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wayman

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Everything posted by wayman

  1. Better still, get a Pelican case for your Jeffries, and then get a kayak for your Pelican case. If your music room floods from above again, not only will your Jeffries stay dry through the downpour, it'll also stay afloat above the deluge!
  2. Out of curiosity, can we collectively name more than five people in the world who are known to perform concertina and harmonica together? Ken Sweeney (harmonica, English concertina) Joel Anderson (harmonica, English concertina) Rick Epping (harmonica, English concertina) ... ... Bueller? ... Bueller? ... Bueller? ... All three of the above are world-class professional musicians (two of whom work for harmonica companies). First, are there any others?... (I'm going to guess that Will Pound will get honourable mention here for playing melodeon chords with harmonica, just because
  3. As a Jameson drinker myself I have to correct your spelling. If it is Irish then it is whiskey. As a Scot, I have to observe that whisky is superior to whiskey!
  4. This is why I don't get on well at all with Irish sessions - it tends to be twice or three times through the tune and never ever more, at the ones I've attended. That's barely enough for me to get beyond "bits of melody" before the tune is over; I haven't gotten the tune, gotten a chance to enjoy it, or learned anything at all that carries over to the next time the tune might come up in a future session. English sessions or Manx sessions, by contrast, tunes go on for six or more times through, sometimes lots more. Actual learning happens! To the point that it's FUN!
  5. When I've played Haydens (I had a Stagi for many years, and then 'played in' the first thirty or so Beaumonts), I found it very difficult to break away from using the bellows as I would for an anglo playing in a specific given key, and I found that doing this made my playing sound jerky and odd, not actually 'anglo-like' in any positive way. It was only when I got myself completely out of this mindset that the power and benefits of the duet were at my control. I find anglo and duet no more alike than guitar and banjo. Sure, they both look similar-ish, and they've both got strings that reso
  6. And, all that curmudgeonliness has led me, for my instrument, to use a simple velcro strap - which accomplishes the goal of good bellows maintenance - which is glue-ed inside a cheap insulated lunchbox, on the theory of many morris musicians that the thing that doesn't look like a nice instrument case is far less likely to wander off (which to me is the greatest concern). I look at Simon's craftsmanship and think if I ever become serious about performance, I'd better get one of his so I look presentable!
  7. I'm all in favour of buckles, as every latch I've ever had on any case has come open at least once unexpectedly (and only having multiple latches or good fortune has prevented disaster!). I think that was definitely a good call. I hope my criticism didn't come across as overly harsh. It comes from having done a lot of custom case blocking for six years (and having seen, from the repair side, a lot of instruments that had been in unblocked cases) so I guess it's one of those topics I've gotten curmudgeonly about at a young age I know Simon in real life and have seen and admired some o
  8. It’s actually custom made to perfectly fit so no need for blocking The photo of the instrument in the case shows otherwise ... unless that's a photograph before the blocks were put in? The bellows are open, loose, and uneven. A properly-fit blocked case means the bellows are snugly closed, compressed, and even.
  9. Wow, excellent fun, this! I could reliably hear differences of .5625 Hz from 500 Hz (87th percentile) ... about 1.9 cents off at this range. So one eighth of test-takers could reliably hear differences of 1 cent, or even 0.5 cents, at 500 Hz! I'd say an experienced concertina player could well have a legitimate desire for better than 1.5 cents tuning accuracy. But with real free reeds (instead of computer tone generators), there may well be a whole cent of variability in a given reed depending on how it's played ... so the question of precision in tuning is not necessarily reducible to
  10. Interesting what one can learn from the bidding history, given information from another recent thread (identifying 1***1 as Chris Algar)... on this instrument, he placed his initial bid - more than double what was then the top visible bid - six seconds before close of auction. Chris didn't win, because the person he was bidding against was willing to pay more. From this, I assume Chris uses an auto-bid programme to place a closing-seconds initial bid which, while not against the rules, does strike me as both unsporting and unnecessary (given how eBay works), not to mention in some cases in
  11. Did Jeffries themselves use non-black leather such as this concertina has? I've never come across that before, so my assumption was (between colour and bellows condition) that it's a replacement bellows. Closing price about $5600 (US) or £4200 for the buyer (do we really know it was Chris Algar?) plus shipping and import duty. Not a bad price if it turns out to be in pretty good shape and you're the end buyer intending to tune it up and then play it, but I wouldn't think the seller would get a very great return on investment if the goal is to tune it up and put it up for sale for a profit.
