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Posts posted by Steve_freereeder

  1. But -- how do I join the COncertina group so I can post photos there?

    Or do I post them in my own stream, then somehow (?) get them also included in the C. group?


    Thanks, Mike K.

    Yes - you have to post photos to your own photostream first and then you can add them to groups using either the 'send to group' option which is located just above your photo, or else you can use the 'Organise' option which is located in the main 'Flickr menu on each photo page.


    You will need to 'join' any group before you can add photos to it - go to the group's main page and you should see an option 'join this group?'

  2. .... and one had an extra 'zing' when pulled but not when pushed (same reed - it's a duet). ...

    Are you sure it's the same reed? It's very unlikely - concertina reeds aren't designed like that. There are normally two separate reeds on each side of the reed pan - one for the pull one, for the push - tuned to the same pitch.

  3. Mike, I had a Marcus anglo up to a couple of years ago when I sold it on. It was a nice concertina. I can confirm it has accordion reeds. In my case the reed plates were held onto the reed pan by screws, the screw heads catching the edge of the aluminium reed plate and holding it down onto a leather gasket.




    Thinking it might be just some dust or a hair or something that's been drawn in, ...

    This sounds a plausible cause of the problem.


    I've tried holding the key down and pumping the bellows a bit. I did notice that if I put sudden pressure on the bellows with no keys down, one reed is sounding very slightly, and I think it's the one in question. If so, I guess that may be some sort of valve problem.

    This sounds as if there is an additional problem, not necessarily related to the first.


    I took the end plate off, and the next stage of exploration is two brass screws which appear to be holding a wooden bulkhead in place. Those screws are in pretty tight, and I don't want to try to undo them unless I know what to expect and what to do about it.

    This doesn't sound quite right. You need to remove the main 6 end bolts in order to remove the entire end from the bellows frame. This will give you access to the reed pan. What you describe sounds as if you has merely removed the metal end plate which gives you access to the action, not the reeds. Or have I misunderstood your description?

  4. Hello. I am new to this forum and to the world of the concertina, and am looking for some advice (no doubt the first query of many).

    I have bought a very cheap 30 button Anglo Scarlatti - whilst I learn and save up money for something much, much better. I have learnt the C and G buttons but am a bit stuck with the third (accidentals?) row. Can someone advise me what layout it follows?

    I thank you kindly.

    Queen Lud

    If I remember correctly, the Scarlatti has the standard Wheatstone 30-button layout as shown here:



    Ladydetemps (LDT) of this forum also plays a Scarlatti 30-button anglo, so I think she can confirm or counter my statement.

    Welcome to the forum and the world of concertinas and good luck with your learning!

  5. One suggestion : it would be useful to list briefly the main models

    proposed by each maker

    (Anglo/English/Duet, how many buttons, special models, etc...)

    Take it from me (and believe me I really do know) that would be an absolute bugger to maintain. To quote Shrek: really really.



    We've started doing that over at Melodeon.net. A couple of members have developed and maintain a Wiki type of database of different types of melodeon. It's visible to anyone who is registered with melodeon.net but you need to request additional privileges to edit/add items to the database. The idea is that it is self-maintaining, and the work doesn't just fall on one or two admins.



  6. Well as we are using the Roman gated walls strategy I can only counter with



    Ach y fi! These Romans!

    (What will Samantha think????)

    No alternative then - BARBICAN


    and now for a cunning move reminicent of Hannibal.....Elephant & Castle


    These Romans got me thinking - oooerr, can only be one move - has to be BANK


    FX: A loud BUZZ is heard....


    ME: Errrm.... sorry but the previous move was to Felpersham High Street as a Nim escape strategy: There is no way that BANK can be considered a valid move and it risks depositing us back in Nim. Unless of course you are meaning the NatWest in Borchester.

    NICHOLAS: And your challenge is...?

    ME: Deviation

    AUDIENCE (all at once): Booo! Hooray! Take the money! Oooh nooo!

