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Randy Stein

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  1. New show on Hulu called Only Murders In The Building. Steve Martin plays what looks like a 2 row anglo.
  2. Why not just learn the various scales and play in those keys. The advantage of the EC, no?
  3. In addition to performing on the EC I also teach. In the past couple of weeks I've had some conversations that made me think about what one needs to do if they are trying to decide whether or not to take lessons. Here are a few questions I usually ask someone when they contact me about lessons. I also suggest reading Judy Minot's wonderful book, Best Practice: Inspiration and Ideas for Traditional Musicians for additional ideas and suggestions. If you deicide you need or want to improve and expand your abilities to play your concertina, even before you select a teacher, I suggest asking yourself the following: Do I have the time and willingness to practice? Lessons cost time and money for both you and your instructor. Not taking the time to practice wastes both for all parties. Practicing is what directly leads to improvement. What do I want to accomplish in these lessons? Have clear goals and be able to articulate them to yourself and your instructor. My experience is that as one improves goals change and expand. If my lessons are online do I have the technology and bandwidth to support and stream my lessons without issues? If you have someone local and are vaccinated and still take proper precautions, this may not be an issue. Most lessons are now remote and take place online using various streaming applications like Zoom, Skype, etc. Learn or find someone to help you learn the technology. Make sure you have the bandwidth and internet connections to receive an uninterrupted video and audio feed. Also, is the laptop or tablet you plan to use have the proper audio and video capabilities or do you need to upgrade or purchase an external microphone or webcam? Don't understate or overstate your abilities. Lessons are usually crafted to the ability and music of the musician. Be honest with yourself and your instructor on your abilities and musical knowledge. What's better for me: Private or Group lessons? Some people do better when working with a group, even online. Some like the personal one on one of a private lesson that can be personalized and directed to the specification of the individual. There is usually a cost difference which may factor into your decision. Finally, Select the instructor that is right for you. I would revert back to #2 on the list when looking for and deciding on an instructor. Once you decide, think about who and what is a good fit for you. Even after you have started lessons, you or your instructor may decide that someone different or a different approach would suit you better. Don't take it personally. Make the change before you begin to resent taking lessons and defeat the purpose of looking to improve. That's it. Play on.
  4. Registration is now open for the Northeast Squeeze-In. This year it's in the Poconos of PA, Sept 10-12. https://squeeze-in.org/
  5. Listen to Yesterdays By Jerome Kern by Randy Stein 1 on #SoundCloud https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/CbztY from the 1933 musical "Roberta". Music written by Jerome Kern. Arranged polyphonically for the EC.
  6. A good friend has written a book for traditional musicians on best practice techniques. It has been read and recommended by some major names in traditional and nontrad music circles. Available today on Amazon Judyminot.com/bestpractice Best Practice Cover-m.webp
  7. A good friend has written a book for traditional musicians on best practice techniques. It has been read and recommended by some major names in traditional and nontrad music circles. Available today on Amazon Judyminot.com/bestpractice Best Practice Cover-m.webp
  8. A good friend suggested I start a blog of what it means to play the EC. I offer to all some irrelevant and not always accurate historical facts about playing and performing on the EC. The thoughts are my own and I take full responsibility in sharing them with you. This is my most recent posting: https://concertinaguy.medium.com/playing-jazz-9546117d947f
  9. For those of you who attend the Saturday evening sing at Northeast Squeeze-In, in addition to the abundance of spirits available, it is a rare delight to hear and watch Lynn and Tony Hughes display their sense of humor and amazing musical performing skills. The next Wednesdays @ 1 Live Music Cafe Performance gives everyone a chance to have that same experience. You'll have to supply your own drink, though. Not to be missed. https://www.eventbrite.com/e/wednesdays-1-lynn-tony-hughes-a-mix-of-folk-celtic-and-originals-tickets-142629746411?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch
  10. The one thing we miss most in these times is attending live music events. Orchestras, jazz clubs, pub jams and performances, cafe and restaurants with piano, guitar or whatever. We also attended swing dances, plays, poetry readings, museum lectures, etc. Fortunately, technology has created venues for musicians and artists. The best thing about online presence is now I can attend a show or lecture in Rio or Dublin or NYC. For many professional musicians, there is a major loss of income and artistic outlet. Many artists, musicians in particular, have turned to online venues to perform. Some do so for free, some ask for donations and others require a ticket purchase. Jams still take place via Zoom, Jamulus, and other online apps and sites. Do you take advantage of these online opportunities? Do you still support live music and the musicians? If so why. If not, why not?
  11. I was very fortunate to learn my playing techniques for the EC from Boris and Sergei Matueswitch. Boris had a plethora of music he arranged and transcribed for teaching proper phrasing (bellow control) and notation (note placement for proper and alternative fingering when playing single or complex note patterns and chords). Both men were extremely accomplished musicians and performers. Boris could play anything. I offer lessons to others hoping to teach their lessons and techniques. Two of several questions I ask when someone wishes to study with me is what kind of music they like to play and what it is they wish to accomplish in taking lessons. The majority play some genre of traditional music and almost all say they want to get better at playing the correct notes (knowing which button to push is usually what they answer). Both could be accomplished by attending sessions, then learning and practicing those tunes they hear. Our current pandemic limits the chances to do so. Quite a lot of traditional tunes can be challenging, as any trad player will tell you, and will increase fingering and bellow control. A traditional tune like this particular fiddle version of Speed the Plow or the fiddle tune Reel de Levis offer notation requiring fingering on the outside and inside rows, scales and arpeggios and are especially challenging to a new and learning player. I often add in some double stops to teach simple chording. Of course you have to practice and learn the tune to become proficient. As an example, I've attached the notation for Speed the Plow in the Key of A from the New England's Fiddlers Tune Book. I used Musescore to transcribe, with alternative fingering I recommend when playing. There are plenty of YouTube recordings to watch and learn from as well. SPEED THE PLOW.pdf Onward...
  12. I recorded this tune 5 years ago as a ballad. Today I worked it out to swing a little. Written by Harry Warren in 1934. Based on Art Garfunkel's 1975 version. Listen to I've Only Got Eyes For You.mp3 by Randy Stein 1 on #SoundCloud https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/2uiHJ
  13. HYMNES À L'AMOUR Songs of Love and Hope for the New Year Performed and arranged for solo English Concertina. Thursday, Dec 31st 6:00PM EST in US (may start a little later). GMT-5:00 https://happyholidayopolis.com/event-schedule/
  14. Based on the classic gypsy jazz standard Bossa Dorado by Dorado Schmitt. I had a dream that my group played this as a tango. Woke up and played it as I heard it. I used the recording app Soundtrap to record a rhythm and then lead. Listen to Tango Dorado EC by user827948939 on #SoundCloud https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/j56b
  15. Moonlight In Vermont Written by Karl Suessdorf in 1944 Needed an election distraction.
  16. This is a gypsy jazz version with my band DC Ambiance. In concert in 2018 Listen to Midnight In Moscow_I Found a New Baby.mp3 by Randy Stein 1 on #SoundCloud https://soundcloud.app.goo.gl/wPfK
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