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Everything posted by JackJ

  1. To follow up on my own post: I've had the Zoom H1N for a couple of days now, and it suits my needs quite well. Very easy to use, the quality of the recordings is plenty good for my purposes, great small size, and reasonably priced. My next step is to decide what software I'll use to edit the files I'm creating. I spend time on outdated iPads, MacBooks, Windows desktops, and a new Chromebook, just grabbing whatever no one else is using around the house. It'd be easier if I could stick to one OS, but I guess I'll start with Garage Band since it seems like it should have an easy learning curve, and if necessary I can use it on my phone.
  2. As someone recently in the same position, this sort of comparison would be very helpful, so I hope you get some insightful replies. But I'm guessing very few individuals have tried all three of these models. I ended up splurging on a Morse Ceili, and have no regrets, but it was quite a bit more money. I'd love to see more information about the models between the Rochelle and the Ceili. Good luck with your decision, and please report back with what you decide.
  3. Thanks again for all the input here. After researching lots of options, I felt most comfortable going with something on the cheap end, so just ordered a Zoom H1N on sale for under $100. I didn't realize these less expensive models could overdub on the device itself, but since they can, this will give me most of the functionality I want, especially since I'm not sure I'll ever want to go so far as purchasing and using external mics.
  4. Thanks for letting me know about this one--I hadn't heard of it until reading your post. I was pretty enthusiastic reading the specs, since being able to control it remotely from a smartphone app would be really nice at times. I've also had great experiences with other Roland gear. On the downside, I'm seeing a fair amount of negative reviews from users who've experienced problems with it. E.g.: https://www.sweetwater.com/store/detail/R07--roland-r-07-stereo-recorder/reviews Have you had any issues with yours?
  5. I just sent in my deposit for the Noel Hill Irish Concertina School in Cincinnati this summer--it'll be my first visit. Back 15 - 20 years ago when I would go to bluegrass/old time music camps (with a guitar) I used a minidisc recorder for the workshops and concerts, but that device died long ago. I'm currently using an iPhone 7 with the built in mic and the Voice Memos app for recording lessons and tunes I want to learn at local sessions. It works ok. Of course the sound isn't great, but I know an external mic could help with that, and there are apps that would no doubt offer lots of advantages over the bare bones Voice Memos. Storage is an issue, since I don't have much space left on the device, but then it's not too hard to move files to and from cloud storage options. But I'm intrigued by the idea of one of the stereo digital recorders from Zoom, Tascam, etc. Some of them are not that much more expensive than a good external iOS mic, and with a suitable SD card, storage space wouldn't be an issue. It would also be nice not to have my phone tied up, and not to worry about battery life. On the downside, having to cable a standalone recorder to a computer in order to move files would be much less convenient, and I expect it's much harder to edit files (e.g., removing unwanted sections, creating file names) on the device itself, compared to using a touchscreen on a phone. It's also just one more piece of equipment to deal with. Curious what other folks think about a dedicated recorder vs. a smartphone+mic? In addition to lessons, workshops, and sessions, I eventually want to try creating multitrack recordings of myself playing different instruments: concertina, flute, whistle, guitar. I'm not looking for professional quality there, but something I can share without cringing about the sound. (My playing will give me more than enough to cringe over.) And for those using either type of device, I'm wondering how you mange the files you create. Do you move them into some sort of digital audio workstation software to clean them up and organize them? Thanks for any tips!
  6. Thanks for these very helpful replies! To answer and respond to some of the questions/solutions: Yes! Those are both good options, and a reminder that I'll benefit from spending more time on some of these alternatives for sounding certain notes. That outside row in particular, apart from the push C#, is mostly terra incognita for me still. I'm still working on the flute, but the embouchure is coming slowly. Whistle is my primary ITM instrument, and I'm still devoting time to that, too, but the concertina has a more interesting sound for me , plus the chord possibilities. Thank you, I have been mostly confining myself to the same row, unnecessarily. I did discover cutting the inner row push d with the middle row push e, and that was something of a revelation. But what you're suggesting for the middle row push g sounds like what I'm looking for. A little embarrassed that it didn't occur to me! I do. Quite a few tutors sugget, IIRC, using just the G finger to cut D, E, F#, and G, and the B finger to cut A and B. But I follow the Grey Larsen technique of using whatever finger is above the note, with the exception of B where only the B finger is available. He explains the reasons he prefers this at some length in his books. I don't think other techniques are inferior, but they do sound a bit different, and I like Grey's sound. Yes, 30b C/G, I should have specified that. Thank you for this (and the other suggestions you offered too). I am somewhat limited still by my flute mindset. I am getting some articulations (not always intentionally!) through bellows reversals, and it makes sense to exploit these possibilities that are intrinsic to the concertina. Really looking forward to practicing these tips tonight. Thanks again.
