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JackJ

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  1. Nice! I bought this same Nanuk case with the dividers. Like you, I found that the dividers took up too much room and sliced them open to remove some of the padding. But after starting on that route I decided I'd rather have the instrument blocked, so purchased some firm foam and soft fabric to customize the interior. The project went on the back burner a couple weeks ago when life got it the way, but I hope to finish it up this weekend. The key element is shaping some foam blocks to hold the bellows shut while only contacting the wooden ends and not the buttons. I do really like this case, but I wish it were just slightly larger so that I could slide a Zoom recorder and a metronome in spaces separate from the instrument. I considered the Pelican, but the Nanuk was cheaper. I went with silver color (more of an off white) but really like the blue you chose.
  2. Almost never needs tuning No strings to break or change Even more portable than a tenor ukulele Makes you more attractive to current or potential partners than any of the others Novelty factor: no one else you know plays one Noel Hill doesn't play dobro Mrs. Crotty never played ukulele
  3. Fascinating! There's mention of a foot treadle to inflate the bellows in one of the older posts in the thread, but I don't see any evidence of that for the model in the above videos. Are there maybe springs pushing the bellows up, and you counteract them by pushing down on the bar with your palms?
  4. This is indeed my intent. I've been using the Transcribe+ app for a while now to help me learn tunes by ear, and to slow down the parts that fly by too fast--usually the entire tune!. I do like having the dots to fall back on, but I'll mostly be using the CD's, plus the slow down software, to try to learn these tunes and these specific settings. The software also allows me to loop a section, or the entire tune, continuously, which is especially helpful when the recording is just one time through. For me, this book without the CD's wouldn't have much value.
  5. Following up on my own post, I've gone ahead and ordered the Morse ESB with d/d on the left thumb button. I often miss not having a press f# or draw e (in the same octave) on the left hand side, but Doug at the Button Box indicated that the thumb usually doesn't have the dexterity to get in on quick melody notes. Delivery is at least a couple months away, but looking forward to going low on the baritone.
  6. Following up on my own post for anyone else interested in this book: It is, as Gary says, just the tunes and nothing else. The 2 accompanying CDs do cover all the tunes, but just one time through on each. The dots are not completely accurate transcriptions--they include no double stops/chords, for example, and don't capture every ornament. But they're pretty close. Still, I'm glad to have this. The book has a lot of tunes I want to learn, including some I already play, but where it will be helpful to incorporate some of the phrasing/variations presented here. And unlike learning a tune from a fiddle or flute recording, here I get concertina-specific elements, played in a "pro" manner. I.e., not just a basic, unadorned version of the tune. Certainly not an essential purchase, and not one that would have done much for me when I was just beginning, but I think it will be helpful in my current intermediate phase. Once I've spent some time with it, I may want to see if I can pursue some lessons with the author.
  7. Thanks Richard! I have seen mention of Aogán offering online lessons, and may well pursue that. And in editing my post above to add a link to the book, I found a tune list on the Walton's site. (It's a popup image that I don't see a way to copy, otherwise I'd paste it here.) It includes a good number of tunes played at my local sessions that are not yet in my personal repertoire, so I'm going to pick it up, hoping for some concertina-specific insights. But would still love to hear any impressions from anyone who has used this particular book. Thanks!
  8. Hello, Has any looked at the book "110 Irish Concertina Tunes"? I can't find a tune list/table of contents for it anywhere, though it appears to widely available, both with and without CDs. I also don't see it listed in Gary's excellent list of books here on c.net. Some of the reviews mention it covers ornamentation, which I'm really hoping to learn more about, and would love to see applied to specific tunes. On the other hand, if the content is mostly generic versions of things I can find online or in my umpteen other Irish tune collections, I'll probably pass. Thanks for any insights!
  9. Hello! I'm seeking a copy of the "Anglo International" CD that was produced by several members here some years back. I'm guessing that new copies are long gone, but hoping someone might have an older copy that they'd be willing to part with. Please PM me if you've got one you could sell to me. Thanks! Jack
  10. Nice work! I love the mnemonic phrases, especially, and the diagram of duplicated notes is great to see laid out. I'm about two years in, and still have it on my list to learn the notes on the buttons at the extremities that I rarely get to, so I may be spending time with your learning aids. Here's hoping your new instrument arrives soon and lives up to your expectations!
  11. As mentioned above, Grey Larsen's primary concertina is a 40b Edeophone Anglo in D/A tuning. You can hear it here:
  12. Personalized instruction is a great thing, so I don't want to discourage you from finding a teacher. I believe there are several who are regular contributors here, and maybe some will follow up with you personally. But since you mention the Irish Tunes book, and if that's your primary interest, I'd encourage you to take a look at irishconcertinalessons.com and oaim.ie Both are subscription based online learning sites, and I've had great experiences with each of them. They're not direct substitutes for the feedback you'd get with one-on-one lessons, though. But since they have free samples, I'd encourage you to take a look.