    NICHOLAS: Right, well, you get an extra point for a correct challenge and the turn remains with you...

    AUDIENCE/FX: (general pandemonium)

    ME: In that case, I'll have another try at Nim avoidance - this is for the common good, I'll have you know - and go for: Hollerton Junction

  7. No time to understand the rules ; may I however try a little Trafalgar square

    (sorry if it's a flop...)

    Arrgghhh! You see what they say about a little knowledge being a dangerous thing....

    Now we are all in Nim, thanks to the inverse green square law combined with an invalid destination. The Waverley rules have always been particularly vulnerable to this. Goodness know what we are going to do now. Where is Samantha? Gone off somewhere, I'll warrant - just when you need her most.


    This is a long shot, but worth it if it rectifies this most unfortunate situation. I'll go for....

    Felpersham High Street




    Oooh Noooo!

    Dum-de dum-de dum-de dum-de dum,

    Dum-de dum-de dum dum.....

  8. So I can pop into Hobgoblin on the way and do a spot of shopping down oxford street

    Tottenham Court Road

    Oh! Good move, good move!


    I believe that move is called the Boris explination ;) :P

    Actually, I think you'll find that in the 1702 Waverley Rules, the Boris explination (sic) is not allowed, as there is the small but finite risk of a continuous Nim Loop being inadvertently set up, with consequent standstill events for all players. The Burns Haggis diversion is to be preferred instead. But this time, I think you might just have got away with it. (phew!)


    Incidentally, I assume that should a 'snow event' occur in mid-play, we will invoke the Michael Fish hurricane adaptation?

  9. Today the bottom G on my Linota G/D (circa 1928) developed a fuzzy sound. I have inserted a sample Wheatstone_G.mp3 for you to listen.

    There is a ringing as the reed starts and it then quietens with increased pressure but 'rings' as the vibrations die when the note is stopped. There is a point where the air pressure is just right for the ringing to be continuous and to beat with the note, producing a horrible sound.

    You will have to open up the concertina and investigate. Two possible causes come to mind.

    1 - a bit of dirt on the reed tongue or on the reed frame which is fouling the gap between the tongue and frame when the reed is set vibrating.

    2 - the reed frame is loose in its dovetail slot and is vibrating itself when it ought to be held rigid.


    Remedy 1 - try gently flicking or 'pinging' the reed tongue and/or run a piece of thin steel shim stock or stiff paper up and down between the reed tongue and the frame. But if using paper take care you don't rip any fragments of paper off which could themselves become trapped between the tongue and the frame.


    Remedy 2 - if the reed frame is loose in its dovetail slot, first ensure it is fully pushed in to the slot as far as it will go and check that it will stay there. I've known reed frames become loose as a result of a knock or shock to the concertina, or tiny changes in the dovetail slot dimensions due to changes in temperature/humidity.


    If it remains loose, make a thin short paper shim of a width to match the thickness of the reed frame (a sliver of gummed paper from an envelope flap is good) and insert it along the edge of the dovetail slot at one side of the inner (rounded) end to make a snug fit of the reed frame in the slot. You could insert a second shim adjacent to the outer end of the reed frame next to the reed tongue clamp. However, make sure the shim does not reach along the central portion of the reed frame slot otherwise it can distort the edge of the frame so that the tongue fouls the edge of the frame.


    Hope this helps.

  10. I recently bought a 1937 30B C/G Wheatstone Linota that I am getting to like very much. It is a lovely player - bright and crisp. I've been a Jeffries player all along but this is very playable. However, I still prefer the Jeffries button arrangement on the right hand. Have many people altered the Wheatstone to the Jeffries C#/D# - D#/C# - G/A arrangement on the right-hand accidental row?



    This is my personal opinion and you may not agree with it, but it is offered gently and from the heart.


    Please think very carefully before making any irrevocable changes to such a high-calibre concertina. The Wheatstone layout is logical (insofar as the anglo concertina can be called a logical instrument) in preserving the LH-RH octave spacing of the third row. This makes it much more suitable for chordal playing and chordal accompaniments; better than the Jeffries system in my opinion. The Wheatstone layout may not at first seem quite so useful for playing Irish traditional music, and many players of ITM would probably favour the Jeffries system, as you yourself indicate.


