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Goals and targets


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My goals when I started the concertina....hmm, learn how to play the beast? In all seriousness though, I did have a goal (a few of them actually) when I got it. By the time I ordered it I'd wanted to play desperately for about half a year, and been mildly interested for maybe, I dunno, 5, or so years but never really serious.

 

When the UPS man set it on my porch on April 2 my first goal was to figure out how to play the thing competently enough to play several songs and keep up with other musicians (who I very much admire) at a session in, oh, 22 days. Perfectly reasonable, right? :unsure: My Journal entry on April 6th read something along the lines of "Oops, it's been too long since I last wrote, my concertina came on the 2nd and I adore it! I'm able to play several songs relatively well and can play most of the simple tunes I can hum......." On May 1st it read "Another huge gap [see a pattern here?], I had so much fun.....! On Thursday (that would be the 24th of April) we had a pretty good session going, even though not everyone was there......I brought the concertina and played a few tunes and I think it sounded pretty good.." Apparently the others thought I did alright too, they wouldn't believe me when I said I'd had it less than a month. It took mom saying that it was true, and that I'd completely abandoned my schoolwork (and housework and everything else) in order to practice for them to believe me. :o

 

Of course, my goals from learning the concertina in the first place were something like

*learn more about chords and accompaniment,

*learn how to sing and play at the same time,

*play some of the songs that I heard on my favorite CDs of maritime music,

*be able to play melodies like I do on fiddle, only on the concertina, thus with a different sound, and

*to be unique, everyone plays fiddle or violin....not everyone (especially not all teenagers) can boast that they play concertina! B)

 

I guess that covers the basics. I also was thrilled with an instrument that didn't need to be tuned and was smaller than the fiddle to have to drag around. (Though of course it means that instead of dragging around only one I get to drag around BOTH cases!) Ah, life is good. ^_^

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I have played music for years and got quite proficient on a few instruments. With retirement, more time for myself, the relative independence of my kids and some money to buy an Anglo I got one in 2005

 

I was immediately hooked and, determined to achieve a lifetime dream, adopted a regular routine and started a diary of progress.

 

I found Mick Bramich's book very helpful and set myself attainable goals; scales, bellows control, simple tunes etc. As I'd played mouth organ and melodeon a lot was fairly easy to grasp but as I wanted to play Irish music on a C/G I had a lot of new stuff to get my head round, at a time when I assume my dexterity and short term memory is slipping! I'm 69 but still fairly fit, although with type 2 diabetes I can expect problems.

 

My ultimate goal is to be able to play in sessions the way I do on melodeon or fiddle or flute. I'm not too bothered about solo performance for a public anymore , just my own satisfaction though I prefer playing with a few friends.

 

fast Reels have always been the biggest challenge and that was my ultimate aim.

 

I have put the other instruments largely on hold and put in up to 3-4 hours a day on concertina if I can about 5 days a week on average. I've 'logged' about 670 days and developed lots of techniques for playing and in that time have attended festivals, sessions, and workshops.

 

I'd advise finding a local group of players if you can and listening to many styles and recordings on other instruments too..

 

I can now play reels along with others in sessions and records but still struggle when I'm on my own, i.e. if I'm not going with the flow

 

 

Fortunately my partner is fond of music but I practice in an attic that is quite soundproof. The neighbours and the dog don't complain either. So I don't impose the practiciing on others,just the somewhat obsessive reportage!

 

 

I have found the concertina even harder than the fiddle although I must admit 'English' tunes on G/D are easier to get a result after playing melodeon for years. The lack of a need to tune up does help too.

 

Tunes in G,D,A, F on a C/G played across the rows are hard (G being easisest)and chords plus melody are tricky but I will persevere.

 

I have used as many sources to help me as I can find and this Forum has been great

 

 

As an ex teacher I am familiar with learning theories and recognise long slow periods coupled with quantum jumps to a new level. I fight my way through stale periods and find that tenacity pays off.

 

I don't practice scales other than to work out the right buttons to press or do many exercises apart from working out tricky turns, I do a lot of listening and playing in my head when walking or working on my allotment

Playing tunes and learning new ones prevents boredom.

 

I also do a lot of singing lilting or diddling of tunes or whistle them( mouth not tin whistle)

 

 

When I look back over the last few years I can see definite progress where I once despaired. The Jeffries was a great buy!

 

 

In the process I've learned to read dots and ABc and a lot of theory and some computer literacy but still have a lot to learn. I've filled 7 diaries! with a wide variety of material which includes social and historical as well as technical material, it reminds me of that book by the guy who wanted to learn the French Horn

 

Mike

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not talking sport here....so what are your short term/long term goals and targets when it comes to the concertina?

I'm not asking much just....

