Jump to content


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Johanna

  1. A week and a half ago, courtesy of Greg Jowaisas, I came into possession of this 1870s brass rivet reed Wheatstone. (The picture is one that Greg took for me while it was still on his workbench.) It's proving to be a real dream for song accompaniment.
  2. I love that the ad banner is now offering ads for tree removal services.
  3. However,I should like to know if Jeff normally plays his duet while sitting up a tree? Is this an obligatory form of practice? I think he's trying to branch out! Sometimes, we all have a desire to be leafed alone. I've just twigged, you're all barking. The root of the issue is that I need to get trunk more often. You poor sap.
  4. I assume you are referencing the Morse concertinas they make? I have listened to a couple of them Baritone being played on you tube and they don't have the mellowness of sound that I am looking for. I am certain you are aware that they use accordion type of reeds and they just don't hit the mark for what I am looking for. Do you have one...I realize that you tube does produce high fidelity sound but..... What about adding baffles to sweeten the tone? Anyone have experience with playing a Morse with baffles?
  5. Sounds like fun - should I send you a PM with my email address or what?
  6. Well, you can change bellows direction more often, or you can learn to play faster. The bellows will loosen up with time, but probably not by very much. Keep in mind, when you see pictures of other concertinas with the bellows opened very wide, that the Jackie is a lot bigger than they are. On a smaller instrument, you have to open the bellows wider to hold the same amount of air. It's OK if you're not ready to play with 4 fingers. But you should try taking your little fingers off the finger rests, even if only for a second or two. As I said before, your little fingers should not be supporting the weight of the concertina - and they definitely should not be helping to pull on the bellows. But other than that, it doesn't sound to me like you're doing anything wrong.
  7. ...and only now do I realize that "shoestring neck strap" means a neck strap acquired on a shoestring budget, not a neck strap made out of a literal shoestring. Back to reading comprehension school for me.
  8. Oh, what the heck: Pictures of me (and the rest of my band) at http://www.shenandoahrun.com Reed, have you tried using the strap off the gig bag as a neck strap? That works really well for me.
  9. I think that what you're describing is normal. At least, I tried the same test on my Jack (which has been played a lot) and the bellows opened to 12, maybe 13 cm. I can open it more if I really pull on it, but usually I don't (unless I need to fit in a few more notes at the end of a phrase before I change bellows direction).
  10. I support the left end of the concertina on my right knee. I no longer support the right end on anything. I've thought about some things I might be doing that make it easier for me to play that way, without getting pain in my little fingers: First, I got the thumb straps to fit snugly around my thumbs. (When the straps are too loose, the thumb can't bear any of the weight of the concertina, so the little finger has to bear it all.) Actually, the thumb straps on my Jack are much too loose for my thumbs even when they're tightened all the way - I solved the problem by inserting some rolled-up pieces of soft fabric into the thumb loops. It looks somewhat strange, but it works. Second, even after the thumb straps fit correctly, it took me some time to break the habit of "pinching" between my thumb and little finger, and instead allowing my thumb to bear some of the weight. Third, as I open the bellows, I allow the right end to droop downward somewhat. Then, when I change bellows direction, I quickly move the right end upward so that the bellows is curving up. Then the right end is again moving downward as I close the bellows - so gravity is working with me on both the pull and the push. It's hard to describe, and I didn't even realize I was doing this until somebody pointed it out to me, so it must be a habit I developed without thinking about it. But it does seem to work for me.
  11. For the sake of a contrary opinion... No matter what kind of squeezebox you choose (unless you find one of those piano-keyboard concertina things that never caught on), you'll be faced with learning your way around an array of buttons that are nothing like a piano keyboard. Is the layout of the basses on a piano accordion any easier to learn than [insert favorite concertina system here]? I'm not sure that it is, although I have less experience with PAs than some of the others here.
  12. Hi Nisse, I hope you're enjoying your concertina. When I first got my Jack (baritone version of the Jackie), I found the "V" technique to be useful, to keep my little fingers from getting tired from holding up the ends. But somewhere along the way, I found that the "V" was no longer necessary, and I could easily play with the bellows opened horizontally. I don't know whether my little fingers got stronger, or my technique subtly changed in a way that I don't even realize, or what. So I'll echo everyone else: Do what is comfortable for you. If you try something and it hurts, stop, take a break, and try something else.
