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Mic

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Everything posted by Mic

  1. A few years ago I had the same dilemma as you - I upgraded to an A.P. James in 2018, & I liked it. It was consistent & played faster than my previous concertina, which was important as I play Irish trad. It was loud, which can be helpful if you want to hear yourself in a session. Also it never had repair issues. I upgraded again in 2020 - a second-hand Lachenal from Barleycorn. It plays even faster &, now that I have concertina reeds, I wouldn't want to return to the A.P. James with its accordion reeds. Although there have been repair issues (some unresolved), I have no regrets. You might say that I should have bought a Lachenal in 2018, but two years of playing the A.P. James really clarified in my mind what I wanted or needed. I spent an afternoon at Barleycorn in 2020 & I would recommend a visit. It was a bit embarrassing for Chris to hear my terrible playing but, after two hours of trying instruments, I forgot that he was there (having a friend with me helped my confidence, but you need a very patient & tolerant friend!). I must have tried about 12 different instruments, some two or three times. You're dependent on the stock there, but you probably can't find a better range anywhere.
  2. Not that I know of. The only workshops I’ve found have been those organised by the annual Return to London Town festival. They have had Mícheál O Raghallaigh, Noel Hill & Michelle Mulcahy among others. It’s in October at various venues in Cricklewood. Until then, the best option is probably online, e.g. I think BELFASTTRAD are still doing online group lessons (if you’re interested in Irish traditional).
  3. It's a good idea to keep the instrument readily available for playing. However I'd be worried that storing it outside the case might result in more dust & other atmospheric pollution getting inside the mechanism. I'm no expert, though.
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