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Posts posted by AlexCJones

  1. Over the last few nights, when doing excercises and scales on my Lachanel MacCann Duet, I noticed the sounds of extra notes on the right side on the push stroke. Last night, I found them too loud to ignore. Somehow, air was leaking past some of the right-end pads on the push stroke.


    To get to the point, I opened up the instrument (yes, I kept track of each screw's place), and found a series of thin cracks connecting the holes of the notes that were singing out of turn. (I'll call this part the "button board" since I am note sure of its proper name.)


    Attached is a photo of the side were the crack is most visible. It is on the left side of the picture, connecting those holes along the vertical side. You can see that there is a series connecting a few of the holes on the right side, but those cracks were sealed up with some kind of glue.


    Anyway, is this a simple repair, or will the entire "button board" need to be rebuilt? I have no intention of repairing this myself.


    - Alex C. Jones


  2. One way to check this is to play the note repeatedly in the same bellows direction. If it hesitates on the first button press but not on the following ones, this might be it.

    Yes, this is what happens. I did not notice this until I tried your suggestion because when I play scales (in parallel octaves) I always have a change in bellows direction, between playing up the scale and down, because the bellows don't hold enough air to get both ascent and descent on the same stroke.



  3. I've been slowly learning to play MacCann Duet on a 57 key Lachenal. The lowest note on the left side is a C, but the G above that one is "slower to speak". After I press the key, it's as if some extra air needs to go through it to get it going, and it is kind of irritating since I must slow down when I get to that note when doing scale excercises (if I am on a push stroke). Also, it is making me develop a habit of only playing that note on the Draw, since the problem only happens on the Push.


    I had the same problem with one note an a 30-key Norman G/D Anglo, paid to have an accordion guy fix it (he didn't) and ended up selling it.


    What makes this happen, and what do I do make it stop (or rather go faster)?


    - Alex C Jones

  4. , and push B, pull A on the bottom of the left hand G row.

    I consider the push B and the pull low A on the left hand G row to be best, rather than the duplicate D on the pull. (Why anyone would want the D duplicated is beyond me). Anyway, this diagram has it the "good" way:

    Keyboard diagram of the 40 key anglo-chromatic concertina


    Also, this diagram has the actual notes written below on staves.


    Even though it is for a 40-key, it uses shading to indicate which notes are available one a 30-key and which are only available on the 40 key.


    except with the high A/F key reversed on the right hand,

    What is interesting about this 40-key diagram+staves, is that for this A/F key on the right hand, the staff contradicts the diagram!


    I think the F should be on the pull, so you can double it with any of the other F's. My stagi has it on the push with the A on the pull, and I find it annoying.

  5. My favorite Cajun 2CD set:


    Title: As Good As It Gets: Cajun

    Artist: Various Artists

    UPC Code: 07243825552



    THis one is good:

    Title: Cajun Spice: Dance Music From South Louisiana

    Artist: Various Artists

    UPC Code: 01166115502


    There is also sheet music for this one, and sometimes the book and CD are sold together as:

    Cajun Spice for Accordion Book/CD Set

    by Larry Hallar



    Here's another one I like:

    15 Louisiana Cajun Classics


    There is also sheet music for that, but I'm not sure where to get it.


    Here's cheap book and cassette set tutor, it is really easy:

    You Can Play Cajun Accordion

    by Larry Miller.


    Here's a video

    Beginning Zydeco and Cajun Accordion By Evo Bluestein


    If you have a lot of time to study the history and all that there is this book:

    Cajun Music: A Reflection of a People by Ann A. Savoy

  6. If there are no photographs of such an instrument on the web, then it would be really neat if you would photograph it, and append the image to a reply in this topic.




    BTW, the Horniman Museum's collection of Concertina photographs is still off line.

  7. Hello again,

    my proposal does not find for the moment the response I thought.


    I insist :


    Where are the beginners needing help in form of special Tutor Recortdings, which I have got for the Anglo Concertina ?


    Are there no Semi-advanced Players wanting to learn new Tunes, who would appreciate that a more advanced player would assisst them with a recording which could explain and advise aboutr fingering and play the dificult passages at a slower speed ?


    Nobody intertstzed to interchange ionternationally tunes and get into a closer contact with players over the world ?


    I have received by private mail one or the other offer for help in my prohect. Thanbk you.


    Forgive if I am bopring you.


    Kind regards

    Joachim Delp

    I am interested!


    Sorry I did not respond sooner.


    I myself am sort of an advanced-beginner. I have advanced past some of the beginner tutors, and past the classes at a local folk music school, but I am nowhere near Alan Day's level. And here in Chicago, there are very few Anglo players, (and I might be the only one in this area to start learning the MacAnn Duet).


