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Everything posted by Priscilla

  1. Thank you all! I"m off and sailing, enthusiastically learning this lovely tune. You have empowered me! Isn't that an amazing process?... you hear a tune you like, amazingly enough, others have heard it too, people respond from across the seas, you find the musical notation and in nothing flat, you're off and playing the tune, yourself! Nothing short of miraculous. I almost have to pinch myself, is this a dream? Wish all things in life we work hard at were this gratifying.
  2. First, a warm shout-out to all the great people who came to NESI, especially Ken Sweeney and Frank Edgley both of whom I was delighted to see again. They even had a wonderful workshop together. That alone was worth the price of admission. I miss Bucksteep, but the cabin accomodations were very much nicer. I like sea-faring novels, and sea-faring music. I lately came across a tune on a CD entitled "Classic Maritime Music", Smithsonian Folkways Recordings, number 13, "Ten-Penny Bit" performed by Ellen Cohn on the concertina. I fell in love with the tune. Any of you also fans of this beautiful tune? Does anyone have the musical notation for it, so I can try to learn it? Many thanks! And best wishes to all Priscilla
  3. I found it on a CD entitled "Our Land Our Music, Australiana Collection" cd1 (out of 2). It is the 3rd song on the first CD. beautiful c'tina accompaniment and nice singer. I fell in love with the tune. thanks! Priscilla
  4. I would like to find the musical notation to the song "Bold Jack Donahue" so I can learn to play it on my Anglo Lachenal C/G concertina. Does anyone play this song in their repetoire, and can point me in the direction for finding the notes written out so I can try to memorize it? many heartfelt thanks! Priscilla
  5. I like this website! thanks for suggesting it...fascinating, especially the "askscience" section, I always have questions about science! fun other stuff on there too.
  6. Thanks for the warning! I *really* don't want to get on people's nerves. I suspect I'll stay a beginner all my life, enthusiastic about things other people shake their heads about. I'm the youngest in my family, so I'm used to everyone around me being much better at everything than I. My brother used to play Piping Tim of Galway on the harmonica when I was small, and I thought it the most beautiful tune in the world. Today I still love it. Ah, the simple things in life. Nothing tastes as good as simple bread and butter (real butter), and two glasses of wine don't taste better than one. I know I drive the people I live with crazy practicing my simple tunes over and over. Torturing them. It's okay because they torture me too. I'd never have the nerve to play The Rights of Man solo at the Irish session I go to, I'm just way too slow, and not all that ambitious truth be known. But thanks for your feedback!
  7. I'm a slow beginner on Anglo C/G Lachenal and this weekend a friend helped me learn the tune The Rights of Man, and I love it!! It's a really good tune for beginners, because you can pick it up quickly and it sounds wonderful. I'm going now every week to an Irish session in Audubon NJ and it really helps motivate me to learn new tunes. Anyone else fall in love with the tune for The Rights of Man?! I just can't stop playing it. : )
  8. I have not lived there for a long time now, and language grows almost as fast as our children do, but when I lived in Germany they said ziehen und druecken for pull and push, respectively, though perhaps they have specific vocabulary used for music. Quetschen (squeeze) is what we did to fruit to make juice, or to describe people squeezed in an elevator. Ich druecke dich fest was always a term of endearment, I hug you tightly...which perhaps also could be used depending on how affectionately you regard your concertina. Ziehen is to pull, but ausziehen is to undress, so caution should be used in that case. Many beautiful words!
  9. I was there! It was wonderful! First cold and rainy a little, was very impressed by seeing lots of locals in t-shirts, tough folks! I was in the Sea Shanties class in the morning, with Bob Webb...wonderful! Very informative, interesting discussion about origin of songs, and he sung and played his McCann duet so beautifully. Afternoon I took Irish tunes for beginners, learned a wonderful slip gig which I'm still practicing. Final class was with Jody Kruskal "masters class". Wonderful assortment of tunes played by a large variety of participants. Jody's an excellent listener, he made very helpful suggestions and managed the overcrowded class extremely well. The concert in the evening did indeed feature all the teachers, including Jacqueline McCarthy who played very complex tunes and made it look like no effort at all, gorgeous old melodies. It's worth the price of admission just to hear these artists perform live. It's truly a labor of love for them. They make their concertinas sprout wings and soar. We're so lucky to have such a Workshop ("we" concertina players) and it was an inspiring weekend! I look forward to the Northeast Squeeze In, in the fall. Thanks to all who attended (both teachers and learners) for making it a very enjoyable get-together. An opportunity to bring together so many amazing artists and show us beginners what all types of concertinas are capable of in loving hands. Three cheers for the Buttonbox! Bring over Alan Day next year to perform! Priscilla
  10. Really beautiful! I enjoyed it so much. Wish I could play that well. Lovely song! Thank you for posting it. Very pretty concertina too!
