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About Paul_Hardy

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    Chatty concertinist
  • Birthday 08/20/1953

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  • Interests
    English concertina. Computers. Walking/rambling/hiking.
  • Location
    Cambridge, UK

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  1. As a counter-case, in past couple of months I've received one concertina and shipped another (within UK) - both arrived in good condition. Both were shipped by Royal Mail next day delivery (in cardboard boxes with plenty of bubble wrap and parcel tape). No guarantees, your mileage may vary!
  2. Firstly, getting a row out is not an uncommon problem on English - I've seen good players do it occasionally under performance nerves, and even experts like Alistair Anderson often start off by twiddling arpeggios to make sure their fingers are right. My main suggestion is rather than strategies for getting back when lost, is to try strategies for getting lost less often. As years have passed, I've moved to having my thumbstraps tighter - I know others may disagree, but it works for me to avoid this kind of problem. I put my thumbs through the tighter loops so that they stick when the first joint is just entering the strap. That gives me a first fixed reference point. I then start off with my pinky slid forward in the rest to the curved end. That gives me my second fixed reference. On the right hand, my first finger then sits neatly on A, and on the left side, on G. My second fingers fall on F on the right (and third finger on F#), and second finger on E on the left. I keep this muscle memory active by when I pick up the concertina, to play a couple of arpeggios without looking to check. If they don't work, I put it down again, pick it up, and try again until I get it right. When playing, I tend to let my right pinky slide back towards the midpoint of the rest for easier access to the lower notes, which also seems to match the natural balance point of the tina. Regards,
  3. Is that a typo? Its label is Louis Lachenal not Lachenal & Co, so I'd expect before 1873? Also, that number is earlier than the next one that you dated as 1887? Also, can you date 55936, which is what is on the bellows of the tina whose reedpans are stamped 57544?
  4. Dowright, Please can you date the following Lachenal concertinas that have been through my hands in last few years? Lachenal Excelsior 58748 - http://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_58748/lachenal.html Lachenal Edeophone Tenor/treble 57970 - http://pghardy.net/concertina/edeophone_57970/edeophone.html Lachenal treble 30566 - http://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_30566/lachenal_30566.html Lachenal tutor 52313 - http://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_52313/lachenal_52313.html Lachenal treble 57544 - http://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_57544/lachenal_57544.html Lachenal treble 36733 - http://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_36733/lachenal_36733.html Lachenal treble 27590 - http://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_27590/lachenal_27590.html Lachenal treble 15584 - http://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_15584/lachenal_15584.html Lachenal New Model 57494 - http://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_57494/lachenal_57494.html Lachenal Anglo 167221 - http://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_anglo_167221/lachenal_anglo_167221.html
  5. Thanks Gary - There is now a v2 of the PDF there now, correcting one wrong note in the previous version to match Bert's original score - the last note of the first line is a low G, not a low B as previous. If you play the previous version it would harmonise though! See Week 2 in https://pghardy.net/greenshoots/virtual/ to download v2.
  6. As a lockdown exercise, I've been recording eight tunes a week on my EC in the style of our Greenshoots improvers sessions, played slowly, then faster, then faster. I've added another eight/nine today. See https://pghardy.net/greenshoots/virtual/. The dots are also there at reasonable size to print (or download the free session tunebook PDF or ABC and zoom them to full screen on a tablet). There are a few reels there among the jigs, polkas, hornpipes, marches, rants, waltzes and bourees. I suggest "Wind that Shakes the Barley" as a well-behaved set of dots for an Irish reel that can be worked up to speed. Even a Morris reel like "Young Collins" falls nicely under the fingers. If you like Northeastern tunes then the Morpeth Rant is good to get up to speed, and you can always confuse the fiddlers by switching to the Old Morpeth Rant which isn't played much these days! You can also straighten out any 4/4 swung hornpipe to make a reel, as I did with Foul Weather Call, which can also confuse fiddlers if you yell 'straight' and change in the middle of playing!
  7. That's not strictly true. Most Internet communication uses TCP/IP which is a reliable protocol due to its support for reordering and re-sending of lost packets. However there is another Internet protocol called UDP (User Datagram Protocol) which is aimed at low-latency, loss-tolerating connections. UDP is a 'best efforts' protocol, and may drop packets, but has much lower latency than TCP. I suspect that JamKazam uses UDP not TCP, so getting low latency. This would work well over fast lines in a regional neighbourhood, but would fall apart if tried across slower lines and the wider Internet.
