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Found 11 results

  1. When you're overwhelmed, sometimes things stay in your subconscious for a while before resurfacing. This happened to me at the recent Noel Hill concertina school in Cincinnati, and what just bubbled up from my unconscious turns out to be something I"ll probably value the rest of my concertina playing life. This is what is bubbling up now. At some point, Noel corrected the way I was holding the instrument...on my right thigh. He suggested I change it to my left thigh, because the air-button hand -- the right hand -- is the "bowing hand" of the instrument. He made several comparisons between the fiddle and the concertina during the school, this was one that I'm really glad is coming back to me. Keeping this in mind is helping my bellows and air button work a lot, simply by giving it a frame or concept to hook it to. A simple and powerful concept.
  2. dmksails

    Stiff Bellows

    I'm a beginning player with a new Jackie 30-key English concertina. I'm finding the bellows seem to be very stiff and require a good bit of effort to open. I sail a 31-ft boat by myself and have a good bit of arm strength, but I find I'm tired out after only a few bars. I've played with the concertina on my knee and have tried playing with a neck strap. Playing with the neck strap does seem to distribute the effort to both arms more than playing from the knee, but it still gets tiresome very quickly. Any solution to this?
  3. I know new leather bellows tend to be rather stiff at first and get more flexible in time (and I know patience is a virtue!) ... but is there a way of hastening the process to get stiff new bellows playing more freely more quickly? Thanks.
  4. Hello again everyone. I've been out of the loop for almost five years, so I guess that means I'm new here again, and those of you who've forgotten me can meet me for the first time a second time! I was able to go to the Old Pal event once back in 2012 with my Jackie, and since then I've been busy with a multitude of things. But enough about that. In regards to my Jackie, I find that the bellows are very stiff in comparison with other (vintage / higher price tiered) concertinas, and I was wondering if anyone had a suggestion or two about how I can get the bellows to limber up without causing undue wear on them. Also, occasionally the "low C" on the instrument has a buzz, like there's something stuck and vibrating between the valve and the air aperture, but I keep the instrument in the gig bag 99.5% of the time when I'm not actively practicing. Would I gain anything by opening up that side just to see if there's a speck of anything caught in the works? Lastly, I am finding myself in a situation where I will be needing to learn Anglo for occasional Celtic / ITM work. When going from English to Anglo, are there any keysets that lend themselves more to someone relearning the wheel? I figured that bisonorous bellows action would be the first stumbling block, as opposed to the unisonorous bellows action that I'm used to with the English. Thanks in advance for any insight that can be offered, and thank all you fine folks for still being around!
  5. Hi everyone I have really gotten excited about playing traditional music these last few years and ended up buying an old english concertina when I wanted to try on a new instrument to learn. I have been an active and touring musicican for years and years and have gotten fairly used to fixing and maintaining my instruments so i felt confident that I would be able to put the concertina back together or atleast make an informed guess as to when to leave it in more capable hands. The bellows where pretty much dust and torn apart in a very rough way. Even if I knew how to properly make bellows im not sure if restoring the old bellows would have been anything but naive and it crumbled in my hands as I was assessing the damage. I decided to make my own bellows using origamifolding because it seemed so much easier. So i bough a relatively thick piece of paper/cardboard and strengthened the inside with a layer of Bobbtape and the outside with gaffatape (it was never meant to be anything other than a trial so i disregarded the design and looks entirely. I am happy to say that it plays wonderfully. The only thing im noticing is that theres a different force required for push vs. pull but i read about how thats a thing other bellowmakers are figuring out too so i dont think that this is something related to the origamifolding as much as it is about me being an amateur. Also i can feel it evening out after hours and hours of playing. It would be fun to have some experienced players try it out and tell me how it compares to normal bellows but for me it feels pretty much the same (i have an irish concertina with working bellows that i bought at the same time since im playing irish tunes and wanted the different notes on the push and pull also) but my frame of reference ends there. What I would wanna start a topic about is if there have been other endeavours into other types of building parts for the boxes or if anyone with more knowledge and experience would be open to giving me some pointers. All help is appreciated! In closing i feel like pointing out that im not of the opinion that the instrument is in any dire need of improvements at all and that i was and am reluctant to tinkering too much with these old boxes given my lack of knowledge. I think however that learning by doing really works and I havent done anything irreversible to my instrument so i think im in the clear. - Magnus
  6. Hi, All: Just curious. What is the benefit of a 7-fold bellows? My current concertina has 6 and I'm wondering what I'm missing out on. Thanks, cdm
  7. Back-to-back video of both models playing a popular tune. The Aeola is c 1909 with original 5-fold bellows and is in original old pitch. The Model 5 from 1918 has a new set of bellows I made and installed recently. It is in modern pitch. I restored both instruments over the past 12 months. The video is here:
  8. A couple of months back I built a new bellows for an old Lachenal 48-button English concertina, and I think it came out rather well. I used the methods outline on the Homewood site, and my thanks goes out to Bob Tedrow for his excellent instructions. The bellows that were on my squeezebox were not originals, and they were functional but very ugly. Finding the papers was difficult, but the ones I got from Concertina Connection worked out fine. I'll attach a couple of pictures for your inspection. Ben
  9. Halifax

    Bellows Care

    Hello, All: I've had my Ceili for a few months, and it seems that suddenly the bellows have loosened up nicely. What should I be doing to maintain them? Saddle soap? Chamois cloth? As always, thanks for your input. Christine
  10. Looking for thoughts about making Irish tunes sound "more Irish". Does changing bellows direction on every note, or every other note make a difference...as opposed to playing several notes on a draw or push? Emphasizing the first note in a measure? Any other tips? Thanks! I'm playing a C/G Anglo.
  11. Hello, I just bought some concertina bellows for my stagi concertina and unfortunately they don't fit. The with across the sides are the same but it has an extra lip. That is problem number one. The next problem is that holes are too big on the new bellows. Thank you for looking, Badok88
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