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Thread: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

  1. #51
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Fiddle, but it requires 60 years of practice to play it well

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    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Love to see a picture of that.
    (violin/mandolin stand, with a flute holder attached). Here 'ya go:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's one of the Hercules auto-grabber violin/mandolin stands.

    For the flute holder, I used a clamp-on drum stick holder (the bottom part), with a length of plastic foam pipe insulation to hold the flute. And a rubber band to keep the foam tube close to the center of gravity, otherwise it falls to the side. Wouldn't work with a keyed flute, but for this keyless D flute it's fine. There's a few layers of paper towel in the bottom of the drumstick holder to absorb condensation that drips out of the flute in a long playing session. And no... it's NOT SPIT... regardless of what my fiddler S.O. says.

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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    Btw, a lot of this, like tnr bnj and stuff was via mandolin. I still like cafe as I play a lot of stringed instr, but the chat on the other stringed-instr sites is much less frequent. Sorry to be tangential all the time.
    Wow, I think a list of stuff you don't play would be shorter than the list you do.

    My clarinet chops are bare minimum, especially bass. I have all the saxes, including soprano, but not allowed to play the soprano.

    I'm not around here much, because I've pretty much given up on mandolin. Love the instrument though.

  4. #54
    Registered User bruce.b's Avatar
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Ages ago I played guitar and flute. Somewhere along the way I also played recorder quite a bit.
    After a long break I bought an English concertina, and then a flute/whistle. Played them for quite some time but could never play flute that well due to a lip injury. Got pretty good on the concertina. Sold both, played ukulele for a while, then discovered tenor guitar, and then mandolin. Tenor is still my primary instrument, though I am again playing mandolin almost as much. I’ve been playing some fiddle, but the apartment I recently moved into has thin walls, which has put a damper on it. Since mandolin and my tenor guitar are both tuned GDAE, it’s an easy switch. I don’t expect to stray from tenor and mandolin, and hope to play more fiddle soon. I’ve been thinking about bringing one of my recorders when I go hiking, to play around with.

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  7. #56
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    Maybe that cool Giacomel Saturno in the classifieds Allen?...
    Nope, a piece that touches my love of vintage gear. As I said, 'twill be announced when (if?) it comes to fruition.
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  8. #57

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by allenhopkins View Post
    Nope, a piece that touches my love of vintage gear. As I said, 'twill be announced when (if?) it comes to fruition.
    Say it ain't so! You've located a Shmergel!!!

  9. #58

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Mandolin was my 'what's next after guitar' (though I had a bass but only dabbled on it). I went deep down the mandolin rabbit hole when I started, barely touching my guitar for nearly four years (and this after about 3 decades as a pretty committed guitarist). When I came up for air, I renewed my commitment to guitar, and also got much more serious about the bass. So what's next? I bought a tres cubano a few years ago and would love to take the time to get that style under my fingers but I find I barely have time enough to maintain my chops on mando, bass and guitar - let alone advance them. I also routinely threaten my wife with the prospect of adding a banjo to my collection. And I'm extremely enamored with concertinas....
    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

  10. #59
    Registered User bruce.b's Avatar
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    And I'm extremely enamored with concertinas...

    You can then join the endless debates of Anglo vs English vs Duet concertinas. The fingering systems for each type are unique and so different that they are all separate instruments unto themselves with little overlap. If you get a duet concertina you can endlessly debate the merits of Maccann vs Crane vs Hayden systems. Then there’s traditional concertina reeds vs accordion reeds, etc. Or you could just play them. I believe mandolin players are often attracted to the English system and it’s logical keyboard layout that advances up the button columns in FIFTHS!

    Since I played English concertina first, it was the fifths tuning of tenor guitar/mandolin that attracted me, and sure enough there is quite a bit of common ground between them. Some of my stuff even moved right over with only a little change. The other logical layout that might interest is the Hayden concertina. A very logical keyboard layout that is consistant across octaves, which the English isn’t. Of course, if you are going to play Irish Trad, the Anglo system is the obvious choice, since that is what almost all Itrad players use.

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  12. #60

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by bruce.b View Post
    And I'm extremely enamored with concertinas...

    You can then join the endless debates of Anglo vs English vs Duet concertinas. The fingering systems for each type are unique and so different that they are all separate instruments unto themselves with little overlap. If you get a duet concertina you can endlessly debate the merits of Maccann vs Crane vs Hayden systems. Then there’s traditional concertina reeds vs accordion reeds, etc. Or you could just play them. I believe mandolin players are often attracted to the English system and it’s logical keyboard layout that advances up the button columns in FIFTHS!

