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TedK

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Everything posted by TedK

  1. I made the transfer, actually I ended up giving up melodeon for a few years although I've picked it up again recently. You've already had some good advice, but in my experience you definitely will need to relearn a lot of fingerings. It's quite variable depending of the range of the tunes, so some tunes which I knew well on the melodeon I could play almost immediately on the anglo, while others I still find a bit awkward several years on. Even the "on the row" layouts are not quite the same as a melodeon, for example the upper end of the G row. The layout is very similar in some places, but much more cross-rowing is required- not just to access the right chord as tends to be the case on the melodeon, but to actually play the notes you need. I would definitely encourage you to try it though, I think the anglo concertina has a slightly higher learning curve in the initial stages, but is way more flexible than even a 2 1/2 row D/G.
  2. The laws have actually loosened considerably in the UK (since 2012 I think), at least in alcohol licenced venues. Essentially no entertainment licence is required for live unamplified music between 8am-11pm, as long as the audience is smaller than 500. Thus I think the "Morris exception", that I think was part of the last set of regulations made under Labour (the discussion around which incidentally led to a Labour MP describing being in a pub with folk singers as "my idea of hell" and inspiring a song by Show of Hands) has been superseded. Of course you would still need a licence to cover copyright licencing if you were for example covering contemporary music, but for folk/trad that shouldn't be an issue. Unfortunately many publicans don't seem aware of this, (or are reluctant to believe it) despite the fact it can be seen on the UK government website. I have even had people talk to me about the "three in a bar" rule, which hasn't been the law for nearly 20 years! https://www.gov.uk/guidance/entertainment-licensing-changes-under-the-live-music-act#do-i-need-a-licence-for-music-entertainment
  3. I've tried a little EC, but only play Anglo these days. I also play guitar, banjo and fiddle. We are used to musicians who can play one type of instrument to able to play instruments of the same family- so violinists can usually play a decent viola, and a clarinetist can often play the saxophone. But despite the fact that varieties concertina come in similar looking packages, and might initially seem to be part of a "family" of instruments in the same way, this is not the case. The Anglo for example, is far more similar to other diatonic instruments like the melodeon or harmonica than any other type of concertina, and though I'm less familiar with the other systems I would speculate that it might be easier to move between the duet and button accordion than between different types of concertina. So personally I find the idea of playing more than one type of concertina strange as there don't seem to be that many transferable skills between the systems. If I'm splitting my time between Anglo and other instruments would rather play either a more closely non-concertina instrument like a melodeon, where I can at least transfer some of the technique, or something totally seperate like the guitar where I won't get confused! Playing another type of concertina seems the worst of both worlds, and it also doesn't even sound that different so won't give you much more musical versatility. As a guitarist I can't agree that there is an equivalence in switching between concertina types and switching between playing a guitar in standard tuning and DADGAD, unless perhaps you are comparing 2 different type of Duet system. You have to learn different chord shapes and intervals between the strings, but the guitar doesn't start playing different notes depending on whether you pick up or down!
  4. Hi, There's an unsual looking "Gremlin" concertina for sale at the moment on this website: http://www.instrumentspast.co.uk/instruments/CS/C282S.html It looks of better quality than the Stagi made ones and I'm wondering if it could be one of those made by Andrew Norman- anyone have any thoughts? Ted
  5. I would say the Anglo has much more in common with the diatonic accordion (melodeon) than with any other type of concertina, and vice versa. Harmonicas are also similar in teh diatonic layout, but the method of playing is very different.
  6. This series of books are a good intro as they combine having the tunes in the authentic structure, while having them transposed to G and D and laid out in a more user friendly manner. Much better IMO for someone just dipping their toe in the water than the "black book": https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mallys-Cotswold-Morris-v-1/dp/1899512020 I don't play for Morris, but I do like playing the tunes which in many ways are the heart and soul of English traditional music.
