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Richard Mellish

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About Richard Mellish

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    Chatty concertinist

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    London, UK

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  1. I have said on other threads, and will say again here, that someone considering taking up the concertina should if at all possible go somewhere where they can try twiddling on as many different kinds as possible. They are all very different from each other, even among the duet systems, and you are likely to find that one system fits better than the others with the way your brain is wired up.
  2. I assumed that Swan were having a sale of their cases for 7 inch vinyl because of falling demand. But the acknowledgment of my order said "Current build times approx 15 working days", so they must be making them to order. I only noticed that when I started to wonder when my order would arrive.
  3. Many thanks for that. I've just ordered one of the 300 cases.
  4. Is this it? https://www.sainsburys.co.uk/gol-ui/Product/curated-living-gardening-box Can you say any more about it? Dimensions? Weight? The handles might need padding if you're going to be carrying it very far.
  5. I decided to avoid real bellows both for simplicity and because it avoids the problem of running out of air. (That is manageable on a real concertina, of course, but my idea is to have no limit on the length of time in one direction.) I have found some push-button switches that are small enough but I don't yet know how satisfactory they will be. If and when I actually finish the project I will report here on how well or otherwise my ideas have worked.
  6. I'm assuming you're not a concertina player yourself. I apologise if the following is grandmother egg-sucking. It wouldn't hurt to check which are its basic keys. Press the one button that's away from all the others, nearer the hand rest on one end, and pull the bellows out a bit, then release that button, press a few of those in the middle row on either end and push the bellows together. You should get a chord. If it's C major the instrument's two basic keys are C and G, which is the commonest combination and most popular in Ireland. A major influence on its value is i
  7. Whether it's a no brainer depends on your brain. I did a very little machine code (and I mean machine code, not assembly language) many years ago and I'm a regular user of BBC BASIC, but I would not know how to get an Arduino or any such device to generate either MIDI instructions or sounds directly. I'm currently working on a project with a dedicated interface board http://www.doepfer.de/ctm.htm That can be fed directly by push switches if it's one note per switch, but to reproduce the fingering of an Anglo with two different notes according to whether you're pulling o
  8. I'm struggling with that. It implies removing bellows pressure after every note before you play the next note. There isn't time for that, least of all with Irish music if it's going at 90 mph as it often does. Am I misunderstanding?
  9. Clive Woolf plays one end of a McCann. It was bought for him from a benefit concert after he lost the use of his left arm (and nearly died, but that's another story).
  10. I have always found that even one key away from the two basic keys on an Anglo (e.g. D or F on a C-G box) is a lot harder than the basic keys. I can work out out to play a tune but it is much less instinctive. So for me the benefit of more buttons is not multiple keys but occasional accidentals and the choice of directions for the same notes. With the first instrument that was made for me, the maker pointed out that it is better to have more buttons and not use all of them than to have a certain number and wish you had more. On that basis he suggested giving me 40. The only real do
  11. Up to the age of about 20 I started and gave up the piano several times and dabbled with several other instruments, never getting very far. Soon after I got into folk song I decided that there were already too many mediocre guitar players about and that I had no wish to add to their number. One day, when I was living in a university hall of residence, I found a concertina in a store room, twiddled for a bit and found I could make sense of it. I found out who it belonged to and he offered it to me for the £2 that it had cost him. It was a cheap and cheerful East German 20-button one but it got
  12. While that is probably true, how important is it relative to playability by its current owner?
  13. I think you're onto something there. For some of the time I leave my left hand to do its own thing, with minimal input from my conscious mind, but what the hand does is of course heavily influenced by the instrument.
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