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For many years I have played melodeon and sung at the same time. This took some time ( I got the principle in 1977) but it became second nature ( and partly cured 'the melodeon face'). Players I hold in high esteem in no particular order are John Kirkpatrick, Tony Hall, Chris Parkinson, Brian Peters, Pete Coe, Roger Watson, Eddie leJeune, Rockin Dopsie and loads of South American player/singers etc etc. I'm sure France and Germany is full of such singer/players but i don't know much.

 

Since taking up Anglo in 2006 I have tried it with varying degrees of success.

 

I would be very interested to hear from people if they managed it and what tips they have.

 

 

I rate the follwing professional artists, just a few of those playing I'm sure and by no means exhaustive. Please add any you know and apologies to anyone on this forum if I've missed you out. Please add yourself to the list.

 

Anglo

Harry Boardman, John Kirkpatrick, Brian Peters, Keith Kendrick, Roger Watson, Bob Hazelwood

 

English

Lou Killen, Pete Bellamy, SteveTurner, Sarah Graves, Keith Kendrick, Tony Rose, Bernard Wrigley

 

Duet

Jon Boden, Tim Laycock (oops, sorry Richard!)

 

I read that Scan Tester didn't accompany himself or Will Duke for that matter. So my criterion is do they play and sing at the same time.

 

 

Please link to YouTube etc

 

Mike

Edited by michael sam wild
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What interests me is how street singers used to play along on fiddle with a bit of double stopping. What history is there of instrumental accompaniment in earlier times, harp, keyboards, lute, guitar etc.. How many piano accordion players sing and play?

 

I've always envied Fats Waller,Little Richard, Elton John, Billy Joel and such genii. Do the chords come first or the melody lines?

Edited by michael sam wild
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For many years I have played melodeon and sung at the same time. This took some time ( I got the principle in 1977) but it became second nature ( and partly cured 'the melodeon face'). Players I hold in high esteem in no particular order are John Kirkpatrick, Tony Hall, Chris Parkinson, Brian Peters, Pete Coe, Roger Watson, Eddie leJeune, Rockin Dopsie and loads of South American player/singers etc etc. I'm sure France and Germany is full of such singer/players but i don't know much.

 

Since taking up Anglo in 2006 I have tried it with varying degrees of success.

 

I would be very interested to hear from people if they managed it and what tips they have.

 

 

I rate the follwing professional artists, just a few of those playing I'm sure and by no means exhaustive. Please add any you know and apologies to anyone on this forum if I've missed you out. Please add yourself to the list.

 

Anglo

Harry Boardman, John Kirkpatrick, Brian Peters, Keith Kendrick, Roger Watson

 

English

Lou Killen, Pete Bellamy, SteveTurner, Sarah Graves, Keith Kendrick, Tony Rose, Bernard Wrigley

 

Duet

Jon Boden, Tim Laycock (oops, sorry Richard!)

 

I read that Scan Tester didn't accompany himself or Will Duke for that matter. So my criterion is do they play and sing at the same time.

 

 

Please link to YouTube etc

 

Mike

 

 

Hi Mike,

first of all, I would like to add a couple of USA residents to your list. On Anglo - John Roberts who's song accompaniment is well worth checking out and on English Jeff Warner who knows just the right amount to put into accompany a song.

 

I sing and accompany myself on Anglo and melodeon and from my point of view, the melody is usually the first thing I work out on the instrument and then reduce it down to snatches of melody and chords to work out an arrangement and fit it all together with the words. This is I think the opposite to Roger Watson, who tends to build the melodeon/concertina arrangement up from a chord structure. which proves that both ways are valid. Roger plays a 3 row melodeon which has a better scope for chording anyway. My weapon of choice melodeon wise is either a one row or two row. I have been moving towards much more chording on the Anglo with songs as I unlock more of it's secrets.......

 

www.myspace.com/liamrobinsonlincs

www.youtube.com/profile?user=porkpiemariner&view=videos

 

 

Great topic to get us thinking about what we do....cheers LIAM!

 

P.S. Forgot you should have Lincolnshires Bill Whaley on the list too, plays all concertina systems plus piano accordion and sings.....A legend in my eyes!!!!

