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About wunks

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  1. Excellent. Be patient. I recently picked up a Lachenal English needing repairs for $250.
  2. Frequent lawn sales, estate sales etc.. You need to get to the deals ahead of the speculators. Don't buy a plastic concertina that doesn't work perfectly for over $50. There are indeed good ones out there for under $100. Be patient and you'll get lucky. Good luck!
  3. That combo begs for nakedness and a tuba or digerido!
  4. Seems to me it's a triple (at least) problem with conflicting solutions. You want to dry the metal parts quickly to prevent rust, but dry the wooden and leather components slowly to prevent warping and/ or cracking. As a tennis player from the wooden racket, gut string era, we wiped and dried our strings and used a racket press ( having failed to obey Theo's cardinal rule). As d.elliot says above, I would first ( upon returning to your warm , dry and cozy flat, cottage or castle) play it dry. go through all the keys repeatedly. The surface moisture should dissipate before it soaks in to the valves and bellows and the valves should be held flat by air pressure when not being played. You could then fashion a stiff brace for each end that screwed or bolted to a hidden set of holes under the end plate rim (requiring it's removal. I'm reluctant to say that the end plate bolts themselves would be up to it). Alternatively, purchase an instrument made from moisture resistant materials for outdoor gigs.
  5. wunks

    Learn & Remember Note Positions

    Your instrument , whether Anglo, English or duet, has a pattern. Sit and play easy beautiful tunes that you like slowly and search for the notes that you need. Soon your neurons will make the desired connections.
  6. wunks

    Turning End Bolts

    The marriage of wood and metal, and a bit of hide. The flesh and blood of Humanity!
  7. Any "turn" can be simplified to either a doublet or triplet a slide or a hold or skip and to throw these in rather than playing it the same every time through adds character. I play a five note turn in some jigs like Bloomin' Meadows but vary it with a simple lift and rest or a doublet (on Fiddle). I'm just learning it on duet, but it seems easy enough. All the notes in a turn don't need to (and probably shouldn't) have the same time value.
  8. Frets and buttons have their advantages, but perhaps the Slide Whistle (modern version, English around 1840)is was more successful? 😉
  9. Two things I've noticed when playing the viola. First when I play a higher C the open low C sounds noticibly as well. Do you feel this is entirely from the common bridge plate connection? I'm curious because I recently acquired a Tromba Marina (medieval drone/harmonics instrument I'm guessing that as a luthier you know about) It has a main string about 5 feet long that is bowed as harmonic increments are touched with the thumb. It crosses a semi-floating small bridge (one end curves down like a witch's nose and hovers just a tad above the sound plate to create a buzz) well down at the bottom end. There are two shorter sympathetic drones adjacent to but below the plane of the main string where they cannot be reached by the bow. They sound as the main is bowed. Given the tiny and remote bridge contact of the main to the sound plate, it seems intuitive to me that they are picking up the main vibes through the air by virtue of their proximity to the main. Second, to play the higher notes of fiddle tunes on the viola I have to get up the neck into 2nd and 3d position. Even though the notes are the same as on the fiddle the tone quality is much richer. I attribute this to the slightly longer scale, slightly thicker string and slightly larger box. Is any of this applicable to the concertina to enhance tone? Thanx.
  10. Before posting this I sat down with my boxes and worked on some G and D fiddle tunes. They landed nicely in the lower treble range and the overlap on duet is very useful. My preference for the tenor end of things is of course subjective, and I'll be coaxing my ear up the scale. It's interesting that you comment on "switching between the two types" because it really does feel like I'm holding two instruments; as if I have a viola in the left hand and a violin in the right. It dawned on me while playing the viola last night that it is indeed an entirely different beast than the violin. I just acquired it but can play fiddle tunes simply by reverse(?) transposing....playing in G by fingering as if in D on fiddle and stretching out a bit. one must go up the neck into 2nd or 3d position to complete the tune however. playing in C keeps one more in the center of the range. So when you're playing a fiddle tune what are you doing with the lower notes for harmony/rhythm?
  11. One further observation. I played viola last night for a contra dance because we had 2 fiddlers, button accordian and a piano. With box and bow cornering the lead, and piano below, it was a delight to fill the gap. It struck me while playing that I was in exactly the same range as is most comfortable on my duet centered in C. However the fiddle comparison may work for other configurations, for my C box viola seems best.
  12. It's an interesting instrument. I bought it at Crabb's in London in the late 60's early 70's. I Knew nothing about concertinas except that I wanted to play one. After experiencing Sticker Shock I was directed to this one with Geffory (I Think) explaining that if I had no preference or prior knowledge, It would do nicely as it was not a sought after system and therefore much cheaper ( I have the receipts along with a note chart somewhere). The metal ends are flat with only an inch or so of fretwork and a large button field that has some space on the bass side for more buttons. Inside it also has some extra space for about 3 sets of bass notes. I haven't worked out the exact noting but the 2 extra notes seem to be added to the overlap. The F# thumb key (standard on the Jeffries, I think) is an outlier top left. The bass row on the bottom left doesn't match the Jeff, which gives me a nice low G, but instead goes to a low F. The instrument is centered on C but seems to be set up to play in horn keys (?) with the bass accidentals including F and B flat. it shows up in Wheatstone's ledger without much comment around 1930 (thanx). My speculation is a custom job for a marching band, orchestral use or jazz. I'm thinking of filling up the bass side but I hesitate to physically alter it if it is historically significant. Maybe just replace the low F with G for now.
  13. I have two. A Jeffries 51 button that is 6 1/4" across the flats and a Wheatstone/Jeffries duet that is 53 buttons and 8 1/2"
  14. Thanx. Reed frame or shoe. Is the reed pan the same as what Alex is calling the action board?
  15. Don, we did get to touch on some of this before getting side tracked, and Wolf gave us some information on bending notes. You may be aware of a u-tube video showing 7 (I think) ways to play a tremolo on the concertina you'll see it if you search Tremomo/concertina. Most triplets and other grace notes are readily transferred with the exception of some non-sequential finger rolls, sometimes 5 rapid notes long that I sometimes use for jigs but I suspect they'll come once I get up to speed. A rapid single grace note here and there sounds great as does a short touch on the bass like a fiddler reaching down for a quick "zoom" on the open G string. I haven't figured out how to play a glissade (noting without pressing the string all the way down to the finger board; my definition), but waltzes, where I would use it most are lovely on the concertina anyway. See fantastic Canadian fiddler John Showman of Lonesome Ace String Band use it on "Mexican Cowboy" u-tube. I recently acquired a rosewood Lachenal EC Tutor that needs restoration but I would rather make some sort of a swap, hopefully for a Jeff duet in similar condition, nearly impossible I know. I really like the duet and don't want to switch. I would like one in modern pitch of the smaller size though. The Wheatstone feels cumbersome to play (8.5" as opposed to 6.25" for the Jeff). I have lots of instruments to parlay and I don't like to keep them out of other players hands if I'm not using them. I have thought of having one made if there were a suitable maker willing to tackle such a thing and It would have wooden ends! Is there any thing else specific that comes to mind Don? I;m sure other fiddlers will have a different take than mine.