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strolls

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About strolls

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    Playing English concertina since 1975 and Anglo since about 1991.<br /><br />Commissioned to write a play about Charles Wheatstone which was performed in the late 1990s.<br /><br />I use some of this material in My Friend Mr Wheatstone, which is one-man, costumed, entertainment for clubs and societies. It covers Wheatstone's life and includes the concertina.<br /><br />

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  1. Following the pattern of the successful Melodeon Playgroup we've decided to launch the Anglo Concertina Playgroup. An online series of accessible workshops for beginners. 25th October 2020 Basic concertina instruction: Playing along the rows Chords Playing across the rows http://angloconcertinaplaygroup.org/workshops
  2. Try a AKG 3000b. Large diagphram mike. I regularly use one of these to record a singer with a strong bass voice, with stunning results. Make sure you have a good pop-screen. Steve
  3. I had a similar problem recently recording an accordion. I was a recording a band with some loud and persistent instruments, so trying to avoid spillage I close miked the instruments using end-fire mics. This was using Rode NT3 - mid-price similar to AKG C1000s mentioned above. I prefer these mics to the AKG, they give a good sound, more signal and less noise. Everything sounded OK except the accordion, which sounded particularly rough on the right hand - the reeds really came over with a rasping quality, quite unlike the real thing. We tried a few things, but ended up backing the mic off by a metre, and repositioning the accordionist to reduce spillage from the other instruments. Once we had done this the accordion was sounding sweet again. When recording solo concertina the spillage problem from other instruments does not exist. I usually use a pair of AKG 3000b microphones - large diaghram, mid price mics. Again backing off a bit, and placed on either side, slightly behind the player. This position gives two benefits - better separation (less cross-over in the stereo image), and less key noise (if the concertina has any rattly keys). I learnt this technique from a professional sound recordist who was very experienced in recording accordions. Tried it out on the concertina and was pleased with the results.
  4. Inspired by Reverend Ken and recordings of Kimber, I switched over from English to Anglo for morris about 15 years ago. Playing a 20 key Lachenal C/G. Since then I have bought a G/D and played a number of different 20/30/40 key instruments in between. From my experience, to get the brightness and speed required for the Kimber style it needs to be a C/G. A G/D has longer reeds on the G row - they are slower to react. Also there is a real benefit in playing a 20 key - it is physically lighter, and thus more easy to manipulate to get that animated style (unless you relly have super biceps) The G/D is more useful for sessions, but for morris I would choose a C/G. The fact that other morris musicians may only have G/D melodeons should not deter one from playing solo for morris in C when the tune demands it. When I'm dancing I much prefer the sound of a solo concertina or pipe and tabor, or fiddle for morris, than a band.
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