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Geoff W.

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Everything posted by Geoff W.

  1. Gary, just wanted to say that I picked up the book and am greatly enjoying it. It feels like a worthwhile difficulty step up from Easy Anglo, and the first half of Anglo in the Harmonic Style. And as a sailboat liveaboard, what could be better?
  2. In an e-mail exchange with William Wakker, he told me as follows (similar to another poster above):
  3. Reviving an ancient thread as I am noticing this same sound on my brand-new Minstrel. It only happens on the lower notes, and only noticeably when I am trying to quickly alternate push/pull... the liminal space of one note ending and the other starting sounds a lot like "old radio static", kinda flappy. Per some of the comments above this is a valve issue? I would like to think that's unlikely as it's a brand new instrument, but perhaps something requires adjusting given the climate changes between construction and arrival at my place?
  4. Can't speak to the Stagi. But initial impressions with the Minstrel, after trading in my Rochelle, is that y'all are 100% right that you should start with the best instrument you can afford. The Minstrel feels like a huge step up from my (refurb) Rochelle. It feels like the dynamic range is at least 50% greater than I could manage on the Rochelle, which pretty much played at "loud" vs "less loud". This is something I'm going to have to retrain myself on, as some songs have me jumping volumes between chords quite a bit. The action is much, much better as well. Notes start when I press the button and stop when I let go of them...with much more immediacy than my Rochelle could manage. The Minstrel's G row on the right hand is responsive and easy, where my Rochelle felt like trying to squeeze air through a coffee stirrer. The buttons are taller but narrower than the Rochelle, which I'm ambivalent on for now. Delrin, not metal. It also seems like it weighs half as much and has a much smaller footprint overall. The breather button is smooth and not nearly as gaspy as that of my Rochelle. Only negative is that some of the notes are having weird sound quirks, like the old timey radio tube noise when alternating quickly, and the right hand C is tinny. William Wakker says this is likely due to humidity and temperature shifts from creation to shipping to arrival, and to give it a week. Here's hoping.
  5. I have a Wakker bellow Minstrel arriving today. In correspondence with the company, they let me know I will have one of the first "Version 2.0" Minstrels, changes as follows: I'll post pics and such later if anyone wants.
  6. My copy just arrived today. It's a great book so far. The pirate font cracks me up and I didn't expect the lyrics to the shanties as well! Thanks for all your hard work. I tell people the story about you tabbing Gross Mayles all the time. It really made my week/month/year.
  7. My humble debut on concertina.net. I received this Rochelle in April and have been steadily plunking away at getting better, but there's a loooot of work to do. I'm open to any tips and pointers! I plan to take lessons but can't quite make the budget for it yet. Here's a rendition of Grogg Mayles, arranged/tabbed by our own Gary Coover Link here
  8. Pirate songs for the concertina!!!!!! Holy cow Gary, you're making a dude's dream come true. Finally practiced your rendition of Grogg Mayles to the point where I felt OK recording it - see here! https://www.instagram.com/p/Bk-z6ZKjSh3/?taken-by=geoffreybeene
  9. @wes listening to this now and it's great. as far as where I'm at, i'm still brand new - mostly working my way left-to-right in Gary's books and considering lessons. what sort of different direction do you mean?
  10. Amazing! And looking at "buttons played" I'm skipping well ahead in the "larger" Anglo in the Harmonic Style....... Thanks again!
  11. Hi all, As a fan of Sea of Thieves, one of my near-term anglo practice goals is to learn how to play the in-game concertina songs in real life. Fortunately, someone has kindly gone and transcribed the sheet music for three of the songs (the fourth is Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries) Grogg Mayles: https://musescore.com/user/1133871/scores/4922312 Bosun Bill: https://musescore.com/user/1133871/scores/4947688 Becalmed: https://musescore.com/user/1133871/scores/4922324 I'm having a tough time getting Grogg Mayles to fit on the 30-key anglo as written. I see where creativity and mild chord "suggestions" are necessary in some places - but if any of the more experienced folks here find a nice way to make some of the chords fit, I'd love to hear it.
  12. Thank you, Mikefule - that was a very thorough and thoughtful response. I'm hoping to save for a nicer box, maybe by the time I have the pennies in the jar, I'll have hit my limitations on the Rochelle I recorded some of the buzzing my right side C row is making - does this sound familiar to anyone? https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ntMv4R3Ctql7IYTDXcvFNxCieXOW3Da2/view
  13. I've been having fun in this game pulling out the in-game concertina and then playing a real concertina over the team chat. Folks get confused... "why does your concertina sound different than mine?"
