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Everything posted by RP3

  1. 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
  2. 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
  3. 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
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. 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
  7. No, I think you both ignored the OP and just hyjacked the thread. Ross Schlabach
  8. 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
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. 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
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. 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
  17. Now, are we going to have to guess the details (pitch, cost, etc) or are you planning on sharing?! Ross
  18. Doug, I haven't had any first hand experience with them, but in case you hadn't had time to research them, the Irish Concertina Co. is something started up or heavily associated with Sean Garvey of AllAboutAccordions -- his shop in Dublin. The Irish Concertina Co has a website that discusses this Vintage model but they do not provide any photos of the reeds used in this model. In one part of the website they refer to brass plated (their spelling, not mine) reeds and in another they say brass plates.... steel tongues. Without photos I would be cautious about giving too much credit to the text. But I did listen to one of the associated videos, and the instrument sounded good. Internet audio is always suspect, so -- as you already know-- an in-hand examination is best. The price is €3,300 which is $3,465 but there may be 22% VAT in the Euro cost, so further investigation is warranted here too. Since this model is a relatively new product and their prior efforts have been accordion reeded models only, expectations shouldn't be too high. But again, it sounded good on the video. So, who's going to be first to take a chance or fly over to Dublin to try one out? Ross Schlabach
  19. The presence of Jeffries style bellows (as evidenced by their embossing and bellows papers) should not be regarded as implying any family history. The hook action does immediately brings Lachenal to mind. One way to see if there are any Jeffries reeds hiding in those reed pans is to measure the thickness of the brass shoes. I don't remember the dimension normally associated with Jeffries reeds but they are substantially thicker than those made by Lachenal and Wheatstone. Hopefully some more knowledgeable member of our little band will step forward with that information. More than likely though is that this is a Lachenal possibly mated with a cast off Jeffries bellows (you didn't provide a bellows picture) or just one made up to look like a Jeffries bellows. Ross Schlabach
  20. The fretwork is very open and in that regard it looks very much like the similarly very open fretwork on the metal ended Suttner models. Ross Schlabach
  21. Hi Darticus, You haven't mentioned what kind of music you like to play or what keys you would like to play in. The switch to a 30 button concertina will open up additional keys like D and A. Keep in mind that the 20 button concertina represent the lower two rows of a three row (30 button) concertina. So with a 30 button concertina, you can still play the tunes you know and grow into the wider capabilities of the 30 button concertina. About tightness, going from a 20 to 30 button is not that dramatic a switch. But saying that, do recognize that different brands of concertinas do have different ergonomics. Personally, I find that the Wheatstone and Lachenal concertinas generally have a slightly tighter overall pattern than Crabb and Jeffries anglos. If you have big hands like me, you might be more comfortable with one of these latter two concertinas. And what this shows is the importance of trying a concertina before buying which is what I advise you to do. Since you are new to the Anglo concertina, I would not recommend trying to learn two or more different concertinas at the same time. A few have accomplished this, but trying to do so merely makes the learning process more difficult. Ross Schlabach
  22. Dan, I think you got those from me, and if so, I would ask that you pass them on to Greg Jowaisas. Thanks, Ross
  23. RP3

    Jeffries C/g Anglo

    It is interesting that this concertina has a seven fold bellows with a C/G tuning. Hopefully the reeds have not been re-tuned upward from a lower tuning which is more commonly seen with seven fold bellows. Checking the reed pitch stamping should help to confirm or reject this suspicion. Good luck with the sale. Ross Schlabach
  24. While Jim has recommended the best source for info regarding your concertina, to me what you have described is the sound of a noisy valve. Valves are generally made from some kind of leather -- frequently goat though some makers even use Mylar -- and if the valve curls up a bit, when air pressure hits it, the valve can make a light flap sound as it seals the opening -- just as the note starts to speak. This condition would be unlikely but not impossible on a brand new instrument. If this is the cause and the concertina in question is one of Frank's higher end models with traditional concertina reeds, it would be a shame for you to have to send it back for a valve adjustment or even replacement that would take five minutes or less for someone with the skills to fix it. But if you have one of his hybrids which use Italian accordion reeds, they may have Mylar valves which are not commonly stocked by most concertina repairmen. Hopefully Frank can do a remote diagnosis and help you through a quick self repair. Best of luck and let us know how it works out. Ross Schlabach
  25. I'd say they have the description wrong. Instead of "Cosmetic wear from age and use" but I think it should read "Serious wear from neglect and abuse"! Ross Schlabach
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