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Simon H

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Everything posted by Simon H

  1. Please, try to keep laterals above the diagonal. Chris, could we have a ruling (Admiralty & Nautical 1775) on Watford junction. to my mnid its a straight play/reverse which is OK, but the single strape could be seen as a connected infringement.
  2. So, without further ado, other than to point out that this years trip down to the archives with Samantha in search of the correct rulebook was very productive as she helped me make a few corrections of old rules in this year's rule book with her eraser. In fact we both rubbed one out together. Anyway, without further ad (again) I declare this years rules to be the Admiralty and Nautical rules, 1775. So get your sailors hats on and hands on your flagstaffs as away we go with: Royal Oak (Hammersmith & Circle) Good luck to all who sail in her.... Simon H
  3. The file could still be missing - just the other browsers are taking it from cache and your browser is calling it afresh each time... Unlikely but it could explain the behavior.
  4. If you look up on Ebay "luggage alarm". You will find some excellent little cheap (£4.99) devices. Just attach the tiny transmitter discreetly to your instrument strap or any other suitable point and keep the receiver in your pocket. The moment you and your instrument are more than a couple of metres apart (set distance adjustable) the alarm goes off. Loud enough to hear, not loud enough to drown a session. These things are very inexpensive, and while not the perfect answer, do present one line of defense against theft. I've used one for a couple of years now, and apart from false alarms getting up to go to the toilet it is ideal. Even the false alarms remind you to tell a friend to keep an eye on the instrument if you don't take it with you. Watch out for low price and high postage as with all gadgets coming from Hong Kong on Ebay. There are UK resellers, but the HK dealers seem pretty honest too. Simon
  5. Just one word, Autotune. It could do it, the sofware now exists (God help us all) to do autotune on the fly. With a miked up concertina and Autotune set up and a big amp and speakers to drown out the concertina, you can play any tune in any key and transpose to your heart's content. All that said, Autotune misused, as it so often is, by vocalists is one of the worst scourges of the current "pop" industry IMO. No prize please, I should be scourged for even raising it here. Simon
  6. http://www.reddit.com/ is a very interesting site that would take a long time to describe how it works, but has sub groups (or subreddits) on many subjects. Comments in discussions get upvoted or downvoted so the good stuff tends to stay close to the top. It is quite US centric, but there are subreddits for UK and Europeans. It is a great way to find interesting (and silly) stuff and news articles and to get into discussions with others on the topics of the day. You have to take the time to get to understand how the site works before deciding if it is not for you. As with all social media sites there are idiots, but there is great discussion to be had. Redditors also pride themselves in helping out with worthy causes and have acted together on many occasions to improve peoples lives. Here's a wiki explaining it better than I can http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reddit
  7. You could do a lot worse than run through Martyn Allen's series of videos on Youtube: first one: Then learn every way you can, sheet music, ABC, by ear, at workshops. Don't forget tunes from memory. Its ridiculous how many tunes you know well enough to play. Think of famous hymns, I went through a whole phase of playing things like "for those in peril on the sea". Daft old american folk tunes like Camptown races, She'll be coming round the mountain, Shenandoah etc. The good thing with tunes you already know is that in the early stages such tunes halve the difficulty of learning so you can concentrate on getting the instrument right without having to know what the next note sounds like. Simon
  8. My Wheatstone treble came into my hands with all the corners patched with tons of black insulating tape that had been on for years. The bellows were pretty leak free in that state. A week or so later my skived leather and gussets etc came from David Leese and I took off the old tape and set to work, quite a few little leaks to fix.. I had to get off the old glue as the tape had been on for years. but that wasn't difficult at all. The bellows came up as good as new after patching. Now I'm not suggesting you use black PVC insulating tape..... But you did ask.....
  9. "Sentimental slop" Telling someone in a concertina forum to reconsider selling a nice instrument and trying to use a few emotional words to explain why. In that case If that is how you see it then I'm happy with my viewpoint and you can stick to yours. EDIT: Take a look at the posting dates. He wasn't getting much response from all you hard-nosed valuers.
  10. I'm just saying that yeah, it might be nice for a person to learn their family history, but just because I have my grandma's wedding dress, doesn't mean I need to wear it. Patrick The family history piece is not at all what I'm talking about. It's a nice instrument, he might get a lot out of learning and continuing to play it. This is concertina.net. We like concertinas, we encourage others to play them....
