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About inventor

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Folk Music, and Baroque Music. Developing keyboards for Concertinas and Melodeons that enable ordinary folk, who (like myself) are not virtuosos; to play easily in a multitude of different keys on the same instrument.
  • Location
    South-west of England

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  1. Simple answer is "no". I am not very good at electronic things. However I have seen many people sitting in front of me with recorders at WCCP concertina weekends, so there must be many recordings of my live performances somewhere. One particular recording that I remember from a time when I was at my best on on my 68 button instrument, was a 4 part harmony of the first part of Handel's "Overture to the Royal Fireworks". Inventor.
  2. inventor

    Advice, please.

    Have a good look at Alex Holden's metal capped button making on his website. The next to last cap size looked good to me, but maybe I am being greedy ! He does mention the possibility of just one extra tool to finish up at 6.35 mm. The 6.25" size across the "flats" is a really nice size for a concertina; anything much larger than 8" can be a problem. Steve Dickenson fitted 46 buttons onto the 6.25" size instrument, which is just about the minimum needed for a really useful Hayden duet. Inventor.
  3. inventor

    Advice, please.

    Regarding button size: I can only recommend, but obviously cannot control what makers and manufactures actually produce. As pointed out even for my personal instrument, 6mm was as big as Colin was willing to go. Button Box do do large (but not flat top) buttons; and Concertina Connection do do flat top (but normal size) buttons. Makers are set up with tooling to produce buttons in quantity, and duet concertinas are just a small sideline to their main production of English and/or Anglo concertinas. Steve Dickenson has tooling to make the small hemispherical metal top buttons, inherited from the original Wheatstone factory. I don't personally like these: however when he offered to make me a complete batch of 10; I naturally jumped at the chance. This led me to more experimentation on the size and shape of the buttons. With the Elise that is the standard button size for all the concertinas that Concertina Connection have made in China. Inventor.
  4. inventor

    Advice, please.

    I have absolutely no difficulty playing BOTH fourths and fifths with one finger. On my larger (68 button) Hayden duet I can play every fourth AND every fifth interval that falls within the compass of the instrument, with only one finger. The rows of buttons are closer together (9mm), than the usual column concertina distance (11mm). On this instrument I have large (6mm) flat top buttons, the centers of which are 12mm diagonally away from the buttons that are both a fourth or a fifth higher and lower. Most standard column concertinas have smaller buttons (usually 4mm); so all in all the span is about the same. I am sorry to be so pedantic; but I did an awful lot of work to arrive at the optimum sizes distances and angles, for my type of concertina. Inventor.
  5. inventor

    Advice, please.

    Thank-you Dana. Inventor.
  6. inventor

    Tuning up or tuning down

    It occurs to me that I have seen inside a couple of Jeffries Duets (one quite recently) and noticed that the note that they played did not correspond to the note stamped on the tip of the reed frame. I think it quite possible that the reeds may like yours have been in old pitch. but have been tuned "just that shy" up. Then moved to the correct position to give the normal Jeffries duet pattern in C. You would of course need a pair of new reeds for the very lowest note of each side. Many of the reeds will most likely fit without altering the slots, however I fully endorse David Barnerts "don't do it yourself. Take to someone who knows what they are doing". Inventor.
  7. inventor

    Tuning up or tuning down

    There is a method often used by Melodeon repairers to tune the reeds down a little; by adding a tiny drop of solder (the old flux cored type at one time used for soldering components to a printed circuit board) to the tip of the reed. This has the advantage that it is reversible with virtually no damage to the reed. I expect that there are several people shouting "no no no" to this suggestion; but perhaps you might consult one of the repairers of both melodeons and concertinas. Theo Gibb of Newcastle upon Tyne immediately springs to mind, he even has a Jeffries Duet currently in stock for restoration. Inventor.
  8. inventor

    Advice, please.

