JohnEverist Posted October 13, 2004 Share Posted October 13, 2004 Hello all..... I know that this is a problematic question, but I'm coming out of 'lurk mode" with a few observations and some questions, and would aprreciate any response. I've been playing a modified 30 key Lachenal C/G instrument for about a year and half or so. I'm entirely self-taught, however I did make a bit of a ways into Bertram Levy's tutor. I live in an area (South Dakota, USA) which has no anglo concertina players (that I know of), but I am lucky enough to have some great Irish music players as friends who are willing to put up with my learning curve as long as I play piano for the local ceilis . I have been a gigging musician (with day job) for over 30 yrs playing guitar and piano in classic rock/jazz standard bands, and more recently guitar and banjo in American Old Time tradition, with emphasis on US Midwestern fiddle tunes. I can read enough to follow a lead sheet, or pick out a tune transcription, but I learn primarily by ear. I recently tackled Noel Hill's "The Wise Maid" which effort brings me to the questions. Apparently he is playing in Bb on the recording, and when I first sounded it out I was able to find all the notes on my instrument. I am continually amazed at the vesatility of the C/G instrument (30 key), and felt that with enough practice I could probably play it at a reasonable tempo in that key. But since its more widely played as a D tune (I think), I transposed and learned it there. So how is Noel Hill playing it on the recording? I am assuming D fingering with an Ab/Eb instrument.....anybody know? (BTW The AmazingSlowdowner from ronimusic.com is a remarkable learning tool for those that like to learn from recordings by ear, esp those NH ornaments ..... I am not affiliated) The locals play "The Earl's Chair" so I put in some time on that one as well. They play it in D and I learned it off a transcription from the ABC tunefinder, with help from my mates at the different parts. I am particularly fond of Mary MacNamara's playing and try to reference her settings if I am learning a tune she has recorded comercially. She plays that tune in C. Is that tradition in her part of Clare? I also love Mrs. Crotty and John Kelly, Sr., and find their settings pretty accessible. But again, their key choices are pretty different from the settings you find in the abc's or if our local session just happens to play one they play . And then there's Kitty Hayes with all those tunes in F. I guess its just a concertina "situation" what with the early 2-row instruments establishing the traditional keys for some tunes in some areas, and the availability of great instruments in keys and tunings other than C/G and A=440. So how does anyone else decide which key when learning a tune? For me, if its a tune that my local group already plays I will learn it in their key. If its for my edification, I either use the key that the recording I am using is in, or I may decide to use the fingering that (I think) the artist is using and transposing for my instrument. I was able to take a Irish piano class from Felix Dolan this past summer, and he was kind enough to accompany me while I played some of my concertina tunes. He rolled his eyes at some of my key choices Thanks for any and all feedback. I'm hoping someday for a real anglo lesson from an accomplished player, but am not looking forward to dealing with all the bad habits I am surely teaching myself. Happy Squeezing! John Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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