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Author Topic: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania  (Read 549 times)

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Blake

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Hey folks!
I get much joy from playing my melodeons and English concertina. I'd love to share it with some musically inclined friends. Unfortunately, I live in a relatively unpopulated area and not many folks play instruments. Socialization really doesn't come naturally for me, so I'm open to your suggestions on how to get a music circle going or find and join one.

How do you make music friends? How often do you get to play out? There is only one session in the area, about an hour away once a month, and they are all experts and it's a pretty tight  (not very welcoming to intermediate players) circle. I've tried playing with them twice and it didn't really work out.

There are, of course, annual events, and I will start to attend those, but I'm hoping for some more regular musical interactions.

Thanks!
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #1 on: November 09, 2019, 08:28:14 PM »


How do you make music friends? How often do you get to play out? There is only one session in the area, about an hour away once a month, and they are all experts and it's a pretty tight  (not very welcoming to intermediate players) circle. I've tried playing with them twice and it didn't really work out.

Thanks!

I started out playing melodeon [edit: freudian slip, this should read mandolin (:) melodeon came a lot later] and bouzouki. Played in isolation for a number of years. Used to hang around the Session website, which was entertaining , but never got me playing with others. Eventually I asked if there were any sessions in my part of England and hit lucky. Started playing for a morris side and made a lot of friends. Don't think that helps you much, though.

It strikes me that your, less than welcoming, local session might well be frightening/warning off a load of other aspiring players.  Is there any way that you could get the smart arses to pass their  contacts on to you? Some of them may prove friendlier if you engage them.  You might be able to build up your own session. If you do, there is a good chance that you will all improve to a level where you are happy to try your hand at anything. If and when this happens, please remember the tough time you had and be welcoming to all levels of experience.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2019, 09:30:22 PM by Tone Dumb Greg »
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Blake

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #2 on: November 09, 2019, 08:54:36 PM »

Hello Greg,

What a thoughtful and kind answer! Nice to hear that others have faced a similar challenge. I bet if I just got back on the mailing list for that group, I could start something up down here and some of  folks with higher expectation might not bother to join in the fun, but might offer some advice anyway.

Thanks! I think my world just got a little bigger!
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Peadar

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #3 on: November 09, 2019, 10:41:38 PM »

Hi Blake-
Socialisation can be pretty challenging in rural areas at the best of times. (Population density in my immediate area is about 11 people / square mile). There's a town of 2,500 people about 5 miles away and that is the biggest settlement within a hundred miles.

Shortage of people can make it difficult to organise anything....but there may be mileage in Gregs suggestion of starting your own session.  You might also  be able to get people interested in beginning to play the melodeon and build a local melodeonista group from the ground up.

Best of luck!

Peadar

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Blake

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #4 on: November 09, 2019, 11:06:49 PM »

Thank you Peadar. Music is wonderful company, almost as much as dogs. :) I think I will attempt to form a new session.

As for inspiring others to play, I have an extra Hohner G/C in hand waiting to loan an interested person! :)  There must be a comedy skit about the person who always attempts to coerce friends to play accordion. I am that person. Beware!  "Just sit it in your lap and hold it a little bit, it won't bite..."
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playandteach

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #5 on: November 10, 2019, 12:35:28 AM »

Good to know you are a G/C player. That's part of my problem, I'm a square peg in a round hole. There's plenty of welcome locally, but not really the sort of music I get most out of - plus I'm busy, and need to look after my hearing. I have a lovely son that I used to worry about, as he didn't have as many easily found friends as my daughter - but he pointed out that his friends were loyal and you really only needed 2 or 3. He's at uni now, and still hooks up with his 2 or 3 friends. I think musically 1 or 2 is enough. The problem our little market town faces is that a lot of the talent (plenty left of course) goes away to uni just when they are really good at playing.
Perhaps it's a little different for me, in that I was surrounded by top quality musicians in my previous life - but I would love to get a little thing going on with the melodeon, albeit to a low level. I've been exploring getting a 3 row so that I can play a wider variety of music by myself.
By the way our population density in Northumberland is 62 people per kilometre, which is the lowest in the UK. But it's a high music ratio, which sort of cancels that out. Move here.
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Blake

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #6 on: November 10, 2019, 01:04:30 AM »

Move here.

Good suggestion! I have a 20 year old son here who is making it as a professional rock musician and sound guy. I need to stay here for a while to make sure he’s on the straight and narrow for a few more years. Then, maybe I’ll be your neighbor. :)
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Eshed

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #7 on: November 10, 2019, 08:36:03 AM »

Another lonely box player here.
While I was fortunate enough to meet melnetters in recent travels, I think this only emphasized their lack around here.
I've recently started going to a very friendly local Irish session (With a G/C as I don't have a D/G yet, and that makes things a bit hard). It's too fast for me, both the playing and the learning, but socialising is nice, and I hope I'm also improving.

I guess I'd suggest finding someone to play with, even if it's not the exact style or instruments that you expected.
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playandteach

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #8 on: November 10, 2019, 12:06:22 PM »

Move here.

Good suggestion! I have a 20 year old son here who is making it as a professional rock musician and sound guy. I need to stay here for a while to make sure he’s on the straight and narrow for a few more years. Then, maybe I’ll be your neighbor. :)
I see you down as having a Benny GCacc. I'm keen to hear as many 3 row GCs as possible, how about you do the tune of the month Carreaux, on that?
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davidd

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #9 on: November 10, 2019, 05:38:06 PM »

Hi Blake, depending on where in Pennsylvania you are, there are a decent amount of accordion players down in Maryland.  Mostly Irish music but I and some of the others like other types of tunes also.
Feel free to send me a message and maybe I can help point you in a good direction.
David
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Blake

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #10 on: November 10, 2019, 10:40:25 PM »

I see you down as having a Benny GCacc. I'm keen to hear as many 3 row GCs as possible, how about you do the tune of the month Carreaux, on that?

