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Melodeon help please

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GUEST,Enfieldpete 09 Jan 07 - 01:45 PM
GUEST,Rich A 09 Jan 07 - 01:59 PM
GUEST,squeezeboxhp 09 Jan 07 - 04:08 PM
Polly Squeezebox 09 Jan 07 - 04:31 PM
Greg B 09 Jan 07 - 05:59 PM
Herga Kitty 09 Jan 07 - 06:30 PM
Bernard 09 Jan 07 - 06:38 PM
Andy Next Tune 09 Jan 07 - 07:08 PM
treewind 10 Jan 07 - 04:12 AM
Liz the Squeak 10 Jan 07 - 05:37 AM
Scrump 10 Jan 07 - 05:43 AM
Liz the Squeak 10 Jan 07 - 06:04 AM
Scrump 10 Jan 07 - 06:17 AM
Liz the Squeak 10 Jan 07 - 06:23 AM
Schantieman 10 Jan 07 - 06:28 AM
treewind 10 Jan 07 - 03:56 PM
Rowan 10 Jan 07 - 04:49 PM
Marilyn 15 Aug 08 - 12:32 PM
GUEST,Chris Brownbridge 15 Aug 08 - 05:18 PM
Marilyn 16 Aug 08 - 05:58 AM
Dave Hanson 16 Aug 08 - 06:11 AM
GUEST,manitas sans cookie 17 Aug 08 - 03:06 AM
Marilyn 17 Aug 08 - 03:53 AM
treewind 17 Aug 08 - 11:48 AM
Bernard 17 Aug 08 - 08:08 PM
GUEST 18 Aug 08 - 06:49 AM
GUEST,Marilyn 18 Aug 08 - 09:07 AM
banjoman 19 Aug 08 - 06:54 AM
GUEST 10 Jan 10 - 03:25 PM
Dick The Box 10 Jan 10 - 03:44 PM
Mr Happy 11 Jan 10 - 07:51 AM
The Sandman 11 Jan 10 - 07:55 AM
Valmai Goodyear 11 Jan 10 - 08:14 AM
Gurney 11 Jan 10 - 08:58 PM
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Subject: Melodeon help please
From: GUEST,Enfieldpete
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 01:45 PM

Does anyone know of a melodeon teacher in N.Lonodon area?

How can I muffle the sound of my melodeon - i have attached a tea towel and newspaper, but it is still a bit too loud for my flat. Do not want to upset the neighbours.

Thanks

Pete


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: GUEST,Rich A
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 01:59 PM

Actually this could give you the opportunity to learn one of the things that most new box players don't think about, bellows technique. If you can master playing being in control of your bellows it will allow you to play a lot quieter. Start by playing a scale as quietly as possible, the notes may note all sound to start with but with a bit of practice you'll get there. You can then use that scale practice on your tunes, your playing will benifit from this in the long run greatly. The subtle use of the bellows is greatly underestimated.

As for teachers I'm not really sure. Go and listen/find to Ian Dedic he might be able to help.

Rich


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: GUEST,squeezeboxhp
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 04:08 PM

a book called Mallys melodeon method i think by Dave Mallinson is a very good starter sell it on line at the music room cleckheaton


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Polly Squeezebox
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 04:31 PM

You could try to find a morris side who already have a melodeon player as musician - they will usually be happy to help with learning the instrument. It's also a good way to practise tunes/technique by playing for morris practise - you get to play the tunes over and over again whilst the dancers learn/practise the dance and you don't have to worry about neighbours.

Good Luck, enjoy the instrument,

Polly


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Greg B
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 05:59 PM

Have you found www.melodeon.net yet?


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Herga Kitty
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 06:30 PM

Ian Dedic highly recommended - Hammersmith Morris and for many years musician for Flowers of May. Also Pete Thompson - musician for Grand Union Morris, Flowers of May, and mentor to Andy Cutting when he was studying marine engineering as well as melodeon.

Kitty


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Bernard
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 06:38 PM

Nope - no simple way to muffle a melodeon - that's the whole point of the things!

You could try getting your hands on a little Castagnari - only single reeds, so sounds more like a concertina, and not much bigger either.

Whetehr you can play one quietly or not depends a lot on how well regulated the reeds are - an old, hammered to death box will need a bit of a squeeze to make the reeds sound, whereas a new one, or one that's been looked after, should not.