  7. They may look similar, but the English Concertina and the Anglo are very different instruments, more different than for example a piano accordion and a melodeon, or even than a guitar and a mandolin Despite the more "classical" history surrounding the EC, both types are suitable for playing English folk music- after all no one ever said the violin wasn't an appropriate instrument for folk! Rob Harbron of Leveret is probably one of the most skillful and best known players of English trad. on a Concertina at the moment and he uses an English system. To me the Anglo is more intuitive, but less logical- if that makes sense! The English is probably more suited to playing from music due to the way the buttons correspond to the notes on the treble clef, while the Anglo seems to suit those that play more from ear. These are only guidelines though, and to some extent I think it just comes down to personal preference, and what you find the most enjoyable to play. Unless there is one particular player that you really want to emulate, you need to try both and find which suits you the best. As someone said above, a few minutes in a shop isn't really long enough. It took me a couple of years to make my mind up and I ended up buying cheap versions of each, and playing them for a few months before finally settling on the Anglo. You can get very cheap Chinese made Anglos, that while pretty crap will at least give you an idea of the system and whether it is something that suits you. I managed to buy one second hand for about £70, later sold it on for roughly the same price. English Concertinas are a bit more difficult as there are no real "dirt cheap" ones that I know of, but perhaps you could borrow one, or if you saw a second hand "Jackie" model for a good price, you would probably be able to sell that on without losing much as they are the most highly regarded of the beginners models out there. Good luck in your search!
  8. I have what I think is one of the the "Special Anglo Models" in Bb/F it certainly fits the description in all respects, and definitely feels a cut above any other Lachenel Anglo I've tried. It's 39 buttons, with no novelty noises. The catalogues I've seen make it very clear that there were different grades of reeds, and this was obviously a selling point for the more expensive instruments.
  9. I would certainly endorse the idea of the 26 button Jones mentioned further up the thread, it will give you all the most important buttons for cross row playing and is a decent "proper" concertina. I had one of these a couple of years ago and was very happy with it.
  10. Just my opinion, but if you have a working Scarlatti, I don't know if it's worth spending the time and money upgrading to either of the 2 instruments you have mentioned. They might be a bit better but are still near the beginners end of the market and I'm not sure the improvement would be that dramatic. Obviously I don't know your circumstances, but if you were able to save up a bit more and keep an eye on what comes up on the "buy and sell board" you should be able to get a decent quality hybrid or 30 button Lachenal for not that much more than high end of the prices you've quoted and then you would then have a really decent instrument that could keep you going for many years to come.
  11. I don't think there is any conflict between cross-rowing and the harmonic style- in fact it's often essential to play across rows to get the chord you want on the left hand. Harmonic style is certainly easiest in the "home keys" of C/G, I personally find it roughly equally easy (or difficult ) in both, but isn't that difficult in D either and definitely something to work towards. The principles of the instrument are the same whichever style you are playing, and personally I think that learning a diverse range of pieces can only benefit your overall understanding of the instrument. I guess the only exception might be if you wanted to learn a strictly Irish style for competitions or something, but I don't get the impression that's the case.
  12. I don't know of any concertina groups, but check out this regular session in Chorlton, South Manchester, I used to go to when I lived up that way. It's another "steady" tunes session, with dots provided, and they are a very friendly bunch who can no doubt fill you in on other local happenings. http://www.folkatthebeech.org/
  13. I have one of these, it's pretty solid and certainly far superior to any vintage case and will protect a concertina very well in most situations. It's perhaps not quite up to "premium flight-case" standard, but good for the price. I have found that the red "fur" does shed a little, but this hasn't caused me any problems.