I'm doing the Tune of the month on my Mory, already practicing, but here I am on my Benny with my dogs doing backup vocals. Loubov, Stephane Delicq
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_wG0HR2EF7Yc1p2WGtlekpPRmRXc19Oam5kV1Rha0NzT3Qw
« Last Edit: November 10, 2019, 10:45:36 PM by Blake »
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playandteach

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #11 on: November 10, 2019, 11:15:55 PM »

Thanks for that link, Blake. Nice playing by the way, and I like the silvery sound of the Benny. You've treated yourself to a nice couple of boxes there, with the Mory. Makes up a little for the loneliness. I haven't picked up on your previous musical experience, but it seems that you are already a musician. Good luck with hooking up with others. You're sure to make excellent progress.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2019, 11:43:04 PM »

Very nicely played. I have five dogs but, only one has to join in like that. One is all you need, though...
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Blake

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2019, 12:01:35 AM »

Thanks for that link, Blake. Nice playing by the way, and I like the silvery sound of the Benny. You've treated yourself to a nice couple of boxes there, with the Mory. Makes up a little for the loneliness. I haven't picked up on your previous musical experience, but it seems that you are already a musician. Good luck with hooking up with others. You're sure to make excellent progress.

Thanks all the way around! I love music so much, but have been cursed with a hearing loss. I played cello, and could not play in tune, especially in an orchestra setting. It was absolutely heartbreaking. One day, I said in a self deprecatory way to my cello prof, I wish I could just push a button and play the right note. Hence my switch to bari-EC, and then melodeon. 

Accordions always sound smoother without my hearing aids. With my aids, I get that reed-slap twice- once for real, and once with the delay from the hearing aid processor, so they sound suuuuuper reedy with my aids in. It's nice to hear the Benny sounds silvery to you , because that is the way it sounds without my aids in. :)

Thank you for the good wishes,  too! I'm gonna stick around this forum. It's a much happier place than FB. lol. 
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Blake

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #14 on: November 11, 2019, 12:03:38 AM »

Very nicely played. I have five dogs but, only one has to join in like that. One is all you need, though...

I picked this recording because all three weren't singing! lol. The first tune I play is for the dogs, then they calm down. The greyhound is a soprano. The Lab mix does percussion (yipping) and the malamute mix is my velvety baritone. It's a privilege to make music with another species, I think!
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playandteach

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #15 on: November 11, 2019, 12:15:00 AM »

Sorry to hear about your hearing loss. There's a few of us here with some version of tinnitus. I had to give up as a clarinettist because of cracked tooth (I actually toured to Pennsylvania once), so I know how frustrating it can be, but also how you don't have to reach the heights you reached on your original instrument to still get enjoyment and a feeling of progress. You're right this is a very supportive forum, but also there's a lot of experience in some of the quieter members.
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Blake

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #16 on: November 11, 2019, 12:18:19 AM »

Another lonely box player here.
 It's too fast for me, both the playing and the learning, but socialising is nice, and I hope I'm also improving.

I guess I'd suggest finding someone to play with, even if it's not the exact style or instruments that you expected.
Yes, they sure play quick at the session here, too! I'm a sensitive soul, I think, but I found it discouraging rather than inspiring. Maybe thats a part of it. I think you're right about other instruments... and to that I will add musical styles. Appalachian folk has a strong Irish influence. I will keep looking and have ideas brewing for a open folks session, where there is always a rotating set of solid traditional easy tunes for people to cut their chops on.
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Blake

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #17 on: November 11, 2019, 12:22:33 AM »

Sorry to hear about your hearing loss. There's a few of us here with some version of tinnitus. I had to give up as a clarinettist because of cracked tooth (I actually toured to Pennsylvania once), so I know how frustrating it can be, but also how you don't have to reach the heights you reached on your original instrument to still get enjoyment and a feeling of progress. You're right this is a very supportive forum, but also there's a lot of experience in some of the quieter members.

Folks don't always appreciate the physicality of making music. Playing cello was a form of yoga, I swear. Do the best with what parts are working. One of my buddies is a 4-fingered guitarist. I also know a bass player missing an arm (he has Chapmanstick-like pickups and plays the fretboard) Ears are critical for a soft instrument, as teeth are for a clarinet! I'm sure glad I love my boxes so much!
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playandteach

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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #18 on: November 11, 2019, 09:35:44 AM »


Folks don't always appreciate the physicality of making music. Playing cello was a form of yoga, I swear.
I think that's why conductors live so long, it's 3 hours of tai chi a day. There was an old conductor I first worked with called Antal Dorati (going back a bit). His wife was sitting in a rehearsal with the bass trombonist's wife. Mrs Dorati said that her husband wakes up stiff and sore every morning, does a 3 hour rehearsal, and comes home full of energy. Harry Spain's wife (wife of the trombonist) said: 'that's odd, my husband wakes up every day full of the joys of spring, comes to work to play for your husband and comes back a ruined husk of a man.' That was my first professional gig. Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, American in Paris. Must be 36 years ago.
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Re: Lonely Melodeonist seeking fellow squeeze-boxers in Central Pennsylvania
« Reply #19 on: November 11, 2019, 09:57:56 AM »

If you cant move here then come on Holiday to France we grow our own food so no cost :|||:.
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