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Spectacled Warbler

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Everything posted by Spectacled Warbler

  1. Similarly, 'buzzing and energised' is completely true, had a fabulous time. Learnt lots after attending some of the workshops above as well as the festival orchestra, spent evenings in the Elsinore, overall heard many, many excellent tunes which will take me twenty years to learn. Made welcome in every session / workshop despite being only just above beginner stage. The only, pedantic, downside was that my concertina now exudes a strong unpleasant odour of stale pub, so if you see somebody playing a box displaying 2 dangling lemon air fresheners - you know that's me. So many tunes, so little time..... Joy
  2. Hi Joy. Roger Digby and I have put together a special Whitby workshop. Materials posted here. See you at Whitby? Hi Jody, thanks ever so much for posting this. Glad you've chosen this tune - one of my favourites which I've been meaning to learn for a while now, you've given me the incentive to do it. Better start practising now or else I won't dare show my face at your workshop.... Thanks again, Joy
  3. Superb, driving, piece of music there, really enjoyed it. Looking forward to having a go at those bendy notes. Slightly off topic this, so apologies, just wondered if you'd any plans to publicise the music you'll be using for your Whitby workshop?- glad you got the booking, by the way. All the best, Joy
  4. Thanks Stephen and Tony for your useful advice and warning! I'll stick to the traditional style of bellows and save my money. Cheers, Joy
  5. I'm thinking of ordering a new 7 3/4 inch diameter concertina, and was wondering if there was any advantage / disadvantage in ordering all leather bellows over the usual card / leather trimmed ones? Thanks, Joy
  6. Mine is played regularly but nowhere near often enough as studying gets in the way, roll on summer holidays. C.net's Theo Gibb tweaked the weaker upper octave, addressed the problem of some of those reeds not playing and it's been more responsive with a more balanced sound since, a great improvement. I really enjoy playing it, much prefer the button spacing to the Stagi, maybe I've smaller fingers than you, and those rich doublereeded chords just keep on making me smile. Joy
  7. It caught on! I 'sing' with a bunch of pub carol singers in Bradford who've been doing 'While Shepherds' to the Ilkley Moor tune for probably 30 years or more. I've heard it in other places as well, can't quite remember where but maybe the Barnsley folk scene in the 1980s. I'll phone a friend. I must admit that I always thought it was a South Yorkshire setting, so thanks for the correction. We also do the 'Sweet Chiming Bells' and 'Hail Chime on' versions of 'While Shepherds', 'Hail Smiling Morn' which is pretty common round here, and 'Christmas Tree' which always goes down well in the pubs. Christmas without the carols would be no Christmas at all. Good fun. Joy p.s. Just reread your post about the 15 settings of 'While Shepherds'. I've long harboured a vague ambition to arrange a night singing as many versions of that carol as we can find, just because we can. If it ever comes to fruition, I'll let you know which pub to avoid on which night.
  8. 'How to play your bandoneon' websites recommend supporting each end of the bellows on a knee, then opening and closing the bellows by moving the knees apart and together. Don't know if you've tried this, it does slightly improve the Bastari's volume and tone for that upper octave, also eases the load on yer arms. Joy
  9. And a huge 'Thank you' for what you have done so far. Your work has certainly made our household a better place to live. Good luck for the future and hope you get the funds to realise your ambitions. Apologies for thread creep. Joy
  10. Whoops! Sorry about that. Must pay more attention. J.
  11. Cheers Mike. Where's fiddle G in relation to the lowest C on the Stagi? My Bastari goes to the F below that Stagi low C (I just checked it to a tuner) and I was under the impression that this would also be the lowest note on the 65 button Wakker. If not, you've just saved me several thousand pounds, so thanks. I use those lower notes a lot - they are what attracted me to the Marcus and will probably persuade me to buy Wim's 65 button design if nobody comes up with a similar hybrid instrument within the next 2 or 3 years. Please, Mr Morse... Pretty, pretty please..... Joy
  12. The one I use at sessions is a Bastari 67 button, not many of these were ever made and they're not easily available. I also use a Stagi but that's not as easy to play in a couple of keys as there are fewer buttons, it also lacks some lower notes, which I like and are present on the Bastari. Neither instrument has the build quality or responsiveness of a well made concertina, but for me the layout is worth that sacrifice, until better quality instruments are more readily available. Apart from Stagi and Wim Wakker, the main maker seems to be Bob Tedrow who makes a 52 button accordion reeded (I think) Hayden, his concertinas are excellent quality and sound, shame they don't have those lower notes or I'd have bought one. If I remember rightly, Dick Miles once posted in these forums that John Connor makes Haydens, don't know any more details than that. A recent c.net post from Richard Morse reported that research into a 7" hybrid Hayden continues, and the Button Box tune Stagis to concert pitch and make other improvements before selling them, I believe. Not sure if Tedrow doesn't do the same thing to Stagis he sells. Marcus concertinas in Wales were making occasional 65 button Haydens, approximately one per year when workload of their more standard instruments was reduced, but about 6 weeks ago I was told by their staff that their standard workload no longer allows this. Another shame as it had those low notes and I was on their waiting list. Harry Geuns, bandoneon maker, will apparently make a 77 button Hayden bandoneon if he can get 10 orders and I think some other top makers with with long waiting lists may also occasionally produce Haydens, but again am not sure. At least one c.net member has converted a McCann duet to a Hayden. That's all I know about suppliers and related things. Brian Hayden may know more, he posts to these forums regularly. Not much choice, yet, it seems. Maybe in a few years' time..... Joy
