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Jim Besser

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Everything posted by Jim Besser

  1. >ut seriously, has anyone else used the Mallinson > morris book/CD to get them started as morris musicians? I'd been playing for a Morris side for a couple of years before I bought the books, but find them a very useful resource. I learned all the tunes my group regularly uses from former musicians, but I've been learning many of the standards used at mass stands from the books, and from a Morris tune ABC site -- http://www.ucolick.org/~sla/morris/music/abclib.html THe problem with all books and sites: so many tunes come in different versions. My group uses one version of Maid of the Mill; there are others that are entirely different tunes. I learned Highland Mary from a CD; the first time I played it in a massed stand, I was playing a slightly different version than the rest of the musicians. The Kimber CD is a great resource, too. one thing to remember: he plays most tunes much faster than most Morris music is played. I learend that the HARD way! In the books, almost everything is in G and D. I've learned most tunes in one of those keys, so I can play with others -- but since I play solo for my group, and since I have a C/G Anglo, I've transposed most to C and can also play them in that key, to maximize chording possibilities. Trunkles sounds like a completely different tune in C than in G.
  2. Hey, G and D are the Peoples Keys. Forget that other stuff. Jim Besser, Bluemont Morris
  3. >or me, playing G/D, it works my right hand hard. > I'll take a metronome to it soon, but in the meantime, > quite briskly! Briskly it will be. On a C/G, it's a fine left hand exercise. Thanks for the suggestion. Some other recent tunes folks might find entertaining, all available at various ABC sites: Berendans , a Flemish (?) dance tune. The Alte Kath -- a Zweifacher, in alternating 3/4 and 2/4 time. Forresters Hornpipe Katie's Rambles. This has become an all-time favorite; works out very nicely on a C/G anglo, and sounds terrific. Hull's Victory in F Magpie (old time, in G, played incredibly fast) Always looking for tune suggestions from others!
  4. Chris -- Fete du Village is a workout for the left hand index finger. A fun tune. Since I've never heard it : about how fast do you normally play it?
  5. >http://www.thursdaycontra.com/~spuds/TunesReels.htm Thanks for that link; a good collection of contra dance standards.
  6. [ love "Evit Gabriel" (maybe its because I'm left-handed.) I think it was the first tune I learned out of the Portland Collection. "Trip to Sligo" is another tune thats pretty fun of the left hand.] It's an interesting tune. The Dancing Bear is similar in being a good workout for the left pinky and fourth finger.
  7. >Yep, that's him alright. I enjoy watching fiddle players in sessions with this tune - >the body language shows they really love it, and the unnamed tune from the >Mittel collection that is usually put with it. Like the tune a lot; thanks. Will bring it to the next session; don't think it's been played around here!
  8. This the right tune? http://www.leeds.ac.uk/music/Info/RRTuneBk...e/000005e0.html
  9. Whew. O'Carolan's Concerto; I used to play that on hammered dulcimer, and it was a killer. Better get out the Anglo and give it a try and see if it's any easier. I'm particularly interested in hearing about tunes that provide good exercise to the left hand , last few fingers. "Evit Gabriel" is one. This is where I need lots of practice.
  10. You guys want a real workout? Try Spey in Spate, in D. Fun tune, exercises every last neuron and muscle. Another year or two and I should get it up to speed. An unlikely but wonderful tune on the Anglo: Brenda Stubbert (in the frequently mentioned Portand book). Other current favorites of mine: Devlin's; Portland Fancy; Hull's Victory. So what challenging, interesting tunes are the rest of you working on?
  11. What did I have in mind? Dunno. Probably a separate forum. This forum is great, but like many on the Internet, threads quickly move far afield from the original topic. So what I had in mind is something more structured: perhaps just list the tunes you're working on now, the tunes you consider favorites, the tunes you've heard perfomred on concertina and aspire to learn. Or it could be an ongoing thread in this forum. Just curious whether there's any interest. I like to hear what other people are working on, and getting pointers on good tunes.
  12. As a poor reader of music, I don't like sessions that rely on printed music. That said, the Portland Collection is worth every penny. The tunes are varied -- lots of Irish standards, but also wonderful modern contra dance tunes that are very nice on concertina (Bus STop, Don Tremaine's, etc.) And some nice French Canadian. For a bit of fun, try Reel des Accordeonistes on Anglo. A workout, but fun! This book is a lot of bang for the buck. I understand there's a volume 2 in the works.
  13. I'm wondering if our gracious host would permit -- and if there is any interest out there in concertina-land in -- a new forum. What I would like to see is a Playlists forum. I would like to see other musicians' playlists -- their favorites, what tunes they're learning, what tunes they regard as particularly concertina friendly, etc. Not a lot of chit-chat, but just lists and descriptions. Anybody interested?
  14. I've tried most of them, and found that most are overkill for my needs -- simple tunes, single staff, etc. I second the suggestion of Noteworthy, which has an added advantage; there's a utility that lets it read and convert to ABC format, which means you can import all the great tunes on the Web. I registered Melody Assistant, which is nice in many respects, but they keep upgrading, and you have to go along with the upgrades if you trade music with other users. And the interface is very confusing. I tried the simple version of Cakewalk and didn't like it at all. But this is all very personal; depends on your specific needs.