  11. The amount of money you will make from this will be nothing to the value of the pleasure you would get from learning to play it. You may think your life is too busy to learn, or that you are not musical. I can almost guarantee, if you spend a couple of weeks at it, it will be a companion and pleasure for you for many years to come. Take time to think about it, as instruments go it is a very, very good instrument to start off with, whilst not being hugely valuable, you will get years of pleasure from playing and maintaining it. You will expand your mind, you will find a new way to relax, you will find it a channel to meet new people, you will be maintaining a long tradition of concertina playing. Take it into decent sized room with hard walls and not much soft furnishing and play a few notes one after another with a decent amount of bellows pressure. Listen to that beautiful, beautiful sound. Don't worry about making a tune, just listen to those long notes and how they sound. Now take it somewher small and soft-furnished and play it gently, feel the intimacy it creates between you and it. There is a magic in concertinas which is not often mentioned in this forum, and should be mentioned more often. Think hard before you sell. Simon
  12. Mine too, back in Oct '07 I had just bought my Lachenal EC and went along to the Button Boxes and Moothies convention here in Aberdeen. I could barely play a note having had the instrument only a matter of days. So most of the workshops I sat listening with my concertina unplayed on the floor at my feet feeling very self-conscious. I arrived a few minutes early for Simon's workshop on the last day and he was there already scoping out the room. We talked a few minutes and I asked if he'd give my new concertina a play. I filmed him playing it for me. That video, showing just what could be done with my instrument has been an inspiration to me. I've always wanted to thank Simon for taking those few minutes to inspire a learning player. So - hope you read this Simon, thanks. Simon H
  13. For most with only so much money to spend, this is like asking a Dell computer user what he thinks of Compaq, Advent, HP and Packard. That said, I'm sure there are members here that have played all and have the knowledge to give unbiased comparative assessment. Unfortunately I'm not one of them. Simon
  14. "i feel like this site is the backbone of the international concertina community." Depends on the definition of community. Most definitions of community have the word "interacting" in them, and in such terms David is right. I have no doubt there are many, many concertina players who have no interest in the internet, forums, email or any other such new-fangled nonsense. Whether these players are part of the international concertina community is a moot point. They are certainly part of a notional list of international concertina players but are they members of the "community" - interacting? Since the demise of Dick Glasgow's Ning concertina webrings, I am not aware of any other major groupings or communities or forums aside from c.net here. There is The Session and I know a few members here post over there from time to time. But I wouldn't see that as a community of concertina players. But can people who interact on the web be considered a community? I believe they can, and David's original post sets out eloquently why. Certainly it is not the only community and players who know each other in the real world form another, perhaps more real community. I don't know as I'm not lucky enough to know many players out in the wild. Still I know for me this site makes me feel connected to other players, and I feel part of a community by participating. Long may it continue. Simon
  15. Check out Danny Chapman's beautiful version of "Roslin Castle" on Youtube: Simon
  16. Guess the eleven fold bellows don't breach trade descriptions, just another way of counting : up,down, up, down....
  17. One of the happiest videos I've seen in a long time, a joy to watch and listen to. Things like that make me yearn for a world where people come together like this all the time. Simon
  18. There is a certain type of nail polishing thing you can buy which is great for cleaning and buffing mother-of-pearl after working with detergents and cotton buds etc. A bit more extreme but the results are great. What you are looking for is a dense foam block which has different grades of "emery" on each side of the block, ranging from fine through to a buffing/polishing grade. If you look through the shelf of women's nailcare products you'll spot these things. I use them for all sorts of tasks and found them great. Although they use very fine abrasives you need to be careful using them around surfaces which might be damaged, but mother of pearl will buff up beautifully after you've taken off the ingrained surface dirt with one of the mildly abrasive sides of the block, turn it over and use the polishing side and you'll get gleaming results. Simon
  19. I spent some time weighing up the advantages and disadvantages of having the ends of my Wheatstone treble replated. It was worn down to the base metal in a couple of areas but I was very unsure about bringing it back to "new" with a full re-plate. I eventually, after some research, came to a compromise. This was spot electroplating. The system uses a small wall transformer, nickel plating solution and a fabric coated metal "wand". Basically you connect the wand to one lead of the transformer, the other lead is attached to the work. Then by dipping the wand into the solution and stroking it over the worn area it is possible to build up new nickel a micron or two at a time. I took the time to practice a lot, and would suggest if you plan going this way, you do the same. I used bits of brass from around the house ornaments, the underside of some items, coins, and a brass pepper grinder, that practice was well worth doing. Getting the work area prepared (brasso, then meths/alcohol to degrease) with no fingermarks is all important, but the results are great. Whilst the patch plating is not invisible it does at least get the worn areas back to a nickel colour making them virtually unnoticeable. For me that approach was a nice compromise between leaving totally alone with what was to me unsightly bits, and replating which takes it back to "new", losing some of the patina of age. I'm not saying this is the expert or recommended approach, but it worked for me and felt like the right decision for my concertina. Spot replating kits can be had from: http://www.caswelleurope.co.uk/plugplat.htm Simon
  20. I found my way to concertinas through a couple of flutinas I bought on e-bay. I found the flutina a lovely instrument and still play mine from time to time. I put a photoset on Flickr which showed some of the restoration process that got the best of the two into fine fettle. It has a few tips that might help: http://www.flickr.com/photos/23765997@N00/sets/72157600700875760/ Simon
  21. Isn't the Axis keyboard the same idea? Hexagonal harmonic table midi controllers. I understand these are pretty popular. http://www.c-thru-music.com/cgi/?page=home
  22. I think you need to be a little more specific. Do you have a particular instrument in mind, one that is for sale? Or are you asking about this model/type of concertina. My only comment would be: The upper notes on extended trebles are a little high pitched for modern sensibilities, and a lot of people prefer their concertinas extended below the treble range into baritone territory.
  23. No, you can do iPad-only apps as well as multiplatform. Michael do you happen to know if Tunebook and Tunepal work on the ipad, I expect they do, but it would be great to know in advance.
  24. I'm pretty sure this has been covered before but sales of goods in Tortoiseshell come under CITES provisions particularly where overseas export is concerned. Ebay have strict policies on the sale off such items. There are simple tests that can be done to check whether the material is real tortoiseshell or man-made - in an inconspicuous area of the material, apply a hot needle. Tortoiseshell smells like burning hair. Man-made smells like burning plastic or kerosene. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tortoiseshell_material
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