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About RAc

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    Chatty concertinist

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  • Interests
    Acoustic music (guitar and concertina), paragliding, popular science
  • Location
    Southern Germany

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  1. RAc

    Wanted - Large Crane duet concertina

    Actually it depends on what kind of music you intend to play with it. I have a 48 and a 55 button Crane, and for about 95% of the music I play (mostly English and French dance tunes) the range of the 48 is perfectly sufficient. I even found that a larger keyboard has its drawbacks. For example, the shape of the Crane keyboard makes it rather susceptible to being a row off which happens less likely with fewer rows. One of the things that could improve the Crane design dramatically would be less overlap between the left and right hand sides and instead add lower notes (eg shift the entire left side one row up such that the B below the RH lowest note would be the LH highest note and fill the lowest row with the three notes below the low C). The only drawbacks about that design would be that 1. the LH and RH scales are not the same anymore and 2. some chord shapes would move downward, but I'd think both novices and experienced players would pick up that oddity rather fast.
  2. RAc

    Wanted - Large Crane duet concertina

    I don't think this is what the OP is looking for. The 55 button layout only extends the range to the top, if I understand the charts on http://craneconcertina.com/layouts.html correctly, so anybody who wants lower notes must go for at least 68 buttons...
  3. RAc

    Advice, please.

    sorry for the noise, must try a Hayden asap
  4. RAc

    Advice, please.

    why have you ruled out a Crane? It's sort of similar to the Hayden system with the scale moving zig zag. I'm sure you have seen this comparison here: http://www.concertina.com/other-systems/index.htm Your first step should be Barleycorn concertinas. Very likely Chris (is he still running it? I hope) has specimens of all systems in stock.
  5. RAc

    The Man - Greg Jowaisas

    Wolf, if you need a recommendation for a good maintainer this side of the pond, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend David Robertson (don't wait until the Brexit though again for hypothetical/not impossible customs concerns...) I had him "renew" my Wheatstone Crane, and he did a very decent and thorough job.
  6. RAc

    Concertina as dominatrix ??

    True. Really got to work on the CRS issue (Compulsive Rhyming Syndrome)...
  7. RAc

    Concertina as dominatrix ??

    Don't blame me. YOU started this. If anybondy wants to take this any further, it's not me. Madeline, she rules my nights She's All my valleys, all my heights She makes me beg, she makes me plead Of all I do, she takes the lead. Refrain... If there was life before she came I can't recall, I'm not the same. She pulls my strings, she makes me sing her tremolo's just like a sting. Refrain...
  8. RAc

    Fanny Powers - The South Wind

    A very tasty and well fitting combo, and played very well, living up to your usual standards ( Five points to the first person to identify my source for that ) 😉 The only remark I'd have is that in this piece, I wouldn't expect that many ornamentations. Those are simple (albeit beautiful) melodies that should come out clearer and get somewhat drowned in the ornaments. May be just my personal taste though...
  9. Typically I do this kind of thing in bed before dozing of to sleep, but sometimes during extended compilation runs or other short times that can't be utilized otherwise. What happens is that I hum the melodies in my head, and with a free hand, I tap the corresponding buttons on an air concertina. For stage e), I may move my hands apart from or towards each other while silently humming (it is safe to assume that I do this only when I am sure nobody is around to watch me). The main purpose of all of this is to counter attack the "groping for the next thing to do in real time" syndrome, and it helps to associate notes with finger positions. Again, this is something I found to work well for me, but only because of the way my brain works. Others may not relate to it at all. Needless to say, doing this is only one piece of the puzzle, and it won't help me doing things like developing muscles or putting expression in the playing (that must of course happen at the instrument), but I believe it helps me use (limited) time at the instrument itself - well - more focussed. Edit: I realized that my phrasing was misleading - I shouldn't have written "independently of the instrument" but something like "away from the instrument." Sorry for that!
  10. kind of a funny question, Jody... since YOU gave her the advice, it should be your interpretation of focused practice, so to me it would be a tough call interpreting your term for her, no (especially since I don't even know her)? 🤔 Anyways, if this is supposed to be a discussion about whether several short sessions of practice or one longer is more effective - I don't know, I think it depends a lot on the personality sitting behind the instrument. For me personally, I'd agree with you about more and shorter sessions for several reasons, but all of those are closely related to the way my brain works, and I'm sure other people's brains work differently. I tend to use the shorter sessions for in-depth practicing of new material or new techniques and the longer ones to refresh older material. Another thing that works well for me (but very likely not for a number of others) is stick to a "work flow" for each piece. For most pieces I go through stages, namely a) memorizing the tune and its walk across the fingerboard, b) adding left hand harmonies, c) playing both against a metronome, d) speeding up to full tempo, e) (fairly recently added step) studying the bellows reversal places within the piece, f) recording the piece and adding it to my Karaoke set so I can g) play it in a session with myself. At any given point there are several pieces I work on in different stages of the pipeline. I always like to make the point that practicing music is not at all limited to the time spent with the instrument. For example, listening to songs on the radio with a musical ear can give the ear an excellent practice session when focussing on questions such as "what does the bass do in this piece and what exactly is the groove on that one?" Also, tasks such as memorizing a piece on the fingerboard can be done completly independently of the instrument.
  11. RAc