    I am firmly of the belief that these high quality, vintage concertinas are precious instruments which deserve care and respect from us as owners. They may well outlast our own lifetime. Indeed, we do not really own them, but hold them in trust for the next player who may well want to play different style of music from ourselves. My feeing would be if you want a Jeffries layout, then get a Jeffries concertina and please leave the Linota as it is.

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  11. I don't play my C/G along the rows but across them but I'd be interested in the pros and cons of a D/G. As a mouthorgan and melodeon player it is my 'default' position. D/G seems very logical for old style ' up and down the rows'




    Any ideas or experience of this D middle/ G inner set up anyone ?Mike



    I'm a bit confused about whether you are asking for experiences of playing a normal G/D anglo (of which there are plenty of folks on this forum who play one), or whether you were meaning a 'melodeon-tuned' anglo - i.e. a D/G anglo, i.e. like a C/G anglo, but with the middle row tuned to D, not C.


    If the latter, there is a discussion on this sort of thing here:


    There are descriptions of Chris Timpson's ideas for an 'Anglodeon' and also Emmanuel Pariselle's 'Franglo' made by Colin Dipper. I've seen and heard the latter instrument a number of times - truly amazing; as a melodeon player, you'd love it I'm sure!

  12. This may seem like sacrilage but has anyone reduced the length of buttons so they are nearer the end plates so that fingers can be slid across to other buttons and also reduce rattle . I know Henrik Muller made an EC with a lowered action, he had it at Bradfield this summer, nice smooth action


    I always modified melodeons if the buttons stood up too high or low but that is reversible


    The key height/travel is a combined function of the pad thickness, the felt circle at the base of the key, the shape of the lever arm, and the height of the pivot post above the action board. Dave Elliott's 'Concertina Maintenance Manual' describes making a tool, a gauge and a method for bending the lever arm to obtain the optimum key height and travel. I've never needed to do this, but I would guess you need a lot of patience and care. But you don't need to cut anything off the buttons.

  13. Oh for Heaven's sake, Steve, stop mucking about with that incomprehensible thing and buy a duet.

    You don't know how much I've been tempted. ;)

    If I was younger, I might well have done; similarly I have often wondered about the possibility of getting my head round the logic of a continental button accordion, after over 25 years of playing melodeon.

    But there is a well known expression to do with the incompatibility of old dogs and new tricks. So I'll guess I will stick to my anglo and my melodeons.

  14. There have been a number of threads on how to do this, or what's the best way to do that.

    Here is a link to the Writings of John Kirkpatrick culled from various publications.

    There may be something of interest to somebody in them??




    Yes - I've known about these for several years. The 'How to Play the Anglo' series is great. But my favourite is 'Medley Mania':


    Yes, yes, yes YES! He is absolutely spot on right. Here's a couple of quotes:


    "....You have to allow a tune time to sink in before you can open yourself up to its inherent possibilities. Then, gradually, you can find all sorts of turns and twiddles, all kinds of ways of bringing out the different aspects of a tune to best advantage.


    Musical ability doesn't come into it. Every performance can become rather a voyage of discovery. But this approach will not work if you only run through the tune a couple of times before casting it aside in favour of the next item in your selection. You have to play it ten, or fifteen, or twenty times, before you really get inside it and can feel the full extent of its diversity. These tunes were built for constant repetition. They have been played an infinite number of times by an infinite number of people. If they did not hold many secrets and yield something new each time round they would not have survived. They demand to be cherished......."




