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Eric Barker

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Everything posted by Eric Barker

  1. Thank you for the quick response. Regarding the Hayden duet, have you identified any fingering problems that would make you want to avoid certain types of tunes? I have not yet played the duet but I can see some possible fingering difficulties solved by use of the octave overlap. And the system looks promising since I love to play pipe tunes and providing drone accompaniment with the English. The Hayden looks like it would offer more possibilities for drone type fills. Thank you, Eric B.
  2. I am sorry to revisit this topic but I am hoping to find the concertina with the greatest strengths. This of course is the same old Anglo, English, Duet question. The question is which system offers the best change of playing the most types of music. The reason I am asking is that it seems that each type of system has some difficulties with fingering esp. with fast music. On the English the jump from e to b using the left side ring finger is a struggle. On the right side there are similar problems on say c# to g. Sometimes the problem can be fixed with holding ones hands differently and using different fingers but...That sometimes leads to transitional fingering difficulties as one moves to the next phrase in the tune. I'm sure the Anglo and the Hayden have similar problems with fingering in certain classes and types of tunes. So, when looking at the strengths of the various types of concertina, which one would offer the greatest range of music with the fewest problems with fingering. Should one be looking at a 65 button Hayden, or an extended tenor treble English or a 40 button Anglo. I picked the 40 button for this question because I am guessing that it would offer the largest number of reversals and should solve many fingering problems. Any advice would be great. Thank you so much! Eric in Montana.
  3. The Haydentina certainly looks like it could be quite practical and loads of fun. Is it possible to make it fully chromatic at the press of a button? For example: The current one looks great for c,d and g. If I want to play in the flat keys could we have a button to dial up the correct "hand position" and thus find ourselves playing in the desired key? (Since we don't have a 65+ key instrument we should be able to shift there digitally. The regular key sequence should make this a possibility) Just a thought! Thank you, Eric in Montana
  4. I also play the ukulele. I have a small one at this time. I hope to pick up a tenor size this summer. English concertina, melodeon and ukulele together make a quiver of instruments that can be managed. Perhaps not as light as a bundle of whistles, but better than when I was hauling melodeon, concertina, guitar, banjo and bouzouki. I'm thinking hayden concertina and uke should cover the key of c quite well. I have been hearing some very nice finger style uke lately. Eric
  5. My Wheatstone lives in Montana where it is relatively high and dry. Usually it plays well but there are places it does not like. When the weather is hot I can not play with the ceiling fan running as I hear a wobble. The other place I do not like to play is in the downstairs of my home. The concertina always sounds a bit stuffy and slow down there. Eventually I plan to purchase a tenor range hybrid for road trips. Once I took the Wheatstone to Florida and it felt like it was sucking up the humidity and it sounded like a sinus cold. Part of the problem with my old instrument (mid 20s) is the small cracks in the reed pan. Eventually I will have her fixed up as good as new. Good luck finding a solution to your voicing concerns. Eric in Montana.
  6. I hear you. ITM can be very frustrating. On the other hand, Irish music still has many regional styles. You might find that you really like the music from Clare for example. You can spend more time listening to Clare music and searching for tutors in that style. I think each style has difficulties but if you focus on one style instead of many styles you will sooner achieve a high standard of playing. At this time I have been enjoying the clips Peter L. provided of Kitty Hayes. And I enjoy the concertina work in The Lonely Stranded Band. Of course, you might find sessions in your area that will dictate how you play. All-in-all it is fun and you should find helpful people along the way. Good luck! Eric in Montana
  7. I too have wondered about interchangeable reed pans. In specific I am curious about interchangeable reed pans in the limited range Hayden concertinas. One could spend years on the 46 key instrument. At some point one might desire to play in some other keys using the same fingering. Instead of purchasing a heavy expensive 80+ key instrument one could buy the next 46 keys and play it exactly the same way but with different keys. The same thing could be accomplished with 3 Elise concertinas. One reed pan for folk and one for jazz etc... I should get back to my studies now. Thank you! Eric in Montana
  8. I would like some more information about duet concertinas. I have been considering the Elise. What are peoples experiences thus far with the Elise? I know they must still be in the breaking in the bellows stage, but I have recently heard a Rochelle playing in the Bozeman Montana session and it sounds great and plays well. My thought is that the Elise must be on par with the Rochelle. What are Elise players willing to share about their explorations in the duet world? Thank you, Eric in Montana
  9. Hi Ross, Here is some old information but it might be a start. I was in New York 3 or 4 years ago chasing sessions. There was a fellow playing English concertina with the Sligo fiddler Tony DeMarco. If you can find Tony you might be able to find the concertina player. Brian Conway is another Sligo style fiddle player who runs sessions and he might be able to help you find Tony and the concertina player. And you might try the Center for Free Reed Studies at the City University of New York. If all else fails try calling the Button Box and someone there might have ideas for you. Good Luck! Eric in Montana.
  10. I play the English concertina and while I like the idea of harmony and use it in a basic fashion on slow pieces, I find it difficult to present well. My oldest child is learning violin and the basic beginning tunes work as a foundation for the more difficult pieces coming up. I have not found fun recognizable pieces at a basic level for the English concertina. Instead, since I first picked up the English concertina when I was 40, I have discovered that I find pieces and tunes that I like and cobble something together within my abilities. This means I cannot build effectively from a simple idea to music that is more complicated. I reinvent the wheel constantly. That being said, the concertina is a great instrument and is effective with a great variety of music. Thank you, Eric
  11. Hello All, This is my first post on this forum. I play Irish music on English concertina. I think it works great as long as you play within your abilities. I suffer when reels are played at a fast speed. Otherwise, I play jigs, polkas, hornpipes, slides, slip-jigs, marches and airs with style depending on the tune. I try to find a piece that speaks to me and to play it at a speed where I think the tune sings its story. Thus far my problem with reels is finding a piece that will share its story with me. Now I am in Bozeman, Montana and there is one other person here who is starting on Anglo. And I know of at least 2 anglo players 100 miles away. Otherwise that is it. During the summers an individual from Chicago comes out with an English concertina. He takes lessons from John Williams and has mastered some fine reels. I do not enjoy playing ornaments because I like the melodys-oh sometimes I cut and drone and chord a bit, but usually on marches and slow modal jigs that can handle it. When playing in a band I play the most basic melody I can and let the fiddle or flute do the decorations. It is clean and the audience can pick up on the subtle bits if only one person is doing it. Well I am running on. I am enjoying these discussions! Eric in Montana
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