  7. I'm coming to concertina from playing ITM on whistle and flute, and I'm now at the point where I'm trying to apply what I know about ornamentation. Starting with cuts, I pretty much always use the finger above the note to cut with the wind instruments. So if I'm cutting the note G, I'm using the finger that, when lifted, would sound an A. Though not everyone does it this way, keeping the interval between the cut and the note small (a whole step or a half step) generally sounds better to me, even though the cut should typically be so brief that its pitch isn't harmonically significant. In translating that to the concertina, I'm cutting a note using the button above in the scale. That's usually an interval of a third, and when it is a third (or a second) I can get it to sound good to my ear. But I'm struggling with how best to cut the G played with the left hand index finger. The next highest note I can get with the same bellows direction is the C with the right hand index finger. Even when I nail the briefest cut I can manage, it sounds qualitatively different from the cuts I get on other notes. Not bad, necessarily, but not as subtle an effect as I usually want to achieve. Wondering if anyone else finds this troublesome? Or is it just one of the quirks on the instrument? And for me, it's specific to the C row. The corresponding left hand index button on the G row, the D, I can cut with the E on the right hand C row, and that works well for me. More generally, I'm wondering if there's a good instructional source that goes into depth on ITM ornamentation for the anglo concertina. I'm getting some tips here and there from the OAIM lessons, but hoping for something more detailed an analytical.
  8. I'm very new to concertina, but have been learning new instruments regularly (and not with any great skill, I should add) for the past 50 years. My suggestion, based on what's working for me, is to start learning some new tunes completely by ear, using no tab or notation. It's hard, or at least it's very hard for me, compared to reading the notation. But there are so many benefits: First, while I learn the tunes more slowly, I get them memorized much more quickly. There's no discrepancy between the tunes I can play and the tunes I can play from memory. (Though sometimes I might need to hear the opening bar.) Second, in listening intently to get the notes, I'm also getting the pulse, the phrasing, and some of the articulations, so I'm playing the tunes better from the start. Still tons of room for further advancement, of course. But I'm much more musical in my playing when learning by ear. I'm looking forward to trying Caitlin's online course. But I started with Edel Fox's OAIM beginner series. You can pull up the notation from OAIM if you choose to, but I'm intentionally ignoring it. For each tune (each lesson is one tune), Edel breaks it down in discrete phrases, The first time she plays a phrase, there's some on-screen tab showing which button and which bellows direction. I only look at that to see what button she's starting on, mostly because I can't help myself from taking that shortcut. But I couldn't interpret the rest of that tab in real time even if I wanted to, so I instead just replay the phrase, again and again, until I've got the notes by ear, then move onto the next phrase. Like I said, it's not easy. But it starts playing BIG dividends quickly, and it gets easier the more you do it. My eventual goal is to be able to learn tunes while at a session. That's a big part of what goes on at the one session near me--collective learning of new tunes. Apologies if this isn't really addressing your question. I'm sharing it because with other instruments I insisted that my ear wasn't very good, and thus I needed the notation. Turns out I was wrong, and just being stubborn about putting in the effort.
  9. I have a 20b Jones Anglo that I'm thinking about selling, as I've since acquired a 30b Morse that's getting all my attention. PM me if you'd like details on the Jones.
  10. Thanks for these tips! The 'cross the pond shipping on the Anglo International is more than the cost of the discs, but I may go for it nonetheless. And hoping to hear back from MaryLou.
  11. Still at the beginning stage of learning about the concertina, I'm hoping to get to listen to some of the recordings I see referenced here, but that aren't available on Spotify or the CD vendors I've checked. At this point I'm especially interested in Anglo International and Elizabeth Crotty: Concertina Music from West Clare. If anyone has copies they'd be willing to part with, or knows of some other source where they could be purchased/streamed, please let me know! Thanks!
