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David Colpitts

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About David Colpitts

  • Rank
    Chatty concertinist
  • Birthday 01/05/1951

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  • Interests
    "Americana" and traditional folk music, Anglo concertina,
  • Location
    Hartford, CT USA

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  1. Thanks, David and Jim. That makes 4 of these still “out there” at least. Any others? And, David, the crazy angled button projection is due to worn bushing felt sheet? Metal-to-metal worn slots? It doesn’t seem to much matter, since they are not jamming in nor getting stuck otherwise? As for the bellows, the ButtonBox (or prior techs) neatly repaired the bellows with carefully skived (skiven?) replacement parts, and there’s just the very minor air leaks now. I hope for a few years of careful play. David
  2. And....I happened to pick the thing up reversed left for right, and without noticing much, began to play a tune on the right, as I normally would. What the heck...a BASS (or baritone, anyway?) with the same fingering. Now, of course, anyone who knows music and this system thinks, probably, “What did you expect?” But, as a true “hempen homespun,” as the Bard might say, it never occurred to me to try it. One reason for not reversing or mirroring the keys on the left side of a Hayden...just flip the whole danged thing when you want to play a low range and your left hand isn’t up to speed yet. Of course the slant is now different, but it actually seems to make sense to me to play with that slant direction. I suspect I will come eventually to the conclusion (as apparently have many) that parallelism between key rows and handrest is comfortable. I also will read (and there’s a lot, I recall) about hand ergonomics and rests/grip arrangements. This is fun. David
  3. Hello, All. I am truly excited by my chance good luck! Went on my quarterly pilgrimage to the ButtonBox in Massachusetts, USA, to have a look at the new CC “Troubador” Hayden system duet, with an eye towards trading in a nice older Hohner Corona three row box and my now-well-used Elite Hayden. The box and Elise were only worth enough to leave me too-many-hundreds-of-dollars “short” for the deal, and frankly I was about to stick with that part of the musical empire intact. Then Doug said, “have you looked at the Bastari in the corner?” So, for a swap, I am now the proud owner of a genuine, “old fashioned” metal ended, metal buttoned, 46 key Hayden duet. It sounds sweet, plays easily, and compared to the Elise (and the Minstrel and Peacock) has LOTS of buttons I’ll find use for. It just looks and feels so much more like a “concertina” than the new Stagi version (which I can’t disparage, but never was moved to purchase.) Doug and I looked inside, and the workmanship was clean, tight-looking, and very tidy, compared to some low-cost new. I am very psyched, and it will help me break out of the “play the key stamped on the side” box. Questions: Does anyone else (I think David B.? others?) have one? Seems I recall Inventor wrote once that that run was only 30 units; I’d be curious to hear of any others who have them, and to hear any sound from them. Thanks, and regards, David
  4. I only play a G/D along the rows, so in fact the third row of my G/D is almost totally untouched. Well, I do go to that one note up on the right, but I don’t even know its name...OTOH, I have a great old D/C# accordion that, while way too heavy for my aging shoulders, gives me some hope that I might “someday” learn the smooth and fluid style of semitone boxes. Your idea might indeed combine the mostly along the rows with the mostly cross-row styles, and I’d like to hear what more experienced people think. David
  5. I am no expert; just curious. Do you imagine single reeds per note, like a regular mouth harp? My sense is the “bandoneon” sound requires (at least?) two, tuned octave apart. That gets to be pretty large and heavy, perhaps. But surely others here know a lot more than I do, and will weigh in. Have you played melodica? David
  6. All clear to me now, thanks to Don and Wim. I look forward to trying one! David
  7. FWIW, this diagram of Elise is the kind of thing that’s clear to me:
  8. Got it now! The “look from behind” and “mirror flip” ideas helped. Actually, it looks more to me like I am looking through a piece of glass or transparent plastic; probably has something to do with me looking for notes relative to the hand rests, or some such perceptual error on my part. For the uninitiated to the “educational” way, a chart such as the one for the Elise on the website would perhaps help. Anyway, it looks like I could play a full scale/tunes in an octave on the RHS, which is what I’d like for melodies. Can’t wait to try it. When will they ship? ButtonBox? The price won’t be too steep if I trade in my Elise. David
  9. I am very interested, as a happy Elise owner for some years, but wanting to play in A at sessions sometimes. BUT...I can’t make sense of the note charts. If they are as they should be, then I’l just stare at them longer. Maybe I’m just tired. EDIT: Just looked at the CC website at the Elise layout. Any chance there’s a similar pic for the Troubador? Thanks, and regards, David
