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Everything posted by gcoover

  1. Definitely a Jeffries Duet, home key of C. Probably first (and only) time in the movies! Gary
  2. Hi Jack - I have the book but it is just a bunch of tunes with no instruction whatsoever - it could be for any instrument, but at least it does have an accompanying CD of him playing the tunes. Gary
  3. And to add to the confusion, middle c is "C" in abc notation. Gary
  4. I would think you could push in a new spring next to where the old one sheared off? A spring broke on me in the middle of a gig - a piece of scotch tape quickly placed over the hole allowed the show to go on. But it sure messed with the concentration to hit a dead button! Gary
  5. It's different tools for different jobs. I've played both EC and AC for years, and can easily switch back and forth since the keyboards and handrests are so different, as is what I want to play and how I play it on each instrument. The really hard switch is between Anglo and Jeffries Duet, since 1/4 of the keyboard is identical, and the harmonic chord patterns are just close enough to really scramble things up in my little brain - definitely have to make sure to NOT try to play the same tune on both because the end result would be not being able to play it on either! Gary
  6. With all the recent posts about bass concertina, I just now remembered this recording from mumble-something years ago featuring the wonderfully unlikely combination of double-action bass concertina and concert harp: https://soundcloud.com/user-906796422-441231868/king-of-the-fairies
  7. This brings up one of the major stumbling blocks in trying to notate the Anglo in standard musical notation since middle C is in the middle of the left side. What to do about potentially excessive ledger lines (top and bottom) if notating both treble and bass clefs? Some use two treble clefs, some an octave low. I've made the conscious decision to only show the melody notes in real pitch, but Adrian makes an excellent point about being able to read an octave lower and being able to access a wide world of printed scores. For my limited cranial capacity I think I'll stick with numbers and overscore lines! Gary
  8. To slightly reverse the drift... the tab notation I use was initially "pencil only", a quick way to mark up existing music by notating button numbers and simply drawing a line for drawing the bellows. I had probably done several hundred tunes that way before getting the PrintMusic program so I could write the first book. And I could have easily done a pencil version with Bonnie Kirkwall Bay if the music someone posted online had not been all hammajang (Hawaiian word). It's super quick for already printed music, but takes a little longer when using a notation program to tart it up to look purty for publication. Gary
  9. FYI, the cheaper software called PrintMusic will do the same, I only upgraded to Finale because they offered a really good deal at one point. Gary
  10. Old-school manual input! I use Finale and have to draw each individual line as a SmartShape, then set it to horizontal, then come back later and adjust each one for length and exact vertical placement. Same for the dashed lines I use to show length of bass notes. Yep, a huge pain, but it's the only way I know how to do it! Gary
  11. Hi Haraald, if no one else is going to chime in I might as well take the bait - here's a simple version in C plus a harmonized one in G which needs a 30-button instrument and matches the key that Jim MacLeod plays in. This was made slightly more difficult since the one version of Bonnie Kirkwall Bay that has the dots on the internet has it in the wrong time signature (3/4?!?), plus every measure is off by one quarter note. In the immortal words of Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein and Winston Churchill, "don't believe everything you see on the internet". I hope one of these versions gets the job done and that you win the game! Gary Bonnie-Kirkwall-Bay-G-ANGLO.pdf
  12. Uploaded just a few hours ago, with Bernard in fine form as always. The bass concertina appears after 17:20 for "Fisherman's Friend".
  13. Yes, Rolf Nilsson's "The Amazing Slow Downer" program/app is exactly that - amazing. Yeah, stupid name, but it describes what it does. The paid version is well worth it, and I've happily used it almost daily for many years now. As I recall the website is www.ronimusic.com. Gary
  14. I think I'm seeing two types of Anglo tab from these discussions. For those who are "paper-trained" and can read standard musical notation, it looks like there is a desire to fully map the Anglo to standard notation, utilizing various combinations of clefs and ledger lines and symbols. This includes trying to bend various software programs to help accomplish this, including the changing of note heads, stem directions, etc. The second type is tablature for rank beginners who may have no musical training whatsoever but still want to get some tunes out of the Anglo, with a bare minimum of tab-assistance to get them started. This would also include wanting to easily markup already-printed single-line melodies, as well as notate arrangements to remember later. Both are worthy endeavors, but definitely two separate paths, one of complexity and one of simplicity. Several years ago I posted on CNET a table showing over 30 different Anglo tab systems that have been used in the last 150 years - no wonder beginners are confused! Gary
  15. I know there can be a tendency to overthink the issue, hoping to find some sort of perfect system. I know I certainly did at first. I tried them all, and struggled with the two-step coordinate-style numbering and tab systems that only made it more difficult for me. So I went back to the historical tutors, in hopes they had already worked out a decent way to notate this bisonoric beast, and found that the "1-10" single-numbering system for each side was the best for me. Simple, straightforward, easy-to-remember, lots of music already notated like this in the old tutors, and very important for me - a very quick and easy way to mark up Anglo arrangements on existing printed music with a pencil. But I found the historical bellows direction notation to be all over the place, so merely simplified it (for me) by drawing a single overhead line for draw/pull and nothing for press/push, with the result being it was a much clearer way to see the overall phrasing (and air use) at a glance as opposed to having to pick through all the violin bow symbols or Ps and Ds (which look waaaay too much alike). It's a lot like learning to type (oops, it's called "keyboarding" now) - there are lots of different teaching methods all striving for the same goal of creating a crutch that gets you started, and that is hopefully also the quickest to throw away. And if adding Anglo notation to previously printed music is important, find what is simplest and easiest and makes sense for you. Unfortunately these notation discussions often generate far more heat than light - better to spend that time playing music instead! Gary
