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Don Taylor

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About Don Taylor

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    Heavyweight Boxer

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    Ontario, Canada

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  1. In another post you say that you have decided to stick with the EC. AFAICT there is only one modern maker of ECs - Wim Wakker. They are not cheap and the waiting list is long. http://www.wakker-concertinas.com/english pricelist.htm Steve, a member here, has a Parnassus.
  2. Don Taylor

    Repair/Check up/tuning new Stagi A18

    A Stagi button staying down is usually caused by an internal action rubber sleeve having deteriorated with age. It is a common problem with most Stagi type actions (which includes a lot of Chinese boxes) that has been discussd here before. The easy fix involves replacing the rubber sleeve with something else, a bit of tubing or even a bit of a plastic straw has been used. The hardest part is getting all of the buttons to go back through their holes when you try to put the end back on. I know that your concertina is new from Brunner and that these sleeves should be good for a few years, but I wonder how new your concertina really is. Maybe it has been on a warehouse shelf for a few years. Anyway, if you are at all mechanically inclined then you could look back in these forums and decide if this is something you can attempt to fix yourself. (I will try to add some links later today). Good luck, Don.
  3. Don Taylor

    Wexford + Third Carol

    I have tried using EVA foam as a baffle, it is acoustically neutral (does not act as a low-pass filter) and does attenuate volume, but only by a little bit so, to make a real difference, you need more EVA foam than you can fit inside the ends of a concertina. There is only enough room for 2-3 mm of foam. Wolf:. Time to send that Excelsior off to a fetler (maybe before Brexit happens next year...). You know that you owe it to the old lady.
  4. Don Taylor

    Wexford + Third Carol

    Wolf Very nice! I don't think it needs stronger harmonies, if by that you mean more voices. For Wexford it sounds that you have mirrored the harmonies from the earlier recordings and I think that lets the melody shine. But listening to both versions I am struck at the dufficulty that solo concertinas have in keeping the volume down for the accompaniment. Maybe Didie has the right idea, to use separate mikes for the left and right hand sides, but that won't help with an EC. Don. BTW. Can you please say which you are playing in your recordings.
  5. Don Taylor

    The Wexford Carol

    I enjoyed listening to that. Is that a Concertina Commection Jack (or Jackie)? Sounds pretty good!
  6. Don Taylor


    Ann I had a similar problem a while ago. I bought a plastic thumb splint from the local pharmacy which I kept in place on my thumb with a bit of electrical insulating tape (just wrapped around the splint, not actualy taped to my thumb). I wore this when playing for a couple of weeks while my thumb healed. After that I never needed it again - I had forgotten about it until I read your post. https://photos.app.goo.gl/QgQQd9bvB6u8fax39 Look on Amazon for thumb splints and you will find an amazing number of them to choose amongst.
  7. Don Taylor


    Is your thumb inside the strap?
  8. Don Taylor

    Elastic band

    I have made the same thing (webbing plus a bit of velcro). The webbing is a lot softer than velcro all the way round. Plus, it is much easier to get the concertina out of its case by lifting it by its strap.
  9. Don Taylor

    Why Give Up

    This is what is meant by a bass jump around here:
  10. Don Taylor

    Why Give Up

    Sorry, but I am not sure what you and Mike mean by a 'bass jump'.
  11. Don Taylor

    considerations re the idea of a Duet concertina

    John Would you please explain what you mean by 'vamp'? I have always associated it with the pianist playing a repeated short pattern of chords 'ad nauseum' at the beginning of a piece while the rest of the band members are shufflling their sheet music! Thx. Don.
  12. Don Taylor

    considerations re the idea of a Duet concertina

    GL being Geoff Lakeman? Have you taken a look at Brian Hayden's All Systems Duet Tutor?
  13. Chord-based harmonic accompaniment. Yes, while I am not sorry that I started down the road of formally working out harmonic structures, it is a lot of work and the chordal approach is a lot quicker. This is why I find the Rich Morse's 'spidering around' technique for Hayden concertinas powerful - see the link in my last post. Rich's diagram does not have much explanation on how to use it, it was meant as a hand-out for a course on playing the Hayden and very sadly Rich is no longer around to explain his diagram. I stared at it on and off for a while and only recently figured out how it works. What can I say, I am a bit slow at times. Basically, the 'body' of the spider is the note on the lhs that corresponds to the melody note being played on the rhs. The 'elbows' and the 'feet' of the spider are the possible harmony notes. Exclude the notes that are not in the key being played (unless you are very modern) and you have most of the possible chordal-based harmony notes for the melody note. Not shown in the diagram are the additional notes that you can use by simply inverting the spider shapes to get some more harmony notes from different chord inversions. If you want to play more than one of these harmony notes then they need to be joined together with a line in the diagram - 'legs' and/or 'thighs' in my arachnid analogy. (Added: Well this maybe a bit too strong a precondition for picking multiple notes, but it is a safe choice). So why is this handy? Because there is only one set of spider shapes to learn for all possible melody notes. Some feet and elbows get chopped off because they are out of key, but the rest of the feet and elbows land on harmony notes. On a Hayden, you do not even have to know about chords to find harmony notes - just memorize the spider shape and then spider around for a note that you sounds good to you.
  14. Don Taylor

