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Don Taylor

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Everything posted by Don Taylor

  1. Learning ornaments: You could try using one of the slow downer programs. Isolate the ornament inside a short loop and then slow down the playback to 25%, or less, until you can hear the ornament as a series of distinct notes. Learn to play those notes by ear at slow speed and then gradually speed up the loop to full speed while playing along.
  2. Check out you local thrift stores. We just bought a newsed LowePro camera back pack for C$12.
  3. I received this from Piers Titus van der Torren, the maker of the Striso boards: The note buttons are force sensitive resistor based, on top of the circuit board is carbon foil of which the resistance lowers when more pressure is exalted on the buttons. Each button has 3 pads underneath to create the direction sensitivity. I do not have any experience using FSRs (force-sensitive resistors) so I do not know how good their longevity would be, but I expect that they would be better than electro-mechanical switches.
  4. FWIW. Reading the various write-ups on the Striso board I gather that it has a motion sensor that can be used to change the overall volume and maybe the attack. This might require some way to hold the instrument in mid-air. The buttons can also be used individually to change the volume of that note alone and to bend that note. I think that the sound you hear in Didie's videos is from the built-in synth which has a 3.5mm audio jack for output which can go to headphones or as input to a recording device like a cell-phone. It also has a Midi MPE output jack and so you could feed into an iPad, for example, and access a wide variety of instrument sounds. I think that you can also use a foot pedal with it. Power is from a 5V USB source, so you could use an external battery pack for a phone to provide power. I am curious about what kind of button/joystick switches are used as these are the obvious points of failure. Each board (Didie has two to make up his duet) costs 400 euros - I suspect the switches are the driving factor in this price. Each board is about 7" square (192x174x26mm) and has 61 buttons so Didie has a 122 button Hayden! So, is it a concertina or is it a midi synth? And what would Sir Charles make of it?
  5. See: https://www.striso.org/ It seems that each button can be used expressively and yes you can feed it into headphones or a midi board. Very tempted. Didie - do you have any problems switching between this and your Beaumont which would have somewhat different button spacing?
  6. In an earlier post Everett said that the repair tech is in Wisconsin and that he was trained at that very school in Redwing, Minnesota - which is why there was a concern that a rare Wheatstone concertina could be ruined by the wrong hands, however well-meaning. It would be in Chad Walker's best business interest to introduce himself here and explain his background and techniques. Lord knows we could use another good repair tech in North America.
  7. If the Elise-2 uses the same basic box as the Rochelle-2 then it will be a 6 1/2" box (vs. 7 1/2" for the standard Elise).
  8. Yes, that is what I do. No tabs. Yes to the chordal notation spelled out, I have never tried using roman numeral notation. I rarely use more than a couple of notes of the chord in the left hand side as it is simply too loud to hear the melody. I have recently started to add occasional chordal tones on the right hand side but I have a long way to go on that journey. Transposing - wherever possible I try to imagine that I am still playing in the original key but starting at a different place on the keyboard. An alternative to the standard grand staff notation is to use (I think it is called) the octave clef instead of the bass clef. Basically it is the same as the treble clef except the notes are sounded an octave lower so for the Hayden duet the button locations (not the fingers used) correspond from side to side. This notation does have some drawbacks in that it kind of forces you to play a note on the side of the concertina that it is notated whereas the grand staff just tells you to play a note as it sounds wherever you find it. On the other hand figuring out intervals between the two side is easier with the octave clef. It is also only one clef to learn the note locations. Brian Hayden's All Systems Duet Concertina Tutor uses octave clef notation although he calls it something else.
  9. The OP was asking about tuning a 1927 Wheatstone Model 21 which has concertina reeds, not accordion reeds or long-plate reeds.
  10. I think that we are all concerned that someone unknown to the community who claims to be an expert repairman for concertinas and who hails from Wisconsin is actually an expert repairman for Chemnitzer concertinas which are quite different from English manufactured vintage concertinas . Chemnitzer reeds are accordion reeds and are tuned with a scratcher or a dremel tool type grinder whereas vintage concertinas are tuned using a fine file. It would be a good idea for the OP to simply ask the repairman what tools and techniques he uses to tune the reeds and if he does not say a file then to tell him not to to do any tuning.
