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Everything posted by Notemaker

  1. After reading Bob Tedrow's excellent webpage about it, http://hmi.homewood.net/ I began pricing the materials needed to make a bellows. Too, it is not clear which width of tape one should select. Judging from the size of his billets, after trimming, 1 1/8", I am guessing the tape size at 1 inch. But when I saw the price of the Bookbinders' tape Bob recoes, had to look further because I am not rotten rich with money, and, sure enough, on Amazon came up with an alternative. Bob's reco; from Talas https://www.talasonline.com/Gummed-Cambric-Tape?quantity=1&size=43 $28.00 What I found on Amazon; https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00W2DLEX0/ref=twister_B00W2DLETE?_encoding=UTF8&th=1 $12.95 Too, considering most folks having a go at bellows making will be doing just one to start, 150 feet is way too much while 15 yards, 45 feet, is about right. I am curious, how do other makers deal with this issue? Do we go for the more expensive solution, or elect to follow a popular Bookbinder path? Thank you for your expert suggestions.
  2. No! I think 30 tunes is far too much to be hanging on to. Instead work on mastering your instrument. Because tunes are not hard to image, while playing them in different keys on the Tina is. Too, our health can, and does, limit how we learn, or try to, and how much we can memorize. I have trouble with that as I grow older, my attention span shrinking with age. There is nothing that can be done for that except work with it! Though I am not a Concertinist, and have played Harmonica forever, today Tremolo, I recently returned to the hobby due to unexpectedly winning an Ebay auction for a vintage Crabb 30 BTN C/G Anglo, I got that for a song ...lol However, I do have a system for acquiring tunes to try on my vintage Crabb. (it has the most enchanting velvety sound). First of all I select simple tunes, the shorter the better. I find that besides simple songs, 'Popeye The Sailor Man' for example, Morris provides lovely and easily learned dance tunes, some with little lyrics which are very easy to remember. All the which gently teaches scale, breathing, and grows new nerve links in the ANS. My latest one is from Cotswold Morris. These are best memorized so one can humm them, or sing them. In my case I love to try them on the Harmonica, then the Tin-whistle, to see how close to 'Spongebob Square Pants' music I am. If I like the result I then set about electing a fingering on the Tina which delivers two principal things; 1 few, or no, air button - bellows helps, and, 2 retains the lilt of the tune. That is, while I do listen to Noel Hill, Edel Fox, and Caitlin McGowan, I don't want, nor IMHO, need to put that much into a tune. Besides I think the Anglo shines best in other types of music, so, IMHO, it is not a big oversight. Nevertheless, one needs to be aware that ITM, Irish folk dance music, hangs from just one instrument, and it is not the Fiddle, nor the Uilleann Pipes, nor the Harp, nor the Accordion, nor the Anglo Concertina, nor the Banjo, and so on. The entire tradition grew out of the humble Penny-Whistle. So, in order to get its embellishment near to the source, one should really learn to play that first. Because that is what all those famous people you are learning off of did, or it is from it most of their fiddledy embellishments come. https://www.facebook.com/noddy.mcnod/videos/10214835206974716/ Now some physiology. When we are learning a tune we internalize an aural image, rather like we become familiar with a picture, for example the 'Mona Lisa'. It is from an image we create our singing/humming/whistling, or in my case playing it on the Harmonica - because I have been playing it so long that it is almost as easy as singing. The next step will be putting it on your chosen instrument. There are several parameters converging which enable, or prevent, that happening. Those will have been addressed in your foundation course/s. For example, where is the 'C3' note, etc; and how to play a series of notes on a bellows push and pull to get the least air valve demand. These skills are management of another set of skills which you should be building, your motor skills. Those which control you fingers and arms when playing. From experience I found that it pays to perfect motor skills very early in the learning process. So I do a lot on scales, and different ways of playing the same scale on the Tina. It is just like Violin in that regard, one needs to be able to think of a variation in an aural, but not have to think about how to execute it; that is, have over developed motor skills so they become automatic. IOW the secondary ANS becomes a robot for the CNS, which is actually how our body works in mostly everything else. So playing an instrument is very un-natural. That's why when we goof up one note everything after it comes out all wrong. So, in short, work on the ANS stuff real hard, then the CNS stuff can get out of your TINA, and hopefully in a few different keys :0) Hope that helps.
  3. Thank you. Well, touch wood, so far, I have not heard any need to have the reed adjusted. But then again, with the gString tuner app, did not measure its pitch before, or after. So you are probably correct but, at this time I cannot detect any difference in the sound I hear from it.
