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Jim Burke

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Everything posted by Jim Burke

  1. Susan, the first note in this tune is a quarter note. There is plenty of time to move the first finger from the G to the e, even at a brisk session pace. I don't think Noel would have suggested using the first finger on both notes if the G was an eighth note. Think about it this way: If the melody called for an intervening eighth note (say a RH B on the C row), you probably would use the first finger on the G and e and not question it. I think a useful approach to the "don't chop" rule is to apply it when the space is an eighth or less, but to not worry about it when the space is a quarter or greater. J
  2. Susan, I would not try to apply a strict system to the bellows changes (like changing on every note, or every other note). The fingering pattern you choose to get the phrasing you want will largely dictate the bellows changes. In my own playing I find that I rarely play more than three notes in the same direction, and more often it is two or one; but there is no fixed pattern to it. You are right that emphasizing a specific note in a measure is important, but I don't think it is the first beat (the down beat)--It is the second and fourth beats (the back beats). If you can manage to give these beats a bit of extra kick in your reels and hornpipes, I think you'll start to hear a bit of the "lift" that you're after. Good luck. J
  3. Hello Susan, I went to this camp three years ago, when I had been playing only a few months. Despite my inexperience, I came away with a lot that I have been able to fold into my playing over time. Great players don't necessarily make fine teachers, but Noel is excellent. There is a reason why many people come back year after year. One thing that is different about Noel's approach is that he assigns the players to a class (beginner, intermediate, more experienced) and then teaches that class separately twice each day. This is not how things done at events like Swannanoa, Augusta, or Irish Arts Week, where people assign themselves to the level they believe they are on. I much prefer Noel's approach. It allows him to teach to the level of each group, and because the classes are necessarily relatively short, it allows lots of time for woodshedding. Greg is right about the need for a recording device that has playback speed control and a looping feature. I like Amazing Slow Downer ($50.00 or so). You can get it for PC or Apple machines, including iPad if you have one. I will be attending again this year, after a three year hiatus. See you there. Jim
  4. Greg Jowaisas made an excellent custom case for my Carroll.
  5. This seems like pretty good stuff for those few of us with room to improve. I learned about this from Junior Stevens, who apparently got the link from Paul Groff. http://www.creativitypost.com/psychology/8_things_top_practicers_do_differently
  6. I like pushing for this triplet too. It will smooth out, and it avoids having to play the C# and the D with the second and third fingers on the right hand (if you draw all three notes). Some very good players don't seem to mind this, but that doesn't describe me. I avoid it when I can.
  7. Roger, I have been playing Anglo for about three years, and from the beginning I have had the benefit of expert instruction. Even so, I have managed to find my way down some fingering rabbit holes that went nowhere and proved to be just a frustrating waste of time. I can't imagine how much trouble I would have made for myself without good guidance. My advice is to get yourself some help as soon as you can. Noel Hill's camps are superb, and some of the best players and teachers in the world are available on Skype/Facetime. The Online Academy of Irish Music (OAIM) is an excellent resource. Books are fine too; but there is no substitute for having a top notch player watch and listen to you play and say useful things like "No, don't do it that way. It's OK, but this way is better." Good luck. Jim
  8. A subscription to OAIM is $19.95 per month and I think you can quit any time. For the monthly fee you get full access to all the lessons they have on the site (fiddle, flute, whistle, etc.) as well as all of Edel's teaching videos and all of Ernestine Healy's, The videos are good quality and the instructors are accomplished. Unless you're a very advanced player on a variety of instruments, you'll find something here worth $19.95 per month.
  9. Some pics couldn't hurt.
  10. Doug, unless Wally changes his MO, you won't be locked into this decision. In my case he contacted me about three months before the delivery date, and before he started to build my instrument, and gave me the chance to pick size, style, wood, layout, etc.
  11. I see that recently Wally has made some changes to his website, including the addition of a discussion of the Noel Hill Model. http://carrollconcertinas.com/ordering-information.html. He points out something that I forgot to mention at the top of this thread--namely that the instrument is 6 inches across the flats instead of 6 and 1/4 inches. I'm sure this was important to Wally and Noel, in light of the trouble it must have taken to accomplish it, but I don't know what drove the decision. Here are some better pics of the bellows papers as well as a pic of the fiddle, harp and pipes carved into the endplates below the hand bars.
  12. As many of you probably know, Wally Carroll has been building and selling a new Noel Hill Model Anglo for several months now. The final product is the result of a long collaboration between Noel and Wally. I have not seen any discussion about the instrument in this forum, and since I have been happily squeezing away on mine for a month or so now, I thought I would offer a few observations: The styling, fit and finish are gorgeous (shocking, I know). Pics attached. This instrument differs from other Carrolls in a couple of obvious ways: It has a seven-fold bellows and a low D drone operated with the left thumb. The drone button doesn't move up and down, but functions like a spring-loaded switch. The instrument also has a slightly thicker reed pan. Tone is balanced, rich and clean. There is plenty of volume but it doesn't blare. I find that it is easy to hear at sessions, and that the instrument seems to carve out its own beautiful space without drowning anyone out. This is the fastest, most responsive concertina I have ever played. That said, three years ago I was still four months away from playing my first note on a concertina; so other, more experienced players will have better informed opinions on this. Still, I can't imagine anyone pushing this instrument beyond its limits. When my number came up and it was time for me to tell Wally exactly what I wanted, he said he thought I might like this model. I already owned Wally's No. 95 (which I love), so I went for it even though I was a little worried that it would be too different from a "standard" Carroll for me. The seven-fold bellows, especially, was a concern. I had heard that once you get used to a six- or a seven-fold instrument, it is difficult to switch back and forth. This has not been my experience at all. The extra fold is there to allow for some additional air to run the drone D when needed, but I don't find that it requires any compromises at all when the drone is not in play. If anything, I think the air control is superior. All told, this is a magnificent concertina, worth every penny of the price, which is few hundred dollars more than the other Carroll models. I am completely happy with mine. If anyone out there is thinking of acquiring one and has any questions that a satisfied owner can answer, let me know.
  13. The "someone" in this clip is Chris Stevens, an excellent player and teacher from Maine.
  14. Is this instrument still available? If so, I'm interested. Thanks, Jim
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