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Everything posted by LHMark

  1. LHMark

    Strap Pinch

    Hmm. My instrument is a Wakker, and it has padded handrests. The pad protrudes ever so slightly over past the upper corner of the handrest, creating a pinch point. Maybe a little work with an xacto knife will do the job.
  2. LHMark

    Strap Pinch

    Right, been playing my new-build concertina for nearly a year now and an interesting problem has come up. When I pul, the strap is pinching the flesh between my thumb and index finger against the top of the handrest. It hurts. I've tried alleviating the problem by angling the "point" of the concertina more sharply against my thigh, in order to move my hand out of that position, but my big right mitt stil gets caught. If I take it up a hole, the strap is too tight for me to get all the notes. Any ideas for simple, non-invasive strap/handle mods?
  3. Here's a fleeting shot of my Wakker A4 in its natural environment
  4. For me, making the jump to playing "across the rows" became a lot easier when I stopped thinking of them as rows at all, just as places where the buttons happened to be located. Clearing my head of that linear mindset advanced made ssense out of skipping around.
  5. Right, after 5 long years, I've taken delivery of my brand new C/G Wakker A-4. It is beautiful. Question is, apparently there's a "C" drone, both on the push and the pull, operated by the left thumb. I've never had a C drone before. Can anyone suggest some creative ways to use it, other than beefing up C chords?
  6. Hi forumites. I'm in the unenviable position of having to play a bunch of stuff in A. It's a departure for a guy who's worn a comfortable groove in the keys of D and G. Anyway, I'm trying to figure out which fingering choices are optimal. When I get to the first G#, I have three As from which to choose: The top row A (which is a bit weird because of the reversal in direction of hand travel), the middle row A (which forces a chop), and the G row A (which pushes me back onto my ring finger and robs me of a bit of control). I know, I can get any of these with enough practice. I'm just wondering which choice more seasoned players find most efficient.
  7. I haven't posted in a while, so here's me hacking through "Out on the Ocean." Excuse the sirens at the end; that happens every time I play.
  8. Hi forum. I'm trying to figure out the part in "Johnny of Brady's Lea" that comes after the solo pipe intro, the eight bars that lead into the vocal part. Is anyone familiar with this song? I can't put the second four bars together right.
  9. NHICS was incredible. Noel is not only a masterful player but an insightful and empathetic teacher as well. Between the classes, the concert, and the improptu playing and sessioning, I got to experience some pretty special musical moments that now motivate me to practice more dilligently than ever. Thanks to Noel, Linda, and my fellow students for making my week unforgettable.
  10. How could you learn songs in D and not automatically learn to play cross-row? Regardless of whose system it might be, the C# and F# are where they are. For me, going cross-row seemed actually pretty natural. Now if only I could do it well...
  11. I just signed up. Coming in from scenic Rochester, NY. PeI am really looking forward to a week of not learning my instrument in isolation. -Mark
  12. If this instrument is still available, it would be a fantastic opportunity for a beginner at a good price. http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=11319
  13. If this instrument is still available, it would be a fantastic opportunity for a beginner at a good price. http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=11319
  14. I just placed a deposit down on a new Wakker A4 Anglo. Does anyone on here own one of these? I'd love to hear your impressions of the instrument.
  15. My geographic location forces me to learn in a vacuum. I've heard rumors of other concertina players in Rochester, NY, but they're a reclusive, secretive species. I'll be in Chicago April 7-11, and I'd love to take advantage of free time in a larger city to sit down and do a workshop with an experienced trad player. If anyone's interested, please let me know your availability and rates. I'd really appreciate the opportunity. -Mark
  16. Let's see, we have me singing and playing Anglo, a bass player, a lead/electric guitarist (Gibson SG), a rhythm/acoustic guitarist, a fiddler, a drummer, and a dude who plays whistle, uilleann pipes, mandolin, guitar, and harmonica. Sonically, it can be kinda challenging.
  17. I'm playing three sets on the Saturday before St. Pat's (the day of the parade), and another set on St Pat's itsel, in a big ol' fake Irish pub. Another proud March for my band, The Sisters of Murphy!
  18. Playing in a full band, I usually keep my chords to triads, and don't worry too much about elaborate voicing. The nice thing about the concertina is the texture it gives. It's like the guitar's role in '40s big band: effective when felt but not loudly heard.
  19. I did a class with Chris at last year's Northeast Concertina Workshop. I came out of it a better player, and I still reference what he taught me. Dude knows his 'tina.
  20. Okay, so at last rehearsal, during warmups, my guitarist commented to me "you know, that thing sounds much better when it's not plugged in." He's right; the Microvox system isn't the warmest of miking solutions. I've been thinking of adding an equalizer pedal, and maybe a reverb pedal, used ever so gently, to round out and warm up the sound of my miked concertina. Has anyone else done this?
  21. One thing I take to heart from the trad musicians I know is that speed in itself is not the goal. When I speak of speed in my playing, I just want to build enough to play along with everyone else
  22. You know, I really have no right to whinge. I've only been practicing the concertina seriously for about a year and a half, and to suggest that I should be good at Trad is almost an insult to those who've devoted a lifetime of passion into expressing this beautiful music. That said, it gets maddening at times, trying to take a tune like "Swallowtail Jig" or "Drowsy Maggie" and develop speed, control and fluidity. Trying to get the same tempo and feel from the lower-register notes, which require a different level of pressure to play then the higher ones, seamlessly blending the A parts and B parts And, once I start getting somewhere with that, I realize there's a series of deeper layers: learning appropriate ornamentation, developing that little bounce, etc. I don't really have a point to this, just needed to say that sometimes a few simple notes on a staff can veil the start of a long journey, and right now, I'm traveling at about 80 beats per minute. At least the trip is enjoyable.
  23. is practicing.

  24. The reason I picked up concertina in the first place is I was tired of being JUST the singer in my band (The Sisters of Murphy). My guitarists were better than I was, so I let them have that role, and needed something different, interesting, and fitting for the sound. We do a bunch of pub tunes, and a lot of Pogues covers. When I sing, I'm mostly tapping out the chords on the backbeat, but I also handle the leads on some tunes. I'm finally able to play the lead line and sing the vocal line of "Sunnyside of the Street" with some success. Now if only I could stop my ham-fingers from messing up the B chord...
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