  4. I misread your original question. Hope you get it resolved.
  5. Here is something I actually know about ...lol Ok from a Teaching perspective, its easily fixed. Simply set your timer click slow, like 60 BPM. Then imagine yourself walking in step. Then drumming instep, then have a go with playing instep. There is one condition to this method, know the melody off well before you start, IOW know how to humm, whistle etc., the music without a score, which almost always means selecting something you already know well instead of the piece which gave rise to the need in the first place. Its a separate skill and needs developing outside of the reading music thing. Hope that helps.
  6. Thanks. You may like to learn that removing a lot of rust from it may not impact the performance of a reed tongue. This one was brushed with a wee nylon bristle brush, then polished with a wee brass bristle brush. Following approval, from a steel expert, I gently painted over using a cotton swab with a drop of Mineral Spirits on it to finish off the treatment. There is NO noticeable difference in performance, and, surprisingly, no change in the tuning of the reed tongue. On my current bench ( Harmonica Tuning bench ), this is the only case which needed TLC. BTW not expecting to have to write a full report about it, I did not bother to make the 'after' macro shot, which, as you possibly can appreciate, is quite complex and time consuming.
  7. Mentioning skiving, which kind of tool is best? https://www.amazon.com/YaeTek-Leather-Machine-Splitter-Skiving/dp/B07BJX9XC3/ref=sr_1_64?keywords=leather+skiving+tool&qid=1578689405&sr=8-64 Is this overkill ? Or would this be a better solution? https://www.amazon.com/MIUSIE-Leather-Comfortable-Convenient-Thinning/dp/B07FSFZL1Y/ref=pd_cp_201_2/140-2362937-5734634?_encoding=UTF8&pd_rd_i=B07FSFZL1Y&pd_rd_r=805959ff-19fe-4d68-88f6-a96c6169fee6&pd_rd_w=lJoAO&pd_rd_wg=H0atg&pf_rd_p=d534d65f-a237-49e4-9070-a58a3a6b8ba4&pf_rd_r=PBAEMH2NVZMHECWXDX35&psc=1&refRID=PBAEMH2NVZMHECWXDX35 Thank you.
  8. Ditto to not leaving any liquid deposit in the tongue after adjustment. But, and here I am asking, wouldn't a brass, or nylon, bristle brush be better for dealing with rust?
  9. Thank you for the excellent expert replies. From those I managed to easily correct one out of tune reed - it had dropped over a few days - I used the diamond files recommended; 240 grit for a couple or licks got most of the work done, then 400 one lick a wee bit more, and a couple of licks of the 600 grit ; it moved but very little towards the accepted result. That was very close, tenths of a Hz below my comparison reed 'D 4' draw on the C row. D 4 Push LH side from 582.6 Hz to 585.5 H. using Android App Gstrings tuner.
  10. Thanks for the replies and great information on this topic. I have to add that mostly, from photos seen, its rust that is more common than gunk. As posted turps appears to work but the oily residue must be removed afterwards. Too my own investigation taught me one severe lesson; be very careful when removing / replacing the shoe / reed assembly as any error of movement may disturb other things close by.
  11. When after decades, or a century, of 'breathing' a component accumulates gunk, how it is removed? I read in one contribution here that turpentine is used to help remove gunk off of a vintage reed. I just wonder why not 'thinners'?. perhaps warm 'alcohol' as used in electronics for cleaning smoker's tar from circuit-boards? Too wondering what kind of gunk is found on them? Perhaps vapors from the bellows construction adhere to a warm reed, or perhaps kitchen-grease and smokers' tar from the air in Bars and homes? I guess this applies to Accordion reeds too?
