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Everything posted by RP3

  1. I'm really glad that others have already spoken up in opposition to what I consider is nothing more than a solution in search of a problem. Yes, it might be nice too lower the cost of our instruments, but experience has time and time again illustrated that with that lower cost has come a sacrifice in sound or playability. Ross Schlabach
  2. Since the focus of this thread has directed you toward the G/D Anglo, and since you are put off by the size of the Rochelle, you might want to look into the Edgley G/D concertina currently on offer on the For Sale section of these forums. This hybrid instrument should be a nice step up from the Rochelle, meet your needs and not be too dear. Good luck, Ross Schlabach
  3. Not sure quite what you are trying to tell us. The photo looks like it is the 26 button model you said you already have. And it is very nice. Although your intentions may have changed since your original post in late 2015, if they haven't then you may have set an impossible task for yourself. The reason I say this is that you didn't want a full size, but you wanted 30 buttons -- a desirable goal. However, the smaller sizes restrict the amount of space inside for both reeds and chambers. Modern day builders like Dipper and Carroll offer full 30 button models in the size you are seeking, but there is a good possibility that Lachenal never did. I'd love to be proven wrong, but I suspect that's the case -- especially in the inset metal ended style you prefer. But good luck all the same. Ross Schlabach
  4. With regard to your inquiry, I would suggest you get in touch with Florence Fahy. She does lessons by Skype (or has in the past). Florence has a website you can check out: Concertinachick.com I took her Anglo classes at the SE Tionol spring event for several years and I was very pleased with both her teaching style and her tune selections. So I would highly recommend her to you. Ross Schlabach
  5. RP3

    Name That Tune

    Thanks for the help folks. I had most of the tune, but having access to the sheet music helped me fill in the blanks. Ross Schlabach
  6. Jake, your workmanship looks first rate and the design features you have included look well thought out. Have you got a video to demonstrate the sound of your concertinas? Good luck with your business, Ross Schlabach
  7. RP3

