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Everything posted by tombilly

  1. There's something to be said for to keep trying them all until you find one that suits.. although when one gets stuck in a bit of a rut, a plateau - one shouldn't give up too readily, I think. Perseverance and patience seem to be good virtues in music making.
  2. I could be wrong but I think the mahogany/ rosewood description usually refers to the fretwork - 'mahogany' has fewer holes and more coarsely cut whereas the 'rosewood' has finer fretwork/ lots of holes. Both are veneers, I think but the 'mahogany' was used for a lower grade of instrument with the 'rosewood' on the next stage up??
  3. It's a couple of years ago but I'm fairly certain that it was C/G he was playing on. Think he says it elsewhere on part of recording I didn't include. I've tried playing Connaughtmans Rambles in octaves and it's very tricky as you say. Maybe it's a party or demonstration piece that M O'R uses but I wouldn't be at all surprised if he can apply it at will to any tune.
  4. Oh touché : that's close to the bone given recent events, eh? It's funny how we humans can reconcile impossible positions, isn't it! We'll protect the biological diversity of xyz by examining the contents of peoples pockets ignoring the fact that what we're doing is inherently risky and could wipe out the same wildlife and a whole lot more besides in one stroke. Still, I guess it's better than no environmental protection at all.
  5. You're right there - Micheal has some mastery of the C/G anglo. I can assure you in relation to the above clip, that he was playing entirely on his own, though you mightn't think it!
  6. That's unethical David and I've raged against queue jumping here before ... but, when you can't beat them, one may have to join them!!! Mind you, personally I wouldn't be a great fan of the aesthetics of the very open fretwork design on #14. But, I'm sure it could be someone elses cup of tea.
  7. Yeah - I've noticed that when I've tried it, hard to avoid having to hop the finger across. I find I can generally double note a phrase in the lower octave or the upper octave but switching across like Micheal, just does my head in - I just lose the tune! Get lost in the octaves, so to speak. It's a nice effect though - I'll have to look out for some old recordings of the style to listen to.
  8. Right, for those interested .. this is about 10 minutes or so by Micheal O'Raghallaigh talking to a general group of students in Achill a couple of years ago - some of the kids are fiddle, some are box players and so on. To demonstrate, he uses the well known (in Ireland) jig, The Connaughtmans Rambles - plays melody first, throws in a few triplets, plays in octaves and then throws the proverbial kitchen sink at it! An interesting piece follows on Chris Droney's style with the Bell Harbour reel, I think, played in different styles. The file is about 8MB - I don't use Boxnet much but I think this should work. Let me know if it doesn't. http://www.box.net/shared/9hq6enntlh
  9. I commented here a couple of years ago re doing a week classes down in Miltown with I think, Katie O'Sullivan as tutor - she'd be more from Limerick direction. Anyway, Katie was keen on playing in octaves or double noting as she called it. We wouldn't play the whole tune in octaves but she'd double note several bars at a time. So maybe not as dead as you might think as Katie wouldn't be an old player! I've also heard Micheal O'Raghaillaigh playing, I think it was, The Connaughtman's Rambles in octaves. Have a recording somewhere - must see if I can dig it out.
  10. Well of course, they're tempting but like many people I guess, I'm on a long waiting list with a non refundable deposit and money ain't that plentiful so ..... pass on by. I think they call it a recession.
  11. I think the general idea, David, is that you aim to play without thinking about the fingering - thinking about the fingering too much and intellectualising on it just gets in the way of making music. The tune is in your head and you 'fish around' as someone above put it, to get it out. As a learner gets more tunes and comes across more phrases and building blocks, it gets easier. Sure, now & then, you need to stop and think, 'that's an awkward way of playing that bit - is there an easier way?' 'Fingering systems' are probably unhelpful, except perhaps as guidance for novices? Oops - I see I missed a few posts and am just repeating the same point more or less..
