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Corbin Collins

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Everything posted by Corbin Collins

  1. It's C/G but sorry, it just sold locally.
  2. Excellent condition, barely played, bellows and all buttons work perfectly. I've decided to take up the duet instead. With hard case. Will ship, we can work out the details. $400.
  3. This is helpful. A new concept. I've never played a bowed instrument but I get what you're saying. It probably leads to articulation and expressing emotion better too? I'll look into this concept. So no set-and-forget pattern, like "change every two bars" or something. The Troubadour only has six folds, so I do have to think about running out of air or expansion reach. Changing bellows after phrases sounds like a really good idea. I'm sure it takes lots of practice.
  4. I recently received my Troubadour from Concertina Connection. The waiting was torture, but it is a lovely, gorgeous-sounding instrument -- everything I hoped for. As I begin learning, I'm finding it hard to decide when to change bellows direction. I often hesitate, and that's distracting. I was used to my anglo, where it is clear when to push and pull. Is it simply up to me? Should I not even think about it? Do people have "a system"? Are there different approaches? Is it the same as bellows work on the English? I imagine more has been written about when to push and pull on the English, so maybe I could look up suggestions for that. Or for any duet system, I guess. Advice appreciated!
  5. I think I will just have to be patient and try to salvage some bellows from another cheap instrument I may find. Thanks for the replies!
  6. In my newfound zeal for buying old concertinas and trying to repair them, I ruined a set of bellows for a perfectly good pair of ends on a 30-button metal-ended Renelli. I suppose this is how you learn from your mistakes. Anyone have some working bellows of this size that they'd let go of?
  7. Maybe they should pre-install baffles in the Rochelle
  8. Actually the Frontalini plays like butter, barring a few sour and fuzzy very low notes on the left. I would love to have it fixed, but my god I'm spending so much money on concertinas (see later rant). The feel of it is nice. The silky worn, light wooden ends, and the fat worn bone-colored buttons. I plan to keep it. I may bring it this weekend to my buddy's cabin to help in hanging out with a bunch of musicians I grew up with. Class of 1984. I even wrote a song for it. I am 100% certain the song will be a smash hit -- among that particular crowd. Still waiting on the Troubadour while "relearning" the anglo (as if I ever knew it). Even flirted with the thought of seeing if CC could give me a Minstral instead! Also get this: I found a Stagi W-15 LN online for $100 (not telling where!). Plus shipping, but come on, I see 'em for $700 online. Anyway it arrived today. It feels kind of like a sci-fi, S&M version of the Frontalini. Black, leathery, silvershiny -- Darth Vader's concertina. And a weird row up above, so I have to remember that there's a row above the main row. The plan was to sell the Stagi to help pay for the Troubadour. But now I love the Stagi. Help! I'm semi-serious This whole thing is a sickness caused by the fact that such an ingenious instrument was invented in the first place. It's too beautiful, I cannot look! I do have to stop buying concertinas. That's it. I'm done. The chopping knife comes out now, I weigh my options... I have two teenage sons... why do I need to buy concertinas? Even I don't have a good answer. I now realize I haven't even mentioned the other concertina I bought, a Renelli 30b "from the 60s) that is positively the source design for the Stagi metal-ended art nouveau one you see sometimes. Maybe it was the same factory. All I know is I now want this instrument in decent versions as anglo and duet. Then I'm done. I swear...
  9. I'm really enjoying this album. Great variety of tunes, styles, tempos, feel. The arrangements with the other instruments are well done, just enough to add pep and atmosphere, never overdone. The playing is wonderful. Thanks for sharing this release and best of luck to you.
  10. That's beautiful, but it's not really built like mine. The problem isn't the front side of the ends, where the metal plate and the buttons are. It's on the other side, where the bellows are. That's where the bellows should attach to something other than the entire end assembly -- which they do on yours. See where your ends are really in two halves? You've got the wooden part and then that leather covered part -- then the bellows. You unscrew the plate and the wooden ends and they come off, leaving the other half of the wood/leather end still attached to the bellows. You can see inside to the reeds and take them out, and you haven't touched the bellows. You then reattach wood to wood/leather. Look back at the picture of my concertina. You unscrew the ends and yes, that releases the reed pan inside -- but you still can't access the inside or take the ends off. You literally have to detach the bellows to get inside...
