Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by geoffwright

  1. If you are doing a paid gig, you have to make sure that the clients expectations are in line with what you do. If they want "folk", are they expecting Irish, Nautical tunes, Country? Their idea of folk might not be yours.

    Jim is quite right regarding quantity of repertoire, if you are doing a half-hour spot, you really do need to be able to play for at least double that or you may run dry.

    You may be better playing without dots as part of the fun is watching the punters reaction, which you need to be able to gauge so you can "milk" the situation at every opportunity.

    As far as judging whether you are good enough, you will soon find out playing in public. You just have to believe in yourself and be as brazen as possible.

  2. I was discussing my the name stamp on my joint effort Jeffries with Colin Dipper at the Swaledale Weekend.(Colin carried out some wonderful restoration on my concertina from it being found in an attic in pieces)

    He was happy with the end plates probably being from Crabbs but was intrigued by the stamp. He thought the lack of serifs on the stamp made it different to the expected Jeffries stamp, but there was no evidence of Shakespeare or whoever having been filed off and another stamp superimposed (evidently a common scam).

    I guess you evidently need to put the name stamp under a microscope to establish validity?

  3. Although I can play by ear, so can play a tune on either, I mostly play different traditions on different instruments. Anglo concertina for trad English, Morris and Irish, and English concertina for Northumbrian and Scottish.

    So on a quiet night, it depends on what tune is going though my head as to which box gets picked up. Whichever I play, the cat runs away and I am in trouble for making a noise.

  4. If you look hard enough and use some imagination, you will also see 666 in the fretwork. Do not be alarmed.


    Psychologists sometimes use concertina fretwork as a Rorschach test for musicians. If you can see naked ladies or pint pots in the fretwork, you are normal.

  5. A strap is fine if you only play one concertina.

    This subject has been covered elsewhere, but after some years practise, the thumbstraps get moulded to your hand position.

    This aids control and (should you want to try it), you should be able to lift your little finger off the plate if you occasionally need low notes, or want to persevere with more complicated chords.

  6. It doesn't have to be orchestral - no one seems to have mentioned the word "band". There are still concertina bands playing in England and also courses/weekends where the budding classical player can join in music making with others on a larger scale e.g. Swaledale in 2 weeks time.

    Great fun.

  7. I would have thought that if two air buttons were available, a small hole and a larger one would be a good idea for "fine" or "heavy" release of air.

    I have a Wheatstone English with a lever "bellows closer" as previously described which, being an anglo player, I find most useful. (Especially when swapping boxes mid-tune)

  8. As usual, ask 4 people and you will get 4 different theories on how to cross finger scales.

    I suppose you have to learn one method well before you can branch out and try some more. Different tunes often demand different fingering approaches so you may need more than one method under your fingers.

  9. As well as a website with lots of pics,

    links to other RELEVANT sites (preferably reciprocal),

    lots of info (more than they can read at once, so they come back),

    a gig-list - where can they hear/see you?


    business cards with email,website and answerphone on,


    quite a large repertoire - if you are doing a 40 minute spot, you may need double the amount of tunes you thought you could play in 40 mins. Have some tunes in reserve


    develop your own style - start and finish with your best tunes - people only remember the start and the finish


    dont forget some tackle if you play outside - music stand, clothes pegs (stop music blowing away), folding chairs, lamp?, gig bag

  10. Personally, I learn a tune and play it in various keys to find out what suits me. There is no reason why you shouldn't play it in more than one key and this is the best way to practise alternative fingering.

    I have learned loads about (the aptly named) cross-fingering by listening to Marys CDs and working out what she does (most of the tunes have been posted on the Tuneatron).

    I got curious about some of the tracks on Blackberry Blossom and asked her what boxes she used. She very helpfully provided the following list, just to shed some light on your question.


    D/G concertina - Tracks 1 and 13

    Bflat/F concertina Tracks 2, 4, 6, 8 and 11.

    C/G concertina Track 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 12, 14 and 15.

  • Create New...