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Posts posted by geoffwright

  1. How long do you have to play any concertina (including a new one) before the straps mould themselves to your hands and hand position (and unmould themselves from the previous owners hands)?

    You have to be somewhat persistant to find a comfortable position to hold/play it in and I suspect quite a few beginners don't persist long enough.

    Personally, I had to persist on my first English concertina for over a year before I could get workable control over it and my fingers got into line.

  2. The Jackie is not meant to have "all tunes played on it" and is only a "stepping stone" for people who are uncertain, to try concertina - if you are capable of picking up an instrument by ear quickly, you will soon run out of buttons and would be better with one with more buttons.

    Within the above limitations, they are also fine for people who want a lightweight model.

    At the price, the Jackie should be easy to sell on as and when.

  3. Do we want concertina repairers/makers to stop in business?


    Yes, of course we do - they are the concertina enthusiasts lifeline. They will only stop in business by carrying out the maximum number of jobs, scheduled efficiently. All concertina makers/repairers want to see more concertinas being played - that is why they do what they do.


    If there are quick repairs to do, the owner is back playing quicker, if there are new ones to make, it is more efficient to make a number of new ones at once with jigs etc set up (woodwork jigs not 6/8 ones, before the wags jump in). Therein lies the time scheduling problem.


    It is a fact of life that if you want an immediate concertina, you should buy one, not order one. It is only worth waiting to have one made if you want a specific box making that is not readily available, so it is usually only experienced players who specify their own layout and experienced players usually have more than one box on the go.


    p.s. I play a Jeffries reconditioned by Dipper and it is my pride and joy. (Everyone else thinks it is too loud)

  4. I have never pro on concertina but have on accordion - that tells on your elbows so you can imagine what playing concertina for hours a day feels like.

    I ended up getting sick of the sight of the box and didn't touch it for months when I packed in and got a day job.


    For the semi-pro, from a UK tax point of view, if you are being paid, it has to be declared and any expenses wholly concerned with that gig or the running of your music business can be offset. It desn't matter if you made a profit or not. You can also advertise without fear if you are not frightened of being spied on.

    As far as the music business is concerned, music bought, adverts placed, my website, instruments bought, repairs to instruments, new strings, reeds, insurance, union dues, accountancy fees etc. can all be offset.

    As far as a gig goes, transport costs including wear & tear/ depreciation/ fuel can be claimed at a set rate, accomodation etc can be offset etc.

    Ever since I was investigated (and found clean) , I have dealt through an accountant just to make sure everything is done properly.

    For more info, the Musicians Union website will help.

  5. I put my Jeffries back in the box for some 10/15 years and hardly touched it (but had the sense not to sell it) - probably because it was a bit squeaky and was in flat pitch and my colleague with a flat-pitch had his re-tuned.

    I saw John Kirkpatrick and Alistair Anderson a few months apart and both prompted me to get it tuned up and reconditined and start going to concertina events.

    It must have done me some good as 10 years later, I am playing every day and I am even playing English.

  6. I can never understand why some melodion players insist on only playing G/D boxes when boxes with a few accidentals are available. These Luddites then complain about other people who play outside G and D.

    Why play 3/4 of an instrument?


    Back to Peters comment, I don't think bodhrans came from Ireland originally - Bodhrans/Tambours/Nakers whatever, came to Europe with the Moors.

  7. I try to pop into the Music Room,Cleckheaton occasionally and play every concertina in the shop. Last time I went in, all the anglos I really liked - bright tone, nice action etc. were all between 20 and 30 key i.e. not all the accidentals (possibly why they were still in the shop).

    So if you only want to play an occasional C# and Bb, you may not "need" a 30 key and should be able to get a good box under 30 key at a substantial reduction in price?.

  8. My grandfather was born on a longboat and was one of 12 children. One of his brothers was called Noah (honestly) and another joined the Guards regiment (the family all 6 foot odd apart from me). Even though the boat must have been packed with people banging their heads, my grandfather still managed to play piano accordion.

    My grandmother played piano, my father played accordion and my son now plays accordion (and everything else he can lay his hands on), has dabbled on concertina, and plays tuba in the brass band.

    Who says being musical isn't hereditary, even though they didn't all play concertina?

  9. Isn't it true that the strap adjustment can cause these problems as well?

    A brand new strap softens and moulds to your hand positiion over the years and may encourage the wrong position.

    I tend have my strap slack enough to play bass runs etc. and to very gently press with my thumbs on top of the hand rest to slightly tighten the strap when necessary.


    Has anyone found whether people who have wrist/hand problems are learning in isolation, without a tutor or fellow players to watch/discuss methods of holding the box or whether some people may have these problems and can't do much about it? Just a thought.

  10. Ignoring the total difference between Victorian Ballroom dancing and Modern Ballroom dancing.

    My grandmother was and my mother still is a ballroom dancing teacher so I was forced to to ballroom (gold) and latin (gold bar). I never did any since, but by chance I ended up playing in a "proper" dance band (on accordion, not concertina) so knew all about the dances and tempos required.

    Although the band were all dot-readers, they usually busked from books just with song titles in - a page of waltz titles, page of foxtrot titles etc.

    Ballroom, Old-tyme and Sequence were a big thing in Yorkshire in the 70s as there were so many Working Mens Clubs with musicians (around 250 just around Doncaster), so on nights-off, I used to go and listen to organists playing for Old-Tyme and pinch their tunes.

    Dancing has not died out in the pit-villages BUT the problem is, they will only dance to their tunes. One village will happily Veleta to Merry Widow, but the next village will not get up, so you need local knowledge. You also need a huge repertoire as you will play 3 veletas they don't like and you are just about to stop, and someone decides to get up - very fickle!!

    Usage seened to be three tunes then stop. If people stopped on the floor, play another three tunes.


    I suppose Duet concertinas or exteneded English concertinas would be fine for playing for modern ballroom dancing - don't know about Anglo?

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