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Everything posted by Hooves

  1. I have a book of Irish songs, and another book of American Sea songs and Chanteys, thats the music Ive been studying for my Crane. What Ive been trying to do is look at each phrase in the music and decide if I should play it left or right, obviously some notes can only be played on one side, so this makes things pretty straight forward at least in which side for which notes. My only real study material so far is the 48K button layout with the staff below from the Lachenal Tutor, but I have been able to use it to read the notes and I am memorizing thier positions for sight reading. The way I look at is I only have 48 buttons to remember. For keys I'm using mostly F,C,G, and D. I haven't really tried any other keys except the "all Black notes" to strecth my fingers out, lately I'm trying to throw in chromatic runs.
  2. Go for the Tedrow Zephyr! If I wanted a newly made anglo, thats what I would get. He's an older guy, so you may want to get on that waiting list asap. Another cool box to have would be the Jones Miniature, its only 20 buttons but what a neat little box.
  3. Slow progress is better than none at all. Since I last posted on this thread I have aquired my own Crane 48K (I'm pretty sure mine goes to the octave below middle C, at least thats how the tutor page I have shows the buttons correspondign to note on staff positions for the 48K model). Earlier in this thread there was mention of nick-names for the duets, MacCaan came up as "Tommy", maybe its a reference to the "Tommy Gun", I believe the full name is the "Thompson Sub-machine Gun", used quite a bit by Irish Gangsters during the 20's-30's. I wish I could track down the source of that mis-information on some SA boxes having the upper row of notes missing, I'm sure I would not have dreamt up a detail like that, but I could never track it down, possibly the page I read it on has been removed from the web. I have been making steady progress with my Crane, I think it works really well for music reading, I too had to un-learn the back and forth bellows action, I still find myself upon occaison switchign bellows direction when I don't need too. For my use, 48 buttons is just fine, I can do pretty much all I want with those keys, maybe in a few years I may think I want more keys.
  4. Even within the same family of Duets there are variations: missing notes( 35 vs 55 vs 65 keys), off set keys, air button, etc.. One way to accomplish what you want would be to make a modular keyboard: a keyboard where you could move and arange the buttons. It might be possible to build somethign which would have similiar arrangements to the 3 primary duet families. If you don't mind not pushing a button in, imagine a touch screen on each side like on a pda, then you could have infinite arrangements with a single keypad, but you would lose the tactile feel of buttons. Still, I think you could work out a system using electronic buttons which could be slid around within a tolerance to yield the set up you want. Or in the very least have interchangeable keypads: if they were purely electronic buttons, with no actaul concertina action, the cost would not be that high. Since were talkign about a duet, bellows direction is not as important as in an anglo, you could probaly get a way with no velocity sensitivity anda very simple in/out direction sensor.
  5. I agree: thieves usaully want somethign they can turn over quickly and easily with as little questions as possible. Musical instruments can raise an eyebrow. I live in California: people will get in your car for spare change they see on the seat! (edited to be less verbose...)
  6. so many players, so many boxes! My arsenal: Lachenal Crane Duet 48K, ~1920 Lachenal McCaan Duet 46K, ~ 1930 Unkown German Anglo C/G 20K (the imitation English fretwork style), unknown date Castagnari Giordy Button accordion: 2007 With all 4 of these boxes I can make a merry noise, though my focus and study is now on my Crane, it ousted the MaCcaan as my favorite box, but it still ranks #2, with Giordy coming in 3rd.
  7. I bought a box on ebay that said it was in great playing condition: nope, needs alot of work, as you migth expect. Some of the sellers don't know the real condition of the boxes they sell, they don't play or restore them. You might try a reliable seller, like Barelycorn concertinas: I got my Crane from Chris Algar, its wonderfully restored and hes' very nice to deal with. You may not get that killer deal your hunting for, but why not help support enthusiasts whove spent their whole lives restoring vintage boxes to thier former glory and have a nice playable instrument that will last the rest of your life?
  8. some great photos, really funny ones in there!