  12. Notemaker


    I am the least qualified on this board to address your question. But; I followed a similar path to your son. Made/play PVC flutes, play ITM on things, but not solely, also love Morris played on Tina or Accordion. And my first Anglo had accordion reeds in it. As well I recently won, by Angelic intervention I now believe, a 30 button C/G Crabb Anglo. See " the instrument was made jointly by my late father Henry Joseph (1911-1981) and late brother Henry Neville (1938-1989) " My Tina Link from the thread about it here on CN. I am now revising my Anglo Tina skills on it. So I guess I am in a good position to relate useful review pointers. First things first, the Crabb, steel reeds and brass shoes, is another world entirely from my old Accordion reed Tina. The best way I can verbalize what is so different between them is with the words 'velvety' on the Crabb, as opposed to 'squingy squeaky' on my old Tina, especially on mid range to higher notes. IOW I do not need to back off bellows when in the low and high parts of tunes like 'The Siverspear' on the Crabb like I used have to do on my old box. OTOH I would not go as far as to say it 'honks' like some of the other Tinas I have heard. Somebody here used the word 'softer' about the Crabb, and I would agree, but it is most certainly not weaker in any way because of it. In fact in ITM it compliments very well Violin / Pipes - I have, and play a bit on both of those. It is just another, lovely yummie, flavor of Tina sound. Were I shopping with a fat wallet, 'action' would be my next consideration. Mine is 'hook-n-spring' type action, and it plays just fine. Modern hybrids tend to be 'riveted lever' type action. Read someplace that this type action is a tad quicker than mine. But I just don't know which is better for your son. Perhaps some of our members here, better informed than I, can address this side of it? Last issue. "New is better". Well as somebody else has pointed out, that is not really correct. Indeed, among ITM players, the opposite appears to be the rule. See Noel Hill for more on that one. So all in all I would go for the 1870 Crabb if I wanted to get that velvety sound, but if I wanted to get a modern hybrid I would begin to compare those. Because to buy that velvety sound new is a couple of thousand dollars more than you have to spend. Eg a Wally Carrol, $6250.00 or Suttner, $ 3942.00. However you should be aware that those retain their value very well and you may be able to sell either later for more than you paid for it. I see that Caitlin McGowan plays a Carrol model! Hope that helps you make a good choice.
  13. Thanks for the replies. Just need to mention all those recommending use of the engraver tool instruct to keep the cut in the middle portion of a Harmonica reed tongue. I guess that is to prevent removing the edge which would ruin the reed.
  14. Having read several pages about this topic, I found a video by Seydel on tuning Harmonica steel reeds. They use, and recommend, a diamond tipped engraving type tool. Now, I have tuned brass type harp reeds myself with various tools, a file, a nail sander stick, and scratched with a mini screwdriver bit, but never had to mess with steel reeds like in a Seydel harp. I am wondering would that work on Tina reeds. Thanks in advance for answering.
  15. ? BTW Facebook is everything but, a more family oriented website there isn't.
  16. The hot tar hit the fan as soon as I mention 'the' bad website. Roadup! Detour ahead, it is called Facebook, which has pretty much obliterated the need for such things. Mudcat. Been on it since the 1990s. Knew some famous writers there, Catspaw was one. Lately only read it, my favorite author Steve Shaw, also a Harp player. He is a School Teacher, and it shows in his writing. Super funny man, excellent debater and a refreshing contrast to some of the more serious stuff. Have a great rest of the Holidays, and a splendid New Year.
  17. Lot of caveat on this topic. Not wanting to add more fuel to the fire that surrounds TheSession, but have been warned off of it, due, I was informed to the nasty politics and abuse of members by the site owner. IOW great for finding sessions but a dead end for discussion, and, apparently, tunes as well. Must say after I got the nod about it I began using the other site, http://abcnotation.com/ for anything whatsoever in ABC. So I now get my Morris and Celtic material there. Would echo the remark about accuracy above, how do we know the setting published is correct? Still learning by listening and using scores where my ear is not getting the correct notes seems a good all around solution.
  18. Err not why I reported the problem. AFAIK The poster is newly selling on Ebay, and should be aware of the block upon US bidders to the auction. Just trying to help.
  19. Well I can SEE the page very well, just that if I then try to bid / save - the next page is dead! I cannot do anything on it. As well if I login to the regular US Ebay and then reload your page I still cannot do anything on it. IOW I could not bid if I wanted to. You should contact Ebay support and report the bug. Thank You.
  20. I logged into Ebay and could not do anything on your sale page, I am in Texas US. Weird!
  21. At top left click on Jim Munro. When his profile appears, click on top right a little letter icon. Hope that helps.
  22. Thank you Geoffrey, the history of the lovely instrument becomes more and more fascinating as time passes. Perhaps there should be a museum in London for the Concertina making industry?