    I am also interested in participating in the international exchange of tunes from around the world.


    Now, I am imagining a web page where concertina players can upload and download mp3 recordings of each other, or also share recordings they have made of live amature musicians in their local part of the world.


    It would have a forum where people can discuss the recordings, the tunes and how we add things like the chords to the tunes.


    There would also be news updates or a forum about inexpensive ways to make good recordings, and ways to use your computers for that. And, on occasision, some of us who convert tape recordings to digital (mp3 and CD), can offer to do that for others. (I am afraid I am going to be bombarded with cassettes for writing this, and not have time to practice my own instrument!).


    This could be a place where intermediate/advanced instruction materials can develope.


    Maybe this could be part of Concertina.net, but those of us interested should be ready to contribute toward carrying the cost of the extra disk space needed for the mp3s. I am ready to do this, if there is enough interest to make it a worthwhile resource.


    If not, then I think should at least be enough interest to start just another forum for folks to arrange the exchanges of recordings.


    - Alex C. Jones

  8. With the Jeffries though it is not so much the button spacings, but the difference in button size. Is that a contributing factor on the Bastardi, or are the buttons the same?

    "Bastardi"? :lol: (Now it will be difficult for me to call it anything else)


    Okay yes, the smaller button size and the shorter button height (distance of button top to concertina surface) are both major contributing factors to the problem.


    I am glad you warned me about the Jeffries.

  9. $500 (U.S. Dollars)


    A few months ago a bought a nice used Bastari 40-key G/D Anglo. As you would expect, the drone key and the middle row are a perfect 4th lower than on the standard C/G 40-key Anglo layout which is great. But then, there are a few buttons in the other rows with which the Bastari folks took a few liberties. (See attached key layout diagram)


    I would have these corrected, but the buttons are too far apart for my style of playing. On my C/G Tedrow-Modified-Stagi Anglo, I often press multiple buttons with one finger in order to make chords. I thought with 40-button, I'd be able to do this even better, but the Bastariacs put the keys so far apart, that I can't do that. What a tease!


    Other than that, the only other problem is that the left-hand side grill has some oxidation.


    It is in tune, belows in good condition, and (for most chords, or for Irish style) it plays well. I'll post a reply with a photo attached.


    - A. C. Jones


  10. I feel the same way as Morgana. Given a choice between transcribing tunes off a tape or a CD, the CD wins by a slim margin. I will e-mail you my address. Thanks for the offer.

    David, Morgana,


    The CDs are on their way to you. I put them in the mail this morning.


    Joachim, your copy will be in the mail on Monday.


    - Alex

  11. Portability certainly is an attractive factor... but of little significance for music-making as such....

    Sure, if you like to confine your music making to your own house or whatever is driving distance. But if I am going to travel and bring an instrument with me, I'd rather have an instrument that I can carry in a small case hanging from my shoulder than wheel around a huge case through airports. I'd rather bring an instrument I can fit in the overhead compartment than something I have to buy an extra seat for. If I am going to hike through the woods, climb a tree or a mountain, or find a nice cave to play music in, portability matters.

  12. David, Morgana,


    Would any of you find it easier transcribing from a CD rather than tape? I have created a CD of the Alan Day Tutor tape divided into about 20 or 30 tracks, and it is no trouble for me to burn a few more copies and send them to you.


    (I also would offer to transcribe, but it takes me a long time and I wont be able to start that until after January 1st).


    - Alex

  13. That one was made at Star Concertina & Accordion Company in nearby Cicero Illinois. They stopped building them a few years ago, then they closed the shop, except for the repair shop. I used to take my Anglos there for tuning, until their technician, Lucio (born in Castelfidardo) died early this year.


    If you go to a Cicero Concertina Circle meeting, they all play those monstrous Chemnitzers, and you see a few of those heavily-guided ones there too. They all considered my Anglo to be some kind of toy. When I showed them that I could play a few tunes on my Anglo (chords on left hand, melody on right) they convinced me that I was "good enough" to "upgrade" to Chemnitzer and that I "owed myself" one. Fortunately, I did not have my checkbook with me.


    When I woke the next day, I came to my senses, remembering that portability is one of the many things I like about the Anglo.

  14. Goran:Fascinating....Are there many other Anglo players who do the same?? How did you get the idea...someone else? I have met English players firstly doing it on the 'lowest' buttons since with the little finger at the rest you may not reach them otherwise but with the Anglo this awkward hand position should not be as unavoidable.....I'm not saying you shouldn't do it if you are comfortable with it...it just seem so absurd in a way to me...but maybe some wanted chords really are more or less impossile other ways.....