  8. What width do you use for Anglos?
  9. I’ve also been trying to find a way of musicians playing together from home, and have written up a two-page essay on the subject, particularly concerning latency, Zoom, and avoiding concertinas being interpreted as background noise and suppressed. – you can read it at https://pghardy.net/greenshoots/virtual/virtual_music_sessions.html.
  10. I've played my 1/5th comma English in sessions and it blends well enough without standing out. It's tuned so that A=440, so I can give a reference A to others, but still has sweeter thirds. See https://pghardy.net/concertina/lachenal_27590/lachenal_27590.html.
  11. There isn't a right answer to that question, but from my perspective (I'm a similar age), I would go wider (new tunes) rather than deeper. I have a tunebook with some 600 tunes (Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook - free to download). If someone was to start any of those tunes, I could join in and make a fair stab at playing by ear, and I could play any of them reasonably well from the dots. However there are probably only a couple of dozen that I could pick up an instrument and start playing without dots or prompt, and to vary the playing style spontaneously. To me, that width is valuable, and more valuable than being able to play more tunes by ear spontaneously without the dots. For other people, the important metric is to be able to play a small number of tunes totally by ear and unprompted, and in different styles, and to be able to perform them in public. I do recommend taking a well-known tune and playing it in different keys, and in different rhythms (straight or Hornpipe swung), playing it while reciting the alphabet, or any other way of ensuring it is engraved in your deep memory. However, playing a variety of tunes lets you learn the standard patterns of notes that turn up in lots of tunes, and hence make it much easier to pick up new tunes. Best wishes for your future playing.
  12. Regarding 'Concertina face', my wife keeps instructing me to "Cultivate an intelligent expression when in repose", as I go blank or drool under stress. Regarding talking and playing, the only workaround I've found is to say what I need to say using the rhythm of the music - effectively sing it. Tonight I'll be leading our regular slow session of Greenshoots, and I need to say things like "one more", or "faster", or "out next time". This used to be impossible, but by singing them, it's now merely hard!
  13. In the days before equal temperament, all instruments were tuned to just or meantone temperaments so that fifths and thirds were closer to simple mathematical ratios (2:3, 4:5). Then, the semitones were of different sizes, and each key did have a different feel. A symphony in D minor would sound different (possibly sadder) than one in E minor. Now, with instruments all in equal temperament and all semitones the same size, unless you are a very unusual person with absolute pitch, the sound should feel exactly the same in different keys. That said, the ergonomics of certain instruments makes playing in some keys easier than other keys. An example is the standard violin who's strings are tuned in fifths from low G (G, D, A, E), and hence 'prefers' playing in sharp keys (of G, D, A, E) rather than flat keys - but in the hands of a really good player can play in any key. An extreme case is diatonic instruments like 20 button Anglo concertinas, or two row melodeons, which can only play in two keys, and lack the sharps and flats for other keys. These days, for melodeons, that seems to be the keys of G and D, and given the prevalence of melodeons in sessions, a lot of English sessions seem to play predominantly in G and D. Scottish fiddle tunes are often played in A or D. The English concertina is chromatic (has all the sharps/flats), and hence can play in any key, and the logical layout from Sir Charles means it's not any harder to play in two flats than in two sharps. Despite that, I find that nine times out of ten, I play tunes in G or D (or their relative minors), in order to fit in with the crowd. I would actively encourage you that when you have learned a tune in one key, while it is in your head, to shift it to a couple of other keys. Shifting up by a fifth (G -> D) is trivial on the EC - shift up a row and add one more obvious sharp. Shifting down by a fifth is similarly easy. If shifting down gets too low, then shifting up by a fourth (G->C) is equivalent, and is very similar, other than the finger pattern is mirrored to the other hands, which is a good practice exercise! I hope this helps.
  14. I can vouch that Ross Webb does exist, I've known his parents since before he was born (in the village where I live), and that he did buy an English concertina several years ago, so this looks kosher!
  15. I was at the WCCP weekend when Eddy showed his prototype. He had a 3D printer on the go, printing a bellows - the strategy is to 2D print the bellows structure as rigid, but with 'snap along here' weak lines. These lines are then bound using thin leather (or other modern flexible material), then bent so that the weak lines snap to make the flexible joints. I had a play on the prototype, and it was quite responsive and 'concertina-like'. Work was needed on the thumbstrap and pinky rest, but quite doable I believe.
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