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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. I don't know if this is aplicable to anglo bellows techniques, but on a duet this is one possible solution: neck and shoulder strap (placed over one arm and under another). If you don't want to drill any holes you can try to attach the strap to side screws (on some sort of rigid "L" shaped thingy moving the pivot point over the center of the side) or with belts around wooden ends (just next to the bellows), secured by the same screw that holds the handstraps in place. Neck and shoulder strap with carefully chosen lenght imitates your sitting position quite well, as the "under the shoulder" side stays in place while the other can move quite freely.
  2. I've asked a Beaumont owner in another thread - David Barnert to be exact - if there was any difference in sound "color" between notes on the Beaumont - he answered that he heard none, in fact he wasn't even aware of different reed orientations. In examples available on ButtonBox site, I don't hear any distinctive change in sound, when the music goes towards upper octave. So I guess whoever designed Beaumont have voiced and ballanced reeds enough to counter this "reed chamber orientation" problem. And I'm well aware of size problems with flat laid accordion reeds, I had them myself when working on my instrument and ended up with a very large box...
  3. @Matthew: Beaumont is my 4k$ threshold It is the cheapest available Hayden with at least standard 46 keyboard and traditional action and design. Peacock has shorter overlap and no A above middle C on the LH side, which I use a lot (mostly in accompaniment but in some countermelodies also). Stagi has bandoneon/German type action and non-standard button size and spacing. And we all know all the issues Elise has.
  4. After seeing this kind of "hayden upgrade options" thread again, I wonder why Wim has decided to make the Peacock 42 button and not a standard 46 button instrument… I also would consider saving money for it instead of building my own concertina, if it had the full standard layout. I don't think, that Wim was affraid of canibalising demand on his Wakker-H1, as this is far more expensive option. And Beaumont is an existing proof, that it is possible to fit even 52 buttons in 7" hybrid box… Because of this decission, every available option below 4$k is some sort of a compromise... (If by any chance you're reading this Wim, I would really like to know the answer to this question…)
  5. You can also download the "Mercury" browser, change its "user agent" setting to any desktop browser (safari, chrome or firefox) and then c.net (and any other page) will load always in its desktop version and not mobile one. Very usefull for some pages using uncompatibile code (e.g. unoptimized java script for login)
  6. My first choice was driven mostly by my childhood dream - when I was 11y.o. I saw a concertina player at a shanty festival (only recently I found, that he was playing an Anglo)... It was 19 years later, when I finally got my hands on a box from Ebay. I didn't know anything about concertinas then, so I bought the cheapest German-Anglo available in playable condition, just to check if the concertina really was something for me. I spend a year learning to play it - it was hard to get along with bisonority and "random" layout outside the home 6 buttons, but I liked the sheer fun of its bouncy nature. I did considered English briefly, as I missed chromaticity very much, but alternating hands is even worse for me than bisonority. And when I finally ran out of notes on a 20b and started looking for an upgrade, I came across the newly released Elise and fell in love with Wicki-Hayden layout at first sight. Finally I was looking at the instrument which fitted how my brain works, so no more changing systems for me.
  7. Maybe I have a different understanding of what should be called "learning to play". Beginner tutors like Mike Bramich's, which are based on a principle of showing what button to press and when to reverse the bellows are more like a recipe than an actual knowledge of the instrument. This is especially true to Hayden layout, as "what to press" takes one evening and the rule of using always the same finger for any given note does not apply. IMHO fake sheets, whether in songbooks, accordion materials, TOTMs etc. are all an aid for learning to play, as they provide playable material which pushes us forward. And to push your limit, you need a score best suited for your instrument, which in case of a duet should have two separate parts for each hand, which is not that common in concertina materials, as both Anglos and Englishes aren't explicitly designed for such style. Harmonic style on an Anglo is considered an advanced way to play it, while on a Hayden duet it is something very, very basic - exactly like on an accordion. What is clearly missed in such approach is the ability to play two melodic lines on a duet, which is a difficult thing to master and ideally should be taught with a lot of material of increasing dificulty, but unfortunatelly such tutor is unavailable. Other than that I agree with you completely, especially on relative usefullness of different forms of written music. Accordion sheets are a bit "enchanced" versions of fake sheets (especially those with basso continuo), while piano arrangements are usually cluttered with tons of unplayable notes and rich chords. Guitar notation is either very basic (chords only) or need an extensive translation from a tabulature, which in fact requires you to firstly learn how string instruments are built. But a side effect of all that transcribing that needs to be done is that you learn different aspects of being a musician in much more depth, than by simply following a dedicated tutor focused on playing tunes.
