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David Colpitts

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About David Colpitts

  • Birthday 01/05/1951

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Irish, Quebecois, "Americana" and traditional folk music, Anglo concertina, Hayden duet concertina,
    harmonicas
  • Location
    Hartford, CT USA

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. Yes, indeed....great playing, Jim, and thanks, David for the link to Jim's YouTube channel. It's good to have inspirational role models such as the two of you!
  2. Yes, indeed. Jim has since divested himself of a full pair of Bastari Haydens; one playable to some lucky pilgrim, and one for parts/repair, to me. As I figure it, David, you and I between us have about 10% of the world's complement of that first-edition Bastari Hayden! In fact, I was imagining having to take parts from the "parts machine" until I realized nothing was really broken or missing on my playable one. And, Jim or David, any extant copy of that Georgy Girl recording?
  3. Hi, Jim. I can imagine having used some thinner tool (like light wire) and saved a couple of attempts, even upside down. But, as David B. says, upside down is the only way to do it, at least on our old Bastaris.
  4. Thanks, Wunks. I bet you have! And, Don, I scoured the kitchen for just such a bamboo tool, but sadly only had metal skewers and chopsticks; both were too thick to do the job without creating so much collateral clearance that others fell out....
  5. Thanks, Stephen. That makes me feel better....I can't imagine doing it if I didn't turn the whole thing upside down....maybe the rivets, when new, would have helped the buttons stay upright, but in my instrument's case, they just fell off to the sides when placed down that way. David B...We didn't do so badly, eh? After all, she's the professional! And Simon, she struggled doing it "your" way.
  6. That's the feeling. And, my guess is "concertina face" was on me the whole time I fussed with it. My dear wife asked if there was any way she could help....My guess is an articulated adjustable boom arrangement to hold the thing about 6 feet in the air, and perfectly horizontal. My biggest problem was that after one (even slightly) imperfect approach, one or more buttons would be knocked crooked, and had to be jostled back to vertical for the next try....I wonder if Mr. Snopes can do it on the first try, after years of practice?
  7. Oh, sure...the left side! So, the main batch of reeds does have the shared "axle" like the Anglo, no? And, just for "true confessions" here.....Did it take 5 tries? 10? I think I was on number 12 or 15, but was worried about hyperventilation and about to quit when, voila! And, for what it's worth, the buttons are, at least for now, way less akimbo than they always were/are. Maybe just "flexing" them around their pivots loosened 'em up a bit, so gravity can play its role?
  8. Well, Simon and David...some similarities to the Anglo, but some things not so similar. Of course, I fogot to take a picture, so some things hazy already. Basically, David, the pins I looked at in addition to the offending displaced one I only checked to see if they were firmly seated. All those I touched to test were indeed firmly seated. They all looked like they were just sharpened on the "business end" and plain round wire (paper clip thickness, or so) at the end that stuck out. And, Simon, because of the more "radial" pattern of the Hayden layout, there were not (or at least not as many) straight-line sharings of a longer "axle" rod, as in your Anglo. In fact, 26 holes, levers, pads, buttons on that side alone, so about twice the complexity and crowding. And, no tubes....metal-to-metal with teeny rivets, and the pivot pins up the arms a bit from the rivets. The springs were like tiny coils dropped into small holes, with the bottom of the lever arm fitting into the slot above the springs, and the assembly held by the little bent pins. I am glad to hear you haven't taken the Bastari Hayden apart in a long time, David. That's a good omen.... I also have an old Bastari 40 button G/D Anglo, which I suspect will be apart in the next year or so, with an eye towards what I think is tubing going funky.... To be continued
