Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Posts posted by Ashkettle

  1. Well, my new Morse Ceili arrived last night and all I can say is that I am in love. I have noticed that there is a great improvement in this one over the last C/G I owned. Not that there was anything wrong with the other one...it's was great, but it's always amazing to see what a few more years of production can do to improve a product.


    The stiffness I expected in the new bellows was absent. The action on the buttons shocked me at how much more responsive it was than what I expected. The sound is exactly what I wanted. All in all, thank you Richard.

  2. A while back, I ended up being forced to sell my anglo to pay the bills when things got tight (man's gotta do what a man's gotta do). Well, it's been a few years, and I'm in much better financial shape. I decided I want my durned tina back.


    Since I have quite a collection of flutes and whistles, I've sold a few off this week to help with the purchase and it looks like I'll be placing an order to the Button Box (I loved my Morse) this weekend.


    Now, a question....key layout. I had previously used the Wheatstone layout, but the double C# on the Jeffries is looking mighty appealing to me. Any suggestions? I can't really tell any other pros or cons of either approach from looking at them.


    I'm expecting to start completely from scratch and enjoy every step of the way.


    Ken...seriously, we do need to meet some day eventually I think.



  3. The user has been a member for one month. Most of his transactions are private and the public ones (exempting the one where he bought from the 5k rated user) are all books worth about $5 AU.


    In other words, there is a strong chance this user sold some crap to build a little rating.


    CAVEAT EMPTOR. I wouldn't trust the user 100%, but the fact that they are allowing PAYPAL (which lets you chargeback if you don't recieve your item) is a plus.


    Of course, there remains the question of what shape it's in on the INSIDE.

  4. For Irish music, I've always preferred the older musicians so Edgley's tutor would seem to be the ideal one for me. However, with the size of my hands and fingers, I find it uncomfortable to be playing primarily on the G row. I feel much more comfortable playing on the C row and moving to G and the Accidental row for additional needs.


    Basically, I've adapted some styles to what suits me. I'm currently using more of a mixture of Edgley's style of approach, but on the C row (and using Bramich for some flexibility). Where I'll end up is all conjecture, but I'm starting (and barely) to get the feel that I want out of the basic melody (the right amount of bounce, etc).


    Of course, my ornamentation abilitys are still severely lacking, but it's not the destination, it's the trip that's fun.


    I still admit a fascination with Levy's tutor though. His use of chording and octave playing intrigues me.



  5. Well, I'm afraid to have to admit this to myself, but due to some financial pratfalls this month, I'm going to have to sell my Concertina.


    It's in pristine condition, comes with case and is a Lachneal layout.


    I'm looking for $1000 US for it. If interested, please send me a PM.



    At least I have my old Stagi to continue playing.

  6. Back in the 90s, I used to sing for a Punk/Ska band. We did a cover of this song as the ending to every set.


    Wonderful song, but no end of complaints from the band on the difficulty playing it while highly intoxicated. It definately qualifies as an accomplishment to learn it.



    Someday we'll find it...





    On an aside, for everybody who's PMs I seemed to ignore of late, I apologize. My comp, well...it blew up. Took a month to get my laptop replaced by the company. I was having some severe internet withdrawl.

  7. Richard, I don't know if I'm buying or not, but I'd love to try it while it is still in Pittsburgh.  Maybe its time we finally met up...maybe at the Thursday Irish Centre session next week, or before or after?




    I think I can manage that. It's about time, I agree.

  8. I'm looking to sell a G/D Morse Ceili.


    This is so new it's not even broken in yet. I've gotten some expenses coming in and having more than one Concertina isn't something I can currently convince the wife is an option.


    I'd like to get 1400 for it.

  9. The last few months, I've been playing mostly classical, so a few nights ago I thought I'd start focusing more on playing by ear (it's cyclic with me).  It was late, but I felt like playing.  I decided on Off She Goes, and well...off I went.  It was slow at first, just trying to make my fingers remember where to go.  Well after 5 or 10 minutes, I found myself nodding off, but I pushed on for maybe another 10 minutes.  During that time, I don't remember any coherent melody.


