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Right Concertina For Speed-folk


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The board says you are still around, though it must be close to midnight there, but trust me, your English is as good as a lot of folks who live here in Ohio. Or for that matter, it is as good as or better than a lot of the supposedly high school level papers I read in my current job.

 

Alan

 

It is 2 am (and now time for me to go to bed...) thank you for your kind appraisement of my english-skills. I think i will collect them all and send them to my english teachers :lol:

Hopfully the english langue in ohio has not in such a "bad condition" as the german langue here in germany (many many many young people are nat able to use the dative, not to mention the genitive (not to say grammar all overall) ... and their treasury of words is frightening low ... german language is part of my staff of life and it hurts watching it degenerate :( ).

 

Good night :)

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Hello Lars,

 

Three points to consider:

 

1) Since concertinas are not inexpensive, most concertina players begin with the less-expensive instruments and, as their playing skills and budgets increase, they acquire better instruments. This is pretty much a fact of life for concertina players. I'd wager you that Guinness you spoke of that each of the players who have responded to you on this forum is no longer playing their first instrument. A poor analogy is that you're more likely to learn to drive a car in a Yugo rather than in a Ferrari, no?

 

2) Danny Chapman is not a novice concertina player by any means. It will require patient practice and time to learn to play as he does. I've found that playing the tin whistle in a rapid tempo was easier to learn than playing a concertina at a similar speed but both can certain be played fast.

 

3) There was an American television series several years ago where a young man was training to be a Chinese monk. His instructor said that "when you can snatch the pebble from my hand, it will be time for you to leave" the school. A concertina player knows that "it is time" for a better instrument when his or her playing is slowed by their particular instrument -- it will be quite clear when that time arrives. This may take years, so don't worry yourself about not getting that Lamborghini during your first week of driving.

 

That said, I'd recommend that you purchase the inexpensive English concertina and get to playing. Try to meet other concertina players, listen to them play, and gently ask to try their instruments. If you later decide that you'd prefer to play an Anglo, then get one of those -- many players here play more than one system -- I'm no expert but even I can manage a tune or two on English, Anglo, and now my favorite Crane Duet.

 

Forgive the hack phrase but "just do it".

 

Henri in Central Florida

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I cannot sleep *yawn*

 

I will do it like you said, only the other way round (starting with anglo and pick an english later).

I hope you are right and it will take me a long long time to reach the limit of the rochelle/jackie (i tend to believe you ;) ).

That the tin whistle is more easy to learn on an beginner and intermediate level seems logical to me (what does not mean, to master the tin whistle is easy, it is not at all) and i am really curious how long it will take me to play my first tune. (i will proudly upload a fairly bad sample mp3 then :) ).

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But because i want to play neo/speedfolk mainly, i have to choose an instrument, that can be played very fast

Just my take, feel free to ignore, but may I counsel you against trying to play folk tunes very fast? The majority of folk tunes across Europe came into being as dance tunes, and in my not-very-humble opinion always sound best when played appropriately for dance.

 

[rant] This is inevitably contentious based on the fact that many people play too fast and so must disagree with me, but playing too fast has (at least so far as England is concerned) ruined Irish music for me. Far too many people confuse playing fast with playing well. [/rant]

 

Still, if you are listening to Danny's beautiful playing you have probably already realised this. :)

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Timson
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But because i want to play neo/speedfolk mainly, i have to choose an instrument, that can be played very fast

Just my take, feel free to ignore, but may I counsel you against trying to play folk tunes very fast? The majority of folk tunes across Europe came into being as dance tunes, and in my not-very-humble opinion always sound best when played appropriately for dance.

 

[rant] This is inevitably contentious based on the fact that many people play too fast and so must disagree with me, but playing too fast has (at least so far as England is concerned) ruined Irish music for me. Far too many people confuse playing fast with playing well. [/rant]

 

Still, if you are listening to Danny's beautiful playing you have probably already realised this. :)

 

Chris

 

I would agree to that to a certain degree. Most music does not sound good when played faster than it is suposed to be played (but there are exceptions imho and to play a song faster need not mean to raise its bpm but can also mean to play a more virtuosic, faster, more detailed ornamentation. The Song is not faster, it only seems to be faster... hard to explain it in english. Maybe i am telling total crap at the moment :lol: ) and i also agree, that it is an awful phenomenon, that many people that try to play fast forget to play clean or even hope, when they are fast enough nobody will recognize, that they do not play clean (best example of this is my former combo ;) ).

