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Everything posted by Fane

  1. We have a copy in the shop I work in. I've not got it myself but have had a leaf through it and it seems pretty comprehensive! Let me know if you want to check if any particular content is in there and I can have a look next time I'm in. I have one of his guitar tune books and I get a lot of enjoyment from it.
  2. For some reason, last Christmas I deicded to put some effort into actually learning to play the concertina properly. I'm glad to say I've been reasonably successful. I got Gary Coover's Sailor Songs book as a present and been happily attempting various shanties over Christmas...
  3. "How's your new concertina?" "Well, it's pretty good, but it's not as vigorous and brilliant as I'd have liked"
  4. The third video is the best sound I've ever heard out of one of those Chinese 20-key Anglos!
  5. I have a few strathspeys in my repertoire. No idea if I'm doing them 'properly', in the correct key etc and living about as far as it's possible to get from Scotland in the UK I probably won't have the opportunity to find out for a while, but I find them fun to play! Miss Drummond of Perth is one of my favourite tunes to play and can be done entirely on the G row of an Anglo. The only time I've ever been to a Scottish session was because I was staying nearby and a taxi driver told me about it, and it sounded like a laugh so I took my guitar along with the view that if it was one of the two types of session mentioned above I'd probably just sit and watch instead, but when I found out that one of the guys running it was from Leeds I realised it probably wouldn't be 'that' traditional so I joined in and had a great time!
  6. I've found this site to be a good practice tool if you know any of the tunes: https://www.oldtimejam.com/ It's backing tracks for a load of old-time tunes which can be played with various instruments and at half-speed. I totally get your problem, I'm mainly a banjo player and thinking I was good enough to play at sessions and actually being good enough to play at sessions turned out to be two very different things!
  7. Sorry for the slight necro-post but does anyone have any information of that particular version of Goodbye Fare The Well in the video? I've been slowly drawn in by it and would love to be able to play/sing it but can't find any lyrics/dots online anywhere for it...
  8. As someone mentioned above, the sound is going sideways out of a concertina, and high-frequency sounds tend to be more directional than low-frequency (they travel more in a 'beam' from the source whilst low-frequency sounds spread out in all directions) This means that someone walking past is probably getting a direct hit of all the high-frequency content of a concertina's sound. Other than that I've noticed that pub sessions always seem to be some sort of sonic anomaly that totally defies all known science - at one I used to go to, there was a guy who sometimes bought along a homemade Dobro which was almost totally inaudible in the circle where the session was taking place, but for some reason from the door to the gents it sounded so good it would have made Jerry Douglas vow to go home and practice more... (I pointed a similar thing out to a banjo player at a session last week but all it did was open the inevitable banjo joke floodgates...)
  9. This is fantastic! Glad they went to so much effort to make the concertina look and sound realistic. Just those small details... I wonder if this will cause a surge in people taking up the concertina?
  10. I have to say I've never been that impressed by any Stagi Anglos I've tried (the one in the photo above and the similar model with black wooden ends) - reeds slow to sound, more leaks than a government ministry and those awful bellows that look like they're made of corrugated cardboard that really should be consigned to the parts bin of history. I know Chinese quality control can be quite hit and miss so maybe they just need a decent setup when they first arrive on these shores?
  11. If you can find a Fender Excelsior they have a dedicated accordion input... Finding battery-powered amps loud enough to be heard in a full band can be tough because most of them are designed for busking. My suggestion would be to focus on those dedicated to acoustic guitar, as an electric amp will colour your tone in some way (although you might want that!) The Acus battery-powered ones are absolutely fantastic, even though they are a bit on the pricey side - the shop I work in does in-store gigs and I've had entire bands running through one of the 3-input ones before!
  12. Jon Boden uses a shruti box Heath Robinson'ed with a kick drum pedal and a brake cable from a bike to make it foot-operated: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GTTz_99LU1E I can't recall him using it with a concertina when I saw him solo but he used it to underpin a few fiddle songs to great effect. SteveS, I've been wanting to get into playing Nordic music for some time but it's hard to find a source of tunes/notation etc. Do you have any good tips on where to begin? Totally off-topic I know...
  13. It's a tough existence! Guess we shouldn't have spent all our money on avocado toast... There is a local old-time jam that I go to but I'm not quite at concertina level yet, they all tend to play pretty fast - I can keep up on banjo which is my main instrument... I've learned quite a few tunes from going and get what you mean about 'tune sense', as I said earlier in the thread I'm beginning to find fingering patterns for common note sequences that appear in a lot of tunes. Maybe one day when I'm a bit better (and have saved up for a concertina with fast enough action, ie not a Scarlatti) I'll take it along because they're a pretty encouraging bunch. I learn by a combination of books and ears. My current method involves a book I found second-hand for £1.40 called 303 More Fiddle Tunes - less than half a penny a fiddle tune! I've found a good practice/training method is to just open it at a random page and sight-read some of the tunes.
