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Jesse Smith

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    Buffalo, NY, USA

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  1. That might be the most laidback rendition of the Wonder Hornpipe I've heard. Lovely sprightly stepping from the ladies. (It really is wonderful to see a group that never stops dancing the entire time!)
  2. I don't think you would ever regret knowing how to read music. But the notation only tells you a fraction of the story about how a tune could be played. There is so much more to the rhythm and dynamics (especially with a bellowed instrument) that you will never learn from notation. When I'm learning a new tune, I will usually start with notation if available, but with the understanding that it is just the skeleton of the tune. Then I will listen very closely to a favorite recording of the tune. And for any given part of the tune, I might imitate that aspect of the recording or experiment with my own ideas. By the time I have practiced a tune enough to say I have learned it, I will have memorized it and won't need the sheet music anymore.
  3. I had already learned some of this stuff from learning to play the guitar for Beatles songs, etc., but I read a good book called "Edly's Music Theory for Practical People". It's fairly comprehensive, but goes at quite a gentle pace and has lots of fun doodles and cartoons to make it feel more accessible.
  4. It must be true, I play the melodeon (and soon the Anglo concertina) and I'm constantly feeling pushed and pulled in all directions! 😄
  5. I received a copy of Gary Coover's "Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style". I don't actually play the anglo concertina (yet!) as I am focusing on the D/G melodeon, but Gary's book has transcriptions of some of my favorite John Kirkpatrick tunes as well as plenty of other good stuff that works just as well on the anglo's close cousin. And someday when I do turn to the anglo concertina, this is definitely the style I want to play, so I was very happy to get this book now just in case it ever goes out of print. (I also own a copy of "Easy Anglo 1-2-3" which I bought when first deciding between the concertina and the melodeon.)
  6. Very nice, thanks for posting. I've been learning Rodney on the D/G melodeon, and I imagine the melody fingering is pretty much the same on the anglo, right?
  7. Are the reeds actually silver? What sort of tone does that lend?
  8. Hmm. Personally, I am leery of that approach, if only because I have seen too many videos and recordings of people who play like that not just for practice but "live": speeding up on the easy parts and slowing down on the more involved sections. I prefer to work on tricky bits in isolation, so that I don't inadvertently practice an unstable rhythm into the piece. But for others it might not be a problem.
  9. Oh, and I also think experienced performers (John Kirkpatrick comes to mind) have a whole bag of well-rehearsed tricks to cover up and recover from mistakes. I'm not at the proficiency level to know what those tricks are, but I expect that once you play an instrument and a set of tunes enough, you learn some "holding patterns" that can get you back onto safe footing.
  10. Rhythm is more important than melody when it comes to sounding like you meant to play it that way. If you flub a note, as long as you don't fall off the beat most people won't even notice. If you can convert the wrong note into a grace note or suspension that resolves to the right note, all the better. Don't draw attention to the error. Smile if you need to react but definitely don't grimace or wince. I think there are two types of practicing regarding mistakes. One is like what LateToTheGame said, where you stop and drill that tricky section repeatedly and slowly until you can play it correctly. And the other thing is to actively practice playing a tune straight through without losing the beat, even if you play some wrong notes. Both are useful when working towards a performance standard.
  11. Mikefule, I hope I am not hijacking this thread, but do you feel a 20 button anglo is sufficient for most English tunes? I don't play the concertina yet (I am learning the D/G melodeon) but I would eventually like to acquire a C/G anglo. Would 20 buttons be sufficient for playing harmonic style arrangements of English tunes, possibly including accompanying songs? My top musical "role model" at the moment is John Kirkpatrick, and I believe he plays a 40 button anglo and makes use of them all! But of course I'm not looking to play professionally or revolutionize the folk world, just to play for my own enjoyment.
  12. Hello Dee, I am also in Buffalo and I'm also interested in finding people to play traditional music with. I am currently learning the diatonic button accordion (aka melodeon), but it's quite similar to an anglo concertina (and I would love to learn the anglo someday as well). My focus is mostly on English folk music. I plan on attending the Nietzsche's session at some point but I'm not sure if it is more focused on Irish tunes and my melodeon wouldn't fit in there. There is a "button box club" in the suburbs of Rochester that meets monthly to play button accordion and concertina. I've attended one session, but it was the day I acquired my melodeon so I didn't play. If you find a local group to play with, let me know! Jesse
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