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Hello Chris

 

I am new to the concertina world (about 5 months) so no expert, but I do agree with you regarding the speed that many tunes are played at. I am able to read music (how I wish I could play by ear!!) and play other instruments, so I do understand timing rhythm etc. But it does seem to me at times, that speed rules and musicality gets lost along the way.

Regards

Ron

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But it does seem to me at times, that speed rules and musicality gets lost along the way.

Regards

Ron

I fully agree with you Ron

 

 

Me too Guys,

 

The real challenge is to learn to play music at a proper pace, not tearing off in a race and bluffing your way through all the mistakes.

A good musician will concentrate on putting character, feeling, lift, in effect, 'breathe life' into a piece.

 

The craze for playing everything at breakneck speed proves no more than does a speed typing competition and is generally about as musically expressive as a speeded up midi file.

 

An Old Bull and the Young Bull stood on a hill.

Young Bull looks down and sees a herd of prime heifers and says to the Old Fella, "lets run down the hill and have us a cow apiece".

The Old Bull replies.... What's the rush son ?? Lets walk down and have 'em all. B)

 

Dave

Edited by Dave Prebble
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The real challenge is to learn to play music at a proper pace, not tearing off in a race and bluffing your way through all the mistakes.

A good musician will concentrate on putting character, feeling, lift, in effect, 'breathe life' into a piece.

The craze for playing everything at breakneck speed proves no more than does a speed typing competition and is generally about as musically expressive as a speeded up midi file.

 

Mhh, i do not think it is fair to say it like that.

To Play fast need not mean playing bad and "bluffing your way through all the mistakes" categorical (i agree that it is a pity when it happens like that but it does not need to)... Also i never said i want to become a "good musician", i want to have fun with my instrument and maybe someday some people will have fun when they listen to my music, too (if not.. who cares.. me not as long as i have fun). The rest will come of its own volition.

 

About your definition of a good musician: For example the caprices of Paganini will not sound good if played too slow (regardless how many feeling the player will put into it). And if they are played fast, that need not mean, they are deadhearted.

 

P.S.: "is to learn to play music at a proper pace"

"proper" is a very very elatic word

Edited by Miasmamann
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But it does seem to me at times, that speed rules and musicality gets lost along the way.

I fully agree with you Ron

Me too Guys,

 

The real challenge is to learn to play music at a proper pace, not tearing off in a race and bluffing your way through all the mistakes.

A good musician will concentrate on putting character, feeling, lift, in effect, 'breathe life' into a piece.

 

The craze for playing everything at breakneck speed proves no more than does a speed typing competition and is generally about as musically expressive as a speeded up midi file.

You guys have a right to your tastes, but in the above I feel that you're being arrogant and obnoxious. Not that I think you don't have a right to express those opinions, but why in this Topic? It's nothing but a put down, and certainly not an attempt at the friendly helpfulness that C.net is famed for. Miasmamann has asked for help, and your response is to say that you don't like that kind of music?

If somebody asked for help deciding on the best concertina for Irish music, would you respond with, "That diddly Irish junk isn't real music; you should play Morris, with
strong beats
and
real chords
."?

 

If somebody asked for help deciding on the best concertina for Morris music, would you say, "That klunky kindergarten stuff isn't real music; you should play jazz, with chords that are
interesting
and the creativity of
improvisation
."?

 

And what's your opinion of the very fast movements in baroque violin music? Do you think those who have recorded them sound "as musically expressive as a speeded up midi file"? Would you even demean the taste of someone who wanted to try to play those pieces, though knowing (s)he wasn't good enough? (I ask, because I expect that the answer is "no".)

Miasmamann, I strongly suspect that I personally would be unenthused by your "speedfolk" music, but I won't knock it without hearing it, and I applaud you for wanting to try it!

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For example the caprices of Paganini will not sound good if played too slow (regardless how many feeling the player will put into it). And if they are played fast, that need not mean, they are deadhearted.

 

 

 

 

I think there is more to fast playing than just saying it's good or bad. First of all there is fast playing and fast playing. Those who can't play fast but do; who are losing the rythm, ornamentations and the pace of the music while rushing through the notes (they sound as they are in a hurry). Than there are those that can play fast without losing anything the music needs to be alive and beautiful. A common thing with good Irish musicians (but also in other musical cultures, like those from eastern Europe). Sometimes they play fast and you only notice how fast when you want to join yourself.

Second, there are tunes that are appropriate for fast playing and several other tunes that would lose much of the beauty of the melody. For instance I would never play a (three part) jig like ''Sport'' very fast. This is definitively an air that needs space. There are reels that sound much better played slowly and there are that sound great when played quite fast (like the ''old bush'', just to mention one). So here I fully agree with your comment on Paganini's caprices!