  8. Yes, I have it, but when I bought Elise I had about 8 months worth of Hayden playing under my belt, so I just took a glance on it and put it on the shelf. It has all the flaws I have pointed out earlier: it introduces notes one by one, has scales explained only after 28 pages of simple tunes and I was really disapointed, that Wim didn't stressed the geometric nature of Hayden layout at all and didn't show a single chord shape diagram or a scale "hexagon" in the entire tutor. For me it is more of a "translation" of universal anglo/english/duet tutor than a Hayden specific material, and is really very, very basic. And it is focused on melody playing, while Hayden stands out the most in chordal playing and ease of accompaniment. And to be honest I don't really know what is the target group of this tutuor: people who just want their concertina/music adventure started and have no preferences will probably go for an Anglo, as it is the most iconic concertina type and is probably the only concertina type that needs extensive note-by-note introduction to its entire range as only 16 buttons out of 30 are in logical arrangement. People who want to try Hayden probably do have some musical training and have read a lot about this particular system. But this tutor is for folks that have chosen a random instrument for their first contact with music and it happened to be a Hayden concertina. Not a very likely scenario if you ask me...
  9. @ Don: As an example, here you have one of the first songs I have learned on the Elise http://chomikuj.pl/pm35533/r*c3*b3*c5*bcne/nuty+na+akordeon/NUTY+NA+AKORDEON/Nuty+-+Komu+dzwoni*c4*85*2c+temu+dzwoni*c4*85+-+akordeon,1123203807.pdf It is a song by Stanisław Grzesiuk, one of the most famous composer of polish tradition of street bands of 1930-40s. You can hear the original here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fMxiCu4EXWk , a most popular modern rendition by Szwagierkolaska band here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nC0LBQZIrZ4 (unfortunately this very nice fiddle solo has some notes unavailable on Elise…) and a nice rendition on a small accordion here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oX839mjqag0 And this song is a natural way to learn to play fast runs with RH, as it speeds up towards the end. I have used this song and my own arrangement of this one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLajfxPLZeQ to train stamina for arpeggios in my RH.
  10. A bit of a foreword: I have used one concertina specific book: the "Absolute beginners concertina" by Mick Bramich (back when I was still learning Anglo) and apart from learning three simple tunes that I liked from it I haven't learnt much about music from such approach. After I have switched to Hayden, it became apparent, that Anglo tutors (and probably English as well) aren't the best way to learn anything about Duet playing. At the begining I have tried to use some guitar arrangements, but it is hard to find ones with actual melody line. So I have switched to accordion materials. And I don't claim, that one can play with EXACTLY same results as on accordion, merely that they are better suited for duet learning than using Anglo or English concertina-specific materials. One more thing to be noted: prior to trying Anglo, I had very limited musical training, I knew only common (elementary school) basics about how staff notation looks and works. And please bear in mind, that I'm talking about early learning here, not performing as a professional musician after 20+ years of experience some of you have. @Jim: learning chord shapes on a Hayden took me exactly one evening and about a week of practice to be able to play oompah rhytms with both hands with any triad. After about a month I have been able to play chordal-only accompaniments to modern camp-fire songs, but we all now, that chords-only accompaniment is dull and doesn't work to well. All necessary information on how chords look on a Hayden can be googled in one images search. That is the power of isomorphic layout. It took me another year to develop enough hands separation, to be able to play those rhytms with melody, but I have played a lot of parallel octaves or simplified drone or root notes accompaniment until then. Also, with Hayden, you do not need any kind of tutor to introduce notes one-by-one as beginner Anglo tutors do - Hayden layout is so plain and simple, that you can play scales with the same intuitivity as on an Anglo, but throughout entire range and any scale available. The concept of a key on a Hayden is much less important than on an Anglo, you can always transpose with a flip of a wrist. Even with tunes not in one of Elise's keys, you can learn fingering on "virtual" buttons outside of your keyboard and then just move up or down one button. I had one powerfull tool on the beginning though: my MIDI concertina driver shows you pressed buttons in real time, so it is easier to map the physical position of buttons. I agree, that with Elise you have to choose your sheets carefully and usually you can play only parts of material and limit your LH "chords" to two or even single notes with lowest