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John Dipper

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Posts posted by John Dipper

  1. There is light shining through where there shouldn’t be. A sad story of, the humans were warm, so warm and dry that the instrument has just under a 3mm bow in it! A cautionary tale for all - your Victorian instrument is probably best and most happy around 55% relative humidity. Hygrometer = cheap, Removing all the springs, pads, action and making a new sound board = expensive! The culprit - central heating!


    • Like 3
  2. Hello and happy new year! 

    I’ve been asked by someone in Quebec, Canada about acquiring an English bass. I hope that putting this up might help him locate one either in Canada or further afield.

  3. Interesting to see people using off the shelf options - the 5Star cases look good - especially their blockings - but weight is definitely an issue. I have a fiddle case that would probably withstand a medium size thermonuclear blast, but its soo heavy I never use it for transporting the instrument, so its pretty useless sadly.


    It is MASSIVELY alarming to see how few of the examples shown have proper blockings - we get too many calls and e-mails each year after someone has dropped a case that does not have blockings that support the instrument, and at least one new end is needed - around £1k of work. If you drop a double case, you can bet that Newton's law combines with Concertina legend, and you get a 'Wheatstone's Cradle' effect - so probably 3 ends to repair 😱


    Please, please, please make sure your case has proper blockings in it to hold the bellows properly and support the instrument so that the fretwork will not be broken - and for a double case they should prevent the to instruments colliding. It will save the instrument(s), your insurance premium and your sanity.


  4. I've been thinking about running some beginner English concertina classes on Zoom on Saturday mornings at 11.30am for about an hour or so. I’d be looking at the very basics of making music, and getting to grips with the English system. (Other systems welcome, but the teaching will be English-system-centric). The workshops would be available to attend live or on demand via YouTube. If you are interested, please direct message me here or e-mail me via my website.





  5. I suppose that you could put a humidifier in the bellows, but then the bellows might fall apart and the reeds will rust 🤪


    If the humidity is over 70% then mildew will attack the instrument and you’ll have to bin the bellows, and it’s possible that instruments with older valves that are made of leather that is not pH stable, will then release acid that eat the reeds

  6. A lot of the instruments that we have repaired, displayed symptoms of being albeit desiccated by central heating. We would recommend that humidity of around 55% is ideal, especially for older instruments. My uncle Andrew (who works on very expensive high end violins villas and cellos, in Minneapolis) has humidifiers to keep the workshop at 55%. 

    Colin is currently battling with two Jeffries that have been dried to death. 

    The frustrating thing about concertinas is they are, by design, a wood drying machine 🙄 Thanks Charley! 


    If you put a humidifier in the case, how does that humidity get into each sealed chamber of the reedpan? 


    • Like 2
  7. That would be great - maybe we could rival the Cardashians 🤣 Oh no, wait, we actually do something useful!


    I can see a bigBrother format working - with your accent Theo - you could do the voice over!


    "John has been wandering around the workshop for twenty minutes now, wondering where the woggle punch is."


    "Rosalie has finished a set of bellows and is now in the diary room..."

  8. Many thanks for very kind words. One of the reasons I didn't think it would work is they were after a roughly 11 minute segment, which means we'd spend days trying to work out what would be interesting and televisual, all to be crammed in between one commercial break.


    Also, if I'm honest, my experience of journalists is that they very quickly decide on a story (fairy tale) that they then skew everything towards and tell their own tale, despite the facts and more interesting (true) stories that you give them being better and real. I know that is their job to make things accessible, but, its so sad to watch programmes about (other) things I know about being misrepresented and the real story being missed, due to their ignorance and often totally misguided romantic clichéd sense of what 'folk' or whatever the subject is. Alarmingly, these programmes are then used as reference material, and you're thinking to yourself - how is it that this is allowed to happen!? I'll stop before I get fully into rant mode.


    I guess I should doing some sort of The Office type filming, laying bare all the times we cast staplers/jigs in jelly etc. In all seriousness, if I had the time, I'd like to do some 4K filming and put it on Vimeo - but thats a fair way down the to do list - I have a few concertinas to make first...

  9. I’ve just had a very interesting phone-call with someone ITV4. They are interested in filming concertina making for the ‘Made in Britain’ series, and talked to Steve and Mary as well. I’m not sure why Steve and Mary were unable to help them but they very kindly recommended us. We thought about it for a long time, and found it a massively hard decision to make. On the one hand, it would be good to have a record of our making, but at the same time, especially in the time of Covid, it seems like an unnecessary risk to have 4 people visiting and being in close proximity for several days.

  10. Hello,


    Hope everyone is keeping safe and squeezing responsibly. I have one more December Music Workshop left. I am running four more workshops in January - they will focus on fantastic tunes from further afield than the UK - all instruments are welcome - please contact me if you are interested. The perfect gift for your wellbeing as we stare into the next lockdown

    January Nice Tunes Workshops Flyer.jpg

  11. Hello everyone, hope you are all keeping safe and well.


    In November I ran four fiddle workshops on Zoom, and am now running four more workshops in December - while I will be teaching on the fiddle, all instruments are welcome!


    Each workshop will focus on one tune, looking at how to create appropriate phrasing, rhythm and groove, as well as tone and dynamics to bring the tune to life. 


    The workshops are filmed and available 'on demand' if you are unable to make the original workshop broadcast time, or want to revisit it.


    Please contact me through my website if you are interested.


    Very best wishes,




    December English Fiddle Workshops Flyer.jpg

  12. Now that you all have your 2019 diaries up and running - time to make a note that Emmanuel Pariselle and Richard Burgess will be holding an afternoon workshop and evening concert at The Old Road Tavern in Chippenham on Sunday May 19th 2019.

    They are coming calling into Chippenham, on their way from Lewes to Halsway Manor.

    Rosalie says there will be more information in late March...


    Please let anyone you think might be interested know. 

    • Like 1
  13. Just a quick message from Rosalie,


    lesoncontinu at Chateau d’Ars  July 12 - 15 2018


    All known  or suspected concertina players are most cordially invited to join us for a

    Concertina Playgroup - probably at 3pm on Friday 13.


    Enquire chez Pierrot Accordeons for more information


    Don't forget your instrument! All systems and abilities welcome

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