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Posts posted by LateToTheGame

  1. Are you talking new or used?  Back in the 50s in the USA people were convinced that the piano accordion was going to be what the guitar eventually became, the instrument that every cool teen would want. With the Lawrence Welk show encouraging parents every Sunday night, they bought in and got the kids accordion lessons. Fast forward 50 years and those piano accordions have been tossed in dumpsters, given to the Salvation Army and Goodwill, but somehow still seem to pop up in Granny's attic to get listed on eBay.  While the characters may differ in South Wales, trajectory may have been the similar. 


    And piano accordions have gone on to establish themselves in musical traditions in South America, Mexico and the Southwestern US in a way that remains popular today.  European traditional music in France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland and Poland spring to mind as well.  That is actually are large number of players world wide.  So you get the economy of scale in a factory setting.  While the current explosion of Irish Trad adds thousands of players into the mix, the numbers just aren't there. Currently, most Anglo concertinas beyond beginners are still made in small shops of a few  craftspeople or just one.  Add to that all the little fiddly bits crammed into that tiny space and you've got something that is very labor intensive. 

    • Like 1
  2. I have one of these. Mine sounds very nice and is very nimble.  Good luck on the sale.  This should be very nice.  And if they are moving up from a beginning model with a Wheatstone layout, they won't have to relearn their top row first three keys on the right hand.   I have been very happy playing a wheatstone layout for ages.  This could easily be a lifetime concertina for someone.

  3. Do you have measurements?   It might help.   I thought wrote a reply about making one out of plywood or the insulated lunch and grocery bags out there,  Polar Bear and Coleman have various sizes and levels of quality.  but I don't see it posted.   I had a thought about a Singer Featherweight sewing machine case.  The old ones are actually sold at a premium, but a repro is possibly affordable.  But it may be too big for you. 

  4. C/G anglos are the best choice for Irish music.  There are exceptions when pros or folk who want to play solo pick an instrument in a different key.  But if you want to play along with 95% of the Traditional Irish Music out there, C/G anglo is the instrument for you.  Maybe that is 99.4% haha.  There will be players of other systems that swear they can play on other systems, and if they have other systems in their possession already it makes sense for them.  But if you want to start off with the system most pros, session players and living room players use it is the C/G.

  5. If you want the actual projected waiting time it is best to actually use the contact info and ask.  Websites are sometimes up to date, sometimes not, and things change all the time.  Many makers get piles of email from serious and not serious inquiries, so be pleasant and be patient.  

    • Like 3
  6. As many have said above, finding the alternative notes on the anglo keyboard is going to help a lot.  There are ways to play almost all the most common notes on both a push and a pull.  As you get more familiar with the keyboard this will make sense. The lower F# and the middle C# are likely the only common ones with one button/direction since you are working with the Wheatstone keyboard.  I say common because I am thinking like a Irish Trad player.  You will find more single notes as you lean into the flats.  But here is where I play devil's advocate.  You have a Phoenix now and shifting back to an English may set you back a few bucks.  But if you want to find a quality English you will be able to get a nice quality vintage English for less than an equivalent quality antique anglo.  This is due to market demand.  The worldwide popularity of Irish Trad music has made nice vintage anglos scarce and prices rise quite high.  And while new makers of custom instruments need to charge about the same for an Anglo as they do for an English, an excellent English can be purchased relatively reasonably.  And for what you are attempting to do, an English might be just the ticket.  Check out the English concertina listings at The Button Box in MA, and feel free to call and ask questions.  They may have some great advice for you, whichever system you stick with.

  7. 7 hours ago, tunelover said:

    Thanks for the helpful comments.


    Unfortunately, I appear to have developed a chronic pain in my left wrist, which I am guessing was triggered by concertina practice causing strain to the area. I am going to have to lay off the concertina for a little while (hopefully) while this heals.

    All of us, especially when we are older need to take things slow.  As my name implies I am of a similar age, but started 10 or 15 years ago +- depending on how you count downtime.  It is very important to get yourself into the proper hand position to avoid injury.  I would suggest you book an online lesson with a concertina player to specifically deal with wrist position and angles and all that good stuff.  I was fortunate enough to start my lessons with an All Ireland pro who had learned from his stuff from the great players of his generation and the generation before him.  He was very good at setting me straight on how to avoid injury.  One of his early lessons was how to hold the wrists solidly with most movement coming from the arms and fingers, and exactly how to angle the wrist as you hold the concertina towards your lap. These details will help you avoid stress injury.  If there is no great player nearby, covid has given a lot of great players and teachers a lot of experience teaching online through zoom.  Even if the budget won't allow an extended set of lessons, many teachers are good at getting you started.  Nothing beats having someone watch you and notice details about your posture we might not notice ourselves.

  8. 5 hours ago, Concertiny said:

    Interested in this if it is still for sale - but also need to know if it is Jeffries or Wheatstone layout. (Why do so few listings ever mention the note layout?)

     It is jeffries.  Which was mentioned in one of the original posters post. I remember because I am a Wheatstone layout player or may have been interested. 

