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2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)

catspaw49 01 Jan 00 - 06:16 PM
wildlone 01 Jan 00 - 05:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 01 Jan 00 - 04:55 PM
_gargoyle 01 Jan 00 - 03:24 PM
wildlone 01 Jan 00 - 02:50 PM
Jeri 01 Jan 00 - 02:31 PM
emily rain 01 Jan 00 - 02:31 PM
Gary T 01 Jan 00 - 02:22 PM
Peter T. 01 Jan 00 - 02:13 PM
Peter T. 01 Jan 00 - 02:10 PM
emily rain 01 Jan 00 - 02:05 PM
katlaughing 01 Jan 00 - 02:05 PM
Mikal 01 Jan 00 - 02:03 PM
Peter T. 01 Jan 00 - 02:00 PM
Margo 01 Jan 00 - 01:57 PM
emily rain 01 Jan 00 - 01:57 PM
Peter T. 01 Jan 00 - 01:51 PM
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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: catspaw49
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 06:16 PM

Small Appalachian Dulcimer. Its an offshoot of the French Epinette. Easy to learn and good to sing with. The key is getting a smaller one. Let me know if that's an interest Peter. Autoharps and concertinas are too heavy. If he's not too serious about it, a strum stick would do and be fun.

Spaw


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: wildlone
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 05:06 PM

I supose that if he were very clever he could sing along to whistles,mouth organs and the like but as you have found it takes years of practise to talk out of your arse let alone sing.
and to think he once called me an idiot


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 04:55 PM

Ideally a fiddle. But that takes a lot of learning.

Mouth organs are tough, small cheap(ish), and easy to learn by yourself, and to play with others. And he can sing the verses and play in between, or when someonme else is doing the singing or playing.

Bones rather than bodhran - smaller, tougher, less obtrusive, and ppeople always ask you to show them how to play them. And it's the only instrument you can play while you're pouring a drink down your throat.

Penny whistle because it's cheap, small, tough and potentially the most beautiful of all.

So I'd suggest a couple of mouth organs (maybe a double sided one with two keys - or a chromatic one), plus a pair of bones and a D whistle.


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: _gargoyle
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 03:24 PM

Button Box Concertina - One long weekend and you can play a dozen songs by ear....cost about 150.00 US in a pawn-shop.

Unable, to transport a piano I "latched onto" any keyboard instrument I could "borrow", mostly organs, as I traveled, eventually progressed to fullsized accordian (mailed it ahead and also lugged it around by train - too bulky still.

Extensive backpacking, (all three US ranges) led me to, recorder and harmonica....size and weight were primary concerns.


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: wildlone
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:50 PM

I would agree with auto harp you can even get three bar ones that are very small 9 inches by 18 inches by 1.5 inches,with a cheap chromatic tuner it would'nt take up much space just pack clothes around it.
you may have guessed by the above I have such.


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: Jeri
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:31 PM

A concertina would be expensive and a bit difficult to learn in a couple of months. Mandolins are fairly small, and it's possible to learn chords quickly. My nuber one suggestion however, is an autoharp. They aren't too big, and are easy to play if you just want to accompany singing.


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: emily rain
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:31 PM

imagine a wooden box, about four inches by five inches by two inches, hollow, with a one and a half inch soundhole on the top. you hold it in both hands like a book you are presenting to someone. this leaves your thumbs on top and relatively free. there are thin strips of steel attached to the top, which you can pluck with your thumbs to make a "bwong bwong bwong" kind of sound.

kalimba is tuned to a western octave, mbira uses a whatever tuning system is standard for the region. thumb piano is a general term.

excellent photo. the gourd around it is a resonator and is optional.


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: Gary T
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:22 PM

An autoharp would probably fit, and be fairly versatile for accompanying various songs. The potential drawbacks would be weight, retuning, and possibility complexity/delicacy.


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:13 PM

By the way, emily, what are a kalimba/mbira/thumb piano?yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:10 PM

My understanding is that that the foldup guitars aren't very good, but what do I know? I guess a really small guitar (one tuned higher) might work. I suspect he wants something that can stand some beating. Maybe he should just take a Karaoke CD player with him......yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: emily rain
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:05 PM

forget the hangover; i'm waiting for the champagne to fade. : )


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: katlaughing
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:05 PM

Peter, I think the guitar thing could still work, as the "backpack" one's I've seen are a lot les than 3/4 sized. Some of them even fold up.

Fielding! Where are you??!! He'll know.

kat...no hangover.**BG**


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: Mikal
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:03 PM

Hey, I am a drummer: He needs a Bodrhan. It is flat, mostly. You can pack inside it. It never needs intensive tuning, and it it is a fairly fun thing to play.

Your only problems is it cannot carry a tune, nor are you always welcome with it....Ah, forget the last joke, it never got me kicked out of anywhere!

Mikal


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 02:00 PM

Boy that was fast. You ladies must be hanging around the machine waiting for the champagne hangover to fade....Thanks! More??????Yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: Margo
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 01:57 PM

That's one reason why I like my concertina: it's small! Of course, putting it into a hard case, it is as big as a large women's handbag. But the handle can be strapped onto other things. I'd get an English if I were him. I suppose the Anglo players might disagree with me, but after trying both before buying, I found that the English was more suitable for playing chords while I sing. My opinion there. There are some itty bitty concertinas with 20 buttons. Mine hase 48 (I think that's right) Happy New Year, Peter!


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Subject: RE: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: emily rain
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 01:57 PM

ukelele

african style harp type thing (easily found in a specialty music store like lark in the morning): just a wooden bow with a few strings across it and a gourd for resonance. they come in all sizes.

which reminds me of kalimba/mbira/thumb piano


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Subject: 2000 Mudcat Music Question! (really)
From: Peter T.
Date: 01 Jan 00 - 01:51 PM

An intriguing Mudcat Music question to start the year off. (I know there are lots, but what the heck).
I was at a party yesterday, and got into a conversation with a teenager who had read Richard Holmes' "Footsteps" (one of the best travel/literature books ever written) and was thinking about spending the summer following his route through the south of France, and goofing around generally in that part of the world. He wanted to take a musical instrument with him that he could backpack, and that he could sing along with. If he got the right instrument, he was prepared to spend the time until June or July learning it enough so as to keep him company. I suggested a 3/4 guitar, but he said that was still too big to lug around -- he was going to travel light. I suggested a harmonica or a tin whistle, but he likes to sing. I vaguely suggested a concertina, but really don't know anything about them. Do Mudcatters have any thoughts about what a good travelling instrument under these constraints that you can tuck away into a knapsack might be? Do you have experience travelling with any small portable anythings that you could share? We have had threads about travelling with guitars, and so on, but this is really about a smaller kind of music maker, I guess. It just struck me as an intriguing question somebody out there must have wrestled with.
yours, Peter T.


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