  9. Not so brilliant say I. I'd hate to lose the C on a draw. You're eliminating a pretty important choice- a smooth B-C-D on the draw. Ah theres the rub, can you ever gain without losing? you know the old saying "No pain no gain". But you can see my point: one row of C, one row of D, a happy little Irishman you will be... One of these days I'm going to write up a tune in D which never hits C# or F#. Pentatonic anybody? Dorian?
  10. Aren't there already enough less-than-30 button boxes out there? Could we figure out how many 20 button boxes Lachanel, Wheastone, Jones, etc. cranked out? Does it hurt to have buttons your not using? maybe, for example weight and overall size of box. Don't all those extra buttons give anglo players that chromatic edge we all want? (even though many players stick to 4 or 5 keys) I see three wheeled cars once in a while, and they can get around town, but I bet alot of people would want 4 wheels even if technically they didn't really need them to drive to the local watering hole. Personally, I would rather have more choices than less. Heres my suggestion (again) I call it "Hoove's Tuning": Take your 20 button C/G, and tune the C's in the G row to C#: Brilliant you say? Oh ye concertina Gods, the best solutions are always the simplest.
  11. I feel very fortunate to be a duet player, although I have teased players about the droning, on a duet I can drone anything I want, and frequently do. On my C/F button accordion, with a standard 8 bass, I also have a Bb/Bb bass key on the chord side. I haven't really found a great use for it yet, but I'm sure there is or else it wouldn't be there. I see droning (or should I say hear) as the first stab at harmony and accompianment, it really does add quite a bit to the music, and it lots of fun to improvise over a droning note, good for practicing modes too. I wish sometimes though it could be a more continous drone like on bagpipes or the shruti box. (on a side note completely unrelated: I kind of wish my button accordion didn't have a base section and just had another treble keyboard, but thats what concertinas are for!)
  12. Nice looking boxes. You play well, I have never seen somebody play a Jeffries Duet. Which system do you feel lent itself better to the tune?
  13. I wonder if anybody on these boards has expierence with playing thier boxes in such a cold climate: I live in california, and though it does snow, its certainly not the Antartic. How cold can those reeds get and still be in tune (metal expands and shrinks with temperature)? And the leather on the bellows: I have heard of leather jackets cracking when getting too cold. I expect you wont be playing on the main deck looking out over the bow of the ship in full blow. Though it might be an amusing site, snow blasting over the deck, waves washing under your feet as you merrily play on....
  14. thats good I like it. I'm going to make my own and give it a try. It looks very comfortable, now you don't have to put your concertina down to drink your beer!
  15. I tried this at home - it slips off my shoulders. However, One strap going from concertina's left end over the left shoulder, crossing the back and under right urmpit into and underneath right concertina end - superb results! Easy to put in, on and off, centers Concertina's right end in the middle of stomack(belly, spare tire, 6 pack), leaves bellows free from rubing and bellows movements are not complicated at all. Instrument is super secure, steady. I'll make some photos of this too. My camera battery was down. That sounds good, a lot like the way you run a guitar strap if I'm reading this correctly.
  16. Well I'm insulted! Now who would claim a restored 19th century box is less pleasurable to play? as compared to what?
  17. This does not surprise me at all: I once lent my octave mandolin to a smoking cello player, big mistake: my octave mandolin reaked of cigerette smoke for weeks, the nice wood smell from the sound hole was replaced by putrid cruddy smoker stink. Having had the oppurtunity to work on a sound crew many years ago when I was young and crazy, I remeber coming home at night, lying in bed and smelling the smoke come off my face. Smoking is such a nasty horrible habit, glad I never picked it up.
  18. Your samples sound pretty good, what software are you using? can you tell us what bit depth/rate or sampling frequency you are using? Can you map some of your notes out to mimic the left/right side of a standard box?