  12. I've never read a positive review of one of those tracking systems that relies on other people having an app on their phones. Nobody has the apps or lets them just be on all the time, and a phone has to be very close to the object in order to pick it up. If you put an actual GPS tracking device in the concertina (like what's in your iPhone), and were able to use "find my iConcertina" (akin to "find my iPhone") to track the blue dot on a map on your laptop, that would be useful. There, you're looking at a lot of money, some weight, and the need for a battery you'd have to keep charged... bu
  13. I'll echo the above: I find (on any anglo, but perhaps particularly so on G/D?) that it's all about 1) playing fewer notes than you think you need to and 2) "left hand short, right hand long" Training your hands to hold or release the buttons at different speeds takes a little bit of brain-hand coordination at first, but it soon becomes second-nature. Then look at the chords you think you want to play on the left, and figure out how few notes you can play and still get the right effect. Can you play an open fifth here? Can you just play the single note which tells you (in conjunction
  14. I'd have a go at contacting Matt and Ollie through their websites, describe what you've got and what you'd like to learn, and see what they say about the possibility of video-over-internet teaching. They're both better known for their melodeon workshops, but that's just because there's so much more demand for it than for duet concertina teaching. Here's Matt playing Maccann, performing with Dovetail Trio. And here's Ollie playing Maccann, just a rough home video for Facebook (appears to have global permission; not the best video, but most of his Maccann videos appear to be friends-only).
  15. Hmm. I wouldn't say you'd need noticeably less finger dexterity for Anglo than English. Yes, you're also using the bellows in a different way, but that doesn't mean your fingers get to move less often, or move less quickly or dextrously when they do move. Finger dexterity can be improved. I'd have a look at (or a talk to) guitar and violin teachers about this, as you'll find a lot more of them about on the internet or where you live. They'll have simple exercises they give their students to increase finger dexterity and finger strength, and these are just as useful -- tremendously useful -
  16. Rich Morse designed a D-ring precisely for this purpose, ideally sized for unobtrusive but sturdy concertina use. It might save you looking around for suitably small, aesthetically fitting, sturdy hardware. It's minimally obtrusive, and maximally reliable, but it does require actual attaching into the instrument: drilling a small hole in each end frame (not the fretwork) adjacent to the strap screw. The main benefit is that you avoid the worst-case scenario: your instrument slipping out of a mounting system not physically attached to the instrument, whilst you're standing and relying on yo
  17. I watched the jig competition live (it was streamed on Facebook) as I had numerous friends competing this year. Many of the dances were outstanding, but the big surprise and genuine treat of the entire competition for me was this John Watcham performance. A great tune, a lovely arrangement, and brilliantly played.
  18. There are 150-200 Morse Ceilis in Ireland at this point, I'd guess; Michael O'Raghallaigh is the Irish distributor. If you're able to get in touch with him, he might be able to put you in contact with someone near you who has one you could try.
  19. His capacity as a competent musician didn't help Ringo Starr hold a concertina correctly!
  20. Proper job, Alex! I'll enjoy reading the blog entries in depth, and I am excited to hear this in action.
  21. The Button Box loved Willy Cloth, upon discovering it a few years ago. Great material.
  22. I have never heard of using hot glue for any parts inside a concertina, and would not recommend it! PVA for attaching pads to the washer/gromets on the end of levers. Hide glue is used for many wood joints in a concertina (and other things, like valves), but that's entirely different from hot glue.
  23. Low reeds were problematic in that way (my recollection is that with the BBox set-up and hybrid reeds, "low" started around the F below middle C? but this is a hazy recollection). The reed would be a little slow to speak and flat, and then the pitch would move up gradually over the course of the five-ish seconds that the bellows dropped. Two ways to mitigate that somewhat. One, for the low reeds, instead of letting the weights drop the bellows (somewhat inconsistently/unevenly) pull down evenly and firmly on the bellows just as if you were playing the note, which gives a much steadier read
  24. Dana, you've just about exactly described the Button Box set-up as well, and the sort of thing I plan to build for myself when I have the time. An old concertina bellows under a board hanging over the edge of (and clamped to) the workbench; a solid bottom end and weights inside the bellows so it drops nicely. A small hole in the board, over which we put an adjustable jig for hybrid reeds or a different jig that holds several sizes of concertina reeds. We didn't have a separate slot for a master reed. That's clever! Instead we used a tuner on a little stand that let it sit at a good spot just n
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