range but it is more than enough to learn many things that can be then used within the range of Elise. I did use some sheets for Yann Tiersen, Agnes Obel, some polish Biesiada genre sheets (many of those are written for smallest accordions available and confined fully within a single key), some klezmer sheets (those are usually outside a playable range of Elise due to nature of the klezmer scale and heavy use of accidentals) and some film music, found generally around the net. There is a tutor called "Szkoła na akordeon" by Witold Kulpowicz, it's the most popular accordion learning book in Poland, but I don't like the general idea of playing a lot of music that I don't like or simple but arbitrary excercises. I did most of those sheets in full on my MIDI concertina, but stll far from full speed, so I have no recordings. But those lessons have trained me in different skills like: general feeling of accompaniment; comfort with playing chords; different common fingering runs and bits on the right hand; some bellows techniques; increased my hand separation, and so on. As for YT tutorials, I did mostly Beirut covers from this guy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYvYCs-MXGU My version (still not entirely happy with it) can be heard here: Many times I have just listened to accordion covers of some piano or guitar originals to hear what can be done on a bellows instrument and then worked with them as a reference in further simplifying them for my MIDI or Elise. Accordion sheets I found are generally in one of three forms: full twin staff notation, fake sheets or sheets with basso continuo. Apart from simple playing those, using them for learning anything have forced me to learn quite a lot of music theory, so with increasing experience I have been able to arrange some songs based on guitar tabulatures for solo parts and combine those with different techniques specific to bellows driven instrumets and duets and finally to build up my own arrangements based on chord notation only. I think that this approach have gave me more knowledge about music in general than sticking to available concertina tutors. One thing that stands out the most, is that I don't think about a concerina in terms of it's trad/folk provenance and traditional concertina repertoire as I did in the begining (using my anglo mostly for irish and shanty tunes), but use it to at least try to play anything that catches my ear. This lead to some interesting findings, like one that concertina is a great instrument for playing brass section parts of choruses or solos in some modern folk-rock, especially in duet with a guitar. Or that some piano music can have a great feeling on a concertina (e.g. Agnes Obel).
  11. One underestimated aspect of (large enough) Duets, especially isomorphic layout like Hayden or Chromatiphone, is that once you know basics, you dont't need concertina-specific inspirational or teaching material, you can just take accordion sheets (or accordion youtube tutorials if you're a beginner) and play them in a very straightforward manner. You just may need to strip down accompaniment or move it an octave higher. As Alan said: Duets are more versatile than Anglos or Englishes when it comes to popular music, and there is almost always a full or fake sheet available and plenty of samples of people playing virtually anything on an accordion. To be honest, hearing an anglo rendition of a tune is less helpfull for me than hearing a melodeon version or, even better, an accordion one. And I still play on the smallest Hayden available. I think that the main problem with all those debates about supremacy of concertinas of any given type is that we try to sum them up as one instrument, when e.g. for many practical reasons Thomas Restoin's custom duet is more like a portable CBA than a classic concertina. "Anglo" and "English" are very precise terms, while "Duet" can mean anything from highly irregular Jeffries to very logical Hayden or chromatiphone. With all that modern hybrids around it isn't even "a distinctive concertina sound" that unites them. Melodeons are treated as a separate entity and not just a type of an accordion. Chemnizers are not bandoneons; bayans are usually counted as CBAs, regardless of different construction and much greater capabilities than any other CBAs; russian "harmoszka" is neither accordion nor a melodeon and there is also a "polish hamonia", a recently revived instrument, being something of a crossover between a melodeon and an accordion and so on... Some of those instruments sound differently, but large Bayans with lots of registers can sound pretty much like any other unisonoric variant. Only bandoneons and traditional concertinas sound signifficantly different in terms of basic reed sound, everything else has just a different number of differently tuned voices. Except for bi- vs unisonority, all those instruments differ mostly in terms of what can be played easily or how difficult it is to achieve any given style. So to sum up - I don't think, that "the Duet will outstrip the demand for the other systems once it's versatility in realised" - I think it will just go it's separate way.
