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Charlie Butterworth

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    traditional music from the UK
    also play GHB and smallpipes
  • Location
    Arvada, CO via good ol’ Rochdale, Lancashire

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  1. Thanks for the replies. I had made some straps out of thin leather, but they stretched. The ones that came with the concertina are thicker and stiffer. However, I have socks that are beyond wearing, so I will modify them as strap covers and see how that works. Charlie
  2. The hand straps that came with my Bastari Anglo are giving me pain over the lowest knuckle on my index fingers. The strap seems somewhat stiff with a sharp edge to it. A couple of things come to mind: 1. Soften the leather and shave the hard edge. 2. Back the straps with a soft suede 3. Buy different straps - not necessarily leather 4. New hand straps, along with retrofitting the more typical strap fastening system 4. Consider whether the hand rests on the Bastari could be replaced with homemade (better) hand rests, etc. There is not a cat in hell’s chance that I can afford an upgrade. My Bastari is one of the ones made in Italy, so I reckon I can make do with it. thanks, Charlie
  3. Thanks. The idiosyncracy of not showing sharps on pipe music is something that doesn’t t bother me anymore, after all it is still evolving as an instrument. You’re correct in that the C# is not quite a “true” sharp while the G tends to run sharp (too sharp in the dry, altitude of Colorado). When I tune my chanter prior to competition, I typically use Just Intonation which gives a better blend against the drones. Seumas MacNeill preferred sharper D and high G. So what you say about this on a concertina or accordion makes sense in that you have to choose which variants of C, F and G to play. I suspect that it mostly comes down to personal preference as to what sounds the best in any given phrase. Of course, on my concertina, the first part of Arthur Bignold fits nicely on the C row, with only a couple of notes taken from the G row. On the Double Ray melodeon, I have experimented with using the C row and also in D and I haven’t decided which one I like better. Part of me feels that I can play it in whatever key I prefer because I am unlikely to play with other instruments. However, I fancy recording the tune on my smallpipes in A, then playing along with it. That would necessitate key of D. Another thing that I have noticed is that choice of key effects bellows (duh!) such that playing long runs of thirds on the C row means that I run out of bellows. So while some aspects of concertina/melodeon are more straightforward than highland pipes, other aspects aren’t such as bellows control, skill with alternate note choices and knowledge of note positions on the keyboard. Thanks for your help. Charlie
  4. Little John, i really enjoyed your video playing the 2/4. You gave the march really nice lift. presumably, when talking about thirds and sevenths, you’re referring to how you play the accompaniment? so far, I have been working on the march Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque. I have a feel for the right hand (melody) and given my ineptitude on concertina, it is taking a while to get it under the fingers. I have also been trying it in D on a Double Ray melodeon too. Either way, what little I have done sounds good and considering that a six week hiatus of piping left me knackered when I played my pipes on Sunday, playing on the Concertina or Melodeon feels very pleasurable.
  5. Thanks for the info on Red Star Brigade, Skene. When playing with the melodeon in the video, I assume that when you play the C/G Anglo, you’re playing across the rows. I can transpose music to fit my concertina. I also jumped and have a second-hand Double Ray arriving today, which will play in key of D, or it’s variants, which is pretty much what my pipe versions of the tunes are written in anyway. With any luck, I’ll feel confident enough to post links to a couple of marches on the Anglo in order to get feedback from experienced players. charlie
  6. Can anyone point me in the direction of videos, etc. of Scottish tunes played on the Anglo? Thanks, Charlie
  7. Well, there are a few that I can play and many that are stunning IMO. Amongst marches that I have/do play that would be fun to try on the concertina are: Donald MacLean’s Farewell to Oban Donald MacLellan of Rothesay Major Manson at Clachantrushal Arthur Bignold of Lochrosque Mrs Mary Anderson of Lochranza to me, these marches are full of character. charlie
  8. Thanks for the positive comments. Maybe I’ll start with the classic march Arthur Bignold as it has great swing to it. It has C and F, which closely approximate sharps on the HP scale. I suppose that would put it in D maj directly from the music. While I’d like to see what the strathspey Maggie Cameron sounds like on the Anglo, I will hold off and avoid taking to big a bite of this. I’ll report back. thanks, Charlie
  9. I play some great 2/4 march on the highland pipes as well as strathspeys and reels. I always thought it’d be fun to play them on the concertina. I have an old Bastari Anglo. so just wondering if attempting this would be a recipe for disaster as it seems that English concertinas are more typically used for Scottish music. If, it is not a risk to my sanity, where would I begin? Presumably, get the melody into the correct key first! I am beginning to think that maybe I need to invest in a used melodeon such as a Double Ray or Erica. charlie
  10. Thanks for the replies. I have slackened off the straps and this has helped. I'll also try adding some padding and see how that works. Then, I may trim the straps in the offending knuckle region as I can always buy new straps. Regards, Charlie
  11. I have a Bastari 30 button anglo and finally got around to learning tunes on it. There is one problem however, the leather straps cause pain where thet cross over just behind my index finger knuckle. I do have rather small hands, so I suspect that this may be the problem. JimLaabs music stocks Excalibur padded concertina straps, although they're not cheap. I have tried softening the straps with leather conditioner and saddlesoap. I'd appreciate any suggestions. Thanks, Charlie
  12. Thanks for the reply. I have purchased Gary Coover's tutorial and am working on The Beaver. I did learn Peter Trimming's version of Shepherd's Hey and really like the tune. I expect that as I learn tunes, I'll get more comfortable with the instrument and will be able to choose other appropriate buttons. Right now, I am playing a Bastari 30b in Cg, but keep wondering what differences I'd notice with a higher end concertina??? During my next trip to the UK, I need to visit the The Music Room in Cleckheaton and try out some other concertinas as I don't see much opportunity here in Denver to get my hands on other instruments. Charlie
  13. A year ago, I purchased a decent used Stagi 30 button anglo from Bob Tedrow. Finally, I have begun working on learning to play it. I have found Paul Hardy's tune books and there's more tunes than I'll ever be able to learn. However, for my first tune, I chose Shepherd's Hey arrange by Peter Trimming. The melody is pretty much on the right hand, while the accompanienment is on the left hand. Anyway, I found it surprisingly easy to learn and memorize (compared with my primary instrument - the highland bagpipes). OK, so Peter Trimming presents his tune in C, while Paul Hardy has his tunes in G. This has led to a question: Should I learn the tunes in G and simply transpose them to the C row? This seems logical given that all of Paul Hardy's tune books are in D. Should I learn to read tunes in both C and G? Finally, I was thinking of adding a second tune and thought that Davy Davy Knick Knack would be a good second tune. Is there anywhere that I can download left hand accompaniement for the Anglo? Any other advice will be welcomed too! Thanks, Charlie
  14. I just got a Bastari anglo and am looking for a suitable tutor book. I can read music and understand about basic keys, etc. My current instrument is the highland bagpipes, the concertina being a quiet alternative for when the kids are asleep. Anyway, I think that I'd like to learn the Anglo in the English style, maybe moving towards some of the Irish music later. Having rented the Rochelle, I did read through the tutorial that accompanies that, but found that it focused on basic music theory. I would also prefer not to be presented with tunes that I consider rather mundane (When the Saints, London Bridge, etc.). Any recommendations? I read somewhere about Alan Day's website, but cannot find it. Thanks, Charlie
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