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Everything posted by tombilly

  1. I use a little iRiver .mp3 device - plays and records .mp3 files - about the size of a matchbox.
  2. I play a bit of flute & whistle, so I thought a few years ago that it'd be a good idea to get a practice set of Uileann Pipes. Whilst I could squeeze out a couple of tunes, I rapidly realised that I didn't have anywhere near the time needed to make a decent go of the pipes. The learning curve was steep. By contrast, I found it much easier to get going on the concertina - it's a mechanical instrument - you press a button, you get a note etc. - much easier at that level than say pipes, flute or fiddle. That said, some tunes fall very easily on concertina whilst others endlessly trip me up - the trips are getting less though. That's one side of the equation and IMHO the concertina is far easier than the uileann pipes in that regard. The other side of the thing though is learning repetoire, skills of playing with others etc. etc. And that takes time, no matter what instrument you play. You could start at 10 and be decent by 20 or start at 40 and be decent by 50. No short cuts!!
  3. That's the truth of it, LDT. And I suppose why Clare music sounds a lot like it does. They like concertinas down there and the handy way to play tunes on the Anglo was to stick to the C row. Gives the music a different feel as if you take tunes in their standard keys of D, G, E etc. and play them on this row, you get same tune but 'mellower' key. That's my very basic understanding of Clare style. Unfortunately though, if you play Irish trad. elsewhere, people like to play in the standard keys ('cos it suits flutes and whistle etc.) and then you have to start crossing the rows etc.
  4. The problem Dirk with answering your query is that there are hundreds of 'easy' tunes! Furthermore tutors at these kind of classes often try to find a tune that the group participants don't know. This is so they don't have preconceived notions on how it might sound or 'bad habits' in technique etc.
  5. Don't know how many concertina classes there are in Drumshanbo - I did a box class there about 5 years ago and there were 3 classes - advanced, inter, 'beginner'. Usually there's a grading at these things - you play a tune and are assigned a class, so no guarantee, you'll get Noel. AFAIK, at Willie Week, Noel doesn't even teach - he just organises all the other tutors. But Joe Mooney is a good bit smaller so unlikely to have that luxury there!
  6. That's my kinda experience too - I've an old Lachenal which not unreasonably loses a bit of air here & there after 90+ years - bellow move nice & freely. OTOH, my daughter has a Stagi type and it's more airtight & 'stiffer'. The question for people with new instruments of superior quality - does the same thing hold? Do you have to play it for a few years and wear a few parts to loosen it up?
  7. Jaysus, David .. it's a long way from discussions of virtuousity that young Tom Lenihan who features in that video, was reared. If that's your ideal, and I see no reason why it shouldn't be, methinks you need to get rid of a lot of baggage and analysis - get back to the simpler things in life..
  8. Well - I'll go along with your no.13. I know one of my weaknesses is being a bit lazy when I have to play the same note in succession. i.e. I'm a bit inclined to mush them together rather than articulate separately or separate cleanly with a cut. Was listening to the Mrs Crotty CD the other day and she sure plays them cleanly.
  9. Haven't checked to see which are not running this year - but normally there'd be a much longer list than that in Ireland. In previous years you could start in the Willie Week and then go to South Sligo, then to Joe Mooney, then to Scoil Acla .... Nearly every wee bit of a village has run trad festivals it seems for a weekend at least in recent years. Many would have a concertina workshop of some sort.
  10. Gosh Sean!! Trust you find a good buyer in these tight times. You're sure flying through the instruments these days
  11. Wouldn't we love to know what sort of money you paid for it!!! Starting bid was Euro 500 - would have been quite a snip at that price.
  12. Yes, I come across this too often enough. It seems that your conscious mind can and does get in the way when learning a tune - and when you let you fingers go where they will, often the tune comes out grand and then you start thinking 'what did I do there?' but of course as soon as you think about doing it again, it vanishes. So you stop thinking too much about it and it comes back again. Experience the same thing in sessions with tunes you haven't played in a while - if you just go with the flow, it can often work out but try and think 'what's the name of this tune' or what notes make up the phrase and you trip up rapidly. Who knows what's going on but sure it's all part of the game..
  13. Euro 7000 ono??? Well, I'll offer say Euro 1000 !! If that's nearest offer, be sure to let me know, won't you
  14. Well ... if you insist, Hooves. But if you're going that far, why not just donate your anglos to me if they're all that worthless. I'll take the old ones off your hands at any rate
  15. Not sure, I'd entirely agree with that. Purpose of these is usually to separate 2 notes of the same pitch or to accentuate/ lift a note. e.g. suppose on an Anglo you had to play two G's on the LHS C row, you might separate them with a very quick C on the RHS C row. The cutting note, C in this case borrows a little time from the second G. But it doesn't have to be a C, it could be any convenient higher note going the same bellows direction. You shouldn't hear what pitch the cutting note is As to ornamentation in general, as my daughter would put it, 'it's those twiddly bits you put in'.
  16. You need to know a tune well enough so you can play it whilst also listening to what others are playing around you (so you keep time with them, make sure you're playing same tune!, same key). Bit like learning to tap your foot to keep rhythm - you need to do 2-3 things at same time. This just takes practice and time.
  17. Theo is right - your query is well addressed in the melodeon link. When you can figure whether a tune is in G major or D major, then you can figure out the rest. Otherwise you'll tie yourself in knots. the easiest way to transpose is by ear.
  18. I'd use the D on the push (G row) on the first phrase. That'll balance out the pulls on the F# & A's etc. A lot of tunes have F#, A & D's and I find it usually easier to let the left hand pinky do the work on the F# & D.
  19. The only observation I can offer is that progress learning a musical instrument never seems to be linear. It is not the case, in my experience, that if you put in more time then you automatically get better - in fact, you can easily get worse!! The graph goes up and the graph goes down but as long as the ups last longer than the downs, you'll progress! Listening to and absorbing the type of music you want to play is just as useful when you're doing something else. Whistling or humming the tunes and keeping time with your foot is good to do. All these little things help as half the battle is knowing what you're aimimg for.
  20. That's a grand wee poem - looking through yer mans biography, he sure lived a busy life! Regarding elder, was it here or somewhere else, very recently, that I read about same thing in northern part of Ireland. Here the elder is called the Bour Tree if I recall correctly and it was speculated that this was a reference to the fact that the pith could be bored out easily for whistles and the like.
  21. I just acquired this recently and it's grand music but if I recall correcly, he doesn't play much on a C/G. Most of the tracks are played on a Bflat and a Aminor instrument or something like that - so he could be playing in 'odd' keys.
  22. I'd say you're probably right with view on whistle being a kid's instrument - but, of course even if a child takes up box or fiddle or whatever, they'll still be able to pick up a whistle and knock out tunes on it, even years later as an adult. The other curious fact about written notation in Irish Trad, is that even though the tunes are often learnt by ear by musicians with a few years under their belts, most teachers of children will supply written notes for the tune in the form described above. They recognise that a child needs a bit of help to remember how the tune goes when they go home to practice. So learning by ear is an acqured skill by and large.
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