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Posts posted by Boney

  1. These are tunes I recorded in 2009 and 2010, when I was playing a lot of solo duet concertina. My instrument is a Wakker 46-key Hayden duet made with padauk wood and concertina reeds. You can see a photo of my actual instrument on the Wakker website W-H1Hayden duet page. It's a beautiful, responsive, nice sounding, easy playing instrument (although I've had some problems with the valves now and again).

    These recordings are not single takes, some have a few small edits, and some are pieced together from several takes, but I didn't overdub or add any concertina parts.


    At A Georgia Camp Meeting
    One of the first tunes I tried learning on my Wakker duet. I had arranged Kerry Mills' tune "Whistling Rufus" on Anglo, and I wanted another fun cakewalk tune I could play on duet. I adapted it from a scan of the 1899 piano sheet music, and added a few ideas of my own based on old recordings.


    Under the Double Eagle
    This is a tune sometimes played by bluegrass-style guitarists. I learned it from a scan of the 1902 sheet music, and played it with my friend Jordan Francisco on guitar and overdubbed mandolin solo. Jordan helped me arrange it with a few bluegrassy transitions.


    Partita No. 1 for Solo Violin - Tempo di Borea
    This is a movement from a piece by J.S. Bach. I wanted to learn something with a bit of an English concertina feel, and I like this melody. I had to change the key from Bm to Am to fit in a high note, but it's otherwise note-for-note from the sheet music. I recorded this in a big empty room (no effects added).


    Tobasco - Rag Time Waltz
    Another tune I learned from old sheet music, this one published in 1909. Very tricky, I kept changing how I played the last part, and it still has some awkward fingerings.

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  2. Another thought might be to try to read the score as a sequence of intervals so that fingering is always relative to the previous note.


    I think that's mostly what I do if I'm sight reading, think of it as intervals. But you know the root of the key you're playing in (if it's a major key) fits under the index finger, and other relationships like that just start to become second nature as you play more and more.


    Incidentally Don, your keyboard layout at the top of this thread has a mistake in that the Eb's should be noted as D#'s... the Eb's should occur on the left of the patern . So the fact that to play in Eb on the 46button instrument requires spanning the width of the keyboard is a problem that annoyed me. If the G#'s and D#'s would be repeated on the other end of the patern by Eb's and Ab's things would be more comfortable BUT the keyboard width might require a larger instrument.


    That layout comes from a much larger Wicki button field graphic that wasn't designed to describe a concertina specifically. The 46-key instrument was just highlighted as part of that field, and cut out. So those enharmonic note names change from flats to sharps fairly arbitrarily.

  3. Hello! Thanks for the complimentary mentions on this thread. I indeed haven't been checking into concertina.net regularly for the last few years. I've been making music with my band Skitnik - www.SkitnikMusic.com - which includes a fair bit of concertina work.


    The type of concertina you play does make a difference, but 90% of what's needed to get a good sound out of any instrument is determination, knowing how you want to sound, and pushing your boundaries over and over again.


    I do like the Wicki layout. It's trickier than an accordion for playing a melody with simple backup, but easier for that task than an Anglo. Where a duet shines the best, I think, is freely-harmonized two (or more) voiced pieces, with independent counter-melodies and the like. For most things, an acccordion is easier, and you can even get some nice independent bass runs with the bass buttons.. But the concertina does have that special sound to it that an accordion doesn't really replicate.


    The 46-button instrument I play is limited, but I like the size and portability. It's fun to try to arrange for the limitations of the instrument. But it's demanding to play complex pieces...I haven't practiced my solo stuff much, and I can't play most of it any more! I didn't read this whole thread, but if there are any specific questions still begging for answers, maybe I can help.


    I should start a separate thread, but I'm planning to go to Ireland for the first time next year! I'd like to make it to the Kilfenora traditional music festival at the end of April, and compete in the All-Ireland bones competition at the beginning of May in Abbeyfeale. I'd love to hear a few tips on where to stay, what to do, any concertina-related spots, maybe. I'm thinking of flying into Dublin and staying a few days, then drive to Galway, Kilfenora, and Doolin before going to Abbeyfeale. And maybe squeeze in a round of golf or two, if there's a way to do that without it costing hundreds of dollars. Any suggestions?

  4. Hornpipes often end each section with three quarter notes, especially the tonic repeated three times, or a 1-3-1 pattern. They also tend to have a bouncy, jaunty melody that becomes familiar after you hear a lot of them. For example, larger intervals between melody notes, especially single notes that are a good interval away from the surrounding melody line.

  5. From the article you mention:

    it is like an Anglo in E flat and B flat, but with the push/pull reversed on both the right-hand end of the E-flat row and the left-hand end of the B-flat row. (In addition, there is a D on the pull on the right-hand row.)


