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LateToTheGame

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About LateToTheGame

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    Advanced Member

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  • Gender
    Female
  • Interests
    Concertina, wooden flute, whistle et al
  • Location
    Chicagoland

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  1. When I was learning I had the same question.When I was learning in a vacuum, before I knew another concertina player and the internet was in its infancy I ended getting a G/D 30 stagi because I thought that was a logical decision. I didn't end up using it. As soon as I got myself a 30 key C/G I understood the ease of playing most Irish tunes on an instrument with that configuration. You do end up using all the rows. But that is actually quite easy. Probably the more pertinent question is Wheatstone or Jeffries systems. They are subtly different and if you switch you will not lose your mind for more than a couple of weeks. Correct me if I'm wrong hive mind, but I do think that most of the readily available inexpensive concertinas are Wheatstone models, while many of the newer hybrids lean towards the Jeffries. I am very happy with my Wheatstone configured Dipper, which I requested since I had been playing a Wheatstone configured Conner for years. While many others swear by the Jeffries system.
  2. I have not seen these in person, but does anyone have any experience with the new Blackthorn concertina? It seems like a good starter instrument at 999 pounds. The others are really only good for you to experiment with and see, "does my brain work this way" If you are already considering a 700 pound expenditure-- You will grow out of the others in a matter of months. Are there any rentals near you? Anyone you know you could borrow something from for a few weeks? If you think you may bail rental would be the best option. You will likely take a 200 pound hit on resale of anything if you abandon ship. Check and see what options for trade-in trade ups are offered as well. That may make a difference. As for a hard case, you don't really need one at this stage unless you are a kid or a terrible klutz. The kind of bag you can get for $20 will be fine until you find yourself trekking off to sessions.
  3. You can find out what key it is in by pushing the first button of the center row on your right hand side while holding the instrument in front of you with the straps over your hands. Push your hands slightly towards each other while holding that button down. This should be the button your index finger reaches easily. If it is a C/G instrument it should sound a C. When you are pulling your hands away from each other you will get a different note, but you don't have to worry about that right now. On the row closest to the strap on the same side push and sound that first button. It should be a G. If you are getting other notes you are likely in a different key. An older instrument may have gone slightly out of tune so it may be slightly off compared to your tuner or piano, but it should be in the neighborhood. A C/G instrument is the most popular for Irish music. If all the reeds sound when you push or pull that is a good thing. Don't despair if there is something rattling around inside or not all the reeds sound. If there are things rattling around inside I'd wait to test it. Broken parts can break other parts. Most things are fixable. Price will vary as to playability. Most people will have to bring it to someone to repair, though some here could manage it themselves. That serial number will tell you when it was made. Earlier instruments generally sound better than ones made later. But that is a generalization.
  4. If I'm not mistaken Noel Hill's system is vary similar to what they are teaching on the Online Academy of Irish Music. (Please chime in here if I am incorrect hive mind) If you are interested in getting that system under your belt you could subscribe for a month or two of their lessons. I have found them very useful over they years I have looked at them. If you had more options of fingerings you were comfortable with you might get more out of a camp or school situation.
  5. Great. I just wanted to warn you in case it was. It would be very sad to have it lost due to a technicality in a regulation that is about to be defunct.
  6. If this is Rosewood Cites II restrictions for international shipping certain woods, including Rosewood are going to be lifted on November 26. I can;'t tell what wood this is at glance but it may need a permit before that date. They did change the rules this year, effective Nov. 26, 2019.
  7. You are absolutely correct. I was thinking of the folks trying to keep an old cheapie like a well worn Stagi with leather bellows alive for a few more months while they wait for their name to hit the top of someones list. Certainly not a serious repair. Though in those cases leather patches would likely be a better bet. I know I had an old paper bellows accordion that I kept alive for awhile with pva glue and heavy paper patches. In that case it was one of those old small hohner piano keyed accordions declared suitable for decoration for the most part... It went through quite a few hands including those of many children before returning to the Goodwill store from which it came.
  8. I don't need to fix any bellows, but I wondered if any of you have experimented with this. (My brain is an interesting place) A few years back used this product in an electrical repair. Some seem dry brittle but some advertise themselves as remaining flexible. I believe the one I used remained flexible, but the repair is in a past house so I can't really check. I wonder if it would serve as a stop gap semi temporary repair when leather is beginning to crumble. Again, I wouldn't recommend using it without experimentation, certainly not on a valuable instrument, but even the liquid version of Flex Seal stuff they are pushing on infomercials looks like it could helpsome one get by on a cheap concertina or buy some time on a set of bellows that are going to be replaced. Just curious.
  9. Just email the Dippers. John Dipper takes care of the email stuff. He is sometimes away from the shop touring with his own music, But will likely be able to get back to you within a reasonable length of time. The contact link is on their website.
  10. I am not sure I could play without my air release button. In fact, I know I can't. There might be something going on with your hand and wrist placement or there may be something wrong with the design of your concertina. I have never played a concertina where I couldn't reach that button. Depending solely on bellows direction for air control may limit speed or emphasis as you advance. And I have seldom seen a concertina player playing standing up for any length of time. So I wouldn't worry about that too much. (Though I know of Morris players and parade bands that march or stand, and we can't forget those old Salvation Army bands back in the day,) Most of us likely play sitting down most of the time.
  11. If you get a Rosewood concertina from overseas remember the restriction on sending recent Rosewood due to Cites II endangered species rules. An old Lachenal will definitely be catagorized as antique and will be ok to ship with the right paperwork.. But you need to label it correctly or it could be held up in customs. My perfectly legal new wood Dipper spent 2 days with Homeland Security in Memphis while they determined this and/or what that unusual item was. I imagined folks at customs x-raying the box and saying what the heck is this? I do believe my package was opened and inspected. Chis Algar at Barleycorn Concertinas may have some advice on this. Or there may be a thread in General Concertina Discussion or somewhere on this site. I know of at least one flute that was sent without the proper permit and was permanently impounded and most likely destroyed. In that case it was modern Cocobo and the sender listed it properly as such, but didn't realize it was on the restricted wood list. Perhaps other viewers of this post could chime in somewhere on their international shipping experience.
  12. I used to work in leather making belts and coats and purses and we dyed things all the time. The problem you are having is you have started with a leather that has already been dyed so the dye you are using is just sitting on top of the surface. You can experiment with scraps of that white leather by sanding down the surface and then trying to dye it. It may or may not stick better. It would be best if you can find a piece of leather that has not yet been dyed if you are going to dye it, or something that is closer to the color you need. We used to use a dye that is still available in the US called Feiblings Leather Dye. These were aniline dyes. They absorb better than many, but will still have a hard time soaking through a leather that is already finished. But even these don't always soak in enough to stay permanently on leather that has already been dyed. Perhaps a shoe repair person or a tailor who specialized in making, repairing or cleaning leather jackets might have a scrap pile. I know we used to have boxes and boxes of scraps we would give away to anyone who asked. If you are playing the instrument for its functionality, don't be too worried about its looks. Others on the forum will have more experience with this. I am sure someone like Chris Alger in the UK would have some ideas. He has a shop that restores concertinas of all types. I don't know if he is on the forum. But you can contact him on his site. He might have leather of the correct thinness and color he could sell you or ideas of where you could find it.
  13. Is this a standard Jeffries layout or does it have some variations?
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