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Carl Watts

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Everything posted by Carl Watts

  1. Hi LDT Congratulations on the new melodeon (if I'm allowed to say that here!) I think I've been playing the 'tina for about a year longer than you and I've now had my melodeon for about 3 months. Firstly, keep it up! From your Youtube vids, you're doing really well. I'm in a slightly different position from you, as I've played the guitar for years and learned to read music at an early age - it certainly does help. Just a couple of thoughts. I thought I'd practice on a schedule, just like you suggest - but it took 2 days to realise that I'd be happier and make faster progress if I just played what I felt like playing (I'm learning the 5 string banjo now too!). I only play music to have fun, so I tend to just enjoy playing tunes, rather than doing rigourous practice. Some days I stick to one instrument - others I'll practice up to three (what joy for the neighbours!!) The thing that is new for me is learning by ear - I've always depended on written music until now. Rather than trying to play along to tracks, I've just started to muck about until I get close to the tune I'm after (started doing this with the melodeon as it is without doubt easier than the anglo - and yes, I know that this is just my opinion!). I now do this on the concertina quite a bit. Sometimes I end up in the same key as the original, other times I don't - to be honest, I don't really care as long as the tune seems to work (sacrilege!!) You'll find much better players around here and they might not like my advice, but I think you should just aim to enjoy the music - some things will work and others won't. Give it a couple of weeks and you might just find that it all comes together. I'm not much of a player yet, but here are my latest efforts learning by ear, if you're interested. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHg6la96sNs Good luck and enjoy yourself!! Cheers Carl
  2. circus? .... I'll go to Piccadilly Circus Hang on - sorry to take us backwards, but surely the natural move is Regent's Street? You can't just go blundering to Piccadilly Circus straight away. I’m going Regents Street, because it's bridging Oxford Circus and Piccadilly Circus. So it is an absolute definitive Lateral, which you can reverse on if the situation is right, so you have a double value. It is a Bridger, it is a Lateral - the only logical move and you don't have to play your Get out of Burlington Free Card.
  3. PICA .... Prepare to be bored by the true definition of the word 'Pica' which was still in use in my earlier days in the printing industry. It was a unit of measurement originating in the good old days when typesetting was produced from individual letters of metal type (the letterpress method of printing). Type sizes were expressed in measurements of a point, as they still are.... a point being almost exactly one seventy second of an inch (0.01383") The body (width) of an individual character of metal type which measured approximately 12 points was known as 'Pica' which was a word also used to express typographic measurements across and down the page. Pica was therefore almost exactly one-sixth of an inch. What has all this got to do with Concertinas I hear you all saying ! Rod Of course, this could be one "true" definition. As any informed ornithologist will know, "pica" is without doubt half a Magpie. Indeed what has all this got to do with concertinas, I hear even more of you all saying! Little old Ladies, Carl
  4. I think that this is a cracking question and I'm not sure that I know the answer.....however - Most who know us think of my family as musical. Dad played brass in the Sally Army band, mum played piano, sister plays oboe/recorders and piano and I play anglo, classical guitar, 'cello, bodhran, penny whistle and am about to get a melodeon. Now, taking this small group as a sample, I'd say that there was just one musican amongst us - my sister; she's played in the National Youth Orchestra, has been the soloist in numerous concerto preformances, has sessioned in London musicals and transcribes music for an Early Music ensemble of which she is a member. Up against this there's no way I can count myself as a musician. I can knock out a rusty performance of a Bach 'cello suite, I can play through a Vivaldi guitar concerto without too many problems and my anglo playing has come one fairly quickly in the year and a half that I've had it. Despite all of that I'd still class myself as a complete amateur who just loves music, both playing and listening to it. I'm not sure that this would stand up to scientific analysis, but I reckon that the answer just comes down to two interlinked issues - talent and confidence. Both myself and big sis have done hours of practice - but she's got those two vital ingredients and I haven't. Just a gut reaction thought to what is a really interesting question.
