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John Nixon

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  1. Hi Friends, There is only one correct way to play successive repeated notes on a concertina. and that is definitly with the use of 2 or 3 fingers. I haven't seen any other tutor than the old Regondi one ( and of course Iwas lucky to have an experienced player, my father, to teach me ) but any tutor that proposes the use of one finger for this purpose gives me the impression that the author was not properly trained. I think that when learners are asking for advice on this and any similar forum, the advice offered should be flawless. JOHN NIXON.
  2. :Hi Friends, I purchased a copy of "Personal Composer" about 5-years ago. I was advised to select it by an unbiased technician who also demonstrated several other programs. It has been VERY aesy to use and can write from a keyboard ,although I haven't tried this myself. Good Luck. JOHN NIXON.
  3. Hello Friends, The C.D. "The English Connection" has a 4-page insert & pages 2&3 give full details of the instruments used on each of the 20-tracks. This, coupled with the very wide assortment of music styles might go some way to provide what you are looking for. Best Wishes. JOHN NIXON.
  4. Hello again Concertinists, I also use the excellent AKG1000 mics, but only for studio recording when no other instruments are involved. As I said in my first reply to this thread, my current setup using chrystal mics has been working trouble-free since 1972 in a wide range of professional environments. Of course any good internal setup involves some disfigurement of the Concertina, but of course any professional musician puts the working of his/her instrument as more important than the appearance. If a good amplifier with Bass, Middle & Treble controls is used (Hi-Impedance Input)you can taylor the sound to suit , but the use of 4-mics set 2 on each side & in a halfway location will give a good balance over the whole range of the Concertina. My instrument is an Aeola 48-key Baritone. Good Luck. JOHN NIXON.
  5. The leads are , as I said in my reply,connected in parallel and terminate in A GUITAR type 1/4" female jack. All the small diameter internal wires must be screened and earthed via the jack etc., Because the high ( approx. 1 whole volt ) output from the jack is High Impedance , the amplyfier must also have a High impedance imput. You will need to have a lot of patience to get it all correct and you may need help from someone ( maybe a radio enthusiast) . JOHN.
  6. Hi Friends, I started to try to amplyfy my Baritone Aeola way back in the 1940's , and went thro all the various set-ups that you have mentioned . but as I was playing quite often with dance bands against line-ups of saxes, trumpets , piano or Keyboard , bass & drums, nothing I did was really satisfactory until I found some crystal Mikes that were recommended to me by the very experienced Accordionist, Jack Emblow. The mikes were of French manufacture and I purchased 4 of them from Henry's Radio on Edgware road , London in 1972. They cost me 60 pence each and , mounted inside the instrument between the grill and the action about halfway along each side ; they have been very reliable & satisfactory in all the various situations that I have encountered. The mikes are connected in parallel and the leads brought to a Female 1/4" jack on the outside . I use a standard Guitar type lead to connect to the amplyfier.I have used many types of amplyfier over the years, and my current one is made by Watkins of London and is identical to one supplied to Art Van Damme for use with his accordion . A couple of years ago I purchased a Guitar Wireless unit , and this allows me to play without a lead connected between my instrument and the amplyfier. This is of course much safer and reduces the possibility of feedback. Because the Mikes are facing inwards, very little sound from other instruments is picked up. I hope that the foregoing is of some assistance to you , but please ask if you require further information. Good Luck, JOHN NIXON.
  7. Hi Friends, My collection of English Concertinas is all Wheatstone :- 48 key Treble. No. 11244 and is probably Mid Victorian. I purchased it purely and simply to hire it out to the B.B.C. or I.T.V. I removed the reed Pans so that actors could pretend playing without sound. It has appeared in a number of programs. 48 key Treble No, 28630 which my Fether bought new direct from Wheatstone in 1920. I have the original set of High pitched reeds which my father used only if the Piano that was to accompany him was pitched high. It was a very simple job to change over before a concert began. The current *low pitch " set is probably older than the original set & certainly sounds better. 48 kay Baritone No.30124 (made in May 1924. My father bought this second hand in 1933 for me when I was 6 years old . I had been taught by him using a 48 key Treble sinilar to the one at the start of my list from age 4 in 1931. 30 key Contra-Bass . This instrument was originally used in the Bolton English Conncertina Band and probably is of Victorian Vintage. I have had the very real pleasure of playing the latter 3- Concertinas in a very large variety of studios & halls consistently thro' all the years since 1931 and particularly since the end of WW2. JOHN NIXON
  8. Hi Friends, I can assure you that the English Concertina was not only played by sailors during the 19th century, many of them were taken to Australia by sailors & some of those in custody having been found guilty of stealing a loaf of bread or some other trivial item. When I was recording a program for the BBC called "Nimmo in Australia" in 1980, the producer, who had spent some time in OZ researching the program, told me that there seemed to be more English Concertinas in OZ than in the U.K. During the 20's & 30's (and possibly earlier) there were English Concertina bands in most of the large towns of the industrial North of England. My father was a leading member of the Bolton English Concertina band at that time , & I joined the same band in 1933 @ the age of 6. The WW2 requirements for many men to move jobs for the war effort caused the break-up of most of the bands & they were not reformed after the war. ALL THE PLAYERS THAT I CAN REMEMBER WERE VERY MUCH WORKING CLASS PEOPLE. My father was an Iron Moulder until death in 1964. The advent of the PIANO Accordion, which allowed dance band pianists to play Tangos without the recourse to learn a fresh keyboard undoubtedly contributed to the reduction in the number of people wishing to learn to play an instrument that appeared to be more complicated than most others, particularly those with Linear keyboards - Piano-Guitar-Reeds etc. JOHN NIXON
  9. Hi friends, If Charles Wheatstone had been involved with this .net , I am sure that he would applaud the advanes made to the latest format. There may be more changes in the years hence & if someone of my advancing years can follow with only ONE DAY's use, then Iit must be quite user friendly. However, I do wish that my name (as required in the logging procedure) was referred to as MY NAME & NOT USER NAME. Congratulations Paul. JOHN NIXON.
  10. Hi Friends, The question of whether to play seated or standing seems to come around more often than any other subject and invariably leads to yet another onslaught of blinding with VIRTUAL science. I will offer observations based on simple long experience of performing in concerts, recording sessions, dance gigs & live jazz gigs. First of all, there is quite a weight difference between the treble & baritone instruments , the treble allowing standing playing of most single noted playing with relative ease. However, when chords are to be played, it is often required to use the 4th (little) finger . (you could not ,for instance, perform the Estrellita arrangement from my English Connection C.D. without the use of the 4th finger) When performing in the recording studio with an orchestra, it is very rare for anyone but the conductor to be standing so that a perseverance of playing seated is a must. Most of the old Concertina tutors advise the use of a simple sling to support the instrument when playing stood up and I have found that playing Jazz or Dance gigs to be no problem using a sling with my trusty Baritone. I hope that the above will offer a little help to those friends particularly in the early stages of playing this wonderfull instrument. It looks as though this new forum format will match the abilities of Wheatstones invention. John Nixon.
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