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Everything posted by Ishtar

  1. I don't look too insane in this one, and I am actually playing my concertina.
  2. Yes, come on in! Who needs wisdom when you can have a squeeze? Félicitations au sculpteur! Those figures are lovely.
  3. Absolutely not, but it might in my hands. :-)
  4. It does have a "toy" air about it, doesn't it! But there are YouTube clips where it sounds lovely (better than a sax, imho). I wonder if, in the hands of a beginner, it might sound like an overly expensive toy. If I ever try one, I'll let you know.
  5. I've been playing English concertina with a French sea shanty group for 3 years now. I think it goes well with the voices. But then I'm a strictly chromatic kind of gal. I can parallel park, but I just can't get my head round diatonic. :-) I think whichever you choose will be fine, because you'll make it yours.
  6. Hi Jody! I think that the accordina is even less well-known than the concertina. There is another concertina player close by (he has a diatonic and a duet, I think), there are uillean pipes, Highland pipes, dead-goat pipes, fiddles, Zydeco washboards, Klezmer groups, bodhrans, Lunel (10km from me) has a mandolin festival http://www.mandolincafe.com/news/publish/mandolins_001400.shtml...... and so on..... but I have never set eyes on an accordina! OTOH, it does look like it's more popular in the jazz world. Jazz is HUGELY popular in France, but I'm not a fan, so I could easily have missed any accordinas that are in the area. I might just take a wander up to Marcel's workshop one day and try out an accordina. If I can't immediately play it like this girl, I will be very disappointed. :-)
  7. Ain't that the truth! People here only know bandoneons, so my English is described as "le petit frère du bandonéon" (bandoneon's little brother). Apart from one lady who insists on calling it an accordina. To my shame, I didn't even know the accordina existed, but there is an accordina maker about 60km from here, in the Gard. Very exciting that an Irish one has made its way to Brazil though. Globalisation isn't all bad! :-)
  8. THE APPLE TREE I could play the bad eras like a concertina. Multiple chords would squeak like "Excuse me", "I beg your pardon", "Oops" and "Sorry, no thank you." Pump hard on a squeeze-box and you can almost hear The Protestant clerks of northern Europe in Hell... I Hope people don't think I'm THAT bad! :-) It's the beginning of a poem by Professor Douglas Dunn, born 1942.
  9. Hmmmm, yes, they do look suspiciously alike, don't they? Also, I've looked at Saltarelle's website, and I can't find any concertinas there. It's a shame, because it's right on my doorstep, so I don't have to get on a plane to try it out. The description of it says that it's brand new, never played, comes with a hard case and a one-year guarantee.
  10. This baby is still for sale, 6 months after I saw it in his workshop, but at the time he couldn't tell me what make it was, and it has no name on it. Is Saltarelle a good make, and is 700 euros a reasonable price, or is he having a laugh? I'm wondering why he still has it, really. Either the price is too high, or he was right when he said I'm the only person playing an English in the whole of Languedoc-Roussillon, which means I am his only market, lol! http://www.leboncoin.fr/vi/71815533.htm?ca=13_s Today, 700 euros = 942 dollars, or 662 pounds.
  11. Sorry for the delay, but thank you for your replies.
  12. My concertina was tuned a few months ago (September/October) and sounded fine for a while, but has already deteriorated in sound, and 3 of the left-side notes are asthmatic. So much so that the guitarist next to me commented on it the other night in our rehearsal. It's a Stagi Gremlin. The repairer man said that he found the blades to be of "disappointing" quality. How often would you expect to have to tune an English concertina?
  13. Are we really such a solitary lot? Honestly, I'm surprised. I saw two or three in my short time in England, that's when I fell in love with them. I've wanted a fuller sound, though, ever since I got it. Melody or second voice is okay to accompany singers (which I do), but unless you can do seriously impressive twiddly things, it can sound like an instrument from ToysRUs. And I'm not joking about chords! I knew nothing about them 2 years ago. Nothing. However, I know that many guitar players (for example) don't actually understand chords or gammes either, they just play the shapes. And they can play very well, so I thought that somehow it would just "happen". But the concertina doesn't work that way. Any guitarist, any chord book, will be able to show you a D chord on the guitar. There's no argument. But there is room for argument with the concertina, because there is no standard, accepted method of playing. This year, a harmony course came my way, and now I understand chords and how to construct them. But the teacher is a jazz bass guitarist, so he can't tell me how to play them on the EC. That's what concertina forums are for.
