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About mdarnton

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    violin maker, photography, music, concertina, of course.
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  1. mdarnton

    Beginner English Concertina in PDX

    Don't get discouraged! I am a slow learner, but eventually things do come together.
  2. mdarnton

    Hand Position

    Something I found when learning my English was that as I became more familiar with it, felt more comfortable and loosened up on my deathgrip on the thing. As that happened, I became able to reach farther around to places I couldn't get to before. In retrospect, part of the problem was that I had the thumb straps too tight and the hand straps that I felt were adding to my security were impeding my movement. Now the thing just sort of hangs there on loose thumb straps and I'm not so worried about dropping it, nor about the buttons floating around a bit relative to my hand. That is, my map of the keys is more secure and doesn't depend on just one locked in placement. Hard as it may be to believe, eventually you will reach the point where your map of the keys moves with the keys, not attached securely only to your fingers, and your fingers will know and follow where the keys are as they rotate around to slightly different positions as you move your position around. Not right away, though, which leads to tension from wanting to keep everything under your hand in exactly the same spot all the time.. With that combination of familiarity and looseness, I can play much better, but still find the keys and control the bellows. But it took a while to get to that point of confidence. I imagine the Anglo has similar problems at the start. Initially, I also had a lot of thumb cramping. . . . same problem--too tense. So with familiarity comes freedom, with freedom comes flexibility, basically.
  3. Can you restate that, please? I'm not understanding it.
  4. mdarnton

    Wheatstone 56 Button English Tenor Treble Aeola for Sale

    My treasurer said a quick "What? Are you serious? No!", which is a reasonable response given my current level of playing, but that doesn't mean that this still isn't my dream instrument, exactly. It's gorgeous.
  5. Not a concertina repairman, but in the violin world I use Elmer's school glue for things like this. It's not particularly strong, but it's completely water soluble/removable. For something that is under a little pressure all of the time and doesn't have to be strong, it's good enough and faster than hide glue to remove. Also whereas hide glue might soak in a bit and harden the leather somewhat, I don't think the school glue will do that. I wouldn't use a PVA glue--too hard to get off, too strong for the job.
  6. mdarnton

    consecutive notes

    My model for this is Simon Thoumire. As closely as I can tell, he does his incredible triplets with the same finger. Articulation using bellows is, however, a completely different sound.
  7. mdarnton

    Wanted: wooden-ended English tenor/treble

    I had never liked the tone quality of my metal-end Lachenal. I like to play chords, and complex harmonies, and they always had a nasty clash of harmonics. About three months ago I discovered that many old concertinas originally came with baffles. So I opened mine, and cut thin (maybe 1mm, from the craft store in the kids' department) black foam to fit. I left about 1.5mm space around the outside edge, and cut a bit casually around the buttons, to allow for air passage, then stuck it to the inside of the metal with three or four tiny bits of double-stick foam (again, about 1.5mm thick)--easy enough to remove. The result is a quieter, sweeter sound, and chords sound unbelievably better! I love the sound now, and it's loud enough, not irritating. Many people since have commented on how nice it sounds. The change was remarkable.I had been sizing up various wood-end choices, thinking of getting one, but that interest is gone now. I teach a summer violin making workshop. People there were so impressed by the sound that one bought an EC from Craigslist on the spot (found one near his home and sent his brother, an accordion player, out to test it and buy it), and three others started looking, themselves. Next year maybe we will have our own concertina orchestra. 🙂 I notice that Barleycorn has an Aeola for sale identified as a "pinhole" model that might relate to Mark's suggestion above, but it's a 48-button.
  8. mdarnton

    Perfecting a setup

    Thanks. When I started this thread, I was two weeks into my revival, and hadn't started spinning yet. Now I've spent the last ten days of so practicing every chance I get, and everything has loosened up considerably. I believe you (and the others) were right to suggest checking the valves first, and response is MUCH better now. Part of it I associate with flexing the valves, but some of it seems to be that all of the reeds are acting differently now, and so I have put off doing anything to see how many problems continue to fix themselves. I really wouldn't have believed how much better she has become with a little exercise, so for the moment I will just keep grinding away at it, expecting things to get better.
  9. mdarnton

    Concertina Jeffries Maker 39 bits

    What in impolite bunch of responses to a newcomer, with no justification but that he doesn't speak the language well!
  10. mdarnton

    Injurous session

    That could do it. It would work on me!
  11. mdarnton

    Perfecting a setup

    Thanks for the continuing advice. And I am starting to think that it's likely that a lot of the problem is valves, and of course I will check that first. One thing I have noticed since the advice started rolling in is that some of the offending notes have a very audible valve slap sound, which can't be a good thing? If none of this works, I will try playing while standing on my head, to see if the problem is simply hemispheric.
  12. mdarnton

    Injurous session

    I will just comment that a friend wanted to try my concertina the other day and after messing with it for a half hour or so had just the pain you describe. I credited it to the stress of having not settled into a comfort level with the instrument, that he was tightening something he shouldn't have, to hold the instrument in an death grip that wasn't necessary. Anyway, so one thing to ask is whether there was anything different about your seating position that might have thrown you off? An unusually higher stool or something like that?
  13. mdarnton

    Perfecting a setup

    Just to be clear, I have absolutely NO problem with the Dipper job--it was almost 25 years ago, and a lot of miles back--as you can see, it's a bit ratty now, after a lot of playing. The concertina when I got it was like brand new, and I love it. I'm just trying to spruce it up for my current playing style. Thanks, RWL. As you can imagine, I just want to feel like I've done the job 100 times before I actually dig in, so as much data and understanding it as I can get, first, is good.
  14. mdarnton

    Perfecting a setup

    Thanks! When I get back to town I will check all of this out....
  15. mdarnton

    Perfecting a setup

    Thanks! You may be exactly right about the lever links. In particular the central C and C# on the right hand are slow, and without looking, I bet those are short levers. When one bends the set of the reed, is the bending from the base, or is the concept to reduce the upward bowing over the whole length, or does it depend? It looks like the lift is a slight bowing from one end to the other, to me, which would imply pushing more towards the tip of the reed to bend it?