  14. You could just print your own, but isn't it worth paying $9.99 for the authentic coffee stains?
  15. TedK

    Edgley G/d

    Hello, Is this the Hybrid, or the Heritage model with traditional concertina reeds? I looked on his website but they seem to be the same externally. Thanks, Ted
  16. A few years ago after getting into folk music I wanted to take up an instrument that would be better for English traditional tunes (I already played guitar and 5-string banjo). I bought a cheap C/G concertina and learnt a few tunes in C and G, but at the time I could never really get my head around the cross-row style of playing for tunes in D. Being unable to afford (or even find) a G/D I eventually switched to D/G melodeon and got rid of the concertina! Then last year I spotted a 26 button G/D Jones being sold by Chris Algar on eBay, and decided to take a punt and have now been playing the Anglo again for about a year. I now have a Marcus in G/D, but my favourite box is a 38 button metal ended Bb/F Lachenal. Experience in playing the melodeon is definitely an advantage in learning the anglo again, but it's important to avoid the temptation to think that the finger is identical and that you can just transfer tunes across! I still play mainly "on the row" in the harmonic style, but have learnt to cross-row and have learnt a few tunes in A on the G/D.
  17. No idea about whether the price is right, but i have done quite a bit of selling on eBay of musical instruments and I would have thought that the chances of someone coming along who is both in the market for a top quality Bb/F Anglo Concertina and has £4000 available right away (and is willing to buy without trying it out) is quite unlikely within the 7 day window of an eBay auction.
  18. I use a Bb/F and G/D for song accompaniments in a band. I don't own a C/G, but find C is relatively easy on the Bb/F- much more so that on the G/D. If you are planning to carry 2 of your 3 boxes around, I would have said that the Bb/F and the G/D would cover more bases, especially as you obviously have G well covered by the G/D.
  19. The advice I would give to anyone moving from the D/G melodeon to the G/D Anglo is to start playing melody lines across the rows as soon as possible. On a D/G melodeon I think you can get away more with playing up and down the row, but on the Anglo you will severely limit yourself. For example, when you play a tune in D, try to play the melody as much as possible on the RH. Use the first last button on the LH G row (or the 3rd row reversal) and the 2 buttons on the RH G row to play the lower notes in the D scale and then cross to the first button D row. (Finding a layout map will help if this is getting a bit confusing!) This will allow you to play in D with much fuller accompaniments and is good practice in general to get your head around the whole instrument. But maybe you're already doing this, in which case apologies!
  20. For me, (I also play melodeon) the G/D concertina is a much more obvious and intuitive choice, but I have met players in English sessions using C/G instruments very effectively. To be honest I think due to cost and the lack of availability of a really cheap (under £500) G/D the Anglo is a bit of a marginal instrument in English tune playing, at least compared to the fiddle and melodeon. I own a G/D Marcus deluxe, which I think is fantastic instrument and with a really beautiful tone. It is certainly capable of being loud, but I don't know that it is louder than the average melodeon. The single reeded tone of a concertina probably cuts though a bit better. I guess if everyone else around you is playing melodeons, you will be able to hear yourself better on concertina and vice versa!
  21. I'm sure the Swallow is OK, but given the price it's hard to believe it could be quite as good as some of the other slightly more expensive hybrids. Given that it sounds like you don't have the cash yet, if I were you I would keep a look out for a second-hand hybrid from Marcus, AC Norman or Morse. You might be able to get a considerably better concertina for not much more money.
  22. Good one! I was also thinking of the Old Favorite, although I think it's Irish, not English. It appears in several 18th-19th century manuscript tune books from all over England, so I would say it definitely qualifies as English!
  23. Maybe "The Roman Wall"? https://thesession.org/tunes/4802 Please ignore the squabbling on the session website, this tune is definitely part of the Northumbrian/North East tradition- even if it may also crop up in Ireland. I have it on good authority that it works well for Rapper, so I would think it would work well for a "smooth" dance of another sort.
  24. This is a great resource, so many ABC files I find online are of poor quality, or don't include chords. I run a tunes session in London where we make dots available in advance, so I hope it's OK if we make use of some of your material. Thanks for all the work that you've put into this project!
  25. There was a spectacular 2 voice on eBay before Xmas with red leather bellows- I think it was a Crabb. The listing said that it had been one of 3 in red white and blue and had been used in a circus or music hall act I think. I can't find it in "completed listings" unfortunately.
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