Posts posted by LateToTheGame
The value of Wheatstones varies greatly by year of manufacture and, of course, condition. If you are in the US you could contact The Button Box in MA to give it a look. Or maybe Greg Jowaisas who is a restorer (firstname.lastname@example.org) could give you an opinion. In the UK there is Chris Algar at Barleycorn concertinas. There are others that members may mention. A 1956 concertina is not one of the highly valued years as the internal mechanisms changed over the years. But if it is in good condition it could be an instrument that someone would enjoy a great deal. There is currently a 1952 Wheatstone on Ebay that is described as highly playable in restored condition. It is listed at $2400 and has not moved in over two weeks.
Are there any concertina players near you? A hands on look by someone who plays will give you an idea if it is operating properly.
If you were trying to sell it here or online most buyers would want to know if it is a restoration job or ready to play. People will likely ask for photos of both the outside and the inside. Taking apart a concertina is not rocket science but it is a bit daunting for someone who has never done it.
Good Luck with your Sale
The bellows tear may have slowed some bidders down. There was no indication of playability etc. So it is the classic "pig in a poke" as they used to say.
I'm in a similar age group with no underlying health conditions. You won't find me even going out to eat when things open more. I know how hard it would be for my family if I got sick. Lots of folks still depend on me for care taking and mentoring. If I were 30 and not interacting with older folks, maybe. We can't control other's behavior around us in public so I avoid going out as much as possible. If I were in a smaller town with no tourists or out-of-towners, maybe. Music has become a solitary activity. But after all my decades of experiences and changes it is just another thing to adjust to.
Anyone have any experience with USPS within the states? I sent a concertina a couple of weeks ago and it arrived 2 days ahead of schedule. I would have sent it priority but my son was doing the in person stuff at the PO and things got mixed up. I had forgotten this tip I was told a year or so ago that if I wanted to ship a valuable piece with USPS I should send it registered mail. With registered mail within the USPS a signature is required from every person who handles it. While this may slow things down a bit (or not) each person who touches it will careful damage along the way.
On 5/18/2020 at 6:29 PM, pentaprism said:
As used by neotechstraps.com.
When my kid played sax he had a neoprene strap. It was elastic enough to provide some give, but stable enough. The neoprene part of the strap is often pretty wide to distribute the weight of an instrument, (though I did notice they had a trombone hand strap that might be interesting.) Alternatively, if you can stitch, an inexpensive computer bag or wine bag might give you material to experiment with. Though, neoprene does vary in weight and thickness and therefore strength.
As the whole earth has made a siesmic shift, many great players and teachers are now reaching out online.
John Williams of concertina fame is making himself available online. He's become quite a multi instrumentalist, performing with concertina, accordion, whistle, flute, guitar, piano and bohran to name a few. And he has experience helping aspiring violinists make the transition into excellent fiddle players.
Over the years I have seen him guide students of varying ages and levels of talent into happy musicians. He is a teacher steeped in the tradition with an encouraging spirit.
Years ago I took flute lessons with him, then decided late in life it was time to pursue the concertina so I know of which I speak.
13 hours ago, alex_holden said:
An old neighbor of mine who I have lost touch with had a tastefully stained modern hybrid. It was a cheerful green with wood undertones. I can't remember the maker, but it was a nicely made hybrid with decent action and sound. I do believe it was an instrument made in the US about 10 years ago so that sort of narrows things down.
The rochelle might frustrate you sooner than you want. It is good for figuring out where your fingers go, but you will grow out of it if you want to develop any speed. I have heard some great things about the new Blackthorn, but I have not seen one. I would ask around about that if you are considering the Swan. I recently saw a post in a FB forum where someone received one with a defect, got great customer service for a replacement and is quite pleased.
Sorry about the italics, but my computer just defaulted to this for this post and won't let me out. HaHa
I have mostly played C/G but have alternated between playing some tunes across the rows then relearning them along the rows and going back and forth. I'd think the easiest way to get going on an instrument in a different key would be by learning a new tune. You could do that while you wait. Shifting the key of a tune you might be learning to a key where it demands to be played across the row. It may sound weird at first, but could change your brain finger connection a bit while you wait for the right instrument.
Just thinking outside the box here, so to speak. Enjoy!
4 hours ago, David Barnert said:
Can anybody offer an informed opinion as to whether it’s a good idea to store a concertina in an airtight case for long periods of time?
Define a long period of time... My Dipper came in its box in 2017 if I remember correctly, and it has lived there ever since. This type of box has only been around for 4 or 5 years give or take, so the jury may be out on that.