  12. Oh, I'm with you in general terms there Dana and see where you're coming from. You have a strong point but I'm not sure if it's compatible with human existence! In relation to trees, I'm a great admirer of trees as living organisms but I consider that as long as I plant more than I cut down and appreciate them for what they are, then that's the best one can do. Likewise with vegetarianism, I have no problem with people who like the taste of meat and choose to eat it as long as they take the responsibility of killing and preparing the animal with their own hands. The vast majority of meat eaters expect other people to do the dirty work and are divorced from the responsibilty of taking life. At the end of the day, I'd rather a piece of tree in the form of a musical instrument as opposed to a throwaway McDonalds snack box etc.
  13. It's an interesting question but maybe an academic one. There are many shades of vegetarianism and I'd reckon each individual veggie has differing views and standards, largely depending on why they take this route in the first place. I'd too be of that inclination for many years and whilst I wouldn't choose to eat 'fish, flesh nor fowl', I'll happily wear leather mountain boots, leather sandals and play a Lachenal concertina with bone bottons etc. These materials function well and I'd rather have the items made from 'natural' materials rather than petro chemical alternatives. Likewise, I plant and grow trees but I'll also cut them down and burn for firewood and I have some lovely flutes. Life is full of sorts of contradictions!
  14. I suppose an interesting idea - to meld several musicians into one statue. Sorta gets at the idea of the music from each making up the whole etc.
  15. Being a singer you should have a good store of melodies in your head and an ear for hitting the right note! So stick at that for a while - work out tunes that you know in your head - even easy peasy nursery rhymes, advertising jingles and such. These all help the fingers to learn where the notes can be found. Try to avoid looking up sheet music - not everyone will agree with this, but invariably it adds another layer and gets in the way. Re maintenance, I purchased a copy of Dave Elliott's The Concertina Maintenance Manual and it answers all these questions and many more besides
  16. You'd want to be clearer about what style/ genre of music that you wish to play. If it's Irish trad, do a look back through the Teaching and Learning threads - there's a chap called 'Skins Egan' and I think Aogan Lynch might also be doing some sort on online classes. Can't vouch for Skins but Aogan is an excellent musician and has a CD/ book published '110 Concertina Tunes' but you'd want to be playing for a while to get value out of it. Otherwise pick up what you can and go on one of the various summer festivals where you can do a class for a few hours each day for a week. If it's English folk or any of the other many genres, keep asking and I'm sure someone will oblige with suggestions.
  17. It's still called 'double noting' in Ireland. At least, that's the term I've heard for it. 'Playing in octaves' is a bit too fancy.
  18. Thanks Dan, I'll look those up - it's interesting the little snippets of info., one finds on a concertina forum
  19. Whadya mean - it didnt work? Bill N's advice worked fine here, so it did work
  20. That's an interesting idea - I'm curious to know how it can work that way. My experience as a small publisher (nothing to do with music or history!) is that the first copy is always the most expensive. After that, the run on, brings down the average cost substantially, assuming one can sell the product of course! Is there really an economic way of printing this sort of book on demand - including the covers and binding etc. I have seen print on demand service for out of print material but usually it amounts to a slightly elaborate set of photocopies.
  21. Maybe after a lot of practice they do, but I wouldn't have thought tunes in D sit particularly well on a C/G, compared to other common session keys.
  22. Sure, see this recent thread.. http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=10636 Methinks, there should be a sticky for it.
  23. I don't know about English trad. but in Ireland the competition thing is generally geared towards younger people and organised by Comhaltas in the main. There's the usual arguement that it gives kids a focus and encourages them to practice and improve etc. and maybe there is something in that although you'd have to question whether competing in a music competition is a valid imperative to practice. i.e. wouldn't it far better if it was for the love of the tunes or for playing with local friends etc. On the contrary side, you'd have to observe that it's bad overall for the health of the music because (a) it encourages standardisation and loss of local styles - kids learn a way to play that'll impress the judges ( the competitions are open to all sorts of bias and subjective decision making and you won't go to any without hearing a stream of comments along the lines of 'such and such should have won but the perosn who won is well connected in Comhaltas circles' etc. etc. © then there's the kids who get discouraged because they never win anything etc. Competitions and exams are all part of 'the system', sometimes a paid system with expensive lessons and other times a system delivered by volunteers. They exist as part of that scheme of things and have got little enough to do with the real playing of music at the end of the day.
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