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Fer chrissakes- how could anybody NOT mention Jody Kruskal? If somebody mentioned him and I missed it I do apologize.

 

Jody is developing an enviable international reputation and a very appreciative international audience. He is taking singing and concertina playing along new avenues. He's a great player and a great singer. He has also kindly shared lots of valuable information on this site.

 

What is it you people don't like about him that might have caused you to overlook him? Is it his hair-do?

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What is it you people don't like about him that might have caused you to overlook him?

I think there are just too many examples for any one to pop up right away. Nobody's mentioned Ian Robb either, a fine singer and player of English concertina. I'm sure there are dozens more.

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Thanks for all the responses, the list grows.Sorry for any mistakes and omissions I am grateful for corrections.

Here's a few I overlooked

EC

Damien Barber

 

Anglo

Harry Scurfield

John Townley

 

Any shanty men?

 

I didn't know Jody played and sang, sorry

 

Looking at this and another thread about players, I must say I am pleasantly surprised how many good players exist. Add that to a large number of session players and I think this instrument is better represented in the musical world than I had known. That is simply great news.

 

Ian

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Fer chrissakes- how could anybody NOT mention Jody Kruskal? If somebody mentioned him and I missed it I do apologize.

 

Jody is developing an enviable international reputation and a very appreciative international audience. He is taking singing and concertina playing along new avenues. He's a great player and a great singer. He has also kindly shared lots of valuable information on this site.

 

What is it you people don't like about him that might have caused you to overlook him? Is it his hair-do?

 

 

Hi David , do you know anyone in Ireland who plays and sings at the same time. They must have done in the old days when they were singing the corny old Irish-American songs of the 20s and 30s such as the Flanagan Brothers sang

 

 

I wonder if Dan Worrall turned any up?

 

Mike

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Can I just add, there is nothing magical about singing and playing an instrument. No one would ask this question about the guitar, for example, it would be considered normal. In fact, with guitar most people start by accompanying songs with a few simple chords and move on to playing instrumentals once their playing gets better.

 

Perhaps it's because most people approach concertina as an instrument for playing tunes that the idea of singing as well seems so daunting to some.

 

The secret, and this applies to any instrument, is to keep the accompaniment well within your playing abilities. Most of your concentration should be on the song. If you're struggling to play the accompaniment, you won't sing well and people will notice. If you're singing well, people won't care how flashy your accompaniment is (anyway, too flashy can overwhelm the song). You can always put something flashy between the verses, if you really have to.

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When I started I practised only chords to accompany my singing, just as I did with guitar or mandolin. Then learned phrasing. But now, when I work out a new song I start with the melody but already considering the pushs and pulls and harmonies. Not always the full chords but parts of it or the bass note of a chord. From todays point of view the practising of the chords helped me a lot and I there are some songs where I play no melody at all but only a sort of chordal accompaniment.

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Roy Clinging plays English and sings. Seeing him was the reason I took up concertina after many years of dissatisfaction with stringed instruments - I watched him with Neil Brookes on fiddle a few years ago, my long-held prejudice against concertinas dissolved and I decided that it was the instrument I'd been looking for to accompany songs. A month later I'd bought one, my partner saw it and decided that he wanted one, and now we have several between us.

 

Most expensive gig I ever attended! One of the best decisions I ever made. Thanks Roy.

 

Jim Mageean and Johnny Collins both play concertina and sing, not to their shanties though, I don't think.

 

Jim Eldon also plays fiddle and sings.

 

Joy

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Fer chrissakes- how could anybody NOT mention Jody Kruskal? If somebody mentioned him and I missed it I do apologize.

 

Jody is developing an enviable international reputation and a very appreciative international audience. He is taking singing and concertina playing along new avenues. He's a great player and a great singer. He has also kindly shared lots of valuable information on this site.

 

What is it you people don't like about him that might have caused you to overlook him? Is it his hair-do?

 

 

Hi David , do you know anyone in Ireland who plays and sings at the same time. They must have done in the old days when they were singing the corny old Irish-American songs of the 20s and 30s such as the Flanagan Brothers sang

 

 

I wonder if Dan Worrall turned any up?

 

Mike

Speaking of Ireland, has nobody mentioned member Dick Miles yet?

 

He's living down in Cork now, I believe.

 

I'm not sure if he's acquired a Cork accent yet! ;)

 

Cheers

Dick

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Can I just add, there is nothing magical about singing and playing an instrument.

 

Yes, surely there are a sufficient number of singing concertinists to make enumerating them a futile exercise.

 

 

No more futile to me than many other things people enumerate. Some people list train numbers or concertina catalogue details I have my reasons and if people want to answer thanks.

