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Posts posted by geoffwright

  1. Although ITM is not the be-all-and-end-all, the development of cross-fingering techniques has got us a bit further from the bass-and-chord style of the Morris et-al.

    Hopefully players will start using the cross-fingering lark and not be limited to playing all English tunes in G and D and complaining when a tune in C turns up.


    For me, I can't work out why the English concertina hasn't taken off in ITM - cheaper, just as well made, easier to play fast in more keys, ornaments are just as easy, bellows just as good at putting some "pump" into it. I sometimes wish a Simon-Thoumire-type would appear across in Ireland and show people what you can actually do without an anglo.

  2. Still concertina-related and getting the concertina played in public - Having been a musician for the Morris for the odd-decade or two, I have always been interested in the origins of the Morris.


    I have seen various TV documentaries about dancers in Peru with ribbons, bells, sticks, pipes and drums - each one wearing a pointed hat (representing Spanish armour) and a big droopy moustache drawn on their whitened face.

    All pointing to the Conquistadors bringing the dance across to Peru, and giving a vivid picture of what the dancers looked like all those hundreds of years back.


    Where did the Spanish got the dance from?

    Who had taken control of their country and culture?


    Not really English is it?


    As the Morris is highly likely to have originated in Asia, shouldn't it be treated as a multi-cultural experience, rather than a quintessentially English pastime?

  3. No-one has suggested it yet - I have a hand-me-down double case to carry an anglo and an english, - anyone else into playing both?

    As it says, I am a Heavyweight Boxer so I am on the lookout for a lighter box.


    Why people carry a C/G and a G/D around (or even 2 C/Gs), I sometimes wonder. Can't the one concertina play in more than 2 keys?

  4. If you are playing less than a 30 key Anglo - look away now.


    A finger strengthening exercise I worked on for a couple of years was in the 4th part of Hunours of Ballyloughlin




    bars 3 & 4 have quite a hard finger-swapping exercise (finger 5 is the LH pinkie)


    3rd finger 4th finger 5th finger 3rd finger

    Push C row Push C Pulll G Pull C



    The EFD phrase can be repeated over and over.

    No stretching required - more teaching your fingers to move in a different order.




    Another was in bars 5 & 6 of the 1st part of the 4 part Gold Ring




    4th finger 4th finger 5th finger 4th finger 2nd finger

    Push Acc. row Pull C row Pull G row Pull G row Push G row

    A,A,A, D F A| d fd edA|(3Bcd B AFA|Bdd d2:|


    once this has been cracked, the same thing is done in reverse in bars 3 & 4


    (3Bcd B AFD|E{FE}DE FDB,|



    and to get the pinkie moving, the above fingering can be modified to Tom Friel's


    Any questions - ask away



  5. Then there is the "four button" trick using the highest two buttons (on C & G row) on LHS, and highest two buttons (on C & G row) on RHS

    c row LHS push pull

    c row RHS pull push

    g row LHS push pull

    g rown RHS pull push


    and thats a G scale, the beauty of which, you can continue up the RHS G row for the higher notes

    or continue down the LHS C row for some lower notes

    (I will leave you to work out when you have to jump to the lower F# on the LHS G row)

  6. I personally, don't think stiff bellows slow a box down, leaky bellows or "slack" action certainly might though.

    As regards speed on english vs anglo, theres not much in it (in the hands of a good player). Personally, I find some tunes faster on english, and others faster on anglo, no hard and fast rule. It is not just playing speed either, some phrases might be easier to finger on one box than the other.

  7. Whats the problem? If you read an F, play an F - why the need for any transposing?

    I see enough people able to play chords to G and D tunes on a C/G so can't see the need for both?


    Its back to the same old story - practise your scales in either direction, across the rows, and you will soon learn most of the alternative notes on the box - you don't HAVE to play in G on the G row.

  8. I am third generation on piano accordion so did fiddle and keyboard at school to try and keep me off things with buttons.

    It didn't work - we all played gob-iron at school so suck-blow instruments are second nature - I blame JK and AA for getting me re-wired into anglo in my teens and english nearer 50.

    Although I had already hooked into Northumbriana with the Ranters, like Brian, I am sure Morris On was the turning point where squeezy-things became ....... I can't say "cool", 'cos that phrase didn't exist then.


    A lifelong fascination of instuments with buttons on - that is all it is - and when buttons become too fiddly, I may have a go at zip-accordion.

  9. Already in the diary.

    Big hand to Mark & Joans impecable organisation, once again.


    As well as the Irish sessions, and meeting old friends, the highlight for me was the ad-hoc band - I tried to keep the repertoire to Northumbrian tunes that were not played as much nowadays, so it was a joy to have the wonderfull Watchorn duo alongside me and I never cease to be amazed that Jody and our Irish friends managed to sit in and play probably unfamiliar tunes all night.

    Nevertheless, we had some authentic American sets (and dancing) from Jody as well.


    What a concertina-fest.

  10. Another must have Iif you haven't already) is a cd slower-down - have a lok at Roni Amazing Slower-Down.

    You will be able to hear the ornaments better on cds by slowing the track down, although it won't tell you the fingering.

    Practise your scales in either direction and use three or four note snippets on a single direction for fast or awkward bits.

    Also handy for moving the pitch on cds.

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