  19. Sounds like a reed organ/harmonium, but with each foot separate to its side, plus reservoirs under the arms to keep that side sounding while yoru foot comes back up. Talk about a career -- might be as hard on the cerebellum to coordinate it as playing a pipe organ (where the original "foot bass", a giant PA, is a requirement). Still, I wouldn't mind a foot pump to keep my Bastari under pressure (or vacuum). You are right about the Bastari 67. It's got a nice light action and beautifully built reed banks that are easy to work on, but the reeds in a couple of banks (button rows) are voiced for too high a wind pressure, and sometimes slow in starting. On the RH side, anyway. When playing at less than full volume, on some notes the octave reed will speak before the unison reed, and on other notes the reverse. Makes for a choppy melody effect, so you end up just squeezing full force if you want to sound decent. This is probably an intrinsic drawback of any double-reeded instrument -- an inability to play well softly. (Maybe in the $4000 hand-made accordions, the reed pairs are carefully voiced to speak together.) But again, I don't notice this so much on the LH side as on the RH, probably because I'm playing chords on LH and melody on RH, most of the time. I'm hoping the reeds will "play in", or maybe an expert could adjust the "set" of the reeds for faster speech and/or more volume, tho I understand these two demands are traded off against each other. --Mike K. Yes, I decided it was all going round in circles. I'm focuisng on a different project now that is much more realistic and far easier to implement: a pedal bass. As for playing, I have found on my Crane that the lowest ocatve is the big problem, the notes are rather slow to respond and chords voiced low dominate and take most of the air, so, I'm actaully working on using the bass end more for basslines and melody and the other end for melody/chording. This is why I'm again looking at the pedal bass. I find that I can get a way with just a root-fifth for accompiament as the the melody can then hit the third without worry of conflict. I don't believe the orginal intent of the duets was to chord on one side and melody on the other, rather, the idea was to play two lines simultaenously, which is what I'm endeavoring to do. However, my interests change frequently, I looked around over the weekend for a MIDI pedal bass, and several companies make or have made them in the past. I may still try my hand at a pedal bass that uses reeds, but I'm tempted to say this is one case where I might really want MIDI (or an analog synth) instead of reeds or complementary to them. Being able to trigger some effetcs/sounds might be cool in performance, as well as being able to use the pedal bass to accompany my guitar and octave mandolin. Actually, I think a shruti-box or pedal bass that uses bag pipe drones would be very cool! I'm for now done with goofing around with concertina ideas, I like mine pretty much as it is, though I may still look into baffles.
  20. Well it appears dragon concertina players use straps, at least this piece of art from http://www.marcusmusic.co.uk/drums.html
  21. Clever. My question though is, do you rest the bellows against your chest while using this, or do you extend the instrument away from your body and use the starp more as a traingulation support?
  22. There is a picture here: http://www.scraggy.net/tina/ There is no strap. I used to play a 55 key marching in parades, again no straps. I could send a picture if you like. Kurt yes Ive seen that picture of Mr. Crabb, I think I even posted a link to it in another thread. Ive been playing mine on the knee, but I admit I would like to work more on playing standing as I intend to use it on some open mic performances, and though I could sit down, would rather stand. I do have a German 20 key anglo which is a breeze to play standing up, its so light it feels like its going to float away (which in my case might be a good thing). No need for more pictures.
  23. Based on a cursory look at least (by someone as uninformed as myself), I'm not quite convinced of that......although the "extra" buttons beyond 30 might be a bit strange. (or not any more strange ?) It also seems that to find anything in an Anglo 30 w/ concertina reeds anywhere near comparable shape means 3+ times the price....so finacially a conversion would seem to make a lot of sense...?? Or maby I've already got it priced at "giveaway" ??? Heresy! Leave that poor MacCaan as the good Dr. Intended!!! The MacCaan system is just as viable as any other duet system, albeit it is somewhat strange at first, the fact is many peopel still want one. I saw one in good restored shape (46 button) just recently go for $1500. Problem is, the 46 button lacks a low D on the left side, not a big deal, but some people cannot live without thier precious D. And for good reason, D is a very nice key for Celtic music. I think you should ahng on to it and see it as an investment, duet prices are still on the rise, despite the smaller playing community.
  24. It's better than 500 Bobs. sorry bout that mate, dieting on the brain...
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