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    Traditional music & Morris, Sailing, Shogi (Japanese Chess),
    postcard collecting, 'N' gauge model railways.
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    Urmston, S-W Manchester, U.K.

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  1. I'm a 'June Hare' rather than a 'March Hare', but never mind... My first instrument was a vintage 20-button C/G Lachenal - which had been restored to a state where it was probably better than the day it came off the production line (~1895), so there are 'good' vintage 20 button Anglos out there, even if they didn't start out that way. There's a story (probably apocryphal?) that Kimber was given a 30-button in his old age, but carried on playing his 20-button because he preferred it. (Oh! I now see MF already commented on this - let it stand...). I recently acted as 'intermediary' in arranging the sale of a modern 20-button Anglo to a friend of mine. It was an Andrew Norman 'special' - a 'non-standard' configuration (I think AN had made two such instruments). I had my hands on it for a few minutes after the sale was completed - a lovely instrument! So, there are 'good' modern 20-button instruments out there, but some of them are 'non-standard' configuration - which may not be what Mikefule has in mind... I wonder if the low-cost instruments produced by Flying Duck Concertinas might meet Mikefule's criteria for 'good'? I haven't got mine yet, but reviews are encouraging. (Look at the Duckling and Dabbler models.) If Mikefule does produce an item for his group's newsletter, I hope he also posts it here... Roger Hare 🐇
  2. I think you have made a wise decision! If you can afford to wait, do so. You will find a brief comparison of Rochelle vs. Rochelle-2 on the Rochelle-2 page on the CC web site here. I'll throw a bit more petrol on the fire: You may care to consider upping your game still further, and acquiring an instrument with leather bellows? You'll find an interesting article about bellows, also on the CC web site, here.
  3. I sometimes see what I think of as 'interesting' claims made by companies operating in this sector of the market. Claims verging on 'sharp practice' IMO. One of these companies claim that "anything with a bird's name is made in China" which is clearly aimed at disparaging one of their competitors (some of whose models are named after birds), but which totally ignores the fact that they themselves market a concertina named after a bird... I regard this as vastly entertaining, but then, I'm never going to buy their kit.
  4. I think it's likely that this concertina is actually made in China? I think if you are going to buy a concertina like this, you will find suppliers within North America - far easier than dealing across the Atlantic? This is an extract from the 'FAQ and buying your first concertina' post on the Reddit concertina forum: Inexpensive Chinese concertinas: NOT RECOMMENDED IN MOST CASES, IF YOU BUY, BUY WITH AN IRONCLAD RETURN POLICY IN CASE YOU GET A LEMON the basic $150-350 (new) concertinas you see on eBay or Amazon are almost invariably Chinese-made. There are some that are badged by various names, including somewhat famous ones like Hohner, and other Italian or Irish names bought from defunct manufacturers. The better brands are okay-ish for a total beginner, but you'll quickly outgrow it, and it's maybe better to save for a used Italian or Concertina Connection. You can occasionally find used ones cheap on eBay or Craiglist. With any of these cheapies, if bought new, make sure it's somewhere with a good return policy, so you can return it if it's a lemon. These are mostly Anglo, occasionally a Scarlatti (now made in China) 30b or 48b English, not usually Duets.
  5. Thanks! I think this is what I am going to do - or to some other maker nearer to home who will be able to do the job. Fortunately, the playing of the beast isn't affected, so (within reason) I can take a little time to come to a decision.
  6. Thanks for the helpful replies. I need to think carefully about doing it myself - I have a very small selection of tools. Here's a picture - not a very good one I'm afraid - I don't usually do pictures...: It's No. 453 incidentally. I've had the ends off before, but couldn't remember if the end-plates were easily removable. It's a pretty substantial piece of steel. I really have no Idea how it happened.
