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About LateToTheGame

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    Concertina, wooden flute, whistle et al
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  1. LateToTheGame

    Concertina care

    Ha. With modern central heating humidity seems to drop more. In smaller pre- WWII houses heated by coal or wood the temperatures were seldom as warm as we expect now with modern radiators or forced air central heating. Humidity was also added with the constant stream of moisture from cooking three meals a day in a small kitchen, not to mention the sheer number of bodies exhaling, and laundry air drying in the basement or kitchen. My parents built a 25 x 25 foot story and a half house with three bedrooms in 1939. They truly expected to raise 5 to 10 kids in there. And even the wealthy with more room to spare would seldom have their heat up to what we expect as normal today. Conditions have changed in the past 60 years.
  2. LateToTheGame

    Dipper For Irish Trad

    My dipper is a 34 key model with no drone. But most common would likely be the 31 button, with a drone of your choice, likely d. I particularly like the smaller size. Mine measures about 5 3/4, but I think that is due to the extra keys. It is still smaller than most other concertinas. I would tell the Dippers what you want and ask what they recommend. They are experts at this. The tone and action are amazing. I am a mediocre player, but have had a pro give it a whirl and astounding music bounced itself out. I have heard some express concern that they might end up pushing and pulling more due to the smaller size across the flats, but it have not experienced that. The instrument is so responsive and the action so well engineered that the air requirements are perfectly balanced. The button touch is so perfect I have never really focused on what size they are and wouldn't know how to measure. John Dipper is handling the email side of the business these days and is quick to respond. I asked for wooden ends. There are a couple of other Dippers that appear in sessions in Chicago and they both have wooden ends.
  3. My Dipper came in a pelican case lined and blocked in such a way compress the bellows completely while not touching the keys. I assume the Dippers know what they are doing. Pelican cases are known to be waterproof. If the air around you is damp enough to mildew things put on a shelf (like books or laundry) you may need silica gel, but I'd put a hydrometer in a case if i were messing with the humidity just to make sure you didn't go down too far. My humidity control is in the room given the swings in dry/humid air in the midwestern USA. I have humidfiers that run in the winter and dehumidifiers that run in the summer.
  4. LateToTheGame

    For Armistice Day

    I just opened this. It downloaded quickly for me.
  5. I like to keep my straps very snug as it gives the right balance between an anchor for my hands and the arch to get around the keyboard. My hand feels the rail more near the little finger end, and the strap more on the forfeinger end, if that makes any sense. I have seen great players with "looser" straps, but on close viewing of their hand position they are arching in such a way that at least a part of the hand is anchored firmly and the rest is held down by the strap. For at least a nano second between notes all our fingers are up in the air. The concertina has to be stablized by either wasting a finger or using the base of your hand. The flat of your hand may not make contact with the rail all the time, or at least mine doesn't. I need some arching in there to reach around the buttons. I have two good concertinas and find the one with tighter straps gives me more stability. Just pay attention to what your fingers tell you. If you are experiencing any pain consider if there are any issues regarding the straps. Though pain can come for different reasons. I recently had a lot of finger pain after I learned a Angela Carrberry and Martin Quinn set. In that case I realized It was because I was trying to duplicate the banjo triplets too specifically and began to hone in to the accordion instead. So pain can come from multiple sources. So, in answering your question from my limited experience, if you can reach everything you want and don't have any pain you are likely fine.
  6. LateToTheGame

    Colin Dipper Pride of Albion Anglo

    Make sure both you and your buyers do homework regarding their country's systems on Cites II restrictions for exporting and importing woods if you are selling outside your home country. Rosewood is currently on the restricted list, though they are talking about changing that for musical instruments in 2019. It would be a shame to have this purchased only to be destroyed at customs. Antique instruments are exempt, but not used ones. I think antiques are more than 40 years old, but I can't remember now. I would check with your country's agency for specifics. In the US the agency in charge of this is U.S. Fish and Wildlife. The agency will vary country to country. There was a used Cocobo flute shipped from the US to the UK early this year. The seller did not realize Cocobo was on the restricted list and the instrument was confiscated, gone for ever. I was told by U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Chicago office over a year ago that an instrument sold became a commercial transaction as of the date of the sale, whether it was made pre-cites II or not. This was right after the law came into effect and interpretations may have changed. You will likely need an import and export permit for the wood for both the shipper and receiver. There is a lot of info on this on the Chiff and Fipple Flute forum as blackwood was also restricted. Flutemakers have a lot more paperwork to do making sure they have a paper trail that the wood they use was sustainably harvested. As I said, they are reviewing these rules (at the Hague?) with the idea they may exclude musical instruments next year. As it currently reads you can travel with your personal instrument containing up to 15 kilos of restricted wood. So would you be skirting the rules if you took a trip and brought it home? I don't know and I'd hate to find out by seeing my Dipper walk down the hall under a customs person's arm never to be seen again. At least one Canadian lost his personal hybrid after a gathering in the US because the Canadian Customs agent thought it looked "too new". It was assumed he was trying to get around the rules. So people are encouraged to travel with their old reciepts if they have them. Again, if the powers that be make the exception for instruments this may no longer be a problem in a year or two. These rules are taken very seriously. I recently had a new Dipper shipped to the US. It spend a couple of days in "Homeland Security" where it was opened and viewed. In my case the woods were all Cites II compliant and clearly listed on the customs declaration. Chris Algar may have some info on this.
  7. Thanks for the glue advice. I am thinking water soluble is best since I want to experiment with something reversible. But it does need some strength or I'd end up with a rag rolling inside my concertina. I bet that would slow things down a bit.
  8. LateToTheGame