  11. That's a good idea, Simon. I do know a cabinetmaker. But I'm still working the mind puzzle of how best it could work. Clearly the ends have to fasten to something, and the bellows do too. Something in between them. I could make wooden (or other material) hexagons that fit the bellows and glue them together permanently. Then it's just a matter of attaching the wooden ends to those. But how to make it both airtight and easily removable?
  12. I have a couple cheap old harmonicas. I do wonder what's inside them and whether those reeds could be put to use in a hexagonal box.
  13. I forgot to mention the crucial middle bit: I ended up befuddled by the Stagi and admitting defeat, because I could just never figure out where the notes were or how to remember them. That was before I knew music theory. I ended up selling the Stagi and pretty much forgot about concertina for 16 years. In that time I've done a lot of studying of music theory and became fairly proficient on my stringed instruments.
  14. Hi everybody. I've been haunting the forums here for the past month and just now joined up -- or reactivated, since I was actually a member back in 2006. That time feels like a different life now. Back then I was trying to figure out a Stagi 30b anglo and had contacted Frank Edgeley about building me a much fancier box. I soon had to back out of that deal when my wife found out how much I was planning to spend. Needless to say, she is no longer my wife. For the past 16 years I have been playing bass guitar in rock bands and tenor guitar/uke/lyre/tenor banjo at home here in Indiana. A few weeks ago I remembered my concertina obsession and immediately caught the bug again. I soon won an online auction for an old Frontalini 20b. Then I quickly bought a Rochelle -- but right away I wasn't thrilled by the stiffness of the bellows, and some of the buttons weren't eager to speak. The more I read the forums, the more I became entranced by the Hayden duet system, so I traded in the Rochelle for an Elise. But that too frustrated me rather quickly for the same reasons. Comparing them to the bellows movement and the action and responsiveness on my cheap $40 Italian instrument, there was no comparison. I reach for the Frontalini every time when I want to practice. So I bit the bullet and got on the shop list for a CC Troubadour (after clearing it with my wife -- different wife, a much better one). The Troubadour should be in my hot little hands in about 6 weeks. In the meantime I'm playing the Frontalini. I play that because it's fun. I'm learning sea shanties and some jigs, folk tunes, old time, etc. But I want the Troubadour as a long-term way to keep exploring music theory and song accompaniment, as I do with my stringed instruments. While I have your attention, I do have two questions: 1. Has anybody ever tried to build a concertina using harmonica reeds? It seems like cost and space issues are major impediments to affordable quality concertinas. Harmonica reeds must be tiny, yet they are obviously loud, cheap, and seemingly plentiful. There must be a good reason you don't see harmonica-reeded concertinas. 2. I love my Frontalini, but the thing is, it doesn't offer easy access to get inside and fix stuff. It has big single blocks instead of two-part ends (see photo). In other words, you can't just unscrew the ends and take off the frame and pull out the reed pan without contacting the bellows. I did it once. The only way to get in is to literally cut through the cardboard/glue that fastens the bellows directly to the wood. Then I accessed the pan, tried to clean up the insides of the box, put in new netting, cleared all the reeds, and got a few of the buttons that weren't working when I bought it to work again. Then I reglued the bellows onto the ends and added a thin bead of silicone sealant all around. The bellows are actually more airtight than when I bought it. But now I've noticed that some of the lower notes on the LH sound pretty woolly -- distorted, buzzy. I think they were always like this but now they bother me. I don't want to cut off the bellows again, so maybe I need to find a concertina that's more repairable. Or I could send it to Greg Jowaisas (in neighboring Kentucky) and get it fixed properly. (Does he still do that? Is it okay to just message him out of the blue?) 3. (Related to 2.) Is there a better system I could employ for fastening the ends to the bellows than directly with glue/silicone? I am so happy this site is still open and lively and full of such interesting, inspiring, and helpful folks! I've learned an immense amount from you all. Thanks for welcoming me back. Corbin
  15. Thanks, Barbara. Encouragement much appreciated. I also picked up The Penny Whistle Book, by Robin Williamson, on eBay for, like, $4. It has the music for 56 traditional tunes, with a little story behind each one. Next week I'll start on it.
  16. Well, I've had my Stagi about a week now and have been concentrating on Ashokan Farewell and The Foggy Dew as my first songs. I have always found both of them haunting. I don't know whether I'm any good yet, but I have been practicing a lot and recorded myself playing both of them. Ashokan Farewell The Foggy Dew I got the music for both of them from TheSession.org. It's very exciting, this online helper-world of music! Of course, my dogs are thoroughly sick of both tunes.
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