    It is a pure myth that the Hayden slope is awkward: it is there for a very good reason, which I have exhaustively written about in this website in the past. For the right hand I use the little finger also for accidentals, and chromatic decorations where it is probably no better or worse than on a Crane. Playing consecutive notes a fourth apart are never a problem on the Hayden as they fall on buttons that are diagonally to the left in the next row rather than immediately above as on the Crane. On the left hand I commonly use the left little finger when playing an Um-Pah accompaniment (the sort of thing an Accordion Stradella bass is set up for); to play the Um in the lowest octave available; together with the same note an octave higher, on the ring finger. Then a higher chord for the Pah. The offset given by the slope facilitates this nicely. Please don't think that I am in any way knocking the Crane as I think that it is a very good system in many ways. If one had come into my hands fifty years ago, rather than an A flat Jeffries Duet, the Hayden duet might never have been invented ! Inventor.
  9. inventor

    Advice, please.

    For an Elise, you should contact "Button Box" or "Wim Wakker". They are both in the U S , but are very experienced in sending to the U K . Wim Wakker is the man who has Elises made in China. He used to sell them in the U K via the "Music Room" (no longer in business), but he will no doubt have a new agent now. Both BB & WW also make very fine high quality upgrades, and will even take your Elise back and give you a full price refund off for one of their higher quality instruments. Look for the "Beaumont" (BB), and "Peacock" (WW). Inventor.
  10. inventor

    2-button tunes on Anglo?

    No of course not John. The idea of these tunes was to encourage Duet players to get their fingers on both sides of the instrument right from the beginning; rather than running away with the right hand, and then trying to add the left hand several months down the line. Inventor.
  11. Hayden duets may be bought from "Button Box" and "Concertina Connection". Both these companies have first class reputations. Both sell in-house hand made high quality Hayden Duets. They also deal in cheaper imported Hayden Duets. Hand made Hayden Duets are also made by Steve Dickinson (Wheatstone) and Colin Dipper to order, however because of the high reputation of both of these makers, they have rather long waiting lists. A new maker to look out for in the Hayden Duet line is "Holden Concertinas". Inventor.
  12. There is quite a lot of music played on the Hayden Duets of all makes and sizes on youtube. Specifically for the 65 button look for Chas Jacobs. Also see many different types of music played on smaller Hayden duets. Look out for JeffLeff on his 46 button instrument. I mentioned the 65 button instrument as being the closest to a medium sized piano-accordion. One other feature I didn't mention which the Hayden duet has in common with accordions is that octaves repeat. Inventor.
  13. The Hayden duet is the closest concertina to the Accordion. A 65 button instrument has virtually the same compass as a 34 key piano-accordion on the right hand side. On the left hand side you have notes going down about an octave and a half below this, and an overlap with the right hand side. All the notes are individual, so you have to make a chord by playing several buttons at the same time. However on a Hayden duet once you have learned the pattern for a major chord this repeats for many other major chords. Minor, dominant seventh and diminished chords each have repeating patterns too. Now here is the big bonus for an accordion player :- the chords are in the same order from left to right as the standard stradella accordion bass; but concertinered into a zig-zag nearly half the width ! On the 65 button instrument it is easy to play something very similar to an accordion um-pah bass. First play a deep note and the octave higher on adjacent fingers to give the "Um" ; (and note, this is easier on an instrument with the specified Hayden slope, which slightly offsets the octaves than the American slopeless style). Then play the chord(s) in a higher register to give the "Pah(s)". I would compare the 65 button Hayden concertina as the equivalent to a 34 key 72 bass piano-accordion, and the 46 button Hayden concertina equivalent to a 25 key 40 bass piano-accordion. Inventor.
  14. inventor

    Rollo Woods

    I was very sad to hear of the passing of Rollo, who I had known for many many years. Every time I met him, at Folk Festivals and Concertina weekends. He always brought new (to me) traditional tunes, and breathed new life into these and other better known ones. Some years ago I was suddenly asked to organize the teachers for the WCCP concertina sessions at the Sidmouth Folk Week. I naturally turned to Rollo for help. He gave the most wonderful series of workshops on William Kimber's concertina playing for the Headington Quarry Morrismen. Rollo emphasized Kimber's "in your face" (his words, not mine) use of harmony to drive the dancers along. He showed how this could be done equally as well on the English Concertina, as the Anglo. He will be sorely missed in the Concertina and wider Folk World. Brian Hayden.
  15. inventor

    Jeffries On Ebay

    I think it is fairly common knowledge that 1***1 identifies Chris Alger as the buyer on ebay. He usually comes in from nowhere in the last few seconds. When he resells you can be sure he will have gone through the instrument finely, and had it put in very good working order, and properly in tune. Inventor.