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Robin Tims

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Everything posted by Robin Tims

  1. Thanks for the helpful responses Wunks and Eskin. As a result I have made a small easing adjustment to the left hand strap plus trying some experimentation with a leather (or similar) patch over my left thigh. We shall see. Best Regards, ...Rob
  2. Forgive me if this is an old topic. A search revealed nothing. Over a few years I have acquired the habit of holding my Anglo over both knees/thighs set slightly apart. I play mainly ITM. Recently a colleague related her experience at an Irish workshop where she was heavily encouraged to play using the support of only one thigh and not both. Since then, after persevering, she is convinced that this led to an improvement in her playing. I am trying this and whilst it does still feel a little awkward I can see that it might indeed help to free up bellows movement, and thus improve my playing. It also seems to help with my deadly tendency to sometimes breathe with the bellows as I seem more relaxed and conscious of rhythm. Anyone care to comment please ? Rob
  3. Try 'Marcus Music' in your part of the world. His cases are excellent (we have two, both used with Lachenal Anglos !) http://www.marcusmusic.co.uk/concertinas.html Rob
  4. Terrific ! Could not have happened to a nicer chap. I have been fortunate to experience hugely instructive and entertaining workshops from John at Durham, Witney etc, as well as solo annual concert events in our local church in Grimston where I think John liked the acoustics so much he was always interested in returning with another show which was always a sell out and not just to Folkies. Rob
  5. Thanks Dissonance, very interesting. I have had my Widex HA's for nearly three years and for most of that time found them pretty frustrating. Poor at helping with conversation, very 'toppy' sounding (even well past the 'acclimatisation' months), musical instruments (concertinas /melodeon) sounded horrid, plus far too much whistling feedback from the slightest interfering movement, and a total pain with necessary multiple spectacle changes or for that matter with hats and caps. However a month or two back I could no longer avoid the 'micro-suction de-wax' visit which also meant yet another hearing test and somewhat critical discussion with the audiologist plus a major re-set. At last this bore fruit. The feedback problem has pretty much disappeared. The 'toppiness' is much reduced and the switchable 'Music' setting (as opposed to 'Universal') is now acceptable. I have even found a 'system' of making spectacle arms and HA's more space compatible behind my ears ! Now, thanks to your comments, I am going again to the audiologist to try and persuade her to adjust the 'Music' setting in the manner you describe. At least I am now using the damn things to my wife's relief. Best' Rob
  6. Well worth a look and a listen Paul, thanks for the link. Rob
  7. Good idea, could also give your playing a lift and nicely separate the notes.......... (sorry) Rob
  8. Absolutely John. However having a squash strap doesn't mean the box sits all the time out in the breeze (only sometimes). It does also make it easy to pop it into it's case without the ends constantly dragging across the soft lining and roughing it up. My case is quite properly a pretty snug fit over the ends. Best' Rob
  9. My ever-loving made this for my Wolverton....works well. Just soft webbing with velcro fastening. Narrow enough to fit betwixt buttons and air lever. Overlapped folded back tab on the outer end to serve as a lift-off pull. Rob
  10. Yes Richard, me too, I asked Jake to fit his trigger design to my Wolverton when I bought it 3 years ago and it has always worked very well. I would imagine it is not at all a simple thing to retro fit to an existing instrument. Rob
  11. On the Video section section of this Forum 'Daddy Long Les' recently posted on YouTube an interesting review of his Jeffries Anglo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4debeQ-ZG6w&feature=youtu.be About 5.30 minutes in he mentions the same problem as discussed here regarding the difficulty of touching the Air Button with the side of the thumb. His professional approach to the problem was to send the strap bars back to the original restorer David Robertson (of this Parish) in Norwich UK. David duly slimmed down the thickness of the upper ends of both strap bars making it much easier to touch the side of the thumb on the Air Button (on the right) and the Drone Button (on the left). It was clearly very successful but I guess some purists might question a non-reversible alteration to the original construction of a vintage instrument (although it would not have worried me). Not a problem with OP Bill N's 'paddle' idea of course which is simply removable leaving no trace. Interesting that this thumb-reach difficulty arises so often on wrist strap bars constructed in this fashion, especially on Lachenals but seemingly on Jeffries' too. Did players have fatter thumbs in the late 1800's (or maybe younger thumb joints) ? Maybe that is how alternative designs came about. Rob
  12. Yay, I made one to Bill N's design, and it works a treat, thanks Bill. The problem arises (and it seems to be common one on old Lachenals) because the rebated upper end of the strap bar is still too high to allow the side of the thumb to readily reach the tip of the air button. Bill's modification is really good because in involves no dismantling or modifications to the concertina, and is also removable if required without a trace. Guess I was already a bit spoilt as my Wolverton had from the outset an air lever rather than a button, and which is still a delight to use, thanks Jake. Rob
  13. Thanks for that Clive. Really helpful thought if not a very empathetic one. Maybe nurture will prove better than nature here.