  12. I'm terrible with dates and don't have my references to hand, but I'm pretty sure that happened at least a century before the waltz and polka crazes. Krakow was once a cultural center rivalling Paris and Vienna, and a number of Polish dances -- Polonaise, Mazurka, Varsovienne, and more -- spread throughout the Western World and can still be found in many non-Polish folk traditions. The most likely period in history when polish court dances made their way to Sweeden was between 1594 and 1599 when Poland and Sweden both had the same Polish king, Zygmunt III Waza. The clash of these two cultures have continued over half a century, leading to the "Sweedish flood", a Sweedish invasion and heavy looting of Poland, but I doubt that they have danced a lot then
  13. That is something I call "the edge of the internets"… and is absolutely brilliant! Thanks for sharing!
  14. When I was choosing a layout for my DIY Hayden (just planning it then and weighting different options), I have done a full research on available (and proposed) layouts: different Wakker/CC, proposed Morse optimal and minimal, Tedrow, Bastari etc.. All of them were widely discussed all around the concertina oriented web and they all had a common 46 button core. When Peacock showed up I was very, very dissapointed by it's 42 buttons (it was the drop that spilled the cup and pushed me into DIY path). I use this LH side A very often, both in accordion-style accompaniment and counter-melody. For a potential upgrader from Elise, this single button makes it necessary (for me) to rework almost entire repertoire as it occurs in any playable key on Elise (and you learn to use entire keyboard of this small instrument) - a very non-logical feature of a "logical" upgrade... A little sidenote: I wonder, if the shift from slanted to Wicki layout in both Peacock and Beaumont will result in an updated, 2.0 Elise (or is it 3.0 now?) without a slant. Having two instruments with different designs (an Elise as a campfire beater) must be quite challenging (maybe Matthew could comment on this?) [PS. blessed be the Auto Save function of this forum ]
  15. Indeed, it looks like we might have a winner already
  16. Terry: those switches you've pictured have almost no travel at all and require quite a force to switch. Don: you could fit your keyboard switches onto two layers of circutboard (with button holes in upper one) and make some sort of spring-buttons to increase travel distance (by spring-button I mean a simple tube on a post, similiar to what electronic switches incorporate already). But from what you said earlier, your keyboard switches should fit into Anglo you're building. Using reed switches etc.. is a great solution when making a conversion, but a pain really when trying to do a cheap midi controller, easily doubling the time and cost of the instrument.
  17. Your question is quite hard really - especially because of what exactly do you call punk and indie rock? You could look at something called gypsy punk - try bands like Gogol Bordello, Kozak System or Haydamaky, plenty of their songs on YT. Then there is nordic folk-metal: Korpiklaani for example. In more indie areas, there are bands like Dansbanan, Beirut or Tesco Value. Another area: Irish folk-punk bands like Dropkick Murphys. And many, many more... But unfortunately, all of this is accordion. I have never heard (or heard about) any band with such concertina use. And only a small number of people on concertinas trying to play covers of such songs on YT.
  18. Here is my another WIP recording, this time with harmony - mostly drone/chord, with added rhytmic fifths, but my next step will be to add some more audible rhytm on the left hand as this is somehow dull and obscures the lively nature of this tune a bit. https://soundcloud.com/martynowi-cz/zelda-wip-with-harmony
  19. I've just found it, so here's a still fresh&hot link to an unusally pro-looking video on YT of a solo singer with a Maccan Duet: "Musik Böhmer and his Concertina from Hell" performing a blues classic "Dust my Broom". https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3Asf1a7VEE
  20. Have you considered using tailoring glues? They are made specifically for joining fabrics together, so they definately do not alter or discolor anything and are strong enough to use in clothing.
  21. It is one person and throws money on them - I could live with that
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