    "Top Ten" session tunes?

    I can only agree with what's been written before - I'm a member of three session groups, and there is hardly any overlap in Repertoire and favs. One is focussed on bal folk (a lot of French, particularly Breton), one on English, Scandinavian and a little German, and the third one on international folk from practically everywhere in the world. If I look back on how the one I've attended the longest has evolved, I find that the standard repertoire from, say, four years ago was fairly different from today's. So every particluar tune I could list right now would be nothing but a snapshot irrelevant in space and time...
  12. RAc

    New look web site

    In case you're still working on it... it's not obvious, took me a while to figure out. Go to your profile while logged in and find the little icon below your current Avatar (see attachment). Click on that icon, and it'll allow you to change it.
  13. RAc

    Concertina as dominatrix ??

    hate to say this, but I do know a number of Melodeon players, and not all of them are bad.
  14. RAc

    Need some help, Pairing a tune with Scarborough Fair

    I vote for this here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Third_Policeman He was Irish though (to make the waters even more murky).
  15. RAc

    More dumb questions about modes...

    Both most likely yes, but it also depends on the rest of the melody. Matter for what? The way I look at it is as follows. A musical piece is a journey that the musicians(s) take the listener(s) on. The journey has a known starting point which very likely is also the end point. What happens in between is something the musician(s) lead and the listener(s) follow. It may be the same old road that's been travelled a million times before (in the so called "Western" cultural heritage, that means for most Ionian mode - with its very strong suggestive half tone resolutions, it has a driving force towards the target), or it may be something completly unusual and puzzling (which may lose a good deal of listeners) or anything in between. So to go from, say, D to D allows very many paths; the "natural" one would be via the Ionian cadence (D resolves to G and A to D). Other roads make the journey more interesting, exotic and allows for new discoveries on the listener's side, but in turns they also demand the willingness to discover. If you go from D to D with the tonal material of the G major scale, you lack the C# which means the transition back to D is not as strong and natural as with the C#. The whole step up via C is the characteristic sound of the mixolydian mode. Of course there is also the issue that a tune ending on a D may also be something completly different (eg something in pure G major ending unexpectedly on the Dominant). There are no "rules" as far as I can tell except that there is an unwritten contract of trust between the musician(s) and the listener(s) that demands the musicians to take the listeners safely back home and the listeners to be open to a fun journey. Just like in reality, not all paths are realistically possible, and many roads have already been travelled, so the "rules" would correspond to the (for the ear) most logical and natural harmonic sequences. Detours are possible and welcome here and there, and the daring may take a completly uncharted road. I hope that doesn't sound too esoteric, but it's a metaphor I found to be pretty useful... Makes sense? Btw Thanks Alex, the splitting quotes option you discovered work like a charm!