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Everything posted by W3DW

  1. I can't speak to the Holmwood, but my model 21 is quick and assertive, but not abrasive.
  2. Since the experienced Anglo players here have made it clear that playing both with and without the little finger is acceptable, my question to the OP is "why wouldn't you try it out?" I asked the same question of myself when I started playing Hayden and decided to try, since if successful I could boost my button-jamming manpower by 33 1/3%. Sure, my little fingers seemed weak and even more uncoordinated than it's three larger brothers (though a lifetime playing guitar and bass helped) but soon the little guy fell into line. Now, Hayden offers a regular assignment to a fourth finger since fa-sol-la-ti are usually in a line beside each other and I don't know how it would be best used in the Anglo world, but why not give it an adequate trial? Using my little fingers has become my default pattern unless some other fingering makes more ergonomic sense, and other musicians go without and play just fine. See what works! Daniel
  3. The Troubadour is new to the market, and while the Button Box has one, there's no recording yet. BB has a Peacock with a sound sample, and Liberty Bellows also has a Peacock in stock and a sound sample as well. I'd forgotten that JeffLeff has the smaller Wakker - $6075 not $8750, but still a long wait, I expect. I'd order the bigger one if I were younger and rich! My personal opinionated opinion is to pass on the mirrored keyboard. It is probably a help in the first weeks of learning, but your fingers will be learning a new foreign language either way, and soon either keyboard will become second nature. I don't see any biomechanical advantage or disadvantage to the system once muscle memory has formed. Haydens are already rare beasts, and a mirrored one is a rarity among rarities! Wakker is the only source I know of for mirrored instruments, and they'd be tough to resell, too. Of course, Wakker would take one back on trade in. Also, BB would give you full trade-in for a (bought new from them) Wakker if you want a Beaumont - that's the route I took. Check with them when they re-open to be sure they still do this, and even if they do, they might not choose to do so for a mirrored one. And listen to their three Beaumont sound samples - they are excellent. Again, happy hunting. Daniel
  4. Don Taylor is correct about the difficulties of finding concertina-reed Hayden because of their recent invention. However, you might find that you prefer accordion reeds, as I do. It's a matter of personal choice, so give a listen to both - best in person, of course - but here are a few suggestions. You can hear genuine concertina reeds by searching YouTube for JeffLeff, who plays a Concertina Connection Hayden which is lovely and requires a long wait and $8000+. David Barnert of this forum plays a rare Wheatstone Hayden duet concertina and can be found with a YouTube search of "Hayden duet concertina David Barnert" since the name of his channel - Dr. Sleep - brings up hits for a film of that name. Boy, can David play! A YouTube search for "George plays music" and "soloduetconcerta" will get you recordings of a Button Box Beaumont hybrid (that is, accordion reeded) instrument like the one I play, and there are good audio samples of all the Haydens presestly on offer right there on the Button Box site. I have a classical-period Wheatstone English concertina, too, and I love its voice as well, but find accordion reeds smoother in melody-and-harmony settings. That's just me. See what you think. And of course there are concertina-reed duet instruments in non-Hayden configurations, and they are sometimes less expensive that anglos and ECs of similar quality, but Haydens have advantages that I find attractive, and it seems you find them so as well. Happy hunting! Daniel
  5. Rather than using a hammer, put the punch to the card and rotate it to cut through.
  6. Quite true. The OP was considering the possibility of a mirrored Button Box Beaumont, a hybrid without a left air button or sloped reed pan, and reversing the action, reed pan and fretwork patterns would provide a solid starting point. But building everything in reverse would be a pain in the neck, so I'm not surprised they would prefer not to do so.
  7. Conceptually, it's simple - just flip your template or software image and go to work.
  8. I agree. If I can play it on the right, I can play it on the left with barely a bump. Also, I warm up playing parallel octaves, thirds and tenths so that helps. Daniel
  9. I had already learned the traditional Hayden fingering before I discovered that the mirrored keyboard existed, and my first thought was "Rats! That woulda been easier!" After giving it some thought, I no longer feel that way. Like George, I "see" the note pattern as though it were printed before me, and I plop down whichever finger rests above the spot on that pattern where my desired note/s are located. I relate to the note position, not the finger. I think that this makes it easier for me when I shift fingering to improve phrasing or ornamentation. I recognize that my way of "seeing" music is part of my cognitive hardware and not a universal feature, so I'm glad I started where I did. As I was learning the traditional Hayden system I found my piano association of "left little finger locates the lowest notes" useful as a beginner, though I certainly see the beginner's attraction to "learn one hand and you know the other." I also agree with George that humans learn complicated things easily. I think that either traditional or mirrored Hayden will quickly become comfortable under a newbie's fingers, and any advantage of one Hayden keyboard over the other would disappear after a month or two. Daniel
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. Again, Steve, what has been changed and improved?
  16. 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
  17. 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
  18. "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?
  19. 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.
  20. 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?
  21. 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
  22. 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.
  23. 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
  24. It has disappeared from the BB site. I'm hoping you grabbed it, David - that way I'm sure to hear it. Daniel
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