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Doug Anderson

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    Photography, Choral Singing, Concertina
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    Jersey Shore

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  1. I did have one pleasant experience working retail many years ago. I had a temp job in a Macy's men's wear department over the Christmas holidays. I was putting dress shirts that customers had moved back into their proper places on the shelves. I was struggling with one shirt that had been completely opened, including the cardboard ring inside the collar and all the pins. Seeing my discomfort, an older lady walked over and said "here, let me do that for you." As she worked on it she explained that she had worked in a high end haberdashery for a number of years and was pretty sure she could reassemble the shirt with her eyes closed. Her kindness more than made up for the rudeness of some other customers that day.
  2. I started singing on stage with my mother when I was five. I have continued singing in secular and church settings ever since. Seventy five years after my debut at a boy soprano I now sing in the bass section of a mixed professional and volunteer church choir. The bulk of our material is motets from the time of Palestrina and early English church music. In the early 60's I started playing rhythm guitar as well as singing with a folk group that performed in several Greenwich Village folk venues. Our lead singer was also an amazing 5-string banjo player who took our arrangements way beyond the three-chord trick. I continued with the guitar to accompany myself and other singers until arthritis and injuries limited my hand strength and dexterity and I switched to finger picking a ukulele. Over the years I also played around with combining melody, which I can sight read, with an improvised chordal accompaniment. I tried piano, finger picking guitar and even autoharp. Finally a friend suggested I try a melodeon. I bought a DG Hohner and within a week I was doing what I wanted, albeit in a very slow and sometimes discordant manner. I stuck with it now play a AD Hohner which is a better match with my vocal range, but I don't play it a lot anymore. Once I was in the squeezebox universe I also became aware of the different kinds of concertinas and thought an Anglo might be worth a try. I bought a 30-button CG Stagi and found that playing melody mostly with the right hand and finding accompanying lower notes with the left hand was a viable match with my particular strengths and weaknesses. My main instruments these days are a GD Morse and a 31 button GD Jeffries.
  3. Here is my 31 button GD Jeffries layout. The only differences from the 30 button GD Jeffries in the original list are the push C6 on the RH 1st row 5th button, the push E5 on the RH 3rd row 5th button, and the push C4 and draw G3 on the LH "drone" button. I have the same layout except for the drone button on my GD Morse Ceili. I have been tempted to ask Bob Snipe to add a drone button to the Morse. The C reversal on the Jeffries is very useful. https://anglopiano.com/?_30_CceFghkjKL_50_nmmnQpsRqT._15_AddfGHIijk_80_MlONpoSqUr.feHJjklMNO_110_pPrqTSvUuV._270_iG&title=My Jeffries GD 31
  4. Can't tell from the tablature and dots of the example if the layout is Wheatstone or Jeffries. Transposing the C/G videos for my G/D concertinas would not be an issue but having to translate Wheatstone tablature for my Jeffries layout instruments would make the book less useful for me.
  5. When saw it here a while ago I wondered if it might have been intended to be played by two people (assuming they were good friends).
  6. After playing just my Anglo concertinas since the covid lockdowns began I picked up my melodeon about a month ago and fairly quickly was playing some of my old favorite melodeon tunes. But after a week or so I found the limited bass accompaniment possibilities with just the eight buttons was keeping me from playing some of my favorite concertina tunes. I put the melodeon back on the shelf, picked up the G/D Morse and to my dismay found myself stumbling all over the place trying to play the intro to Meet Me Tonight in Dreamland. It's very chromatic part which means lots of row crossing and reversals, and it just wasn't working. (I was planning to accompany a friend singing Joe Hill's alternative lyrics.) It took at least a week to get back to being able to pick up a concertina and just start playing the intro without thinking about what I was doing or looking at my hands. Apparently being a multi instrumentalist with the squeezeboxes is not in my future.
  7. One of the treasures in my little antique snuff can is the original G reed that Button Box replaced with a C reed for the drone button push of my 31-button G/D Jeffries.
  8. I sing bass with a mixed professional and volunteer church choir. I have no trouble sight reading standard musical notation with the professionals. I play concertina, melodeon and mandolin by ear, but I often learn a piece by singing the melody to myself several times from musical notation and then setting the music aside and working out the melody with "my" chord progressions on the instruments.
  9. When I ship a concertina I photograph it from every direction, ship it by UPS, have them pack it, and insure it for the appraised insurance cost. I have not have occasion to make a claim but one box had a nasty puncture that fortunately wasn't deep enough to reach the instrument.
  10. My favorite key on the Anglo concertina is that of the center row of whatever Anglo I am playing - G on my G/D's. My favorite key for singing is whatever key does not take the bass part of the particular piece below the bottom G of the bass clef.
  11. One complication I've found when trying to learn a LH part independently is that I don't know which bellows directions will be needed for the RH part. (I play a 31 button G/D Anglo.) Another issue is that the RH melody part sometimes strays into the highest notes on the LH side which ties up not only the key but also the finger playing it. With a new piece, once I am really comfortable playing the melody part by itself I start tapping in time with the music on the lowest available note on the LH side that sounds good as the melody proceeds. That will be the one of the notes making up a suitable chord. If none of the low notes work for a particular passage I go back to my RH arrangement to see if a bellows reversal note is available. If that doesn't work either I just skip the offending tap. Once I can play the melody comfortably with a harmonic sounding tap-tap-tap accompaniment I have a usable arrangement to play with others. But I then gradually start replacing the taps with something more interesting. For a waltz tempo that might mean keeping the initial tap but replacing the second and third with two-note chords. By doing this measure by measure I keep a viable version of the piece in my repertoire as I continue to enhance it.
  12. Also excellent lobster rolls at the Sugarloaf Frostie just a short walk south on Amherst Road (with an interesting variety of ice cream for dessert too). I am sorry the retail store is closing, but very relieved to hear that the repair business will continue.
  13. I started with an EC, switched to a melodeon with little difficulty despite its being a completely different system, switched to AC with no difficulty despite the inside out rows, and then tried to play an EC again and it was hopeless. The changing of the bellows direction completely did me in.
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