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Eric Barker

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Posts posted by Eric Barker

  1. This is a great discussion and will be useful as I contemplate the aquisition of a duet. It appears that all the duet keyboards would allow me to play drone with melody. I think the duet concertina would allow for some great psychedelic organ fills or some fabulous drones ala velvet underground. And the drone would be great on those wonderful scottish bagpipe tunes. Thank you!

  2. Hi, I am curious about the playability of drone chords on the more common duet concertinas. I am thinking about a layered effect similar to the drone that bagpipes produce. On my english I use a droned A on Campbells Farewell because I don't need to move the low A finger, but on other pieces where I might want a drone, I end up with finger tangles and lose the effect.

    Do all three duets ala Crane, Maccann, and Hayden allow for enough notes to be held constantly so as to produce a strong and constant drone? Yes I am in danger of over using this, but there is so much fun to be had...

    Thank you! eric in Montana

  3. I am interested in the idea of the Hayden with 2 right sides, whether a custom or a rebuilt MacCann. It could be effective for trad music from Ireland once one figures out how to allocate buttons for rolls and other embellishments. Would you want the two sides to be mirror images of each other or reversals? (ie. would middle C be under the index finger on both sides or would it be always on the right side of each respective array?)

  4. I was just viewing and enjoying some Steve Turner videos. I was quite taken with the style of accompanyment he used on his english concertina to support the vocals. It sort of reminded me of fingerstyle guitar/banjo where many notes in addition to the melody appear. I am just starting to work up Lord Franklins lament and was wondering if anyone would be able to give me some suggestions about how to work up this filligreed fingering method? I have also noted that Rob Hebron sometimes does something similar. I have tried chords but it was like an elephant stomping on the melody so I need something between chords and melody only-which is what I default to at this time. Thank you!

    Eric in Montana

  5. viva the drone! Thank you for the music. The changes are subtle and soothing in parts and arresting in others. Years ago I listened to Fripp and Eno and so I have some enthusiasm for the ambient/electonica sound. Keep posting your explorations. I hope to start working some drony ideas to support some folk songs that I enjoy. Well done! eric in montana

  6. This looks promising. I might be interested, depending on the price point. I can see the advantage of the large keyboard array but I wonder about something smaller (like a 46 button) that could have (capo) settings to shift the array in such a way that if you were playing in a flat key, you would still have the correct layout under your fingers just as if you were in home position with a full size instrument. I'm thinking of a shifting fingerboard instead of shifting fingers.

  7. I have experienced this problem off and on. My difficulties have usually come either with tunes that being played too fast (the band playing faster than I like to practice and play) or tunes that have accidentals in the 2nd or 3rd parts. I play english and call this situation "the finger tangles". Sometimes, if we are playing the tune several times through, I can relocate my space and get it right, sometimes, I have to stop and re-hear the music from the band. I learn most of my music from notes on the page and once memorized I really do not stray knowingly from that source. Over time I forget sections or they evolve and that might contribute to the problem when my ears and fingers do not agree. Recently, I have been trying to listen better and and trying to learn by ear. I think that once I make the ear connection, my fingers should be able to follow what I am hearing and perhaps that will help with the "finger tangles." Good luck!

  8. Hi, I would like to find EC players thoughts about finger patterns/thought patterns that enable you to transpose a tune or song from one key to another. For example, If I am playing a simple song in C, I can also slide my fingers one set of buttons further away and play in G using the same fingering except for the row change to play the F#. Now I might want to play in E on the same side or F on the other side. Is there a way to think about the transposing/use of the English keyboard system to learn to make changes on the fly? Or does this come down to trial and error and relearning a tune 12 ways to play in 12 keys? The large Hayden type duets have a fingering solution within their range, but it seems that the English has some rough patterns to follow too. Any thoughts? Thank you! Eric in Montana.

  9. Hi, I have been thinking about a switch from English to duet concertina but am now questioning those thoughts. I currently play a 56 key extended treble and part of the desire to switch was the high squeaky notes and the desire for more low drone notes. Most of the music I play on concertina includes folk/dance music and some easy versions of classical pieces and once-in-a-while I experiment with songs. I have realized for a while that I could use some notes lower than G so I could make peace with my voice and the songs. I have thought about a baritone concertina but worry about loss of speed with the dance music. (I don't have a baritone so I don't know that I would actually see a loss of speed-but I worry anyway.) So...when I look at various duet concertinas, I see some lower notes such as on a Tenor range English, and I see high squeakers that I don't need. Now I am thinking that a concertina similar to the geordie would grant me lower notes for some chords and drones without too many high notes and I would have the benefit of sticking with a system that I already know how to play, which would mean that perhaps I don't need to switch from English to duet.

