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Everything posted by gcoover

  1. Here's a harmonic-style arrangement in G for 30-button C/G Anglo that goes waaaay up into the high notes, sounding a little reminiscent of a music box. Gary Coilsfield-House-G-ANGLO-high.pdf
  2. Congrats to the Barleycorn Duet Rescue Team! 50-buttons is an ideal size for most applications, curious about the home key - hopefully "C". Gary
  3. Looks like open fifths would be a bit problematical. Gary
  4. A version of the similar "Green Grow the Lilacs" can be found in the Cowboy Concertina book, arranged for harmonic-style Anglo in the key of C. Here's what it sounds like: Gary
  5. The quick fix is to switch it out with another button from a note you never play, maybe way up in the top end? Gary
  6. Watch all the Bernard Wrigley videos to see and hear how he works the single-action bass concertina. He's the master of the "Phartophone", and hilarious as well, especially his description about how the concertina breathes through holes in its bottom. Gary
  7. Just before he passed, I had the good fortune to work with Dave Leggett on publishing his book of songs, tunes and poems titled Ditty Box. If you'll send me a PM with your address I'll make sure to send you one to go with your new Leggett concertina! Gary
  8. gcoover


    There are lots of books out there with music for traditional folk songs and sea songs, plus many can be found online. The Penguin Book of English Folk Songs is a good collection, and lots of shanties are in the Stan Hugill books. In the Shameless Plug Department: Pirate Songs and Sailor Songs have music and chords and lyrics to over 150 nautical songs and sea shanties, and both also have editions with tablature arranged for Anglo concertina editions. Sailor Songs for 20-Button Anglo Concertina is extracted from the two previous books. All are available in paperback and Kindle formats from the Button Box, Red Cow Music, and Amazon. Gary
  9. "His Memberness" often uses a lightning-fast grace note arpeggio up or down before certain melody notes and chords, something Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne refers to as a "zip". These are in the same bellows direction as the landing note/chord, and are played by the rest of the fingers on the same hand. And he usually punches the chord hard and quick. Similar to the John Watcham book, a John Kirkpatrick Anglo book is in the works, with plans for it to be out by his October workshop. Perhaps we'll be able to meet up then and share some tunes and pints! Gary
  10. Do you think the felt was someone's aftermarket attempt to silence some clattering buttons? I would think the sharp metal edges would have made short work of any felt, as opposed to the bushing board that present a larger and smoother surface. Gary
  11. Hi Peter, Before you go to all the trouble of making new bushing boards, first make sure you have sufficient clearance between the new boards and all parts of the button lever mechanism, including the little piece of lever that extends beyond the button. Gary
  12. If you have large hands you might find the Minstrel too cramped, like the 1950's Wheatstones, with tiny buttons just too close to the handrest. I tried a Minstrel at Smythe's and found it really difficult to play and not the least bit enjoyable. Unfortunately there seems to be no standard as to distance from "handrest to apex". My 1954 Wheatstone is 2-7/8" (7.3mm) and my Wolverton is 3-1/8" (8.0mm) and that extra quarter of an inch makes a huge difference. 1" high handrests also help. Gary
  13. That Branwen sure looks like a cheap Chinese Anglo I've seen on a Chinese wholesale site. So from your list I'd vote Stagi, or consider Swan/Blackthorn if you can go the extra distance. The extra row on the 30-button can make all the difference in playing in other keys (like D) and for richer harmonic arrangements. Gary
  14. As Breve mentioned, one of the main advantages to playing ITM on a C/G Anglo is that many of the tunes are played "across the break" between the left side and the right side. This frees up your strongest fingers on both hands to do most of the heavy lifting, and also allows the other fingers to add the ornaments and occasional low accent notes that mimic the pipes. Gary
