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OldDog's Achievements


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  1. Simon, Great photos. I have one just like your restored model - except mine has a dark rosewood body. What did you use to clean the mother-of pearl keys and valve covers? I tried a weak detergent and water on a Q-tip (cotton bud) with not much luck. Regards, Paul N. Tonawanda, NY
  2. Hi, Go here: http://www.polamjournal.com/polka/linksc.html You should be able to dig out some info on your instrument. Silberhorn was just a distributor and not a manufacturer. Hope this helps some. Regards, Paul N. Tonawanda, NY
  3. Hi, Go here: http://www.seydel1847.de/epages/Seydel.sf/en_GB/?ObjectID=106722&PageSize=50 Then go to "Tip 35". I'm not too sure how well it works, but it is free. Regards, Paul N.
  4. I just purchased a copy of the Hawkwood Concertina Band's new CD, and found it to be - for the most part - very enjoyable. The best tune, in my opinion, is the first selection - the old polka "Lady Florence." Does anyone know where I can find either the sheet music or the ABC notation for this tune? Thanks, Paul N.
  5. Hi, You shouldn't have to take anything apart. Try working some powdered graphite down around the joint between the lever and the wood block it's attached to. This has worked for me. Regards, Paul N.
  6. Have concertinas ever been made in France or Japan? Are there any makers active in either country now? There was an old Tombo (Japanese) melodeon on eBay a week or so ago, so perhaps they or someone also made concertinas. Tombo is still very much in business, by the way, and they make first class harmonicas. Thanks, Paul N.
  7. I like stuff from the 1890's and thereabouts, some old German tunes that I've known most of my life, Stephen Foster's tunes,"Dixie," "Behind Those Swinging Doors" (not old - 1938), and things like that. I play very little Irish, mainly because I don't like most of it (and my grandmother was Irish). Also, I don't play to an audience, so I don't have to worry about playing what they want to hear. Regards, Paul N.
  8. What do you do when you are performing and you get the sudden urge to sneeze? Or an eyelash falls out (and into your eye) at a bad moment? Or if your nose or arm starts to itch and the more you try to ignore it, the worse it gets? I don't perform, so while it's a nuisance, it's not the end of the world. But what can you do when you are up before an audience and something like this happens? Paul N.
  9. Your post wasn't what I expected from the subject line, but I'll get back to that. As the others said, playing the chordal accompaniment more staccato usually helps. What is seldom said, though, is that learning to cut short the notes (lift the fingers off the buttons) of one hand while sustaining the notes (keeping the buttons depressed) in the other hand is not something that comes naturally to most of us. It can be learned, but it's easier said than done. It will take practice, and you may need to practice the two hands separately, then try to put them together without losing the difference. Another thing to consider is not playing as many notes at once. It's often possible to play less than a full chord, and yet give the listener the impression that the chord is there. E.g., with a tune in the key of G, playing just an F# and a C will normally "project" a D7 chord, even if neither the D nor the A is there. And any note that's in the melody doesn't have to be repeated (in a lower octave?) at the same time in the corresponding chord. Don't play all the notes of the chord at once: You may already be doing the most common version of this, which is alternating the tonic (base) of the chord with the rest of its notes together. (E.g., for a G chord: low G, then the B and D above it, played together.) An arpeggio is another common variant, in which the individual notes of the chord are played sequentially, rather than all at once. An "alternating bass" combines the two above ideas, just alternating the tonic with (usually) the fifth of a chord (G and D for a G chord, D and A for a D chord, etc.), and omitting the third. This is a common technique for guitar players (especially in the blues?), as well as being the "oom pah" of the tuba in the stereotype of a German brass band. Then there are "harmonies" that aren't "chords". More about that, below. I said I expected something different when I read your subject line. In fact, what I expected was a question about harmony "lines", rather than "chords". Coming to the concertina from a background of wind instruments (including voice), instruments that can play only one note at a time, to me the word "harmony" means a sequence of notes that contrast with the melody, not a "stacking" of notes into a chord. Some common examples are: Parallel thirds: Along with each melody note is played the note two notes above it in the scale (musically known as a "third", because counting the melody note as "one", the harmony note is the "third" in ascending the scale). This is probably