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lshillman

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About lshillman

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    Member

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Interests
    Concertinas, naturally! And chickens. And the morris.
  • Location
    Berkeley(ish), CA
  1. Will do, Adrian. I know some people who regularly host house concerts but will do some investigation into larger venues as well. Love the second Vernacular video, by the way.
  2. lshillman

    3D Printer And Concertinas

    Ooh, something I can talk about from experience. I have a consumer-grade FDM printer -- that's the most common type; it works by squeezing out plastic filament layer by layer. Think glue gun attached to an etch-a-sketch, controlled by a computer. You're mainly limited to ABS (same plastic as legos) or PLA (like compostable bioplastic food containers). I really wanted to be able to do the kinds of things being talked about on this thread, and my general conclusion is that it isn't worth it for more than temporary fixes. This is just my perspective as a hobbyist. Pros: You can quickly test out the general size and shape of something you designed. Which is its own kind of satisfying, even if your object is ultimately unusable. For cheaper Scholer- or Hohner-type concertinas, which are larger and have more plastic components anyway, printing replacement parts is more realistic. I was able to print a couple replacement buttons for the Scholer I started out on, but those were large-ish, uncomplicated plastic cylinders that only had to be epoxy'd onto the wooden action. for the bits of the concertina that don't have anything to do with sound, printing can be a lifesaver in dire circumstances. E.g., I broke my wrist last year at the beginning of Morris season. I designed and printed a custom hand bar replacement that fit the shape of my cast and prevented it from sliding around, thus enabling me to at least play melodies with my left hand. To be fair, I could've just carved something out of wood, but hey, I didn't have great use of my dominant hand. Also ended up printing a replacement handle for someone's case. Cons: Print resolution has been prohibitive. It isn't realistic with an FDM printer to do appropriately-sized buttons for standard instruments with riveted actions. (Lack of) durability. Depending on your printer, your mileage may vary. If you print at really slow speeds and use as tiny a layer height as you can, you might get something usable, but it will be fragile. Ridges. Unless you go nuts with post-processing, you're always going to have the ridges characteristic of all FDM-printed objects, which may bother you if your fingertips are in contact with the printed object for long periods of time. Build volume. Though this is improving, most consumer printers are limited in terms of the size of object they can print in one piece. I haven't tried to do anything big like fretted ends or reedpans (not interested in that sound), but most consumer printers are going to have to do them in two pieces. Edit: RAc seems to have had good results with Shapeways, which is a way you can get around this limitation, but they get expensive (of course, buying a printer is expensive too). I should say, if you splurge for one of the "prosumer" SLA printers that can do dental-grade prints ($5,000 and up), you'll have a different experience, but it'll still be plastic. Hope for the future: I wouldn't say that it's absolutely inappropriate to experiment with plastic instruments, long as it's acknowledged that they're imperfect prototypes. There's even a fully-printable violin that anyone can download. Obviously being demonstrated here by a pro, but it's far from the worst thing I've ever heard. Some people have gotten good results using a specialty filament that's partially made of wood, so that's interesting too. TL;DR: I wouldn't buy a 3D printer thinking it's going to be useful for concertina repair, but they're their own kind of fun.
  3. Looking forward to hearing it! I've contributed to the kickstarter campaign and would come see you live if I could... any plans to come to California any time soon? Luke
  4. Well, now my entire pantheon of concertina gods has responded to my silly thread about layout conversions. Hi Brian! I'm experimenting with your method and for the most part it works wonderfully, though on my hybrid it's tough to get through many tunes without a headache due to the extreme heights of the higher octave. May Day approaches, though, so I look forward to cutting viciously through those melodeons and our soprano saxophone (because why wouldn't we have a sax?). Thanks for the tip
  5. Daniel- Nice to meet you! Just sent you a personal message with my contact information. Jody- yes! I do love the mellow reed-organ sound of the G/Ds I've heard. So far I find that my vocal range is best suited to Bb/F, Morris is better in G/D, and C/G is good for compatibility with everyone else. So many concertinas, so little time... though I expect the expense of these buggers will dictate the timing.
  6. lshillman

    Jeffries 38 Button C/g

    Adrian, Thanks for the encouragement. Some of the reeds need tuning, a couple others don't speak at all. Which seems like a relatively quick fix, though I'm no expert. What concerns me more is the speed of the action, which is variable but not anywhere near that of my hybrid. Replacing the small and likely rusted fiddly bits are where I'm thinking the bulk of the expense will come from.
  7. lshillman