    So you can pretty much get there by swapping reeds around. I don't know if you can find an Eb/Bb 20-button concertina, but the same playing style should work in any key. On a 20-button concertina, swap the inside and outside reeds on the left hand row nearest the handle, and the inside and outside reeds on the right side row furthest from the handle. Some concertinas have differences on the far-left button on the left side, or the far-right button on the right side. You could get a few spare reeds to make the job 100% correct (although I wouldn't be surprised if those buttons varied in the "squash box" layout as well).


    Here's Harry Scurfield's "squash box" layout represented as notes of the scale:

    PUSH  1  5  1  3  5  |  7  2  4  6  6  
    PULL  5  7  2  4  6  |  1  3  5  7  3
    PUSH  5  7  2  4  6  |  1  3  5  1  3
    PULL  1  5  1  3  5  |  7  2  4  6  7


    And a standard 20-button concertina:

    PUSH  1  5  1  3  5  |  1  3  5  1  3
    PULL  5  7  2  4  6  |  7  2  4  6  7
    PUSH  3  5  1  3  5  |  1  3  5  1  3
    PULL  2  7  2  4  6  |  7  2  4  6  7

  6. I think the various answers in this thread support my view that it's not a "one size fits all" situation. It depends on the individual you're dealing with.


    Still, I don't think it's drawing back from what I've already said to suggest that a friendly "Is that negotiable?" shouldn't offend any serious seller (or buyer), as long as you're willing to gracefully accept "no" as a possible answer.


    I'm glad we've all proved you right, Jim, and I'd just like to thank you for explaining it too. I might not have understood otherwise.


    I wish I was as well off as Dirge, but it hasn't quite been explained well enough for me. I'm wondering if you (Jim and Dirge, especially, but everyone) feel there's a difference between those who sell new and used items? I think that distinction may even cross most cultural boundaries.

  7. Yes, for all the reasons above and more, I'm also quite sure they're digital renderings. I didn't initially think of that (after all, it's a stock "photo" site, and I was mostly puzzling about the button layout). But once I looked with that in mind, it's pretty obvious.

  8. it is plainly not a setup for genres where you are using your duet for light vamping on the left, and rapid, fluid melody playing on the right.

    I got lost and could use a roadmap here...do you mean the Hayden/Wicki layout in general, or the layout with the Hayden slant, or without it?


    I feel with either the slant or without, it's fine for that style, but I don't play any other duet layout, so I can't compare.


    Recently I swapped back and forth playing tunes on both slanted and non-slanted Hayden/Wicki concertinas from Wakker. Even though I'm used to the slant, getting used to the non-slanted version was pretty quick. There were several advantages of the non-slanted layout, I felt, and only one tune where I felt the straight rows were awkward for something straightforward on the slanted layout. But I probably would have arranged that passage differently if my own instrument had the straight rows.


    Overall, after a good hour's messing about (and having played the Hayden layout for almost six years), I prefer the straight rows. But, it's not a huge difference, really.

  9. Gorgeous portrait. All color coordinated.


    However,I should like to know if Jeff normally plays his duet while sitting up a tree? Is this an obligatory form of practice?

    I think he's trying to branch out!

    Sometimes, we all have a desire to be leafed alone.

    I've just twigged, you're all barking.

    The root of the issue is that I need to get trunk more often.

    You poor sap.

    This thread is starting to lumber along nicely. I might be going out on a limb here, but, tree bien; unbeleafable.

    Wood you please stop!

    Oh lord ... what did I start? I hope someone's logging all of these comments?

    You will need to try harder than that to stem the flow.

    Wow, this thread is getting old...count the rings! To answer the question, I find when I learn a tune in a tree, it really sticks.

  10. Thanks!


    I should be clear though...my concertina has the Hayden slant. I haven't tried one with buttons parallel to the handrest (which Wakker calls "Wicki"), but I'd like to. Kaspar Wicki did not publish any recommendations for ergonomics, he just patented the general layout in 1896.

  11. with anglo, the freedom to do counter-melodies is limited. knowing this helps you not go bananas or blame yourself while trying to find the scope within which it IS possible on anglo. you can do it a bit in a couple of keys, and you can kind of hint at it. but to really truly do it, you need a different kind of a beast. a unisonoric beast.


    Somewhat belatedly, I have to disagree with this statement. A counter-melody is only a different tune from the one you're singing. There's no reason why you can't do this on an anglo. The only limitations are those which apply to playing any tune on the anglo. True, it does depend on your singing key being anglo-friendly, but the same applies to simple chord arrangements.


    It does require a bit of mental effort to play one tune and sing another, but that applies to any instrument.

    I think Ceemonster was referring to playing a melody and countermelody simultaneously on the Anglo, not a countermelody to a line that one is singing. I think that's what Jody was talking about above too.

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