  14. Hey I'm glad it is not just me then, as I suffer greatly from this and it is really holding me back on Anglo over nearly three years. I guess though it is not as bad as it once was. It creates a kind of tension which is hopeless, especially with ITM as air difficulties interfere greatly with phrasing, fluidity and rhythm. Sometimes when practising I just stop, put the Anglo down, and carry out some stretching, relaxing and breathing exercises before continuing, and it seems to help. Many many years ago I too recall having this problem with Melodeon and it eventually went away so I am hopeful. In the past I also played Chromatic Harmonica as well which has probably not helped (on English Concertina though, no problems at all). I have tried the remedies usually recommended e.g. singing a continuous note, or taking a steady breath in one direction, while playing a scale. Difficult to do, but without result really. Ah well, press on...
  15. My recent experience also, in exactly the same circumstances - Uk - inland Royal Mail next day - same concertina packing - last week or so. Rob
  16. Very many thanks Dowright. Initially I was a bit mystified by your reference to apparently superfluous serials 21287 and 24786 until I realised they exemplified that crossover period of instruments between 'Louis Lachenal' and 'Lachenal and Co'. Understood, thanks. Rob
  17. Hello Dowright, If of interest would you care to add to your excellent database: Lachenal Anglo 32b C/G . Very nicely restored by Andrew Norman Co, Shrewsbury UK Solid Rosewood ends. Bone buttons. 6 fold 'original' bellows. Steel reeds. Extra buttons are Whistle and Squeak. Weight: 1154g Reedpan Serial 23681 Bellows Serial 23296 Believed to date pre 1878 (Louis Lachenal) but 6 fold bellows may have been substituted for 5 fold in 1882 possibly during a repair. Plays very well. Any comment most welcome. Photo attached. Regards and thanks Rob
  18. Yes, as I expect you know, regulars all had this as an email too this morning, thanks Pianist. Disappointing isn't it, but the only sensible decision. A bit tough financially on tutors and local accommodation people as well as maybe Grinton Lodge itself. Rob
  19. In my own experience Tablets are increasingly putting in an appearance at sessions. Indeed I have now succumbed myself but my embarrassment is tempered by a plea of advanced years and less reliable memory, not laziness in learning tunes. The use of the excellent 'forScore' app facilitates extremely rapid tune finding (so long as you can recall the title !) and tunes can easily be organised in sequences regularly used. I also have typical individual 'Setlists' for local sessions eg 'Irish at .... ? pub' or ''English at ....? club' so that a tune 'aide-memoire' is provided for inspiration as well. Yes completely agree, it is a hindrance to good satisfying traditional session playing for all the reasons mentioned above, and I do feel uncomfortable about it....... but needs must, it's better (for me) than staying at home and luckily my fellow musicians are tolerant and kind. For all that increasing use of Tablets by many seems a sad thing. Rob
  20. Thanks Lizzye.. Website deems not to be updated with those details yet but guess that will happen soon. Rgds Rob
  21. ..... and purchased in October last year it looks like. However no indication of asking price here. These are delightful concertinas. Rob
  22. Another vote from me for the Caitlin courses online which show a lot of thought and work in effective presentation. An excellent resource for learning Irish music on C/G Anglo. Rob
  23. Yes Susan, I think she must be the Gold Standard for smiling. (Her playing is not so dusty either ! I am one of her many fans) Oops, sorry, we are talking about faces here and that excellent picture of Wolf. Rob
  24. So I am not the only one who finds it hard to smile while playing, even though feeling happy. A question of being relaxed I suppose, which I still find especially difficult with Anglo (less so with English or Melodeon). Looking afresh at our photos and videos of groups local to here, there really are an awful lot of frowning squeezers, including yours truly. Perhaps we should start a "Go on, smile darn you" campaign. Rob PS BTW smashing sketch, Wolf
  25. Oh John, that is really sad, unbelievable really. I am so sorry to hear. Robin
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