  12. Thanks Bill--I think that's a really good point. While I'm curious about the sound differences of instruments built with different reeds and from different time periods, it's immeasurably more important to have an instrument that plays well. To that end, I'd only buy a vintage instrument from a source that does restorations, and that will be there if at any time further work is required. I was thinking the prices for cosmetically flawed but otherwise fully restored Lachenals, etc., are in the same $2 - $3K range as new/gently used hybrids, but I'm still learning. At this point, all I really need to do is acquire a new Morse and a new Edgley so I can compare them to an old Jeffries and an old Wheatstone, with a contemporary Kensington, Carroll. and Dipper thrown in for the sake of completeness. So if anyone knows of a bank with very lax security, please let me know. Alternatively, I'm hoping to attend Noel Hill's workshop in Cincinnati next summer, and perhaps there I'll get to see some these, without the nasty exploding dye canisters. Again, I'm not stressed on how to spend my (limited) funds on a 30b. There are several good options that I'm sure will suit me, and I'm enjoying learning about these fascinating little contraptions that make such wonderful sound.
  13. Ok, good to know. It's a mere 14 hour drive to the Button Box, so if I leave now, I can do some comparisons in-person when they open tomorrow.😋
  14. May I ask why? Seems like for some folks there is a strong preference for the tone of traditional concertina reeds, and others say they prefer the hybrid tone. And I've also heard that some folks either don't hear a difference, or think the difference is slight enough that it's outweighed by other factors, e.g., the design/construction techniques of particular maker. Are you in this last camp?
  15. Greg was actually the source of my recently acquired Jones. When it comes time to upgrade, I'll probably trade in my 20b toward one of his 30b offerings. And I believe that Ken is right in that Greg only works on concertina-reeded instruments. Since it's come up, let me say that he was great to work with, giving me very detailed answers to a good number of questions, and delivering an instrument that easily exceeded my expectations, especially given the price. Still, when I see a slightly used hybrid available (an Edgley was posted here just today), I can't help but wonder how it compares to an older Lachenal, or something else in that vein. I"m not fretting over a purchase at this point, but instead just trying to understand how currently available instruments compare to each other. It's really just curiosity.
  16. I'm about 4 days into my ITM concertina journey, having acquired a 20b C/G Jones last week. I think it was a good choice as a starter instrument, especially since I wasn't willing to spend what it takes to get a good quality 30b until I knew a bit more about what I was looking for, and felt whether I had any affinity for the instrument. But having hit it off, I do expect to upgrade sometime in the next few months. $2K USD represents around the top of my price range (and I'm a bit shocked to be contemplating that much), which opens me up to both used modern hybrids, and refurbished classic instruments. I've read LOTS here about the difference between hybrid and concertina reeds, but I'm wondering if anyone has put together a video/sound recording directly comparing the two. I know there a lot more variables than reed style that affect the tone, and there's no shortage of vids where I can listen to individual new and old instruments. But it'd be interesting to hear, say, an old Lachenal played back to back with a modern Morse, by the same player on the same tunes with the same microphone. Even better would be a variety of new and old instruments recorded in one setting. What I really need to do is make a trip to the Button Box or somewhere else where I can hear these things in person. I will probably do that before making a purchase. But would still like to educate my ear on the subject if there are recordings that focus on the different sounds of various types of anglos.
  17. Thank you everyone for all these informed replies to my question. I've gained a lot of insight from it. Especially interesting to hear about the history of the instrument. I've just purchased Vol. 1 of Dan Worrall's The Anglo-German Concertina: A Social History, and look forward to learning more there.
  18. David and Ken--thank you both for your insightful responses. This is very helpful. While I grasp what it means to play "along" vs. "across" the rows, I don't have a sense of what the mechanics are like for the fingers, and thus not a clue of how a D/G layout compares to a C/G in terms of facilitating typical runs and arpeggios. But I'm glad (and, upon reflection, not surprised) that the latter tuning has significant merits for ITM. On the other hand, the number of F natural reeds on a C/G anglo still strikes me as wasteful! I may go the 20b C/G route to get started, since I can't justify the cost of a good quality 30b instrument until I'm sure I'll want to stick with it, and I don't think a Rochelle (or similar) is for me. Until then, I may continue to mutter under my breath about F vs. C#. And if at some point I come across a great deal on a D/G, I'm glad to know I won't be entirely off on my own. I've played enough harmonica that I can see how I might translate that to an along the rows method.
