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About W3DW

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    Advanced Member

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  • Interests
    Happily playing a Hayden-system Beaumont from the Button Box.
  • Location
    Georgia, USA

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  1. Alas, recovery requires the desire to change, or at least the conviction that such change could be possible or desirable. I'm afraid such a program would lack for qualified candidates.
  2. Asking leatherworkers what skiving tool is best is like asking this forum which concertina is best! I use a varient of the second tool you posted, using single edge razor blades, but a scalpel also works for me as well. I've had no luck with big machines with drive mechanisms except when working with saddle leather, but I just KNOW there's somebody out there who can skive gussets masterfully with one. Skifes are like concertinas - keep practicing! Daniel
  3. If you are looking for a sweeter rounder sound, the splendid BB shop elves can install a different grill cloth designed to reduce internal sound reflection, thereby reducing the higher harmonics just slightly. Consider an additional bellows fold as well if you plan solid chords and ensemble volume - I'm glad I added one. Daniel
  4. I'm a happy Durall reed Beaumont player who has employed cardboard baffles to smooth the tone further, so my desired concertina voice clearly eliminates TAM for me. I'm very much a chord and countermelody player and feel the reduced high harmonics help the notes blend, but that's me - you might like a brighter tone. Go to the YouTube channel of David Barnert at http://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZIVVA2D4DjWDhw8dc5o-vA and listen to the lovely bright tone of his concertina-reeded Wheatstone. If this matches the sound you want, then you'd probably prefer the TAM Beaumont. Another advertised feature of TAM reeds is quicker response, which would always be advantage. Can anybody comment on how much difference this actually makes to the playability of a Morse box? I'm delighted with my Beaumont - my best to you with yours! Daniel
  5. On my Hayden Beaumont, my left thumb can easily play the Ab that is needed to complete the key of Eb. It's just the happy coincidence of button location and a long, fat thumb, but it's much easier for me than reaching my index finger across the keyboard which necessitates shifting my whole hand as well. In fact, extending my thumb helps tilt my left hand toward the far side of the keyboard where the rest of Eb lives. I wish the two right hand Ab buttons were as easy to use! Daniel
  6. Again, Steve, what has been changed and improved?
  7. Little John wrote: "I don't rest my whole hand on the rest; only the back edge (little finger side) of the palm. The thumb side of the palm is about 1/2" above the rest and the thumb curls in to grip and tension the strap. So without altering the handrest you can curl your fingers comfortably over the buttons and play with the tip." This is how I am playing as well - my hand touches the hand rest only slightly below the little finger knuckle. My hand is primarily stabilized by the base of my hand on the fretwork and the back of my hand on the strap. And Anglo-Irishman wrote: "At one point, I did try raising the handrests on my Anglo and Duet (in a temporary and reversible manner) and making the straps a bit tighter, but being tied down a bit farther from the buttons wasn't as good (for me, at least) as being closer and free to move about." I, too, tried to raise the hand rest following the contour of my palm, but found that nicely curled fingers were not helpful for me if I didn't have the freedom to move my hand up and down my duet's rows. But you may find it helpful and removable pipe foam is quick and cheap! Daniel
  8. My early experience was the same as yours - a snug strap was secure, but limited my fingers and nice rounded fingers reached the buttons better but made the instrument feel insecure. Over time, the loose-strap insecurity lessened and I lengthened the strap several times. I think that I now support the instrument by extending my wrist gently against the strap, taking up the slack of the extra space I've created. My fingers assume the naturally curled position of my hand at rest. If you had set my straps as I now wear them and handed me my concertina when I was just starting out and said "There - that's perfect", I'd have thought you were nuts! Let your hand position evolve. Your flat-hand position will, in all likelihood evolve toward a more flexed-finger position, but only you can judge what will eventually suit you. Enjoy the journey! Daniel
  9. "Big changes at Stagi" is, of course, great news - good starter instruments encourage new players. What specific changes have been made to bring about this improvement, Steve? What has been done to make the action quicker?
  10. At the St. Louis Tionól nearly two decades ago I took a first-evening workshop with a title something like "Irish Dance for Session Musicians". Besides teaching a few basic steps to non-dancers and having a good laugh as well, it demonstrated to us that jigs and reels are dance music that was initially intended to be played at a lively but survivable tempo.
  11. And assuming that it is possible to completely prevent even one drop of rain or condensation from contacting the concertina, what are the consequences of playing in 100% humidity?
  12. My forebearers are arthritic, and I'm no exception. I've played guitar and mandolin (and lots of other things!) since my early teens, and the arthritis at the base of my thumbs - only an an annoyance now - might make playing fretted instruments impractical in the future. Solution? Learn Hayden concertina! All I need to do is waggle my fingers a bit using rather little force and few complex motions, and with that I anticipate a fruitful musical dotage. I recently encountered a delightful EC and found that if I use wrist straps I don't infuriate my thumbs, so another fine musical challenge awaits me. Will these squeeze boxes vibrate my hands to greater musical longevity? I hope so - I'd like to accompany you on guitar in some future year. Daniel
  13. But, Wolf, how would I carry the mandolin and guitar cases! I'm looking for the proper fittings to attach a shoulder strap to my strong, secure concertina case. When I consider all the abuse my various hard cases have absorbed over the decades, I put the convenience of a double-concertina soft case aside.
  14. I had both carpal tunnels released in the mid '80s and couldn't be happier with the results. Of course, rest (including rest enforced by a splint), ice and NSAIDs came first. My neurologist told me the weight loss can eliminate CTS in larger folks - he himself controlled his CTS that way. My surgeon used intervenous regional anesthesia which allowed me to watch the procedure! Daniel
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