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Posts posted by meltzer

  1. My "dots" reading is pretty ropey. At best, an aid to working out a tune that I know already. One thing I would say is make the most of the tunes you know and have have the dots for. The thing that I find hardest about dots is not the pitch (I can read that fine), but the note durations. By sitting down and looking at the dots for a tune I know already, I've found this helps makes sense of quavers, crotchets, dots, and all that, for when I'm looking at a less familiar tune. It also helps me if a sort of mentally tap my foot while reading the notation -- I've found this particularly useful with jigs, cos it's quite easy to do "1-2-3, 1-2-3".

  2. Sorry if I'm being a bit obtuse, but is the OP talking about a retune to C/F so that the rows are a 4th apart, like on a C/F melodeon (low C, high F)? As much as I can see the appeal of this (as a melodeon player), surely this would entail a complete rethink on the third row, too? :unsure:

  3. I had a little play on one years & years ago, when I first started playing the melodeon. It was always something I fancied playing. I got back into English traditional song a few years ago (after a long gap), and started listening to Peter Bellamy again. Even though he wasn't the most, er, conventional concertina player in the world, I love what he does with the instrument -- he was my main inspiration, although I try (and fail) not to be a Bellamy clone. I wanted something other than a guitar to accompany my singing with, when necessary, and opted for the concertina. I also found myself with sufficient readies for the first time in my life to be able to afford one!

  4. i certainly intend to learn by ear (but i will need the books for chords


    Nah, you won't - just experiment with dabbing down 2 or 3 keys on the left hand side that correspond to the ones you're playing on the right hand side and you'll find that the chords appear as if by magic! Or perhaps that's influenced by the fact that I came to the Anglo via the melodeon...

    I'd second this. I found chord charts a bit pointless, and also restricting. Especially when one of the joys of the Anglo is big, open chords and the kind of unusual voicings you just can't get using melodeon basses (which to came to the Anglo via, as well).


    I think the first tune I worked out properly was Greenland whale fisheries, then I had a bit of an excursion into Christmas carols.

  5. If you have not previously come across it, The Musical Traditions Internet Magazine edited by Rod Stradling is a fascinating resource for anyone interested in traditional music, especially but not exclusively that of the British Isles.

    One of the best websites on the net for that sort of thing, I reckon. The CDs on sale are well worth checking out as well. Although I'm hopelessly addicted now :( .

  6. The (slowly, slowly, very slowly) ability to get the wee beastie to make the sounds it's capable of. I was going to say, "the ability to get the harmonies I hear in my head to make their way to my fingers," but that's not quite right. It's more about discovering what the instrument can do, if I'm good enough to let it do it. Which I never will be, but that's what improvement's about, eh? It's not something that has a final destination.

  7. It's certainly rather limited in range, but actually a perfectly standard layout. Keyboard diagrams for instruments with 35, 42, 48 or 55 keys are illustrated in Crane's Patent English Combination Concertina Tutor, where their ranges can be compared (so no need to bother the seller! ;) ).

    Thanks for that -- very interesting link. So -- not fully chromatic on both ends, then. Would I be correct in saying that you have to go up to 55 keys before you're fully chromatic on both ends? (As I said, I'm an Anglo player ;) ).


    I hesitate to say this, but of all the layouts for duets I've looked at, the Crane seems to make the most intuitive sense. :huh:

  8. My classical violinist friends tell me that they are urged to take a breath before each phrase, and to start the next phrase before they run out of breath.

    That might work for me. 20 cigarettes a day for 20 years, and an Anglo with a five-fold bellows. ;)

  9. Very few keys on the left hand side.


    Pure guesswork on my part (I'm an anglo player), but that would mean not many options chordwise, right? I'd be quite interested to know what the range of the instrument is, but I don't want to bother the seller, cos I've got no intention of buying it.

  10. Also, when standing, the bellows tend to flop about and I get very poor control.

    You'll notice from Peter T's video that he's playing with the bellows very "fanned," to help stop that happening.


    I mostly play to accompany my singing, so I'm playing stood up pretty much all the time. I find it's easier, but then I've done it pretty much from day one. I find it awkward to have one end "fixed" on my knee, and much prefer the added mobility of playing stood up, and squeezing from both ends into the middle.

  11. I reported it too, saying that the concertina belonged to a friend of mine, and that it wasn't the seller's to sell. Fairly unambiguous, you would have thought. But no. The reply I got was along the lines of "These are serious allegations -- we can only take action in the case of stolen items if we have a police report." Silly sods. :angry:

  12. Hey Bob

    The third row (usually referred to as the "accidental row" on 30-button anglos) is not tuned to a major scale like the other two rows; instead, it has notes that allow you to play in other keys and their relative modes, and allow some alternative fingering for notes found on the G and D rows.

    .... and also (if you want to play chords as well as melody lines) it gives you more options. A useful feature of that third row is that the second button down on your left hand has the same notes as the top one of your middle row, but in the reverse bellows direction. So you can play a tune on your right hand, and -- by following the changes in bellows direction and alternating between those two buttons -- you can get a sort of drone going in the background. There are other "reverses" like this on a 30 key, and it's one of my favourite effects.

  13. This may seem obtuse, but have you considered getting a melodeon? Sadly for anglo players, melodeons have a strong price/quality advantage over concertinas.



    Yep. I've just got a lovely vintage declubbed Hohner IIIM* for only a little more than a 30 key Chinese anglo. Or, to go to the other end of the price range, £1000 will get you into the "best melodeons currently being made" bracket, as opposed to the bottom-to-middle end of the vintage anglo market.


    * Sorry, chaps. ;)

  14. Learning scales on the anglo isn't rocket science (in 2 keys, anyway ;) ). But I find the odd one useful, to practice the staccato thing, and to help with not relying on the bellows to change notes. Also, playing scales in octaves is a handy thing to practice, I've found. As is playing (simple!) tunes in octaves. Even though I'm not a "tunes" player.

  15. It is in excellent condition. There is a squeak on the drawn C# (see end of video). I'm told this is relatively easy to repair but I don't know how to do it!

    This could well be a slighty loose reed frame.


    If you unscrew the end of the concertina, note which chamber contains the affected reed, and remove the reed pan, a loose reed frame should slip out of its slot very easily. Cut a thin strip of paper (1 inch x 1/8 inch approx.) and slide it into the slot in the reed pan so that it sits at the side of the reed frame when it is relocated.


    Hope this works for you!



    I can confirm that this works. ;)

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