  11. Practice is what propells us further, whatever we're trying to master in life. But often for beginners, practice becomes tedious and we get bogged down, even give up. What makes practice fun? What motivates you to practice? Varying c'tina tutors (which then offer you not only different methods, but different tunes), and transcribing your favorite tunes into tablature, I have found both helpful. I think it's like getting a child into a bathtub...very hard to overcome the initial inertia, but once the child is in the soapy warm water, it's even harder to get them out! I find the hardest part perhaps in getting myself to practice c'tina is simply to begin. To sit down and get it out, hold it...then it already starts to become fun. I recently had the wonderful good fortune of getting to play the same tune with a more experienced musician, and it catapulted me into a new realm. It was like a lifejacket at sea, I felt I couldn't drown. He kept the melody coming, and every time I got lost, I just waited till a familiar part came around again, and jumped back in. It was like someone holding my head above water so I could breathe, while paddling bewilderly in deep water. I would like to hear other people's tricks to motivate themselves to keep practicing. What is frustrating to me is that it's not a clear ascent, "the more you practice, the better you get", it's more like "one step forward, two steps back", at least it feels that way. The road to improvement is littered with potholes and boulders, twists and turns, diversions, random tornados, plateaus, it's not a straight line. You have to keep telling yourself, 'this is worth it'. It is! ..but you only realize it, if you stand back. Sometimes I will practice my favorite morris dance tune and play it perfectly once, and botch it up the next 3 times, and then play it perfectly again suddenly out of nowhere, and then stumble over sections again... I love it, and I think I'm hooked, but I always have to take breaks from it. I wish I could practice it studiously every single night. I know that's just not me. It comes in spurts. That's probably not a great way to practice. Tell me about how you practice, and how you keep it fun, keep the romance going, stay in love and keep growing with the concertina! Thanks, Priscilla
  12. LDT, I'm a beginner and you inspire me! I think they're great!! You've brave. I think it very commendable that you play evenly steadily (which is not an easy feat... I always speed up on the easy parts and slow down on the harder ones), and you're playing from memorization...I still have to have the crutch of written out notes to follow. I'm so proud of you! You're a musician in my book. Courage! Isn't it fun?? Very impressed and enjoyed listening a lot. Beginners need other beginners to listen to, not just all the professionals out there. Thanks! Priscilla
  13. Hi! I just wanted to say, for all you beginners who perhaps think you've hit a plateau... I think one of the solutions is to get a beginners book from someone new. It allows you to approach it a slightly different way than perhaps you're used to, and it's exciting, suddenly you have a breakthrough and can progress a little further. This happened to me. I started with Mel Bay's Deluxe C'tina Book by Frank Converse which is wonderful! But after a while, when I could play all my favorite tunes in it, I didn't really know what to do next. Then a friend gave me Absolute Beginners C'tina by Mick Bramich and that was really cool, and it explained it from a totally different angle, and I surged ahead and was learning new songs. Then I stagnated again, but I've just recently acquired Frank Edgley's The Anglo C'tina tutor book, and it's wonderful! Once again, taught slightly differently, I'm off running, learning new songs, learning a new way to play them! So, I would warmly recommend this to all beginners, just keep trying different beginner books because each one has something unique to teach. (I don't know if there are a lot of "intermediate" books, my impression is...there are beginners and then advanced, and not much inbetween...don't know what I'll do when I get there) What I really love about Frank Edgley's Anglo tutor is 1. he's found an easy way to teach those of us who don't yet know how to read notes, do to so!, and it's amazingly painless! And let me tell you, I'm a really slow learner at this, so this is an amazing breakthrough for me. 2. he gives you an invaluable chart matching the buttons with the notes you'll see in printed music, not just the alphabet letter. Before, most of my lesson books just took the easy approach of assigning your fingers numbers. This really helps getting you started if you know absolutely nothing about music (which I did), but later, it's a handicap to rely solely on "tablature". I also really am enjoying Frank Edgley's CD "Bridges", very pretty music! Just wanted to suggest, if any of you are beginners and bogged down... try another person's learning book, and definitely include Frank Edgley's in the list! I'm playing lovely songs which I would have thought were too far above my level. Good luck Priscilla