    Since I played English concertina first, it was the fifths tuning of tenor guitar/mandolin that attracted me, and sure enough there is quite a bit of common ground between them. Some of my stuff even moved right over with only a little change. The other logical layout that might interest is the Hayden concertina. A very logical keyboard layout that is consistant across octaves, which the English isn’t. Of course, if you are going to play Irish Trad, the Anglo system is the obvious choice, since that is what almost all Itrad players use.
    Thank you for that comment, Bruce! In fact it’s many of those factors that have kept me from diving in to concertina ownership so far. Of course the entry fee is also somewhat daunting. I looked at many ‘beginner’ options and was warned about quality issues and poor playability, tone. So then I looked at the next step up in quality and all of a sudden I’m faced with spending as much as I would on a high quality mandolin. As for fingering systems, I’d been leaning toward Anglo since Irish trad is what draws me to the concertina, but your comments about the English system’s 5ths tuning has me rethinking..... again.....
    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

  13. #61

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Really, it's bisonoric (anglo) vs unisonoric (english and duets) that often determines the choice. I've heard many EC players claim bisonority (push/pull) was their major impediment. I was fortunate to have entered concertinas with anglo, which transfers readily to button accordians.

    The rhythmic articulation provided by anglo c. (and melodeons) is the appeal for irish session/dance music.

  14. #62
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Playing the violin as a boy in school was a good foundation for the mandolin. Drawing the bow, holding it under one's chin and the fretless fingerboard are challenges even as I tried to go back after establishing the mandolin. Interesting threat, to be sure!
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  15. #63
    Registered User foldedpath's Avatar
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by lukmanohnz View Post
    Thank you for that comment, Bruce! In fact itís many of those factors that have kept me from diving in to concertina ownership so far. Of course the entry fee is also somewhat daunting. I looked at many Ďbeginnerí options and was warned about quality issues and poor playability, tone. So then I looked at the next step up in quality and all of a sudden Iím faced with spending as much as I would on a high quality mandolin.
    Concertina or button accordion was the other thing I considered along with flute, when I decided to dig a little deeper into Irish trad. I was listening to the playing of button box players like Damien Mullane, getting seriously interested. Then I started researching, and Yow! these things are expensive! At least for new models like a Castagnari, and I didn't know enough about them to take a risk on a used one. It didn't help that I'm out in the hinterlands, away from any shops or repair techs. I was also a bit reluctant to get another instrument in fixed pitch.

    In some alternate universe I'm out there playing button box instead of flute, but for now, I'm enjoying playing a variable-pitch instrument ("lipping" into tune, more or less, along with a tuning slide).

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  17. #64

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Fyi, posh Italian boxes are quite expensive, yes, but unnecessary for tunes. Many folks do fine, some actually prefer, the venerable Hohner semitones (black dot, double ray - commonly selling for $700 used).

    I confess to a strong penchant for Italian reeds (and stradella bass), but since I can't afford them in melodeons I get them on piano accordians which can be had quite inexpensively.

    Additionally, melodeons come in all manner of styles - quite a bit of the trad repertoire can be played successfully on diatonic boxes (single row diat. were the first used in the music before the advent and subsequent custom of semitone boxes). And if you approach the music from diatonics, there are tons of adequate hohners, weltys, kochs, et al available quite inexpensively.

    I play trad (irish, scottish, french) on a variety of diatonic boxes - all acquired for under $300 a piece.

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  21. #66
    Mando accumulator allenhopkins's Avatar
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    Say it ain't so! You've located a Shmergel!!!
    Don't I wish...! But, you don't "locate" Shmergel Devastators; they locate you -- and it has to be late at night, during a thunderstorm.

    On other subjects:

    ...it’s many of those factors that have kept me from diving in to concertina ownership so far. Of course the entry fee is also somewhat daunting. I looked at many ‘beginner’ options and was warned about quality issues and poor playability, tone. So then I looked at the next step up in quality and all of a sudden I’m faced with spending as much as I would on a high quality mandolin. As for fingering systems, I’d been leaning toward Anglo since Irish trad is what draws me to the concertina, but your comments about the English system’s 5ths tuning has me rethinking..... again.....
    I went with English system because of its chromatic nature; I could play in F or B-flat just as easily as C, D, G or A, which is possible but not as easy for a skilled Anglo player, and seemed miles away for me as a beginner. I like using concertina for vocal accompaniment, which means that a wider range of keys is attractive, as opposed to playing mostly fiddle tunes.

    The Button Box in Sunderland MA, near Amherst, has a full range of concertinas, including those made by Concertina Connection, which are student-level Asian imports. You can also find new and used Stagi/Bastari Italian student models (I learned on a Bastari treble), which are a bit more expensive; the Stagi Anglo instruments are about $500 new. (Not sure but what the newer Stagi concertinas may be Asian made [?].)

