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Baritone Anglos, G/D Anglos, Bellows


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Hello Everyone: I have just joined this forum after reading various posts for the last few months. By way of introduction, I bought a C/G concertina on Canal St. in New Orleans when I was a waitress in the 1970 something--I think it cost $80! Over the years I learned to pay it decently, avoiding the lower keys, which only made strange rattling honks. I took it apart and repaired it several times when what seemed to be merely rubber bands holding the keys to the levers inside began to dry out and break. It had a reedy sweet tone that I liked, and big somewhat leaky bellows.

 

Then friend of mine got a 20 button G/D in good working order, and he let me use it for a while--I loved having the lower range and considered trying to find a Baritone Anglo, but was told that Baritone Anglos are rare, and I would probably have to go to a high end concertina maker and special order one. I decided on a more modest upgrade, and have a G/D 30 button Anglo Stagi now. Because I still consider myself a beginner, and am uneasy with online purchases in excess of a month's rent, a tuned and checked Stagi from the Button Box seemed like a pretty good thing.

 

And it has been a good thing, only--the more I play and learn, the more the 6 fold bellows are proving to be a torment. I don't play in the Irish style--for accompanying singing, I have developed a style favoring lower notes and chords--I can sometimes find an alternative, such as a pressed 'd' chord, in a song that has too many drawn chords to balance the bellows action, but not always, and often the alternative moves the chord higher, which may not be what we need.

 

I was not quick enough when an Edgley G/D was offered for sale here earlier in the month with one more bellows fold, someone else got it. I realize that would have been a better instrument all around, but pertaining to this problem: would that one more fold make much difference? I would really appreciate feedback. There is no one in this area that teaches or knows much about the instrument.

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Hello Everyone: I have just joined this forum after reading various posts for the last few months. By way of introduction, I bought a C/G concertina on Canal St. in New Orleans when I was a waitress in the 1970 something--I think it cost $80! Over the years I learned to pay it decently, avoiding the lower keys, which only made strange rattling honks. I took it apart and repaired it several times when what seemed to be merely rubber bands holding the keys to the levers inside began to dry out and break. It had a reedy sweet tone that I liked, and big somewhat leaky bellows.

 

Then friend of mine got a 20 button G/D in good working order, and he let me use it for a while--I loved having the lower range and considered trying to find a Baritone Anglo, but was told that Baritone Anglos are rare, and I would probably have to go to a high end concertina maker and special order one. I decided on a more modest upgrade, and have a G/D 30 button Anglo Stagi now. Because I still consider myself a beginner, and am uneasy with online purchases in excess of a month's rent, a tuned and checked Stagi from the Button Box seemed like a pretty good thing.

 

And it has been a good thing, only--the more I play and learn, the more the 6 fold bellows are proving to be a torment. I don't play in the Irish style--for accompanying singing, I have developed a style favoring lower notes and chords--I can sometimes find an alternative, such as a pressed 'd' chord, in a song that has too many drawn chords to balance the bellows action, but not always, and often the alternative moves the chord higher, which may not be what we need.

 

I was not quick enough when an Edgley G/D was offered for sale here earlier in the month with one more bellows fold, someone else got it. I realize that would have been a better instrument all around, but pertaining to this problem: would that one more fold make much difference? I would really appreciate feedback. There is no one in this area that teaches or knows much about the instrument.

 

 

The problem isn't the number of folds, it's the unresponsive Stagi reeds and the ultra stiff bellows. A Morse, Tedrow or Edgley G/D would be a great improvement: more responsive reeds, much better bellows, much tighter construction. Among the hybrid G/Ds, I favor the Morse boxes, but that's subjective.

 

 

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With my much less experience I would agree with the earlier posters about getting a better instrument. I started with an inexpensive instrument and fairly quickly found I wanted (needed :rolleyes: ) something better and after trying a few, I got a Morse (C/G admittedly but it suits me)

 

While I find when playing tunes the presses and pulls more or less balance out most of the time, when accompanying myself singing I find not infrequently that I have a lot of pulls and not many pushes because of the harmonies I am using. In that case there is nothing for it but to use the air button and push the bellows back in. I see it as not unlike playing a wind instrument (which I also do) where you have to breath and you need to find a convenient place to do so. I try arrange it so I push the bellows back in at the end of a line of the song where a phrase ends.