    The next morning, I tried playing it, and I had improved greatly!  I still had some trouble remembering the B part, but I was much better than I had been the previous night.  So maybe I've found the secret: practice when you're half asleep.  I'm half-way kidding of course, but I'm wondering if we use a different part of my brain when we're really tired than when our brains are awake and alert.


    Anyone else ever notice this?


    I'm not certain it was because you were half asleep so much as that you practiced right before bed. I always studied / reviewed notes right before bed on the night before a test. For some reason, when I did this, everything stayed where I could recall it easily.


    Now, I'm by no means an authority on such things (I'm a Software Engineer, not a Head Shrinker), but I do know that your brain works on catagorizing your memories when you are sleeping. Perhaps since it was the most recent, it's the one most on your mind. Maybe your "inner librarian" assumes that it's more important and places it in a spot easily gotten to.


    Note that when I studied this way, it was mostly gone within a week. That could have something to do with 25 cent draft night though.

  10. Last week, I picked up my tinwhistle after around 5 years of not playing it. Everything came back to me rather quickly, but after my absence, I clearly saw the areas where I was sloppy.


    The sloppiness had become a habit. It was ingrained in my muscle memory on the songs. I hadn't noticed it really and it took coming back to it after so long away to discover.


    After that, I took a careful look at my concertina playing. My conclusion is that it's time to start over, and do it right. Fortunately for me, I don't have that far to go back to.


    Grey Larson has a great whistle tutor (his toolbox series). I'm going to apply a lot of the advice he put into it to the Concertina. I'll start over, relearning the tunes slowly. One at a time, at 1/2 speed or so. When I feel I know the piece (not the tune, but the music you can make from it and it's variations), I'll gradually speed it up. Then I'll move on to the next one.


    I guess I was in a big hurry for some reason. Heck, time to just start enjoying the ride.

  11. Pittsburgh beats Parma hands down for Polish food Helen. No question. I hear that on the South Side, a superior Pierogi can be had...I need to see that.


    Of course, Fatheads sells a sandwich that has 2 polish sausage and 3 Pierogies on it....DROOOOOOOL.

  12. As any good Pittsburgh resident would tell you, all I can say is this. Have a great time; you won't find a better time than a Polish-American wedding. Definately the food will be worth having, and the music will be more than enjoyable.


    That said, I think for lunch today I'm gonna hit the BBT and get some of the Burgh's best Pierogies....yummy.

  13. Over the years I've lost more of my hearing than I care to think about.


    I would love to blame it on my time in the Army, but to be honest, I'd say it was the years of going to (and performing in) Punk Clubs with no earplugs.


    My wife understands that I have some hearing problems (much to her dismay when she is trying to sleep and I want to finish watching a movie on TV), but I often see that look in her face that tells me I missed an entire conversation and am within inches of having a glass of icewater poured on my head.


    Of course, I'm sitting at my desk with my MP3 player in my ears (nice bluegrass podcast for the moment) so I guess I'm just an idiot who deserves what hearing problems he has.


    My problem is really with the lower registers though.

  14. Ok, I know I have no rhythm (think Steve Martin in the beginning of The Jerk), but honestly I can't see where the timing is off on that tune. I just played it 5 times (never go to work without the Ipod) and I can't see anything wrong with it. Seems dead on to me.


    Perhaps you are onto something there....

  15. My current style consists of attempting to play a tune (Old MacDonald is the current favorite it seems) for more than three notes before my son is required by the whims of fate to either push a handful of buttons for me (to add emphasis to the song I suppose) or grab the bellows and squeeze it together (he does this rather surprisingly gently and though I know it's not good for the instrument, I usually am playing my POS Stagi when he's in reach).


    It's ugly. It's double coyote ugly in fact, but damned if it isn't the best time of my life.

  16. I know you all know the feeling....


    For the last few weeks, I've once again found little time to play. Work has taken its toll on my free time and what I have left is usually spent reminding my wife and son who that stranger is that lives with them.


