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Alan Day

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Everything posted by Alan Day

  1. Ha Ha Maccannic I will leave it where it is, a few holes might give it some character. How I saw it was that if someone was playing a jig and all the notes were joined up then I politely tell the player that it was worth while practicing a different approach, the playing was fine, but I thought it could add another dimension if it was broken up in some way. This was based on the fact that it was creeping into my own playing the more I went across rows. I have heard some wonderful Duet and Piano Accordion playing and as you know exactly what I am talking about then I am certain you would have taken the time to play the music ,which not only is pleasing to you, but also to the dancers. Al
  2. When I did a general concertina workshop I mention this subject to an English style concertina player and I was told to stick with the Anglo ,but as I am a glutton for punishment I will discuss this subject here. When playing the Anglo it is fairly easy to define each individual note and unless you are playing across the rows, or using the accidentals the slurring of one note into the next rarely happens unless you mean to do it. Once however you do start playing across the rows or using the accidentals note slurring becomes part of your playing. When playing the English, or Duet note slurring becomes common practice. I hate the sound of a piano accordion for that very reason and the old fashioned pub singing sliding from one word to the next. I know that separating one note from the next on an English and Duet is difficult, but I considered it worth mentioning to practice as for Country Dance and Morris music it improves the attack of the music to the dance. I am interested to hear your comments on this subject and my hat is in the ring ready to be shot at. Al
  3. We had problems learning Traditional French tunes, as when we started none were written down . Many traditional tunes are learnt by ear and sometimes mis heard and introduced in a nearby village with a variation. Some tunes I heard had a different A part, or B part . Some tunes even had the wrong A with B, or visa versa. It does make you wonder that some of the old traditional tunes we play are not exactly what the composer composed. At least we are enjoying ourselves, whilst the composer maybe spinning in his grave. Al
  4. I am sure many of you have experienced the unusual during a performance ,here is what happened to me one night which many of you may think is untrue but it is not. We formed a new band many years ago and decided to launch it at a small folk club. Offered our services free and the organiser booked us as the main guest. To say we were nervous was an understatement ,but as it was a small club we did not expect many to be there. On arrival at the venue we were amazed to see a BBC Outside Broadcast lorry and they were there to record us. It was that night I experienced an out of body experience and I suddenly seemed to stand in front of myself watching me play. At that point I panicked and completely lost what I was playing. In seconds I returned back to my body. All the evening for some reason one of us played the wrong note except for one particular number where we all played brilliantly. I thought thank goodness at least they will be able to use this one, only to see the central mike slowly fall and hit the floor with a crash. Al
  5. I think that learning by ear makes writing tunes easier. The longer you learn to do it the more tunes you remember.( Very handy at sessions). Getting back to the tune writing, it does enable you to recognise that a tune you are writing sounds similar, or just like one you already play. It can then be bent in another direction so it is similar to but not the same as . Lots of tunes follow certain patterns and against that is the accompaniment that goes with it ,So accompaniment also becomes easier as well.
  6. Over eleven thousand viewings on the Duet recordings page .Many thanks for your support, recordings and comments. I am really sorry Duet International did not happen but with your help this Duet collection has more than made up for the initial disappointment. Al
  7. This is the right site for info about your Father's concertina. Any pictures would be useful . Any recordings of it being played would be nice to hear. Good luck Karen Al
  8. Nor did I when I wrote it. I should know my eight times table by now Leonard. Those boots are made for walking and timing. Al
  9. Modified Geoff many thanks .
  10. Yes David it is getting a feel for the music. Walking is good because every eight steps you should have hummed a quarter of the tune (unless you have short legs ).😊 Al.
  11. I used to visit somebody who loved to play music for me, unfortunately most of what he played I had difficulty in understanding what tune it was because his timing was so bad. Timing can be practiced without playing the concertina. A Morris tune for example is almost always 32 bars long .It usually consist of an A part played twice and a B Part played twice . So therefore singing the tune and counting each bar is easy to practice anywhere. Each bar will not necessarily consist of eight notes and counting out the bars will help you sort your timing and playing out. Dance music of any kind is normally fairly strict tempo and as a musician you are responsible for the speed they dance at. Watch John Watcham concentrating on the dancers as he plays ,he is not just playing the tune, but lifting the dancers up in the air and dictating the speed at which the dance is being performed, within the limitations of the dancers. I hope experienced players join me with this discussion . Al
  12. Wonderful playing timing and dancing.
  13. That sounds like it is in old concert pitch. It could be a CG. Al
  14. Here is an all time favourite a French Bouree
  15. Here are a couple of tunes that have drive and are great for sessions. I will put up another tomorrow
  16. Interesting attempt Gregor ,almost a re write. Parts of it are correct and then you go off into your own tune . Good attempt at a tune that took ages for me to learn and that the family totally disliked after hearing me play it over and over again. Thanks for giving it a try and you are not that far off getting there. AlπŸ™‚.
  17. Yes there are other screws under the thumb straps. Al
  18. Good advice regarding practice of little and often. You will make better progress with 15- 20 minute sessions on regular daily intervals than hours spent hunched over your concertina. Not only muscular but mentally . Al
  19. All by ear Gregor. Very glad however that you like it. Lots of fun to play Al
  20. I get free (I hope) on Friday so still Wig Wogging Leonard. Wiggling Friday night.
  21. I saw a few players in the early days that were natural players ,being able to split their brains in half and play lovely tunes with the right hand with lovely base runs rolling chords on the left . To be able to hear and appreciate Anglo Duet and English concertinas played to perfection was something to practice towards and emulate. With practice you get better but many would say that you are always reaching for perfection all your playing career.
  22. When I started to learn the concertina I enjoyed watching certain players using their left hand ,with the appearance of walking, or a crab walking across the buttons .It was mainly where they played the base note of a chord, or base run followed by the chord note by note. John Watcham was a master at it and was just lovely to listen to and watch. Timing of course is a major factor. So instead of a full chord it was almost dissected. Most awkward to describe and even more awkward to perform. Al
  23. The idea of changing a drone button is to provide another option when playing chords /base runs etc for the music style I play. Your post Ruairi is interesting because you like to emulate a drone instrument and for your style concentrating on drone playing changing the drone is not a good idea. I rarely play with a drone , but the option is there if I want it . As Clive mentions it can be difficult without a lot of practice to achieve a smooth flow. Al
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