  11. I believe that he has made a Hayden duet so he is not totally Anglo-centric.
  12. I would be very interested to see some photographs of the inside of a Rochelle 2 - the action board and the reed pan. (I doubt very much that Wim will make a Jack/Jackie 2 or an Elise 2 with a high button count. AFAICT he is using flat-mounted reeds which limits the number of reeds he can accomodate to something in the mid-30 range).
  13. Lee Valley sell an easy to use fish glue, available by mail order in North America. https://www.leevalley.com/en-ca/shop/tools/supplies/adhesives/glue/20019-high-tack-fish-glue
  14. My experience is that my (XL) large hands need a high hand/palm rest and that the actual button layout dimensions are not really a factor. On most concertinas, it is fairly easy to diy a higher hand rest that can be swapped for an existing low hand rest without damaging the concertinas. A easily reversible change should you later want to sell the concertina. Watch out for the occasional concertina that has an air button embedded in the hand rest as it is not so easy to make a high replacement.
  15. But what, exactly, do you think that anybody here can do about it?
  16. Just a thought, but have you considered trying to play by ear rather than by the dots? Forget the tutor books. Mally Productions in the UK publishes lots of tune books along with accompanying CDs. Not the greatest performances but they are aimed at learners. Find something with tunes in it that you like. Rip the CD(s) to MP3 files and get yourself one of those slow-downer programs like Transcribe! or the Amazing Slow-Downer and use that to play back the tune at slow speed while you play along working it out as you go. Take it phrase-by-phase, or even just a few notes at a time until you get it right, gradually speeding it up over time.
  17. In the meantime, there is a mental trick that you might try. When you start to smell tobacco smoke try to think of a smell that is similar to tobacco but that you find pleasant - maybe leather polish. We have skunks in our neighbourhood which have a really strong, pungent smell intended to ward off predators, When I smell skunk then I think of coffee and, most of the time, this works quite well. It is almost like flipping a switch in your brain. OTOH. Thinking about skunks while drinking coffee is a very bad idea ...
  18. I think that you guys are being too pessimistic. It is hard to imagine that many vintage concertinas have not lived with a smoker for at least part of their lives in which case they would pretty much all stink of tobacco. Clearly they do not so the passage of time and air must have worked its magic to reduce or remove the smell.
  19. It is good to see you back, but what on earth are you talking about?
  20. See: The web-site does not seem to have been updated since 2004: https://accordionrepair.tripod.com/
  21. So, like it or not, I imagine that the tune ("Rowing with One Hand") was written by a professional who was told that the video needed something like "Drunken Sailor" and who then figured out why "Drunken Sailor" sounds the way that it does. And, like it or not, "Drunken Sailor" has stood the test of time. So, Martin, you have your answer. Don't give up on the tune but understand that it has its own idiosyncracies that are not common to many other tunes.
  22. Martin Well, to be fair to David, you did not post a link to the original tune until after he replied to the post of your notation. Perhaps 'Music Theory' should have been called something else, this gives it an aura of certainty that I don't think that it pretends to have. It is more like a distillation and codification of the best practices demonstrated by the musical giants of the past. If you follow these guidelines then it will sound good (and familiar) but there is nothing to stop you making any sounds that you like. I think that David looked at your melody line and chord progressions and was basically telling you that they do not follow these best practices. The links posted by Lachenal6493 and myself are not really about 'Music Theory', they are both guidelines for ear players on how to choose chords - again, you are quite free to pick chords that are not recommended, but these selections work for many traditional tunes. If you want to get an idea how music theory works in selecting chord progressions then take a look at this link - quite a bit more analytical.
  23. Also, typical modern phone or camera pictures are very high resolution resulting in massive image files that can easily consume your allocation with a single picture. In reality a much reduced image (there are lots of image processing utilities that can shrink an image for you) will suffice. I usually shrink to something like 640x480.
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