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CZ in AZ

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About CZ in AZ

  • Rank
    Advanced Member
  • Birthday 05/29/1962

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  • Website URL
    http://dancetosteam.com

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    You mean besides concertina ??? I play bodhrán and other percussion, sing and clog in contradance band, STEAM, and in duo, Púca. I am also a long time contradance caller and a Walnut Valley Festival, Carp Camp regular! I work at University of Arizona as the Program Director for the Water, Environmental, and Energy Solutions Initiative.
  • Location
    Tucson Arizona

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  1. CZ in AZ

    C/G Edgley for Sale

    For Sale: Edgley C/G concertina - great condition. Asking price $2100 (not including shipping). It has a modified Jeffries layout, 30 button, with C#s on the draw and press top inside right button and also on the press on the next button. It is in great condition and was fully refurbished by the button box about 4 years ago. It has not been played very much in the last couple of years because I have another instrument. It is a hybrid model, meaning that it is a high-quality concertinas made using Italian accordion-style reeds. The sound is really lovely and it plays very easily - no bellows leaks at all. It is number 286 as you can see in the pictures. I would consider reducing the price to keep the case, which has sentimental value as it was painted by a friend of mine. I bought this concertina for $2200, so this would be a great price for it. FYI, I am located in the U.S. Thanks, Claire
  2. CZ in AZ

    Stolen C/g Edgley Concertina

    Dear all, The most amazing thing happened - my concertina was returned! I want you to know that this listserve is the way that the person found me, so if this happens to you, I highly recommend posting on this site. Thank you for all your support! Claire
  3. CZ in AZ

    Stolen C/g Edgley Concertina

    It is a professional model (hybrid). The serial number is 286. Thank you so much for keeping an eye out for it. I have no idea if it will re-surface or not, but one can always hope. I am so pained by the thought that it is in the garbage somewhere. I think I will call all the Phoenix music stores next. I tried the local pawn shops as well, but no luck. It is really nice just to know you all are out there on the look. Claire
  4. CZ in AZ

    Stolen C/g Edgley Concertina

    Hi everyone, I am very sad to report that my Edgley C/G concertina has been stolen. I have filed a police report and called all the local Tucson shops. I am checking ebay regularly, but is there anything else I can do? This was my spare concertina, since I got my Carrol, so I did not play it all that frequently, but I still loved it and am really really sad about it. If you see this instrument, please let me know? It was a Wheatstone layout, modified to have C#'s as followed (rt outside row) Push/Pull: C#/C# C#/D# G#/G high-C#/high-D# high-A/high-F Thank you for any ideas on how to look for it! Claire (520)-869-8553, clairezu247@gmail.com
  5. CZ in AZ

    Any Skype Teachers? Anglo

    I have been taking from Flo over skype for a couple of years and she is great. I also took a lesson from her in person when I had only been playing a month - and she was really a good teacher for both levels. She definitely teaches the Irish style. She is clear in her instruction and has an amazing ear, even over skype, to catch little stylistic bad habits. If you are looking to eventually include ornaments, octave playing, chords, etc, she will definitely get you off on the right foot. Best of luck and have a blast!
  6. CZ in AZ

    Practice Or Learning Suggestions

    I agree with all the advice here about playing at the tempo that suites you and building up using a metronome or amazing slow downer or similar app. And I agree with Al about trying different pathways to play the tunes to increase speed. However, I want to bring up the topic of muscle memory for moving really really fast and the value of just moving your fingers that fast. I just got back from my weekly foray to Winfield Kansas, where I play in a giant jam of 60+ musicians, playing a great variety of tunes (all keys) at top speeds. With that many musicians, an occasional wrong note is completely unheard because everyone is filtering to hear the right notes. I have been playing these tunes for years on the drum and more recently the concertina, so they are firmly in my brain, which greatly helps. Playing in this setting can free you up to work out the structure of the tune, if you do not know it, and then to fill in the fancier bits. If you know the tune, it allows you to play it at high speeds, but to also step back to the gestalt of the flow for each phrase and really work to hit the timing of the tune. Early on, before I knew any of the tunes, I would merely move my fingers that fast without making a sound, just to get the feel of fast movement on the instrument. I think this has a lot of intrinsic value - just moving that fast, stepping back to the overall patterns and ingraining them, hitting the emphasis notes harder than the rest (dynamic practice). This may not transfer into your solo playing right away, but it is practice for your future self and it makes your fingers nimble and your brain step back from the minutia. I have rarely heard this type of practice mentioned here on the list, probably because we all want to play better in a solo or small session setting. However, I have found it to be immensely useful and satisfying. So if you have the opportunity to play this way, I highly recommend it... in general I think we don't let ourselves freely flow with the music nearly enough. Claire
  7. CZ in AZ

