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Brian McGee

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  1. I'm by no means an expert players, but in answer to your two questions: 1. Do you lift for two of the same notes (vs presumably separating the notes with a bellows pause)? I lift. My fingers are MUCH faster than my arms. 2. Do you lift for two different notes? No. I did that when I started, but it was just way too slow. B
  2. Yeah, in general. Unless there was a hitch in the rhythm. Good luck, btw. Playing a song on the anglo is one of those problems that isn't well suited to computer automating because it's not deterministic. I look forward to seeing how you do! B
  3. What I'm uncomfortable with is it's my impression is that he was a bit of a ne'er do well and up for the main chance; and it seems likely that this was a bit of fraud on his part; don't know where foresight comes into it really, he just found a way of extracting money from Lachenals under false pretences. Dirge, Replace "ne'er do well" with "enterprising risk-taker" and you describe a huge portion of the pillars of history! Just off the top of my head -- Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, and, of course, Christopher Columbus. That puts Maccan in pretty lofty company! B And more recently, what about Bill Gates? http://apple-history.com/gui Tony, Of course you're quite right about Bill. I didn't put him on the list because I've never felt that he qualified as a pillar of history. A silver-spooned petulant brat with a foot-stomping sense of entitlement who stole every good idea he had. B
  4. True but I didn't say that. Particularly I can't see Edison and Franklin as companions for the good professor; they're genuine inventors. I think they'd be very sniffy about finding themselves lumped with Maccan. Well, I know I'm off topic, so I'll leave it be, but some time read up on Edisons industrial espionage and Franklin -- well, anyway. B
  5. What I'm uncomfortable with is it's my impression is that he was a bit of a ne'er do well and up for the main chance; and it seems likely that this was a bit of fraud on his part; don't know where foresight comes into it really, he just found a way of extracting money from Lachenals under false pretences. Dirge, Replace "ne'er do well" with "enterprising risk-taker" and you describe a huge portion of the pillars of history! Just off the top of my head -- Thomas Edison, Benjamin Franklin, Paul Revere, and, of course, Christopher Columbus. That puts Maccan in pretty lofty company! B
  6. Yup, and he claims it belonged to Stephen Stills of Crosby, Stills, Nash, & Young. I wonder if Stills ever really owned one. It would be a bizarre thing to make up, but I can't find any reference to him playing one. B
  7. How about The Foggy Dew? It's in O'Niells, and is a mournful march written to remember the Easter Rising. B
  8. My mileage differs. On my Jones, the pull g is in the "Wheatstone" position, and I find it quite comfortable to play the descending a-g-f# run all on the pull by using (ring finger on a in the G row)-(middle finger on g in the 3rd row)-(index finger on f# in the G row). For that matter, I have no problem with using my little finger for the a in the C row; I do it often. But now we're on the slippery slope to debating all the possible note permutations -- both "standard" and non-standard -- and our personal reactions to how they might interact with each other within the myriad different musical phrases. There are numerous prior threads going into that (I've contributed to a few, myself), but I suspect that's way beyond what Beryl wants to delve into at this stage in her playing career. I'm inclined to stop here, unless she asks us to go further. Jim, You're quite right, of course. It's primarily a matter of preference. That's why one or the other hasn't totally taken over And, as I found with motorcycles, until you GET one and play around with it a bit, it's impossible to guess what your preference will be. B
  9. Beryl, Checking his website, he says actually "There are two basic Anglo fingering systems, Wheatstone and Jeffries." And he offers both. For the differences, check anywhere, or the two links below: Wheatstone: http://www.suttnerconcertinas.com/images/key_layout_wheat_31.pdf Jeffries: http://www.suttnerconcertinas.com/images/key_layout_jeff_31.pdf In addition to my comments above, there's a third difference which, to me, makes the Jeffries layout superior. And that's the position of the G on the right hand accidental row. It's the only place you get that G on the pull, and it's very useful when playing in the key of G, because you'll often want that G with your F#. Consider, for instance, playing a run in G from the upper A down -- on a Wheatstone you have to use your pinkie for that high A, otherwise your A and your G are on two rows of the same finger, or you're changing bellows direction (not that there's anything wrong with playing that way, it's just not as easy). On a Jeffries, the G is moved to the ring finger, which means you can get your A on the middle, G on the ring, and F# on the index -- all on the pull. B
  10. Is it like the Jeffries layout with two C#/D# buttons swapped on the right hand accidental row? http://www.suttnerconcertinas.com/images/key_layout_jeff_31.pdf When I play in D with my instructor, I have an easier time with fluency and melody because of those two. He has the Wheatstone layout, and must change direction frequently mid-phrase. As with all 30 button concertinas, F#s are only available pulled, while his layout has C#s only pushed. My Jeffries layout instrument has a C# in each direction. B
  11. D is the third most played key, I think, for the tunes that I've seen. F#s are always a pain on a 30 button, because they're ONLY available pulled. On the Jeffries layout, the C#/D# are available in both directions in the +1 octave -- not on the Wheatstone layout, however. It's more of a challenge, obviously. And in my experience you end up playing many phrases on the pull, so it requires more use of the air button. Certainly not an issue for any even moderately skilled -- but still for me, alas B
  12. Chris, I'm far from an expert -- in fact I'm really only just getting to the point that I can play with any facility at all. I'm learning to not play "up and down" the rows, but across -- meaning paying more attention to picking a button which is best suited to the phrasing of the piece without regard to where it happens to be. I'm beginning to see that on an anglo the question is really much bigger than "do I have all the notes I need?" It's also "do I have the notes WHERE I need them, and in the right direction?" Just a simple example -- my concertina is in the Jeffries layout, while my instructors is in the Wheatstone layout. That means that I the G in the +1 octave in the accidental row -- is moved from the 2 to the 3 button. When playing with my instructor, I can see that's SO handy to have when we're playing in G, because it's easier to play runs between the F# and upper B. It's purely happenstance that my layout is Jeffries -- I didn't know enough to pick between them when I bought my concertina. It turns out I was lucky -- I like this layout better. Anyway, I'm getting long-winded. My point is that your first 30 button probably won't be your last -- so it might be best to pick something standard and play it a while to get a better personal understanding of the system. C/G weren't picked at random, I think. Besides it gives you an excuse to get another concertina later! B
  13. Wow, that's in rough shape! Sad to see a charming old instrument so decayed. B
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