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Everything posted by gcoover

  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
  16. I hadn't realized the circular-fret Wheatstones were so dangerous!
  17. Does anyone recognize the cartoonist of the “organist” version?
  18. Nine years later... found it! Quite by happenstance just today, while searching for information on Nellie Power (whom I once had the distinct pleasure of meeting and hearing play in her living room courtesy of singer Bill Price). Exactly where Stephen remembered, in a 1974 Free Reed Magazine. And before that in the Cambridge Evening News. Steve Schulteis and I are working on book of church music for the Anglo, so this is most appropriate assuming the necessary permissions can be obtained. In the immortal words of Commander Peter Quincy Taggart: "Never give up, never surrender"! Gary
  19. Instruments with waxed-in reeds are also at risk in high-heat situations. Several years ago while performing on stage in 100+ weather in San Antonio, TX, reeds literally fell out of my Hohner pokerwork melodeon. The first clue was hearing air instead of notes, and then the disconcerting realization that there were reeds jangling about at the bottom of the bellows. Needless to say, the tune ended early! Gary
  20. Not the traditional tune that everyone knows - from the English drinking song "To Anacreon in Heaven" - but an American tune composed by James Hewitt (1770-1827) in New York in 1817, only three years after Francis Scott Key wrote his famous poem about the British bombardment of Fort McHenry. Hewitt was the orchestra leader of the Old American Company and was one of the leading musicians in New York City. His composition had been lost to history until a copy was discovered in Philadelphia and a facsimile reprint issued in 1930. A copy of that reprint just happened to be in a big box of old sheet music that I bought at a junk shop in Hobbs, New Mexico, many years ago, and this grand tune definitely deserves a wider audience. For those of you brave enough to give it a try, I've attached the pdf with tablature since I made a couple of minor changes since it was first published in Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style ten years ago. The music notation shown is exactly from the original Hewitt score, so the Anglo button numbers shown are best approximations. The fingering is fairly difficult, requiring lots of shifts out of normal positions. Originally in the key of G, I transposed it to the key of C to better fit a C/G Anglo. If you have a G/D Anglo, then you'll be in the original pitch. The video was recorded today, on the 4th of July, 206 years after it was written, and it took me almost that long to learn it! Gary P.S. I've updated the version in the book, so all copies from here on out will have the newer tab - one of the beauties of print-on-demand publishing. Star Spangled Banner-Hewitt-C-ANGLO.pdf
  21. The First Steps book does not talk about chords, and only includes one tune with multiple notes, so it's not a very good start for wanting to learn accompaniments and harmonies. A much better starting point from scratch would be Easy Anglo 1-2-3 (shameless plug alert), available in paperback from Red Cow Music or Amazon, also on Kindle. It introduces basic chords very quickly, and starts with one row, then two, and finally tunes using all three rows. Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic style will provide a lot more tunes with harmonies, including some that are quite difficult. And then there is the new tutor by Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne which is absolutely excellent. Unfortunately, there are not any Anglo books that specialize in song accompaniment. I reached out to Andy Turner a while back to see if he could help put something together, but he said he had no idea how to teach it! So best advice would be to listen to others, try lots of different variations, and make sure the accompaniment complements the singing instead of overpowering it. Gary
  22. In addition to Theo's most excellent comments about reeds and availability, keep in mind that any unusual alteration would render your instrument unsellable to anyone else in the future. And conversely, you would have difficulty playing anyone else's instrument that is in a standard configuration. It's bad enough having the Wheatstone/Lachenal and Jeffries variations to contend with. The Anglo is full of quirks and compromises, the logic of which only becomes more apparent after years of playing. Frustrating at the beginning? Definitely! But the challenge of overcoming and working within its peculiarities is what makes a successful arrangement all the more satisfying. Gary
  23. From a photograph I took in 1979 of William Kimber's headstone in Holy Trinity Churchyard, Headington Quarry, Oxfordshire. With Morris bells also carved in stone.
  24. And look out the window - it's propane-powered!
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