    Report From Clifftop 2016

    Hey Jody, My band STEAM is playing the NYC contradances December 9 and 10, but we won't be there for a Monday night. I don't play a lot of concertina with STEAM, mostly percussion, but we always like to jam afterwards and will be around that neck of the woods all day on the 10th. PM me if you think something could work out - how cool would that be! Have you ever considered coming to Winfield Kansas and join in the Carp Camp frivolities (Sept 14-18 for the festival, but much before that for the constant jam scene). What a blast it would be to have you there! Claire
  8. CZ in AZ

    Report From Clifftop 2016

    Hey Jody, It is great to hear that you get such a warm reception in that scene. I have wanted to go there for a long time (as a clogger), but now it would just kill me to go if I could not also play my anglo. I actually started an old time jam here in Tucson (just to get to play more old time) and so I have built up some great friendships with old time players here, many of which make it out there on occasion. It will be a few years til I find the time to get there, but it is great to know you are setting a precedent! I love the way anglo blends into the old time fiddling sound. Thanks for sharing! Claire
  9. I played an Edgley hybrid until last winter when I got a Carroll with true concertina reeds. From my experience, the Edgley hybrd was very responsive and fast and also played with great tone, albeit a hybrid sound. I think they are great instruments. The bellows was tight and allowed for good ornamentation, so sending it into Frank would definitely be a good first step. That said, the Carroll (and probably most high end true concertinas) plays cleaner and with much more dynamic in each button... .like driving sports car. Each note starts and stops with a clean edge, if that makes sense. This means that the ornament is better defined and all the notes of the tune are more precisely sounded. The feedback to your ear helps you tighten up your rhythm and also makes it painfully obvious when you are sloppy and just a bit off. I liken it to putting on a pair of reading glasses and seeing the edges of the letters - you could read the page before, but could not distinguish the type set. All of this does not mean you will play faster, but you may better enjoy playing slower because there is more depth/nuance in what you hear from your instrument. One other thing I have noticed is that the reach on the Carroll is better for me, making it easier to get to notes that are outside of the central area with my poor desperately stretching pinky finger. This will be different for every layout and may or may not suite your hand size. Regarding volume, the Carroll plays evenly at low volumes and you have to take care not to screech on the high notes because they can be piercing. You have more control and can put more volume-driven pulse in the tunes. If you can afford it, I would not hesitate to move up into one of these instruments, and I believe Edgley is making them as well now. That said, I do love my Edgley hybrid, and still enjoy playing it when I pick it up. Hope this is helpful, Claire
  10. Thanks Bob, That is basically what I have been doing, so that is helpful confirmation. Although I have been playing for a while, I would say my playing in the key of A is just starting to to enter the fluid stage. In other keys, I found it helpful to generally stick to a cross the rows pattern in the early stages. As my comfort level grew, I was able to vary from that and play more than one pattern within the tune and now I definitely follow your type of route when choosing a pattern for a tune in D or G or a minor tune. I am interested if anyone has a basic pattern in A - maybe not - it is tricky around that G#. Best, Claire
  11. Dear all, I was wondering if anyone has standard fingering suggestions for smoothly incorporating the G# when playing A tunes on an Anglo C/G. Given that it may vary because of the notes in a particular tune, I wonder if anyone has a standard pattern that works most of the time. For example, when hitting the mid-range G# on the outside row, first button, and moving to or from that G# to an A, do you shift to play the A on the outside row as well (second button), or do you generally stick to the middle row A and go to catch the G# with your middle finger (which of course complicates getting to E button after that). I seem to have more problem getting to this G# than I do the high one, which I generally get with my ring finger, which is not typically being used. Thanks for sharing your ideas, Claire
  12. CZ in AZ

    Hearing Yourself In A Group

    This has long been a struggle for me, and as hjc says above, it is often the instruments directly around me... for example, sitting next to a loud fiddler can be especially tricky because their instrument is up beside my ear, while the concertina is on my lap. Another concertina is the worst because my ear is so tuned to pick up on concertina tones that I pick up another person's playing as much as my own. At various times I have found it helpful to sit in cross knee position to raise the concertina, to sit next to a wall for sound reflection, even putting my ear down to hear certain notes. I find it easier to hear true concertina reeds than the hybrid because the tone is cleaner, but that also makes it more obvious when you hit a wrong note - so I have to be sensitive to that. I find it much easier to hear myself, when I am leading a tune or truly own it, but when I am playing along, there is necessarily a lot of matching of tones and audio feedback involved. In these cases, I find it really critical to know what key I am playing in and to have the framework of the tune before I start making runs up and down between the main framing notes. I have often found that in a large jam or session if you play the right note, you can hear it, but when it is a wrong note, your ear filters it out in favor of all the right notes playing around you - and if you know the tune in your head, you naturally hear the tune's correct melody. I once played a whole tune in a wrong key in a giant session of 60 people (Carp camp, Winfield KS), and never heard a wrong note out of my instrument... When I discovered this (thinking it was too good to be true, which it was) and with chagrin asked my neighboring musicians, no one around me heard anything wrong either. It was all filtered out by the joyous mass of right notes flying everywhere... sort of freeing eh?
  13. CZ in AZ

    Concertina Philosophy...

