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About Steve_freereeder

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    Chatty concertinist

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    South Yorkshire, England

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  1. Steve_freereeder

    Success with lubrication

    Replying to an old thread which seems to have resurfaced... Abrasive contamination is certainly a risk if you use graphite obtained from pencils. The pencil graphite 'lead' is mixed with clay as a binder and is mildly abrasive. The harder the pencil, the greater the proportion of clay. Even soft pencils, e.g. 2B, 4B, etc., contain some clay. As advocated by some earlier in this thread, the best source of graphite is locksmith's graphite which is the pure form. No clay.
  2. Ah - OK, I see what you mean now. I misunderstood your post, sorry.
  3. The Dippers (Colin and Rosalie) are English! They are based in rural Wiltshire in the south of England.
  4. Steve_freereeder

    Concertina care

    Perhaps you need to worry more about corrosion on the reeds and other metal parts of your concertina, from air-borne salt water droplets. Where I used to live in south-west Wales, about 1/2 mile from the sea, mechanics at my local garage would report that car bodywork was always prone to far more rust compared with cars based several miles inland.
  5. Steve_freereeder

    Anglo GD Alt Layout?

    I came upon this topic by chance - I don't often read this forum. Some points: 1. The generic G/D Wheatstone layout chart shown by the original poster was created by me. Not sure how it has come into the public domain in this way. I have a variety of layout charts which I have made over the years and they are stored on my computer hard drive. I am happy to share them with others, but it would be nice to be credited as the author. 2. The layout chart in question is based on my own Dipper G/D anglo but chart referred to does indeed have a couple of typographical errors which the OP has queried. In particular, the A#4 on the LH side should indeed be A#3. The C6/E6 at the end of the RH side top row should also be E6/C6. It's like that on my Dipper and in any case it makes far more sense that way and I can't imagine why anyone would really want it the other way round. 3. Apologies for the errors and many thanks for bringing them to my notice. I have corrected the errors as discussed and I attach the amended G/D layout to this post. Steve GD generic anglo concertina layout.pdf
  6. I've done the opposite too. On my Dipper there was one note which was obviously sounding louder than the adjacent notes, but otherwise responding very well. Replacing the vinyl spring with a slightly longer narrow strip cut from a vinyl melodeon valve did the trick and the note now sounds balanced with its neighbours.
  7. My Dipper G/D anglo has the larger valves similar to such as Theo has described: leather with a thin vinyl 'spring' held in place by a thin leather 'dot', just like you see on larger accordion/melodeon valves which have the thin steel spring. I cannot imagine for one moment that Colin Dipper, being such a superb maker and craftsman, would use this type of valve as a botch or a trick. Admittedly, his vinyl springs are generally shorter and lighter weight than those in Theo's photos and the valve construction is neater too. One advantage of the vinyl spring and leather dot is that the valve resistance can easily be adjusted by carefully trimming the length of the vinyl spring to make it lighter, or if more resistance is needed, by removing the 'dot', substituting a longer spring and regluing or replacing the dot. No need to remove the entire valve. Photo of the LH reed pan of my Dipper anglo attached. You can see the vinyl springs and dots on the larger valves.
  8. Steve_freereeder

    Concertina Bow Arm

    Like Howard Jones and a couple of others on this thread, (a) I play the anglo mainly in the 'English' harmonic style and (b) I am quite strongly left-handed. I do sometimes stand up to play but mostly I sit. When sitting down, I play the anglo with the RH end resting on my left thigh and use my left hand and arm to move the LH end of the instrument. This may be because I am a melodeon player too, and there it is always the LH end which moves. On the anglo, I have no problem in moving my left hand fingers around to make and change the chord patterns as needed; there is no compromise of the stability of the instrument nor any difficulty in reaching all the buttons. I have occasionally experimented with switching the static end and the moving end: keeping the LH end on my right thigh and moving the RH end. Yes - I can do it and my playing doesn't seem any different in terms of being harder or easier, but it just does not feel right, which I attribute mainly to my left-handedness. So eventually I revert back to my normal comfortable style. Ultimately, I think it doesn't really matter which method you adopt, so long as it works for you. As I tell my students, there are no rules. But I would also advocate being open-minded and being prepared to try other things from time to time. You might discover something new, or perhaps simply confirm that your previous approach was the best for you.
  9. I'll be running an anglo concertina workshop on the Thursday morning, hopefully in the Middle Earth at 10 a.m. - 11:20 a.m. It will be aimed at Intermediate to Advanced players and will explore the so-called 'English' harmonic style of playing*. You will need a C/G anglo concertina, preferably with 30 keys minimum, although it will work in part on a 20-key instrument. It will not be suitable for G/D concertinas, sorry. I will not have the time to run the workshop for the two systems in parallel. * NB - it's not an English concertina workshop!
  10. Steve_freereeder