    I've dealt with the Button Box for nearly 30 years now, and they are honest and experienced "squeezebox" experts. I'm currently playing a Morse English treble with accordion reeds -- Morse is their house brand -- and a Wheatstone baritone which I bought from them. My previous instrument was a '60's Wheatstone treble, also purchased at the Button Box. They do repairs and set-up, and offer a pretty fair trade-in policy if you want to upgrade a student instrument.

    NFI, of course; I'm just a satisfied customer. If you want to get into concertina, a good place to start, IMHO.
    Last edited by allenhopkins; Feb-26-2018 at 1:35pm.
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  23. #67

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Definitely english c. is more user-friendly for most folk, reading, and classical applications - really nice (logical/intuitive) for chording and song accompaniment, as Allen mentions. Also, MUCH easier to find a vintage and affordable EC than a comparable anglo.

    I was dismayed too by prices when I began the hunt - have to lay out some cash to get into an instrument with concertina reeds, rather than accordian reeds. Luckily I veered into boxes which I could afford!

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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Many thanks for all the useful concertina info/discussion. The Button Box was already on my radar and likely where I would start an earnest search for my first reeded squeeze box.
    "Well, I don't know much about bands but I do know you can't make a living selling big trombones, no sir. Mandolin picks, perhaps..."

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  29. #70
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Every time the title of this thread is listed on my screen I am startled. Like yikes, there are folks who have finished their mandolin journey, got to the end and are on to the next?

    My "next after mandolin" is "really well played mandolin"
    Indulge responsibly!

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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    I have started messing around with the clarinet that my daughter abandoned, but I am not really putting the time in and a B flat instrument isn't ideal for british folk. Sounds lovely when someone gets it right and the slurring (oops ) and legato side of things a great compliment to the mandolin.
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  32. #72

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by JeffD View Post
    Every time the title of this thread is listed on my screen I am startled. Like yikes, there are folks who have finished their mandolin journey, got to the end and are on to the next?

    My "next after mandolin" is "really well played mandolin"

    I have the opposite reaction - hard for me to comprehend the disinclination to explore the world of sound and experience. I do get the drive to specialize - as our whole culture is predicated thus. I've never been able to get with that, and feel balance; my nature simply resists ideological orientation. I was myopic too, for decades: never thought I would need more than Bach and flamenco. Perhaps if my hands were in better shape i would still feel thus, but guitar, and fretted strings - ive moved on from.. But pursuing other forms has provided me countless benefits that would entail a dissertation to extoll.

    Music is astronomically diverse - as are methods of engagement.

    *This comes up periodically on the session, where the idiom sort of promotes multi-instrumentalism. I recall Joe Campbell saying that he would never have the experience of the saint or monk. However, he indicated other rewards.
    Last edited by catmandu2; Feb-27-2018 at 12:37pm.

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  34. #73
    Innocent Bystander JeffD's Avatar
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Quote Originally Posted by catmandu2 View Post
    Music is astronomically diverse - as are methods of engagement.
    I agree. But find I can get perhaps overwhelmed by the infinite landscape. Musical agoraphobia. Using the mandolin as my framed window to that infinity seems much more manageable.
    Indulge responsibly!

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  36. #74

    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    Sure, I understand that.

    I can say, though, that my orientation has changed dramatically as well. I was really bound up in ego wrt music and performing. These days, I feel more like - the music, nor even the instruments, aren't mine - but ours. Or, it's not so much me "doing" it, but rather the music flowing. It sounds cliche. I might have gotten there with bach/flamenco, maybe..

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  38. #75
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    Default Re: Next frontier: What's next after Mandolin???

    I had a couple of very nice vintage concertinas, but I grew to prefer my Morse Albion. It is incredibly light and feels very agile and responsive in hand. I slightly prefer the tone of concertina reeds, but the Albion has a wonderful, unique tone all itís own. I just found it more fun to play than my Wheatstone. If I get another one it will be an Albion, unless a great deal on a vintage I like comes along.

    If you are going to play Irish Trad I think you should get an Anglo. I love the EC, and think itís a more flexible instrument, and is incredibly agile for playing melody, and is perfectly suited to play any trad style, but pretty much all teaching material, courses, instructors and courses at camps are going to be 100% Anglo. If you are going to learn on your own and develop your own style, then an EC is something to consider. Listen to Simon Thoumire if you want to hear some great EC. His CD, The Big Day In, is my all time favorite concertina recording, of any type/ system. There are a ton of great Irish trad anglo players out there, Duet is harder to find. To pursue this, concertina.net is a must. You can read endless debates about the different systems there. IMO, these debates wonít much help, you are just going to have to spend time with the different systems to make an informed choice. Hint, the Hayden Duet is amazing.

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