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Andy Next Tune
Date: 09 Jan 07 - 07:08 PM

Try playing "quiet" tunes, especially those needing expression and feeling, rather than tunes which demand to be played loud. Waltzes rather than marches etc etc. Go lightly on the basses.

A good box can be played softly, a tired Pokerwork will as well but needs a bit more coaxing.

And if your creative output is musical and restrained, then although some sound will escape through the walls, it will probably cause little offence to neighbours.

Andy


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: treewind
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 04:12 AM

The Castagnari Lilli can be very noisy!
The old Hohners have a nice quiet mellow tone.
Try lining the bellows with sound absorbing material, (maybe just fill with a lump of rag) and putting a baffle inside the RH grille. Some concertinas have a leather baffle for this purpose. For the bass end, cover most of the holes in the LH cover. You need to leave room for some air to get through!

You may get somewhere by acoustic absorption in your room too. If the sound is bouncing from wall to wall you're getting a lot more of it than you need. Otherwise find times when your neighbours aren't in. Or when they're playing loud music anyway. (been there, done that)

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 05:37 AM

A melodeon can be muffled very easily by the application of a stanley knife to the bellows.

EnfieldPete, become a member and PM Manitas. He's a pretty good player and has the advantage of living in London and isn't out gigging much, unlike Andy Cutting and Ian Dedic!

LTS


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Scrump
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 05:43 AM

Can you hang blankets around the area where you are practising? This will help absorb the sound and reduce the noise outside.


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 06:04 AM

To muffle sound - sit against an inner wall (not ajoining), in a room that is carpeted. If your flat is a converted old house, don't sit near the fireplace - the chimney acts like a big sounding board and they are usually party walls. Close the curtains if you have any, they'll help muffle - Scrump suggests blankets which are also good. If you don't have carpets, sit on the bed and practice, the mattress will muffle the vibrations.

If you can't help but make noise, make your practice days regular and try to limit it to a period of say, an hour at a time. That way, your neighbours can make other arrangements.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Scrump
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 06:17 AM

I don't wish to hijack the thread, but is there anything one can do to limit the noise when practicing a penny whistle (flageolet, etc.)? I suspect the answer is no, as far as doing anything to the whistle itself is concerned - I guess stuffing anything inside it wouldn't work, unless anyone knows different?


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Liz the Squeak
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 06:23 AM

There is a way by 'tongueing' - stopping the fipple with your tongue and using pressure rather than breath to sound the noise. It comes out as a staccatto pip and can be useful when trying out new pieces quietly.

LTS


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Schantieman
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 06:28 AM

Bellows control is certainly the answer and will, indeed, stand you in good stead when playing in sessions with other, less powerful, instruments. Morris is also good for the reasons given above - and you'll find other musicians, possibly even melodeon players, who can help you.

Ignore the jokes - we have them in common with banjo and viola players. Except that many of us deserve them!


Steve


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: treewind
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 03:56 PM

Penny Whistle - easy! That can be done by lining the room (or a corner of it where you're playing) with sound absorbent material like curtains or blankets. That works pretty well for melodeons too, but the bass notes will come though a bit more.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Rowan
Date: 10 Jan 07 - 04:49 PM

I realise London, especially at this time of year, may not offer much in the way of my suggestion but it's one I was able to used when starting. I'd go and find a nice out-of-the-way spot (in the shade in summer, in the sun in winter) and play as quietly and unobtrusively as I could. Busking was not common where/when I started but I politely declined the offers made; I guess in these days when it is officially regulated you might have to be more careful.

I still do it outside if I'm in Sydney, waiting for a train out to the airport or in similar circumstances.

Cheers, Rowan


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Marilyn
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 12:32 PM

Can anyone tell me why a note on a melodeon might sound wheezy and asthmatic (sp) and why it doesn't sound immediately but seems to have an '80-a-day-smoker's' wheeze before it sounds and then sounds weak and nasty?

Is it the reed or the valve (or both!)?

I have had the F sharp in the middle of the D row fixed twice for this fault and it's gone again. It was fixed for me when I first bought the box and complained that the F sharp was wheezy (I was the first owner but it had been in the shop and taken to lots of festivals for a long time before I bought it). The 'fix' wasn't really very good and, before long, it went again. I had it fixed again about 3 months ago but now it's as bad as before.