  23. This is extraordinarily odd for me! Because even though I previously owned an Anglo, and played a fair bit on that, I am mostly a Tremolo Harmonica player. So here is the story of how I elected to get involved in the sale. Trading on Ebay for other things I got an email alert for this item, and when I read about its origin, and the rich history behind that, I decided to have a go and bid on it. The seller did not know what key it is tuned to, and shared that the air valve key is not working. Essentially, then, nobody in the sale knew exactly what the tuning of it might be, nor apparently did any come here to find out, even though the serial number was shown on the sale page. Perhaps that could not have been done in the 7 auction days allowed? So bidding was not as much as it might have been, nor did it go anywhere close to today's market value for a 'H Crabb & Son' C/G Anglo Concertina in such super condition for its years. It was advertised as an antique ( it isn't BTW ), the super polite seller getting it from an estate sale. Antique dealer? However I did not care what key it might have been in, a lover of Morris and Celtic tunes, I had a hunch that either it was in D/G, or C/G, even had it been in F/Bb etc, I resolved that I did not care and would buy if I could, because the history of this wonderful company is so feted with the making of superb Concertinas for well over a hundred years, I think they begun in the 1830s? So enormous thank you the Geoffrey Crabb here on C/N for making this beautiful superb musical instrument. Below what I found when I took a close look at it. It is a coddled and loved Tina, the bellows being supple and easy to use, it appears to have spent most of its days, 54 years, in a case, with moderate to little use. And by the cleanliness and aroma of expensive perfume, I suspect it was owned by a female. When received, the air valve assembly was found hanging off of the key, the post having come up out if its location on the board. Since I had previously repaired a Tina post which falling apart had to be replaced - I cold formed that from a steel small carpentry nail, including anviling the flat for the arm to connect, also making a tiny rivet and assembling etc - could see that I would be well able to re seat a perfectly good post that came loose. What I did. Carefully re-moved the A/V assembly. Inspecting the post hole, I find some kind of glue had been put there but did not soak into the hole, just blocking the top of it. So a dab of a utility knife blade - the really thin version that looks like a pencil - I was able to re-seat the post, adjust the travel of the button - the felt bushing appears to have been exposed to damp so it falls apart - and fitting a new tiny piece of Luther's felt to secure the button onto the arm. Re-seating the springs was very easy to do. My compliments to the maker who made such nicely formed springs. They almost fell back into place. Ok have to mention that in the past I have formed my own key springs, either from Piano wire, or the much softer Guitar string wire - So I have some idea of what I am doing with Tina button springs. However in this case the superb construction by the maker shows that even after half a century or more, the mechanics of this lovely historical work are as good as new. Again well done H. Crabb & Son. Discoveries inside this lovely Tina. Steel reeds in brass shoes - extraordinary quality! - what can we say about that but, wow! Reeds tuning, there is but one a few cents flat, but fortunately on the very high end of the C row, a drawn note 'a'. I have no intention of messing with it because there is a perfectly good drawn note 'a' on the G row. Besides it would be a crime to alter what is so rare in these days of renovating older Tinas. I can live with the rarely used C row high 'a'. Other things I would like to share. I was absolutely floored that I won the auction, because I imagined there would be international bidding way into the high 3 k region for this barely used, and all original Crabb Anglo. But as it turned out my high bid, $2,222.22 cents, was more than enough to see off the competition. Perhaps an 'Angel', or two, had a hand in my good fortune? Because having lived in London in the 1970's and being a folkie there is nothing I would more have loved to own, at that time, than such a beautiful musical instrument. Dare I mention Steve Turner? who I had the good fortune to hear in those years, and have still - someplace - one of his wonderful LPs. Now that's nearly an antique too ... like myself ...lol. Too, related to my tinkering with stuff and love of English engineering, during those years, I found, bought and renovated a 1952 Velocette 500 CC motorcycle. Of my readers here, I wonder if any recall 'Geoff Dodkin 'Velocette'' of Sheen W London? I managed to do that from a 4th floor bed-sit, and storing the big bits in the garden - a kind LL allowed me to ! - rebuilt the entire thing up from bolt screws to the finished like new magnificent Velocette Venom with flames coming out of the exhaust! I today often wonder what my LL thought of me? He was then about my age now, and I barely 20 years old. I should quit here as there is so much this lovely Tina is bringing back to me, I might wear out my welcome. In these Holiday times I hope you get as much joy from reading as I have from an extraordinary and rare Tina. Again thank you 'H Crabb & Sons' for this one, and the many, many other bringers or joy to happy ears all over the world. Happy Holidays to each and all. Notemaker.
  24. Thank you each for your excellent help. I am really busy right now, in a couple of days I will post a detailed reply. Again, thank you all.
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