  10. I’ll add to what Jody said, regarding a G/D Anglo. I listened to his (and others’) advice 6 years ago, and have always been glad. Unless you are bent on fast Irish with absolute minimum of wasted motion (albeit after years of practice) then the G/D is a great bet. I am up to session speeds on quite a few Irish tunes, even, and for all the rest the G/D is an absolute natural! And, the Stagi version is actually quite nice. I own one, and if anything happened to my Morse Ceili G/D, I’d use the Stagi until I could replace/repair the Morse. OTOH, the Rochelle at well under 400 bucks is a trustworthy entry drug. I have the Hayden sibling, the Elise, and it has never troubled me in 5 years or so. Sturdy, reliable, and surprisingly good sound. But, the G/D...... Have a ball! David
  11. As so often happens, I am again humbled by the wealth of information explaining so clearly why C/G rules for ITM. I must agree with all said, but take some gentle exception to the notion that it’s a straightforward process to learn how to play in that way. It really is daunting to some, including me, perhaps due to years of straight up and down 1st position harmonica. When I had to choose between some years of learning new scales and those same years getting some tunes I could play right away, I chose the quicker and easier (to me) route. I get positive feedback from my session cohorts, and while I may never be the “leader of the pack” I do have tunes in G, D, and sometimes A coming along nicely. But I can’t even sing along with my play, since every time I pull for the next higher note, I find myself inhaling, a la harmonica! FWIW, the same kind of neurological (or, yes, even ambition) differences comes into play when I try the box. I have two sweet semitone boxes, a D/C# and a B/C, and I am stuck in their home keys, too. What I may need to do is save for a better (than my Elise) Hayden duet, to allow play in all (or almost all) keys. Anyway, I always like the discussions here, and learn a ton. Regards to all, David
  12. Hello, Jack. As a 7 or so year “rookie” in ITM with Anglo concertina, I have asked myself-and this great forum- this sort of question in the past. In my case, I have taken the contrarian road, and play almost exclusively G/D. More in a minute. From my reading and talking to players (quite a lot in both cases) I believe it distills down to 2 major points. One, as you correctly surmise, is the relative surfeit of C/G instruments when the concertina was becoming increasingly popular for Irish trad music. So, many more to choose among, and much more tutorial information. And yes, much inertia. The second point, which no doubt adds to the inertia, is that serious (and, really, almost all, it seems) Irish music session players and aspirants find the C/G has significant playability advantages once mastered. Across the rows as the default; more continuous runs/arpeggios, more “on the pull” playing; “that” sound; etc. This forum and others should be full of reasons. I, on the other hand, started with harmonicas and Anglos were the logical extension from there. They represent two-plus harmonicas in my hands, and I play them almost exclusively on the rows. So, guess what? The G/D let me get tunes far more easily than the other, albeit at some cost in chromaticity, etc. Kind folk here have gently but consistently suggested I turn back before it’s too late, but, it’s too late. I am getting somewhere along the rows. As a matter of fact, I sat at a session with an English concertina player. They are known for full-tilt fast play, using both hands for all work. She looked over at me during a break and said, “I am so impressed by how you manage to get all those notes so well with all the pushing and pulling.” She didn’t care if I was playing C/G or G/D, but merely appreciated that I could “get all those notes.” That was one of the biggest compliments I have gotten about the concertina. So, the “smart money” says C/G. A small minority of us took the other path, for better and worse. Either way, great for the brain and soul! Regards, David
  13. I am excited, and will see you all in a couple of days! Regards, David
  14. And I say, hooray for the G/D Anglo, no matter what the initial experience. Although I started with the Anglo, I found the combination of the two no trouble at all. But as others have said, less trouble for the simpler along-the-rows style, which is why I got the G/D anyway. I have “harmonica brain” and usually play “the keys stamped on the instrument.” And, for Irish, Quebecois, Old Timey, and probably (but I don’t really know) English session tunes, it’s a natural. Plus, the more-or-less can’t miss simple harmonies with the left hand make it a real winner. Weighs less than a kilogram, too! Have a great time! David
  15. As a very happy Morse G/D owner, I support that choice. I have had mine for about three years, and it gets better and faster all the time! It weighs less than any others, keeps its tune, and plays like a dream. And, apparently, it can be loud, too! I also have a Stagi 40 button G/D, which I will keep as a spare. It got me going. Good luck. David
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