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About RAc

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    Chatty concertinist

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

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  1. RAc

    Concertina as dominatrix ??

    True. Really got to work on the CRS issue (Compulsive Rhyming Syndrome)...
  2. 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...
  3. 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...
  4. 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!
  5. 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.
  6. 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...
  7. 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.
  8. RAc

    Concertina as dominatrix ??

    hate to say this, but I do know a number of Melodeon players, and not all of them are bad.
  9. 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).
  10. 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!
  11. Hi Paul, If I remember correctly, it used to be the case that I could split a quote so I could answer to individual parts of the quoted text. I don't seem to find that option anymore (using Firefox latest)? Thanks!
  12. This has been discussed several times before, you may for example start here (there are other back links to previous threads in that thread).
  13. RAc

    Need some help, Pairing a tune with Scarborough Fair

    So, to paraphrase you: 1. I, having been born and raised in Germany, am not allowed to listen to, let alone actively engage in, folk music and traditions of other people (for example not English although 90% of my active repertoire consists of traditional English Folk) and are obliged to stick to wherever I was arbitrarily born into? 2. The folk ensemble I am a member of that is committed to bringing people together and help them understanding each other by embracing folk cultures all over the world is wrong (their repertoire contains music from South America, Asia, the Near East, Europe, Scandinavia, America, Russia and so much more)? 3. There should not be Morris dance groups or bagpipe societies outside the UK (or strictly speaking only parts of it)? 4. All the worldwide choirs, folk dance groups and bands that are open minded enough to enjoy music from many places around the worlds are illegal and should be forbidded or dismantled? 5. Music like this here should not exist? I am asking in this provocative manner because I'm sure I habe misinterpreted your post (I can't believe anybody these days is as backwards as the post insinuates). Thanks!
  14. This is very flattering indeed, a wonderful compliment that more than anything makes me blush. Thank you, Geoff. There's always room for improvement, and I have a feeling that the outcome of this discussion will help me (and hopefully others who can relate to the issues as well) make another step forward. Your explanation of the bellows volume evolution is very helpful as well!
  15. well, let me first of all express my thorough thanks and appreciation to everybody who answered. It appears that the topic I raised resonates and thus does fill sort of a void so I'm glad I asked, and distilling the essence of all the answers will hopefully improve my (and possibly other people's as well) playing. As Wolf pointed out, the discussion has sort of branched into two distinct threads - one that tried to (hands-on answers to my question) formulate rules and guidelines for the problem I was facing, and one that questions the need for those rules in favor of musical expressiveness. I see the validity in both approaches, but the second approach (as Wolf also pointed out) is directed at a different target group and does not take into account that any musical instrument is (among other things) a tool, and tool usage can and should be analyzed, studied so it can be taught and internalized systematically. If I understand the musical learning process correctly, I see it (roughly) as a two-step process: First, learn how to use the tool by the rules so that in the second step, you can take the liberty to break them. Without a fundament (even if it appears constraning), few buildings stand strong. So I was looking for a (to my best knowledge) undocumented section of the tool handbook to tackle a very hands on issue, namely the problem that I was running out of air which in turn adversely affected the listening experience. Again I am very grateful to Wolf for establishing the link by pinpointing the issue. Geoff's and Adrian's points are undoubtedly valid and valuable but come from the point of view of those who have long passed the point where the rules can be broken which is certainly useful for many in a like situation (who hopefully can thus also benefit from this discussion). Regardless, I believe it is widely undisputed in the folk dance scene that the primary guides to the fingerboard should be the ear and the feet. Thus, stipulating (hypothetical) rules that roughly read "we indicate the bellows reversals in the sheet music and you translate them to the keyboard" would be as mechanical and undesireable as its - by many, including myself - not well regarded cousin, the classical "we give you black dots on white paper and you translate them to your instrument" approach. But establishing rules such as shining through here (along the lines of "figure out the phrasing and the heart of the tune and align the changes to them") I don't think mechanical and soulless at all, and they certainly beat not worrying about the issue at all and thus grinding errors into the playing that end up hard to iron out. Again, thanks to everybody and also to the forum admins for providing a place in which discussion like this can be held!