  14. But we're all at different stages in our learning, and we all have different levels of confidence and inventiveness. I bought my EC almost three years ago and haven't set eyes on another one since, apart from a little one that the accordion maker/tuner had for sale, but he said he's never met another EC player. As I have no live input at all, it was very helpful to me to be able to ask about fingering chords. I admit it's embarrassing how long it's taken me to get round to learning chords.
  15. Thank you, your replies have helped a lot. Even just knowing that there isn't a definitively right or wrong way to do it helps. I can carry on with a bit of confidence now.
  16. Hi, What is the recommended way to play chords where all the notes are on the same side? For example C is C-E-G, and Aminor is A-C-E. Do you squish three fingers up to play three notes together, do you use one finger to do two of the notes together, or do you take one of the notes from a different octave, therefore from the other side of the concertina? Thank you.
  17. Mostly French sea shanties and sea songs just now, because that's the only place I play my concertina these days: Trois matelots du port de Brest Fanny de Lanninon Les Bateliers Chantons pour passer le temps Allez les marins Loguivy de la mer La femme du Président Tacoma La Danaë Le Forban Y a dix marins sur mer Les filles de Lorient Quinze marins sur le bahut du mort Pique la baleine L'harmonica Santiano Le 31 du mois d'août John Kanak Vire au cabestan Jean-François de Nantes Hourra les filles à dix deniers Which I think is not bad for a year.
  18. I occasionally play Swedish music, . That sounds interesting. Could you post a link to some please? I think what's happening is that, although I enjoy playing with the sea shanty group, the music I'm playing isn't terribly demanding, you know? I mean, I have worked at it, and from September to June (everything stops in France in July and August!) I learned loads of new tunes off by heart. Mostly just melodies though. So maybe my enthusiasm for that other little concertina was displacement activity for INSPIRATION! I think I feel a bit trapped now - I don't have the musical knowledge to do much more than what I'm doing with the sea shanties, and the only other outlet is the Irish session, but they just play soooooooo fast, and I end up spending the evening sitting like a big dodo, nursing my concertina.
  19. Well, at the moment I'm accompanying a French sea shanty group. So I'm mostly just doing melodies along with the voices, or maybe sometimes a deuxième voix (second voice? harmony?). Nothing complicated. What kind of music would you use all 48/56/64 buttons for?
  20. Never mind across the Pond, I just want it to come across the Channel! What are the chances......
  21. Sorry, I think I put this in the wrong section. Maybe admin could move it to the right section, please? Thank you!
  22. My Stagi 48-button EC is with the accordion maker/tuner/repairer. 320 euros (about 280 pounds, 456 dollars) to tune the whole thing, fix the wonky buttons that stick, and repair the non-functioning bottom B. He actually had two concertinas in his workshop, one Hayden and one beautiful little English. No name on it, but he says it's "neuf de chez neuf" (newer than new). It's nicely made, and it sounds SO much better than my Italian-factory-produced Stagi. However, it is also smaller, and has only half the number of buttons - I didn't count them, but would 24 be right? Pretty much the lower two octaves of the 48-button EC, so I managed to play most of what I usually play. And........ it was 700 euros, which seems like an awful lot of money to me. Do you use the top octave of your EC? If so, what for? I fear I'm trying to talk myself into buying something very pretty but of limited use. It looks good because I'm still pretty much in "melody" mode at the moment, and most melodies (songs, at least) are within those 24 notes. Any observations on 24 or 48 would be most appreciated. Thank you!
  23. have you worn the last pair out already? The new improved version is more expensive, since it incorporates a certain French "je ne sais quoi", but I promise you will not be disappointed. Cheque to the usual address.
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