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Tootler

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About Tootler

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    Chatty concertinist

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    Middlesbrough, UK
  1. Tootler

    Tune Of The Month, October 2015: Redwing

    A self-fulfilling prejudice? If they don't work with those keys, then their fingers won't become used to them. Well, this may have to something do with the sorts of music they play and the keys in which those melodies are usually played, if they don't explore beyond them. Myself, I have no more trouble with flat keys (up to 3 flats) than I do with the sharp ones (up to 4 sharps). I actually play in flat keys quite often as I play in a wind band with Bb and Eb instruments so quite a lot of the music is in F, Bb & Eb and occasionally in more flats. The sharp keys have not gone beyond D so far. I'm getting to know my way round the accidental row. Chordal options are more limited when you play away from the "home keys" but I mostly play my Anglo melody only.
  2. About ten years ago (maybe a little more) I went to my first Folkworks Summer School in Durham (UK). I was in the flute/whistle instrument group and our tutor that year was a Swedish flute player by the name of Emma Johansson. She taught us a few Swedish tunes and this Polska is the one I liked best and can remember best - though I did have the dots for it handy. Played on my Morse CG Anglo, soprano ukulele, soprano recorder and low D whistle. https://youtu.be/KTZU0fFpx3w Emma did produce some harmony lines for us which would have been useful to bring out the different instruments more effectively but though I do have them somewhere I don't actually know where among all the of sheet music I have stored away in various files and boxes. I could have written my own but time is running out on the month and my daughter and granddaughter are coming to visit next month and if I can, I would like to get a recording of Red Wing done.
  3. Very nice. You can increase the volume in Audacity using the Amplify Effect or the Normalise Effect. I usually use Amplify to set the volume to a level useful for me to work on the file (usually between -6.0 and -8.0 dB) then when I'm happy use normalise to bring the final volume to an appropriate level. I find setting the peak level in Normalise to -0.5dB works well to get a decent volume and to avoid clipping which can introduce unpleasant distortion.
  4. Tootler

    Tune Of The Month, October 2015: Redwing

    I actually worked it out directly from the sheet music in Eb first (on a C/G Anglo); I liked singing it in that range. It's not such a forbidding key, especially if you're mainly vamping chords for vocal accompaniment (though I appreciate my 40 buttons, including the C drone, when it comes time to play an Ab or Cm chord). But with the key of D just a half step away, playing it in Eb seemed a pointless exercise. Bob Michel Near Philly My thought was to take it down to D. It's good to have access to the original sheet music, though as you can see what the composer original wrote. These tunes tend to get "folk processed". Nothing wrong with that but it's still good to see the original. I quite often find myself changing harmonies as what works on a piano doesn't always work as well on other instruments.
  5. Tootler

    Tune Of The Month, October 2015: Redwing

    You can download a copy of the original score for free from the Lester Levy sheet music collection http://levysheetmusic.mse.jhu.edu/catalog?utf8=%E2%9C%93&q=Red+Wing The original is in Eb - not the most Anglo friendly of keys - unless you have an Eb/something that is. OK for other systems, I imagine though my friends who play English system tell me flat keys are not their preferred choices.
  6. I've noticed that when I post from my iPad, the formatting icons at the top of the message box are missing. No bold, links, smilies etc. I'm not using the mobile version which I'm not keen on. I assume it's much the same on Android though I've not checked as my Android tablet is a smaller one and I do use the mobile version for readability. I assume othe s have noticed this. Is there anything that can be done about it?
  7. Tootler

    Poll: Tune Of The Month, Oct 2015

    As I just mentioned above, I get that problem on both the videos for that tune. At the moment, I'm in Sweden. The other one played OK for me in the UK. Obviously depends on individual countries. When it comes to how things behave on the internet, I've concluded that nothing is "obvious". Very true (Note to self. Think before you post)
  8. I wanted to try and get something in for this month. Beyond traditional but definitely English. Two tunes by Northumbrian Piper, Archie Dagg; Swindon and Elsey's Waltz Swindon was written as a slow air but also makes and excellent waltz so the two go together well as a waltz set. However I've played Swindon as a slow air then took the tempo up a bit for Elsey's Waltz. Melody only as I was working on something else for another forum at the same time
  9. Tootler

    Poll: Tune Of The Month, Oct 2015

    As I just mentioned above, I get that problem on both the videos for that tune. At the moment, I'm in Sweden. The other one played OK for me in the UK. Obviously depends on individual countries.
  10. Tootler