  5. Thanks for the interest, the Rochelle has now sold.
  6. Hi all, I've a Rochelle C/G Anglo Concertina kit (anglo, gig bag and tutor book) by the Concertina Connection for sale. Take a look around the forums and you'll see that it is widely regarded as the best choice for a beginner. The starter kit sells at the Musicroom for £269 new and one went secondhand on ebay two weeks ago for £180 plus £10 p&p. This concertina is my spare, is in A1 condition - but I'm looking to raise funds to enter the heady world of melodeon playing (!), so will offer it up for £150 plus £10 p&p. A bargain in these recession hit times! (At least this way you can play your way to happiness?) Happy to supply photos/futher info to anyone interested. Cheers, Carl. NB - Photos added by request 24/11/08
  7. Picking up the Anglo, and playing "Linden Lea", I find that my natural inclination is to play in exactly the fashion which you have demonstrated; so it sounds pretty similar. Whilst it would require work, utilising some of the repeated notes on the "accidental" row, and the overlap between right and left hand, would smooth out some of the passages (i.e. remove some of the bellows reversals). This might mean having to re-think the left hand accompaniment, but I think it would be an interesting exercise, since whatever you learn could be applied to other tunes or song melodies. Regards, Peter. PS - wish I had made that much progress after a year! Hi Peter, Thanks - your advice makes perfect sense, I think that I went for the 'quick fix' using familiar fingerings with supporting harmony. Changing the fingering to reduce bellows change will be an interesting thing to do - I don't feel very familiar with the accidental row yet, so this should help me find my way around it. Thanks for the advice, Carl
  8. Very useful, thanks - yes, the accentuation is (I think!) due to bellows change - will go back and try to smooth the transition. The vibrato was intentional (but not as controlled as it should be). Thanks again, Carl
  9. Again, thanks for the kind comments. I have sometimes started with the 3 chord trick, but tend to let my ears rule my head, if you see what I mean! As for your comment on 7ths, it very much depends - purists would never use a 7th, but they can add to a performance no end in my opinion. If you are being really puritanical, we should all be performing unaccompanied folk songs and shanties and so need to kick our beloved angos into the long grass (never!!!!). I like the sentiments of Martin Carthy in his 'Working with Folksong' essay in The Folk Handbook (available from EFDSS). "We, my generaion of instrumentalists, found a way of arranging traditional folk song. But that can't be the only way....You can't hurt this music. That's the most important thing. There's nothing you can do that is going to hurt it." Without this attitude we wouldn't have the breath of fresh air that is Bellowhead or the Imagined Village or countless others.
  10. Thanks for the encouragement Henk. I still need to work to get things smoother.
  11. Hello all, I thought I'd celebrate the coming 1st aniversary of my Sherwood anglo by messing around with a couple of tunes that I've known for ages, but have never heard on concertina. Most of my learning has involved sticking to melody lines when playing Irish music, or attempting the good old um-pah chording when working on morris tunes. So working on Linden Lea, by Vaughan Williams and Bonny at Morn - which as far as I know is a Northumbrian tune which I play as a slow air - gave me a chance to play around with the harmony and do something different. What I now want to know is does it work?! Please feel free to be as critical as you like, it's the only way I'll learn. All suggestions/comments welcome. Linden Lea link - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=2qZ34q3GDrw Bonny at Morn link - http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=g4cRRdHHGUg Thanks for your help and happy squeezing!
  12. That's great, I'm pleased that it was what you were looking for - and following your description, I've just ordered my own copy direct from NoExcuses Guides! For those that are interested the DVD/CDRom package costs £21.20, including postage in the UK. Virtual Guiness not included!
  13. I've just been in to check it out - the reeds are held in by screws. Again, I've got to say that I'm impressed with the workmanship inside this box. Now, if you'll excuse me - I'm off to get to grips with The Sussex Bonny Breast Knot, if you know what I mean!
  14. Not sure whether this is the sort of thing that you are looking for - I've never seen the CDrom in action, but it sounds like this 'No excuses' package might potentially solve the problem? http://www.bigwhistle.co.uk/shop_results.a...47&search=1
  15. 'Tis grand to have the dates, but could someone tell me a little about what goes on at the Swaledale squeeze, please!? I've been playing the anglo for only 6 months and am keen to learn from other players, so this seems like a great opportunity, especially as Swaledale is on the doorstep for me.
  16. I've owned my Sherwood for around a month and a half, so it's properly played in now and I'm delighted with it. I started playing the concertina around 6 months ago on a Rochelle which served as a great box on which to discover that I wanted to take the 'tina seriously. However, having been bitten by the bug the Rochelle just couldn't do what I needed it to do - hence the Sherwood. Hobgoblin were really helpful and despite the 'waiting list' my concertina came just a couple of weeks after making initial enquiries. The build quality is great, it's a small box and very light meaning that at long last I can do it standing up, if you see what I mean....ahem! The Sherwood has a bright, clear tone - without the harsh overtones that you can get on some metal ended concertinas. It's responsive and while the sound projects well, it's easy to control the dynamics (important as while I mostly play solo I've also been practicing with tin whistle and piano accordion players). I can understand the 'hedgehog' comment - the keys took a little getting used to. However, the key travel is small which increases the speed of response, making fast passages much easier to play. I'm now more than comfortable with the feel of the flat topped keys - I suspect that it just depends upon what you're used to. The Sherwood has helped my playing to come on in huge leaps since making the switch. I can recommend the Sherwood without reservation. It's built to last, sounds great, is a pleasure to play and you don't need to re-mortgage the house to own one!
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