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Posts posted by Johanna


    Nicely performed, but I can't say I'm taken by the lyrics. I spent a summer in Columbus (working for Ohio Bell Telephone), and I didn't find it worse than other cities, nor depressing, boring, or otherwise worth avoiding in its own right. B)


    I've never been there myself (except for passing through on I-70). But I don't think the song is meant to imply that there's anything objectively bad about the city. It's more about feeling stuck, about needing a change in your life but lacking the will to make it happen.

  2. Well done Johanna, that sounds super. I'm very fond of this song but ( for fairly obvious reasons) don't think I can go near it on my duet .I have, however, just co-written a song with Seth for a BBC radio ballad about World War One.More news about this in coming months.

    Thanks for listening, Lakeman. I look forward to hearing the new song!

  3. Thanks. :) I suppose if I wanted to cheat, I could record each part separately and then adjust the balance however I want. But exploring different microphone arrangements is useful.


    One thing I notice, listening again to take 2, is that when I'm playing quietly, it becomes harder to sing in tune. Something else to work on, I guess.

  4. Not at all - the chords are pretty easy. The little riff before/after/between the verses is:


    C F C F C F F G


    Where each of the C's is really a Csus2 resolving to C (the top melody note starts on D and then goes up to E).


    Then the verse and chorus go like this:


    In © vain I try to (F) dry a tear which © falls down from my (G) eyes,
    It (Am) makes me (G) think of (F) one I love who in this cold grave (G) lies;
    My © heart is very (F) sad I vow, one thing © cheers me through my (G) life:
    The (Am) only (G) merit (F) I have left, this portrait of my (G) wife.


    (G) Roll away those (F) lonely days,
    (G) Roll from up a©bove.
    (F) Raise (G) your (Am) glass to the (F) one you © love.


    Most of the chords I play as open fifths, omitting the 3rds.

  5. Thanks, all. I was just singing/playing into my computer microphone, while sitting on the couch, so the concertina was closer to the microphone than my voice was, and my breath support might not have been all it could have been. Maybe I'll try a take later where I'm standing up and recording with a real microphone, and see if that's any better.

  6. My collection contains three: a brass-rivet-reeded Wheatstone treble, a Morse Albion baritone, and a Lachenal New Model 35-button tenor. The idea was to cover all the available ranges and reed types. Unfortunately, the Lachenal came to me in suboptimal condition, and it's currently with Greg Jowaisas for repairs. Looking forward to getting it back soon to see what I can do with it!


    ETA: To answer the other part of the question - I got my second concertina (a Jack baritone) about three months after my first (a Stagi 18-button miniature), because I was eager to try out the baritone range. Both have since been sold - the Stagi was replaced by the Wheatstone and the Jack was replaced by the Morse.

  7. Closed-form chords (like CEG) are easy to play on the English concertina of any size, but they can sound harsh. Sometimes a more pleasant option is to use two-note chords (like CG, leaving out the E), and let the tune provide the context of whether the chord is meant to be major or minor. You don't even need a chord chart to play those, because pairs of notes a fifth apart are always right next to each other vertically (the only exceptions being BF# and BbF).


    With stripped-down harmonies like that, you'll find that there are many tunes where you can play melody and accompaniment together on the 18-button. One of the first ones I learned was Wild Mountain Thyme.

  8. Congratulations!!! I'm sure you will get a lot of enjoyment out of it.


    I also chose the 18-button in part because I was recovering from a wrist injury and wanted something small and light. The Jackie seemed very large and unwieldy. I think you'll appreciate the lighter weight.


    I play mostly English traditional tunes (by myself, in private, for fun) and American contemporary folk music (with others, in public, for fun and profit). Search for "Shenandoah Run" on youtube to get the idea. (No videos with the 18-button, unfortunately - there were a few once, but we've since taken them down.) I would say that about 90% of what I wanted to play, I could play on the 18-button with no problem. Maybe another 5% I could play with small changes, and the other 5% I would have to give up and do something else instead. Of course, now that I have 48 buttons to work with, I make every effort to use as many of them as possible.


    The biggest problem I ever had with the 18-button was that it is LOUD. My solution was to make "baffles" out of ultrasuede to cover the sound holes on each end. That softened the tone and also sweetened it - some people said it sounded like a flute. I wrote a post somewhere here about how I made the baffles - let me know if you want me to find it for you.

  9. In my experience, what's most comfortable depends a lot on what you're used to. When the 18-button was my main instrument, I could play it for hours, and any other concertina felt strange. Then when I switched to playing my other concertinas more, the 18-button started to feel more uncomfortable (so I played it less and less and eventually sold it).


    So, sure, the 18-button isn't right for everybody, but in exactly the same sense as any other instrument isn't right for everybody.

  10. I can't find the eBay listing you're talking about, but from what you say, I'd be careful. Concertinas that haven't had much attention in a while can have all kinds of things wrong with them that isn't obvious on the surface. In particular, Stagis often use rubber tubing to connect the keys to the levers, and that tubing doesn't last forever. It may seem fine from the outside but be on the verge of crumbling to bits.


    If you want a good deal on an 18-button mini, the Button Box has one in stock right now. (http://www.buttonbox.com/concertinas-in-stock.html) It's branded Hohner, but it looks exactly the same as the Stagi. (Anyone out there know more about this than I do?)

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