  7. One of the metal end plates on my Marcus 30-button G/D Anglo has suffered some slight damage. One of the corners of the hexagonal end plate has been bent slightly so that the corner is 'proud; of the underlying wooden end frame by ~ 3/32". I have no idea how this happened - I look after my instruments and do not throw them around, use them for juggling, or park them under the wheels of a 'bus... Question is, how do I fix it? The bend is 'smooth', Can I detach the metal plate from the end and carefully bend it back again, or does this need to go to a 'fettler'.? Ta.
  8. <off-topic on> My pleasure! The prices charged on some of these sites (and by some 2nd hand book dealers) for books which are still in print are often outrageous. In another area (Shogi) I have seen £200 being asked for a book which is still available at the originally published price (~£15). I have been conducting a low-profile, one-man crusade against these bloody bandits for several years now... <off-topic off>
  9. I'll add - if you do buy a copy of this book, buy direct from Dave Elliot: http://www.concertina-repair.org.uk/ The direct price looks to be much lower than the prices being asked on A*mazon, etc.
  10. I'll add that although I don't use GC's system, I do have an (experimental) program which uses a (modified/simplified) version of GC's numbering system to add simple (melody only) tablature to a score. Send me a list of tunes you want to learn, and if the tunes are in my tune book, I'll see if I can work up tabbed scores for those tunes. I'll need to know what keys your 'tina is in, and whether it's 20- or 30- button.
  11. As it happens, I don't use either of those systems, but two points: (1) I'd be a bit careful using two different systems - you could end up seriously confusing yourself. (2) The book by Chris Sherburn is a bit of a mystery to me (I have my copy in front of me right now). It uses a system of button numbering which is discontinuous, which I find very perplexing. Running across the rows from left hand to right hand, the numbering goes: left hand...0, 4, 3, 2, 1...change to right hand...5, 6, 7, 8, 9 which I certainly find a tad confusing. There's a diagram in the book (p.5) which sort of establishes a connection between 'finger numbers' and button numbers, but if you look at beginning piano lessons, these seem to use a different numbering system, which reflects the natural symmetry of the hooman body, and is pretty much the same as that used by the medical profession. Personally, I find this very intuitive. The books by Mick Bramich are very beginner-friendly, particularly if you don't read music (yet!). I started with Absolute Beginners Concertina. Mike Jones said: > Tutoring is also available on-line for most genres of music including concertinas I graduated from Mick Bramich's book to the Australian Bush Traditions online tutor when I started. Both the above use the same numbering system (different to both systems you mention, I'm afraid). John Kirkpatrick MBE has an online set of concertina tutoring notes here. There's also a series of (audio) files here created by Alan Day. IIRC, they come with scores (PDF) for the tunes covered. All of the above are, I think, aimed at C/G concertina... Once you run out of tunes (in whatever tutor you decide to use), there are a million tune books on the internet. They come in various formats. Among the very best are Paul Hardy's Tune Books. You can download a free PDF copy, or cough up a (very small) amount of cash for a properly bound copy. Aside: Gary Coover published a table about 10(?) years ago which described about 30 different systems (can't find the URL I'm afraid). I guess that's the beauty of 'standards' - there are so many to choose from. Welcome to the asylum...😎 Good luck whichever system you decide to use...
  12. That is absolutely hilarious! So is DW's original. Thank you both! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/With_Her_Head_Tucked_Underneath_Her_Arm
  13. I don't know if it includes the exercise you mention, but Alistair Anderson's tutor for English is available as a PDF download here. Somewhere on the internet, there are audio tracks which may include the exercises, they may be on his web site? Nothing definite there, but it gives you a couple of options for a further search...
  14. Moi aussi! I don't have the kit to make videos, so I've attached the ABC for one of my favourite 'church chunes' - 'Evening Hymn' from the VMP transcription of the Thomas Sands MS. I've also included the ABC for 'Great is thy Faithfulness'. PS. Thanks to Mike Pierceall for the composer information for GITF - my ABC was missing that information. gitf.pdf gitf.abc
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