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Everything posted by tombilly

  1. Hmm, I think it's tricky and each family has to make it's own way - there are many different approaches to learning and many different cultural nuances. I'm sure Mischa has the best interests of his daughter to heart. Even around here I know of one family whose kids all play classical to a high level but they get up at 5 and 6 in the morning to practice before school. I don't see them smiling too much when I hear them play but who knows? It could be just routine for them - it could be tyranny that they'll rebel against later, maybe they'll look back as adults and be glad they 'forced' to work at it. For ourselves, we have a more laissez faire approach - those that want to play, do so and we try different methods of learning. Specifically with regard to Trad music in Ireland, most children of your age will start on tin whistle. They play that for a few years and around 10-12, choose another instrument(s). The whistle is handy enough and the tunes learnt can be transferred to new instrument. With regard to teachers etc., some might use staff music but commonly the notes are just written out e.g. GA BG AG BG..., something like ABC notation.
  2. That's classic Catch22 - you need to learn loads tunes for several years and then when you know these well, you can then find it easier to pick up new tunes on the fly. That's a sweeping generalisation, of course! Some tunes are catchy, easy and sit well on certain instruments - others are much harder to nail down. So, as you progress - some tunes are handy to pick up quickly but others require a lot of attention. The balance just changes.
  3. Playing music with others is definitely something that takes a little time. You need to be confident of your own playing of the tune and be comfortable with the tempo. You've got to kinda keep an ear out for the overall sound of the group - if your instrument is merging well with the other instruments, you're doing well. If it's not, then somethings 'wrong' - could be you are playing a different version of the tune, your timing is off or you're simply hitting the 'wrong' notes. It's an ongoing process as your repetoire and skill develops - a good session player seems to know when to join in and when to sit it out and listen. You could try to play along with recordings, slowed down if necesssary. These might be CD recordings but better still is to record the local session tunes you want to learn, ask first for courtesy!!, then play along with at home to get comfortable with them.
  4. What!!! But LDT, you're a chronic poster on social forums like these - full of chat & guff. If you enjoy playing a few tunes, you'll fit in well enough with most sessions - that's why people meet up in the first place, they enjoy playing a bit of music.
  5. If as I suspect, you are simply buying an instrument for a child and are not quite sure what you're looking at/ for - then avoid eBay!! There are several types of instrument in all sorts of conditions out there - you might be lucky and chance on the right thing, but more likely will waste money. You'd be much better off paying a little more perhaps and buying from a dealer, say like Chris Algar in the UK - Barleycorn Concertinas, I think he is.
  6. But David, I could have sworn you were Cocusflute and Cocus etc. for a few years!!
  7. I don't think the original poster was suggesting that one is better than the other - but reflecting that on taking up a new instrument, they found it easier to play by ear on that and improved skills on both instruments as a result. Yep, I'd agree that many trad/ folk musicians do learn to read music as a means of learning a tune - one elderly box player was telling me recently how it was made out to be more difficult that it was and that he 'learnt it' in one evening years ago!! But as for snobbery - I find it the other way round. I know a couple of people who have to have music stands and scores in front of them and they would tend to look down on any lesser mortals who just play what's in their heads.. they don't play trad of course, I need hardly add.
  8. Yep, that's the process HJC. When we formulate a thought in our heads and then speak it, we don't have to think how to manipulate our throat, tongue, lips etc. We've mapped out the sounds that make speech - that's the ultimate aim when playing a musical instrument as far as I'm concerned.
  9. I experienced the same sort of thing when I moved from accordion to whistle & flute. I simply took the tunes I had learnt somewhat laboriously on the box and played them on the fly on the new instruments as I knew how they should go in my head. I then found it much easier to pick up new stuff on the whistle/ flute, catch the rhythm, catch the phrasing etc. I gave up box though and then latterly came to concertina as I found it suited me better than accordion. Done much the same thing learning the concertina (anglo) although the fingering is no way as intuitive yet as the wind instruments. Tunes in G, I can mostly knock out without thinking about it but I'll often get caught in D with a new tune or one I haven't played in a while as I still have to refigure the best button option - get caught playing on the right when I should be on the left etc. So, the key thing is the taking up of the second instrument and making the effort to just take what you know and play music on it without thinking too much about it.
  10. The mind boggles!! .. yous must be very randy up North.
  11. There are lots of wee festivals put on around Ireland on all sorts of prextexts - trad, pub talent, walking, dancing, knitting ... But generally the push behind them are the local small businesses - pubs, shops and accommodation owners. If funding is sought and got, it's usually on the basis of how many bums will be brought into town. That's the reality of most festivals and I agree with Peter to some extent that the Willie Week seems to be slightly above that but maybe they can afford to be because of the huge numbers turning up, if you know what I mean. A mate of mine went up to highly publicised Temple Bar Trad Festival in Dublin recently to find lots of sessions but none he could play in because the musicians were all booked and paid for by the pubs so as to keep the punters buying their very expensive pints happy!! He went back to his very expensive hotel in disgust! The better festivals have the raft of ordinary musicians who just turn up to meet and enjoy playing a few tunes. Sorting out which is which and keeping the balance is the tricky thing.
  12. Don't know about concertina - but when I was a child, many moons ago, one of my sisters taught me how to finger "Oh can you wash your father's shirt, oh can you wash it clean ...." etc., on the piano. That was my little party piece for a few years but many years later as an adult, my first tune on an accordion was Raglan Road or Fainne Gael an Lae depending on how you play it. Funny how you remember these things..
