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Stephen DOUGLASS

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  • Interests
    English Concertina, Northumbrian Smallpipes, 'Border Pipes', SSP
  • Location
    New Jersey

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  1. Short phrases as mentioned above is an excellent way. Building blocks. Plenty repetition,initially keep the music there right in front, it's a lovely psychological crutch, knowing you can take a peek. When when you think your ready, (and you will probably know when) discard the 'dots', remember the opening phrase, then think of anything else other than the music. A recipe for moussaka, a math problem, anything to divert your 'mind'. This sounds counter intuitive but it works for me. Listening to the 'music' against random thoughts, and NOT overly concentrating on how it 'should sound', allows a space for the 'tune' to flow. It won't always work as 'planned'...but that's just OK.
  2. JRB....I live in the NYC area and use a large Aircare EA1407 (older equivalent) and does a large room. It has lasted me well. I change the filters every year, and the water pretty much every day when the weather gets in to the scary places. TBH initially the purchase was more to keep my pipes with cane reeds playing. I find the concertina reeds are more stable in dry weather. Never the less, I am in no doubt that it protects all my instruments from drying out. I roll the unit out in mid December until March April'ish and I keep the unit set at 50% otherwise I would be refilling the large tanks several times a day when the weather is extremely cold and that seems to work fine. I have never been a huge fan of the 'in the case' humdifier's, as when the instrument's are removed you are blowing the dry ambient air through. The humdifier allows a level of consistency. Too much to pack in here, but do a little research if you haven't already on relative versus absolute humidity.
  3. Mandojoe, if your reason for starting this thread is because your thinking of buying, and getting started on this lovely instrument, your doing some diligent work. Nice! Many of us just dive in and do the research afterwards. ( I did). That said if you acquire a well 'set up' instrument and are prepared to do the practice, you will not be disappointed...what ever flavor you decide on. I started out on English, and to be honest, because of the layout of the buttons I find it the easiest to 'read' music (especially on the fly) of all the other instruments I play. It's just intuitive (for me at least).. left hand 'on the line' of the staff..right hand in the 'middle of'. But if you continue your journey it's highly likely, as you commune with others with the same interests, that you may want to explore the other possibilities, and even find that you want to go a different route. Just get crackin' on that journey, it's exciting
  4. Chris, this is nearly 100 years old and still shines bright.
  5. Ed, It is with out doubt a conundrum. Do we let an instrument sit on the shelf, or should it be allowed to be in the hands of someone who can at least not confine it to obsolescence. The CITES dates are in place, and the protocols should be followed, but that doesn't mean the practice's before they were put in place was any less harmful. We have to individually weigh our ethical decisions. We may be having this same discussions about Ebony or other woods in the near future, some are already listed in CITES. Continuing dialogue keeps us mindful of our responsibilities.
  6. I'm not sure 'fortunately' is the right word for me! If you are 'moving' any ENDANDERED species you need exemption certificates irrespective of the dates of manufacture. Are we trying to save the planet or not!
  7. Looks lovely. If this is real tortoise shell check CITES regulations for selling abroad.
  8. It seems you joined recently, possibly to get a valuation on your instrument. Nothing wrong with that in my book. But there are so many variables that it would be tough for anyone to shout out a value. On the face of it, looks like a later model, as pointed out above, 1950's. That said I picked up a 1950 aeola model when I first started (on a whim) , and it turned out to have been refurbished by Colin Dipper when the guts were examined. So I would have a look at the 'insides'. How does it 'sound'...tone etc. But I could give you an estimate, if you decide not to sell, and wander down the path of exploring the concertina... It's 'priceless!'
  9. Don't forget the dollar to the pound is very strong at the moment, so instruments that may have been out of reach a while back, are definitely more affordable now. I have picked up two from Barleycorn in the the UK recently for that very reason. The transaction and shipping went smoothly, with just a small amount of taxes/duties applied on arrival.
  10. Big shout out to all who are repairing, fixin' and fettlin'! You are gems. Thank You. I have had a couple of concertina's nuanced by Bob Snope over the last couple of years...transformative work done, that helped me stay 'keen'... and changed unplayable to lovely instruments. This thread is apropos to 'another' regarding 'apprenticeships'....what are we gonna do going forward? Those skilled craftsmen are thin on the ground.
  11. Just as an example, and to give you an idea, yesterday I paid $58.00 duties/taxes on a $1700 Crane from the UK via UPS.
  12. It should be simple David, and I have sensible boxes to put all of them in. The problem I have, is that Hurricanes continue to form in the Atlantic. Living in the NE USA we are prone to extreme weather, so I keep all my 'toys' in the finished basement so that I can keep the humidity and temperature steady throughout the year (pipes are particularly grumpy in low humidity). A couple of years ago, we had major floods and I had some water in the basement, my neighbour's weren't so lucky (& we are all on high ground). From that point I decided to keep the instruments in 'waterproof cases'. I will be following the suggestions above on how to proceed with 'blocking' and lining them.
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