  14. I was hoping it might be about the sweets...
  15. It's good to read this, I've been eyeing it up as a potential replacement for my Scarlatti when I decide I'm getting good enough to take the plunge - it seems to be the only 30-key Anglo under £1000 which isn't a Stagi, of which I've tried 2 and been pretty unimpressed by... I'm slightly concerned to read about its high volume, living in a Victorian terraced house, but then again I do live next door to a drummer! Out of interest, how responsive is it dynamically? i.e. with gentler bellows movement do the reeds still sound properly?
  16. That is very reasonable actually, I'll certainly look into that! I've got quite a bit of time off work at once at the end of March/early April which would probably be productively spent woodshedding on the concertina and getting through a load of those lessons! A few years ago I got signed off for 2 weeks and used the time to learn clawhammer banjo... The translation of the Irish style into American tunes is an interesting point too, I've noticed a lot of little runs/scales from the Irish tunes I've been learning from Mick Bramich's book appear in the fiddle tunes I've been trying to work out by ear, which has been a bit of a 'Eureka' moment and I'm finding American tunes are starting to fall quite easily to hand now. In fact, when I was at a session a couple of weeks ago me and a friend had a slightly drunken and slightly tongue-in-cheek discussion about how similar so many American fiddle tunes are (particularly how one B section can be substituted for another without anyone really noticing) and I'd wager this is true of a lot of Irish tunes too! Just a case of stringing the same sequences of notes together in a different order.
  17. I use Paulstretch too, and a freeware reverb plugin called Ambience that can do things like near-infinite decay and different decay times on different parts of the frequency spectrum - again, instant drones! Ohm Force Frohmage is the main filter plugin I use.
  18. I thought I'd post the sounds I make here to see if it's of interest to anyone. I make laptop drone music with an influence from American and Celtic folk, and my concertina makes quite frequent appearances - it turns out that my playing ability is good enough for this when I can use Logic to correct my bad timing! I'll start with this track called Concertina Counterpoint - the whole track was made from a single snippet of Anglo about 15 seconds long that I recorded for something else - every sound in this track is derived from it in some way! https://fane.bandcamp.com/track/concertina-counterpoint And the first four tracks on my new album feature varying amounts of concertina. https://fane.bandcamp.com/album/follow-the-map-2 Through my experiments I've found out that applying extreme time-stretching (by factors of 50-100) preserves the timbre of the sound nicely but makes every note last an extremely long time! Instant harmonium/shruti box-style drones.
  19. What material did you use, out of interest? I tried 1mm thick dense foam, same sort of stuff that mdarnton linked to above.
  20. I'd also love to know if anyone's found a good solution to this issue. I spent an afternoon going to Hobbycraft to buy foam then making baffles to fit to my concertina and it had absolutely no effect at all! I'm sticking to trying to only practice when no-one else is at home - since my neighbour is a drummer who plays nothing but bone-headed rock music and hasn't bothered going down the brushes/practice pads route for playing at home I don't care if he can hear my terrible concertina playing...
  21. I've actually bought myself a copy of Mick Bramich's Irish concertina book (with staff discount from the shop I work in, very handy!) so going to stick with that for the time being until I've exhausted what I feel I can learn from it. Seems pretty handy so far even though I've not really moved off the G tunes. I've realised that what I really need is more repertoire to practice since there's only so many times I can play Squirrel Hunters... So if anyone's got any good suggestions for American or Celtic fiddle tunes that can be squeezed out of an Anglo without too much difficulty, let thyselves be known!
  22. Thanks for the advice, everyone! I think I'm going to try and get hold of Gary Coover's Irish session book and have a flick through the Merrill one - Bertram Levy's books don't seem easily available in the UK.
  23. Hello all, first post after lurking for a while... I've had a 30-button Anglo for a few years and made some very half-hearted attempts at learning to play it. (It's a Scarlatti, all my millennial-living-in-Brighton budget will allow me, I'm some way off being able to justify shelling out for anything better) I've made a slightly early new year's resolution that 2019 will be the year I actually devote a lot of time and attention to learning to play properly. I did the same a couple of years ago with clawhammer banjo and I managed it! The main thing I need is guidance. I've been basically teaching myself - I'm totally fine with theory from learning other instruments, I've got my head around the whole bisonoric thing, I know what notes are where on the concertina, I can hack out a few tunes without too many mistakes, but I'm not sure where to go from here to progress any further. I'm mainly into playing fiddle tunes on it - old-time stuff, reels, airs, jigs and the like. My banjo repertoire is mostly American old-time tunes with a few Irish/Celtic and English ones thrown in. Purely in terms of what notes to play I can translate all these over to the concertina pretty easily but it's actually being able to play them where I stumble! I'm not too interested in doing chordy/Morris type stuff but it would be nice to learn how to do chord accompaniments with the left hand too. So, any advice on how to progress? Any good books/online tutors people would recommend? Thanks in advance!
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