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Everything posted by geoffwright

  1. By ear players may be fast, but can you learn a tune at one hearing? Providing they can memorise it, a dot reader can scan through the dots, commit it to memory and play it back. I can pick up tunes at one hearing, but they are usually gone by the next day. I need to ask what the name was, write it down, then go and look it up online the next day. I try to scan though a couple of pages of new tunes a day, and mark the ones I like. If I see a good'un I will play it a few times. If I can still remember bits of it the next day, that is a "sticky" tune and worth learning. Like many of you commented, I have stacks of tunes I never bothered learning, but as soon as someone starts it, I can play it all. I am sure it is only because I have never bothered learning the name so it never gets filed away in the memorys index.
  2. Back onto the tablature discussion. This has been discussed at length in the last 10 years (some suggestions even using colours) and concensus usually ended up that it is not that easy to create a "catch-all" tab for anglo. The suggestions generally involved < and > for bellows direction, L and R for which hand and we had long arguments about what to call the rows. Front, Back, Accidental, F,B,A, were thought to be very confusing C,G,X (extra) were thought confusing to G/D players, and no tab could cope with people who had oddity anglos with more than 3 rows. An individual may have their own version of tab which is only specific to their concertina as someone elses Jeffries may have a different key layout. Many people have more than one concertina - which are not identical in layout. You can invent your own, but it may not be relevant to anyone else. What can you use tab for? I have sometimes thought tab may be useful for scales in one direction, but for learning tunes or different fingerings, spend 2 weeks practising - you will eventually remember them.
  3. Hi Brian, "busy bellows reversal" - isn't that why the Irish players started playing across the rows so you didn't have to do too much bellows work? And they still sit down to play!!
  4. If you are crafty, you can try and play a tune the tutor hasn't heard. No names no packdrill, but the tutor asked me to finish the audition piece because they liked it that much. I got intoe their class as well.
  5. Playing anglo concertina whilst still standing? I didn't think anyone worried until the anglo player fell over and carried on playing. I can't cope with playing anglo whilst standing - possibly 'cos I do use my little fingers (and more importantly, because I can play one-handed and have a slurp if I am sat down).
  6. "Mangers Beer Advert"? I am assured that this favorite drink of students is allegedly made from apples. GOVT WARNING - drinking cider may not give you the mental powers to play anglo.
  7. I remember hearing an interview with one of the pre-war Irish ceili band players, he was saying that the local priest bought a 20 key anglo for the parish - essentially for the parish dances, but interestingly, the parish box was shared by 3 or 4 people, having a night each to practise on it. Beginners sharing a concertina - another possible idea?
  8. Isn't the main problem the difference in cost of a top-of-the-range vintage English concertina versus a top-of-the-range vintage C/G Anglo, which bears little relation to the amount of work gone into making them? Does a talented player really need a vintage top-spec concertina rather than a brand new or overhauled mid-range box? How have these "talented" young players got so talented, if they haven't got a decent box to play on? I still consider myself a "hobbyist" player, even though I play it on paid gigs, as concertina is one of my less played instruments from a professional point of view. Rather than hobbyists, aren't collectors the problem? - you know who you are, you people who don't stand in the "Five Instrument Or Fewer" queue, and bring TWO double concertina cases to sessions.
  9. I must be wired up wrong as I play Anglo and English (sometimes swapping mid-tune). I play mainly Northumbrian (and anything non-Irish) on EC because the hornpipes etc. just seem to fall under the fingers nicely. I play mainly Irish on AC, again, the Irish tunes just fall under the fingers, but make sure I can play the Northumbrian stuff on AC as well, to save taking 2 concertinas all the time. Some tunes are easier on one than the other, other tunes fit either. I like the sound of both, I play them both as much as each other at home, but I guess I take the AC out to sessions more - because it is LOUDER.
  10. 1) Get sheet of paper that will fit in concertina case 2) Jump on said piece of paper wearing golf-shoes 3) Play these dots in dark Handy Tip - If you shine a torch at the paper, you can also make a constellation on the wall. See you at Swaledale with your golf-shoes.
