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Henrik Müller

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Everything posted by Henrik Müller

  1. Good work, innovative - I feel tempted to use the experssion "Here's someone who is thinking outside the box" /Henrik
  2. There is "The Session dot Org" and the (Swedish site) Henrik Norbecks (enormous) ABC collection /Henrik
  3. Hello, all - I have had trouble deciding where to place this post, since it - by its nature - fits well into "Instrument Construction & Repair", "Ergonomics", "Teaching and Learning" and "Concertina videos & Music". So I flipped a coin and it landed here . Long-stroke buttons There have been questions about "fifth jumps" on the English concertina (hence the title of this topic) and questions and discussions about why I designed my buttons to go all the way when pressed (from now on called "long-stroke" buttons). I have place a short, very close-up demo here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ujDOfA1GoT8. It isn't meant as a "learn this tune", merely to demonstrate how long-stroke buttons behave, and how fingering is done with frases like these, very common in irish music. Later, I intend to make a complete example with a tune that requires this technique. Let me also emphasize that the finger switching on the same button can be done on any EC - I've tried with my old instrument, but the long-stroke buttons makes it very easy and allows more emphasis on a certain note, without damage to the finger tops. Happy Easter to all, /Henrik
  4. It is indeed. A German expression I saw in the application form for Bielefeld this year comes to my mind: "Frauenpower"... The man at the keyboard is Jack Talty, a fine concertina player, Noel Hill's nephew, if I am not mistaken. /Henrik
  5. Thanks, Randy - I'll answer you and Chris and more in the same response - I have time for it, since heavy winds and snow and dropping temperatures stopped me from driving to a St.Patrick's session in Elsingborg, just across Denmark's Elsinore - you know: Shakespeare, Hamlet (and Jim Lucas , thanks, Jim). Let come to the bottom of the buttons I am not saying the buttons must go all the way down - but once I tried it, I experienced a great relief by not having to bang my fingertops into little metal pins. Eh, pins? To me, that is what it felt like after some time. But what I didn't suspect - that was the bonus - was that it allowed me to play differently - better, IMHO. I will set up a video that demonstrates it, with a suitable tune ("My Love is in America", I can reveal now). I am sure that that will kick off another video with someone doing the same on ordinary buttons ... which is fine, of course. An English? Of course it is an English - I think many are thrown off track by the silly looks of the layout. Even in Ireland - I was playing in the Cobblestone in Dublin last August and it took a few tunes before someone said: "Ahhm - that's not a normal concertina, is it, now?". Though I am Danish, I understand that that name is taken, and I wouldn't want my instrument be associated with something you have with coffee. Edited the next day: No one - myself included - pointed out that one very EC item is missing: the finger rest. When I did my "research" = modified the miniStagi until I was content, a finger rest was never in question. Stagi had already removed it, to replace it by a coarse leather strap, making the instrument playable only by aliens or other beings with non-terrestial physiology... The photo on Stagi site is the old one - still with the finger rest. End of edit. Hermann: Tunes using the non-existing buttons? Sure - it has happened already. Mind, a major contributor to the reduced layout was space and even that was a gamble- I didn't have the Antonelli reeds when I decided the number of buttons and it is a wonder of this world how Richard Morse manages to queeze in 37 notes, I think it is, in his instruments. Should I ever decide to build another it would be with concertina reeds, which would involve a lot of work. And, oh: the response video is an English concertina, modified in ways which are different to see. /Henrik
  6. You're right, there, Hermann - but don't let it go too far, like this (substitute "Counterstrike" with "The Old Concertina Reel") if you can't open the case, if you have a stuck button or - the worst case - you can't hit the right buttons in the right order /Henrik
  7. Très bon, merci, Hermann - In the shower this morning I realized that I hadn't listed all the differences between my instrument and a standard EC. One of them is of course the number of buttons: The mini Stagi, which started all this has 18 buttons ans that's a bit on the low side . So I sat down and played all tunes I could think off, to find the coverage I needed. And I glued little paper dots on the sides to mark the missing buttons and ended with 27. So a lot of bs and #s are missing, hence the peculiar look of the layout. Should have been 28... In my well-plannedness, I forgot that the position of the high C was in the "hole part" of the Stagi's fretwork, so there was no paper dot. And since considerable time went by before I actually started making serious drawings, I only took one look at the Stagi and said: "Right, that's buttons I'll need" and started drawing. Much later, I realized the mistake Anyway - the fact that all the buttons up there in the eternal snow are gone, brings us to the next difference: the whole cluster of buttons