  9. Well, last night just before bed I thought I was really in for it: the much-loved and heavily-used-before-it-came-to-me "first generation" Bastari 46 button Hayden Duet got a stuck note and a button hanging out. I had read a bit about the older Bastaris' aluminum wear-out on the lever, and didn't quite know what to expect. I imagined removing the button, taping the reed hole, and going to the ButtonBox Repair Shop for some fancy metal repair. When I got it apart, I discovered a short, thin right-angle brass pin sitting on the dining room table. Turns out it's a pivot pin keeping the button lever in place in a slot over a spring, and it had just fallen out. I was able to replace it with needle-nose, and then of course spent 20 minutes on the "upside down button dance" to get all the buttons back in their holes. Even with several times' worth of prior experience, it required quite a few attempts, with gentler and gentler approaches before I got them where they belonged. Sometimes, as my late Dad would say, "you just have to hold your mouth right." Should I have put a drop of some sort of glue on the outside bend of the brass pin to prevent another fall-out? Anyway, just thought I'd share my relief, and of course my continued enjoyment of the Hayden.
  10. I'll check out the Bismark, too. Thanks, Paul.
  11. As I mentioned in my post, I never even saw ThumbJam until early this month. There may be other IOS synths/etc. that would work, but for the money, TJam gives great sounds. Now I can pretend to play any instrument, with the Hayden or Janko keyboard. Like cello, David B.?
  12. I don't start many threads, since I am but moderately experienced, at best. And please excuse any redundancy, since these have been mentioned otherwhere on these fora, for sure. But, the recent thread started by Randy Stein, regarding teaching concertina to children motivated me. I have 5 grandchildren, and two particularly show interest in the squeeze. They are 7 and 4 as I write this, and both make "nice" noises on the Anglo and, particularly, on the Hayden Elise. Of course, this can lead to the "why can't you practice so you don't disturb the family?" questions. Imagine that! So, here's my "silent practice" (and more expansive musical exploration) suggestion: If you are iPad or iPhone users, download 2 apps: MusixPro and ThumbJam. I think they cost 5 or ten dollars each, but are more than worth it, to me. MusixPro has the ability to play in many isomorphic keyboard arrangements, but we use Hayden and Janko, which are easy for the kids (and the Grandpa) to learn, and play, as you all know, all keys with similar fingering shapes. Sadly, the built-in sounds are, well, simple and not that exciting. Not "real" concertina, or anything. But, it will output MIDI information with simple settings and controls, including touch and velocity adjustments. Enter ThumbJam (and a shout-out to regular contributor here, Michael Eskin for his great instrumental samples for lots of free-reed devices) which allows terrific-sounding music to be made, with or without headphones, and really provides excellent practice without. I have enjoyed MusixPro for years, but for some reason only just discovered ThumbJam and put the two together early this month. Now, while someone else watches endless Masterpiece series I can be 6 feet away playing whatever I like, and when the kids are here (or we, there) they can play softly enough for gentle sharing, or silently for their own amusement. It's a winner, for us. MusixPro and ThumbJam combination lets me access those great Eskin sounds (and myriad others) with the to-me-more-approachable isomorphic keyboard. Great practice, and great fun, with perhaps even ultimate performance possibilities, although a more tactile (Striso? Melodicade?) interface would be a blast.
  13. I "live" in the single-note melody, so to speak. I have sung a bit since childhood; the tunes that "live in my head" are primarily melodic lines, and my more recent concertina play has just expanded upon that. I suspect Irish and "Old Time" American music pull me that way. While I have always thought of my inability to "think" in chords or bass line accompaniment as a mild disability, I take heart when I read notes like yours. I still plan to diverge some (left hand chords on Anglo and my Hayden duet are actually beginning to creep in) but am glad to be able to play what I can hum or whistle as a tune. That's the main thing for me.
  14. Whenever I read an initial inquiry like this, I am reminded of my own first two instruments, which were old Stagis. My guess is you can find (probably with an "ask" on this site) a "vintage" Stagi 30 button, with leather bellows and sweet tone, reasonable (though not lightning fast) action, and fair price. I paid 95 and 125 USD for the first two, and still play the cheaper one, having passed on at cost to a friend the other one. Even with inflation, my guess is that someone here has one in your price range to re-home. I have also owned a newer 20-button Stagi (although the one with the "undivided" bellows) and it was OK, but not as easy to play as the older ones. In every case, I preferred the Stagis to the entry-level German products I have tried, though others have enjoyed them. And, the "Rochelle-level" Elise I have has provided excellent service, and again, someone here may a Rochelle for you..... Have a blast!
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