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Posts posted by LateToTheGame

  1. 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.

  2. On 8/16/2019 at 8:05 AM, sleepymonk said:

    I am just a beginner, so trying out different technical things on my Wren.


    I am slightly ambidextrous.


    I find that I am most comfortable resting the instrument on my left thigh. Changing to the opposite thigh seems unstable. This may have something to do with being a violinist and using the bow right-handed.


    The further the bellows open, the less stable it feels, perhaps because I worry about running out of air (my air button is out of reach due to right hand placement).


    It all feels really unstable if I play standing up!


  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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  5. Thanks for your responses.  It did fall into the category of "Only dogs can hear," to my less than perfect ears.   I've always thought of the concertinas and accordions the aircraft carriers of tuning at sessions.  Everyone needs to gravitate towards them since they cannot change.  I play the flute and find that I often will  consciously or unconsciously look at the box or concertina player as I hone in my tuning.  With flutes and whistles and fiddles we set our tuning to a note or two or 4 then manipulate our embouchures or fingers to stay in tune note to note. 


    The  "interference from other factors" makes sense.  As it is summer in my hemisphere I was reminded of that last week when I tried to play in a small room very close to an electric fan.  I sounded demented.


    I have a trivial question.  I was at a session last night and loaned a young player my Dipper.  Since she's a Jeffries player she was playing my Wheatstone system on the quiet, leaning over it to get her head close to hear while raising the instrument and tilting her hands towards her lap a trifle, sort of curling in to a fetal concertina playing position.  Two pros with excellent ears said her positioning was making the notes sound flat, with such confidence that it implied that this was common knowledge. If your hands are pointing down, the one who plays concertina himself said, you will sound flat.  I didn't think so myself, but my ears are not as highly refined.  I wouldn't play with my hands pointing down for long in a seated position, just to avoid pain, but one might if they were standing.  I would think with her curling herself around the instrument the sound might be muddled or muted, but not necessarily flattened.  Anyone else have experience with this?  The physics of the concept didn't add up. Again, this is super trivial and totally irrelevant, but peaked my curiosity.

  7. A recent posting on the flute site the Chiff and Fipple reminded me of the thread for people who make and line cases.   The experience of someone who lined a flute case with glued in foam and cloth only to find the glue he chose was somehow off gassing and corroding the keys on the flute, led me mention we should choose our materials carefully. Considering all the metal bits in our instruments, corrosion would be a big concern.  I recently got bottle of ph neutral pva glue to glue a curling bellows paper.  Sure I had Elmers in the basement.  But it seemed like the 8 dollar investment on a glue sold for bookbinding  made some sense.  I did use a drop on the concertina, and a couple of drizzles repairing a flute case lining, and will pass it on to a paper-crafty neighbor. 



  8. I am highly interested.  can you email me busterbill01@msn.com?   I don't know how to PM on this site and I'd like to talk how you want me to pay you and address for shipping and all that good stuff.   My email is pretty weird it is a zero not an O so if you don't copy paste it may not get to me.   I did make a mistake when I chose it but now most of my contacts use it.  So I am stuck.

  9. It sounds like you will be very happy with a hybrid with accordion reeds.  Since these are the ones with the most growl INMHO. So you are looking for one with the best action. And, depending on how ambitious you are you might just want to cross over to the button accordion.  Initially it may seem like a strange move after you've worked hard on an instrument, but I know quite a few doublers, including the ever so versatile John Williams.  If you are looking for a power machine the button accordion may be your answer.  They are easier to find and are often less expensive.  And currently they come in a range of sizes and tonal variations as well as keys.  Just a thought.

  10. I have no idea if this would work for you.  I have recently taken to wearing earplugs designed to cut out super loud noises in concert situations.  The brand I found were called Eargasms, but there are many other brands.  It seems to cut down the amplified sounds, but I can still hear myself and conversations.  Some of the sessions I play in have begun to mike and occasionally I find myself sitting next to a particularly loud banjo, accordion or bohran. It may not be enough for you, but I recommend wearing  them in any really loud situation like an amplified concert or working with power tools, so having a pair on hand might be good anyway.

  11. 21 hours ago, David Barnert said:


    Can anyone offer an informed opinion on whether it’s really a good idea to store a concertina 24/7 in a case that doesn’t breathe?

    An uninformed opinion requires the question, "What were the room conditions when it was put in there?"  If the humidity was in the 50% range and the room temperature was human friendly 58-70 degrees F I'd think it would be OK.   If you go into higher temperatures or higher humidity conditions you might have a mildew issue.  But at higher temps combined with higher humidity you'd likely have a mildew risk if you didn't air them daily.  Or even if you did.  Mildew is the most common problem in the summer in the midwestern United States, followed by wood cracking in the heating season. 