    W J Thomas 2 row

    Ok, so the buttons have numbers stamped into their caps with (1) being the left-hand end of the top (C?) row and (10) being the right-hand end of the bottom (G?) row[*]. You did say this in an earlier posting. AFAICT none of your pictures show the pad for the (1) button, but the ones that are shown mostly look like old hide glue to me. I guess that if the wax you used holds then you are good to go - at least for the time being. If you care about this concertina then you should plan on replacing all of the pads soon, and gluing them on properly. There are probably other issues that need addressing, like the state of the valves (the thin leather flaps that cover the action board holes where the reeds are seated. (If you don't really care about this concertina then please sell it on to a new custodian). But first, find out if it is playable as it is and if there are any serious issues with it.. Have you figured out the key yet? On the right-hand side, when you do the following: push(1), pull(2), push(2), pull(3), push(3), pull(4), pull(5), push(4) then does it sound like a scale of 8 notes? If so, then the key of the top row is whatever note you get when you push(1). If not, then it needs some serious attention from a concertina repairer. Assuming that is OK, then do the same thing with the bottom row on the RHS, if it sounds OK then the key of that row will be whatever note you get when you push(6). Now, compress the bellows and hold the right-hand end horizontal in your right hand while steadying the left hand end with the bellows still closed with your left hand. Let go with your left hand and time how long it takes for the bellows to open fully on their own with just gravity's assistance. If they open up almost immediately then you have a leaky bellows and/or leaking reeds and/or leaking gaskets. This will need an experienced repairer to fix. If you are going to try to fix anything further yourself then you need to get a copy of Dave Elliot's Concertina Repair Manual: http://www.concertina-repair.org.uk/page7.html http://www.concertina-repair.org.uk/page11.html Then you can figure out what tools, glues and supplies you need to buy. Don. [*] Who knew that Gary Coover's numbering scheme was invented in 1868!
  15. rlgph (Going out on a limb time for me as I really don't know what I am talking about...) As I understand things, all of your techniques work but not all the way through the melody with just one of them. If you do that then it is not that it sounds bad, just that it becomes boring and predictable after a few notes. With apologies to Everly Brothers fans, that is what they did and the two voices really just merge into one for the listener. Gregorian chant has the same effect. It can be quite beautiful, but modern ears demand a more varied sound. To make it interesting and maybe surprising at times, it seems that the harmony line(s) need to sound different from the melody line, supportive yes, but different. There are tomes written about counterpoint harmony but these are some simple guidelines that I try to follow (I may be wrong in these and the real experts will soon chime in, right David?): Do not play sequences of parallel 4ths, 5ths or octaves, a singleton is good, but then move to a different interval. You can play sequences of 3rds and 6ths but even then you should try to avoid long strings of these intervals. I suspect that these intervals are OK because the sound will flip between the major and minor versions of the interval as you accompany the melody and this will naturally separate the melody from the harmony. When the melody rises then try to go down in the harmony, and vice-versa. I am not sure what to do about 2nds and 7ths. I generally try avoid 2nds, but 7ths seem to sound appropriate at times. Hold on to a harmony note through multiple melody notes when it sounds good. Having an idea of the chord progression for a tune helps in picking between 3rds and 6ths. For example, if the section of the melody calls for a C major then E (the 3rd above C and the 6th below C) will sound OK, but A, the (the 6th above C and the 3rd below C) may not. However, if the chord is F major then the As's will sound OK and not the E. Similar idea between picking a 4th or a 5th. (Added: However Amin can often be substituted for Cmaj in which case the A will sound OK - nobody said this would be easy!) Thirds, especially major thirds, can sound dissonant on concertinas so play a 10th instead. Eg. If the melody note is C5 and you want to play a third that would be [A4,C5] but [A3,C5], which is a 10th, will often sound better. Less is sometimes more, leave the melody to itself for a few notes or just add harmony to occasional long held notes, I hear this quite a lot in ITM and in fiddle music. Sometimes you have to break the rules and just find something that sounds OK. I just wish that I could work this stuff out 'on the fly' as I am playing but I have to work at it in a music notation program and then learn to play the result - which is hard and slow work for me. I am finding that having a chord progression for a melody and then poking at notes that are in an accompanying chord will often work out OK. "The journey is the reward". Don. I often ponder this one pager that Rich Morse wrote 10 years ago, you (RLGH) will have invert the spider patterns on the LHS because of the mirrored LHS on your concertina.