    Things are about to slow down finally this week. At the same time, I have my new D/G Ceili at home in a box (my wife called and taunted me that it had come in).


    I think I have a wonderfully relaxing evening planned. I swear that this clock is moving backwards though.

  17. That sums up my argument Bill. If the Tradition doesn't change over time, it will indeed die. What isn't evolving is simply running the road to oblivion.


    The ITM that we know today is a Johnny Come Lately as far as musics go. What we know of it ALREADY has accepted outside influences. To say that it should stop in a stasis where it is, well, that's just wrong.


    I'm not advocating Strats and Drum kits here, I'm simply stating that the attitude that something isn't "trad" and thus bad is simply, well...wrong. I have heard some of the best ITM playing ever on a Harmonica. How many would complain is somebody broke out one of those in a Session. Don't answer so fast...I heard quite a bit of complaints before he played it...and he was by far the best musician in the Session.


    Yes, to successfully add something to a tradition requires knowledge of it. It requires a feel and a love of it. However, to simply say BAH...that requires only stubborness and lack of insight.


    Like it or hate it, the ITM played 100 years from now will be different from what we play now (if it survives).

  18. Resp: The origins of the session may or may not be traditional, but it does not serve the music if the session is allowed to be diluted with all sorts of other styles of music. Not that there is anything wrong with other types of music, but to really enjoy Irish music as a player you really should play it and not dabble in it, mixing in bluegrass, old time, etc.


    Frank, I must respectfully disagree with this statement. It appears that you advocate is stagnation. If the music remains stagnant, it will die. It won't live on to be played by our children and grandchildren...it will die.


    The Irish music as we play it isn't really all that traditional. Do you honestly believe that Irish music didn't evolve as other musical influences arrived (by way of sailors, visitors, or simply irishmen travelling)? Doesn't it often make you wonder why so much of the music of the Netherlands, Spain, England, and even Eastern Europe often sound so similar? Can you honestly believe that, given the evidence, Irish music stayed "pure" and musicians didn't dabble in it? Do you think a Mazurka is IRISH?????


    Heck, ITM as we know it isn't even really all that traditional to Ireland. Even the instruments that are most commonly associated with it aren't native. The Concertina certainly isn't a "traditional" instrument, being a latecomer. The Banjo? Mandolin? Fiddle? Accordian? Nope, all moved from other musical cultures.


    Now, lets tear apart your argument. Bluegrass. Here is a music that has its ROOTS in Irish and Scottish Traditional Music. What is so evil about taking a derivation and bringing part of it back into the culture as a whole? That, in essence is a large part of what keeps oral traditions flowing.


    I will state, in my personal opinion, that bands such as the Pogues, Fairport Convention (English, I know, but we Yanks can't tell the difference at times), and the Chieftains have done more toward bringing life back into the tradition than all the Sessions and "traditional" players combined(Add to this list, Black47, Dropkick Murphy's and any of a dozen other bands that make most of the people on these boards cringe) .


    Now, before you all flame me, how can I support that statement? They brought quite a slew of people who had no knowledge of the tradition into the pubs and gigs to listen. They did this by combining ITM with different musical influences. This filled seats in the bars (which may have not survived without the popular influences of bands such as the Chieftains) and kept them afloat (have you ever noticed how many bars a year close? Anything that keeps filling seats in a pub is gooooood). This gave more venues for Sessions. This made hearing live ITM more accessable. This brought more potential players. This is what keeps a tradition going.


    Do you want to know a tradition that never changed? Traditional Roman Music. Never changed. Died. Nobody knows what it once sounded like. Nobody actually cares.


    I'm sorry, but certain attitudes on what is acceptable as "tradition" really irritates me. Half the songs played in the average ITM session aren't even traditional. They were written by players in the last century. Maybe this is why I don't go to Sessions any more....


    Rant off, and sorry if it seemed like a personal attack. It was just an attack on an attitude that I'd like to see die off before our tradition does.

  • Create New...