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catswhiskers

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  1. Ed I agree with the other answers above. Rest one end on your knee while pumping from the other end, whichever way round suits you best. If you play sitting and don't do this you're likely to rest on the bellows which is unstable and causes unnecessary wear to the bellows. I can't see any reason to play standing unless you're performing and It doesn't sound as though you're at that stage yet! Like you I'm 71. I started learning a few years ago but haven't been able to practice enough to become a really good player, but I find if I keep at it my playing is still improving. Even at our great age we can still learn and improve! Good luck with your learning and I hope it gives you as much pleasure as it's given me. John
  2. Never wise to keep an Aussie in the house! 😄
  3. Ha ha - no pun intended. The friend who lent me the concertina is a gentle and talented banjo player and anything but a fiend. But his kindness certainly led to a fiendish obsession! John
  4. I first had a try of a concertina nearly 50 years ago when a fiend of mine lent me one for a few days. I knew nothing about them and all I remember was that it looked beautiful and made a glorious buttery sound which I can still hear to this day. I think he told me it was a Crabb tuned to "English pitch" which meant very little to me at the time. I taught myself one tune, "A Begging I Will Go" before I had to give it back. Ever since then I had an idea that one day I would get myself a concertina. 40 years later my wife finally put me out of my misery and bought me a 20 key Schoeler on Ebay. Needless to say it didn't quite match that mythical sound in my memory, but it set me on the on the road to learning a wonderful instrument. I soon traded up to a succession of Lachenals and more recently to a fully restored rosewood Lachenal with a lovely set of reeds which truly approaches that sound I hankered after. I realise now that the instrument I tried 50 years ago was actually an English, but I'm very happy to have discovered the joys of the anglo.
  5. Thanks to all for your many helpful suggestions on cleaning my bone buttons, not to mention the interesting discussions of poisoning in the post-Trump era. (Though thankfully we didn't actually have a Trump era here in Wales!) I'm pleased to report my discoloured bone button problem has been solved by the kindness of a Cnet member who has sent me some replacement buttons. Now I have nothing to lose, I might experiment on the discarded buttons with some of the (less poisonous) suggestions and report back any success or failure.
  6. Hi all. I am trying to clean the bone buttons on a 20 key Lachenal. In the past I've successfully removed general brownish grime with fairy liquid and/or toothpaste, but two of the buttons on this instrument are very discoloured, a sort of greyish colour which seems to be deeply ingrained in the bone. I've searched all the very informative threads here, but could find none that specifically addresses this problem Any ideas? Thanks in advance. John.
  7. Thanks very much for your advice. I'm pleased to say I've found what I want from a Concertina.net member.
  8. Hi all. I am based in the UK and looking for a 30 key vintage anglo that I can restore for my own use. I currently play 20b and would like to progress to a decent 30b, but can't run to the cost of a restored instrument. If anyone has a neglected 30b or 26b and no time or inclination to restore it, I would be interested in buying it. I don't mind if it needs work, as long as it has all its bits, reasonable bellows and the action board is not warped. Hoping someone out there can help. Thanks. John
  9. I'm posting here now because I was wondering about the date of my recently acquired 20 button George Jones anglo. The serial number is 27782 and from what I can glean from various sources this must make it quite a late one. Can anyone out there give me an accurate date based on the serial number? Thanks in advance
  10. Thanks Ted. It's interesting to know that this configuration was used on other Jones instruments. Maybe this was intended to allow easier chord making, as you suggest. But I think I agree with you that the low A on the draw is more valuable than the D, which is available in the C row anyway. I am also used to a B on the push, but don't mind the G so much. I think I will certainly look to changing the D to A if I can get hold of a suitable reed. Thanks for your advice. John.
  11. I have just bought a nice 20 button George Jones anglo. Apart from a few minor holes in the bellows, now fixed, it's in pretty good shape, with very sweet sounding brass reeds, more or less in tune to old philharmonic pitch, possibly combined with some variety of meantone. But on checking the tuning I discovered that the bottom button of the lower G row does not play the standard B/A but instead plays G/D. Has anyone else come across this variation, and can anybody tell me whether it has any advantages? I think I would miss the low A for tunes played in the lower C register, but possibly there is some advantage in this layout for the G chords? I wonder if any of the musicians on this forum could advise me?
  12. Thanks very much to Alex Holden and Inventor whose contributions have. for me at least, really got to the crux of this question of how Pythagoras was able to formulate a sophisticated system of tuning without the aid of a smart app. Their examples of the monochord and organ pipes measured in feet has brought home to me the precise but essentially simple mathematical relationship between length and pitch. That is, double the length of the pipe or string and drop an octave. Halve it and raise an octave. This means that note intervals can be readily quantified by physical measurement and calculations of relative pitch and temperament can be made based on length values, without needing to know the Hz values of the notes. This makes the whole thing possible a couple of thousand years before the electronic tuner. Then, as Anglo Irishman pointed out, all that was needed was for everyone to agree which philosopher's foot should be used to calibrate the tape measure!
  13. Thanks to all for the many interesting replies, some of which have gone far beyond my original, essentially practical question, and some, I have to admit, a little above my head! Nonetheless all fascinating stuff and I for one have learned a lot. I think my original question as to how tuning was done in the nineteenth century has been pretty well answered. But not the question of how the tuning aids they used were originally callibrated. Or going back a bit further, how for example did Pythagoras measure the precise frequencies of notes in order to calculate the complex mathematical relationships within music? Unless I've missed something I think those questions still remain unanswered - but I'm sure someone out there knows..... John
  14. In our computerised age even those with limited talent can achieve what was once the preserve of specialists and craftsmen. I'm fairly musically illiterate yet I have successfully tuned two anglos, one to ET A440, another to Society of Arts pitch, quarter comma meantone - with the aid of a tuning app on my smartphone! What intrigues me is how the same or greater degree of accuracy and complexity was achieved by tuners working in the nineteenth century or earlier. How did they do it? How did they measure the small variations in vibrations between notes in different pitches and temperaments? Did they have super-accurate pitch recognition? Or did they rely on an extensive range of tuning forks or pitch pipes, and if so, how were these calibrated in the first place? I would be very interested to hear if anybody has any knowledge of this subject. Thanks. John
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