  13. Don't know about other countries, but in England a lot of sessions are mixed music and singing. Many singers tend to use the keys that suit their voices best rather than trying to fit in with instruments which are restricted to D, G, A etc. The sessions that I attend regularly, which are the type where people are encouraged to join in with each other's music, have songs in Eb, Db and Ab every single week and it's very useful to have a concertina that plays in these keys, albeit with a bit of finger stretching and quick thinking. Why feel excluded just because I choose not to play a stringed instrument to which a capo can be applied? I've tried English, Anglo, Crane, McCann and chromatic button accordion, but the Hayden system beats them all hands down for enabling me to pick up tunes in most keys in a short space of time. Horses for courses, I suppose. Joy
  14. A Tedrow G/D lives in our house, and it is a gorgeous piece of work. So light that it feels like an extension of your hands, extremely responsive, lovely tone with no shrill notes upsetting the neighbours' cats, and beautifully finished. Every time I pick it up, its quality always impresses me enough to make me say out loud what a classy instrument it is. And, as you say, he's helpful. Definitely to be recommended. Good luck with the search for a new anglo. Joy
  15. I use Noteworthy Composer - about 39 U.S dollars I think. Allows you to click black notes of different durations onto a stave, plays back the music you've written, transposes, edits. Staff and note sizes can be changed to fit onto your paper - reasonably flexible if you don't want to pay big money for professional level software. It's reliable - no computer freezes on my PC with Windows. Initial learning curve's a bit steep, but no more than other music notation programmes, after that it's fairly simple to use. Instructions / helpfiles are reasonably comprehensive and there's an online support group / knowledgebase with hints and tips which is useful at times. There's a free trial version - just stick Noteworthy Composer into Google. Joy
  16. This looks more than interesting. Has Harry any vague idea of when he might produce this, if he does? Regards Joy
  17. I've got a midi English by Roy Whiteley. It has an onboard tone generator, with over 30 sounds, and has a headphone socket. It plays quietly or loudly depending on bellows pressure, although I don't think it's as sensitive as the real thing. I use it for silent practice, and it is very, very useful for that. It's fun as well, big organ sounds coming out of this little box. I've never tried it through a sound system - might offend the neighbours. I'd definitely recommend contacting Roy to see if he can help you. He kept to his word about timescales etc, and I found him helpful. I'm messing with Hayden duet at the moment, and if I decide to stick with that system, I intend to return to Roy some time in the future to see if he can make a Hayden midi. Good luck, Joy
  18. Interesting.....I've never heard of 'gyp' to cheat. In our area 'to gip' or 'gipping' (pronounced with a hard g not a j) describes one's body trying to vomit, usually followed by strenuous preventative swallowing or retching if the swallowing fails. And giving something some 'gyp' (pronounced jip) means doing something enthusiastically or forcefully. 'Gyp' is also used to describe annoyance or discomfort, such as 'my tummy's giving me some gyp'.
  19. I bought Noteworthy a few months ago, version 1.75. To delete a note in a chord, you put the cursor just to the right of note you want to delete, on the same line of the staff, press control and backspace together, lo! away goes yer note. Put your cursor on the line where you want your new note to be, press control and enter together, and there's your new note. It's a vital part of Noteworthy for me, as I'm always making mistakes. Good luck Joy
  20. There's a tip that will be useful - working on the premise that what you don't play is equally as important as what you do play. Thanks for that. Joy
  21. Zumerzet, eh? Nice part of the world. I'll be driving through there at about 4 am one morning shortly before Mayday - I'll search out a tuneless 24 verse ballad about hornswoggles and come and sing it to you. Unaccompanied. You'll like that, won't you?! Goggle describes 'duty cycle' as being the length of time for which a device can be run at maximum power. It relates it to the length of time Magnetic Resonance Imaging equipment in hospitals can be used without cooking the patient. Scary. Still trying to relate that to the concertina though. Suppose it might mean only playing 1/3 as much on the left hand as on the right....... but being an awk'd so-and so I sometimes want to play the left side all the time because it sounds good. Hmm.
  22. What be that, then? A new one to me, that one is. My technique hasn't progressed past preventing my fingers slipping off those springy buttons. Yet. Thanks Joy
  23. The accepted way of sweetening or quietening the sound of a concertina is to use baffles. These are layers of leather/wood/pasteboard fixed inside the ends of the concertina, to cover the soundholes, and they can be removed without leaving any damage to the concertina. There are a couple or recent threads on c.net about these recently - searching the site with the keyword 'baffles' will lead you to them. James writes that he had the problem of the left hand chords drowning out the right hand melody, and instead of spending the money and time needed to make a customised baffle, he put masking tape over the soundholes inside the left hand end. I did the same, after reading the same article, and it works fairly well. To me, the tone's not quite as good afterwards, but that's balanced by the fact that for a few minutes' work, you can at last hear the tune from your right hand if you're playing left hand chords at the same time. I've not noticed any difference in the amount of air that's used, however. Hope this helps Joy
  24. So, Angels of the North, do you do that song: Hing Hang Huley Huley Huley Huley watcha, Hing Hang Hu, Hing Hang Hu?? Thanks, Jim and Daniel
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