are moved upwards, approximately the vertical distance between the buttons. This facilitates reaching lower notes. Finally, the thumbstrap. On a standard EC, I will place the end joint my of my thumbs in the straps (again to reach the lows). And my thumbs don't like that, probably due to the playing style - I use the bellows a lot, and the pull, with the thumbs in that position definitely don't agree with me. But the thumbstrap is still there, yes? The new thumbstrap is only half the width of a standard strap and it is positioned on the instrument so that the thumb is meant to go all the way in. It acts merely as a guide, there is no strain on the thumbs - all the pulling force is on the handstraps. So, to summarize all the changes: 1) Wider spacing between buttons, asymmetrical: more space horizontally 2) Lots of bs and #s are removed (also the need for space was considered - accordion reeds need more room) 3) The button cluster is offset one button upwards 4) The buttons go all the way down (I can feel the hole on the finger tip) 5) A handsrest, angled 15 degrees 6) A handstrap, coming up between the thumb and index finger, going back almost in the corner hand/arm 7) A thumbstrap, half width, positioned so the thumb goes all the way through That's all! /Henrik
  8. Hello, Dirk - Glad you liked it! Now - I think it is important to be aware that this isn't a standard EC with straps added. Here are the three specific things I changed in the design: I changed the spacing between the buttons is different, and asymmetrical, see drawing I added an angled handrest and a handstrap I let the buttons go all the way down, see photo. With the buttons - the spacing and length of travel... it has to be both, not one or the other. The spacing was copied from the mini Stagi, simply because it felt right. The strap is screwed into the side of the handrest (a threaded brass insert, actually from the mini Stagi), and in the other end with a simple flathead screw into a small (Wakker) brass insert, set flush with the wood of the endbox. A couple of holes in the strap makes it adjustable. The holes were punched when I felt the need for them - when the leather had streched a little Yes, it is an ugly screw! In the beginning I had a Wakker thumbscrew instead (you can see a vague depression in the leather still), but since the common sense-part of my head must have been on a holiday when the decision was made, it lasted about 1 year. Since it was very wide, 20 mm, an enormous stress was put on it during playing because the handstrap would pull at an angle of 30-40 degrees. So in the end there was no thread left and the strap would pop off in the middle of playing. Here's the spacing (mms, ): - the handrest & strap: - a button fully depressed: - the adjustment of the strap: One comment about the handrest: the size and shape was picked directly out of thin air. Now, after 1 1/2 year of playing it, it is very clear that it needs to be changed so it fits the hand a little better - as can be seen here: /Henrik
  9. Now, here's a man I can identify with! (I have a feeling that I have said that before , in which case I apologize). As a comment to "Wrist straps On EC", I have placed a (very short) clip on YouTube: Reel in the Kitchen So - can the basic English concertina design be improved? Yes, I my opinion it can - I have played the d.... thing for 30 years and it is only now, with a redesigned instrument, that I can express what I want. On top of that, my thumb joints have been playing up for several years now, to the point where I can hardly play an "ordinary " EC. But with this one? No problem... Sorry about the bad audio quality - I didn't have a "real" video camera at hand, I got carried away and did it with my Canon IXUS 70. Future videos should be better, and with more focus on fingering /Henrik
  10. Yes, I know them, but don't know their names (really helpfull, eh?) The first is, as mentioned before "Rights of Man", the second - a very short excerpt - is "The Cul Aodh jig" ('Coolay"): X: 1 T: Cuil Aodh, The M: 6/8 L: 1/8 R: jig K: Gmaj gfd cAd|GAG B2c|dcB cAG| FED cBA|~G3 GFG|~A3 fga| gfd cAd|1 GAG G2g:|2 GAG G2d|| d2g gfg|ade fga|gfd cAd| cAG FGA|G2g gfg|ade fga| gfd cAd|1 GAG G2d:|2 GAG G2g|| During the interview with Mary Ellen, there is a hornpipe set in the background, all familiar, but names? Not yet, sorrry. /Henrik
  11. This was nice - IMHO, Bach is well suited for the concertina. /Henrik
  12. Allright! I can identify with that!/Henrik
  13. Lovely - thanks Jake, am recording it right now./Henrik
  14. Okay, here goes... I've been wanting to play another session instrument, besides wooden flute, for a few years and have dabbled in learning smallpipes and piano accordion. Much as I've enjoyed them, they just weren't what I wanted to do, being too loud, too big, not very portable etc etc. (and no offence to players of the aforementioned). Last summer, at Norman Chalmer's mixed instrument week on Skye, there were 3 English concertina players and an Anglo player which got me interested. Then over the past few months I've met a few more English concertina players and decided to have a go - and after doing a lot of research, I decided that English concertina would suit me better, seems more popular in Scotland and I didn't think I could cope with the notes changing on push and pull. Thanks to all the great information here on concertina.net and on the internet, I bought an old Lachenal 48-button from Chris Algar and it's