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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

 

I to am learning to sing and play .It is interesting to here you say about playing in the key of F . This key suits my voice and for at least two of the songs I find Cords without melody the most effective .For example "Fiddlers Green", you would think this easy as you don't have to play the melody but is often the string or guide to what comes next at present I just keep playing it over and over so that it becomes embeded into my brain . Bob

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Mike,

I reckon if you're (1) a concertina player and (2) a singer, the most natural thing in the world, when you have to entertain solo, is to accompany your singing on the concertina.

Probably a lot of people take up an instrument because they can't sing. Others don't take up an instrument because they can sing, so don't need an instrument.

Others - like me - take up an instrument bacause they can sing, but can't always find anyone to accompany them. Which instrument, is immaterial. I had a banjo lying around when I was looking for a self-accompaniment, so I learned that. Then I chose the concertina (20-b Anglo) because I'd heard it used for self-accompaniment at the Salvation Army when I was small. It turned out that the Anglo is good for instrumental solos, too, but for me, that was a bonus.

 

Cheers,

John

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Thanks John, that's interesting.

 

I take the points about guitars made by another player. When I was young it a matter of learning some chord shapes from the Burl Ives songbook and singing along and it got me into skifflr groups!

.. But then I heard such as Martin Carthy, Burt Jansch nad Davey Graham et al. and got fed up. ( I didn't know about DADGAD!) I'm a bit like that with the Anglo. I can play shapes but what I really feel moved to do is countermelodies , runs , drones and chords and that is a whole new ball game so I'm listening to as many people as I can for ideas and inspiration.

 

I can play a synchronous tune, a bit like many fiddlers do when they sing and that's mostly what I do on melodeon but with ready made chords to throw in. The Anglo has much potential but also quite a few barriers such as what buttons to push or pull.

 

I'm getting there I think but it's hard. DADGAD for Anglo players where's the 'fakebook'? I suppose it's chords minus the 3rds

 

Help!

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

 

Not wanting to make it easy to myself I would say, look and listen to yourself.

 

I heared various styles in concertina with songs. I remember a version of the parcel of roses where the concertina plays the same melody as the song, with no chords at all, it sounded great, but I don't know the name of the singer, I taped it a long time ago from the radio I believe. Anybody has an idea what it could be?

 

I tried a number of songs myself and I had gigs where it worked fine if there were mikes. One time I played the melody and chords while singing "the working man". There was a good sound man who justified the balance perfectly. So I did not have to worry that the instrument I used was relatively loud compared to the voice. It was a lachenal CG which has a mellow sound. Recently(at home) I taped the same song with the (louder) wheatstone (without having a sound man) and it appeared that the concertina was much too loud, I did not hear that while recording, but when replaying I basically and surprisingly didn´t hear much more than a concertina. After that, I have been thinking to play the melody and chords as an intro and then play chords only, and move the bellows less enthousiastically. Another thing that possibly could help is to use a bariton concertina, and play low notes only while singing (higher notes), so the song will be heard.

 

For many songs I also tried to find the `best` scale for singing. This is a personal thing and depends on the voice. I replayed my songs and I learned that I sometimes have been singing low notes, for example `the working man´ in a low C-scale, so I decided to sing it in F. This is one of the reasons that I bought an FC concertina. It also makes it possible to play the chords an octave lower than what I am singing.

 

To my idea it helps a lot to tape what you do and listen (and look) to yourself. It shows how things are heared and seen by the audience. If I would not have done that, I might never have noticed that it may be boring when every song is in the same scale, that the concertina was played too loud while I was singing, not mentioning all other technical and presentation details that could obviously be done in a much better way :)

 

Marien

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I'm getting there I think but it's hard. DADGAD for Anglo players where's the 'fakebook'? I suppose it's chords minus the 3rds

 

Help!

 

Mike,

Guitar players call DADGAD an "open tuning", as compared with the classic EADGBE, on which you have to finger every chord.

 

But the Anglo already has an "open tuning", as compared with the English and duet, on which you have to finger each chord differently! So what more do you want? :rolleyes:

 

Cheers,

John

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I meant it figuratively, getting away from conventional learning of shapes. DADGAD allowed a steady 'drone' in a particular key and then exploration around that. I find the push/pull of the Anglo makes that tricky for me at this stage of learning/playing. having grown up with mouth organs and melodeons I have found the Anglo very 'easy' at one level and fiendish at others!

 

I play C/G and using Roger Digby's 'fakebook' was a great help in getting tunes off for songs in the basic keys along the rows, more so on my G/D for many tunes but songs in other keys plus singing, well!!

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