    Witney Supersqueeze

    Dave Townsend has asked me to post the following on this forum. The tutors are now sorted. A NEW WEEKEND FROM HANDS ON MUSIC WITNEY SUPERSQUEEZE A Weekend Music Course for Concertinas, Melodeons and Accordions Murray Grainger (Accordion), Robert Harbron (English Concertina), Paul Hutchinson (Accordion), Ollie King (Melodeon), Geert Oude Weernink (Melodeon), Matt Quinn (Melodeon & Duet Concertina), Dave Townsend (English Concertina), Andy Turner (Anglo Concertina), Rees Wesson (Melodeon) When & Where? This new event will take place at Henry Box School, Witney, nr. Oxford, on 10th - 12th November 2017. What’s New? It’s a larger-scale weekend replacing Concertinas at Witney, Melodeons at Witney and Accordions at Witney. Some course units will be for specific instruments, some will be for any squeezebox, and there will be band and ensemble options as well. What’s Old? Like the former Hands On Music Weekends, it will follow the same structure of course units, working with different tutors, and a concert with them on Saturday night. Music will be available a few weeks beforehand. And as always there will be top-rated tutors, some familiar faces and some less-known, all with an established track record in teaching and inspiring. Like the former weekends, there will be detailed workshops on aspects of technique and traditional styles, as well as ensembles and accompaniment. The weekend is non-residential, and is for adults who can already play their instrument. When can I book? The new website is still under construction. We’re hoping to open bookings in about four weeks’ time.
  11. I also much prefer the Wheatstone layout of the top row on the RH. That's partly because I learned from Brian (thanks Brian!) but also because the Wheatstone system inherently follows the mirror octave spacing of 4 buttons on the push and 5 buttons on the pull, which makes playing in octaves, e.g. in the style of Scan Tester, far more logical (to me anyway). Cheers, Steve (escaping from melodeon.net for a while)
  12. Steve_freereeder

    Anglo Concertina In B/c Tuning?

    My first thoughts are that it might be fine for melodic playing in the Irish style, just as you would on a semitone-tuned melodeon. But I wonder how useful it would be for anyone who wanted to play in the 'harmonic style', i.e. the melody mainly on the RH side and chords/accompaniment on the LH side. The chord options on the B/C layout shown are somewhat limited. C major, A major, E minor, D minor, Bb major, B major and C# minor would be available with varying degrees of ease of fingering. But as far as I can see, it is not possible to play the commonly useful chords such as G major, D major, F major, or A minor. To me, the absence of these chords and the lack of push/pull reversals other than B and E would be a severe handicap. I think that if the B/C layout was going to be remotely useful for a two-row concertina, it would have been done by now. I'll stick to my standard Wheatstone layout 30-key C/G anglo*, thanks! * on which it is possible to play all sorts of music (including Irish) very nicely.
  13. Steve_freereeder

    Morse To Edgley - A Move Up?

    Yes - I would definitely agree with that. The Morse has accordion type reeds in it and if it is getting a bit old, it would be quite prudent to get it checked over. The reeds can drift out of tune and the set (gap) of the reed tongues can gradually change too, away from their optimum setting. It's the latter factor particularly which has a profound impact on how well the reeds respond. If the gap is too wide, the reed can be slow to start and 'breathy'. If the gap is too narrow, the reed may start OK but can 'choke' when driven harder. In extreme cases, too narrow a gap can cause the reed to fail to start at all. Get someone who knows about reeds to check and re-set the gaps and the tuning; you may well be amazed at the difference it can make in playability and response.
  14. Steve_freereeder

    Wheatstone C/g 40 Button Anglo Concertina

    Notemaker, It's clear from your comments that you don't really know an awful lot about anglo concertinas. 1. Ben's prices are pretty much spot on for those particular instruments. They are comparable with what you'd have to pay here in the UK; if anything the vintage 30-key Wheatstone is probably a bit undervalued. 2. Cannot understand why you think the concertinas are in bad condition. They look very good indeed to me; Ben takes care of his instruments and does not sell rubbish. 3. With normal reasonable care and attention, and occasional routine maintenance, there is no reason why these concertinas should not last for many decades more. Old concertinas of this calibre - especially the 1930s Linota - are likely to be every bit as good (if not better) than many new instruments being made today. The quality of the steel used in the reeds in those instruments is very, very good indeed and virtually impossible to obtain these days. 4. These concertinas are available now; you don't have to go on a maker's waiting list for years (and more years in some cases). If you want to hang around that long for a new instrument, by all means do so. 5. Your comment about diseases thriving in old instruments is utterly comical and beyond belief. At best, your comments are ill-informed, at worst, they are downright insulting to Ben and all the fine players, collectors, restorers and dealers on this forum and in the general concertina playing world.
  15. Steve_freereeder

    Louis Killen - R.i.p.

    There is already a thread about Louisa's death here.