone music- i play the hurdy-gurdy - badly- as well as the concertina) but i think they overpower the melody if used for lower notes. I can manage different volumes with the repeat notes, using bellows pressure, when playing slowly - but slowly isn't how these tunes are played in the Liverpool/UK part of the world. Too fast for me to exchange fingers for them, never mind getting different emphasis on the second and third notes. I will experiment with shortening notes/not opening the valve fully and see if i can get that to work. More practice needed (as always). Thank you for comments so far. Gail
  2. the classic tune that everyone (?) knows is the irish washerwoman. The type of thing I'm trying to explain is in bars 5 and 6 of the B music, where i would want to only "just touch the string" for the repeated g. Its easier to do when the "light touch" note is higher then the melody (as here) because the higher notes do not sound as loud as the lower ones with similar pressure. But other tunes (or indeed this one, if you use the G an octave lower) have the repeated note lower than the melody line - often requiring changes of which finger you have to use on the button to accommodate the rest of the tune.
  3. Daniel - how would you describe what you do please? And is it a different thing that you do on the anglo to the duet when trying to get this effect - or the same sort of thing?
  4. Quite a few traditional tunes that fiddlers like have sequences that "bounce" between a descending (or ascending) sequence of notes and a single string position on a fiddle . A very polite gentleman fiddler recently told me that the problem with my playing is that "you should only just touch" the intermediate (static) string for his style of irish playing.... rather than playing them at a similar volume to the other - main tune - notes. He was oblivious to the lack of strings in a concertina! However, try as i might I cant get anywhere near the sort of bellows control that enables me to do this as part of a fast sequence of notes. Can anyone point me at a video of someone who DOES manage this ? or give me some advice please? Thanks , Gail p.s. i should have said that this is for an English concertina but i am guessing that its a similar thing for other systems
  5. Thanks. Is there a cheap compact preamp that will amplify lapel mikes up to line level for the P1.? I dont know how to do an onlin e seach on this....
  6. I have been given a Behringer Powerplay P1 personal in-ear amplifier. Does anyone know of compatible microphones I could use with it that don't cost a fortune? I need to hear myself against a group of melodeons. (Please....I have read all the arguments about the pros and cons of self-monitoring, and I do not need anyone to be rude about melodeons. thanks. ) cheers Gail
  7. well i did have a plastic tube/bag over the bellows. Just not over the ends.
  8. Even if you play a concertina under an umbrella it is going to suck water in. After a very wet Morris Federation day of dance recently, I had"lost" several notes and one sounded continuously. The problem was the leather valves sticking - and then eventually drying out in contorted ways. It has taken me a week to sort out all the problems, which I did partly by very gently re-damping the offending valves and stroking them flat while they dried. Two questions arise... 1. Does anyone have a better way of solving this problem? Next time should I take the instrument apart as soon as possible to do repairs, t=rather than waiting more than a day before I could get it home? Should I try to dry it out faster to protect the reeds, or slower to protect the valves? 2. I hate the number of times I have taken the ends of the concertina off and re-assembled them during this process. Is there a shortcut to reassembly in order to check out whether or not a reed "sounds" ? No only is it time-consuming, but I also worry about what mutiple unscrewing and rescrewing is doing to the threads on the screws. thanks Gail
  9. hello. I would like to better understand how to use the fiddle-specific marks on written music to improve my english concertina playing. I think i know how to approach slurs - but there are also bowing marks, various turns (where i don't think i could manage a whole turn in the time available - and I'm wondering if the fiddle players do) and various bowing marks. It seems that some will translate sensibly into playing more staccato. And others will translate into getting more "attack" by using the bellows differently. Any thoughts (other then listening to fiddle players, which im trying to do but doesn't seem to help)? Resources ? thanks Gail
  10. thanks for replies. I have a couple of Lachenal concertinas - one is a wooden-ended standard job and the other is a metal-ended ediophone that i use to compete with melodeons :}
  11. Does anyone have any useful tips on adjusting how much oomph to use on the bellows to get the volume right when playing a chord or counterpoint melody as part of a tune? It's hard to hear yourself- but i have been told that I tend to over-do the volume when I'm pressing down several keys. I'm not sure if its subconscious overcompensation or just because its easy to accidentally push or pull harder when lots of fingers are involved. Practice with a phone? Or is there another way? Thanks.
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