    I don't know if anyone else does this, and the few Anglo players I know in the Chicago area are not into playing Major 7th and 9th chords. I got the idea from simply trying to get the buttons pushed for the chords I want. On the C/G Anglo, I actually only do this when pressing a button on the C row and one on the G row with the same finger. To press any button on the G row, I have to curl my fingers anyway, since those buttons are so close to the palm bar.


    This brings us back to the topic of this forum: Maybe I should be playing an Anglo constructed with its rows furthur from palm bar. I had never thought of this really until Jim Lucas mentioned it in this thread along with the curvature and rake, but his observations certainly make sense.

  15. Goran:To be able to better understand your view on it Alex could you just present the measures...


    Since I don't own a set of measuring calipers yet, I have to make do with tape measure so I cna't say these measurments are exact...


    - button diam: 6mm


    - c-c button distances 'transversely' : 17mm

    (along the 'rows') and 'longitudinally': 14mm

    (or 'interspace' in both directions) 9mm, 7mm


    - button height above the end: 7mm

    - button travel: 3mm

    - button 'head' profile (spherical, elliptic, domed, flat with rounded edges..):



    A question from curiosity...when saying that you hit a button with knuckle and tip of the same finger

    I wrote that I use this to press two (2) buttons simultaneously


    do you by 'knuckle' mean the 'nail side' of the finger i.e the 'outside' of the distal joint area??? or the fleshy part proximal to the finger tip but on the 'inside' (flexing side) of the finger??

    Nail side. On the Anglo, I do this to press 2 different buttons in two different rows. For example, to make a Cmaj7th chord from these notes on a 30-button C/G Anglo: C3 G3 C4 E4 G4 B4, the first 5 are all pressed in the C row, with the pinky pressing C3, the ring-finger pressing both the G3 and the C4, the middle finger pressing the E3 with the knuckle while pressing the B4 in the G row with the finger tip, and the index finger pressing G4 of the C row.


    Actually, on this Tedrow-Modified-Stagi Anglo, it is not necessary to use the knuckle for the E3 but instead use a part of the finger between the knuckle and the fingertip (on the fingernail, near the cuticle). It's on the MacCann Duet where I need to reach with the knuckle. If you'd like, I can take a photo of that and attach it to a post tomorrow night.


    Now that you have all this information, can you build me a concertina? For how much? How long do I have to wait for it's completion?

  16. As usual, I'm just going to throw in my 2 cents, sharing from my limited personal experience. I won't even attempt to be objective.


    The buttons of my 30-key Anglo Tedrow-Modified-Stagi provide the most playablility of any that I have played. Their interspacing, height (top of button relative to concertina surface), shape, size, and material all contribute to the comfort. These convex-spherical buttons made out of some kind of rubber or plastic allow me to play 2 buttons with one finger, sometimes by using the knuckle to play one button with the tip of the same finger playing another without ever causing soreness.


    The extremely narrow metal buttons of my Lachenal 56-key MacCann Duet do cause soreness, though their interspacing does allow me to play one with the knuckle and another with the finger tip. They are so narrow, that they would be better described as "pins". At least the shape and interspacing never cause my fingers to get stuck between any 2 buttons.


    My fingers often got stuck between the buttons of a Norman 30-key G/D Anglo that I owned for a year. It was the combination of interspacing, height, and shape of the buttons. They stuck out farther than on any others and the ends were not convex but flat-ended. Edges on buttons are a hindrance to me, so flat-ended or concave buttons are not something I would pay for.


    The wide interspacing and low button-height of my Bastari 40-key G/D Anglo make it difficult to play more than one note at a time with the same finger. This is annoying, because the 40-key layout provides me with the notes to make a nice five key G7 chord on the push (remember, this is a G/D), but the spacing and height only allow me to play 4 notes at a time (yes, you only need 4 notes to make a 7th chord, but I want to play 5).


    My ideal Anglo would be 40-buttoned, metal-ended, have concertina reeds, but have buttons with the button height, interspacing, size, material and action of my Tedrow-Modified-Stagi. Maybe a different row-alignment slant would help.

  17. Back to the other subject of types of concertinists etc... What about those who play those monstrous Chemnitzers?


    I was thinking "Chemnitzite" or just "Chemnist".


    Some of those guys are not aware that any other kind of concertina exists, and many consider any other type of concertina to be a toy. So, I guess they would be Chemnichouvenists?


    Now, if one plays both English, and Anglo, and Duet, (and maybe even Chemnitzer), the would that person be an Omnitinist?

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