  19. I suspect this has probably been discussed at length, but a quick search didn't get me what I was looking for. I play Irish Traditional on whistle and flute, and am now researching a concertina purchase. C/G tuning seems to be standard anglo concertina tuning for ITM, and I'm wondering why, since such a huge percentage of the tunes in the repertoire are in D, G, and the modes related to those two major keys. Currently I think I have just one tune where I want to play an F natural, but scads where I need a C#. I realize that with a 30b C/G the notes are all there for the standard keys and modes, but still wondering why a D/G isn't preferred. Is there some inherent advantage to C/G tuning that I'm not seeing? Or is it that those instruments were produced in such great quantity for some other market that they were available much more cheaply than anything else, and there's now too much inertia for a switch to anything else? As a beginner, a C/G clearly makes some sense since all the instructional material I've seen assumes that tuning. But I hope to learn mostly by ear, and thus wondering if getting a G/D, or maybe even a D/A, would hold some advantages, or end up holding me back? Fingering patterns would obviously different, and I might need to work them out on my own, rather than using a published method. How daunting would that be? Thanks for any insights.
  20. I emailed CC last week, and got a very quick reply, but was told they were closed until the 12th. So I expect they'll be back at full strength tomorrow, though no doubt catching up on some backlog.
  21. Yes, I'm down near Bloomington. Grey has kindly offered to let me give his backup concertina a whirl, and I'm looking forward to taking him up on that later in the month. It's a 40 button D/A, so pretty dissimilar from what I expect to end up with, but at least I'll learn something about how a well functioning instrument feels. In fact, getting a D/A has significant appeal. I believe Grey started on it simply because it was what was available to him; but he said if he were to start over, he'd still prefer that tuning for Irish traditional music. It would probably make lessons easier for both of us. But from what I see, these are not common, and of course there are many reasons to stick with the standard C/G. If Noel Hill is back near here next summer, I'll plan on attending his workshop.
  22. Thanks for all these very helpful replies! I'm located in southern Indiana, and don't know of any place within an easy drive to sample different models. But being completely new to the instrument, I'd have no ability to make meaningful comparisons anyway. I have sent some emails out to vendors (including Greg Jowaisas) whom I'm hoping might have something refurbished that's near my price comfort zone. Fingers crossed. Probably don't want to go for a 20 button, though. I have no doubt it would be a great learning tool, but I'm eager to learn the tunes I already play on tin whistle, and the lack of a C# would be bothersome. If the Northeast Squeeze-In weren't sold out, I could almost justify trying to make the trip there to absorb as much as possible in a condensed time, and to visit the Button Box. But it's too far if I can't partake in the full experience. Including the one above, I've now had a couple recommendations for the CC Minstrel. A bit more than I want to spend, but maybe I can stretch the budget. Not sure how it differs from the Clover, apart from the thousand (!) bucks. I'll research that more, but any insights appreciated. And the Blackthorn wasn't yet on my radar. I'll be researching that one, too. Thanks again for the help!
  23. I'm about to purchase my first concertina, primarily for Irish traditional music where I currently play whistle and a bit of flute. Having done some research, it looks like a 30 key C/G anglo is what I'm after, and unless I come across something used under $1K that I'm confident won't need any work, I'm leaning toward a Rochelle, just to get started. I know it's not a great instrument, but its shortcomings are offset by the fact that once I've gotten my feet wet and feel ready for an upgrade, I can trade it in on something better and not lose any money. Both The Concertina Connection and The Button Box offer a Rochelle full-price trade-in program. But I'm not sure which of these firms to buy from. With the Concertina Connection, I could incrementally move up from the Rochelle to the Minstrel and eventually (or maybe directly) to the Clover model. With The Button Box, the trade in would be for their Morse Céilí, which is approximately the same price as the CC Clover. Of course I may not take either of these upgrade paths, especially if I find a vintage anglo that I feel good about. But I'm curious how the Clover and Morse Céilí compare, or if there are other factors in considering which vendor to go with for a Rochelle. Any thoughts? I'm very glad to have found this community to help me along my concertina journey! Jack
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