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Everything posted by RatFace

  1. English concertina and guitar share two things (amongst others, and differ in plenty of ways too!): 1. A lot of mid-19th century guitar music fits on the English concertina pretty well (Fernando Sor etc). Maybe that's because Regondi dominates the idea of what mid-19th century English concertina music is... but at the same time his style of English concertina music does push it to its limits, whilst still suiting it. 2. There isn't a clear division of the hands/fingers into low/high on either instrument. For example, if you played a scale in octaves, then the fingers would jump around - your first finger might be playing the high octave at one moment, and the low octave the next. The only way to get your head around this is to separate out the concept of the notes from the fingers (hard to explain this). On both instruments it's quite an odd feeling at first, but also rather satisfying when you start to master it!
  2. This looks fun! Unfortunately for me, my concertina is away getting serviced at the moment, but I shall look forward to giving these a try when it's back. Regarding the versions/fingering: I'd be inclined to make the edition reflect the version you would want to play, or hear played. A couple of notes per piece indicating significant changes might be nice, but not essential. Having said that, I know it can be tricky - quite often in these pieces there are little phrases which appear multiple times, but are slightly different. Really hard to know if those differences are due to error, or a genuine attempt to change "tone", or merely an attempt to introduce variations. Some fingerings can be helpful. In practice, most likely the editions of this music will be primarily "sight read", and the occasional fingering can help. In addition, it can indicate some phrasing - e.g. in the Theme Varie piece I arranged recently, the last section can be played in two ways: with full length "top notes", or shortened. I decided to go for the latter (mainly because I couldn't play it up to speed with full length notes, but don't tell anyone!), which determined the fingering. I decided then to include the fingering that supported this, because it would dissuade most people from attempting to attempt the "hard version". If someone wanted/was able to play it a different way, they'd find their own fingering and make their own marks anyway.
  3. I bought a Blue Yeti a while back - wanting the convenience of a USB microphone plus the stereo etc options. I sent it back a few days later for a refund (which I got) - the audio quality was really bad, considering the price etc, giving nothing like a flat frequency response. I replaced it with a Rode NT-USB Mini Microphone which is excellent - a decent condenser mic with a USB interface, and nothing more. I think the problem with the Blue Yeti is that (a) it's over-hyped and (b) 95% of its users are doing spoken voice. I guess that it has internal processing which makes spoken voices sound great, but is inappropriate for instrumental recording where you want the response to be as even as possible. I advise keeping away from it...
  4. Get hold of some easy/intermediate guitar music (e.g. some/one of the volumes from "The Classic Guitar Collection"). Over time you will figure out how to recognise which arrangements work well and which won't, how to adapt it at sight (especially handling the missing F and E notes on a standard treble), including reducing the tendency for the lower notes to drown out the top. Quite a lot of the simpler renaissance (originally lute), baroque and classical (e.g. Sor). can be made to work. There's some harmonic violin music that works too - e.g. the Bach sonatas/partitas, Telemann 12 fantasias, Campagnoli divertimenti etc
  5. Sounds great - as has been said above - very good balance of sounds
  6. Here's In Dreams (following your request on Facebook). I didn't know it, or anything about it (probably don't watch enough films, and certainly don't remember them!), so the speed I picked ended up a little faster than the original. Also... I played it as written (except for the addition of a low A which seems essential in bar 31), even though some of the arrangement is a little odd (and, now I listen, different to the soundtrack!). InDreams.mp3
  7. The link is to Cormac Begley playing concertina. It's not good etiquette to just post links with no description since (a) sensible people won't follow them because they are typically clickbait, and sometimes ending up in horrible stuff and (b) it's not a good idea to get people used to clicking on links with no indication of where they're going.
  8. I recently accompanied the telling of the story of a variation on Sanji and the Baker. The setting and characters made it impossible not to base the music on Ketelbey's In a Persian Market, which describes the scene of a Persian Market (no surprise there!) through the day - with the caravan of camels arriving in the morning, the hustle and bustle of the beggars in the market, the beautiful princess passing through, the jugglers and snake charmer, and the Caliph making his entrance. And then the evening comes and everyone leaves and stillness returns. You can find orchestral versions on YouTube etc. I remember playing it years ago with the Butleigh Court Concertina Band. After doing that it seemed to make sense to arrange the actual original, complete, piece for tenor-treble English, so here it is: https://musescore.com/user/33705254/scores/5887541 I also made a rough recording of it (just to prove it's playable!) - though need to practice and recover my microphones before making a decent one! https://drive.google.com/open?id=1Pc0aX2GhxvLxcVT6BAX2jQT8EfD6zX5q
  9. That won't be a significant problem. When you stream audio (and video) your computer will be downloading and buffering ahead of what you're actually watching/playing - so if you're playing an audio clip (e.g. via youtube), at any time your computer will have already downloaded the next X seconds (not sure how many, but it will be a significant number), enough to passing on any variability to your ears. Of course if you have a _terrible_ internet connection then it may stutter, but that's not really common these days, assuming you have an at least reasonable internet connection. Dropouts down to less than 1ms will be audio (e.g. as clicks), and timing glitches <1ms every few seconds would be irrelevant. If you don't hear dropouts or clicks, but can't play along to the online drum beat, there's either something wrong with the original recording, or your own inner metronome! If using youtube to play drum tracks, this Chrome extension might be useful (other loopers are available!)