     

    So my question for English concertina players is: What are the pros of choosing between tenor or baritone ranges for music ranging from songs to fiddle tunes? ( Oh, I no longer have a great need to play as fast as I can, I hope to learn to play with more sensitivity to support the song or melody)

     

    Thank you! Eric in Montana

  10. Comic Steven Wright has a short "mockumentary" film called One Soldier in which he plays both concertina and harmonica in his particular way. The film is gritty and in black-and-white. The music works for the film but requires active listening due to its...well it works for the purpose of the film. Thank you! Eric in Montana

     

    Here is the link, I had to get my son to do this for me, he is a native user.

     

    One Soldier

  11. When my "cowboy" uncle passed six years ago I played the Bard of Armagh, known to him as The Streets of Laredo. I played it on the english and took full advantage of the smooth playing with drones. When I played for a cousin I included the Aaron Boat Song which can be played with a misty thoughtfulness. The concertina is quite effective with laments and I think the brittle sound competes fairly well with the nuances and bending possible on non-fretted stringed instruments. eric in montana

  12. Hi, I think the Elise has been out for over a year now. For those who have been playing it for a while, how is it settling in? I'm not concerned with accidental mechanical failure. I'm still thinking of exploring the duet system and I have a budget. I would expect to use an Elise for 2-3 years before an upgrade. So, I hoping for verdicts on sound, bellows, and longevity and playability over the one - two years you have had the instrument. Thank you! Eric in Montana

  13. Hi Daniel,

     

    I notice that you are working on two different duet systems. Have you played enough on both to generalize about their respective virtues? I currently play English, but I really like drone accompaniment and I suspect I will be switching to a duet soon. As far as I can tell by reading peoples posts, I can learn any system but I don't have enough comparative information yet. I must say the Crane system looks interesting. Eric in Montana

  14. Wow! Thank you for your responses. The information about adding flats is great and I am wrapping my mind around that. The thought about moving the stave line down is great too. The movement of the stave line brings up another thought which is, since the English concertina has the left side = lines and right side = spaces, couldn't I merely shift my fingering away from me by one set of buttons and play as normal - just move my Doh note and make the adjustments to the outside rows as needed to correct the key sig? Or at least would this work for the collaboration with an Eb instrument? Thank you again for all your help.

    Best, Eric in Montana.

  15. Good day everyone. I am in danger of overthinking the process of transposition on my concertina. My young boy plays the baritone sax which is an Eb instrument. He has a collection of Christmas carols that I want to play with him but the notes on the sheet music don't match. Barring buying the flute music in c, what should I do to quickly transpose the music with him? Thank you. Have a great day! Eric in Montana.

  16. Your idea looks good. Better components in a folk friendly box would satisfy some players. If the better components included real concertina reeds you could actually make a slightly expanded scale range. Also, I see no reason why one couldn't have a Hayden built in the flat scales if that is where one wanted to play. One should be able to get Hayden concertinas to fit any grouping of octave tunes. The South African idea might generate some activity. Maybe even a part time builder could drop better components into an Elise a la the Irish Dancemaster in Florida. As a dulcimer player myself, I too, have often lived happily within narrow musical confines. I could see myself happy with the chording possibilities of a good 34 key Hayden, and later ordering one that would be Highland Pipe friendly or sax friendly. Good idea, Thank you, Eric B.

  17. Yes, a tenor-treble might be ideal. I've thought about the baritone but I'm not sure I want to stay in that low range. Plus so many pieces of music require some degree of quickness to play. The tenor-treble would give one more row of notes at the low end and should still preserve the quickness when so desired. I think the button box is still working on such a beast. Does anyone know for sure?

    Eric B.

  18. Well as usual everybody is making astute observations about the primary concertina systems and their respective players. And everyone's advice is right on the money. I (we) all need to spend time with the instrument of our choice and allow it to teach us how to use it's full potential. I suppose when considering each systems strengths and weaknesses and compromises, I am wondering if the 65 button Hayden really solves the issues involved with the instrument with fewer buttons, I am wondering if the extended tenor range in the 56 key English offers the best chance of self accompaniment in that system, and finally, does the 40 key Anglo really offer useful solutions to finger tangles and key options. At some point (on the surface) the larger instrument ought to offer more possibilities but being heavier and slower is the larger instrument really a solution? Why do the 40 key Anglo players want 40 keys instead of the 30 that is so common?

     

    Again, thank you for all the feedback. I currently play an extended treble English which has the super high notes that only dogs can hear. I am toying with the idea of exploring the other systems. I have already been enjoying the world of the diatonic melodeon which has major limitations compared to the concertinas, but, just like the concertina, it is loads of fun to play!

    Thank you, Eric in Montana

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