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Sean M

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About Sean M

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 05/06/1985

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  • Skype

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    ITM, concertinas, button accordions, banjos, languages, volleyball
  • Location
    Bordentown City, NJ USA

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  1. I know with the current pandemic situation a lot of things are being delayed. I was just wondering if anyone had any information on the development of the advanced course. Currently it just says "Coming in 2019". I'm a huge fan of her lessons and find theme extremely helpful. I've done the complete beginner's course and am working my way through the intermediate course. EDIT: Link for course https://www.irishconcertinalessons.com/advanced
  2. I'll second Caitlin's course. I started concertina about 9 years ago and played about a year in the beginning and then gave up. A few months ago I started up again and have been using Caitlin's course and think it's great. I started with the free lesson and then subscribed. I made it through the "Starter" course and am now working on the intermediate course. I like the way she teachers, mostly by ear but offers written notation if needed. She breaks down the tune phrase by phrase and helps you with each phrase and showing where a good place to use an alternate button would be or to put in some ornamentation. She also has a way to change the playback speed so that you can slow it down to 50% or even speed it up to 150% without altering the pitch.
  3. Smyth's Accordion shop is in Oakland. Looks like a bit of a drive from Tehama county but his website shows a bunch of good beginner's instruments in stock. The best would be to play them and try what you like. I just recently restarted on the concertina playing a Morse Ceili this time around. I first started in 2010 with a Rochelle but found the bellows very stiff and the instrument in general difficult to play. It's definitely better than the cheap chinese made 20-button boxes but I still didn't enjoy playing it and it turned me off from playing the concertina for several years. Other people say it's the one of the best out there for a beginner which is why I'd definitely recommend getting to a shop like Smyth's if you could. When considering the Morse Ceili I also tried the Concertina Connection Minstrel but found the buttons to thin. Maybe I'm just picky? I know it's not easy to invest a lot of money into something when you still are unsure if you want to really be serious about it but I've found that concertinas more than other instruments really change the experience based on the quality of the instrument. If I was given a both a cheap and really expensive violin or guitar it would take me months if not years of playing to really tell the difference between them but the difference between a mid-level Ceili or Clover and a starter's Rochelle or generic 20-button is noticeable within weeks of playing if not immediately.
  4. Most of the anglo concertina players I know play Irish trad and although I'm not as familiar with it, I'm assuming there are a good number of English folk musicians who play them as well. Does any one have any suggestions for music outside of England/Ireland that plays anglo concertina? The instrument has a big history in Germany as far as production but was it commonly played there as well? While writing this I remembered that the anglo concertina has a big role in Boer music. Anywhere else I can look for anglo players across the world?
  5. Very interesting about the Ab/Eb concertina on Noel Hill and Tony Linnane's album. It's even mentioned on the sleeve notes: http://www.taramusic.com/sleevenotes/cd2006.htm I wish more bands did stuff like that these days.
  6. I posted this question on another thread but was told I'd get more responses by starting a separate thread so here goes. I now have a C/G Morse Céilí in the Jeffries layout because it seemed like the Jeffries layout was better for Irish tradition music. I'm wondering about the pros to the Wheatstone layout for ITM. I noticed some makers like for Kensington and Carroll concertinas have sort of a hybrid of the two layouts, mostly a Jeffries layout with a push C# that's found in the Wheatstone layout. Wheatstone seems like a common system for beginner's concertinas so I'm wondering what the advantages of using the Wheatstone layout for ITM are aside from being the system some people are used to.
  7. Thanks for the advice! Looks like keeping it in the case is the best idea and if I don't I should use one of these velcro straps. Would anyone mind sharing a picture of one so that I know what I need to acquire?
  8. Many years ago I started with a cheap red sparkly 20b concertina. Quickly realized it was not a good instrument and ended up buying a Rochelle. While the Rochelle was still more playable I got frustrated at the time because I didn't have the money to upgrade but after playing a hybrid concertina I felt like the Rochelle was holding me back. Since then I switch instruments, sold the Rochelle and started playing the button accordion. A few months back I ended up playing with the red sparkle concertina again and now being more comfortable financially decided to buy a Morse Ceili concertina which just arrived yesterday! When the concertina is just sitting there the bellows will expand a tiny bit. I don't see it as an issue but I was wondering if the bellows just need to be broken into. When I'm not playing my accordion I have it sit on a shelf so that it's easy to pick up and play when I have time. The button accordion when in resting position is on it's side and the weight of it keeps the bellows closed. The concertina however rests so that the bellows are parallel to the shelf. Is it better to leave the concertina in it's hard case when not being played? Should I at least do that until the bellows don't expand when sitting or should I do this always? Maybe I'm just being paranoid but I figured it was best to ask now while the instrument is still new. Anyway, I'm happy to finally have a concertina that doesn't feel like it's holding me back or making me work to play it.
  9. I'm not sure what the actual dimensions are. Thank you for responding though. Knowing that 5mm is the standard will help next time I'm around one and able to measure. EDIT: Looks like my Chinese concertina is closer to 6mm. Maybe that's the difference I noticed between that and the Concertina Connection concertinas.
  10. I've only looked at the differences and haven't played both systems but what are the advantages of the Wheatstone layout for Irish music? It seems like Wheatstone has a higher range than most Irish tunes and is missing the alternate C#. I'm considering buying a concertina (currently only have a 20b) and have thought about the Jeffries vs Wheatstone question so I'd be very interested to hear more about the benefits of the Wheatstone system.
  11. The only concertina I currently have is a cheap Chinese built 20b. This weekend I tried out a Concertina Minstrel and the improvements of quality were obvious, however, I found the diameter of the buttons not very comfortable. They were small and felt like I needed to build up callouses before I could play it comfortably. I remember playing a Rochelle awhile back and it also had small diameter buttons. The Chinese 20b seems to have bigger more comfortable buttons. So I guess my question is: are the smaller button diameters on the Concertina Connection concertinas the norm or are they known to have smaller buttons? I don't have enough experience playing different types of concertinas so I'm not really sure but all the Chinese built concertinas I've played had bigger buttons but also were just bigger in general.
  12. Thanks for the response! Glad I asked before checking it out. I'll look into the levers and pads then and see if anything seems weird for that button.
  13. I'm in the process of saving up / deciding on getting a decent concertina and while I wait I'm playing a Chinese-built 20b concertina shaped instrument. I noticed that sometimes when I play the LH G push on the 3rd button the note continues to play after I let it go. It doesn't happen all the time but it will start for a bit and then go away and come back when I try to play the note again. I was thinking about taking it apart to investigate but first I wanted to ask about it. Would that be the reed valve? If it is and I take out the reed block and it's the push reed would that be the valve on the outside or inside of the reed block?
  14. When I first started on the concertina I was explaining what it was to someone and how it differs from an accordion. After I think I did a good enough job explaining what it is he said "Ohh.... like from Mary Poppins"
  15. Thanks for that audio sample. That's a little squeaky for me but I'd still be interested in hearing the mini in D. I assume like melodeons that the D is pitched 5 semitones lower?
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