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Little John

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About Little John

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    Chatty concertinist

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  1. So you might think, but the D/G melodeon and the G/D anglo are different, insofar as one tends to play the melody in the lower octave on the melodeon and in the upper octave on the concertina. So the fingering is not the same - e.g. in the lower octave you start with a G/A button but an octave higher it's a G/F# button and the A is on the B/A button. So don't imagine it's a straightforward transition from melodeon to concertina. Also I believe the relationship between the two rows is different from concertina to melodeon, so if you use any cross-row fingering that won't translate either. LJ
  2. I guess I'm "seasoned", so I'll throw in my two-penn'orth. Yes, it would probably work. All sorts of wierd and wonderful arrangements of notes can be made to "work". But what you are proposing is highly non-standard. It doesn't even seem to follow the basic anglo principle of having all the push notes in a given row play the chord of the key it's named after. If you learnt to play this system you wouldn't be able to play a "standard" anglo, and no-one else would be able to play this; making it essentially worthless. Your basic requirement is to be able to play both English and Irish music on one instrument. All I can say is that plenty of people play Irish on the standard C/G anglo, and plenty of people play English on the standard C/G. I'd suggest you make that your starting point. And actually, you could probably get both a decent G/D and a C/G for the cost of a custom special. LJ
  3. I haven't insured my concertinas for years. When I got my first one (almost forty years ago) I insured it with a specialist company (can't remember who) and later insured it as an extra on the household insurance. When I got a second concertina the cost was so high for the two that I calculated I could buy a new instrument every 15 years for the same cost as the premium. (In other words, the insurance premium for a year was 1/15 of the cost of a new instrument.) That's all a long time ago now, so things might have changed. I'd be interested to hear from anyone with experience as to whether the cost has become more reasonable, although even if it has I doubt I would bother to insure them now; not having had cause to make a claim in all that time. LJ
  4. Even a "standard" 42, 48 or 55 button Crane doesn't have an entirely consistent pattern. Playing in the keys of F, C, G and D majors (and associated modes) is easy because there is a consistent pattern. To play the "accidentals" you just move one row out. That is, in G and D you move one column out from the F natural to find the F sharp; and similarly for C# and Bb. But that breaks down in A major. The low G# is where you would expect it, next to the G natural. But an octave higher it is next to the A - effectively an Ab instead of G#. Playing in Eb gets worse because in the lower octave E and A are in the central column so for Eb and Ab (G#) you're suddenly jumping from the centre to the outside column and the whole scale pattern is altered. One just has to get used to a different pattern. (I think I'm getting there, but it's not automatic yet.) This is a bit sweeping. As I've mentioned elsewhere I have Bb2/B2 reeds (anglo style) where C#3 would normally be. Both notes are actually more convenient in that position than they would be if the scale were extended "to rule". Chords such as B minor, Bb major and G major (first inversion) are all easy to finger (all "spread", not as simple triads). And I use them so often I don't have to stop and think. So I would argue that these "out of pattern" notes are actually very handy in general. In fact I estimate that if I didn't have those two notes (and in such a convenient position) I would have to re-arrange the majority of my repertoire. LJ
  5. Yes, it's probably in old high pitch, so it may not have been tuned since it was made. This means it could well be tuned to a mean tone temperament rather than equal temperament. You can test this by playing G# and Ab together (also D# and Eb together). If they sound out of tune it's a good indication that the instrument is in mean tone tuning. This will make the triads (three-note chords) and the major thirds sound much sweeter than in equal temperament. LJ
  6. I would have thought that work hardening would make the reed stiffer and hence raise the pitch rather than flatten it. When I received my new Holden a few months ago the whole instrument seemed to drift sharp as I played it in. A mechanical engineering friend of mine suggested work hardening as the most likely cause. It was re-tuned within a couple of months and has been pretty well stable since then. LJ
  7. Excellent! I wish I had the patience to learn something like this on my Crane. For what it's worth, I think I prefer the first recording. The greater distance to the microphone(s) smooths the sound a bit. LJ
  8. Jim - I have only an air button under the thumb on my Cranes, so I can't really comment on playing notes with my thumb. I do, however, have some "out of pattern" notes on my Cranes; about three on each instrument. For example, on one instrument where the low C#3 would be on the left I have an anglo-style Bb2/B2 and on another instrument that button is G2/B2. I use them a lot so found no problem in getting used to them. Only the same difficulty as getting used to the (rarely used) G#5 on the right. So I'd suggest it's maybe more that it's odd playing notes with your thumb (or possibly the shape of them) than it is to do with being "out of pattern". LJ
  9. You are right, of course, Don! As a Crane player I was just skimming the thread and should have looked more closely. I think the 36 buttons gives a usable range of notes. I have to say that I agree with Wim - the limitations are mostly in the mind of the player rather than in the instrument. I also agree that a small, light instrument has many attractions. My own Holden Crane is similarly a 6 1/4" instrument. Because it is has concertina reeds it manages to fit in 44 buttons, but obviously it is more expensive. LJ
  10. On the LHS what you show as A1 is actually the air button. LJ
  11. I don't know, but it sounds very similar to my Wheatstone single-action bass. LJ
  12. Similarly I've sold three this year. All sales went well. Members of this site seem to be a pretty decent, honest lot! Two payments were by bank transfer and one by cheque. You end up paying the banks whichever method you choose - a fact of life I suggest. Cheers, LJ
  13. I rather agree with that. The grip on the strap between the thumb and the palm is firmest point of contact with the instrument. LJ
  14. I don't know about that - it looks fairly similar to my Wheatstone baritone which is 7 1/4" across the flats. Either way, I would suggest selling this as it is. If it's sharp it's probably in old pitch and also mean-tone tuning which some people might wish to retain; or at least like to try out before deciding how much re-tuning to do. LJ
  15. Yes, the balance is one of the things I really love about it. By the way, if you're in Liverpool it was probably the 7.50 broadcast you saw. Alex's clip is from the 6.40 - 7.00 broadcast. I think (but I'd need to check) that the sound in the later one was a bit better. I'll see if I can post a clip sometime. LJ
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