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Randy Stein

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Everything posted by Randy Stein

  1. There is a show here in the states called Stonehouse staring Matthew Macfadyen. Three episodes in all. The third episode has Morse Dancers with about 3 seconds of musicians including a man playing the concertina.
  2. Teaching someone to play chords (this includes double stops) and droning on the EC can be overwhelming for some. One way to approach this is to take a fun simple tune, like Blaydon Races, and first learn to play just the melody line. Then slowly add in the double stops, then 3 note chords, and finally the droning. For those who read music I've attached both versions. This is a great session tune and once one plays it with confidence you can begin to add your own touches as well. Blaydon races.pdf BLAYDON Races with chords.pdf
  3. Well, I can answer this based on my experience. The concertina is visually interesting and easily moved and manipulated. It is compact so even if you have multiple instruments, they travel easily. I was already performing as an acrobat and looking to develop my own solo act. I wanted to use music in my act. I picked up a cheap 30 button honer EC in a pawn shop. I could do a flip off my partners shoulders while playing the concertina. That I fell in love with the instrument enough to invest my time into it was a gift. Plus one doesn't get as hurt playing the EC, in most cases.
  4. I used to perform a 45 minute musical acrobatic clown show back in the 1970s and 80s. It had lots of flips and handstands and total craziness. I was asked to be part of a Chanukah Spiel at my synagogue with a request to play my EC as part of some comedic musical act. Here is my performance sans handstands and flips. https://youtu.be/z6TnaGczg9c
  5. "Coquette" is a 1928 fox trot jazz standard. It was composed by Johnny Green and Carmen Lombardo, with lyrics by Gus Kahn. My bandmate and guitarist par excellence, Buco (pronounced Bootso), lives here in the DC Metro area. Willie is in Germany and Bill resides in Portugal. They originally recorded this classic standard as a Bossa Nova with vocals and then Buco asked me to give it some color with the EC. I used Soundtrap software to do my track. I believe Buco used GarageBand to do the mixing. Ain't technology swell. https://youtu.be/89X7ijHMKlg
  6. Additional information in this wonderful article by Alan Atlas https://www.concertinajournal.org/brief-notes/a-text-critical-problem-in-richard-blagroves-morceaux-no-3/
  7. This particular composition was archived as part of the Boris Matusewitch Collection. Pretty cool. Morceaux (Richard Blagrove).pdf
  8. Boris Matueswitch arranged about a dozen or so Christmas carols. I have one of his handwritten manuscripts which have notated using Musescore to make it a little more readable. Students find it easier to learn when playing a piece of music they are familiar with. Being able to sing a piece helps learn. For example, almost everyone knows Silent Night. In the Key of C, the chording isn't too difficult to learn. Attached are two versions of the carol. One simpler version is the melody line with some double stops and a simple C chord. The other is the Matueswitch arrangement. Other of his carol arrangements offer lessons in use of drones and playing in octaves. Enjoy! And Happy Holidays. SILENT NIGHT 2 versions.pdf
  9. I sat and arranged this tune that was requested for an upcoming gig. Fun time working on this one.
  10. There is the lead sheet in Django Fakebook. The DFB is free to download. I would look on YouTube for various accordion players versions.
  11. If you start today think how good you'll be in 10 years
  12. Edith Piaf made this famous. Music written by Dino Olivieri in 1937.
  13. I have noticed in some of my Zoom lessons that the frequency response is not that great when using a laptop mic. In some cases the sound of the concertina disappears completely. All Zoom functions are all correctly set and I have good input and output on my end (Yes, original sound for musicians is on). Any knowledgeable suggestions?
  14. Tam, I replied to you and sent you my personal email if you're still interested in discussing.
  15. You should be practicing. But just in case you aren't, here is my latest, and probably maybe last, blog posting: https://concertinaguy.medium.com/my-last-posting-426a462e6baa
  16. I want to take a moment and give a very loud shout out to 4 of my EC students who performed at this year's Northeast Squeeze-In. Performing onstage in front of an audience is stressful. All the more so when it's in front of well over 100 musicians, even if they are your friends. But the NESI audience is always supportive and enthusiastic. While the videos of the concert are not yet available, the photos are. I am extremely proud of their performances and especially that they added their own additions to my arrangements. Their were just fantastic.
