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d.elliott

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Everything posted by d.elliott

  1. Dave I don't understand the bit above where you say that yu can play by ear if the version is strictly as the dots dictae. Can you expain some more. It seems to me that playing by ear cannot be constrained by some unseen dots?? Simple, change the key, its sounds different. I don't know where to start, by the time I can determine the key might have been, its time for another pint Change the 'version' or just add some fancy bits, I get lost, thrown, give me the dots to refer to and I instantly know what the others are doing and I can skip over or fit around as necessary. With dots, I can follow multi-part band arrangements, can count umpty bar rests, can even come in on the off beat after the rests (usually). I always feel that I know where I am. I can learn a tune off dots one evening, play it at tempo, eyes closed, and next day I cannot even hum it, show me the dots and I can sing it or play it straight off, close my eyes and play it again. Does that help you understand why some people 'need' dots, and that statements like: 'music sheets have no place...' are very hurtful and add to frustration. Dave
  2. I find that playing from ear is something that I can do as long as there is no pressure, that the version is strictly as the dots dictated, and that the speed is moderate, in short, not in public. Put the dots infront of me, and I don't really read them, I barely scan them and I can play at all but mad fiddle speed, and no amount of extemporisation worries me. I have considered confidence, tune familiarity, the attitude of others to those like me. Perhaps its a result of learing an instrument, any instrument, for the first time at the age of 45. Pehaps its just the way it is. Those who, like my teenage kids, can listen to a tune through twice and start instinctively playing in, with, or around the others are more fortunate than they realise. Dave
  3. The bottom line is that many people cannot play without dots, for some its a case of: can't do it, so won't do it, won't do is so can't do it. but with the dots as as reference, or prop, they can keep up and make a good solid contribution to a session. I feel that those who have the ear to play along in open music, un-aided, are fortunate, perhaps more fortunate than they realise, and I for one bitterly regret the attitude that "there is no place for written music in a session" (of any form). I strongly feel that this music should be inclusive, otherwise we risk discouraging leaners of both the music and the instrument. Some people have enough mastering the instruments without having to spend time 'sitting out' in the hope someone will play a tune they may know at a pace they can keep up with. Where as dots can provide a bit of confidence and enable people to dip in and out of a tune as they gain proficiency and tempo. Dave
  4. It is interesting to note that when this thread started, comments were made that indicated that those people who do not play by ear cannot/ should not be active in session play. Apparently dot players do not listen accross the room. Personally I have never been much of an ear player, and most of our local sessions are dominated by a combination of frenetic fiddle players and melodian defined playing keys. Surely there is room for those who need the dots to participate. In Sheffield, The Red House has a weekly session, run initially through the South Riding Folk Network, that does not object to those who use dots to help them along, and they have been known to stray into the odd key with a flat, or two. Good for English system players! All we need now is to keep the frenetic fiddlers under control, or at least to get them to finish at the same speed as starting................ Dave
  5. Richard, I have reconstructed and resurected many a set of bellows, but making a jig has always put me off constructing a set from scratch. I urge you to take up Ken's offer, I would love to learn your technique. I have been playing around with an idea for a 'one shot' disposable former. This may render the idea obsolete! Dave
  6. careful about mentioning 'holding', 'straps' this post might get hijacked into a debate on ergonomics! PS all my tankards have handles and not thumbstraps, but fingers have been known to slide Dave
  7. Goran, two points: English miniatures do not have any form of handle, and as to the more the merrier, I did say within reason, trusting to the good sense of the bellows manufacturer/ repairer not to over do it. Dave
  8. Rich, What's a pinky? I thought it was one of two piglets, the other being Perky! Seriously, do people call finger slides, err, 'pinky rests'???? Dave
  9. Bob, thanks for the explanation of the terms, and yes I see that the outer an inner hinges are operated wll within their normal degrees of freedom. Rich, I agree that the main limiting factor is the gussets, because they in turn are influenced by the angular difference in operating plane of the adjacent run of panels. I think we are straying off track, the initial question was all about the number of folds needed for a good anglo playing style/ to maximise the versitility of the instrument. I am not an Anglican, however I thing the general rule of thumb stands: The more folds, the easier to play runs of notes, or in the case of anglos, runs of certain combinations of notes, particularly if you intend to play CHORDS. If playing as a single voice' instrument, then the problem is diminished. As a matter of principle, if fitting new bellows for what ever reason, then I fit a minimum of six folds. As long as the new bellows are of good constuction, so they don't sag, then within reason its a case of the more folds the merrier. My miniature (2.75 ins A/F) has eight folds. Dave