    Poll: Tune Of The Month, Oct 2015

    I get "This video is not available" for the Bare Necessities version of The Maid Peeped Out Of The Window. Regional issues again?
  11. I just played through the Nymrod Hornpipe (it's been a while) and, as I suspected, I don't use any of my extra buttons.The whole trick to getting comfortable in Bb (as I eventually figured out) is a position switch on the left side. If you think of the default finger assignment for the C row (on the push) as ring/C, middle/E, index/G, substitute ring/E, middle/G, freeing the index finger to play the essential pull-Bb on the accidental row. This looks like it would make for a lot of pinkie work to cover the low notes of the scale (Bb, C, D). But given the actual range of these tunes, that's rarely a problem. And you can always shift back to the normal finger assignment briefly, as needed, for a particular run. I also notice that in this key I rely pretty heavily on the pull-c on the left-hand G row, as opposed to the C row push-c on the right. It helps with phrasing. Bob Michel Near Philly I find the push A/pull G on the accidental row very useful for playing in both F and Bb. My Anglo has the Jeffries layout on the accidental row which gives a push Eb/Pull C# and a push C#/pull Eb on the right hand side which very useful for for playing in Bb. Edit to add: I have a habit of forgetting that I can use the G row to avoid some awkward fingerings. I normally play in Bb (& F) mostly on the C row plus the accidental row as needed. I'm not much of a chord player, not that that's much needed in a band when you are playing in parts.
  12. Tootler

    Chopping?

    "Chopping" is something I try to avoid but sometimes it's all but impossible to avoid, especially if you are playing in keys other than the home keys of an Anglo as you need to go to the accidental row to get the necessary notes. In such cases, I try to slide my finger from one button to the other rather than pick it up and move it to avoid a staccato effect. Most of the time it seems to work OK.
  13. Check the village music project: http://www.village-music-project.org.uk They've been putting music from manuscripts from various parts of England on line. Also, If you want books, EFDSS have a book of English Tunes: Hardcore English which is an excellent collection. The Farne project have collections of tunes from North East England on line: http://www.folknortheast.com
  14. Tootler

    Tune Of The Month, August 2015: The Wren

    I like the left hand accompaniment, and it doesn't seem to me that it gets in the way of the melody at all. What I can't tell from the recording, though, is what kind of balance you're getting. It sounds as if the microphone is placed very close to the right side, so that the left-hand chords sound quite subdued (maybe even a tad too subdued) in comparison. Since your own ears are more or less equidistant from the two sides, your impression of the relative volumes may be more accurate. On the other hand, concertinas, because of their construction, are unusually tricky this way. I've played in more than one session where I could barely hear myself, only to be told later that mine was the loudest instrument in the room. When you're playing in the harmonic style a listener on your right (like us, in this instance) may hear the melody loud and clear, while one on your left is hearing only loud chords. If you're playing without amplification for a live audience, every one of your listeners is getting a slightly different mix. When you record yourself, your microphone placement (assuming you're using just one) can be used to optimize the balance. But if you think of recording as an approximation of live performance rather than an end in itself, that strategically placed mic may give a very misleading impression of what most listeners would hear. I wouldn't change your approach to accompaniment; it's quite lovely. But if it seems to *you* that the chords are obtrusive, you can try playing them with a lighter, more staccato touch. And if you want your recording to give a more faithful impression of what a live listener would hear (assuming s/he isn't next to you on a bench), try facing the mic from a slightly greater distance. Bob Michel Near Philly I use a Tascam multi track recorder for recording. It has twin built in condenser mics and I sit with the recorder in the middle of the concertina and record the left and right mics onto separate tracks. If I'm multitracking, other instruments are added on other channels and when I mix the resulting recordings I pan the two concertina channels slightly apart from each other so you hear the sound from the two ends coming from different places in the stereo space. The built in mics are omni directional and will each pick up both ends of the concertina but the overall effect still works well as each mic will "hear" more of the nearer side. The main thing is not to pan the two tracks too far apart from each other to get the right effect. In the case of The Wren, I used the smaller of my two Tascam recorders which has two mono and two stereo channels. I recorded the concertina on the two mono channels and then "bounced" them on to one of the stereo channels panning them about 20% to left and right. I then reused one of the mono channels to record the ukulele and when I finally mixed the two instruments, I panned the ukulele about 30% left and the concertina 30% right of centre but the concertina itself still had that bit of width. Concertinas in sessions are difficult because it's hard to hear yourself. I've noticed a lot of concertina players in sessions hold the instrument with their arms vertical so it's near the face so they can hear themselves. I mostly take harmonicas to sessions as I can hear what I am doing and also I find I am better able to pick up tunes I don't know and join in - as long as they play enough times through. The issue you mention of what you hear from others in a session is true of all squeeze boxes. You tend to hear the end nearer you.
  15. Tootler

    Tune Of The Month, August 2015: The Wren

    As said above, getting to the end of the month but here is my effort. The Wren Morse CG Anglo and Tenor Ukulele. The Pictures on the video are of Whitby as I was visiting the folk festival there earlier this week. I had been videoing me playing the anglo but when I finally got a good take, I found I had forgotten to start the video camera.
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