So are all these people complaining about fast music because they don't like fast music, or because they can't play fast (but well) themselves?! :lol:

I personally do not like fast food!

Anyway success with whatever concertina you buy and start playing slow; speed up later!

 

P.S. I do agree with the non speed lovers on one thing: Irish sessions (no matter where) in which only fast tunes (69% reels and 30% jigs) are played (fast) are boring and not interesting (musically).

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Hello Jim

 

The last few posts (including mine) probably somewhat went away from the original question but your following comment "... I feel that you're being arrogant and obnoxious "...seems harsh and unfriendly in the extreme. Like conversation posts do seem to wander from the original topic, I do accept I was part responsible for that and apologise to the originator of the initial post if they felt in anyway that they were being GOT AT. I don't believe any of the posts on this topic had that intention.

 

Ron

 

PS. I have not posted many replies and will think very careful before doing so again.

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But it does seem to me at times, that speed rules and musicality gets lost along the way.

Regards

Ron

I fully agree with you Ron

 

 

I tell my fiddle students to work toward make their playing beautiful, however they interpret beauty. Speed later. Beauty first. :rolleyes:

 

 

Randy

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In any physical skill, speed comes with practice and repetition.

 

If you try to go faster than your current skill level, you end up practicing it wrong.

 

It doesn't mean that you shouldn't have an eventual goal of being very fast, it just means that if you start making mistakes, you are going too fast for now, step it down to where you can do it right, and the speed will come.

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But it does seem to me at times, that speed rules and musicality gets lost along the way.

Regards

Ron

I fully agree with you Ron

 

I tell my fiddle students to work toward make their playing beautiful, however they interpret beauty. Speed later. Beauty first. :rolleyes:

 

Randy

 

When exactly have i said, that i do not want to play "beautyfull", or that speed is more important to me than a clean technic, or that feelings in play are not important to me?

I also never said that all music can be playd fast or faster than it is supposed to be.

In my opinion many songs from Niall Vallely are played at an awesome speed ... and i do not think he is a bad musician. What you have done is to adopted as a matter of course, that speed is EVERYTHING i want and that i do not care about the whole rest ... but i have never said it like that (because i know from expirience, that it do not work).

And that will take much time to become really fast is beyond all question. But then, i will not want the instrument to thwart me, because i will not be able to bye a new instrument for a long long time).

Edited by Miasmamann
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But it does seem to me at times, that speed rules and musicality gets lost along the way.

Regards

Ron

I fully agree with you Ron

 

I tell my fiddle students to work toward make their playing beautiful, however they interpret beauty. Speed later. Beauty first. :rolleyes:

 

Randy

 

When exactly have i said, that i do not want to play "beautyfull", or that speed is more important to me than a clean technic, or that feelings in play are not important to me?

I also never said that all music can be playd fast or faster than it is supposed to be.

In my opinion many songs from Niall Vallely are played at an awesome speed ... and i do not think he is a bad musician. What you have done is to adopted as a matter of course, that speed is EVERYTHING i want and that i do not care about the whole rest ... but i have never said it like that (because i know from expirience, that it do not work).

And that will take much time to become really fast is beyond all question. But then, i will not want the instrument to thwart me, because i will not be able to bye a new instrument for a long long time).

 

 

Oh, dang, Sorry. :huh: I got you all fired up. I only meant to comment on the dozens of previous emails and share one of my most cherished teaching comments. Of course you may play at any speed you like, as do my students, even after my wise council. God speed, and fly like the wind my friend and fellow musical traveler.

 

Randy

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Oh, dang, Sorry. :huh: I got you all fired up. I only meant to comment on the dozens of previous emails and share one of my most cherished teaching comments. Of course you may play at any speed you like, as do my students, even after my wise council. God speed, and fly like the wind my friend and fellow musical traveler.

Randy

 

That was not aimed only at you. And if all the comments about bad played fast music was not aimed on me it is ok and i took it all wrong. (But it was me who evoced this discussion and i takes place in this thread and so i belive they where aimed on me (and then they are partly wrong, maybe because of misinterpretation of my statements ... because of that want to clarify my point of view: Speed is NOT more important to me than feelings and clean technic etc. are )).

Edited by Miasmamann
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Tempo....dicely that. Our new colleague has innocently stirred up a hornets nest. I applaude his aspirations and hope we'll cut him some slack. After all, anyone who has the artistic decerment to be drawn to our Danny's tasteful playing is a step ahead of the game in my book.

 

Good luck on your search for an acceptable, afordable instrument and I look forward to one day hearing a submission from you on Henks page.

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