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About hjcjones

  • Rank
    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 07/15/1954

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  • Gender
  • Interests
    Traditional music and song, especially English.

    I play Anglo: a C/G Crabb 40 key, a Dipper D/G 31 key, and Lachenal F/C baritone. Besides concertina, I play melodeon, guitar, hammered dulcimer and recorder, and sing.

    I used to be in the ceilidh band "The Electropathics" and now play with Albireo
  • Location
    Cheshire, UK

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  1. I believe this substitution arose because printers didn't have the "thorn" character and used "Y" because it was the closest match. The confusion continues to the present day. When John Offord was re-printing his classic tune collection "John of the Greeny Cheshire Way" he discovered on looking more closely at the original music that there was a tiny "e" next to the letter "Y", so it should actually be "John of the Green, ye Cheshire Way". Which makes a lot more sense, but is a bit dull. I prefer his original interpretation. Reversed letters seem to have been commonplace on gravestones in the 17th, 18th and early 19th centuries but no one seems sure why. Poor education may be an explanation, you would expect skilled masons to know the correct shapes of letters, but you only have to look at the mistakes made by modern sighwriters to realise this might not be the case. It seems strange that this would still occur at the time Jeffries was making concertinas and it seems likely to me that this was deliberate. I think the OP is onto something when he compares it with the way a lower-case 'n' is formed, and perhaps this was a stylistic convention with masons and engravers?
  2. As for chords, most folk tunes are written out as simple melody lines. Players add their own chords, which is pretty straightforward on an anglo (in the home keys anyway), rather as a guitarist would. It is possible to find detailed arrangements for anglo in both notation and tablature, but these cover only a tiny fraction of the repertoire. I would regard them as an aid to learning, to see how other players have approached this so you can develop your own skills to be able to play any tune you come across. Different styles of music also require different approaches. Irish music uses very little chording, but the anglo is also suited to big chords with both hands! It pays to listen to a lot of players in your preferred style to find what works.
  3. Me too. I grew out of it eventually. I don't recall doing anything special to cure this. I suspect that as I became more proficient the bellows changes became more automatic, and as I wasn't consciously thinking about it my breathing became normal. I suspect this is a common affliction for novice players of push-pull instruments.
  4. For clarity, in CADB the letters P and T are not applied to each button. The buttons are numbered, with " ' " marks to indicate the row eg 3' indicates button 3 on the first row, 4'' means button 4 on the second row. These are then placed above or below the line to indicate Push or Pull. This works well for melodeon as the keyboard is continuous. It seems to be fairly widely used in France. Being a melodeon player I was aware of this system and did consider whether it could be adapted for anglo, but as you say having the keyboard split between two hands adds a further level of complexity. It can be made to work, as Roger's example shows, but as hardly anyone seems to use it there didn't seem any point in pursuing it. When exploring concertina tabs I was disappointed to find that there seems to be several different systems in use. This means that whenever you look at a piece of tab you first have to find what system it is using and how the buttons are numbered. Sometimes they appear to be similar but are quite different. Some use violin bowing marks, but not being a violinist I don't find these helpful, and don't instinctively associate up and down bowing with push and pull bellows. It's interesting that your tutor uses an inverted V for a draw, wheres "V" fiddle mark represents a down bow. It can all get a bit confusing, unless you are able to stick with a single system. It doesn't help in my case that my anglos have more than 30 buttons so I have to extend the numbering, and my melodeon starts the scale on the 4th button whereas CADB assumes a third button start. To be honest, I'm not a great fan of tab, on any instrument. Sometimes, when it's taken me a long time to work out the best way to play a particular phrase it can be useful as a way of recording that so I don't forget it, but as a way of learning tunes I find it only occasionally useful. I am principally an ear player, so I'll figure out a tune for myself rather than directly from dots or someone else's tab. However tab is undoubtedly a useful addition to the toolbox.
  5. You should also consider what style of music you want to play on it.
  6. I would go so far to say it isn't the same tune, although there are a few echoes of it in there. I wonder if something got lost in translation somewhere? It hardly matters though, it's a beautiful tune in its own right, and beautifully played.