  13. Beautiful! Thanks for sharing it.
  14. I've got a Morse Ceilli C/G that I'm really enjoying and I'm thinking about adding its octave-lower ESB cousin. This baritone anglo comes standard with a left hand thumb button which plays f on push and c on draw for the C/G model. I play mostly ITM, and those two notes won't do a lot for me. In fact, the f naturals on my Ceilli are complaining of neglect. So I'm wondering about switching the notes on button 31 to d/d. I've corresponded briefly with Doug Creighton at the Button Box about this, and he thinks it's feasible. They'd be the same pitch as the two d's typically played with the left hand ring (draw) and pinky (push) fingers on a c/g--there's not enough room for reeds an octave lower (which would be quite low on a baritone). Does anyone have thoughts on other notes for that button? I'm gravitating toward the double d since I've seen it on other anglos, advertised as a drone. g/g seems like another possibility. But with the pitch not being lower than my regular left hand d notes, I'm not sure if using them would really give that pipe drone sound. My playing has not yet progressed to the point where I'm proficient in adding chords, though I will be working on that. So: Two d or not two d? That is the question. (I'll grab my coat.)
  15. Thank you! I have played many musical instruments over my 6 decades on the planet, and while I can read treble clef music ok, I usually opt for tablature, as it's been easier for guitar, banjo, ukulele, harmonica, etc. Except for concertina, for the reasons you state. Despite there being multiple button options for a good number of notes, I find it much easier to figure out a tune from standard notation than those cryptic, inconsistent tabs. Maybe they work for some learners, but for me, I tried and failed. And in hindsight, I'm glad I've had to figure out the specific fingering--which d, g, b, c, or a option I was going to choose--when learning a tune from a page. It's a lot easier for me than on, say, guitar, or especially banjo when I've got different tunings to consider. Iit's made me pay attention to how to get the best phrasing for a particular passage. Don't get me wrong--I'm glad those tutors are out there, and I'm hopeful that many new players have benefited from them. I respect the time and effort the authors have put into them. But so far, none has done much for me. Beyond the tablature issues, the lack of consistency in naming and describing ITM ornamentation is another factor, though I think that's probably true for all instruments, and not just the concertina. I've got a different perspective on one issue though: I've never cared for tutors that start me off with "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and "Hot Cross Buns." I get your point. But if I want to learn ITM, I want all the tunes to be in that repertoire. Many can be simplified, and if I'm not familiar with them and the tutor doesn't include recordings, I can always find versions on the various streaming services that let me know what I'm aiming for. But maybe your preference is best for someone with little to no previous music experience. Me, I'd be happy to play "Britches Full of Stitches" a thousand times to try to get it right. But after three times through "Hot Cross Buns" I'm questioning whether I even want to learn another instrument. For me, the best tutor for any instrument among the hundreds (yes, I've got scads of them) is Grey Larsen's Essential Guide to Irish Flute and Tin Whistle. It's a superb example of technical writing, with careful, clear analysis, and very helpful descriptions. The included audio tracks are also extremely well done, as are the transcriptions of the works of other master players. Of course Grey also plays concertina, but he's said he will not be writing a concertina tutor, probably in large part because he plays a D/A instrument and not the C/G favored by most. Too bad for us. On the flipside, we have the wonderful online offerings from OAIM and irishconcertinalessons.com, which emphasize the all important aural learning. If you can't take personal lessons from someone who's an accomplished ITM player and an excellent teacher, these are the next best thing, imo. Rather than trying to figure out what 3A^ means, I can watch the fingers and see the bellows movement, with Edel or Caitlin also telling me which finger goes where. Great stuff, and worth the price.
  16. Carroll Concertinas has a short video on the subject that might be helpful.
  17. I wish I'd taken a closer look, or even some measurements, when I got to play the two side by side. Since I've really only spent time with one concertina, my Morse, both the Small and Standard Carroll felt different to me, but not significantly different from each other.
  18. Hi Rick, You're right, in that I could justify spending a little more to get the Noel Hill. But on the other hand, it's $1000! My ITM journey began with a $10 tin whistle, so I'm still gasping at the price of a new top level concertina. But what's really got me shying away from that model is that I love the wood veneer (the amboyna burl, in particular) I can get on the small, and I have a slight preference for some other options (brown leather bellows, no bellows paper). All superficial, of course. But I'm a sucker for beautiful things. (Which is not to imply the NH isn't an extremely attractive instrument--it's aesthetic is just a little less compelling.) Initially, I loved the idea of the drone, hoping to get an uillean pipes effect. But in trying it, I realized the bellows reversals prevent you from getting that long drone effect I was anticipating. And I've head from some others that they haven't incorporated it into their playing much. So I'm glad to hear your getting good use out of it. Hitting it for chords certainly makes sense, but I'd like to hear more about what the drone adds to the instrument for you. I could still be persuaded!
