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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. At the risk of adding too much advice, I would suggest not doing om-pah-pah all the time. It's OK some of the time but can get very wooden. For Fiddler's Green you could for example do om-pah-pah on alternate bars and om-nothing-nothing on the other bars. I could try to explain what I do with my left hand but it would be probably be too much information at this point on your learning curve. I do suggest making some chord charts, i.e. for each of the main chords for your two main keys, which buttons on the left hand side are in each chord for both directions of the bello
  2. I am back in contact with Donovan in South Africa and will probably be buying the D/A box from him. https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/23598-wheatstone-40-button-anglo-for-sale/ Does anyone know whether I am likely to be charged VAT when it arrives in the UK? Does the fact that it was originally made in the UK make any difference?
  3. Does the patent say, or does anyone have any idea, what was the supposed benefit of sounding the strings by air instead of a bow? And is there any way to choose which string sounds, or do all four sound all the time the air is flowing? You could play all four at once on a conventional fiddle by making the top of the bridge almost straight, as on a hardingfele but more so.
  4. I exchanged a few emails with Donovan but I haven't heard from him for about two weeks, so I'm wondering whether he didn't receive my last email to him. I'm refreshing this thread in the hope that he may see this.
  5. I am surprised that someone would use an A-E box to play in G. I find even one key away from the basic diatonic ones fairly demanding and I don't think I've ever tried two keys away. But anyway it sounds good and I am (yet again) tempted.
  6. The gadget turned out to be too big to fit into the case with the concertina so I now have a supply of the little bags of silica gel. A few days ago, when the outside temperature dropped to just below freezing, the indoor RH dropped to about 30% but it's back up to 50% or so now.
  7. And then you can tell the rest of us all about it.
  8. The need for other devices to have the Tile app installed seems a significant limitation. It's reminiscent of the old fax machine problem: the more there are, the more useful each one is. By all accounts the NHS Track and Trace system has been remarkably unsuccessful, despite the propaganda urging us all to install the app. The "How it works" page on the Tile website explains, very briefly, how to use it but not how it works. Fortunately Wikipedia offers a better explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tile_(company)
  9. Some of these gadgets are intended for things you mislay, which are likely to remain nearby. They have limited range so would be no use for tracing something that is stolen. A device for tracing a stolen concertina (or anything else) would need GPS, a SIM for talking to a cellphone network (with a contract or pay-as-you-go account), a control system making it transmit its location at appropriate intervals, and a battery. I don't know whether commercial manufacture of such a device would be viable: one could be hidden inside a concertina fairly easily but not inside many of the other kinds of t
  10. Thank you for explaining the pitch reference. Henry Dean junior would have been in his mid 70s in 1946, so perhaps carrying on the musical instrument business as a sideline and/or after retiring from his job as a postman.
  11. I'm reviving this thread now, having at long last got around to looking inside the mystery Lachenal and identifying the two notes that were missing from the chart that I posted earlier. Here now is the complete chart. There is a considerable resemblance to the Jeffries 45-key layout that Gary found and I posted, but there are also significant differences besides all the extra buttons. Note for instance, in the middle row on the left-hand end, the basic G-A-B-C-D-E notes being displaced one space to the right. I think this must have been someone's custom layout, and it will take a bit of gettin
  12. I find it counterintuitive that a convex end should be more comfortable than a flat one. I suspect that the disadvantage of the flat end is the sharp edge. Perhaps the ideal would be a slightly concave centre combined with a rounded edge.
  13. I am very interested. You can email me: richard at mellish dot uk
  14. My Wakker arrived on Monday and I am well pleased. I'll post some pictures when I get around to it. Having regard to the advice, to be going on with l can use one of the little bags of slica gel that come with food but I'm thinking of ordering one of these https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/silica-gel-desiccators/0838798/
  15. Wim Wakker has sent me some advice about an instrument that he has just built for me, which will be shipped when the check (US$, so US spelling!) arrives (which could take a while, considering recent postal delays). His advice includes this: "As you might know, the standard 'shop' relative humidity for musical instruments is 30%. This assures perfect wood density, correct glue curing (hide glue), and instrument tension. This has been an international standard for centuries. Your instrument is built according to these standards. "In order to keep the relative humidity of the in
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