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  1. Might I add a caution about over-thinking the fingering issue? Learning by tab (whichever one suits you best) is hard enough without trying to officially designate which finger goes where. With the Anglo it's fairly self-evident. And in the name of simplicity, it's probably best to try what comes naturally and works well, and if there's a tricky spot then try something else. There is no gospel way of playing, but yes, some fingerings work much better than others. Once you learn the keyboard, you'll never think of "finger numbers". Gary
  2. I don't think it's the tunebooks that started this! They address the market of the instruments that are predominantly available, and for most of history the C/G 20-button has been far and away the most common, with C/G being the most common for 30-button, especially for the cheaper mass-produced instruments. I've not seen anyone break down the estimated numbers by keys, but I'd hazard a guess of 90% C/G, 5% Bb/F, 3% G/D, and 2% other. I have no doubt this will stir up some interesting responses! Gary
  3. And that's where the witchcraft comes in...
  4. It can be a common problem with beginners, pushing too hard in an effort to force the notes out. And too, coupled with the fun of making a big noise either consciously or subconsciously! Subtlety and a lighter touch come with time and familiarity with the instrument and the tunes. But Andy is right, the reeds of many of the less expensive instruments won't sound unless given a hard push or pull. Gary
  5. Those wild Serpent Women look fantastic! As does Ewe-genie. But it would have been nice if they had credited John Kirkpatrick and the Shropshire Bedlams for being such influential early innovators. Gary
  6. Hi Sandra, I have Marcus #101 made in 1998 and it is a fabulous instrument. Of the many hybrids I've owned and played, it is the quickest and brightest and sounds closest to real concertina reeds. There is an interview with the late Marcus Butler on YouTube from 2015 where he says: "We do our best, at a price". I can't speak for their current models, but the one I have is certainly a keeper. They might be able to provide different buttons, would be worth an inquiry. Gary
  7. All good here in Honolulu - a couple of islands and 80 miles away from poor Lahaina. Lots of places in the world having trouble these days, all the more reason to play music and enjoy each day as a gift! Gary
  8. A sad update: Wheatstone EC #19709, built in July 1879, on display at the Baldwin House Museum in Lahaina, Maui, is no more. The concertina, and the house built in 1835, were completely burned to the ground yesterday in the devastating Lahaina fire. I visited the museum in 2016 with my W56 EC (pictured on the left) for a photo op, under the watchful eye of Mrs. Baldwin. Might I suggest fellow EC players play an appropriate lament for the loss of this fine instrument, as well as for those in Lahaina who lost everything they had. Gary
  9. Thanks, Peter, that's what I get for believing the internet! Perhaps someone mistook the CM001 for a Claddagh release. My bad. And yes, contacting Tim directly is best. If he's interested in making it available on Bandcamp I'm sure there would be folks like me who would be more than happy to help him set it up. Gary
  10. Unfortunately, Tim might have no say in whether it is available or not. It was published by Claddagh Records, so they very likely control the rights. In this case someone could perhaps contact the Browne family who license Claddagh recordings through Universal Music. (www.claddaghrecords.com). I see the company has been recently revived, with CD's, LP's, books, and other merch, but no downloads. Continued availability is a problem with many older recordings. The trad/folk market is not huge, but it does tend to be steady. Print-on-demand and download services like Bandcamp are ideal for this situation. But many older labels have either gone defunct or have not adapted to newer delivery systems. If Tim could somehow reclaim the rights, or convince Claddagh to provide downloads, he might at least get a little extra spending money. Or not. I've heard way too many stories of artists getting absolutely nothing for their work even when it was new. Always buy product directly from an artist whenever you can! Gary
  11. Sandra, welcome to the concertina! But it sounds like you got the "Pirate Songs" book instead of the "Pirate Songs for Concertina" book - send me a PM and I'll get the tabs to you. Gary
  12. Sounds like it is made by Lachenal, but it would be good to see some photos. I have 48-button Crane #55 that has C&S 396 on the back of the right side handrest with the Lachenal reedframe logo on the front of the handrest. The left side handrest only has "PATENT-21730-1896" stamped on the back side. The paper label says "Crane and Sons (Liverpool), Patent Concertina No. 21730, Manufactured by Lachenal & Co., London". It has brass reeds, also in high pitch. I'm not sure what the C&S handrest number is or how it relates to anything else... Gary
  13. And here's the first page of the original from 1817.
  14. Perhaps the most important thing to learn as you progress is which jobs you can do yourself, which jobs makes things worse, and which jobs are better left to an expert (or until you have built up your skills). I remember a friend of mine taking reeds completely apart early on and then wondering why they didn't sound right afterwards. Very few professionals even touch those two reed screws! Gary
  15. Since it looks a bit handmade, maybe it is someone's attempt at trying to create a quicker reed response, but being especially careful to avoid and not mess up the actual opening at the reed tongue? Gary
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