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Martin Essery

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Everything posted by Martin Essery

  1. Wonderful tune. Must learn, may take a while.
  2. That sounds like a jolly good idea, will try that out, thank you ❤️
  3. I have been working on the Gigue from Bach's Cello Suite 5, transposed to A minor, and came across some awkward fingering, which set me wondering. I am playing on a Rochelle-2 which has Lachenal type button placement, with C# above midway between D and top G bottom row, whereas, the Jeffries style has the C# almost directly above the D. Here, I am playing the trills with middle finger on the D and ring finger on the C, then C#, which is awkward, but possible with some hand twisting. So, my contemplation, and also thinking which concertina next, is, does that sort of fingering get easier, or more difficult with the Jeffries style button layout? Also, as far as I can tell from images, the Rochelle has the buttons rather closer to the strap than many other concertinas, and I am feeling that such finger contortions would be easier if the buttons were further away, nearer the edge of the instrument. Am I right?
  4. Thank you all so much for your wonderful replies. What a wonderfully complex instrument this is! It was great to hear all the variations that can make a difference. Mine is a beginners range instrument, so I have come to not expect too much from it, but glad to hear that I am hearing the inconsistencies more clearly than an audience. I will be upgrading as soon as I can afford to, so I think I will wait till I have a better instrument and see where that one stands tuning and toning wise before I take any action. Each gut string on my concert harp has its own personality and needs to be played with a different touch, but you cannot touch a reed the same way, other than adjusting attack with bellows pressure. I have just been playing with online spectrum analysers and tuners, and there is indeed much variation. The biggest take away from that exercise was that bellows pressure can vary the pitch by 2 Hz quite easily, so any precise tuning would need equally precise bellows pressure. It has also shown that my little Korg tuner is not up to the job. Thank you all for your input, you have broadened my understanding.
  5. No, not a spelling mistake, I meant toning, not tuning. While the reeds seem to be reasonably well in tune on my concertina, they sound different, have a different timbre, almost like different instruments, some quite open, others somewhat choked, but others just having a different resonance. I am guessing the reeds are producing different harmonics. For instance if I play two G's together, there is a beat frequency, even though the fundamental tone is the same, according to the tuner. So, can anything be done, or is that just the way it is with reeds? I can imagine a variety of influences at play, position of reed relative to the plate, weight of reed, size of resonant chamber. Where would one even start? I will get a better instrument when I can afford one, but I was intrigued as to what might make the difference in tone.
  6. Thank you so much. What a fantastic resource ❤️
  7. With all your input, now solved. This is a damp old stone house, and the book arrived in the middle of that cold spell when my heating had failed. Moisture got to the permeable paper side of the cover, not through the glossy side, causing the curling. As was suggested, I rolled it quite tight in the opposite direction, flattened it out and is now fine. The other books had arrived in warmer times so had time to acclimatise. I was curious as to why, but now I understand 🙂 So, not a fault with printing, just the conditions it arrived in.
  8. What you and Don have said is useful, because it would be nice to get the book to lie flat when open, with a spiral binding, but I was having a second think this morn and we might be talking of something different. Here is an image. The pages lie flat when closed (but want to close when open), but the covers curl up all on their own while my other Rollston books do not.
  9. Great book! I love the style and content, just right for me. So looking forwards to spending more time with it. I already know music and am glad it is not trying to teach that aspect, but people who do not may require other material to support this. I have a query though. I have and enjoy other Rollston Press books, Harmonic style and Garden Delights, and they both lie flat, but the covers on Cohen's book are curling up a lot. I live in an old stone house which may not help, but why Is Cohen's book doing that and the others do not?
  10. Thank you both so much for the response. It looks like the West Country would be easier for me to get to, and about the right timing 🙂 I am very conscious that what I spend on travel is less to spend on my next concertina 😄
  11. Thank you, but I think that is a little beyond my reach. Saving for a new instrument and everything I spend on travel delays the future purchase. Sounds like fun though 🙂 I saw the announcement for the Squeeze-in, which prompted my question as to whether there was one in the UK - reminder, should edit title for location.
  12. If there was only one concertina event that I could make it to next year, that had the most concertinas on display from retailers and makers, and of course lovely concertina players, which one would it be?
  13. Is it possible that a good quality 20 button anglo would provide a better initial learning experience than a poor quality 30 button in reliability, tone and playability?