    So many reasons that we play the concertina (in addition to, or instead of)..... Its portable - but why do we like it portable? Because we are naturally obsessive people and want to surreptitious bring it on all family trips, in case there is just a "moment" to play. and/or because we are already lugging so much other crap, that out of necessity for our aching backs and full suitcases, we must think small. It's tone - clean, bright, uncluttered, quick - it turns our heads in a session and makes us happy to hear it and/or because it cannot off pitch (only wrong noted) and we singers and fiddlers are tired of worrying about being on pitch all the time... sheesh! Its is culturally connected- it has a history and role in history that we can explore and connect with (thank you Dan Worrell), an authentic sound to our ear, and/or it is respected in a session and you won't be expected to take turns for crying out loud (ie bodhran/guitar/zouk) and you generally won't get thrown out of an old time jam (especially if you start your own). It is hard! - although you can get a nice tone early on in your playing (good early feedback loop), there no short circuit to play these well - lots of time, practice, lovely ups and downs, always more to learn (so fun) AND - its confusing to all those great musicians (fiddlers, etc) that you play with, who will pick it up and say- jeez how do you even do that? This prevents them from taking the instrument out of your hands, easily demonstrating that extremely challenging bit, thereby driving you to drink, which would, in turn, not improve your playing!
  14. CZ in AZ

    Getting Worse Instead Of Better...

    Hey Susan, It is interesting to hear your back and forth on the many ways you practice (concentrating one day, just running tunes another day etc.). I think that is very much in line with the way adult learners work. We approach things more holistically, probably because we are more cognizant of our end goals, which can be both frustrating and inspiring. Plus we take in the information differently than children. I recently heard a podcast about deep proficient learning that included 4 elements: interest, aptitude, deliberate practice and hope. I especially love the hope one, which is what drives us on a variety of levels - eh? I have been playing for about 5 years and I have definitely seen plateaus in my abilities, often feeling like I am slipping backward because I have picked up the speed without increasing the level of pulse in my playing. Re-fingering can be a real issue since the patterns get so ingrained and I have only been able to do that successfully recently. I take lessons from Flo Fahey and she suggests that you not spend too much time re-fingering early tunes, but move on to new tunes with better fingering. As you learn to put in octaves and leave space, or to play the same notes on different finger sequences, those patterns will naturally filter back into your beginner tunes. I have found that to be the case, and also now that it is coming more naturally, I can re-finger and actually remember the new fingering. So, my advice would be to move forward (which is very motivating) and only re-finger when it really bugs you. Have fun! Claire
  15. CZ in AZ

    What Music Type Are You?

    Concertina is a relatively new musical adventure for me. Having been involved in trad music (Old time, Irish, contra) for 20+ year in various capacities (singing, bodhran, clogging,calling) I feel like the tunes were already firmly wrapped around my brain before I played my first note. I feel a bit like a kid that grew up in a musical family, but didn't take up my instrument until my teens. So, while I use the dots to learn "all" the notes, to notate ornamentation, or to remember the starts, once I have the tune that is running in my head connected to my fingers, I try to tell my brain to go take a rest. I would say I am an ear player who those occasional dot check-ins to keep me in line. Let me preface my next remarks by saying that I absolutely love music jams/sessions and playing in ensembles, because I am drawn to the way people coalesce when they both play and listen. Listening actually twists the way people play their tunes; one has to improvise on the fly to match and compliment, even while staying within the structure of the tune or idiom. So, this has always been, and will continue to be, my end game. So, yes I use the dots, but I also put myself in situations where I have to play by ear. I started an old time jam in my town, in part to work on my ear training, but also because I love old time and it is way easier to catch onto a tune. For those of you who are unaware at a typical old time jam you stick in one key for an hour or more, you play one tune at a time and play it til you are thoroughly grinningly done with it (10-15 times). As a result, I have a much better feeling for what it means to play in a certain key - the runs that are common, the notes that are commonly bent etc. I know way more tunes now and many of them I have learned by osmosis. When I sit down to learn one of these, I go look at the notes, hear a snippet, and it is much quicker to get it into my memory. Also, all this playing along means that I also know way better how to fake it, play really quietly, catch onto the framework of the tune and fill in the diddly bits when it comes around again, add the chords as I am more comfortable. On the flip side surfing tunes, can make your playing sloppy, because you are feeling your way through and depending on the rigor of your music buddies. So, to counteract, I take Irish lessons and work with my teacher to play more rigorously. I study and bear down on the written notes to make sure I learn "all" of them, not just the ones I like. I also prepare and make myself lead the occasional set at the session or jam. I want to be able to lead as well as follow, so that, in the future, others can glom onto me and just flow happily along and so that I can play well enough to really hit the high of communicating with my fellow musicians through the tune. I wonder how my of you have a similar route in the way you push/pull yourself up to the next level, whatever that may be. It is really fun to hear all your perspectives. Claire
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