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About Ken_Coles

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    I need to paste in my comments from the old part of Concertina.net! Short version: I've played anglo since 1992, English since 2001. Mostly Italian boxes, Lachenals, a Morse, and a Kensington. One of the people behind the curtain at Concertina.net.
  • Location
    western Pennsylvania and northern Indiana, U.S.A.

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  1. If it is an old instrument in need of rebuilding, condition will as important or more important than original build quality - you can find reeds have been swapped out, action parts missing, and so on. Better might be to find someone in the UK who will do right by a beginner and sell you a known quantity in need of work. I'm sure folks will chime in with possible sources or other suggestions. I expect you can find something, but you may have to hunt for a bit. Ken
  2. Ken_Coles

    Mayfair-Type Action

    Years ago I remember Frank telling me about the Dipper he played for many years (before he began making concertinas) - the rivet action began to wear out and got loose and noisy (that's how much he played). He'll probably chime in here, but I suspect like all makers he has developed his action design over the years. I'll add one personal observation - Edgley concertinas have the quietest action I've ever seen (or not heard) on a modern anglo - they are silent! I once asked him how he did it, and he just grinned. Ken
  3. Jack, I have a handful you can try, and I get to northern Indiana every couple of months. Are you in Bloomington? Definitely the highest concentration of Irish players I know of down that way (if so, say hi to Grey for me). Dropping in on Greg J. even if you don't buy anything would be worth your time. The second year in a row that I went to Noel Hill school with a 20-button Stagi, he encouraged me to consider a 20-b Lachenal on offer then. I ended up saving for another year and getting a 30. But Noel was perfectly willing to teach me on a 20-Stagi and to his credit never said anything negative about the instrument (he did make a few good jokes). One night he borrowed it and played it (the Concertina Reel, naturally) like lightning! He said, "I started out on one like that...I wrecked it!" I'm sure he was working hard to get it to play, but there you are. What a better instrument gets you is ease of playing and range of control, as you no doubt know from flute and whistle. Ken
  4. They are both highly regarded, well-made concertinas. I have owned/played both. You can play Irish on them unless you reach the very highest level (which I haven't). This isn't what you may want to hear, but there is no substitute for trying them yourself as the fit and preference is very individual. I guess that needs to wait until you can play a little...otherwise I'd send you to the Button Box shop the next time you are in western Mass if you ever are, or Bob Tedrow in Alabama (or any other dealer/player/member-owner here) to try them for yourself. It might make sense to do that anyway. Where are you located? Ken
  5. Ken_Coles

    English Session Tunes book?

    I suspect that is one reason. Or, someone with a lot of arrangements may prefer to publish their own book, who knows? As for NESI, statistics in the mailing we got last week lists 11 intermediate and 4 advanced anglo players (self-identified) out of 110 attending. Without Jody (who won't be there this year) I don't know how many, if any, of them are G/D players. I know Alan Preliasco started G/D a couple of years ago, and sold me his G/D Stagi when he got a better one - he is on this year's NESI list. In my experience G/D is still uncommon in the U.S., between the small number of instruments and having little established tradition of playing English session tunes. There are enough players of Irish in the U.S. now to generate classes, lessons, and books, but that has only developed in the last 3 decades. For English tunes on G/D one may need to search in the country that created that tradition. Ken
  6. As an anglo player who reads music I got a fine intro to English with Alistair Anderson's book (it is a personal fit of course). Fascinating, but haven't done much more since - so many instruments, so little time... Ken
  7. Ken_Coles

    New reeds

    Traditional concertina reeds (a la Lachenal or Wheatstone) or accordion-type reeds? Ken
  8. Topic moved to Teaching and Learning. Welcome! Ken
  9. I just spotted this on the thesession.org and it may be of interest. I am not associated with organizing this event, nor do I have other details, but the links may tell you more. (I see a class taught by our own Doug Barr at the same venue!). Ken notice on The Session Workshop announcement
  10. Ken_Coles

    Getting a grip

    I found the old article with photos, in case it gives you any ideas. It does show how the inserts keep my wrists straight, which is important for my own orthopedic issues, but that is very individual and may not be an issue for you. Ken
  11. Ken_Coles

    Getting a grip

    There's an ancient article on the site here where I did the same thing (20 years ago) using pipe insulation (6 feet/2 meters for a dollar at the local hardware store). In my case it keeps my wrist straight so I don't get carpal tunnel inflammation, while helping me reach all the buttons. I taper mine from top to bottom - if flat handrests don't work it is cheap to experiment. Ken Edited to add a link to the old essay I should add that since taking those photos I turned the foam over and use it with the wide part farthest from my thumb, but cut them any way that works for you.
  12. Ken_Coles

    Stagi Concertinas

    Welcome Steve. Please, please, just one thread per topic. When you post, wait a minute for the site to come back with confirmation before hitting "submit" again. Thanks. Ken
  13. Which page do you mean by "opening page?" Is it the page for all the forums? (www.concertina.net/forums/) That just shows the most recently active thread in a given forum in the view I use. The less active the forums (e.g., Suggestions and Help is not very active), the older it will be. Or is the page for a given forum, e.g., General Discussion? (link) That shows the 20 most recently active threads in that forum (in my view, perhaps you can adjust this number in your preferences). And of course, if you choose "Unread Content" at the upper right, that is all you see. Ken
  14. Ken_Coles

    Interesting Lachenal on ebay.com

    There is already a thread about this instrument - I encourage everyone to post their replies there. Ken
  15. Wow Seth, are you the same maker who does the Swedish and Irish bagpipes? Must not have enough mischief to get into! Ken (already admires your other work)