the simplest harmony to do on an English concertina, but on an anglo it won't put the melody and harmony into separate hands. Parallel sixths: Musically, this is the same as harmony in thirds, but with the harmony notes then dropped an octave, so they sound below the melody. This kind of harmonizing can often be done on an anglo with the melody in the right hand and the harmony in the left. This can also be inverted, i.e., playing the melody in the left hand and the harmony in the right hand, giving a separation of an octave plus a third (a "tenth"). Parallel octaves: While some might object to calling it "harmony", playing the melody an octave lower (in the left hand) in parallel with the melody in the right hand does sound different from the melody in only one octave, and it can be quite effective. Not strictly parallel: This is a catch-all for "everything else". A harmony could follow the melody rhythmically note for note, but take varying directions in terms of pitch. Or it could diverge rhythmically from the melody, with more than one note in either pairing with a single note in the other. And such harmonies can be multiplied, with more than two notes sounding at once, though not necessarily built upon a formal "chord" structure. Bass runs: A particularly common example of "not strictly parallel". On any instrument that can play both chords and single notes, this technique is often used for moving from one chord to another in a series of steps, rather than a large jump. It can also add variety to the rhythm and motion of a piece, e.g., as a temporary change from a steady "boom-chuck" chordal accompaniment. These are just a few simple suggestions that you can experiment with, if you have the desire, and they can be elaborated and combined in countless variations. First of all, thanks to you all for your help. Playing the chords for a shorter time than the melody notes is what I'll try. It sounds like that is what I'm doing wrong - in addition to my hands working at different speeds. I guess I always thought that a chord was to be held for the same amount of time as the melody note. I've never had any musical training, by the way, so my terminology is not very accurate, I'm afraid. I don't usually play the full chords either - only two notes which, I guess, is an interval rather than a chord. I may not be good, but I'm having a grand time and learning something. That's the important thing. Thanks again, Paul N.
  10. Hi, I'm trying to teach myself how to play melody on the right side and harmony on the left side on my anglo concertina. I'm making progress, but I still have one problem that someone may be able to help me with. How do I keep the sound of the chords from drowning out the notes of the melody? 95% of the answer will probably be 'practice, practice and more practice,' but I've played "Behind Those Swinging Doors" close to 1000 times now, and the bass notes still seem to overpower the treble notes. There must be a way around that. I've enjoyed listening to the clips that Alan Day has been posting and I only wish that I could eventually sound 1/10 as good. (See the 'Practice, practice...' comment above). Thanks for any help. Regards, Paul N.
  11. Try acetone - but as the other gentleman said, remove all of the wood first. Then a scrubbing in soap and hot water.
  12. Handstraps are optional on Bob Tedrow's minis. There is no palm rest, but you can get handstraps. I've got one on order with them. Regards, Paul N. I think that I mis-read the question. Lep wrote "handles", while I read it as "handstraps". I should learn to read things more carefully. P.N.
  13. Hi, I'm tying to find either the abc notation or the sheet music for two tunes that are on the recent "English International" CD set. The first is Disc 3, Track 8: 'Yankee Polka', played by Sarah Graves. Next is Disc 3, Track 24: 'Spot The Tune Rag', played by Martyn Bradley. I'm not interested in the little bits he stuck into the tune, but rather the base melody. I know it as the 'Gastonia Gallop'. That is on an old harmonica record from about 1928. I've looked in 'Fiddler's Companion', 'JC's abc tune match at Trillian.mit', 'The Session' and 'Tune-O-Tron' - all on the web, as well as in 'O'Neill's Music of Ireland', but I can't find either. 'Gastonia Gallop' probably can be found, but under another name, but I don't know what it is. Can anyone help? Thanks, Paul N.
  14. Dan, Are you aware of what Sean Garvey is selling in Ireland? Go here: http://www.allaboutaccordions.com/concertina.htm He's got a thiry button German-made concertina and a Chinese made AIDI and others as well. I imagine that the German one is made by Shaumanufaktur, but I don't know for sure. I wish it was sold over here. Regards, Paul N. Tonawanda, NY
  15. If I remember what the good nuns were trying to beat into my head 50 some years ago in school, coveting my neighbor's goods is not a good idea. Oh, well. It certainly is a beautiful instrument. Admiration is OK, isn't it, sister? Paul N.
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