  12. Collin Dipper supplied the concertina in a pelican type case. I do not know if it is a name brand pelican or a pelican like case since it doesn't have a label, but it is just as sturdy and just as waterproof with great latches and a good seal.  (Though I have yet to toss it in a full bathtub to try it  ;)  ) He lines it to fit the concertina precisely.   My concertina was made in 2017.  I am not sure when he started this.  I am so glad I have it. 


  13. There was a story here I think, or perhaps it was a flute forum on the Chiff and Fipple site.  There was an event on the east coast USA with someone returning home to Canada.  I cannot remember the specific workshop/event just the story.  It appears I remembered only enough information to be confusing.   The point the poster was making to those of us traveling was to carry documentation if you have it, like a receipt if you keep such things.  I don't frankly remember if the instrument was taken or almost taken. I thought it was actually taken. But I do remember the story was told as a "cautionary tale."  Sorry my brain is so porous.

  14. I play flute and concertina and whistle and usually put all three in a bag when I go to a session.  And this year I found the perfect bag.  It is a Polar Cooler bag.  In my case it fits the pelican type case my Dipper came in, the slim Northwind Case (a hard case) I have my flute in, and a pvc pipe sleeve I've made for my whistle.  The PVC whistle sleeve is basically to protect it from the pelican case and the wooden flute case.  I realized I was putting my soft cased whistle in a bag with the equivalent of a cinder box and a brick... But I digress.


    I live in the Midwest USA where temperatures range from barbaric cold to semi tropical.  With the flute, if It gets too cold it won't play in tune until it warms up, and the concertina with all its wooden bits and valuable moving parts I thought thermal protection would be good, especially in the summer.    I believe I hit a home run with this one.


    These bags have superior thermal protection to anything else I have seen besides the Yeti, and have a great wide opening with a smooth operating zipper, as well as clips on the side that make the bag into a manageable rectangle after you zip it closed.  Mine is a relatively big one, one they sell for 24 cans of soda or beer.  If you were just carrying a concertina they have a smaller size that might work well depending on the size of your instrument and your case.  And they are rigid enough you could use it as a semi hard case on its own if you slipped your concertina in one of those Hohner soft bags.  I would think they would be useful for summer trips as well when we are afraid to leave our instruments in the car for even a minute. 


    I found mine on Amazon, but you might be able to find one at a brick and mortar store near you as well.

  15. There is current discussion in the next meeting in May to exempt small musical instruments from Cites II restrictions.  These restrictions have effected many niche markets like concertinas, bouzoukis and flutes (since african blackwood considered a rosewood species) as well as larger commercial enterprises such as clarinet and oboe makers, not to mention the big name guitar industry.  This will not affect Cites I objects, which I think are subject to forfeiture  if you cross international borders with an object even if you own it.  But don't quote me on that one. But there may be some relief on the horizon  for Cites II woods after that meeting.  Currently you can carry your own instrument across international borders if it weighs less that 15K, BUT EVEN A USED INSTRUMENT MADE BEFORE 2017 needs the proper permits if it is shipped or sold.  I have heard on this forum of someone having his concertina confiscated  at the Canadian border. They felt it was a new instrument and likely a new purchase.  Some musicians who travel are getting "passports" for their instruments available in the US at US Fish and Wildlife to eliminate hassles. 

  16. I'd ask her. I did a quick google of the course, but only to her speaking.  It is likely any of the above. She is shown with two concertinas a Carrol I think at a glance and an antique that I didn't look at hard enough to identify so I am not sure which she is playing for lessons. Sometimes the mechanical sounds of the instrument can be mitigated by miking or mixing, but if the lessons are already made they will likely be what they are.  Sometimes this sound can't be helped, or it is celebrated as part of the music.  I was recently listening to Noel Hill playing the Boys of Baillisadare and noticed his instrument clicking dramatically in the first few bars before the guitar joined in and again throughout the piece.  

  17. My dad used to make tool boxes out of 1/2 inch scrap plywood all the time. This was back in the day before every tool came in its own vacuum formed plastic box, and before strand board took over in the building trades. He'd come home from his carpentry jobs with "useless" pieces too good to throw out.  When he needed a tool box he'd sort out the pile leaning next to the door in the garage. He'd just make a hollow square or rectangle the size he needed out of those scraps, cut around it wherever he thought it would open best, sand it down, slap down a latch and a couple of hinges and he'd be good to go.  While they weren't elegant with their window sash handles, they were cheap and lasted forever.  I think I parted with the last one a year ago. No, never mind... I've still got one in the basement with the Porter Cable belt sander he used for decades inside.

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