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HelenG's Achievements


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  1. Hi- we're Brits just about to set off for BC and Victoria for a few weeks - does anybody know of concertina players out there please? We've got a very small luggage allowance so won't be taking our instruments with us but would like to know of anything happening in the concertina/folk world between Banff/Jasper/Vancouver from 28 August-5 Sept, Victoria 6-11 Sept, and Vancouver/Calgary 19 Sept-2 Oct. Cheers. Helen
  2. Keep on going round the Circle of Fifths, i.e. taking a key with just one sharp or one flat more than the keys you already know. This way, you'll only need three new chords for each new key, and you'll always be able to handle those tunes that modulate up a fifth at some point. I've only just found out about the circle of fifths (about 6 months ago), and have been practising my new Maccann duet for about a year now! I was lucky enough to get a map of my buttons and the chords from Geoff Crabb, and I took the circle of fifths from - was it Robert Gaskins - and found out that his buttons didn't coincide with mine, and his layout, being small enough to go inside a concertina box, was too small for me to see. I therefore adapted his button layouts and made my own colour coded circle of fifths so now, when I dare to use both hands, I've got all my major, minor and seventh chords in front of me - no excuse any more!!!
  3. Yes, sorry Ben - off to Canada shortly - not in the market for a new concertina just yet, although it was tempting for a while - and not going near you either unfortunately!
  4. We hope to see you there if we get back from Canada in time - will try to get some tunes or something organised for a 'workshop' - always better to sort it out beforehand! How about the ICA Library tunes from the new 'Royal Concertina Band' play list? Can we do that Jeremy?
  5. Hi Mike - sounds like you're going to have a great time sorting that lot out! If/when you go to another band of any sort all you've got to do if you don't understand something is ask! I learned what an anacrusis was a couple of years ago! It's the lead in notes, and it sounds a bit pretentious to call it by its real name, but sometimes it's good to do a bit of showing off! One thing about increasing age is that you get blase about not knowing something and letting other people know - you don't feel such a fool any more!
  6. As a humble 26 button C/G Anglo player I managed most of the top lines with a few accidentals.and I don't really read music too well. I'm not to sure about all the flat keys though! It's not normally my scene , I'm a session chappie mainly but I enjoyed it. It doesn't really matter what kind of 'chappie' you are though - it's good to try other types of music sometimes - I was lucky enough to find the YCC 6 weeks after I got the concertina so I started with band music as well as other kids of music in the workshops - and I had the good fortune to have a couple of pointers for Graham (Heffernan) to keep me on the straight and narrow. Phil says you ought to try playing in a band with just 2 buttons (G/D) and only 5 bellows - as he did when he first started! It's what Alan said that's most important - if I could only do it - and that's to play through the mistakes and just carry on and do what you can! And after all, it's the experience that counts - even if you only mime! Flat keys can be a bit of a pain - much more so on an anglo so I'm told. I've tried to play these on my 'new' Maccann and can just about get it although e flat's a big pain! Still - life's for learning new things and getting new experiences, and if they're all as good as the Royal Band day, bring it on!
  7. Hi Ben - I'm watching this for my husband who plays a 30 button C/G Crabb anglo - just wondering what extra keys he would get if he bought yours?
  8. Yes, good idea - although not all of us will be there! The tunes are not too difficult though for the most part, so it would be great for everyone to join in! When - Friday or sometime Saturday? I hope you're going to put the recordings on the website or with a link to the library so people can hear what there is available to some extent. I think that's probably more important than letting us have a copy. How long I wonder would it take to record all the music in the library (don't have a heart attack!)?
  9. This is a copy of the flier for our club. If you're in or near Leeds on the third Sunday of the month (except August and possibly May) you're welcome to visit us. Details of meetings that have been arranged are on the website. Hope to see you at the Corner House! Helen YORKSHIRE CONCERTINA CLUB www.yorkshire-concertina-club.org.uk Contact phone number: Phil or Helen Graham, 0113 2452348 Or use contacts on the website. Meets usually on the third Sunday of the month – no May meeting due to Swaledale Squeeze, no August meeting due to holidays. October meeting – AGM. Band – 12.00 – 1.30 pm. Workshops 2.00 – 4.30 pm. (Check website). Meets at the Corner House Club, at the corner of Lidgett Lane and Harrogate Road in Leeds, opposite St Gemma’s Hospice, but check website in case this changes. Bring your own food, tea or coffee. Alcohol and soft drinks available at the bar.