I guess if I were concerned regarding humidity I could put a hydrometer in there to check. If I were in, say, in a rain forest, putting it in there would perhaps require some drying agent since the air I'd close in with the concertina would be pretty humid. I do know of someone who planned to take a concertina to sea in a small sailing vessel. It could be an issue there.
Likewise if I were in a desert humidification might be required.
I do live in the midwestern US where humidity fluctuates pretty wildly from summer to winter, but my house is humidified in winter and air conditioned in summer so things are pretty even.
On 4/16/2020 at 5:16 PM, Richard Mellish said:
I'v e just taken a look. It does look promising, except that shipping to the UK (or presumably anywhere in Europe) and the estimated import charge (presumably VAT) between them more than double the price.
I'd contact the Dippers and ask where they get theirs. There may be a UK source.
A recent discussion on the buy and sell page regarding the latches on pelican cases leads me to share a case identical to the one my small Dipper came in a couple of years ago. I assume they are available beyond the US, but I bought one one Ebay US for another small concertina.
The listing reads 10" Deep Waterproof Case Box 4 GoPro Camera Gun w/ Pelican Style foam. The Dippers did not use the foam, but lined the box to fit the concertina exactly. But you could likely use the foam too.
I don't know if the box comes in other sizes, but the latches are faced front and very easy to open and close. Since I play more than one instrument in a session I leave it on the floor at my feet, take the concertina out of the latched case quickly and pop it back in a latch it up easily.
Have you looked into the pelican camera boxes and their look a likes in other brands? I know some sizes fit anglos. I am not sure how much bigger an English is. Good Luck!
1 minute ago, Stephen Chambers said:
Yes, but here in Ireland there's a big differentiation made between "traditional music" (which is what you are describing) and "folk music"/"the folk revival"/"ballads" - they're not the same scenes at all, though they can overlap, whilst what The Bee's Proverbial Knees is describing is the latter.
And the banjo type favoured by the likes of Tommy Makem, Luke Kelly, Lou Killen et al. was the long-neck, 25-fret, Pete Seeger-style 5-string, with open back and played in the old frailing manner - not the bluegrass 5-string banjo style you're describing.
Meanwhile, the Anglo concertina has only risen to such dizzying heights in Irish music in my lifetime. It used to be played almost entirely by a small number of players in Co. Clare, where there have also been English concertinas played...
True. And Clare has an out sized influence in the Chicago scene. You are right about the folk revival being different than the ITM folks, but I thought I'd just add a bunch of info. In the eighties I thought I was more interested in the folk revival style as I had an interest and backgound in 5 string and guitar, but ITM just sort of grabbed me at one point. I think, here, it is the lively community of superb musicians that are willing to sit down and play with us mere mortals. LOL
If you are trying to accompany your own singing you may want to find the keys setup that works best for your voice. Though I suppose that your could play in any key on any anglo the button combinations and octave you play in may be off. Check out Barleycorn concertinas for examples of some of the less than common keys available. If you know the key your voice prefers you could ask them what they have in stock that fits you. The Button Box in the US also occasionally has odder keys in their used stock if your voice is not a good fit with the C/G or D/G instruments that are most available. If you can spend some money you can get an instrument that will last you for the rest of your life.
I remember going to a Roberts and Barrand concert years ago and at least 2 concertinas were used. It was before I learned to play so I didn't ask what keys or what type.
Chicago has a mighty concertina session tradition with John Williams as one of the central figures in both performance and session music. While I have seen lots of concertinas in sessions I have only ever seen one English in my 30 years of sessioning in this neck of the woods. And that player years ago borrowed my anglo to advance his Irish Traditional music playing. As for banjos, while there is one fellow that plays the 5 string in town, the tenor is the go to banjo for session or performance. I know at least one player that plays 5 string and tenor as well as mandolin and guitar as a professional musician. He always plays tenor at Irish sessions when he plays banjo.
While there are some great performers playing 5 string banjo currently as well as the players mentioned above, they are still the exception for session playing or singing accompaniment at least around here. I think I saw a video of Winnie Horan playing a 5 string a couple of years ago, but I don't actually remember. I was researching 5 string banjo in Ireland for my 5 string playing session mate some years ago and discovered that the 5 string as well as the 8 string were played widely in Ireland in the 1800s and the turn of the century but the tenor gradually took over. This may have been an availability trend since tenor banjos were used in English and music hall music so they may have just been around. Mick Maloney wrote a bit of a history of the banjo in Irish music I read some time ago. Most modern Irish session playing centers around a particular flat picking style that plays the melody as well as provides a foundational rhythm. While most 5 string player use finger picks or a clawhammer style that other session players sometime find disconcerting. Those styles sort of flow rather than rat-ta-ta-tat or da dee da dum as it were.