  10. The nomenclature I used in my maintenance book was by and large arrived at from Steve Dickinson in discussions over quite a long time. I do find these variations in terms confusing, I know pads as 'pads', the leather discs on top of the pads as: 'mounts', the leather bit that the tip of the arm goes through and attaching to the pad 'mount', either as 'beads' or 'grommets' (nothing to do with wallace). Why grommet I don't know, it seems an entirely wrong werd. 'Keys' are also known as 'buttons', and even 'pins', or 'studs'??? So I defined my terms and used pictures, as I was taught on entering industry as a baby engineer, a very long time ago! Dave
  11. Bob, I don't understand your statements about 'passive range of motion', and 'functional range of motion' and what characteristic is measured in degrees? Sorry to be a bit dim Dave
  12. Chris, not trying to be uncooperative, or detracting but what does: "Wikis are a true hypertext medium, with non-linear navigational structures. Each page typically contains a large number of links to other pages; hierarchical navigation pages often exist in larger wikis, but do not have to be used. Links are created using a specific syntax, the so-called "link pattern"." mean in the venacular? At the moment it all seems very, er complicated and off putting. Dave
  13. No comment. Actually, what name did you use to try to register with? Chris Just my ordinary name: Elliott having no guidance to what a jabberwiky name is, nor having heard of this type of forum(?) before to day Incidentally I still don't have an idea what one needs to do to register, nor am I sure what we will get out of it, that's why I wanted to have a look Dave
  14. Chris, Tried to register, but the site won't talk to me, says that I am an inverlid, sorry invalid?? Gave up Dave
  15. Rich, Following the maxim of 'Better Safe than Sorry' and bowing to your greater experience of new reeds, and also given that your advice is easy to follow, being no real imposition on anyone other than a rampant Morris musician playing in a gale force wind beside a major airport, I accept the point as made. After all sod the theory, its what works that counts Dave
  16. Hi Rich, I think we are on the wrong forum here, but: Breaking in reeds: Grain flow would normaly be along the reed length, unless they are sheared off a wider coil. Originally, I believe, clock spring steel was used. I have talked aobout vibration stress relieve before, I think that this process actually shakes the reed into a natural position making adjustments to the at rest position and yeilding improved gap and sounding, but proving it is a different issue. I cannot see how a reed springing in an air stream can get beyond its elastic limit. I can see fatigue failure and micro-cracking issues in old reeds, abused reeds (ground, badly filed etc.) and corroded reeds. Brass both work hardens and to some extent 'age' hardens. Whilst what you advise can do no harm, I cannot see a convincing technical argument. After all we are talking about metallurical condition and grain structure, generally these need plastic deformation, or heat to change them. High frequency vibration permits minute inter-chrystaline slipage to reduce stress. Bellows & storage As to belows construction and breaking in, I simply draw on advice from Steve Dickinson, and my own experience, even old bellows, if left uncompressed for either a long period of time take an 'at rest' position which is slightly open. It is advisable to store with the bellows closed to prevent this, again I emphasis even old concertinas with original bellows. I don't believe you can particularly time-date this sort of thing. New bellows do have this memory effect. As you say, influenced by construction details, materials, I suppose even adhesive used. I have some new on my daughter's instrument, stored closed they are fine, left out of the box, even now they are several month old, they relax. Yet these are first class, supple and smooth moving bellows. To be safe I stand by my earlier advice, store your bellows closed. Dave
  17. QUOTE ...the concertina I have where somebody put black paint over the amboyna woodwork. you just spoiled my breakfast! Fear not. First of all, it's a metal-ended duet, and so it's only the veneer on the framing bits and the handles. Secondly, the paint didn't soak in (I noticed the amboyna where the paint was worn), and I'm going to have it properly restored. Now enjoy your breakfast. Jim: Can't, 'She who must be obeyed' has me on a volume control programme, nothing to do with weight you understand. Its just my clothes seem to have shrunk a little around the middle. Dave
