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Everything posted by meltzer

  1. I've recently treated myself to a Jackie, and -- after playing push-pull instruments for 20-odd years -- am trying to get my head around the English. Hard to believe that two instruments that look so similar could be so utterly different. Anyway, I thought I'd start this thread so "switchers" could share their experiences of the differences. Not necessarily the obvious ones (like the fingering is completely different) but the things you find yourself doing, the unpredicted tricky bits, etc. Here's a few of mine: - * on the English, I have to make a conscious effort to play with 'lift' and bounce, because "smooth" is the default setting (no forced changes of bellows direction). * I find myself running out of air (particularly on the push) -- again, no forced changes of bellows direction. * air button with index finger -- easy to make a squeak instead of letting air into the bellows. * some "hard" tunes are easy; some "easy" tunes are hard. Like those tunes that have a major and minor version. I'd always steered clear of them on my anglo and melodeon. * the way tunes in certain keys "sit" mostly on one hand -- e.g. C and G on the left hand; D & A on the right.
  2. Welcome to the dark side! Thanks. I managed to get through the A music of Speed the Plough this morning without ****ing it up, but it's slow patient work. My brain seems to be hardwired into looking for the G on my right hand (I know there's one there, but it's not the G I'm looking for ).
  3. ... except I just had another look at the site, and you've got a podcast going already. Just downloaded a load of your stuff into iTunes -- cheers Having been playing the English for, er, about 2 days now (yeah, I've crossed over to the Dark Side ), I'm intrigued and inspired by the sound and feel you get on those recordings.
  4. You might consider making podcasts of your stuff. I use this (free) site: - http://www.podomatic.com/home The beauty of podcasts is that people can subscribe to it on their iTunes, and then every time you post up something new, it downloads automatically. Also, podomatic has an iTunes-friendly interface so it's really easy to download individual tunes.
  5. Lovely stuff. Not the kind of music I normally listen to at all, but you can just hear what a great time you had making that.
  6. Jackie has indeed sold -- I received it today, very well packaged and speedily delivered. All I can say after 25 years on the push/pull is.... my brain hurts.
  7. Not a good idea in any case - gums it up something fierce. Perhaps that was where I was going wrong.
  8. I did that too. Never did it on the melodeon though (probably cos the air is virtually limitless compared with the five folds on my Lachenal )
  9. I came at it the other way -- been playing the melodeon (ADG box to start, more recently a lovely CF 'club' box) for (gulp) 25 years, started playing the Anglo a couple of years ago. In the early stages of tina playing, I tended to think of it as a melodeon right hand folded in half, but playing across the rows is totally different. For instance, it took me a while to get used to reaching down to the left hand to get a C on the pull on the G row. Playing across the rows on a melodeon is a bit more intuitive (or maybe it's the 25 years ), cos basically it's zig-zagging from row to row -- having a fifth between the rows on an anglo is a big difference. Incidentally, I tried a mouth organ after playing the melodeon for a few years, and can't play one for toffee. Might be the 20 fags a day though.
  10. Lovely stuff. Such dynamics too. You clearly have a great love for the music.
  11. I was once at a session where one of the musicians (and I use the word satirically) recorded one of the sets on some kind of digital recorder, and then interrupted the session to play it back speeded up, saying, "Doesn't that sound better?" Words fail, frankly. I don't have a problem with "fast" per se, but a good player (of whom I am not one) can keep the pulse going at any tempo, rather than just doing the 'flurry of notes' thing.
  12. Hmmm.... because playing music and singing helps keep me sane. Not being the world's most emotionally articulate man (I'm British, for god's sake ), there have been times when playing music has felt like the only way I could express myself. Nothing I could write or say myself would come close to "Black is the colour of my true loves hair...." so I'll stick with that, thanks. NB: it helps a lot if your true love actually has black hair on these occasions.
  13. Looks like I'm ahead of the game for once. http://www.coolestradio.com/mp3s/kidhideou...otherfolker.mp3
  14. Works for me. Edit: Although I'm not married, thus saving on the cost of the almost-inevitable divorce.
  15. I'd been playing the guitar for almost 30 years before I seriously took up the concertina (insofar as I could be described as a serious concertina player). And I must say that -- from a technical point of view -- that 30 years meant very little in terms of how I do chord selection/voicing on a concertina. Perhaps it gave me an ear for the kind of big open chords, drones and reverses I like -- I don't know. Although 99% of my 'tina playing is for song accompaniment, I honestly don't think about what chord I'm playing. In fact, I couldn't tell you, most of the time -- unless I took a look at my fingers and worked it out from there. Thing is, a lot of English traditional song isn't major/minor, it's modal -- so accompaniment-wise, it's not a question of "Is this the right chord?", it's more a question of "Which are the dominant (meaning 'strongest,' rather than 'dominant' in the music theory sense) notes in the scale that this melody is based on?" And for me that's a matter of feel rather than sitting down and working it out (although I understand that the latter is possible). This is how it looks from my corner, anyway.
  16. I've never had any trouble producing dissonance on my 30k Lachenal, as my neighbours will testify.
  17. Hmmm.... zero-rated seller. Describes instrument as 24 key (like s/he'd only seen photos of one end), can't answer questions as not a musician, but appears to know about valves. . Pardon my cynicism, like. (Not a very good scam, if it was one -- letting her go for £120 ).
  18. Peter Bellamy's Both sides then for me. (There you go, Rod ).
  19. Other way round. Although brass reeds have a lovely tone (IMO), brass is nowhere near as durable.
  20. Or, if you prefer, "Humpity Dumpity". Or, for the football fan, "Liverpool, Everton, Liverpool, Everton......"
  21. Works for me. Another thing I'd say is not to approach a piece thinking "OK, these are the chords," and feeling that you have to play every change. The concertina can hint at, or suggest chords, just by playing a couple of notes (and, as has been pointed out earlier in the thread, it often sounds better anyway). I don't think I could tell you what chord I was playing 99% of the time. I'm a big fan of messing around until I find something that I like, but then English traditional song -- largely, an unaccompanied tradition -- lends itself to that, IMO, because there are no rules beyond a basic respect for the songs and the singers who passed them on to us. Anyway, enjoy!
  22. Musical notation is just like tab for a C/G Anglo -- all the push notes are on the lines, all the draw notes are in the spaces. Hey the learnig curve is getting better. I didn't know that. But then I don't really know what I'm doing. Have to check it out now. As I don't read it will take a while. Chas I was only being semi-serious (hence the wink). It's just about true for one octave in the "home" keys, but I wouldn't recommend taking anything I say about music theory too literally!
  23. "Weird" chords are one of the absolute joys of the Anglo. A whole world of discovery that keeps on giving.
  24. What feels most comfortable, where your fingers have just been, and where they need to go next. Enjoy! PS There's one harmony I like that involves playing two buttons with one finger, but it's reaching across rows, rather than up or down. PPS I almost exclusively use the Anglo for song accompaniment, so speed is not of the essence.
  25. Musical notation is just like tab for a C/G Anglo -- all the push notes are on the lines, all the draw notes are in the spaces.
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