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Everything posted by bellowbelle

  1. I first played by ear, then gradually learned to read music to the point that I can sightread enough. Two different processes for sure. So, when trying to learn a tune I use both ways together. I fumble along through the dots on a page, usually taped to my cupboard right in front of my chair. And, along with that, I create or download a primitive file like an easy midi (.mid) to listen to every now and then throughout the day. I keep the midi on my phone's homescreen, and delete it once I've got the tune in my head. BUT -- that said -- one other really helpful thing (in my opinion) is to determine the chord progression of the song you want to get into your memory. If that's an option....because I know not everyone wants to bother with chords. Create a simple lead sheet and indicate where the chord changes are, above the measures. Don't need to write out all the notes...just need to know where the chord changes are. (A song like Hark The Herald Angels has a chord progression, though it's true that some traditional tunes don't really have "chords." ) When I was learning to play the accordion as a child (never got very pro), my teacher did not really read music and we used simple lead sheets all the time. Just the measures with a time signature, the slashes indicating beats in the measures, and the chord symbols above the measures. The tune was mainly just in my head. It was helpful to see that melodies usually had simple chord structures and repetitions.
  2. So my sad words, set to "Sad Is My Fate," are: Oh-- cold is the night and lonely And- cold- is the war Every road that I follow only Ends where I was lost before Where are you, where do you wander without me, my love, my- own? We will never walk together a--gain I am so weary, I can't go on all a-lone any longer Cold is the night and- Sad, so very sad, is my fate. (...really, I'm not this sad, for the record. Just a way to learn a tune!) And here's my verse for "The Fairies' Hornpipe" -- If I don't drink some coffee in the morning I am such a mess What's in front of me and moving, well now, I can only guess I will poke you in the eye I will surely make you cry If my morning cup of coffee Is a cup that's dry
  3. That sums up part of my day today, and how I felt about it! I did go back to bed. Though, we've been in a drought so I won't complain too much about the rain.
  4. Just the other night, two bullfrogs (or something) singing, would have joined in with my concertina but then they probably would have quit. I have a large wind chime near a door, and I'll never forget the time (years ago, now) when, as I stood quietly and unlocked the door to go in, it very mysteriously and perfectly played the first phrase of "Jingle Bells." That was fun but kind of creepy....ha ha
  5. So anyway, the tune "Sad Is My Fate" is one I found on thesession dot org. It's also known as Is Bronac Mo Cineamuin. I tried to add an image but that didn't work... later
  6. I wonder how many are the same as what I'd know from my own church history. Many of the tunes in the Baptist hymnals had Scottish or Irish origins. (And after singing them every week for years, I couldn't forget them if I tried!) I recently got a Robert Burns songbook and another Scottish one. And some Jean Redpath CDs with her singing some, so I can play along. This all has led me to study Scottish Gaelic with Duolingo (though, Burns did not use Gaelic, but Scots-English I guess it'd be called).
  7. I'll have to try these words. That's one of the tunes I've got in my notebook but I haven't played it much yet.
  8. Ah yes, I have used the "West Side Story" tritone for reference many times! Took a solfege class way back in my (very short spell of) college.
  9. Now that I think about it some more... I do first try to just learn the tune, no words. I take note of the intervals, the chords, anything that helps. And if that's all I need to do, then I don't write words. But if the tune just won't stay in my mind for some reason, then I write a verse, and that works. Some of the ones that are easily committed to memory are not super simple, either, but something about them just works. Then, there are the simple tunes that still need help, from some words.
  10. Hmm, yes, maybe I'll add that, too. Actual words can help set a mood, though, in addition to learning the tune. I wanted a sad song recently, for company....so I searched "sad" and got Sad Is My Fate, which turns out to be a beautiful tune. I made up some sad lines, which I can't call great - they are almost more silly than sad, but they work! I soon felt better, in addition to adding a tune to my collection. That tune may have some original words, but I didn't look for them so far.