  10. I agree wholeheartedly. A great day - great music from the ICA library - great food - great venue! Well done everyone, especially Jeremy and Mark who organsed it - can't wait till the next one!!! Looking forward to the pics Mike
  11. Hi - we at the Yorkshire Concertina Club are doing our first gig for a very long time tomorrow. The thought has been put that we should record ourselves, either to put on the ICA Website or on Concertina.net - or possibly on YouTube- not for edification but just to show people what we have done, and to show us that we could have done better! Having thought about it we decided that we don't have an adequate recording device - I've got 2 mini disks which are great but I've found out that the software does NOT allow you to store tracks on the computer and you can't email music to other people in the group to give them an idea of how we sound, or obviously to send the thing to other organisations. HOW DO PEOPLE DO IT? I've looked at the ZOOM H4 is it?technology which seems really good, and developed for individual/orchestra practice, except that it relies on 2 AA batteries I think and it's quite expensive - I've found out that you can get a mic that goes straight into the laptop, followed by a free package called Audacity (which I don't seem to be able to load onto my computer), which has a good crit. There had been a further suggestion - using a camcorder as it gives both sound and pictures if you want it to. What would you do please - bearing in mind that I've not long gone past a reel to reel tape recorder so don't understand modern acronyms! I obviously don't expect to sort this out before the gig but any help would be useful for future use (hopefully). Cheers, Helen Graham
  12. [ Helen, I shall be at Swaledale, all things being equal, A couple of tests for you to try with the bellows open halfway, pick a note, press its key, gently move the bellows closed and get a feel for how little pressure is needed to make the reed just start to sound. as it is about to sound can you hear air? can you hear the valve (valve purcussion) close or the reed 'kick' as the valve closes? Can you hear the reed suddendly swell as its mating valve suddenly lifts? Same note, having got the feel for just how little movement causes sound in compressive bellows movement, keeping the finger on the key, reverse the direction of travel and see if the other reed on that key sounds on pull as sensitively, (more so or less so) as on bellows push. This will test the gapping of each reed, and the valve performances for a specific key, get them right and move on the the next note. Given the symptoms you describe, you are really looking for reed gapping and if you have set reed gaps a bit wide accross the instrument. This will seriously affect air efficiency. Dave Right Dave - I've tested the reeds and the left side is better - only a few reeds don't sound immediately - on the right side at least half the reeds don't sound immediately - I must admit I didn't do anything about the reed gaps as I didn't understand what it was all about - I'm the sort of person who has to do it to understand it and I was always useless at physics. The valves seem ok as far as I can tell, so it would appear that gaps are the problem - do you think they are too wide or too narrow, and if so what do I do with them? As I play it it seems to be getting a bit easier in general - the bellows are a bit stiff and to begin with it was really hard to play - it hurt my fingers a bit, but it doesn't do that now. Cheers, H
  13. Hi, How is the reed pan seal? Are the valves sealing? Are the pads sealing? Are there air leaks in the bellows still? Are the end plates warped? Are the screws tight? Your reeds may need to be adjusted, if the tounge has to much of a gap, it will make a slow reed. Depending on the size of the reed, the smaller ones have the tounge almost level with the shoe, where the larger reeds need more of a gap. So many problems to choose from! Good luck! Jon Thanks for replying Jon - I'm pretty sure the reed pans are fine, although I must admit that when I was roughing up the chamois one of the VERY THIN walls between two of the chambers split just below the chamois - I'm sure I repaired it ok because there aren't any weird noises coming out of the 2 chambers concerned, so I stopped fiddling with it and put it all back together without doing anything else to it! I wouldn't be at all surprised if the reeds need adjusting, but I supported them with a thin piece of metal while I was tuning them, so I'm hoping that that would do the trick. The little ones were very close to the shoes - difficult to get anything in between them, and they still are. I must admit I'm quite proud of myself even though it doesn't look at all as good as yours, and I'm enjoying learning to play it, and finding that the left hand notes sound quite good with the right hand ones - despite the aforementioned concerns! If I can steel myself to open it up again I'll have another go at roughing up the chamois to see if that helps. Thanks again. Helen
  14. Helen, firstly well done for for doing what ever you have, many people never even start, and if they do, they don't ask when they should. Can you confirm which side works best? I would guess its the right hand side? Dave E Thanks for the praise! I'm not sure, I think it's the right side, but I think I'm trying to play with both hands at once so the air runs out too fast! I expect that the left side has the same trouble as baritones - bigger reeds take more air? I also had a look at the other person's feedback and I think some of it is that the bellows are quite stiff. Some of it is individual reeds, but I don't think there are any leaks - it seems very airtight, the valves seem fine as do the pads - I think - mind you as I said it's the first one I've done - I'm just a bit worried that I've tuned it wrongly - even though I followed your directions as far as I could - used wet and dry fixed to the end of a square chop stick - just about the right size for the little reeds! It sounds quite good, it's just a bit sluggish - perhaps I'm just too used to my very responsive English! If I get to the Royal in the not too distant future I'll bring it with me to get pulled to pieces by you all - I'm not proud or thin skinned! Otherwise I'll bring it to show you at Swaledale if that's OK.
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