Edited by Liam-Robinson
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I don't know about the others on your list, but Elton John was working from someone else's (Taupin's) lyrics.

Imagine what it takes to match up your music with the other's words and play!

 

I suppose that sheer repetition is a huge factor here.

 

Sing while I play? Not me. I've got enough trouble getting the fingers to cooperate without having to worry about the voice. For now, it's one or the other.

 

I know that a lot of blues guitarists took advantage of the structure of the music to sing a line then fill up the spaces with the playing; call and response with yourself. B.B King is the best example.

 

Cheers,

Rob

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What interests me is how street singers used to play along on fiddle with a bit of double stopping. What history is there of instrumental accompaniment in earlier times, harp, keyboards, lute, guitar etc.. How many piano accordion players sing and play?

 

Did Nic Jones play the fiddle and sing or was that someone else playing the fiddle with him? I presume singer-fiddlers don't hold the fiddle under their chin!

 

Richard

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What interests me is how street singers used to play along on fiddle with a bit of double stopping. What history is there of instrumental accompaniment in earlier times, harp, keyboards, lute, guitar etc.. How many piano accordion players sing and play?

 

Did Nic Jones play the fiddle and sing or was that someone else playing the fiddle with him? I presume singer-fiddlers don't hold the fiddle under their chin!

 

Richard

 

 

I believe Nic Jones did indeed play the fiddle and sing with it too. Lots of singing fiddlers hold the fiddle lower down.....favourite singing fiddlers list coming up:

 

Barry Dransfield - Tom McConville - ........

 

Also we've mentioned building accompaniment from melody and from chordal structure but not mentioned building it from rhythm.........more food for thought!!!!!

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I just got Brian Peter's "Anglophilia" in the mail, and it inspired me to play and sing Robert Service's "Accordion". Coincidentally, I have been attending a trad English session in Cambridge, Ontario which is hosted by the members of "Tethera", including Paul Morris (who Brian mentions in his liner notes as the inspiration for his learning of the song). Paul usually plays melodeon at the session, but since the newbie with the concertina (me) has started showing up, he has very kindly started bringing his along, and playing it for my benefit. (He was also extremely gracious and welcoming to my teenaged son who brought along his Hohner Erica, and very nervously sat in for a bit). He performed his version of "Accordion" on Sunday, which is quite different instrumentally than Brian's. A little sparer, more chordy than melodious, and not in an odd-ball key! (Why would Brian play it in F? Because he can, I guess.) But I like the singing and playing of both men.

 

The concertina has changed the way I think about what I am capable of. Consistantly, I have surprized myself by being able to do something I didn't think I could do, simply by watching and listening, launching into it, attacking it in small bites and keeping at it. E.g. playing without looking at my hands, two handed playing, and now playing and singing. It ain't pretty, but it always gets better and easier with practice. In the words of Yoda, "Do or do not, there is no try!" :P

Edited by Bill N
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There are a bunch of us who play concertina and sing around where I live. English players Riggy Rackin (some audio tracks here) and Carol Denney (some very brief samples here, cuts 7 and 9) have each put out a few CDs. Michele Delattre and Kit Dalton are a couple of other local English players/singers, and Alan Lochhead and I both sometimes sing with Anglo. I'm sure I'm forgetting some others.

 

Daniel

 

For many years I have played melodeon and sung at the same time. This took some time ( I got the principle in 1977) but it became second nature ( and partly cured 'the melodeon face'). Players I hold in high esteem in no particular order are John Kirkpatrick, Tony Hall, Chris Parkinson, Brian Peters, Pete Coe, Roger Watson, Eddie leJeune, Rockin Dopsie and loads of South American player/singers etc etc. I'm sure France and Germany is full of such singer/players but i don't know much.

 

Since taking up Anglo in 2006 I have tried it with varying degrees of success.

 

I would be very interested to hear from people if they managed it and what tips they have.

 

 

I rate the follwing professional artists, just a few of those playing I'm sure and by no means exhaustive. Please add any you know and apologies to anyone on this forum if I've missed you out. Please add yourself to the list.

