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Everything posted by maccannic

  1. I bought some stuff online called Belvoir leather balsam. Contains beeswax and lanolin. Seems quite good.
  2. There's a good non-technical description of modes in A.L.Lloyd's 'Folk Song in England'. Lloyd's book is highly recommended and the section on modes is certainly interesting and helpful. However, he does rather get his knickers in a twist at one point, claiming a tune is Phrygian when it really isn't. I can't remember which tune it is, as I don't own the book and haven't read it for about 40 years.
  3. And of course I've had a picture of this (taken by me) as my avatar for the last few years.
  4. Even in a loud session, if you play a wrong note you will probably be able to hear it. So if you can't hear yourself, you must be playing the right notes. At least, that's what I always tell myself.
  5. I know Colin Dipper swears by some stuff called 'Fredelka'. As I was unable to locate a supply of this in reasonably small and affordable quantities, I am using 'Belvoir' Leather Balsam made by Carr & Day & Martin, which seems to work quite well.
  6. 1921! Reading this fascinating thread, I was beginning to fantasize that he might have stowed away on the Titanic.
  7. ... Has anybody seen anything like it before? No, but I once knew somebody (the late Dave Houlden) for whose birthday someone knitted him a concertina.
  8. I don't know where this project ever got to, but I've just discovered that Hazel Askew of the excellent Askew Sisters is playing Maccann these days, and doing very nicely on it (no surprise there!). Was she included on the list, and are there any other recent additions we should know about? Sadly, of course, there must be some names to remove from the list, for the inevitable reasons.
  9. My first concertina didn't like changes in temperature/humidity. Even a crowded pub would be enough to upset it. Now it is full of little strips of newspaper, which stop the reeds becoming loose in the reed pan slots.
  10. Is the Monday night Herschel Irish session still going?
  11. We'll both be there. I've gone most years since 1998, the Mrs. for about the last five years. Also a few October meets. Most enjoyable weekend.
  12. This is not meant to be as unbelievably sexist as it might appear - but did you file your nails before trying to play the uke?
  13. Welcome to the wonderful world of the Maccann! "Some say McCann is not a very logical system" - lots of people say that, probably using a QWERTY keyboard very fluently to say it. You would be able to explore even more wonders with a larger instrument - just don't get rid of the small one if you find it has its uses too.
  14. A melodeon player who took straight to the Maccann! I'm impressed. Welcome.
  15. I'd like the buttons to stop moving around when I'm trying to find them.
  16. As a player of a Wheatstone Aeola 67-key Maccann which I use for song accompaniment (among other uses), I suppose that that is the one I would recommend. Really, I would think the 46-key Maccann is a bit of a toy by comparison. Some keys are easier than others, though. G, C and D are the easiest major keys. So if a song is a bit high (or low) in G, it's a long way down to the next 'easy' key of D (or up to C). Keys like F or A are manageable, but take a bit more practice. Am, Dm and Em aren't too bad.
  17. Do what my wife does. She keeps her EC treble in its case, and puts the concertina complete with case in a square soft concertina bag from Hobgoblin, with the case handle poking through the not-quite-closed zip of the bag (there is a fastener on each end of the zip, so they can meet in the middle). This means she can either carry the whole lot by the handle, or sling the whole lot over her shoulder using the bag strap. Extracting concertina from case is no problem, you just undo the zips and you can get at it.
  18. I decided very early on that the concertina wasn't for me. Having looked at both anglo and English, I couldn't imagine getting anywhere with either of them. So that was that. Then much later I discovered the previously unsuspected 'duet' concept (by carefully watching Tim Laycock on stage). But which system to go for? Someone told me that while the Crane was probably easier to get going on, the Maccann had greater potential in the long run. So I got a Maccann (hadn't heard of Haydens). I think my mate may have been half right (i.e. harder to get started on the Maccann) but I'm not sure about the other half. Sometimes I listen to great Crane playing (Tim Laycock, Paul McCann etc.) and I wonder if I got it right. Then I hear Iris Bishop (who by the way had an even more accidental start on the Maccann, believing she was getting an English) and all my doubts disappear.
  19. Interesting that so many appear to be playing with their eyes closed. This is very tempting on the concertina, because it avoids distractions and you couldn't see the buttons anyway, even if you wanted to. I try to force myself to keep my eyes open when I'm playing to or with other people, because I think it creates a better impression.
  20. Played the first one for about 12 years, but decided to upgrade and sell the first one. Only thing is, nobody wanted it, so I've still got them both.
  21. As one of your 'gentlemen [hopefully] and scholars', I'd like to thank you for putting those up on here, and for a great and inspiring weekend generally. Tony.
  22. Short answer: no. Long answer: you need to get to know the chords which will normally be required for the key you are in. For example, in G major you will likely need G, D, A minor and/or C, E minor. Try these in an effort to help the tune on the tonal journey it's trying to go on. If a chord sounds wrong, try another one. If it sounds good, stick with it (but bear in mind there may be a better one). If you're playing folk stuff, you mostly won't need too many chords. If it's 'tin pan alley' songs, you will need many more. Good luck.
  23. It could well be that some sort of duet is the "right" instrument for you. You sound a bit like me when I started. I knew I fancied a concertina, but I had negative feelings about both anglo and English. Then I discovered duet, and the rest as they say is history.
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