    Jeffries 38 Button C/g

    Thanks Ross. That was in fact the original plan -- I'll call Greg to confirm, but I'm fairly confident that the needed repair work will be out of my budget for at least the next couple years. On a side note, I'm from WNC and had no idea there were concertinists there! Must make your acquaintance some holiday.
  8. Oh no, my notifications weren't coming through! Apologies for my absence, folks. Jody- I ran into the same issue, where I was learning the entire Morris repertoire by ear and in the "wrong" keys. Hence my initial post about wanting to switch to a G/D. Though we do play a klezmer-style tune that's got a fun melody for the Wheatstone C/G (I play almost entirely on the draw). Pretty much everything else in our otherwise very English repertoire seems more suited to a D/G, at least with other musicians. Going on the advice of Adrian and others, I'm definitely interested in finding the right 38/40-button instrument soon. Complicating the matter is that almost every other concertinist I seem to meet locally plays ITM on 30ish buttons, so trying one out will involve either a leap of faith (sigh) or travel. I expect I'll get it figured out eventually; one of my stretch goals for the year is to be able to play some passable ragtime tunes, and those extra phrasing options sure would be nice!
  9. lshillman

    Jeffries 38 Button C/g

    Update: Many thanks to those who chimed in below. The instrument has gone to Greg for rehabilitation. I bought this instrument on eBay last month (original listing here; scroll down for details), wishfully thinking that I'd play it as-was for a couple years before plunking down the rest of the cash to have it fully restored. Turns out that, while it's mostly playable, it needs more work than I hoped I'd have to do to get it up to where I personally need it. Cosmetically, the ends are in *beautiful* shape. The bellows was replaced at some point and is perfectly good, but lacks the Jeffries papers and tooling. I'd like to recoup my original expense, so I'm asking $4,250 plus shipping, and of course cnet will get its due. I'm in California and would prefer to ship to the US, but I'm sure other arrangements can be made if needed.
  10. Many thanks for the detailed responses, Jim and Adrian. Jim, good point about the projection of a C/G over the G/D. Our Morris band (Berkeley Morris) is relatively large -- we sometimes have more musicians than dancers, and I never play alone -- so it has definitely been useful to have a clearly audible instrument. Adrian- I have admired, and aspired to your work from afar! If both of you are advocating Jeffries for harmonic arrangements, well then, I'll just have to switch. As to why I've felt limited in G... for the longest time I couldn't get my hands to play melody and accompaniments at the same time, but after I picked up a D/G melodeon some months ago and learned the basics, chords on my concertina suddenly clicked into place and made a lot more sense. Which is to say, I've been playing in sort of a melodeon-like vamping style, mostly sticking to the C row but borrowing from other rows when necessary. But in my case this means I'm usually playing in C, and I still haven't quite wrapped my head around playing a G melody entirely on the RH side. I know I'm not really making the most of the instrument and I can tell I'll need to make another few cognitive adjustments to get where I want to be. As an aside, I'm largely musically illiterate and playing entirely by ear. Though Morris is currently where I'm getting the most practice, I do ultimately want to be playing more complex music and have more options for expression. When I upgrade from my current hybrid (30-button Clover), probably soon if my progress is encouraging and if a suitable instrument can be found, I was thinking I'd look for a 38-button instrument. Seems like many on this forum find 38 to be the sweet spot. Does this change the Jeffries recommendation? I have noted that all the 38-button concertinas I've come across have been Jeffries, but that could just be my luck. Luke
  11. Long time lurker here, hope to post more in the future. I've been playing a C/G hybrid for about a year now and have come to the tentative conclusion that for my primary use case (Morris), I'd be better off with a G/D since I want to be able to play harmonies and chords with other morris musicians. I've gotten to a point where it's easy enough to play our repertoire tunes in C or F harmonically, but if I stay in G my options are much more limited and I tend to end up playing melody only, which isn't terribly interesting for me. Opinions on this conclusion are welcome, of course, but onto the main question: Sometimes I'll see a used G/D for sale, but half the time it's got a Jeffries layout. I'm much more comfortable with Wheatstone, but I don't want to always be passing up a good deal if it would be easy/affordable to have it converted. So... would it be? I'm mainly talking about hybrids here since they're affordable and readily available; I understand the reed pans are a different beast from those in "nice" concertinas. But since I also want to invest in a nice one at some point, the question applies there, too. Much obliged for any advice from all you sages on the forum. Luke
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