 

Anglo

Harry Boardman, John Kirkpatrick, Brian Peters, Keith Kendrick, Roger Watson, Bob Hazelwood

 

English

Lou Killen, Pete Bellamy, SteveTurner, Sarah Graves, Keith Kendrick, Tony Rose, Bernard Wrigley

 

Duet

Jon Boden, Tim Laycock (oops, sorry Richard!)

 

I read that Scan Tester didn't accompany himself or Will Duke for that matter. So my criterion is do they play and sing at the same time.

 

 

Please link to YouTube etc

 

Mike

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Firstly, Peter Bellamy is in the wrong section - he played anglo, in a wildly idiosyncratic style which is very difficult to imitate. It doesn't help that he had clips fitted to his instruments to hold down certain keys while he was playing.

 

Secondly, I thought Roger Watson was mainly an EC player. I know he wrote a tutor for anglo as well, but whenever I've seen him (which admittedly hasn't been for some time) he was playing EC. Perhaps Liam can confirm.

 

Bill N, F isn't an "oddball" key, it fits very well on the C/G Anglo, played mainly on the draw. It's also a great key for singing in - it suits many people's voices, and reduces the temptation to play the melody.

 

As for singing concertina players, I would add Colin Cater (anglo) and myself (anglo). Mike Harding sometimes accompanies himself on bass EC

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Firstly, Peter Bellamy is in the wrong section - he played anglo, in a wildly idiosyncratic style which is very difficult to imitate. It doesn't help that he had clips fitted to his instruments to hold down certain keys while he was playing.

 

Secondly, I thought Roger Watson was mainly an EC player. I know he wrote a tutor for anglo as well, but whenever I've seen him (which admittedly hasn't been for some time) he was playing EC. Perhaps Liam can confirm.

 

Bill N, F isn't an "oddball" key, it fits very well on the C/G Anglo, played mainly on the draw. It's also a great key for singing in - it suits many people's voices, and reduces the temptation to play the melody.

 

As for singing concertina players, I would add Colin Cater (anglo) and myself (anglo). Mike Harding sometimes accompanies himself on bass EC

 

Hiya Howard!

Roger is an EC player...I'm not sure that apart from writing the handbook for Hohner, he has had much to do with the Anglo. I concur that F is an excellent key for songs on a C/G Anglo. Has anyone mentioned Bernard Wrigley and his concertina - Also Bob Webb and his Duet......

 

Cheers LIAM!

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Bill N, F isn't an "oddball" key, it fits very well on the C/G Anglo, played mainly on the draw. It's also a great key for singing in - it suits many people's voices, and reduces the temptation to play the melody.

 

Thanks for the tip Howard. My comment was prompted by Brian's ability to play so fluently in many different keys. It's pretty awe inspiring for someone who is just starting to venture out of the home keys. I will give F a try!

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Anglo player Will Duke does play and sing at the same time sometimes! He was greatly influenced by the playing of the late, great Scan Tester of Horsted Keynes, Sussex and actually owns and plays one of Scan's old concertinas. He started singing and playing concertina around Sussex in 1972. And you can hear Will do both on his latest CD, Out of the Box. My late partner Rosie, who has just died, was a fine singer and EC player. Though she usually sang unaccompanied, she sometimes sang and played her concertina at the same time and very effectively too. Simon Ritchie is another wonderful melodeon player who sings at the same time. I am listening to him now, on his CD Squeezebox Schizophrenia.

 

Chris

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I have been singing with instruments (EC, tenor and five string banjo, guitar, dulcimer and bones) for over 40 years. During a performance I will switch every few songs to another instrument and do very few instrumentals only.

 

Over the years I have gotten more proficient in both singing and playing. I don't think I have ever run into a performer who was both a proficient singer and player who didn't do both simultaneously and always assumed that persons who could do both would have no problem doing them at the same time.

 

How many players out there find this to be a problem?

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What interests me is how street singers used to play along on fiddle with a bit of double stopping. What history is there of instrumental accompaniment in earlier times, harp, keyboards, lute, guitar etc.. How many piano accordion players sing and play?

 

Did Nic Jones play the fiddle and sing or was that someone else playing the fiddle with him? I presume singer-fiddlers don't hold the fiddle under their chin!

 

Richard

 

My wife does. That fiddle right under her chin playing the tune or sometimes a counter melody and singing in a good loud voice! ;)

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