    Concertina care

    Getting back to the original poster's question. I have a question of my own. Do you have a friend you can trust who has played violin for quite some time? If their house is humidified properly to keep the violin alive perhaps they could baby sit your concertina. The issues are different as mentioned above by Greg J.. A violin responds to in case humidfiers, as well as room humidity, but even those need refilling weekly. So most violinists have at least one room with a room humidifier. With winter in Maine and the possibility of frozen pipes keeping you from turning your thermostat waaaayyy down your whole house could drop to 10% or less. it could be a struggle even with a concertina in a plastic bag. If you go the bag route make sure it is a zip lock or taped firmly shut and keep it away from any heat source or direct sunlight. Make note of where the sun tracks in your house during this season. You don't want to have it getting a direct shot of sun. This changes seasonally as the sun dips lower in the winter and higher in the summer. So pay attention to how it is going the week before you leave.. Good luck to you. I live in an urban area and most of us with instruments get a neighbor who understands the issues to come in and fill our humidifiers every few days.
  9. What sort of glue did you use for the various lining materials mentioned in this thread?
  10. Take what ever time and Occupational Therapy you can. No tendon damage here, but I had 2 fingers badly broken on my right hand and a third one sprained. That was last June. After surgically pinning one I got out of the splint by late August. I was a highly motivated patient and did whatever my O.T. told me until I graduated in December of that year. Take it easy, take it slow. Push it when they tell you to, how they tell you to. Do whatever they tell you. Don't do stuff you're not supposed to. Your Occupational Therapist will be your guide. Tendons are tricky. Healing is possible.
  11. I was in Chicago, but not in the Irish Music scene when a 16 year old Michael Flatley danced alone on stage with an accordion. I assume it was Jimmy Keane but I didn't know him yet so I didn't focus on that detail. It was the University of Chicago's Folk Festival, a random group of folk and world music (before that was a term) fans who'd get together every year to listen acts that were old time Americana, immigrants celebrating their heritage players or non commercially known international acts. Getting Michael Flatley's "fastest feet in the world" at 16 just squeaked into that "not commercial" window of time.
  12. Riverdance and hybrids. No, really. I started playing Irish Trad in the early 90s. I had been looking around for instruction in the 80s and not finding much. Even here in Chicago, if you weren't part of a certain generation of families who immigrated at just the right moment and ended up in the same neighborhoods, there was no guaranty that you'd find players or teachers. Sessions in pubs around town were just on the cusp of starting and being noticed. Earlier here were some social associations that kept up the music and raised a young generation of great players, most of whom you've heard of. But even with Liz Carrol's All Ireland title in '75, Jimmy Keane, Seamus Egan, Michael Flatley and John Williams earning titles and the Bothy Band and Chieftains touring with reeded instruments, Irish trad was an oddity you had to really look for. Then came Riverdance and Bam! kids were bugging their parents to take them to dance classes and music lessons. Cds were being sold. Sessions popped up everywhere, but concertina's were still pretty hard to find. Stagis and old Lachenals were the beginner's options. Then Bob Tedrow started making hybrids. (Was he the first? I don't know) But the availability of playable concertinas and pop culture finding Irish dance through Riverdance set up an appetite for anglos. Riverdance brought Irish music so deeply into the entertainment psyche, Third Rock-- I have a clear memory of John Lithgow with a necktie around his head doing his Flatley imiitation, The Simpsons- protestant heaven vs. Catholic heaven, Family Guy (I think) and others I can't remember. Then there was Mike Meyer's playing Flatley on the MTV movie awards. But I digress... Irish music became a movement. What has this to do with anglo vs. english concertinas you ask... Visability.
  13. LateToTheGame

    Irish Trad in D Major

    This may or may not be a direct answer to your question, but I sometimes I discover as I gain speed in a tune that I need to rethink my fingering. I may have too many changes in bellows direction that become distracting musically or just plain hard as I increase in speed, for example. Also, I have begun to play more chords for accent and find I may need to be in a certain bellows direction or on one or another hand to make the tune make sense. The a and g on the top row are becoming more useful to me after years, and I wished I had familiarized myself with them earlier. So I definitely move out of the rows more.
  14. LateToTheGame

    20-Year Anniversary of Concertina.net

    Thanks so much for being here and putting this together. I joined you guys in the earlish 2000s, but lost my username and password. But I enjoyed checking out the posts as a guest and finally re-registered a couple of years ago. I learned so much here!
  15. LateToTheGame

    Fun Tunes. What's your favorite C/G anglo

    Thanks, I never heard this one before. Any yes, I probably did post this in the wrong forum. I am less than organized on occasion. Thanks everybody. Joe Bann's Barndance was the first tune I learned with harmony. I was sure I couldn't after a couple of weeks, but after about 3 it all made sense. John Williams plays this with Joseph Sobel and Martin Hayes in Joseph Sobel's Citernity CD. On that CD it is titled Bill Malley's. Of course they are not playing in a key that translates well to a C/G. So I listen to it a lot then try to play it from memory. If you have the Amazing Slow Downer you can tune it, but I never became good at that. John's playing is exquisite on that track which includes Gypsy Princess as the second tune.