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Dan A

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Everything posted by Dan A

  1. Hey guys! I'm about to leave China, heading back for the States, but I thought I might see Hong Kong before I go, just for the yo-hay of it. Any music thereabouts? Session.org doesn't have anything listed, but I doubt any place touched by the British Empire can be wholly without concertina music! Cheers, --Dan
  2. Hi guys! May be a weird question, but it demands asking. I'm sort of curious as to where Chinese-made boxes are actually produced, and where they're usually sold. I'm currently living in China, down in the southeast, and I'd like a cheapish one-row melodeon to practice on while I'm here, but amazingly, no music shops in my city carry accordions at all! Does anybody have further info on finding something of this ilk? Thanks in advance! --Dan
  3. My hero! His playing has, imho of course, everything you could want in a concertina style: tasteful ornamentation, rich and rhythmic chords, and a vivacious pulse. And his fiddle playing...swoon! --Dan
  4. Alex - I think it's worthwhile for us to note that although the single-note style is referred to as "Irish", it nowhere near encompasses the varieties of playing styles in Ireland. Ella-Mae o'Dwyer is probably the poster girl for heavily chorded and octaved playing on a double-reeded concertina. I also think it might be a bit reductivist to suggest that if you want a double-reed sound, you should just play a different instrument. Plenty of people used to play on double-reeded Germans because they were cheaper and more available, and people today might be interested in their playing styles if they opt for that type of instrument specifically. It is certainly a reach to say those aren't "real" concertinas! --Dan
  5. Don't have quick access to a camera (my phone is woefully out of date), and I'm running around like a chicken with no head to get ready to move to China, but if I can I will get pictures sent over asap! --Dan
  6. Yes to the last, sometimes to the first two. The button definitely rests slightly higher than the others, but the pad is fresh, the pivot post is definitely secure, and the arm has been slightly bent twice to try to alleviate the problem - once by me, once by the button box - and it was all only better for a tiny span of time. The hole is definitely noticeably wider than the others. --Dan
  7. Hi again guys, Actually, the problem is persisting now, and I'm still trying to diagnose. The pad was replaced, all the metal parts are quite snug in the pan; I do think it's quite literally a problem with the width of the hole in the pan. After a slight arm bend AND a pad replacement, I'd like to see if anything else might solve this. Kind of a bummer! --Dan
  8. Hello there! I would recommend a general "good idea for learners" technique which I always impress upon students: don't just appreciate that you have options, USE them. Play a tune as much in the G row as you can, then try it as much in the C row as you can, then try mixing and crossing more freely. Play it in the low octave, then play it in the high octave, and figure out where you'd cross rows for each. You can't really choose freely until you know what options you have to choose from! As for D major specifics, I'll let you know I generally use the low pull D on the C row, the press E on the C row, then switch to the G row for F# and up. Using the press B and D in the G row means you can easily get a good B-C#-D triplet all on the press. Hope that helps. --Dan
  9. What it says on the tin, basically. I might take a job in the southeast of China, right near Taiwan, and I'm trying to feel out now whether any Irish music is to be found there, or other European trad musics (maybe some English or Australian squeezers out there?). Anybody with leads or advice will be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance, Dan
  10. Hey guys - looks you were right! An easy little bend has done the trick, it seems. Bruce: sighting down the row of buttons, it was quite clear that one was too high. Thanks for the tip! --Dan
  11. So...here's a cool thing that's happening. You know how your buttons are - well, buttons, on levers - and that the bottom of the button has a little arm on it that goes into a hole below, to keep it stabilized? I'm in a predicament. It seems that, through basic wear, the hole below one key has gotten so big that the little arm slips out of the hole; if it does so, then when I try to press the button, it won't go down, on account of having nowhere to go. Thus, if I approach the button at a bad angle, I'll end up knocking it out of place, and then when I try to play the button, I get a stiff refusal instead. Does anyone have a suggestion on how I can prevent this from happening? Would it be best to somehow try to bush the hole itself? Or bush the hole in the faceplate of the concertina, through which the button passes? Or something else entirely?! Any help much appreciated! I've lived with this terrible game of chance for too long! --Dan
  12. Which classes did you attend yourself, Larry?
  13. Welcome! Long story short, yeah, D minor is way nicer than E minor. The instrument is designed to be played in C and G, so those keys, and their relative keys, will be much nicer to use than any others. In the past, concertina players would generally be playing in those keys all the time, as they would often be providing music for dances, solo. It's often nice to learn how to play tunes in these keys, as it will allow you to play along with a C session. --Dan
  14. It would require you to use mostly the right side of your instrument, as these notes would be very high for an F/C. Would be too hard for me to re-learn! Very high on the right side? F and C are the home keys of the instrument! You'd be quite comfortable playing each. --Dan
  15. You could also get on pretty decently in a C session, playing G tunes in F and D tunes in C, etc. --Dan
  16. I played it once without knowing it was an F/C first. It's bloody terrifying if you don't know what you're getting yourself into!
  17. Double/triple reeded AND a baritone? Whoa. I can only hope I chance across something that awesome.
  18. Interesting...so when we say older Irish players played German concertinas, which of those two varieties do we generally mean? I think I've seen pictures of both in the hands of some hoppity old ladies. I have seen both varieties on ebay as well, but hadn't quite figured the big quare square ones - Chemintzers? They're all lovely beasties in their own right. --Dan
  19. Anybody have a double-reeded, two-row German as would have been common in Ireland around the turn of the 20th century, still making sound? I emailed Chris Algar if he had any but he said the cost of restoration generally isn't worth it as a business thing, so he doesn't pick them up. Figured out there somebody's got to have one though. --Dan
  20. It took me by surprise when it finally came out! Turns out all it needed was determination. I took a look at the reed, the frame, and the pan. It would seem to be a squeezing situation here. In point of fact, just easing the frame in and out of the pan a few times did a got lot to get it to a more comfortable fit - and a much more pleasant sound! --Dan
  21. On the contrary, it's actually a persistent buzzing that has me trying to get the reed out in the first place...I'll have another go and see if I can't convince it. I was afraid that it might have been wood shrinkage, as there doesn't seem to be too much I can do about that. Maybe gently use a screwdriver or something to ease it out? --Dan
  22. No, I know that much; sorry I wasn't clear. Maybe my terminology is a bit off. I mean I've pulled out the pan, I'm trying to push the reeds out of the chambers and they're not cooperating. --Dan
  23. Hey guys, I'm tooling through my concertina right now and a friend suggested I remove the reeds from the reedpan to take a look underneath. I thought this was a fabulous idea until I tried to do so and the reed wouldn't budge. I (VERY GENTLY) applied more pressure to the reed but it seems to be quite fixed in its habits. There are no screws besides the ones holding the reed itself, and I know I don't want to futz with those. Are my reeds glued in? Is that normal at all? Any tips on getting cantankerous reed carriers out of the pan? --Dan
  24. If you want Irish tunes, you can't do much better than the Comhaltas Archive for an easy, free, searchable resource. You can literally just look up all their recordings of concertina players, go down the list and hear some great material from both celebrity and nigh-unknown (or totally anonymous) players. I couldn't tell you how much awesome stuff I've pulled off there. --Dan
  25. As a young player of the Irish style whose favorite Anglo player remains Ella-Mae o'Dwyer, allow me to say that I AM SO EXCITED OMG OMG. Seriously, thank you so much for the time and energy of love and scholarship that went into making this happen! --Dan
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