  13. Sometimes that opening d is emphasised and if you play it on the right hand, you can double note with the low D on the left. It also balances out the work between the hands.
  14. That's a good one - but I don't understand. Suppose you want to sell your car in Quebec to another private citizen - you advertise and come to an agreement and s/he writes a cheque or gives you cash. How does this tax thing work then? Do you, as honest citizen, go to the tax man and say 'here's your slice'!! Or is tied into the paperwork that goes with re registering the car owner? Who pays? Maybe you don't much sales tax on the original purchase of the car and the tax is spread out over it's lifetime. But this must be special arrangement for cars - it hardly applies if you sell, say furniture or musical instruments, privately.
  15. I'll add this again in case anyone missed it Anyone asked to pay VAT (Value Added Tax or Sales Tax) when importing a used instrument in a private sale should query it very strongly with their tax authorities. The general principles of VAT is that they are charged (collected) by VAT registered business on goods and services supplied to the public. Each business balances the VAT they collect and what they pay out to suppliers. The difference is then paid to the government on a monthly/ annual basis. You buy a lawnmower - you pay VAT, you get a haircut - you pay VAT. You buy a used lawnmower from a neighbour - you don't pay VAT because 1) the original purchaser has already paid the VAT and 2) the seller is not registered for VAT. You buy a new lawnmower from a small business that is not registerd for VAT - you don't pay VAT. You buy a new lawnmower by importing it from outside EU into say, Ireland from a VAT registered company. They export it VAT free and and you pay local VAT rate on import. Lawnmowers and concertinas are the same in tax law. Second hand goods from private sellers are not liable for VAT General taxes such as 'import duties' are harder to argue - basically these are made up by each tax authority and there are no principles attached - you just pay them, like income tax!
  16. Ha, when I was learning the accordion, my teacher suggested patting the head with right hand and moving left hand in circular motion on tummy. Same sort of thing and the point was to co-ordinated the basses/chords left hand with the melody on the right. It's the same with tapping your foot to keep the rhythm - lots of beginners find this hard as they must learn to put the tap on auto. They start thinking about the melody and foot tap at same time and get confused. But like anything, practice and it becomes second nature.
  17. I swopped some instruments with a chap in the States a few years back, no money changed hands. I wrote down a lowish value on the flute and he received no problem with taxes - he wrote down a 'full value' of his instrument and I got hit for a couple of hundred Euro 'Duty' & VAT here in Ireland. I paid and then argued the case fully, sent pictures of the instrument to show it was clearly used in to the Revenue and got about half back. There is a claims procedure in Ireland if you think you've been unfairly treated. Whatever about Duty tax (slap some old fee on), VAT (Sales Tax) is a funny one since as far as I know, VAT is normally charged by registered businesses on new goods and services etc. When I invoice someone abroad, I can invoice as VAT free for export and the customer pays their local VAT authority when they receive in their country. Two questions arise here: the instrument was Used, any VAT originally due when it was first made has long since been collected - how can the Revenue justify charging VAT twice? Chrisstevens more than likely is not a registered for VAT and therefore does not have to collect it or account for it and goods s/he sells shouldn't be liable for it. Look at it this way - even suppose Chrisstevens had made the Jeffries!! and was selling it new to someone in Ireland and s/he was not registered for VAT - she would not charge VAT on it to customers and they would not be liable to it. VAT is a very simple tax in theory but the tax authorities make up very complicated rules to administer it. As far as I can see in the case of old instruments from unregistered sellers, they are simply chancing their arms and making it up as they go along!!
  18. Looks like we have a wee Goal problem here LDT!!! Go learn 100 or 200, 1000 even .......... ... .. .
  19. Well, I wouldn't be shocked. Isn't that the way the world has gone, probably following in USA network TV footsteps Soccer in the UK is now almost entirely Sky Sports and rugby is/ was going the same way. But these are professional games with a big commercial ethos. The GAA avows to be amateur in ethos - that's the rub!! At least trad music is mostly free of these machinations and we may be thankful for that.
  20. Ah, I see now! Your original query is not very clearly phrased
  21. There's a row going on here in Ireland precisely because it was broadcast on Setanta (pay for view) and not public TV like RTE. The GAA make a great play on the amateur ethos and all the voluntary help at local clubs, are quite against paying players ... but are quite happy to accept the highest bid for TV rights and to hell with the voluntary helpers at local clubs who would now have to pay to see the games on TV!!! A different perspective..
  22. What?!! I assume you're not serious!! Mayofiddler is just engaged in that good old fashioned Irish trait of self deprecation. Slagging yourself off etc.
  23. I'l lost!! Where are ye jumping? If you're playing GBd to lead into the second part, surely you would playing the B after the G using the inside row, left hand and then follow with your d & e?? Mind you, for what it's worth I play the B & d on the right hand middle row (sin of sins) and continue on with the e - that's easy and allows for a little double noting on the efe with the E on the left hand.
  24. Too true - listen to Mary MacNamara, sounds lovely and easy paced. Pick up your instrument and play along and you'll find she's going at a fair clip.
  25. Seems we've gone the opposite extreme with modern makes like Suttner - there you have a choice of A1, A2, A3 .....!!!! Somehow doesn't sound quite the same
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