  7. It looks to me like an adaptation of the French CADB system for diatonic accordeon (melodeon). You can find an explanation here: http://diato.org/expltabl.htm I can see no reason why this approach couldn't be applied to anglo. However it doesn't seem to be the most widely adopted system, most publications seem to use individually numbered buttons rather than a combination of row and button. There are a number of discussions here about tabs, including at least one current. The French versions uses P(ousse) and T(irer) for push and pull, which avoids confusion with the English words
  8. I can thoroughly recommend Adrian's book 'A Garden of Dainty Delights' which has arrangements for some splendid tunes for both Jeffries and Wheatstone layouts, and for which he has also recorded YouTube versions.
  9. Someone on the "Gigs from Hell" Facebook group says they've been offered an extra 25% "hazard pay"
  10. I think I would want to see, in writing, exactly what precautions they plan to take to protect your safety. A general assurance isn't good enough, and might put you in a difficult position if you were to turn up and found they weren't adequate. Having complete clarity beforehand allows you to decide whether to take the gig, and if not allows time for the venue to find someone else.
  11. Thanks Adrian. I couldn't quite see from you videos just what you were doing. Your approach seems to be similar to mine, especially on the 40-button where some of the buttons are a bit of a stretch. I've more or less copped out of trying to play standing up, and when performing with the band I use a high stool so I am at the same level as the others but can support the instruments (melodeon or concertina ) on my thigh. When singing, I also tend to "dangle" and maybe tuck it into the top of my thigh for bit of extra support, but I am usually playing simpler arrangements of mainly chords and arpeggios. May I add that I very much enjoy your videos, and I've recently got hold of a 'Garden of Dainty Delights' which has some great tunes. Howard
  12. In reply to schult, my video check wasn't very thorough and I've only looked at a few. I don't always find it very easy to tell whether a pinkie is being used to play a note or is simply "floating" while another finger is used, and the camera angles aren't always helpful. However I definitely notice this with John Kirkpatrick, who is someone I've watched closely for many years. I'm not saying he never uses it to play notes but often it is used to support the instrument. See here for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lD42nuQHRpk But he has big hands - I have a very similar instrument (40-button Crabb ) and I can barely reach his contact point, and then I can hardly move the other fingers. I certainly agree with gcvoover that all the fingers are needed to play notes, at least where my own playing is concerned. I guess what I am interested in is the trade-off between added stability (especially when playing standing) and using fewer fingers. It would be interesting to hear from players who habitually do this. Coronavirus permitting, I'm still hoping to go to JK's workshop in October so maybe I'll ask him then.
  13. It's really harmonic-style playing I'm interested in, where you have to use several fingers simultaneously so the question is, which ones? Other styles of playing may not need you to use so many fingers. In particular, "Irish style" tends not to use the highest or lowest notes, and there are very firm ideas on which finger should be used for which note. I'm not sure note layout makes a difference. It is how those buttons are played, rather than the notes, which is the issue. I can see that layout might affect how often you need to reach for them. Certainly a larger keyboard makes it more of a stretch if you're going to brace the instrument, although John K manages this with a 40-button (very similar to mine, as it happens). However he has hands like shovels
  14. There was a recent discussion on the use of the little (pinkie) finger when playing duet. https://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?/topic/22384-using-the-pinkie-finger-on-the-ends-of-a-duet/ On anglo, I use the pinkies of both hands to play notes at the extremities of the keyboard. I came to the concertina from playing guitar where my little finger was already "in play" (on the left hand anyway), so it seemed quite natural to use all the fingers,. However I see that a number of excellent players seem to make little or no use of this finger. I have long noted that John Kirkpatrick mainly uses this finger to brace the instrument. Despite playing wonderfully complex music, as far as I can tell Adrian Brown doesn't seem to use this finger on either hand. Cohen Braithwaite-Kilcoyne is another who seems to use these fingers only as a brace, and then only occasionally. Jody Kruskal doesn't seem to use them at all. I admit I haven't made a detailed study, these are just impressions from watching a few videos. So what do other anglo players in the harmonic style do? In particular, how do the teachers among you advise using this finger? I can see the benefits from bracing the instrument more firmly, which is a problem I always have when playing standing. However I suspect I am too set in my ways to change now, and besides I don't think my hands are big enough - it feels quite uncomfortable to use these fingers as a brace, especially on the 40-button, even before I try to finger notes. However I'd be interested to know what other players do, and what may be regarded as good practice (if indeed there is such a thing).
  15. Congratulations! I remember getting my hands on my Cotswold for the first time, and being astonished. You will find it gets even better as it plays in.
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