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Little John

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About Little John

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    Chatty concertinist

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  1. Absolutely. They wouldn't make sense on a Hayden. As observed before, the Hayden (at least up to 46 buttons) lacks the low C# and Eb on each hand, and as far as I can tell that doesn't cause any real problems. (And of course C#4 and Eb4 exist on the LHS anyway, so it's only C#3 and Eb3 missing altogether.) The Crane does have those notes, but they are probably the least useful. That's why I've re-purposed those buttons (and only those) to get more useful notes. Even on a Crane I can see most players balking at the idea of Anglo buttons, but I'd still advocate replacing C#3 with B2
  2. I'm happy to pitch in! I play Crane duet. My main interests are folk tunes, Christmas carols and folk song accompaniment; so I understand completely where you are coming from. I'd go further and say 45 - 48 is the sweet spot. I've played Cranes in all sizes from 35 to 55 buttons. I now have just one - a 44-button made by @alex_holden (though in fairness it has three "anglo" buttons so it's 47 notes). I very much value that it can be fitted into a 6 1/4" box, whilst having all the notes I need. The range is A2 to G4 on the left and B3 to C6 on the right. Smalle
  3. Fair question - I suppose I set myself up for it! The main debate nowadays seems to be whether to choose the Hayden (Hayden/Wicki) or the Crane (Crane/Triumph), so I'll concentrate on those. For many of us (including me) the main interest is in playing traditional dance music. From my British perspective, at least, the vast majority is in the keys of G and D major plus related modes. (I believe this is for historical reasons - tunes being written on or adapted for the fiddle and the D-whistle for which these are the easy keys - and reinforced nowadays by the preponderance of D/G me
  4. Generally I would play single note melody on the right and whatever sort of accompaniment on the left, but sometimes I'll play a pair of notes on the right hand. That would usually be if it makes the fingering simpler. Very often for a four note chord that spans two octaves I'd play two notes on each hand, e.g. D and A on the left and F# and D on the right.
  5. It's starting to sound very much like a Crane to me!
  6. The other pragmatic option is to have more than one Anglo. If you stick to 20 button then you'd probably need four to cover your interests: D/A, C/G, Bb/F and Ab/Eb. If you go to 30 buttons then a C/G and an Ab/Eb would probably cover it for the sharp keys and the flat keys respectively. A few days ago Francis Cunningham posted a tune on Instagram. It was clear from the keyboard accompanying him that it was in F minor. Four flats - I was impressed! When I asked he said he was playing an Ab/Eb and wished he could play that well in that key on a C/G. I was still impressed, just not q
  7. I once asked John Kirkpatrick (an absolute master of both the Anglo and the B/C/C# diatonic accordion) how he chose which instrument to use to accompany songs. His answer? "It depends on what key I want to use - some keys are easier on one and some easier on the other." The anglo is essentially a diatonic instrument so even the best players will play in only a limited number of keys. If playing melody in multiple keys is your main aim, then Dan's advice to consider the English concertina is good. If you want to play in multiple keys and in the harmonic style (as Jim men
  8. I've found a photo of my Crabb duet which, as I said in my previous post, has similar (in fact very similar) fretwork. It has "H. Crabb" which would date it before 1926 but from the serial number (9155) Geoff Crabb dated it to 1934.
  9. I had a Crabb Crane with similar-looking fretwork, dated 1934. It had a number stamped on the left hand end in the oval at the top. In the photographs of this instrument it looks like that has broken off and a replacement crudely soldered in its place. So the number might be missing altogether.
  10. As I think all the other replies suggest - don't worry about it. If you're learning a tune from a book of arrangements then it's obviously fine to copy it exactly. That's what the book was written for. Otherwise you'd have to be a very competent musician to manage an exact copy of what someone else is playing; but then, if you're that good you'll probably be able to construct your own arrangements anyway. In addition, as Don points out above, unless you're playing the same instrument as the one you're listening to it will come out differently anyway. As he says, the "tricks" availa
  11. I'm no expert, but I was under the impression South African instruments often have ten or so folds. Could that be its origin?
  12. And I believe a member of this forum has one of them, in rather battered condition and awaiting conversion to the Crane system ...
  13. Very nice sound. I expected to listen on my laptop but it actually came out through the hi-fi!
  14. There's no accepted definition of "long scale" but generally longer reeds are considered to be better. They have more dynamic range and more sensitivity to low pressure (the two are linked). It's subjective, but they might also have a better tone than shorter-scale reeds. LJ
  15. I agree with pretty much everything John @Anglo-Irishman says, in particular pointing to the way the nature of the limitations of the Elise and the 35 button Crane differ. However one point needs to be corrected: not all chords are available on the LH of a 35 button Crane. Specifically A major, Bb major, B minor and B major are not. (Neither is Bb minor, should you ever find a need for it!) But it requires the addition of only two or three buttons to overcome most or all of this deficiency. On the RHS of a 35 button Crane the significant notes missing are the top A and B. The 48 bu
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