  16. One fairly reliable test for checking whether the button spacing is cramped or not would be to draw an imaginary line from the points of the hexagonal end plate that would pass through the top row of buttons (left to right). On my Wolverton 30-button this passes through the middle of the farthest button, but on Wheatstones you'll find that all the buttons are below that line. It's only a few millimeters, but it can make a world of difference - to me the Minstrel is pretty much unplayable with it's cramped spacing and low handrest. Gary
  17. Hi Andrew, try to check the distance from the handrest to the apex of the buttons (well, that's what Chris Algar calls it) - which would be the maximum distance from the handrest to the middle button on the top row. This is not at all standardized, and most instruments don't give this dimension, but it's pretty important. The historical Wheatstone and current Minstrel layouts are pretty scrunched up and I find them difficult to play, so you'll probably want to look for something else. I really like the Herrington and Wolverton layout dimensions, but they are hard instruments to come by. And yes, a handrest height of 1" will make all the difference too. Gary
  18. If you like Bertram Levy's and Frank Ferrel's excellent "Sageflower Suite" album, or Charles O'Connor's "Angel on the Mantelpiece", then you will likely enjoy this too! Gary
  19. It only took listening to the first two tracks to convince me to buy the album. No mad diddly thrash here, just incredibly musical explorations of how beautiful these tunes can be. An absolute pleasure to listen to, your efforts are much appreciated! Gary
  20. As late as 1921 he toured the vaudeville circuit with several other acts, including Dora Robeni, "a concertina artist". A British newspaper says he was from "across the pond", but it looks like he played mostly in England but also around the US. Assuming it's the same Harry Edson. Gary
  21. There is an ad in the April 27, 1908 Evening Express about acts at the Cardiff Empire on Queen Street, including "Harry Edson and His Dogs", "Doc" and "Tige" - "an act as Marvelous as it is Clever". Especially if the dogs played the concertina!?! Gary
  22. Hey Frank, don't worry too much about the air at first - you're probably pushing and pulling a bit too hard, and also probably too slowly since you're still learning and getting the hang of it. Practice and familiarity and time will likely take care of the problem, but it can be really frustrating at first! In a little while it will feel like second nature. I sometimes still get the push and pull reversed so it's not just you - it just takes a while to get the subconscious and motor memory properly trained. Gary
  23. One thing you can do for starters is search the internet for the sheet music or lyrics with the chords - they probably won't be in the key you want so you'll have to transpose everything. And then that might not fit your instrument or have the notes you need in the same directions so you'll have to transpose again until you find something that works. You can also use something like the Amazing Slow Downer program (which definitely lives up to its name) to try and figure things out by ear by easily changing the pitch and/or the speed. I've used both methods to work up things like "Over the Rainbow", "Moulin Rouge", "Love of My Life", "Eleanor Plunkett", as well as some of the J-rock tunes of SCANDAL like "Shunkan Sentimental". And then once you know what the chords are, find the corresponding buttons and through a lengthy-but-fun process of trial and error, find where the notes are and in which direction, decide how much of the chord to play, when to play the various notes high or low, or maybe no thirds or maybe only one or two or three of the notes. You don't want to overpower the melody with a big heavy chord, so sometimes just a few notes or an arpeggio of sorts will do the trick. Sometimes you hold off and add some notes of the chord later to fill in some gaps in the rhythm. When you don't have the right notes in the right direction, you can default to no chord at all or maybe play some octaves instead and everyone will think you did it intentionally just to add some variety! And there will likely be times you will need to change the direction of the melody notes to fit the chords you want to play. Playing along with the recording (at varying speeds) will really help you focus on maintaining the rhythm and feel of the tune, and by ploughing through regardless you'll make mistakes that might lead to ways that work better. Nothing wrong with a little (or a lot) of experimentation! At the end of the day it boils down to what works and what sounds good to you - and that will probably change as you play the tune and learn more about it and how you want it to sound. It's not an easy process, but it is a great voyage of discovery that can have some really surprising results that will teach you a lot about what you and your instrument are capable of. Gary
  24. Glad to hear you are finding the books helpful! Unfortunately the songs you reference are still very much under copyright, which is a huge pain to track down, and then the big music publishers typically want $150+ minimum per song for print permission. That's why there are no Cyril Tawney songs in any of the sea songs books, really sad. If a song was written pre-1924 it is in the public domain and free to use, so that's why I mostly concentrate on traditional material or tunes where I can contact the composer directly. Barbara Steinger at Akkordeonschule Aarau in Switzerland is working on a book of traditional tunes from that area so maybe it might include a few French tunes. If anyone wants to work up a bunch of tunes from any of the Malicorne albums that would be wonderful! Gary
  25. A candle is much too dangerous! But you can take off one end, darken the room and then put the bellows over an exposed light bulb to see if there are any leaks. There will usually be some movement if you just hold the closed instrument up by one end - it's the speed of the drop that indicates leaky bellows or leaky pads or some other source of leakage. Gary
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