 

As a matter of interest, I was following some links someone had posted here to some South African Boermusiek (sp?) and they seem to play mostly on the pull, pushing the bellows back in at the end of every [musical] phrase.

Edited by Tootler
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Problems such as Honora and Tootler describe can partly be overcome by careful use of the air-button (you can use this at the same as playing notes, you don't have to wait for a pause in the music) and by finding alternative fingerings to avoid phrases being too much pull or push.

 

 

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This is my Tedrow C\G Baritone. Even with all those folds I occasionally have to tweak the air button while I'm playing. With practice you get the feel about how much to increase the pressure to maintain the note even with the air button open.

 

You can really crank out some bass with this 'tina.

 

NNY

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Hi Honora,

 

Aside from the ways mentioned, there are three other important factors to help deal with running out of air.

 

If you find yourself running short:

 

* Play quieter. This one alone will go a long way to help.

* Play the left hand chord accompaniment using shorter durations. Think left hand short (staccato), right hand long (legato).

* Switch bellows direction by using alternate fingerings. Most of the chords and many of the melody notes you want can be played in both directions.

 

These three techniques along with using the air button can overcome all of your Stagi's problems. A better Anglo would help some but really you can work with what you have to make the music you want. I played a Bastari for my first two years and I do sympathise. There is nothing like the relief of getting a good instrument. Still, the good ones run out of air too and the only way to make the Anglo work is to manage your air resources using the four techniques of air button, quieter playing, shorter durations and alternate fingerings to allow shifting bellows directions.

 

This said, beginners play slower than experienced players and so they tend to run out of air sooner in a phrase. Have patience, you will get faster with time and that will help as well.

 

Good luck.

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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Just to add something. I'm now into week six of enjoying my new Marcus G/D. Its turning out to be a lovely instrument, nice action and very responsive reeds compared to my Jones. Only point is that the low G on the left hand side is very slow to respond and might restrict those who want to play an oompah left hand. I am learning Irish soit sdoesnt really matter and I also play in octaves a la Scan Tester. All in all a lovely instrument at what I consider to be a very fair price.

Matt

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Thanks to all who considered my message and replied. I will keep looking for a better concertina. In the mean time, it would help a lot to move my palm rest on the right around 1 cm forward--not to reach the buttons, I'm OK there--but to reach the air button more naturally and easily. I think this will help.

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Thanks to all who considered my message and replied. I will keep looking for a better concertina. In the mean time, it would help a lot to move my palm rest on the right around 1 cm forward--not to reach the buttons, I'm OK there--but to reach the air button more naturally and easily. I think this will help.

 

One tip I saw somewhere which seems less drastic is to glue one end of a strip of thin plastic to the palm rest where your thumb sits so that the other end rests on the air button. This way you don't need to reach the air button with your thumb, just press on the plastic strip and it will push the air button down. It struck me as a good idea though I never needed to use it as the air button is easily to hand on my Morse Anglo.

 

Geoff

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Thanks to all who considered my message and replied. I will keep looking for a better concertina. In the mean time, it would help a lot to move my palm rest on the right around 1 cm forward--not to reach the buttons, I'm OK there--but to reach the air button more naturally and easily. I think this will help.

 

One tip I saw somewhere which seems less drastic is to glue one end of a strip of thin plastic to the palm rest where your thumb sits so that the other end rests on the air button. This way you don't need to reach the air button with your thumb, just press on the plastic strip and it will push the air button down. It struck me as a good idea though I never needed to use it as the air button is easily to hand on my Morse Anglo.

 

Geoff

My hands fit my air buttons just fine but I had a student last month who had small hands and she could not reach her Rochelle air button. I would like to see pictures and a report of how the fix you suggest would work.

Edited by Jody Kruskal
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