If you are trying to accompany yourself singing you could play banjo or guitar or concertina. We have a great bohran player here in town that accompanies himself on bohran for that matter. LOL
There are a couple of questions you might consider as you think about an instrument. Will you be playing mostly alone or try to play with others in a session scene? If you are playing on your own, the instrument you pick will just need to be the one you are most attracted to.
The next question is how many dollars will you ultimately have to spend on an instrument. You can get an excellent banjo for less half the price of an excellent concertina. Concertinas are amazing. But they are also mechanical marvels that take a lot of time and skill to produce. Even the cheapest anglos that you will grow out of in a couple of years will cost $500. While good antique english concertinas may cost less because there is a smaller market for them. So there is that.
Have I confused you enough? I toss out all that info since I as a newbie flailed around quite a bit trying to find out what I wanted to play and how. More information back in the day would have been welcome. I really am not trying to drive you insane.
Do you know what type of music you want to play. It it is traditional Irish you will want to go anglo C/G. But for other types of music English could be best. Good Luck.
Chicago has yet to go to dots on phones for tunes in most ITM sessions I've been to, but I see more singers using them for lyrics. I guess it seems less intrusive than pulling a folded piece of paper out of a pocket. So people who wouldn't have considered it a few years ago are doing it now. We are sort of carrying our brains in our pockets these days.
20 hours ago, Ken_Coles said:
Some years ago, some musician (anyone here know who?) offered canal boat tours, stopping for libations and music over a number of days. They retired from that business, which left my wife and I sad, as we had just learned about it and would have loved to come across the pond to do such a trip (and I am no boat handler!). Anyone care to revive it all? ?
John William's is leading a sight seeing, sessioning tour in Ireland sometime in 2020. I lost track of when. It is unlikely there will be boats involved, but it could be a very good time. I think it's through Wild Atlantic.
It will need a good evaluation to set a fair price. You could try an auction or contact an expert. Even selling it online will take the courage to take it apart to photograph the insides. If you've not done that before it can be a bit daunting. There are two or three people in the States that spring to mind if you are in the US. I don't know who are the best bets elsewhere. But I bet someone here does.
My 4 year old Labrador now just gives a couple of good, "Oh, we're doing that now," howls, then goes and lies down in disinterest. Sometimes, if I'm playing in the kitchen she will stare at the door so I let her out. When she was a pup it was a constant sing along. I basically didn't reinforce her at all negatively or positively. I just ignored her. Your mileage may vary.
On 1/22/2020 at 8:31 AM, John, Wexford said:
In this recording, Noel Hill is playing an A? / E? concertina, which is the same as saying that he is playing an E? version of a G / D concertina.
I read this as not A/E but A something or other symbol I don't understand and E something or other symbol I don't understand LOL. What that does that mean? I am interested.
I was told he was playing a Bb/F, which would correspond with an A#/E# if that is what those symbols mean.
in Buy & Sell
I had a conner for years. It was very very nice. Again, who has been playing it and where it has been will make a big difference. If you are buying used make sure you know your seller. And make sure you can return if it you don't like it. And best, play it in person. Sometimes Hobgoblin has a Connor.
Conner's are not hybrids, but rather made on the Wheatstone model by John Connor, now retired. He was a maker at the Wheatstone Co. who struck out on on his own. Some of his concertinas used salvaged concertina reeds, others new I believe. He initially started out sourcing reeds with Chris Alger's Barleycorn Concertina company if I remember correctly. I may be wrong on that detail.
I think the Wheatstone key layout is what you have on that Rochelle, But a lot of players moved towards the Jeffries. The differences are subtle, with 3 or 4 notes in different places on the upper right hand. The most relevant to a new player the C# placement.
After 20 years of play my Connor appreciated a fresh tuning and adjustment by a pro (Greg J) here in the states. But the bellows and action were still fine and it certainly remained playable as it was.
At your price you can also go down the hybrid/true concertina reed instrument rabbit hole. Many people with your budget and your son's experience are very happy with the hybrid concertinas out there. The plus side is they can be purchased new off the shelf with a warranty from someplace like the Irish Concertina Company or the Button Box in the US and often sound very good. I have heard Morse played very well. Hybirds can sometimes sound like small accordions rather than true concertinas. But not always. And the action can be a mite slower, but hybrid makers have been perfecting their craft for the last 20 years or so and some sound very nice.
You might want to start another discussion looking for recommendations on hybrids as well.
Not Sure How to Sell a Concertina
in Buy & Sell
Thanks for the corrections, typos seem to be my specialty.