  17. I have a couple of students who play a Jackie EC. In order to get them to build good knowledge of the key board (buttons) we play tunes that offer accidentals, arpeggios, and scale runs. One recent lesson with a student was a real struggle with a tune they received over a month ago. My student commented 'I played it much better before my lesson.' To which I responded that playing it and practicing are two different things. One can learn a tune and competently play it by just sitting down and playing it over and over again. One can also learn to develop fingering and muscle memory by practicing difficult phrases and fingering over and over. When I speak to a prospective EC player who wants to take lessons, I always ask what do you have difficulty with and what do you hope to accomplish. Almost always one of their answers is to hit the correct button for the right note. That is, get to know and learn the button layout (key board). Just playing tunes will accomplish this over time or one can really dedicate some time, effort, and practice to accomplish this quicker and better and benefit overall. Just saying...
  18. Wanted to relate a random cool experience. I had a small gypsy jazz jam session at my place with about 7 musicians hanging out on my back patio on a pleasant summer evening: 4 guitars, a bass player, a jazz violinist, and me on EC. We were going around the circle each selecting tunes from the Django Fakebook to play. One of the guitar players said he recently attended an Irish session at a pub in Maryland where he met a couple of Concertina players. Without thinking I started playing Jump At The Sun. This is an accomplished group of musicians and they caught on pretty quickly and joined in. The tune began to swing and everyone soloed and jammed. It was hoot. Unfortunately no recording of it.
  19. I purchased all three in one compilation. Books 2 & 3 are probably for more experienced players. School For Violin Technics: Complete Books 1-3 And Complete Scale Studies (Schirmer's Library of Musical Classics, 2090)
  20. While looking through my streaming last night for a movie I caught a snippet of a 2006 movie called Relative Strangers. The Actress Kathy Bates was pretending to play an anglo. Horrible movie by the way https://youtu.be/sguNMcMJQv8
  21. So this topic is primarily for EC players who enjoy reading music and practicing using more classical oriented resources. I periodically take a lesson with a friend who plays violin in the Air Force Chamber Orchestra. Often discussions revolve on specific pieces of music and how bowing and phrasing mirror what I want to do on the EC. Recently I discussed how I was using some scale studies of Carl Flesch and adapting them for the EC for both my warm ups and students. He suggested that a better fit might be the books of Henry Schradieck (1846-1918). Having purchased all three of Schradieck's books on scale studies I concur. Book 1 helps a violinist with fingering and position. It is a great resource for a beginner/intermediate EC player to concentrate on phrasing and fingering. Book 2 on double stops and droning. Book 3 is dedicated to bowing techniques but on EC will introduce complicated scales and arpeggios in major and minor harmonic and melodic scales as well as chromatics and studies in octave, thirds, sixth, and tenths. So, maybe this is all a bit esoteric for some (or most) but his way of introducing a study with reinforcement is quite effective. Do not let the fact that it's written in 16th notes and has some studies in key signatures with 4 or 5 sharps and flats. It is a wonderful practice and playing development resource.
  22. Interesting way to break this down to describe the bifurcation in playing a concertina. My son is a working percussionist and I'd say he has a similar experience and then some if you add in his arms hands and feet all going at once. I want to take this one more step: At a gig last month I was pretty tired and had pulled a muscle in my lower back. But once I settled in and started performing all pains and tiredness disappeared. I know it is because of a level of concentration but also an immersion into the musical persona one takes on when performing. Regarding improvisation, well, if you hear the key changes and know your instrument, that side of your musical thought process kicks in and allows you to play what your hearing to the melody. Just saying...
  23. Just downloaded This is an amazing and wonderful LP. Thanks Simon.
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