  11. Just wondering how many other concertina players do this. I invent my own (good or not) quick lyrics to some tunes I'm trying to learn, solely for the purpose of memorizing the tune. Takes a little work sometimes but it does help the tune stick.
  12. I'll give it a try! Update --- If i miss the deadline, that just means I didn't do it, and count me out. Very busy these days taking care of parents, etc.
  13. Here's my 'footage' -- baritone Morse Geordie and foot bass Wendy Stanford YouTube- March Of The Concertinas
  14. Music in family... Kind of "yes and no." I never met my father's relatives who were performers, but some 2nd cousins or something were singers and did shows at Ceaser's Palace with Sammy Davis Junior. Some other (departed) distant relative was a piano player for Frank Sinatra. So that info kind of impressed me and made me feel hopeful that I had a teeny bit of talent. But I did know my mother's aunt, my great aunt Tati (Finnish), and she played the organ for a Lutheran church. When I found out she could play Cat Stevens ('Morning Has Broken' is a hymn, it turns out!), she was big-time COOL! My parents were not extremely musical but they made music a big deal via the (Baptist, not Lutheran, for me) church. I learned a lot through church, simply by being surrounded by music.
  15. Whoops, sorry -- this whole time, I didn't realize that there exists an Albion baritone! I was thinking there was only the treble. Anyway, glad you made a choice you are happy with, Jim.
  16. There's no air button on the Morse Albion Treble concertina. The Geordie baritone DOES have one. That doesn't make a difference to everyone, and the Albion is of course a little lighter in weight which can be nice. So, with the Albion, to close the bellows again if you end a tune with them open, you'd have to play a sound/make noise. I really like them both, though I favor the Geordie since I seem to have a little damage to my Albion -- needs a repair. But -- in addition to these two Morse concertinas -- I also like to play a Bastari because I like those hollow buttons! The hollow buttons are easier on sore fingers -- the impact from the solid buttons on the others is greater. Most people wouldn't care but I have problems. Still, though, I see why the solid buttons are better in other ways.
  17. But while learning the tunes, that's exactly what helps me -- I'm better off playing a set in an unchanging order. Then after fumbling along for a while (a week? a month?) I find one day I "suddenly" have the whole lot in my memory. And then as long as I can call one to mind, the rest will follow. (Edit added) I mean I guess if you LIKE an iPad or electronic page turner or something, then i sound crazy. I admit, I usually am irritated by them for one reason or another.
  18. But my ageing eyes... I get why people like various electronics, and I wouldn't whip out a long paper scroll at a session, ha ha... (don't go out much, either!). But in my kitchen, given the distance where I sit to play my EC, nothing stands out as crisply and clearly as the large black print on white paper. And I don't want to stop playing to click any buttons (except on the concertina).
  19. Hi, haven't been here in a while but just sharing my discovery of the scroll...anyone else do this? Can lengthen/shorten the page with the clips.
  20. This is hilarious. What's this from? Was he trying to contact space aliens or something?
  21. Self-semi-quarantined, but enjoying the Viral Tune Swap.
  22. Hello, me again after a long time of not visiting. Like everyone else for the most part i am forced to deal with a shut-down world.... will watch DVDs of The Twilight Zone and all that, but some concertina playing is good, too. I'd started posting some audio on my website again recently. So I sent my 'join group' request at Jim's Facebook site. Good idea.
  23. Good idea (bottle tube). What I have is the A18 - 18 buttons, so not exactly "mini" compared to true minis. The inset in the pic below shows the Stagi compared to a regular sized EC, the Morse Albion.
  24. Richard, nice work! I think it's a great "art form" making these bags/ containers because it's something you need but you can also do whatever you want. Dave, the bellows just rest slightly open, as I've let them do, but it seems to work alright at least for this mini Stagi. I guess I wouldn't do that with my regular sized concertinas, a Morse Geordie baritone and Morse Albion treble, and a Bastari.
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