    Name That Tune

    Can someone please give me the name of the first tune on this YouTube video? https://youtu.be/a42HYwm8bIQ Thanks, Ross Schlabach
  8. I just finished reading the latest installment to the Jeffries Family saga and I'm delighted. The amount of research and sleuthing involved to put all this together is overwhelming. As an owner of more than one Jeffries, I have always been interested in learning more about when and where they were made, and this latest article on the family & company goes a long way toward helping me know more accurately about my instruments. My hat's off to Randy and everybody else on the team for the fabulous job you have done putting this story together. Ross Schlabach
  9. If you haven't, I would recommend you talk to Greg Jowaisas. He is a highly respected restorer and repairman for concertinas and has a number of instruments that might fit the bill. He is on this website and you can send him a PM (private message). Ross Schlabach
  10. If I may suggest an alternative, you might want to contact a Greg Jowaisas to see if he can resolve both the playing and cosmetic issues rather than have to sell this one and look for another. I don't know if he could add the tooling at this point, but he could add bellows papers -- or do a whole new bellows if desired. Greg can normally resolve any playing problems, so give him a call. Ross Schlabach
  11. Coming after the series of sets from Noel Hill, Jack Talty and Cormac Begley, this video shows that a lot of concertina ensemble playing is starting to crop up among the top players in Ireland ....... and it sounds fabulous! Just wished that the Hill/Talty/Begley videos were allowed to remain up on YouTube. Ross Schlabach
  12. Thanks Bruce for letting us know about this new CD. Noel has obviously kept it below radar coverage. That makes two new CDs that I am looking forward to: Noel Hill & Cormac Begley. Could hardly ask for more. Ross Schlabach
  13. Went on-line to his site and discovered that only 30 copies of the limited edition version were going to be available on-line. Mostly the special discs and case were going to be offered in person only at specific events. Got my copy pre-ordered. Ross Schlabach
  14. I tried to go back to these videos last night and I couldn't find them any longer. Is anybody having any luck locating those 14 videos? Ross Schlabach
  15. Susan, based on your comments and goals, my suggestion would be that you stick with Noel's class. Admittedly it is very focused but since you've been to NHICS in the past, you know what to expect. You won't get the variety of performers/instruments you would enjoy at the IAW, but if you go to the New York class, you might encounter one of the evening sessions at the pub -- if that appeals to you. And at Noel's class, you stand a much better opportunity to make more progress on the concertina than you would otherwise. At some point you might want to make the transition to a less structured and more free-wheeling event like the IAW, and I think you'll know when that time has come. But since you've asked, that time hasn't come yet. Best regards, Ross Schlabach
  16. No, I think you both ignored the OP and just hyjacked the thread. Ross Schlabach
  17. Susan, you asked for recommendations but some of the answers you received were nothing but personal pet peeves and didn't address your inquiry. The important thing here is what are your objectives? So let's ask you some questions. What is your main goal? Are you looking to expose yourself to different teaching and playing styles? Are you more interested in learning the concertina, or is your goal to experience the playing of others or maybe have chances to play in sessions? Are you experienced enough with the concertina that you want to include some classes but are really more interested in the performances or other instruments? If your focus is on learning the concertina, then a concentrated workshop like Noel's is a great experience. If instead you are looking for a wider exposure to Irish Music with a bit of concertina tuition, then the Irish Arts Week might be an ideal option for you. IAW might also be a good choice if you are looking to get exposed to different teachers or playing styles. So think about what YOU want, and then go and have a great time. Of course if your situation permits, you can do both and have the best of all worlds! Ross Schlabach
  18. I just watched the first seven of the sets. Noel, Jack and Cormac have created a wonderfully diverse and unique concertina experience. I hope that everybody will take the time to give these videos all a look. Now, I need to return to the concert! Ross Schlabach
  19. Miss Mannion is playing this tune on a Bb/F concertina which puts the notes into a very concertina friendly pattern. It's a really nice tune that sounds fabulous on this flat pitch instrument. Ross Schlabach
  20. Bruce and Dan have given you some excellent advice. I would like to add a little to that. Even when you are relatively new to the instrument, there is no substitute for actually getting an instrument in your hands to try it out. For this reason, I would warn against eBay because you have zero idea what you are really getting. Dan's recommendation about you taking the time to find local players is a very good one. You may be given the opportunity to play their instruments or they might have one to sell, so there is a potential opportunity to try out instruments and learn more. Bruce's warning about Lachenal's is generally good advice. Lachenal made lots of cheap anglos in addition to some much better ones, and when you are starting out, it's hard to know the difference. But there are some reasonable ones out there that could suit your needs. You might want to contact Greg Jowaisas in Cincinnati; he is a regular on this forum. Greg is a highly skilled concertina repairman and he has taken the time to locate and refurbish a number of Lachenal and Jones concertinas to a good playable standard. More importantly, he backs his instruments. So he will send out an instrument on approval, and he will return your money if you decide it is not for you. Of course, the best course would be to visit him and try instruments in person. So that gives you another way to find a suitable 30 button upgrade. Don't ever feel that you have to grab something before it gets away. Sometimes that might be true, but it will be more likely that rushing into that purchase will be a mistake. Feel free to ask us more when and if the need arises before you leap into a new acquisition. And good luck with your search. Ross Schlabach