  14. Thank you so much Adrian, it is going to take some time to think through how I might repurpose reeds on a smaller button count than 40, good thinking. I have played concert harp most of my life, and approach the concertina as a chamber instrument, so, melody in left hand, harmony in right does not matter much to me, just that the notes are somewhere, I consider both hands equally. The notes that come to mind immediately that would be useful are squeeze F, both hands, and bottom D (so miss that!) and top C in either direction would be most welcome, so even a repurposed 32 button would be useful.
  15. You are quite right of course, but each time I try, it seems that every note already is perfectly where it belongs 🙂 Here is the end of the Bach cello suite 2 prelude that I have spent much time pondering. For instance that final chord demands the F, the third of the chord, to be complete. Best I can manage is to arpeggio the chord and then hold the high note. It is a quiet, sensitive ending, and on my instrument, I cannot play low notes and high notes together, and be quiet, getting the top D to sound means the lower notes are way too loud, or if the lower notes are played softly, the top note does not sound at all. (is it like that on all instruments?) So I play it out as I have heard it done on a flute, one note at a time, which is a shame because the chords are so deliciously rich. Compromise compromise 😄 Yes, I know an English would solve my problem, but I have an irrational attachment to Anglos. I would like to think there are some that would understand that 🙂
  16. I am currently playing a 30 button Rochelle-2, and feeling its limitations. I have played a Marcus and was instantly twice the player, so I know I need a better, quicker, instrument. But, do I get another 30, or go for a 40 button? I am mostly playing Bach and finding that some, especially chords, cannot be played on a 30. I am guessing a 40 button would improve matters but have never tried one so I do not know for sure. Funds are limited, so my choices are: A. Get a better 30 button and edit Bach's work to be playable (it would hurt to do that!) B. Get a cheap (Stagi) 40 button to try and upgrade if I like, but the recordings I have heard of the Stagi is not a tone I like, but that could be the recording. C. Save up for a good (second hand) 40 button, not knowing if that is what I really want or need without playing one. D. Travel to somewhere that has a 40 button to try, but I am in S. Wales (Britain) and on public transport, which would mean a two day round trip and a stay overnight somewhere. I do not need a loud instrument, I will not be doing sessions, nor do I need a harsh penetrating tone. Soft and sweet will do me fine, clarinet like maybe rather than oboe like. This is for my own personal entertainment, although visitors generally get an earful 😄 I am really asking for experience from those who have played a 40, how was the transition? Was it worth it? I am already finding fingers awkward with things like an upper C#/D trill (which fingers would you use?), does that finger tangling get worse or better? I am fast outgrowing the beginner instrument, so would the Stagi even be worth the bother? Actually, I think I have answered myself to some degree. I would not lay out good cash without playing, feeling and hearing the instrument first hand, and unless someone rents or hires instruments out, it seems I need to go somewhere to try a range of instruments. I do not much fancy a trip all the way to N Ireland, so I guess that only leaves Barleycorn for a good selection? I do like the sounds of the baritone and bass, but I am guessing with more metal that they would be slower to respond, so looking for a treble anglo.
  17. I did wonder, but generously put it down to too much reflection 😄
  18. In the same way that there is no right button layout for all people and all music, there is no one look that is right. I am perfectly happy with a well love instrument, such as this one, which, If I had the chance, I would rather own than the 3 I shared above.
  19. Thank you. I understand fair wear and tear, loved usage and all that, but if I had £2100, I would rather look for a tidier instrument than this one, to me, it just looks scruffy.
  20. Thank you, that makes sense. I just looked back at the pictures I saw that made me wonder. Here is probably the worse offender, but it is not a quality instrument and I doubt that making it tidier would increase its value, just that, personally, I would not want to own one that looked like this. Guessing this is the poor lacquer you mentioned.
  21. Thank you, and you have explained a very pitted metal end I saw and wondered how it got in that condition.
  22. I have been browsing second hand reconditioned concertinas at places such as Barleycorn, as you do, and notice something which intrigued me. While many have repaired or replaced bellow, pads, action, reeds and such, some of them have very scruffy ends. Why? Sometimes it is on pretty expensive instruments. Surely it does not take much to tidy the ends up while you have it apart, refinish wood or polish metal? Do people like tatty ends because it shows their age, or do the repairers save the cost so the customer can clean it up if they want?
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