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Posts posted by geoffwright

  1. I read a lovely bit about competitions for marching bands (kazoo bands as we would know them now) around West Yorks before the 1930s, where they had rudimentary or home-made instruments and uniforms and were marked on their marching etc.

    Anglo concertinas were banned from these competitions as the bands got a ringer in and the players were that good that the marching band invariably won just on the strength of the anglo player.

  2. Keeping tempo - either use one foot - always useful for signalling the tempo to the rest of the band, or mentally sing along with the tune.


    Mind going blank - practise playing sets of a dozen tunes in the same tempo so when the mind goes blank, keep on playing in the same tempo and go into another jig or whatever - it can be done seamlessly - it is also needed for when you lose your place in the dots as well.


    Dont hide behind a music stand (this seems to happen all the time - swaledale etc) - you need to be able to see the dancers and people want to see the concertina played as well.


    Once you have got the audience watching you - smile - get them on your side.

    In fact, before you start playing, get comfy, look around the audience and smile - they will smile back and they are on your side then. From there its easy.


    Practise practise practise - sit on the back row of as many different bands and sessions as you can - best way to learn the repertoire so the mind doesn't go blank.


    See you at Witney Peter

  3. I am down to pester John Kirkpatrick both days, as he, for his sins, got me into concertinas.


    DT ruled against it, but I fancied both days on Alistair Andersons courses, (who, also for his sins, got me into all things Northumbrian) but having seen the tunes, I play most of them on English anyway, so I think a weekend on Anglo chords will keep me occupied.


    See you in the sesh Friday, where I am sure many of the standard English dance tunes (also C/G Anglo friendly) about to be published in the ICA music supplement for the ICA AGM ceilidh scratch band (non-attenders must still practise them!!), will be heard.

  4. Ignore the "rules" threads in "The Session", and go to the tunes (including midi) or recordings (tune lists for many concertina cds) or links sections (search on either your particular instrument or tune collections). Thats where you can pick up useful stuff to play on concertinas.

    It is as useful as the tunatron!!.


    I think the biggest decision to make when starting a "slowy" is whether the group want to learn from dots or ear. I encourage the learners by arriving early and playing through their latest tunes at quarter speed.

  5. A day or so ago, while preparing to sit around a bit in the living room, I assertively yet politely said, in an off-hand way, "I'm going to get my concertina and play it a little bit."

    My family and cat left the room - it makes a change from "No you are not, tea is nearly ready!".

  6. If you are into Irish style, fair enough, you can play the tunes as all the notes are there.

    The extras are handy for ornaments, where you can find the extra at the end of the same row, rather than the accidental row, but as always, extra buttons means extra fingering to work out.

    The bottom line is - if you want things to work out in one direction, you need more buttons.

  7. I am working towards not relying on little finger on the plate.

    Once the thumb-straps get bedded in to your thumb position, by an large, I can control the bellows, taking most of the weight on the knee, leaving the little finger either for use, or at total rest in a comfortable position with no weight on it.

    I guess this is the problem that causes a lot of the pain/discomfort amongst players?

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