    "Cosmic claptrap? Well, that's up to you, but there is another, more acceptable justification for all this - it's traditional! In a longways set, for example, it used to be the custom to perform the dance until each couple had been in every position up and down the set and ended up where they started. And they only played one tune for all of that time, which must sometimes have been half an hour or more. If they knew the proper set tune, they would play that. If not, they'd have something else up their sleeves which would do perfectly well. But from Playford's time onwards country dances were published with just one tune, no question about it. In the field that we are working in you don't get four pages of medleys to match one dance. Leave that bland, anonymous, mish-mash stuff to Radio 2 where it belongs. We are dealing with tunes."


    When I first read this years ago, it brought joy to my heart, for here was someone famous who was endorsing what I'd felt for ages, but didn't dare say anything because I thought I was wrong. Read the full article and see if you agree!

  15. Playing an Anglo is very tricky. I think that Noel Hill is a great teacher to have when you're learning.

    I took some classes with him years ago and now - twenty years later - I'm still absorbing what he had to say.

    I wrote something about his method here: Playing Across the Rows

    It's for learning to play "Irish" style - or what I take that to mean.

    It isn't easy to follow, but in time your efforts will be rewarded.

    I'd be interested to hear what other players have to say about what I wrote.

    If you have questions let me know. I'll be happy to help out if I can.


    This is very interesting, thanks for posting that link to your writing. It is by far the clearest description of the basic technique of Irish style that I have seen. In particular I can see the logic in the the way the D scale is approached.


    However, my main style of playing is what some are calling the 'English' style - on my 30-key C/G anglo I like to play melody mainly on the RH and chords and accompaniment on the LH side, although there is obviously some blurring of the use of the two sides here. I am fortunate in having had some tuition from Brian Peters who is, in my opinion, one of the very best exponents of the style - see here, for example:




    I think Brian would describe the style as something like 'anglo-duet' i.e. using the two sides of the anglo independently, as a duet system player might.

    I also like to play in 'other' keys on my anglo. C is obvious, of course, but I also like F, Dm, Am, Em and more recently have been experimenting with B-flat which to me sounds lovely. There are all those buttons on a 30-key anglo - I like to find out how they can be used. (Question: do good anglo players of Irish music use more than about 10 or 12 buttons?)


    As an aside, I think the Wheatstone/Lachenal layout of the RH third row is more useful for the 'English' style than the Jeffries layout which probably favours the Irish style better.


    But - to return to David's post and his link to the Irish style method - the Irish style is so wonderfully fluid and, I think, suited for other tunes as well as Irish (Welsh, for example). Having discussed the two styles with Brian Peters, his feeling is generally that the two styles are mutually incompatible, and while I acknowledge his brilliant technique and experience, I am also beginning to wonder whether they really are so incompatible. Surely it makes sense to learn to play our instruments to best of our abilities, learning how to get as much as possible from the potential of the instrument? That's what I would aspire to anyway. I want to be able to play a great Irish reel with all the ornaments, rolls, cuts etc. But I also want to be able to play ragtime and music hall songs, and Renaissance music, etc.... I want my anglo technique to become good enough to do this, without constraining myself in any particular 'style'. At 56, age is against me, although I'm doing my best. For Christmas, I wish Santa would give me the fingers the of an 18-year old again (and perhaps the brain cells too ;) )


    So, my overall question is: who else here mixes the styles, blurs the styles, doesn't recognise the existence of styles, etc...? How hard (or easy) is it for you?




  16. This is what happens when I try to play form memory


    Can you guess the song? :( :unsure:

    Unmistakeably Shepherd's Hey. :rolleyes:

    OK, yes - so there are hesitations, mistakes and stops. BUT - there are also good lengths of correct music, both melody and chords. So quite a bit of it has definitely gone into your brain and is becoming hard-wired. I recommend doing more of this, but keep the tempo steadier and more even - go much slower at first and then gradually speed it up as your 'finger memory' improves.


    I know that you are tackling all sorts of tunes. Try working on short bits of them at a time, first with the music/tablature and then getting each short section committed to memory. By breaking it down like this you will have more chance of memorising each fragment correctly, i.e. you will not be learning the mistakes. Soon you will have got the whole tune into memory. But the key thing is to get the tempo steady and even to begin with.

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