  18. Sharron please do not fret! The bellows do need to be stored compressed, not super-tightly, but firmly together otherwise they tend to want to spring open, this means that in play you get resistance when playing towards the closed position, in effect you get some 'loss of function'. It may only be minor but its there. I would suggest that you consider that "storage" = overnight, or away at weekends etc. The case is designed to hold the bellows with an appropriate degree of compression, the case is almost part of the instrument. The prolonged use of the alternative loose and soft 'gig bags' can have the same problem, always return to the case. I have seen people use modern replacement hard cases, vanity boxes etc, that's fine as long as they are adapted to hold the bellows correctly. I know its a Morse that you have, and so new. This means that the initial bellows 'training' is important. Eventually getting the instrument in and out of the case will become easier. hold the instument compressed as you ease it in or out of its box. Also, periodically, give the bellows a good stretch. You will notice the case also locates the concertina with its axis horizontal, this is also good practise; paricularly on the so called 'vintage' instruments, as the valves can suffer if its stored on its end. I know its inconvenient, but its for the best in the long run, sorry. Dave
  19. I am not convinced about this gentle playing in of new reeds. Technically, I can see a possible logic for brass (tongued) reeds, and for new tongues made from old steel. However, for tongues made from modern fine grained alloy steels??? I certainly believe that all reeds do settle and find natural positions with play, but this is more about their gapping and set. My view is to play, play and play again, any music that you want as long as no one throws anything at you. I also believe that new instruments settle and improve with play anyway, action bellows, pad seals and all the rest, so lets not get too hung up on this point. Is more imprtant to store the instrument properly, in its dedicated box, bellows firmly together. Dave
  20. Paul, I havn't seen an example of what you describe, so I was not aware of this fact. I certainly sounds like a deep stained lighter wood, and I would guess the you are right about the pear wood. Thanks very much for the information, I will log it away for future reference. On the subject of fruit woods, my favourite has always been cherry wood, both to work in and to view. One day I shall get my hands on an absolute wrecker of an instrument and replace the outer shell with cherry, just for the fun of it. Yew heartwood would look even better, but is too brittle and dificult to work. Dave
  21. Chris you commented: I think I assumed it was ebony because it was a black veneer, and if you are going to ebonise something, why would you put an ebonised veneer on, why not just ebonise the base wood? To find out you would have to take off the end plate and not many people do that. Maybe it is just a really good job of ebonising. I hope I never ding it enough to find out! I think you will find that the wood would have been ebonised ebony. The ebony wood is not full black, and can have light streaks to it, do it needed deep staining to make it even. The veneer may haaaave been needed to cover some elements of construction, but mainy as a bumber strip so small chips and scratches on the case edges don't go through an ebonised layer onto a different coloured wood. Dave
  22. The taper on the key holes is as the concertinas were made, 'ream' out to clear the old glue and debris, but do not diminish the size in length of the 'parallel' land. This taper is not an invention of mine, be assured! Chris, stepped drillling is a little messy and as you say the bush needs supporting. I made new ends recently, and thought that I could get-away with a longer parallel section on the outer end of the key hole, however the result was too much friction in the key hole after bushing. Thankfully I only did a handful of holes and then did a trial. I increased the depth of the taper, reducing the length of parallel hole, re bushed and all was fine. This was on an instrument with 100% new springs. Picking up Chris's other point about hiding the bushes, if the instrument is wooden ended, then sink the top surface of the bush to be just below the surface of the wood, it makes a neater and less ragged looking job. If metal ended then bush the full length of the bushing board, the metal thickness will cap the bush for you. Dave
  23. Don't forget that thumb straps have a linen or fabric lining, or in-fill Dare I say: see the Concertina Maintenance Manual withou getting shot at? Dave
  24. If you are thinking of 'local' repairs to worn areas, then please don't. Unless you are skilled at putting 'umpty' layers of french polish on, then take it to an antique furniture restorer, take out the action box felt bushes, and expect to have to ream out the key holes and re-bush the action box ends. Don't let them sand off too much wood from around the key holes as these are tapered with a very short parallel section at the outer end of the hole. You then have the decision to take about re-polishing the veneered and ebonised action box frame edges to match. If you want to do its yourself get pre-made up spirit black to re apply the stain, after having removed the old finish and re-flatted the worn and chipped woodwork. Then use ebony 'flavoured' black french polish let down with methelated spirits to build up the full depth of the polish, may be in excess of a dozen coats, flatting back every so often. Apply with a cloth 'rubber' not a brush. Finsh with superfine 'OOOO' grade wire wool and wax I can give you material suppliers if you are UK based Or just see the character of the instrument, and leave well enough alone. Dave
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