  15. Looks like somebody got a new drill press for Christmas...
  16. I totally agree with what everyone has said so far. Another point of consideration is available instruction - to date there is only one book for G/D (hard to find), compared to dozens and dozens for C/G written over the past 150+ years. I, too, initially thought a G/D would be more logical for tunes in G and D, but you'll quickly learn that logic has nothing to do with it! The Irish play the C/G since that was/is the more common instrument, and it is also how they can develop so much energy and lilt in G and D, especially by playing across the rows. I had a really nice Jeffries G/D but never learned to play it due to the lack of any tutors. It has long since moved on to a new owner, and I'm now perfectly happy to explore all the options and quirks of the C/G, both 20-button and 30-button. Gary
  17. Hopefully in a couple of months. He has been working on accompanying videos, and he just sent me the final chapter this morning, so we're just about to the final formatting and assembly stage. As you can imagine, it's going to be a really great book with great instruction - it's very exciting to be working with Cohen to help make it happen. Gary
  18. Quite a lot of sea songs and shanties can be played on the 20-button Anglo, but of course the 30-button gives you more options for different keys which might be important for matching the ranges of certain singers. Shameless plug time: Sea Songs for 20-button Anglo Concertina has 96 songs, excerpted from Pirate Songs for Concertina and Sailor Songs for Concertina (both of which also have songs for 30-button Anglos). And yes, the whole sudden shanty phenomenon is great to see, perhaps building on the interest in Sea of Thieves and Assassin's Creed. Sales of The Pocket Shantyman are currently skyrocketing as well! It's wonderful to see so many people interested in these great old songs that are so much fun to sing and play. Gary
  19. Bertram Levy is back! His Anglo concertina tutor, The Anglo Concertina Demystified, is now back through Rollston Press in paperback and Kindle in a print-replica edition of the 1985 original. But instead of cassettes (remember them?) and CD's (also becoming a thing of the past), it now has QR code links to the audio files. And there are a lot of them, 74 in total. It's written for the 30-button C/G Anglo, and he uses his own notation and tablature system, numbering the buttons 1-15 on both sides, and using "i" and "o" for push and pull. He also indicates the fingering he recommends. This is not a collection of tunes, but more of a structured approach to learning the instrument. The first place to have the book is Red Cow Music in Yorkshire, so support your local music store first! Gary
  20. I also just now gave it a try in the key of C and didn't find any problematic C chord issues. There's a fairly advanced arrangement in Sailor Songs for Concertina in the key of D with only one long-ish section on the pull if that key works for you. Riding the air valve is good when you can plan ahead, and you can also leave out some of the left hand harmony notes which take more air. Leaving out the third works really well (no need for full chords). Also, you can play brief staccato chords, just tapping them for emphasis, no need to play big heavy lengthy chords. It's very common for beginners to push and pull way too hard, which also uses lots of air, so easing up and playing it lightly will save lots of air too. Gary
  21. The version in the video is essentially in the key of C, perfect for Anglo, and easily playable with harmonies on a 20-button. It was on the original list of tunes to put in the books, but lost out since it is obviously still in copyright. Hopefully you can pick it out from this video! Gary
  22. Here's the source of James's birthdate of 1879, from the man himself, complete with some really charming misspellings: www.genealogy.com/ftm/b/a/r/William-Barney/FILE/0010page.html
  23. Just wondering if anyone is familiar with Arthur James Richardson and his brother Harry (Edward Willian Henry Richardson) who both played concertina around 1900-1920 or so? I stumbled across a newspaper article from 1905 mentioning a performance in Honolulu by James on "the Anglo-Chromatic and English concertinas" accompanied by his daughter, Miss Elsie Richardson. His set list included: Selection from Il Trovatore, "In Happy Moments" (Maritana), "Scenes that are Brightest" (Maritana), "Cherry Ripe" (and old English ballad), Patriotic airs, Selection from Les Cloches des Corneville, and Scotch airs. He was born in England in 1879, the family emigrated in 1883 to NSW, Australia, and later to Hobart, Tasmania. He became a bricklayer and at age 18 went to Cape Town and Johannesburg "and had a good time on the boat with my consertina". He later moved to London, then Canada and Florida, and ended up in Baltimore and lived until 1967. The newspaper account said he was passing through Honolulu on his way to London. I did an internet search and found these two photos (James with jazz band, and Harry with concertina) on a genealogy website. Gary
  24. A most excellent choice for a starting book, even if I am a bit biased! You'll find the tablature is the easiest to follow, most of the tunes have corresponding videos via QR codes, and there are now well over a dozen other books that utilize that same notation and tab system, including 75 Irish Session Tunes for Anglo Concertina. There is an absolutely bewildering array of tab and notation systems out there for Anglo, so be careful before you purchase - it's hard enough without trying to mix the different notation systems. But having said that, the Anglo is very much an ear-players instrument too, so once you get it put the box in a closet and leave the instrument out where you spend most of your time, and you'll find you keep picking it up and trying things again and again until it starts to click for you. Listen to lots of recordings and videos of other Anglo players, and the inspiration alone will be worth its weight in gold. For serious Irish style, you'll learn a lot from Caitlin nic Gabhann's online course - highly recommended. And she doesn't use any tab system at all, just teaches you which notes from printed music, slowly at first, and with lots of repetition until you can play up to speed. The Anglo is great fun to play, either in ITM style or harmonic style - hope you enjoy it as much as the rest of us do! Gary
  25. I asked John what his formal title is, now that he is semi-royalty, and he replied he can be addressed as "Your Memberness" - while bowing/curtseying, of course! Gary
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