  10. Of course - so long as they like concertina!
  11. Facebook kindly informed my that it was a friend's birthday, and before I knew it, this (mp3 attached, or here) had happened. I'm still not quite sure how. Here are the dots, in case you want a go. I had to fudge the lack of a top d. HappyBirthday.mp3
  12. Congratulations - it's funny actually, because I supervised the two guys who implemented the physically based animation for characters in that game - technology we (at NaturalMotion) called "Euphoria". I guess that means if it's possible to shoot the character whilst he's playing the concertina, I'd have to take some responsibility for that. English vs Anglo
  13. There's a handful of "clarionet" concertinas around. These have "fishtail" reeds (i.e. narrower at the base than the tip), each of which sits above a tuned chamber which then resonates. I don't know which of the two features is most significant, but together the sound is pretty nice - much more "woody" and interesting, if I remember correctly. It's been about 20 years since I played one... The downside is that they're pretty big and single action...
  14. Here it is pitch shifted (electronically) down into Gm - sounds great there (though it shows up the mistakes more!): https://www.dropbox.com/s/xg6v3h67p5k14tj/ShostakovichWaltz2InG.mp3?dl=0
  15. OK... I sneaked in one quick recording session whilst my family popped out for a few minutes (leaving me lots of jobs to do - guess whether any of them are done yet!). This is the first (and currently only) time I actually managed to play bars 21-24 - I was so surprised I decided to do the repeat and got lucky again! Apart from the bum notes, I would have liked to have got the transition from bar 4 to 5 smoother. ShostakovichWaltz2.mp3
  16. It's rather nice. I've made some small modifications, mostly to the middle part. I'd say that bars 21-26 definitely county as extremely awkward, but they're playable. The changes preserve the movement in 6ths in the upper part, which I think is important (actually in the notation I would clarify that by making the d stem go up in bar 23, and the e stem go up in bar 26). The last two chords are a bit odd in your arrangement as they're both missing the fifth - is this intentional?! My inclination would be to add it. The big thing though is that the bass minims need to be played as (long) crotchets. The sound is better, and it's the only way that the fingering is really practical. In order to keep the "long-short-long" phrasing in the bass, you can try to avoid jumping with the same finger from the first to second beats... but in some cases you just have to (e.g. bar ll left-3 needs to play the E long, and then the Bb) I'll try to make a recording - but still need to get those bars 21-26 secure! For anyone else who tries, the G# is easier played as an Ab. And if you could transpose it down a fifth to give a version for us tenor-treblers, that would be great!!
  17. Excellent - Bach always sounds like Bach whatever the instrumentation! Hope you'll post the rest here when it's done, and are enjoying the process.
  18. I just treated myself to a new portable recording device - the Zoom H4n Pro. I thought I'd try the multi-track recording capability (which is pretty easy to use so long as you don't try to read the crazy instructions) and turned an almost random book open at an almost random page, to find quite a nice little duet by G. F. Handel, arranged for two guitars by Fredick Noad. One of the problems with guitar music is that it's written an octave above actual pitch, so on the concertina tends to be rather squeaky. However, the concertina sounds rather nice (like a clarinet) when pitch shifted down: https://soundcloud.com/mrrowl/menuet-by-g-f-handel-concertina-duet Here's the original for comparison: https://soundcloud.com/mrrowl/menuetorigmenuet-by-g-f-handel-concertina-duet And if you want to play along: https://goo.gl/photos/MMMQj9cCX6mTwKgi6
  19. I didn't really understand the original post, but it mentions YouTube and not being able to keep up. Click the gear/cog symbol at the bottom right of videos on YouTube and change the speed to 0.5 (0.25 cuts the audio) for a quick/easy slow-down. In general, don't worry about playing fast - concern yourself with playing well, at whatever speed you can play well at. As you play more, you'll find yourself able to play well and play at the speed you like (whether that's fast or slow). It's not a process you can rush.
  20. The aim should be to get to the point where you don't need to hear yourself - the physical action of pressing the buttons, or even just the thought of pressing the buttons should evoke the sound of your concertina in your head. If you know exactly what it will sound like before you press the button, you don't actually need to hear the physical sound. If you don't know what sound it's going to make before pressing the button and squeezing... well that's a problem isn't it?! Yes... this is a slightly idealistic position to take... but it is something to aim for. I can't help but "hear" the exact sound of my concertina in my head when I imagine playing it - even when imagining playing something I've never played before. If you can develop this association it works the other way too - being able to hear a melody, whether audibly or in your head (e.g. improvising), and immediately being able to play it.
  21. I think if you listen to T&M expecting to agree with everything you hear, you're making a far bigger error of judgement than Milligan!
  22. The last time I met Henk was up on Arran for the concertina gathering in 2012. We stayed on for a bit afterwards, and so did Henk and his friends, so we met up once or twice to play music: https://goo.gl/photos/xmHgj5p71NMKZPxB6 Sad to not be able to do that again, but happy to have the good memories.
  23. Thanks for the prompt to dust off my concertina again! https://soundcloud.com/mrrowl/the-new-anything
  24. It's unclear whether you mean they want you to play in a different room to the one in which you normally play, or in a different room to the one in which they're trying to occupy. Actually - your family might be offering the most sensible solution - why don't you just practise in another room?! Or place - e.g. garden shed, or even the car. I used to use the apartment's storage basement when I was living in Germany - no neighbours on any side, and empty offices on the ground floor out of work hours. The external baffles I made (see Myrtle's cook post) primarily change the tone than reduce the volume (reducing higher frequencies), but might be worth trying. Unfortunately, I think that making them thick enough to have a substantial effect will involve so much weight that it would affect the playability a lot. Another option is to play silently when other people are around. So long as you're above a certain level, you can get your fingers working and learning techniques and tunes without moving the bellows enough to make any sound at all. I used to do this when living in student accommodation, for example. You can also continue this practise technique when in the same room as other people, and even when they're talking to you, especially is the conversation is of the type where only an occasional nod is required Obviously such practice should be backed up with some proper bellows work too!
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