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Bill N

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About Bill N

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    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 01/10/1959

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    Hamilton, Canada

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  1. It can be played in D on a 30 button C/G concertina by playing "across the rows" and using the 3rd row for C#. I play both a G/D and a C/G and find that reels are often easier to play at speed across the rows than in the home key row.
  2. Scholer was In business under that name from about 1949 until just after reunification, and their concertinas are found with several different "made in" designations. The earliest are marked "Germany USSR Occupied", and the latest "Made in Germany". Besides "Made in Germany East" , I've also seen "Made in the German Democratic Republic". I don't know in what order those marks were used. Most that I have seen have the GDR designation. It seems likely that yours was probably made shortly before you bought it.
  3. For a staccato effect on a repeated note I often use alternate fingers for each tap of the same button. The choice of push or pull, and which finger to start with often depends on the fingering for the preceding and following phrases. I try out whatever choices are available then go with whatever works best.
  4. I'll bring it on Sunday Robin. I am experimenting with using it as the low D in various chords, which seems pretty useful and promising. Drone-wise, a little seems to go a long way, and when the drone stops its sudden absence is the dominant sensation. I'm having more success using it as an 'ending' element, say for the last few phrases of a final B part, rather than starting a phrase with it and then having it drop out. I'm also finding my thumb is not as dexterous on the lever as I imagined it would be- there are some new synaptic pathways to be forged for that digit!
  5. My new concertina (C/G) came with a low D drone on a lever for the left thumb. I've never had a drone before and am enjoying fooling around with it, but maybe the results aren't as enjoyable for the other members of my household! I'd appreciate any advice from others about how and when to use this new bit of musical kit. I'm a "by ear" player, and play mostly traditional dance tunes from England, Ireland and Newfoundland and Labrador.
  6. I play both. I began on a C/G Rochelle, but after about 6 months got a G/D Morse for English trad and Morris, and it became my main instrument for about 6 years. A few years ago I got a good C/G and started to play trad stuff from Newfoundland, which is more like ITM than English. Any new Newfoundland or Irish tunes I would learn on the C/G, but for existing repertoire I stuck with the G/D. However, I just received a Wally Carroll Noel Hill in C/G, and the sound and action are so superior that I have started to relearn some of the stuff I have always played on the Morse with new fingering to play in the same key on the Carroll. I play by ear, so I just find the new button position for the first note and take it from there. I have been surprised by how easy it is. Basically for tunes in Gmaj and Emin the "D" fingering for the Morse produces the right key on the Carroll, and Dmaj tunes on the Carroll finger like Amaj tunes on the Morse, and vice versa- so all the patterns and muscle memory are already there. (Hmmm...maybe clear as mud?) Once I can play a tune in the same key on both boxes I just decide which works better for the tune and purpose. A lot of my rump-pumpy English tunes where I want to put in a lot of left hand oom-pahs and bass runs work better on the Morse, because most of the melody stays with the right hand. For fast jigs and reels with a few chords and some octave playing the C/G works better. All-in-all it's making me a better player on both boxes, and keeping the Alzheimers away at the same time!
  7. At your price point I think the bigger question for ITM isn't concertina reeds vs. accordion reeds, but rather playability. For $2000ish you would have no trouble finding a good used Morse, Edgley etc. hybrid, which would be a joy to play and in no way hinder your learning and progression. You might get lucky, but in my experience that kind of coin will command a 30 button vintage instrument from the bottom of the barrel. Concertina reeds yes, but also often worn action, uneven reed response, leaky bellows and all the other ills associated with decades of use. You might like the sound of the reeds (at least the ones that are working properly) but will likely fight with the box as you learn. I think there's a big step up price-wise to a concertina reeded vintage or modern instrument that is as easy to play as a good used hybrid. The one exception I've found is the Kensington, which can be had new or used for not much more than a hybrid. My main point is that for someone learning on a budget the chances of playing ITM convincingly are much better on a good hybrid than a cheap vintage instrument. Here's a video of a Newfoundland friend playing on an accordion reeded Edgley. Sounds good to me! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vjzkZQ5wN60
  8. I couldn't find that information in any of the write-ups on-line, but I did order the CD and found one sample track which I was able to play along with. I think you are right- C/G, although maybe not strictly A 440.
  9. Peter, do you happen to know what the tuning of that concertina is?
  10. I've had a few of these. Some were made by Scholer in East Germany, and were in CG, DA and GD tunings. The button layout is the same as a 20 button anglo (sometimes with some variations on the lowest notes), but because all the levers for a row pivot on a single, long axle, there is no curve to the rows. My Scholers used accordion style reeds mounted on wooden blocks accordion style. Each button sounds 2 reeds an octave apart. (they also made single and triple reeded instruments) These come up for sale on eBay pretty frequently. I bought one in unplayed condition a few years ago for around $70. You get what you pay for. They were cheaply made and fall apart pretty quickly, but are fun to fool around with. I think better quality ones were once available, and were, and are, popular in South Africa. I have a very nice modern South African copy of this style made to supply the market there. It's a DA, double reeded box made with excellent materials and craftsmanship, and top quality accordion reeds and I like it very much. It was built in 2014 by Danie Labushagne (see picture). I also have a c. 1870 German concertina. (my avatar picture) 26 buttons, CG tuning (single reed). The reeds for the C and G rows are each mounted on single long brass plates. The "accidentals" are on separate zinc plates. It is a much better quality instrument than my East German concertinas.
  11. A Kensington is certainly worth a look. Really well made, very stable in the Canadian climate, and real concertina reeds and a proper traditional sound. And still a bargain at $3500.
  12. In my experience, if you buy a vintage concertina from a reputable dealer it may have a limited warranty covering defects for any restoration work done, but of course they can't guarantee the original construction which might be a century old or more. And anyone who has an old concertina, especially a Lachenal from the cheaper end of the model line, and lives in the parts of Canada where we have cold, dry winters, and hot, humid summers needs to get pretty good at opening up the concertina and doing minor repairs and adjustments on their own. I had a really nice 20 button rosewood Lachenal that played and sounded great, but every time the seasons changed things shrank or swelled up, got loose or tight, and I would have to tinker with it.
  13. There are a few videos online of people playing an Edgley Heritage model.
  14. You've been playing one of Frank's concertinas for a few years. Do you like the way it plays? A big part of the "Irish sound" relies on your ability to play smoothly and quickly. When I owned an Edgley I thought the action and playability were excellent. Frank uses traditional concertina reeds and construction in his Heritage model, so it will sound a lot like some of the vintage concertinas that are played in Ireland, and quite different than his accordion reeded models. Really, you just need to hear one to see if you like the tone.
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