  13. The Button Box just listed a used Rochelle and a used Jackie: http://buttonbox.com/instruments-in-stock.html
  14. Here you go - here's the same tune played in 3 different keys. I think this pretty well shows the responsiveness (or lack thereof) over the whole range. How much of this is due to the instrument and how much is due to my playing is left as an exercise for the reader. blue eyed stranger.mp3
  15. Hi Eric, I have a Jack, and although I'm not the most adept player in the world, I posted this little tune on it the other day: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=13718 That doesn't go very low, though - except for the low F#, all the notes in it are ones that the Jackie has also. The lowest notes on the Jack are pretty slow to respond, so I doubt you'd be able to play a fast tune on them that would come out sounding like anything anyone would want to listen to. I don't have time right now, but later I can try to make a little recording showing what I mean.
  16. It should start on the D just above middle C. I typed it out an octave too low, so I put it in a transposing clef (the little "8" at the bottom of the treble clef) so that the dots appear on the right lines. If you ignore the "8" then it is correct. Sorry if I'm not making sense - maybe I should just go back and redo it properly.
  17. It may help if you could tell us more about your instrument. Is it a newly made box, like a Stagi? Or an older German-made box, like a Scholer? Or an older English-made box, like a Lachenal? Dave Elliott's Concertina Maintenance Manual is mostly about English-made concertinas, so it will be of limited use if that's not what you have.
  18. I will take a stab at this, despite not knowing what I am talking about. I think that what you're describing is normal. At least, I notice the same thing on the lowest notes of my (accordion-reeded) baritone English concertina. For me, the "fluttering" or "whirring" sound is most noticeable for a fraction of a second after I stop sounding the note (because while I'm sounding the note, the main sound I hear is, well, the sound of the note). I believe that what you're hearing is the sound of the reed itself swinging back and forth. The sound of a concertina is made not by the reed, but by the air flowing over it, but the reed itself can also make a sound. And since the reed doesn't stop moving the instant the air flow is cut off, the sound of the reed can continue beyond the sound of the note. Can anyone wiser or more experienced confirm or correct me here?
  19. Either is fine as long as I know which key is which. Anything I work on quickly gets moved to ABC and added to my reference collection (I lose paper much too easily). So I can easily transpose between them. Thanks! Here it is in the original key. Sorry about the funny clef - I accidentally typed the whole tune out in the wrong octave, and figured it would be easier to change the clef than to redo the whole thing. hudson's hornpipe.pdf
  20. I haven't written it out, but I certainly could. Would you rather have the key I play it in or the key Sam plays it in?
  21. According to the biography on his webpage, Sam Sweeney was born in 1989. That suggests to me that his tune writing is less likely to have been influenced by working on BBC children's programs than by watching them. But I don't know for sure.
  22. I've been annoying my neighbors with this tune for so long, I thought I'd annoy you all with it as well. It is so much fun to play, I can't help myself - how often do you come across tunes in the Lydian mode? The tune is by Sam Sweeney. I learned it off the Bellowhead CD (Hedonism, where it precedes Parson's Farewell) and various Bellowhead and Kerfuffle videos. Played on a Jack, transposed down a fifth from the original key to get it to fit. hudson's hornpipe.mp3
  23. One more thing about the Elise... John's right that it has F#, C#, and Bb, but not G# or Eb. That means that there's only one key (D minor) in which you can play a complete melodic minor scale (raised 6th and 7th on the way up, lowered on the way down). If you're playing a minor tune that uses all of those notes, but D minor doesn't work for some reason (maybe you're accompanying singers and it doesn't fit their vocal ranges), then you're stuck. You might be able to transpose to a different key and fake some of the notes without too much frustration. But you might not.
  24. Hi burrahobbit, There are some videos on youtube of people playing Elises. Here's one: The Elise has more buttons than the Jackie, but since some notes are duplicated (you can play them with either your left or right hand), it actually has fewer notes. But since the Elise skips some of the sharps and flats, it has a slightly wider range than the Jackie. The lowest note on the Elise (C below middle C) is almost as low as the lowest note on the Jack, or "baritone Jackie" (the G below that). The video I linked to shows off some of the low chords you can play. I own a Jack, and while I enjoy playing it a lot, I'm glad it's not the only concertina I own. The lowest notes are very slow to respond. That's not a big deal when I'm just playing chords underneath a higher melody, but it is frustrating when I want to play a melody - even a slow one - that goes down that low.
  25. Thanks, apprenticeOF - this is really helpful. The reed pans don't seem loose at all, so I don't think I'll need to fit a shim around the edge of the frame. I guess I could put a shim on top of the support blocks to adjust the height of the reed pan if necessary? Has anyone ever found it necessary to do this?
  • Create New...