  14. Is there anyone teaching Anglo concertina in the South Jersey/Philly/northern Delaware area? I'm a beginner with a lot of enthusiasm...not too great at reading notes, but keep trying. Please let me know if you like teaching, play Anglo, and are in the 08084 zip code vicinity. Thanks so much! Priscilla
  15. I am new to the music "scene" so I'm afraid I can't offer any solutions, and merely want to write in and say...I was at the 2009 NESI too, and loved every minute of it. It was my 2nd year attendance, and it just gets better and better. Since I'm not "fluent" in music yet, myself, I largely go to listen to great great music and to meet very kind, extremely interesting people. If I learn a new tune while there on my borrowed anglo concertina, that's icing on the cake. I met Rich Morris last year, and enjoyed his company immensely. I was impressed by everyone who attended. This year I was so happy to meet such exceptional people for the first time as Frank Edgely (please forgive me if I'm spelling names wrong), Dianne, Robin, Juliette and her fiancee (forgive me again for the missing name), Heather, Elizabeth...and many familiar faces from last year. I think if Buttonbox asserts itself enough to ask for specific help in arranging NESI, there will be plenty of volunteers to make it happen. I'm unfortunately not proficient enough in the business world to understand the ins and outs of how this can be done best, but I think NESI brings together extraordinary exceptional people from all walks of life, and I'm confident that we will pull together, volunteer to help, and keep NESI going in fond memory of Rich Morris who brought us all together....a very fortuitous meeting of great minds. Perhaps many silent followers of c'net are like me, and were not "born to music" but are getting there gradually through such inspiring get-togethers as NESI, meeting "real" musicians (what a thrill!), learning from their wisdom, and feeling welcomed, given encouragement to keep at it until perhaps even we can play a tune or two, amazing as that seems to us today. Thank you all for attending, it's my favorite weekend all year! Priscilla
  16. Hooray NESI! It'll be so much fun, I can't wait. I was new last year and fell in love with it. I recommend everyone attend! People are so nice and friendly (especially to beginners) and the music is stupendous. The cabins are wonderful, cozy and yet outdoorsy, a good night's rest close to nature... the food is amazing, lots of it and lots of variety, plenty to pick from... I'm really hoping there will be another Quebecois tune class..that was my favorite last year. I loved the fire in the fireplace, the interesting people I got to meet from every walk of life, I'm hoping to see many faces again that I'll recognize, all incredibly talented and yet never stuck up or proud, the beauty of the landscape, the sky stretching out overhead with millions of stars lighting it up, the fantastic classes, the great music, the fun and impressive performance Saturday night and the contradance! I will miss Rich Morris whom I only got to meet for the first time last year at NESI, but who made a lasting impression on me, so kind and knowledgible, the true spirit of the concertina player and builder. I'm counting the days! Hope everyone will come! Unfortunately I'm not much better at it than I was last year when I had barely held one in my hands for the first time, am practicing now on a beautiful Lachenal, unworthy of me, but I want to be good at it someday. I'm looking forward to lots of inspiration at NESI, the pro's and the amateurs alike. It's just a beautiful place to go, and the nicest folks you could hope to meet, and music prettier than you'll hear anywhere! Priscilla
  17. O, I wish I had known earlier... I have to work this weekend, but I love Glen Echo Park, used to go there with my mom when I was little... and the Spanish Ballroom, very nice memory! Well, maybe next year I'll be able to jump aboard in time. Wish I could hear you play, I'm sure it'll be wonderful, thanks for letting us know about it! Priscilla
  18. I liked it! very nice, Jody, very upbeat and definitely reminiscent of old times... sounds like carrousel music to me. Delightful! Thank you! Priscilla
  19. Interesting! Sounds wonderful...congratulations, and happy years and years of playing! I admire your courage, to keep learning new things. I'm still such a beginner on concertina (Anglo) that switching to an English or Duet wouldn't be much more puzzling than working with the one I'm on now already is, which I've hardly scratched the surface on as far as understanding as yet. Still very open minded as to the merits of them all! Wishing you fun and adventure in your ongoing courageous musical journey Priscilla