  15. >1) Would you be interested in something like this if I put it together? >2) Any suggestions on what you would like to see - or not see - in a book Interest: absolutely. I go to a lot of sessions and play a lot of chord back up --or try to. But I get in trouble when I have to move beyond the 'peoples choice' chords. Never quite sure how to play a B7, or a Cm. And how to incorporate runs with chords. I'm an old rhythm guitar player, and when I'm playing backup on Anglo I hear the runs in my head I'd do on the guitar to connect the chords, but it doesn't always come out right on the c'tina. So bring it on, I'll buy!
  16. >Favorite slow air: Da Slockit Light (Tom Anderson) >Favorite Jig: Handsome Young Maids Great taste! Wonderful tunes. "Handsome" is tough at contra dance speed, but doable (at least for me). >Many more: Barrow Burn, Round the Horn (Jay Ungar), Morpeth Lasses, Evit >Gabriel (Daniel Thonon/Ad Vielle Que Pourra) There's a lot of overlap on our playlists!
  17. Whoops, guess I neglected to answer the actual question about the FIRST tune that hooked me. Banish Misfortune, from the classic album. Picked it out on my garage sale 20 button, and was smitten. Oddly, once I got more deeply into the instrument, I never really played it again. In the all-time fave category, I commend to all of you Larry Unger's The Dancer, a beautiful, eerie waltz that sounds like it was written for the concertina, although it wasn't. When I got my new concertina it didn't have an Eb because of the extra C#s, which made it impossible to play this tune, but Paul Groff, always helpful, fixed that. It's a tune that never fails to make me feel good, even when I don't play it with the skill it deserves.
  18. Oh goodness, my all-time favorite tunes change from week to week. But Orange in Bloom, use for my Morris side's signature dance, is an enduring favorite, transposed to C, since I play solo on a C/G. Other all-time faves: Mickey Ainsworth, the Redesdale Hornpipe, Forresters Hornpipe and the utterly obscure but charming Woodchoppers Breakdown (not the familiar Woodchoppers Reel). But I'm a musician of easy virtue; new tunes are constantly winning my undying affection until I hear the next great one.
  19. Missed this thread while traveling, but wanted to get my two shekels in. I play a lot of oldtime on Anglo c/g in various bands. Some great, concertina-friendly OT tunes that fiddlers seem to love: Magpie Fly Away my Pretty Little Miss (possibly the single easiest tune to play fast on an anglo) Puncheon Floor Over the Waterfall Richmond Cotillion Nail that catfish to the tree Cold Frosty Morning Colored Aristocracy pigtown fling Many more, can't remember names.
  20. Howard: Thanks, that does help. I've been playing music for 35 years, but only recently have I realized what a disadvantage it is not to know music theory. Maybe it's time for a course at the local college. Alan: Yes, Monks March is one of my favorites to play. I have a C/G, and play it in C, since I play solo and don't have to worry about finicky melodeon players. No, our group (Bluemont Morris) doesn't dance it with a pint pot; I guess they're getting too old for such frolics. They like to dance it with a lot of dramatic flare, playing for laughs, and it usually works.
  21. I'm looking to those of you who actually know music theory to educate me. What is it that gives Morris music played on the ANglo that special chordal quality? Is there a music term for those kinds of chords? In a common tune like Monk's March, would you use "standard" chords -- G/D/C -- or something different? I'm trying to identify what it is that makes such tunes sound so different, chordally, from the way they'd sound on a piano. Thanks.
  22. I'd love to participate. I can record our Wednesday sessions, which offer a truly strange blend of music -- Irish, contra dance, jazz, Scandanavian, Scottish, etc. The concertina will be easily identified; I'm the only one there with a squeezebox. So how do we get onboard? What about recording formats?
  23. I get it. Thanks. Not exactly intuitive, but maybe that 's because I'm a bad intuiter. A personal digression: michael, we played the waltz/hambo/etc break at Glen Echo Friday night. Great success. THe concertina was amplified enough to hear it in Baltimore. We had to play a Zweifacher, and lived in dread K2 would pronounce it wrong. All was well.
  24. Around here ( Washington DC area), sessions are widely varied. I go to one every Weds night in a friend's house that can veer off into just about any musical genre. It usually starts with contra dance music (the infamous Portland Collection is a reference), but can detour to bluegrass, old time, Scottish, Irish, pop standards, Django jazz, English country dance, klezmer, you name it. Some of that is pretty bizarre on Anglo concertina, you can be sure. I've been to music stand jams, but they don't seem to be common. There's a local Irish session that I understand is pretty rigid, which is why I haven't gone; I really like the variety and the unpredictability of the jams I attend regularly. Pub sessions are difficult. Very few venues tolerate freelancing musicians of any sort. This is a constant problem for Morris groups; pub stops are hard to arrange, and we've been thrown out of many when someone pulls out a squeezebox and starts honking. As far as I know, there's one pub in downtown Washington that has regular sessions, and one in the Maryland suburbs that does a monthly Scottish and a monthly Irish session. Here in surburban Va, we don't really have many pubs.
  25. Since someone else brought the issue up, maybe I can reveal my abysmal ignorance and plead for instructions on how to make the quote feature work.
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