I want to be able to play and not have people run out of the room before I've even played two notes. I'd like to be able to play with both hands at once competently, and be able to play 10 tunes off by heart by the end of the year.

 

Well my Long Term goal is be able to play decently in my community Border Morris and Garland Band. I already play the tamboureen, but I would like to be able to play melody too.

 

Short term goal is to practice every day at least an hour usually more. I have only been playing since May of last year. In the last two weeks I seem to have had a break through. I was working on the computer typing. I was not looking at the keys and was thinking of something else but still able to type. All of a sudden I thought this is like playing the English Concertinia. Gee, think of it as learning to type. I now have several songs that I can play with out the dots! It is beginning to be easier. I am not playing really fast but trying to play the notes correctlly.

 

Pam

Brasstown, NC

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My long-term goals are fairly simple, modest and vague. I want to be able to play along in sessions adequately and to accompany a few songs.

 

I've played around with setting targets, e.g. learn so many tunes or learn to play in a new key, but this didn't really work for me. My immediate target is just to put in the time. Last year I averaged only 2 hours per week. This year I am averaging 5 hours per week. This has made a tremendous difference.

 

What I actually do in that time varies, which keeps things interesting, but it is centred on the tunes and songs I intend to perform some time soon. OK, my first couple of attempts to perform have been pretty disasterous but I feel I've made a breakthrough. My tune playing is very gradually improving, i.e. getting more accurate and smoother (except when people are watching!). The big improvement is with my accompaniment. I now have an approach which I'm gradually applying to new songs. The big difficulty was getting the right approach in the first place.

 

Richard

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The general concensus is that people are working to be able to play along with others in a non judgemental situation.

 

I like it when I see people seeking a few people to set up a session at their own speed in their area.

 

In the past we found a back street pub which welcomed a few musicians but all that is changing in England for all sorts of reasons.

 

I'd be very interested to hear from folks where the best venues and environments are for people who want to take all this hard work into a nice relaxed playing situation.

 

I've heard of 'slow' sessions, 'playing by ear' sessions and 'starters' sessions. All seem great but , as an ex landlord of a well established and respected music pub (The Red House, est. 1820 and for over 150 years of tradition in Sheffiel's Irish quarter) the regulars don't want to be assailed by beginners

 

Where are the best venues for moving on

 

Mike

 

PS

I am going to post a more detailed elaboration on this theme as a fresh item as my partner and I feel very strongly about it.. We supported music for a long time, and still love it, but it was a hard road! I really do feel that we are at a crisis point for live music as we have known it, and this may be the case in other countries too.

Edited by michael sam wild
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I'd be very interested to hear from folks where the best venues and environments are for people who want to take all this hard work into a nice relaxed playing situation.

 

 

Mike

 

I live in an area where sadly we do not have pubs...oh well. We are a dry county so no spirits! I have several options. I gather with other rank beginners and we play in our homes. I also live very close to a craft school which offers classes in all kinds of beginning music. So it is not unusual for a newbie group to gather and squeak along. Sadly I am the only concertinia player in the area, but the banjo, gutair and fiddle players don't mind me a bit.

 

I live out in the woods, so playing tunes in my house is not a problem for the neighbors. But now even when I start to take my concertinia out of the case my cat runs down to the basement!

 

Pam

Brasstwon, NC

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I'd be very interested to hear from folks where the best venues and environments are for people who want to take all this hard work into a nice relaxed playing situation.

 

 

Mike

 

I live in an area where sadly we do not have pubs...oh well. We are a dry county so no spirits! I have several options. I gather with other rank beginners and we play in our homes. I also live very close to a craft school which offers classes in all kinds of beginning music. So it is not unusual for a newbie group to gather and squeak along. Sadly I am the only concertinia player in the area, but the banjo, gutair and fiddle players don't mind me a bit.

 

I live out in the woods, so playing tunes in my house is not a problem for the neighbors. But now even when I start to take my concertinia out of the case my cat runs down to the basement!

 

Pam

Brasstwon, NC

 

Blimey! The Prohibition did catch on in some areas then?

 

Ian

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my goal is to be able to play the concertina competently in all 12 keys. i want to get my irish music to a professional level, and learn how to play british folk music, pop, rock, classical, brazilian choro, jazz, etc.... i am fine with "faking" everything but irish. i would like to be able to play fur elyse and flight of the bumblebee, and have a large repertoire of beatles and other catchy, recognizable tunes.

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Blimey! The Prohibition did catch on in some areas then?

 

Ian

 

Yep, that is why I like to go to England. The pups there are great over there. Our small town of Murphy has just became a "wet" city. So there is a tiny pub that has just open. They are trying and I suspect that our Morris team will visit it when it get going. It rook 60 years for they to allow spirits in the city again. So here is another reason to practice my concertinia, so that I may play in that pub some day!!!

 

Pam

 

Brasstown, NC

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