  20. I have had too these moments of grace, when something which is normally difficult, comes easily to me. But then it's gone... as suddenly as it came. It comes when least expected, and cannot be beckoned or summoned at will. To me, it's the opposite of effort...if you "try" too hard, if you even "try" to make it come, it'll run away from you, like a shy wild animal, but if you ignore it, and absorb yourself in the moment, relax and almost step out of yourself, become a vessel through which whatever you're trying to do, moves and flows... then sometimes it'll come and you're capable of the truly extraordinary, without effort. It's so fragile, you try to catch it and hold it, it'll slip away. Such moments are so precious, they come of their own whim and defy being controlled by effort. If at all such moments are to be created, then I think one must empty oneself of all agendas, all ambition, and forget oneself... then it's probably most likely. Simply play to your heart's content, forget all else, and I'll bet, such moments come perhaps more frequently. It's happened to me on very rare occasions, and I'm so grateful for these moments, I let them come as they will, confident sooner or later they will return... but only when I'm not looking! Priscilla
  21. There's one in the key of G at http://www.thesession.org/tunes/display/6867 Click on the sheetmusic tab. Hope that helps. Pete Thank you!!!! Priscilla
  22. Anyone know a source where I might find a very easy beginner level's version of this beautiful enchanting melody to be played on an Anglo C/G concertina? Priscilla
  23. Well, in honesty, I don't have much to compare it to. I didn't know where to start, and don't have a natural "ear" for music, so I can't pick out tunes just by listening to them. I'm "paper trained" as the expression goes, and yet I read notes very slowly, like a first grader in school. But I like to have the crutch of notes on paper to lean on when my memory fails me... can't rely on "muscle memory". Same with written words, as familiar and beloved as a piece of poetry is to me, I can't recite well from memory, and reading old favorite books/poems etc. never gets old, there's always something that remains new about them... same goes for music I assume. You find new beauty in old tunes, no matter how often you play/hear them. This beginner book by Frank Converse... it's laid out very well, to my mind. It tells you where to put your fingers, it interprets each note as either push or pull by illustrating a little box as either empty or filled in, you soon get used to it, and it's full of easily identifiable melodies which one can quickly learn to play as a beginner, lending one then courage to progress to more challenging things. I'm in no hurry... and I'm not ambitious. Simple tunes are as enchanting to me as symphonies played by orchestras. I'd love to learn O Danny Boy on the concertina, and am sure one day I'll find it described simply enough for even me to play. I look forward to that day. So... I'm afraid with nothing to compare it to, this book by Frank Converse I really find excellent... I've forged ahead at a speed that even surprises me, and can now play, only after about 6 weeks, 2/3 of the tunes in the book, with great enjoyment. It has you playing "across the rows" pretty early, and it's really not that difficult... the reward is far greater than the effort, as you recognize the tune you're playing and it takes on a new beauty to your ears since you yourself are manufacturing it for the first time. I switched from a Renelli to now a beautiful old Lachenal C/G Anglo and I think it may be the love of my life! The bellows are a little leaky, but ...the way love is, you begin to love the flaws as much as the seeming perfection of the object of your affection. Hope everyone enjoys their musical journey as much as I do. Priscilla
  24. Hi Priscilla, I have this book as well. I hadn't used it lately, but when I saw your post I thought I'd look it up since I like that tune as well. Problem is, my copy of this tutor doesn't have a piece by this name ("She moved through the fair"). The copywrite on mine is 1981. Do you have a different edition of the same Frank Converse tutor? O my goodness...I'm so sorry to be the author of so much confusion! I was praising this book by Frank Converse under the C'net heading "Teaching and Learning", and then here on "Tunes" I was saying how much I like the song, "She Went Through the Fair", but you're absolutely right, the latter is not in the former. It is in "Absolute Beginners Concertina" by Bramich which the friend who generously lent me a concertina to practice on, gave me as well. I find this book more difficult, but it probably teaches you more in the way of music theory. It does however have the wonderful tune "She Went Through the Fair"! For that alone, it is well worth it, in my humble opinion. Sorry it took me so long to reply! Priscilla
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