  14. Jim: mr. gcoover here has come up with some pretty handy tablature to accompany sheet music, with right-hand button numbers above the staff and left-hand button numbers below! A line over the number indicates push v. pull. Mjolnir: This is great advice. I think the Rochelle starter book suggests something similar. A friend of mine also suggested learning how to play the entire instrument chromatically from the lowest note to the highest, and working that until it becomes comfortable. Seems maybe a bit dull, but I can see the use! David: Yes - you have the spirit of my question correct. I'm wondering if theory stuff comes naturally as I learn to play via sheet music, or if perhaps some dedicated extra time would enrich practice and lead to more marked improvements on the instrument -- sounds like that is indeed the case. Thank you for confirming this. I'm not sure where to start with theory besides learning scales and notes, but it would be fun to learn keys/chords so that I could try to transcribe popular music to the concertina, might make it easier to bring to parties Gary: Well hello there! I'm only up to the slow air / jig after Shepherd's Hey in Harmonic Style and about as far in Easy Anglo but I think I consistently run out of air on every tune. I refill the bellows after each repeat/before moving on to the next "section" of a tune. I know Irish Washerwoman is especially tough for me because of all the left hand stuff at the beginning, though there is that nice long pull section to even it out some. I'll get specific song titles tonight if you'd be interested - I'm sure it's more to do with my novice playing than with the song arrangements themselves. I notice as I'm playing that I'm constantly pushing closed as I move through a "push" section, and constantly pulling throughout a "pull" section - should the bellows generally be moving smoothly in whatever direction I'm playing in, or do I only push/pull when I press the button to sound the note? (as in four quarter notes would be push / push / push / push instead of puuuuuuuuuush) General side note from practicing yesterday, it's interesting how my brain equates bellow management almost like actual breathing - I start to get nervous and feel suffocated as the bellows get closer to closing all the way, and sometimes feel the same relief as a deep inhale when I refill them! I imagine this goes away with time? Thank you all for the responses. I'm sure I'll keep y'all apprised of my progress and come back with more questions as they arise
  15. Hi all, might be a long post coming up so bear with me! I recently acquired a new-to-me Rochelle and have been enjoying the last week or so, practicing an hour or two a day. I'm working through the beginning of Gary Coover's books Easy Anglo 1-2-3 and Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style. I'm planning on setting up a couple lessons with a teacher soon, but wanted to plunk around for a little while first to get a sense of what challenges I might be facing. I have a feeling a lot of my questions will be addressed when it comes time for one-on-one lessons, but this community seems like a wealth of talent and experience. I have some questions that I'd love input / feedback on from a concertina player's perspective - thanks for anything you have to share Practice Questions 1. What is a good "structure" for an hour-long practice session? Currently I start by playing a few of the "easier" songs from Gary's books to nail in the muscle memory. As they've become easier, I focus on consistent note length, tempo, and general "smoothness". Sometimes I see how fast I can or can't play something. The bulk of the session is then moving farther "right" in the practice books, getting to the next song down the list that I can't play easily yet. I enjoy that Gary's books seem to slowly introduce new skills with each song - slowly adding the G row, then the pinky finger, and so on. 2. Should I be working in music theory time? And is learning to play solely via tablature going to hurt me in the future? I'd like to make sure I'm "learning the instrument" and not just "learning songs". I have experience reading music / playing music from trombone in school for 6-7 years, but this instrument is, well, quite a bit different from low brass. Instrument Questions 3. How do I not run out of air? It seems like I'm constantly ending up with the concertina "closed". Maybe it's just the beginner songs I'm playing, but I don't often have enough "pull" time to compensate for how much "pushing" I do. I end up taking "breaths" via the air button between phrases, but this inserts a big pause into the music and isn't very smooth. 3a. How do I compensate for the lack of air pressure when using the air button while playing notes? I try to fix #3's problem by using the air button while playing notes, but then whatever note I'm playing loses a LOT of power. I'm not very good at compensating by simultaneously pulling/pushing harder -- is this the right approach? 4. One or two of my middle row buttons on the right side sounds very "tinny" when I play it - is this an instrument problem? The fourth button "down" in the right-hand C row has a sloppy buzz to it when I play - is this a function of a relatively cheap concertina, or could this be an instrument repair problem? I could record it tonight if it makes it easier. It's a little disappointing, I must admit. **EDIT** 5. Totally forgot to ask - the left side of my concertina sounds SO much louder than the right side. Is this expected? It seems obvious that the deeper notes would be louder than the thinner upper register, but is there a way to compensate for this while playing? Watching youtubes and such, I haven't noticed the low end completely overpowering the high end, but when I sit and play it definitely seems like the low notes are really "in front" of the higher ones. That's pretty much what I've been dealing with for a week now. I appreciate any advice y'all might have to share.
  16. @Ken which meetup is in Washington State?
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