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    Basildon, Jewel of the East

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  1. Have been attempting the anglo concertina, coming from melodeon. Obviously it's a different kettle of fish having to use the lower notes to vamp accompaniment rather than having the basses and chords conveniently laid out for you. I now have a passable rendition of Constant Billy "out the book" and have been mucking about trying to play some of my melodeon favourites by ear (things like Princess Royal, Oyster Girl, Salmon Tails, Moon and Seven Stars, Valse Voor Polle etc etc). Some work better than others. Some go so high that probably only dogs can hear them, and some go so low that they stray onto the left side and that cramps my vamp. I love Maid Behind the Bar but that is a typical Irish tune that dances all over the place so I don't even bother trying to accompany that, I just play the tune. Now obviously pretty much anything is possible with practice, but can you recommend tunes that are particularly suited to concertina, so I can get a little repertoire to practice before I start trying to do complicated things. ABCs or links to them would be helpful as I play by ear mostly, although I can do dots if I take a run-up.
  2. I printed my PDF out and it came out as gibberish. Well, the staves were there, but the text encoding was very odd. I was going to have a play with the Reader settings and try and print it out again. It shows fine on the screen.
  3. I should imagine a lot of country and gospel should work. Anything where a folk tradition fed into popular music.
  4. All you'd need is to learn some chord shapes - the main three chord tricks. Get some busker's books and give some of your favourites a try. Either that or learn the tune, or the guitar solo even. Pop music is only recent folk music.
  5. Beautifully made. My feeling is that it was a concertina and guitar-playing busker who wanted a talking point,and to reduce the space needed for a guitar. I have travelling musician friends who have very tiny guitars intended for travel, that are mainly a little soundbox and a smallish fretboard. This Frankenstein looks like one of those, but with a concertina tacked on the end. That said, the guitar part would be very fiddly to play, unless you rested the concertina in your lap. Very interesting find!
  6. I've come in to the game halfway through, but if I remember rightly, if you are playing the DLR-inclusive rules then playing Baker Street involves a break for tiffin, followed by the mandatory play of a DLR station. Cutty Sark.
  7. I don't know if it is tribute to eBay's alertness, the account holders or this site, but whenever I go to look at these scams, they have already disappeared.
  8. I'm probably an ideal proofreader. New to the concertina but has played other instruments and can read music. I just kept trying to do the D major scale and wondered why I couldn't do it. I eventually stopped assuming I was doing it wrong and actually cross-referenced the tab with the other scales. I'll keep my eyes open. I don't know enough about the concertina to know the right answer for everything, but I might pick up a few things. I didn't know Amazon published books as well?!
  9. Well, the only tune I know at present is Constant Billy and he hums along to it now, so he seems quite happy. I think it's a Pavlovian reaction. He has started to associate the sound of squeezeboxes with Real Ale Bars. He is an NHS clinical worker and therefore possessed of the patience of a saint anyway. It's in the job description. I have been noodling on the C row anyway. Not as squeaky as the G. Melodeon skills do transfer, to a point. Having to use my bass/chord fingers to do bits of the tunes is a bit of a juggle, and how some of these chord patterns are achieved with one hand I don't know. I think I'll probably do arpeggios instead.
  10. Erratum: page 11, D major scale. Tab for the first E is given as 3 push but I think it should be 4 push? Nice book though. Looking forward to getting some of the tunes off pat!
  11. Not quite as vintage, but I have just picked up my first concertina (melodeonist as well) from Martyn - it's a mysterious, black, masked concertina. I shall call it "The Dark Knight", I think. Mysterious because it is, to all intents and purposes, a Stagi W15MS. Same colour, fretwork, buttons, everything. It just hasn't got any brand names on it. An incognito black box. I wondered if it was an early prototype of the range, perhaps (it seems to date from 2008). Either that or it came off the production line a mite too soon. It's distinctive, anyway.
  12. I gave up the flute partly due to a nickel allergy, so it's a wooden concertina for me, I think. One trick from the flute that I would suggest (as long as it doesn't do any damage) was that it helped to paint clear nail varnish to cover the bits of metal that touched skin. It's not actually the nickel that you are allergic to apparently, rather the chemicals that are used to plate them. Gold and silver are usually OK as they are electroplated. So it might be chemical plating that's the friend's problem, rather than nickel as such. Clear nail varnish is a lot cheaper than gold plating.
  13. As a newcomer to the concertina from various instruments including keyboard, flute and melodeon, this looks very useful - I've already learned lots just from looking at the Amazon preview - which accidental layouts are the most likely, what the range is, what notes are duplicated on different buttons... I'm not sure I'll work through it cover to cover, but it will certainly be useful to have as a reference for when I'm trying to find some tricky note or other. As I say, I've got a bit of a musical background - enough to know what notes go in what chords on a piano keyboard, but translating that to other instruments often requires something to refer to. I'd say this looks like an ideal book for someone who knows a bit about music but very little about the concertina - will give it a go, as a new player, and report back to you.
  14. Hello Chris (yes, same Strig from Melnet). I'm going to be branching out into the anglo so was of course interested in the layout. I got it working (at home of course) but it kept saying "Warning: found 62 notes, there are 0 n voicings (?)". I think that might have something to do with the fact that none of the octaves have been marked on the 31 key C/G Anglo. I'll have a go at making an octave-marked layout for the preset, when I actually know what they should be. Oh, and final point; in the "How to use Melodeon Explorer" section you have put "concerina" instead of "concertina".
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