lovely. And the wooden flute and concertina go great together - but not at the same time! So that's me... off to play something on something, as usual! Hello, Pamela - I thought it could be an idea to have a listen to the suggestions I posted the other day (two first bars of "Repeal of the Union"). Here's the whole thing: I made a quick & dirty recording of it (sounding more "under water" than I would like (it's my low D), but...). I haven't checked with a writtten version (session.org) but play it as I normally do. It is meant to make it clear that certain things will not "come out right" if played without finger switching. Hope it makes sense. (Yes, I am thinking about video ) There are two versions: one is a straight (dry) recording, the other sweetened with a little reverb. Each file is about 470kB: Repeal_dry.mp3 Repeal_rev.mp3 /Henrik
  15. Hi, Dirk - I was joking a little, there. The instrument is designed with the handstraps and an anglo-type handrest. The handrest is at an angle (approx. 15 deg). The angle allows better access to lower notes. My rationale behind the arrangement was that the handstrap will take the strain (I play with quite a lot of force) and the thumbstraps keeps the instrument in place. The thumbstraps are much narrower than ordinary ones and positioned so that the thumbs are meant to go all the way through, to minimize the strain on the main thumb joint. It works very, very well. The only adjustment I want to do, is a new handrest which is formed - moulded - after the inside of the hand. Should be more comfortable. I have never tried wriststraps - I have (maybe an unfair) a feeling that they would conflict with my playing style. /Henrik
  16. Wrist straps on an English? Yes, some folks like them, especially on larger instruments. "A la anglo"? Not likely. The anglo doesn't have wrist straps. It has hand straps. I have yet to see an anglo player try to put his/her wrists through those straps. The way the wrist straps on an English are used during playing is quite different from the way the hands straps on an anglo function. I've never felt the need for them, even on instruments larger than Juliette's largest. But as you can see from both her post and Randy's, different people have different feelings about them. E.g., while many people speak in favor of wrist straps on the larger and heavier Englishes, the Morse Albion on which Randy says he uses wrist straps is possibly the lightest-weight treble English available. - "A la anglo"? Not likely. - I just found a photo of myself, from the Christmas session in Lund, Sweden in 2006. Sorry, those are handstraps /Henrik
  17. G'wan, you know you want to! It'd be great to see and hear the kitchen table project in action too, I've spent many happy hours browsing all of the pics and one of these fine days I'm going to give it whirl myself. Pete. Hello, Pete -That was heart-warming reading I have actually started my trials with tunes to use as examples. Definitely a good project - I can see from Pamela's enthusiastic comments that it could fall on fertile ground. /Henrik
  18. Gosh, what a terrible, terrible mistake - I am Danish but I live in Sweden (just to confuse people). /Henrik I have learned to be very careful distinguishing between people from Scandinavia. I once had a girlfriend who was Scandinavian, but I didn’t know her nationality. I told her she had a Swede smile, but a face like a Norse. She said it was Finnish and I never saw her again. I am sorry, I just couldn't restrain myself. Dan Madden Yep - if you ignore the differences, you can be in trouble! I understand the lack of restrainment - I'll add that to my collection. /Henrik
  19. Now, that's what I call fretwork!! But I would also love to see the saw. /Henrik
  20. Gosh, what a terrible, terrible mistake - I am Danish but I live in Sweden (just to confuse people). /Henrik
  21. Stick?! What stick? Not from me!Good on you - great job! Shudder... (feeling the video pressure mounting ) /Henrik
  22. Hello there, Pamela - and welcome onboard the Concertina Ship! Lots of good things have come from the drawing board (and some bad ones, too ). You have one great advantage - you have the tunes in your head. Trying to learn the tune and learn to play it at the same time makes things unnecessarily complicated. Personally, I brainwash myself with a new tune until it sits solidly. And most often I find it playable straight away, apart from technical quirks. Which brings us back to technique: Fifth jumps, which we find a lot in Irish music, calls for cross-fingering - that the middle finger crosses below the index finger. Jumpiness removed. Then there is finger-switching - that one finger replaces another on the same button. Here is a little thing to try (first two bars of "Repeal of the Union"): Hopefully this should turn on a few light bulbs and "Aha!"s. Demo tunes From time to time, I try to make a note of tunes which are particularly well suited to demonstrate a certain technique. "My Love is in America" is such a tune. There are no fifth jumps, but lots of finger-switching. If you don't know it, go to www-dot-thesession-dot-org and search for it. No promise, but I'll try during the week to put fingering on it. Once all light bulbs are blazing awa' there is no need for fingering charts! /Henrik
  23. Agree - 80s. You can find the tunes on Noel's "The Irish Concertina" (1988): last tune of track 6 + last tune of track 1. /Henrik
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