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I play percussion. Started out on snare drum at the age of 12...progressed to drumset during Highschool years...eventually ended up playing a variety of hand drums and settled on a djembe for my mainstay...used to play it weekly at a cafe in Minneapolis with my brother on acoustic bass guitar and my father on mandolin.

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Over the years l have played piano, guitar (acoustic and electric), Irish Harp, Cello, Trumpet, flute (tried and failed) before at last finding Anglo Concertina. Still have my guitar and harps, but they are sadly neglected. I've just come back to the Concertina after some years absence. :)

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I began singing in public at age 5, and am still doing so 65 years later. I currently sing first bass in a choir that concentrates on early church music in the English tradition. I have played for various lengths of time and eventually abandoned the piano, harmonica, recorder, guitar, penny whistle, mandolin, English concertina and melodeon. I currently play the first instrument I ever played, the ukulele, and the most recent, the G/D Anglo.

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Still have my guitar and harps, but they are sadly neglected. I've just come back to the Concertina after some years absence. :)

 

Better to neglect guitar and harps in favour of the Concertina than for no reason... B)

Can't argue with that :)
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I've just come back to the Concertina after some years absence. :)

 

Hello again, Morgana. I recall you as the inititator of some of the most interesting threads on the forum several years back, including of course your series of interviews (5 questions) with concertina notables. Welcome back.

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It is with mixed feelings that I must make an update to my last posting in this thread: I have opened up a new instrumental perspective, or found a way to further dissipate my musical energies, whichever way you look at it! :wacko:

 

At any rate, I've started working up the Waldzither, which I've known of for a long time, but only now acquired a playable specimen of. Not a zither in the usual sense, more a form of cittern. Pictures and descriptions here.

 

Just a word of encouragement to those thinking of starting a life as a multi-instrumentalist: when you've been wrestling with unfamiliar fingerings and using unaccustomed muscles for a week or so, going back to your familiar concertina seems sooo easy!

 

And another: the more instruments you already play, the easier it gets to learn a new one! The Waldzither, forinstance, reuses a lot of banjo and mandolin skills. And, of course, the basic music theory remains the same.

 

Cheers,

John

 

Edited to add: My new baby is very similar to the one in the first photos at the linked site.

Edited by Anglo-Irishman
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I've just come back to the Concertina after some years absence. :)

 

Hello again, Morgana. I recall you as the inititator of some of the most interesting threads on the forum several years back, including of course your series of interviews (5 questions) with concertina notables. Welcome back.

Thanks Stephen, good to be here :)

 

No more interviews but my portfolio of concertina shots is slowly growing :D

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After fooling around with the uke and an old hawaiian guitar as a kid I received a fine old 1926 Gibson Mastertone Granada tenor banjo for my 12th birthday. That led to tenor guitar, mandolyn and anglo concertina over the years

 

Current skill set includeds english concertina, long-neck dulcimer, claw-hammer banjo, guitar and bones.

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John D- on the fast attacks we usually practiced in the Sonar Equipment Space (SES). Lots of electronic equipment and hardly anyone ever in there. Seems like I knew someone on your ship around 1980 but can't remember who. Juan Ortiz, maybe?

 

Been singing ever since I can remember in church Sunday school.

 

Took piano for a year, since my two sisters played, but had no talent for it. That or maybe it was because I preferred playing football or riding bicycles to practicing.

 

Two years high school band playing the bassoon. Also was forced to play recorder in elementary school.

 

Gave up everything for years then after the Navy had a job where I drove a lot, so took up playing a harmonica. If anyone asks how good I am I tell them I'm the best harmonica player they've ever met and I'm only half kidding.

 

Took up guitar when my daughter was trying to learn but only ever learned to play a few things and chord a bit. Eventually wound up playing in a little bluegrass band, mostly for my harmonica. Have jammed with a few rock and blues groups, too.

 

Been playing 20b Anglo for 3 months and enjoying it. The note pattern is exactly like harmonica only one goes higher and the other goes lower. Also I can't bend concertina notes.

 

Terrence

 

 

 

 

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...

 

Nicely told... :)

 

Also I can't bend concertina notes.

 

As to the bending issue, we've discussed this at one point (offline) - as much as I've learned (from another EC player, and involuntarily beforehand) it might be done by closing (resp. opening) the valve half way. I'd guess the harmonica way would be to rough for our valuable instruments, can't swap them every week or month... B)

 

So how are you doing that bending?

 

Greetings from another sailor

Edited by blue eyed sailor
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Bending notes on a harmonica? There are several videos on Youtube that cover it pretty well, but the ones I've seen leave out the first step which is that you have to be playing a good harmonica and the right harmonica. There are several good brands besides Hohner, such as Lee Oskar, Seydel, Hering, and Suzuki, but to get one that you can bend notes reliably you need to spend around $25 US to $40 US. If you are trying to bend notes on the $4.95 harmonica that you bought at the gift shop in Cracker Barrel it might not be possible. I can't say it is impossible, but might not be possible.

 

It also needs to be a diatonic harmonica. I can imagine there are people out there playing chromatic harmonicas that can bend notes, but that's out of the realm of a beginner. Likewise don't buy a tremolo or octave tuned harmonica and expect to bend notes on it. Stick with a good quality 10 hole diatonic harmonica.

 

Once you have a good harmonica close your lips down small enough so that you are only blowing one note, put your lips over the 4th hole, and inhale to play a draw note. As you inhale to play the note move your tongue to form the vowels "A-E-I-O-U" very slowly. Somewhere between "O" and "U" you might hear the note dip slightly in pitch. Do this several times and practice making the movement with your tongue so that the note dips in pitch. After practice you should be able to make the note dip by nearly an entire pitch. Now practice doing the same thing at will and on different notes. You will find you can bend draw notes on the first 6 holes. You might also notice it takes varying amounts of pressure and tongue movement to bend other notes and also that some holes can't bend notes as far as others.

 

You might try bending the 7th hole also, but you will most likely not be able to. Instead that note will end with a high pitch squeal that is referred to as "choking" the note. Holes 7 through 10 will bend on the blow note. Do this very carefully as you don't need anywhere near as much air pressure to bend blow notes. It takes almost the same tongue movement, though. Don't be embarassed if you can't bend a blow note, though, that is usually done by more advanced harmonica players.

 

Terrence

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I saw notes 'bent' at swaledale.

 

The trick is to open the pad a tiny amount; the most reliable way, I was told and shown is to press the key sideways, put your finger down next to it and sort of lean on it. That works reliably but the sound didn't seem pleasing, a bit strangled, and doing it on the go looked like hard work. I think we all thought it was interesting but not much use.

 

What I did store for later consideration was seeing Cormac the Irish tutor playing for a dancer and using just the air button to keep the rhythm going as a variation on the tune.

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My pop was a piano tuner, so I learned to read music and tinker with a keyboard. My older brother's girlfriend gave me banjo lessons until they broke up. I bugled on every hose, copper tube, PVC pipe in our garage and basement. In school, I played clarinet, euphonium, and trumpet. The first instrument that I bought on my own was a bugle. Since my funding agency would pay tuition, I learned cello - kind of- when I was working on my dissertation. I was good enough to play (quietly) in the University Orchestra, which was a great experience. My intonation was awful, and this actually was the inspiration for me getting an instrument with buttons! I play EC.

 

I still play trumpet and am in a community band. We play some pops, some classical, an some big band tunes. I am learning to play Chapman stick, which is a real challenge for me.

Edited by Podzol
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