  21. Hi Ron, When starting out on Anglo concertina, the issue of when to use the air valve looms rather large. A tune's pace and natural pauses can give you breaks when it is convenient to use the air button -- in the same fashion that many songs have natural breaks when a singer can breathe in air for the next passage. But since the Anglo concertina has a considerable number of buttons with duplicate notes that allow you to play a given note either on the press or the draw of the bellows, the way that you decide to actually play the tune (which buttons you are going to use) can influence when you will need to use the air button too. Here's an example of the latter. If you are trying to learn the Concertina Reel, it is possible and seemingly convenient to play a good portion of the A part just using draw notes. But when you try to play it this fashion, you will discover that you will run out of bellows before the A part is over and have no place in the tune to dump the excess air to continue playing. This forces each player to develop a fingering pattern for the tune that will include enough of both press and draw notes so that you are less likely to run out of bellows. So the process of learning the tune also includes the choosing of buttons (either press or draw) that will simplify your bellows management. Bellows management does not just involve figuring when you can take in or expell air between notes in a tune although that can be an important contributor to the bounce or lift of the tune. It also includes learning how to modulate the air button so that you can play a note or notes at the same time that the air button is being operated. This involves lots of practice because if you need to open the air valve while playing a note or even a chord, you will need to change the amount of force you are applying to the bellows to keep the volume of the note the same. You can practice this skill by playing a series of notes in one direction on the bellows, and then try to play those same notes at the same volume with the air button partially open. By varying the amount of pressure on the bellows you can open the air button a little or a lot. This combination of playing both the note and working the air button can be used to advantage in slow tunes. Similarly, if you are at a point in a tune where there is no convenient opportunity to expell air between notes and the bellows is most of the way open, and you only have a few press notes before a longer group of draw notes, then you might want to work the air valve as you play those press notes so you will have the bellows appropriately compressed and ready for the draw notes to follow. So learning to use the concertina air valve is not just one skill but several. But everyone who has taken up the concertina has faced this same dilemma. You are not alone, and with practice and repetition your air button work will soon become second nature. Hope this helps. Good luck! Ross Schlabach
  22. Nigel, whatever you do, I would recommend that you not use any woolen, cotton or similar materials inside the case since stray fibers will undoubtedly find their way into the reeds. Good luck with your case design and as mentioned earlier, do not incorporate a design that will leave the instrument on its ends. Also don't make things so tight that you have trouble extracting the concertina as the likely damage will be to the bellows. That was one of the biggest problems with the old wooden cases. Ross Schlabach
  23. I'm in the same camp as Bruce. The traditional system works just fine if the button is positioned properly. My first concertina was an early Suttner raised end Linota model. The air button was positioned so low that I could barely reach it. I compared its spacing to real Wheatstone Linotas and found that the Suttner air button was just incorrectly positioned. But when I was first exposed to Crabb and Jeffries instruments, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that some makers had put the air button where it could be reached and managed easily. Later Suttners I had the opportunity to own or play had air buttons placed more conveniently for good access. And when an air button is ergonomically positioned, that air button can be modulated just as easily as a lever version. Most of us Anglo players started off and grew up playing air buttons. Maybe if we had all started off playing air lever systems, we might have a different opinion about them. But that ship has already left the station and for the vast majority of concertina players, an air lever is a solution in search of a problem. All that being said, if you want or need an air lever, you are free to seek out that system and nothing I've said is intended to restrict you in any way. But given the opportunity to play a properly positioned air button on a well designed and executed concertina, you may discover that all you ever needed was there all along. Ross Schlabach
  24. While I haven't yet visited the new class venue, I did stop and take a look at it on their website (which unfortunately is currently down) and the facilities look really nice. As Greg pointed out, those of us driving by the airport can usually provide rides to those coming in to Cincinnati by air. With just a couple of minor gaps, I have been attending Noel's US classes since 1996 and have survived the experience with no permanent damage! Noel makes sure that each student is offered an excellent and challenging concertina learning experience suited to their own performance level. He is a very hard working teacher and does his best to help each player succeed -- whether the student is brand new, experienced or anywhere in between. The students are divided into groups by experience level and the tunes are selected to match. Each day every student has two class sessions and at each class session you will be given one or more tunes to work on for the next class period. Every student will have the opportunity to perform each assigned piece for Noel and his critiques help you to grow and learn -- at your own pace. I believe that these classes may have been overshadowed by the big events like the Irish Arts week, but the NHICS classes provide much better value at a very modest cost. If you have wanted to attend a concertina class but haven't yet taken the plunge, you won't find a better value than Noel's classes -- and you'll be learning from the best. The Catskills and West Coast classes are large and usually fill up early but the MidWest class is smaller and can easily accommodate newcomers. So consider this your personal invitation to come and join us in Cincinnati! If you any questions about the NHICS, feel free to post them here or PM me and I will try to answer them for you. Ross Schlabach
  25. Jay Jay, Based on my opportunity to play the Traveler Anglo from Wakker when it was making the rounds, I think you probably already have a concertina that is at least the equal of what you are looking to acquire. The biggest issue I discovered with the 38 button Suttner when I acquired it new was that the reeds were not properly balanced -- that is they didn't all sound under the same pressure and required reed reset to get them speaking reliably. If that is your reason for wanting to change, a little work by your local tuner should bring it back into your good graces. In any case, good luck. Ross Schlabach
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