  9. I

    2 hours ago, Forestsun said:

    Guten Abend,

    why so flinty and bitter vis-à-vis a fledgling who is trying to find his way through and share his thoughts about what price is acceptable for what kind of old, semi-old or modern instrument. I guess there's nothing wrong in questioning prices, especially as a novice,  and - being a rookie myself - I still find those big numbers tagged on a 30-key-anglo  a bit surprising, whilst one hardly finds a 20-key instrument reaching the 1000-Pound-mark. I would suggest that Mr. Wiegert's poor English language sounds somewhat rude in English ears, but, knowing the mindframe of my countrymen,  I'm sure rudeness or criticism is really not what he wanted to express.  My interpretation would have been that he wanted to share his reasoning and invite us to reality-check it and give him advise and feedback.


    Well, this is what we're actually doing, -  right?! -



    I think where the thread is leaning is: These are good questions best asked either in a Personal Message or in the General Discussion forum.  There are things I would like to know about the Steve Dickinson Wheatstones myself. Though I am currently not in the market I've become intensely interested in the minutia of anglo concertina history and evolution.  The question why concertina X should cost more or less than concertina Y or Z could be carried on as a General Discussion and a person would get input from many others.  Much could be learned by picking the brains of the experts on the forum. 


    For the most part I've found the folks here to be very understanding, and while occasionally we may seem "flinty" most folks here are very generous with their knowledge and experience and forgiving of the occasional misstep.  (I, myself have made a few verbal blunders here)  And, yes, what seems like an obvious direct question to one person might suffer misunderstanding due to the subtly of cross cultural communication.  But we can all grow together here through our common interest.

    • Thanks 1
  10. On 1/24/2021 at 5:50 AM, JayMiller said:

    In another life I used to clean up jukeboxes and pinball machines that had lived in smokey bars all their life. I would suggest a trip to the pet store to get some kitty litter (the kind that claims to have odor killing additives)and a box of activated charcoal like they use in aquarium filters.Fill a couple small baggies of each and toss them into the case. Give them a couple weeks to work and I think you'll see (smell?) a big improvement. 

    I thought of kitty litter too, as I've used it in musty smelling violin cases, but it is good to hear it works for smoke.


    I'd be concerned about the citus cleaners.  I use them a lot around my house but they are very strong, don't interact well with unfinished wood  (Like the inside of your concertina) and don't seem to be particularly fond of leather.    If you like the smell of orange or lemon you could put a tiny bit of lemon or orange OIL furniture polish on a dry t-shirt rag and test a small area.   These oils do some surface cleaning, but are not designed to have the "grease cutting" properties that the cleaners which are designed for cleaning your kitchen or your workshop are famous for.  Grease cutting = drying out leather and wood.

    On 1/24/2021 at 5:50 AM, JayMiller said:



  11. I was walking quickly through a room while out of the corner of my eye I spied Idris Elba holding a concertina.   No, he was not visiting. My son was watching Prometheus, a science fiction flick on a rather large screen.  I didn't stick around to see if the concertiina was actually played or if so for how long, but it was fun to see.

  12. Leaving it out to air


    putting some charcoal (like the bamboo charcoal suggested above, or even home made charcoal or briquets without lighter fluid impregnated) next to it in a box


    lightly rubbing it down with a dry rag


    giving it some time


    playing it a lot to move the inside air with a window open (sorry, winter)


    and the ozone cleaner suggestion above if you are in rush,


    are all suggestions that spring to my ex-smoker's mind.   It has been 35 years for me but I smoked as did my dad before me and none of the instruments or other items we used to smoke around have any odor.   It does take time.  But not that long.   You will smell it for a month or so if you keep airing it and playing it. But it will dissipate.

  13. If it is a nice old lachenal it might be best to find someone who knows what they are doing.  It is a rite of passage to take apart your concertina.  Many of us end up doing it eventually to dislodge dust or diagnose easy fixes on this or that.  But it is a bit daunting the first time round.   There are a surprisingly fair number of people out there who could do this for you, but you may need to send it off to someone.   Knowing what country and what part of the country you live in would help for recommendations.

  14. If you are interested in learning the anglo concertina in the Irish Traditional style, along with all the great books mentioned, The Online Academy of Irish Music has a great set of lessons for concertina. (more than 50 I believe)  They teach step by step on video so you get to see what is happening as well as hear it.  The beginner lessons get you familiar with the keyboard and teach simple tunes.  Each lesson adds a new note or skill or ornament, so you are building important skills all the time. The advantage of their "call and response" learning by example technique is you will develop the skills to pick up a tune by ear.  This is really  handy later when you want to learn something your favorite artist has recorded, or for picking up a tune "on the fly" in a session.  But they don't leave you hanging if you're a sheet music person.  They provide the written notes for every tune they teach, as well as a mp3 you can download and listen to when your not online.  


    They used to offer a week for free so check that out, and their price was in the $20 range last time I checked.  


    I was actually fortunate enough to live in the same town as a world class player so I got some great lessons too.  But it was really nice to access OAIM at 2am or 6pm, or whenever I had a time to focus. 


    Have fun!   Whatever

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