  19. Thanks Susan! I greatly appreciate your insights, especially since you've tried all three models. I'd planned to go to last year's Noel Hill summer classes in Cincinnati, and was hoping to try some Carrolls there, but of course it didn't happen. Here's hoping that 2022 will bring Noel back to the states. And by sometime early in the year I should have my instrument. Probably the small, but I'm still pondering. Jack
  20. I'm elated to be on the waiting list for a Carroll, and have months to go before Wally and company get started on my instrument. Which means months to ponder the different options. I had the opportunity to briefly try all three models (Standard, Small, Noel Hill) during a visit to Carroll, but the truth is I liked them all almost equally. The difference between the three was less than the difference between any one of them and my current instrument, a Morse Ceilli. But I have to choose one and, alas, only one. I play Irish Traditional almost exclusively, and based on that, Wally has recommended the small model. His website description states: "Our small instrument plays a little faster than our standard model but also requires a little more bellows movement to achieve the same air pressure required to drive the reeds. This does not mean that it is harder to play - it is actually easier to get the notes to sound, but it does run out of air quicker than our standard model. It is ideal for single note, fast Irish music but is not the best choice if you need the instrument for significant accompaniment work. If you primarily play fast Irish music with the occasional chord here and there, and you don't have large hands, you will probably prefer this instrument over our Standard model." My hands are probably about average for a 5'10" (1.78 meters) male, and I didn't feel cramped playing it. So I'm confident it's a good choice for me. During my visit the "Small" I got to try was Wally's personal instrument, and it had a gorgeous tone. I also didn't notice myself running out of air. But the novelty of the experience didn't allow me to carefully evaluate the subtle differences between the models. I also rarely make use of chords in my playing, as I have not yet progressed to the point where I've focused on that. But I certainly intend to get there while remaining in the context of ITM. I may at some point branch out to other types of music, too, but that's much less of a concern at this point. And I intend to keep my Morse, which I suppose could serve me well for chordal accompaniment if the Carroll doesn't. So I'm wondering what led other new Carroll owners to choose the specific model they did, regardless of what type of music the play, and especially if Irish Trad is their focus. Is there anyone here with a "Small" who has found the lower volume of air in the bellows to be a factor in their playing? If so, would upgrading to a 7 fold bellows be an option you would recommend? Anyone with a "Standard" who wonders if the "Small" might serve them better? Or vice versa? While the Noel Hill model might be the obvious choice for someone debating between the Small and Standard, the price jump is significant, and I prefer the wood and design options that are only available on the other models. I also don't think I'd have much use for the drone button. So I don't think it's in the running. Thank you for any insights, Jack
  21. Damn. Custy’s issued me a refund since they’re out of stock and the CD is now out of print. If anyone knows a source for ‘live and well that will ship to the U. S. please let me know. In the meantime I may gift the copy I already own.
  22. Thanks John. And yes, please feel free to share this thread with Tony.
  23. This is the astoundingly perfect suggestion! I'd forgotten that I own this CD, and how fantastic it is. But even better is the title, since the person I'm indebted to is my physician, and I owe him because he suggested I make a long trip to a hospital in Kentucky for a CT Angiograph that my insurance wouldn't cover locally. I resisted going until I realized the hospital was a stone's throw from Carroll Concertina and I could combine the diagnostic with a visit to pick Wally Carroll's brain and place an order for my dream instrument. The test discovered a near total blockage of my LAD coronary artery, aka a "widowmaker." I'd been completely asymptomatic, so this was a surprise to me and my doctor. He suggested the test only because of my family history and slightly high cholesterol levels. Afterward he joked that I may be the only person who can claim the concertina literally saved their life. So gifting him with 'live and well could not possibly suit my needs better! I couldn't find a copy stateside, but ordered the last one from Custy's. Thank you so much for this suggestion!
  24. I want to make a surprise gift of a CD that presents the best showcase of ITM featuring Concertina. The recipient is a music fan and an audiophile, but I suspect their typical taste tends toward classic rock and jazz. (I don't know this person well, but I'm indebted to them, and for obscure reasons a concertina CD is a humorous way to repay the debt.) I consume most of my music through streaming services and don't pay much attention to album releases, old or new. A Noel Hill recording is probably a good choice, but which one? "Caitlin" by Caitlin Nic Gabhann also comes to mind, and might be a little more palatable for someone new to the genre. But I'm open to suggestions on any CD that I can easily purchase stateside and that might induce a "hey, this concertina stuff is surprisingly fun to listen to" response from someone who doesn't know a jig from a reel, or a concertina from an accordion. Thanks for all suggestions!
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