  11. Anglos are Easy-peasy!! If you want to venture into harder keys on English concertina, you have to practise scales. Why shouldn't you have to practise scales (in either direction) on anglo if you want to stretch your enjoyment a little further?. After nearly 40 years at it, (and quite a few trips down dead-ends, unlearning everything I had previously learned), I still find it fascinating and am still learning new tricks and fingerings every day. Stick at it Chas.
  12. Thin and unsupported? In whose hands? (Ducks back below the parapet... to avoid being accused of repetition).
  13. Polls on ITM on concertina being boring are obviously boring|
  14. Perhaps ITM is too large a catch-all. Irish dance music is one corner and the concertina is purposefully there as a "loud" instrument playing the top line (with a few chords), ornamentation not really being necessary or audible over the band. The session is another area, but not a 30 strong, all-comers session like a lot of Irish seshes in the UK, but in a small group or solo concertina. It is probably in this setting that the Mole Hills of the ITM world will play their 8 part pipe-jigs with as many chords, ornaments, drones and shrieks as can be fitted in, bearing in mind, much of these "noises" are uillean-pipe imitations (now why didn't we get onto a ITM on pipes is raucous and boring thread?). Another area again is the small group playing Carolan tunes (or even like the Chieftans) where the concertina is kept in the background and played in the best possible taste,on the whole. If people find that boring, that is their opinion, but I cant see why it is boring on concertina, but not on fiddle if both are playing at the same time. How did I get into it, Why - mainly the first reason through dance bands, and a bit of the second once I got seriously into it. ITM rules OK
  15. Utter tosh! If you had posted "ETM is boring" on irishconcertina.net, you would have got exactly the opposite reaction to the above comments. The Irish think ETM is all rumpty-pumpty morris - they don't think of the anglo as a chordal instrument, and they certainly don't see it as a C/G only instrument - it is fully chromatic. You know who you are - you wimps who reach for another box if a tune in F or A turns up. I am heavily into ITM, but will also take on all-comers at trad English or Northumbrian (and quite a lot of Scottish if it comes to that). ;-.
  16. Just having watched last weeks University Challenge Professionals featuring the Luthier Society (available for another 2 days on iplayer), one of whose team had an (im)famous surname and a bit of a concertina connection. They got a team together just to try and raise the profile of their instrument a little, so people could see there are still players out there. Isn't it time the ICA got a team together for the next season of University Challenge - The Professionals?
  17. Its not the bits you play, its the bits you don't play that give it lift.
  18. He doesn't seem to have any body to play with. No shortage of bone buttons on his box.
  19. Hi Ragtimer, You have two different pieces here - "Dido and Aeneas" was Henry Purcell - "Dives and Lazarus" was RVW - a fine folktune arrangement! I like to encourage beginners by playing reels slowly as a hornpipe e.g. Merry Blacksmith fits hornpipe and reel. Hughie Travers is a favorite jig / reel.
  20. Life is too short - play more C/G box. I have to spend all day in front of the pc as a job, but I find it a delight, as I have internet radio on all day and can listen to Irish sessions or whatever to my hearts content. I try to keep work and pleasure separate so keep my concertinas out of reach of my pc. They live downstairs next to my TV chair so whenever I want a tune, they are within reach - no excuse for not practising. Life is also too short to play a tune more than 3 times (unless there is a very good reason) - I would rather play 10 tunes twice through than 5 tunes four times through. (only my personal opinion and a bit of a wind-up)
  21. Whatever you do harmony-wise - don't do it all night - do it sparingly. I really enjoy counter-melodies and playing in 3rds - but am careful not to do it every time through the tune. Similarly chords (on whatever instrument) - put some occasional chords in, but not all the way through a tune. ITM is a somewhat different animal to a trad English sesh. The more modal layout of some tunes give scope for some more "colourful", or even, "over-the-top" chord sequences. For this reason, unless they can agree, it is sometimes better to have as few non-tune players as possible. There are no "right" chords, but there are definitely "wrong" chords in any given chord sequence. Unless you are a natural or can argue harmony with the session-pedants, beware.
  22. Yes, I remember Hedgehog Pie before they went too electric - their party-piece was using the double-bass as a vacuum cleaner.
  23. What is it like for making chips? Don't cheat with this beast - its a two-pinter!
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