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wunks

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  1. I have a 51 button Jeffries duet and a 53 button Wheatstone Jeffries pattern duet both of which I purchased (separately) in the late 60's early 70's both metal ended. Both are centered on C but the Jeffries is apparently in old philharmonic, a tad below modern C#. The Wheatstone is from around 1930 and maintains the Jeff pattern except for the low end and in having more overlap. Maybe strident is the wrong word. It's loud enough. I hesitate to use "dog whistle" but it's a thinness of tone similar to what you get from a poorly made violin. I may catch it for this but I suspect the wood and other materials used in concertina construction are too dense to resonate much with the higher register. Good fiddles are constructed with carved spruce tops that have the growth rings oriented from wide at the low end to narrower under the highstrings. The feet of the bridge are honed to an exact match for the top and a new one is meticulously eased at it's corners and edges. There is a sound post carefully fitted to tie it all together. As I write this I'm more certain this is the problem. Remove the sound post from a violin and it sounds flat as an unplugged Stratocaster.....or the highest notes on a concertina. I think the concertina resonates wonderfully in the range of a viola; with the higher notes on a fiddle... not so much. Has anyone tried introducing an internal spruce resonator board? Now that I've bashed it, as to expressiveness, I find the concertina extremely so. Is it better than the violin? Different is a better word. It can oom pah or play a slow air. It excels at vocal accompaniment. I love wandering around a usually acapella tune exploring rhythms and harmonies to go with my voice. a nice slow version of "Rolling Down To Old Maui" is an example. I even bent a note like on a harmonica by accident while torturing a passage on "The Spring Of '65". Has anyone ever used this in their playing? So yes, I think it's on par with a fiddle for expression.
  2. A response to a request from another thread. As a fiddle player for fifty years and a duet player for around six? months I'm surprised and delighted that my fiddle techniques are readily transferable to my 'tina. My only disappointment in this regard is that the higher notes are less strident than the violin which may limit it's use as a lead instrument for much of the dance music I play. I don't use a whole lot of ornamentation but I can see that adding some up high could help. The overlap of notes on the duet could also be of use of use, although I haven't tried it yet, similar to mirroring an open string with the forth finger; a common fiddle technique. The bellows is very similar to the bow in its function and can duplicate just about anything I can do on fiddle. I tend to play in the middle of the bow and with the bellows at half way. I wouldn't play a long phrase with one bow stroke, usually changing after two notes, or sometimes three for something fast like a reel or a hoedown. Same with the bellows. Having enough air never becomes an issue. I use the bellows for same note triplets and a little mild vibrato. I'm stopping here because that seems like enough to start a conversation and I know others will chime in.
  3. wunks

    Concertina Bow Arm

    I'd be happy to have that discussion Don but I don't want to hijack bogheathen's thread. I have to step out for a bit but I'll post a new one later, or send you a PM of you prefer.
  4. wunks

    Concertina Bow Arm

    I have to differ on this Chris. the fiddle being a single note instrument for the most part, we learn to drive the rhythm with the melody. The oom is redundant for me on the concertina. Accenting the down beat melody note and just playing pah frees things up and works with a wide range of music.
  5. wunks

    Concertina Bow Arm

    As a fiddler learning concertina, I find the left knee plant works well. If you're standing, try a walking stick with a crook.
  6. wunks

    Beginner

    Maple, whether soft or hard can have beautiful figure with great stability. I have a fiddle with a phenomenal two piece book matched bird's eye back with no cracks or flaws at all.
  7. Hello Rich. I'm a Bloody Yank so I can't meet with you in person but I just hit 70 and my advice is your concertina will teach you. Sit and play tunes you have in your head.
  8. wunks

    Beginner

    It's also very heavy and unless used as a veneer would add significant weight. Has anyone used Burl of any species?
  9. wunks

    Cowboy Concertina - New Book?

    It may be the same as or similar to "The Rivers Of Texas" but one of my favorites is "The Hills Of Mexico" or "The Mexican Cowboy". the earliest version in my ken is from Roscoe Holcolm. For a sublime version, Lonesome Ace String Band on utube. For a romantic aspect, "Someday Soon", Ian Tyson. Tragic? "Darcy Farrow" written by Steve Gillett. " The Tennessee Stud" was long and lean. Finally, I don't remember what her name is but she sings the Hell out of "West Texas Waltz". "Cherokee Shuffle", (sometimes called "Lost Indian") is a fast fiddle tune we play for dances, usually in A. I double dog dare you to play it on concertina!
  10. wunks

    Anglo players: great left hand exercise

    Thanks for the reply. I know it sounded a bit like a test question. I've been listening to this for a while with intent towards the fiddle but now that you've brought it up I think I'll give it a try on duet. The melody seems simple enough and as a string player I'm used to noting with the left hand. Tunes in a lower register are most pleasing to my ear as well.
  11. wunks

    Anglo players: great left hand exercise

    Jim, was this piece written with the bandonion in mind, and if so, does it favor a bisonoric instrument?
  12. wunks

    Please ignore the politics

    The title of this forum is General Concertina Discussion. That's what I want to hear about and talk about.
  13. Cool. It's amazing to me that where I live we are surrounded by 2nd and 3d growth hard and softwood forestland where one can sell hardwood logs as fire wood and make more $ than selling to a logger by the standing board foot and yet a 3/4"x5"x6' Oak board costs $50.00 in a big box store. Band saw mills are a cottage industry among the Amish here but they're mostly sawing Hemlock, White pine and Larch for outbuildings and other farm use. I did pick up a truckload of Amish sawn Walnut slab firewood for free and it contained several pieces of heart wood. Go figure (pun intended).
  14. I re-visited the sale yesterday and got a # for the estate managers: 315- 894-3262 or 315-717-3673 Juanita Bass. I discussed the wood with mdarnton's Luthier friend David and he declined to make the 5 hour trip so as far as I know it's still available although the sale itself has ended. To clarify: The Instrument builder's name was Carl E. Latray who is listed as a builder of Dulcimers and other folk instruments. His workmanship, judging from the examples at the sale and some of which I was able to purchase, was exemplary. The wood appears dry and is stickered in 2 small barns.. as an estimate there are approx. 8 or10 4x8' stacks. most of it is in short billets which are numbered on the ends. Much of it appears to be pine but it's hard to tell. The sale lists hardwoods as well and his instruments would speak to this. There are also a couple of stacks of thicker live-sawn crooks and such. I would say it's worth a call if anyone is fairly close by. Perhaps Concertina.net should host a "Heads up" forum for such things of general interest. I feel a bit guilty for clogging up this thread.
  15. mdarnton, I gave your friend a call and left a message. The estate sale is through "Juanita" but they left no Phone #. It's listed under estate sales on Albany Craigslist. It's rainy here so I'm thinking of taking a ride back up I'll get a #. If the sale ends he should be able to contact them as they are acting as agents. Erik
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