The box is a Castagnari Matti (3 row / 12 bass) and I know that the middle row is weaker than the others but that's not what I'm talking about. It isn't that the note is quieter but that it's wheezy and nasty - it sounds like a very old box whereas the rest of the box is fine (OK not the D and E in the middle of the D row - they're nearly as bad). Why is it just these notes? If it is the box design that's at fault why isn't is all the notes or even most of them?

Anyone any ideas / suggestions?


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: GUEST,Chris Brownbridge
Date: 15 Aug 08 - 05:18 PM

Try Melodeon.net. A very helpful bunch of fellows (of both genders) who specialise in answering melodeon-related queries - both for beginners like me as well as experts. AND YOU DON'T HAVE TO REGISTER TO READ IT!

Good luck!


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Marilyn
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 05:58 AM

Thanks, Chris. I had already tried melodeon.net but wasn't able to post a question - it told me I didn't have permission - so I gave up and hoped a mudcatter might be able to help. Will try again with melodeon.net as it is the obvious place.

Thanks again.


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Aug 08 - 06:11 AM

They sound a lot quieter played underwater, but the fishes don't like it, they prefer concertinas.

eric


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: GUEST,manitas sans cookie
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 03:06 AM

It might just be a sticky valve. OPen it up and see if any valves are sticking or misaligned, sometimes just blowing gently will fix it. The only other cause I can think of is that the reed is cracked, probably by fatigue.


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Marilyn
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 03:53 AM

Thanks so much Manitas. I'm not brave enough to open the melodeon up myself but know a man who is!


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: treewind
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 11:48 AM

Quickly fixed then goes wrong againafter weeks/months: could be a valve curling up. They are leather and they do that with age. Quick fix is to straighten it by stretching the back of it e.g. by rubbing the tip of a screwdriver along it. Long term repair is to replace the valve. Anyone confident enough to open up the box might be ably to identify the problem, but if it's on the inside of the reed block the reed plate has to be removed (by melting the wax) to get at the problem area, and that's not a job for the faint hearted.

Anahata


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Bernard
Date: 17 Aug 08 - 08:08 PM

Often the valve has simply fallen off - glue it back if you can find it... I've got spare plastic ones in various sizes, far more efficient than the old leather ones, and they don't usually curl up. my forty-year-old Hohner Musette hasn't needed any replacing yet, except when I've had to replace a broken reed.

The big problem is when one falls off, the rest soon follow suit, because the glue has deteriorated. May as well do the lot whilst it's open...

I have a thermostatically controlled soldering iron I use for melting the beeswax - it can be set to a low temperature so it doesn't fry! Alternatively, a knife warmed on a gas ring will do.


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: GUEST
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 06:49 AM

Anahata and Bernard - thanks so much for the advice and info.

I think that probably the valve does need repacing given that it's been fixed for me twice now and gone again after a few months each time. I shall send the box away to be fixed properly.

Many thanks everyone for your input.


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: GUEST,Marilyn
Date: 18 Aug 08 - 09:07 AM

Post as Guest above was me - seem to have lost cookie
Marilyn


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: banjoman
Date: 19 Aug 08 - 06:54 AM

All melodeon players need help its a serious condition which can only be overcome by total withdrawal and lots of banjo music


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: GUEST
Date: 10 Jan 10 - 03:25 PM

Enfieldpete, have you found a teacher now? What standard are you at?
I found John Kirkpatrick's DVD brilliant. It's called How to Play the English Melodeon and is available from http://www.folkstore.co.uk/dvds/Product/John-Kirkpatrick-How-to-Play-the-English-Melodeon.html, and goes from the very elementary to the virtuoso.


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Dick The Box
Date: 10 Jan 10 - 03:44 PM

My friend John Watson, who is a saxophone player, lives in a small terraced house so has the same problem. However, he has lined his understairs alcove/cupboard with absorbent material which he plays into to deaden the sound. He says he got the idea from the old jazz musicians in the US who used to stuff a mattress into the wardrobe and play into that.


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Mr Happy
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 07:51 AM

When I was learning, I'd take it to work with me, then at breaks, tea, lunch etc, I'd go sit in the back've me car & practice.

Not disturbing anyone as only loud as [or less loud than] the radio.

At other times, I'd be sat in the car outside 'er indoors' employ waiting for her to finish & I'd be learning new tunes.

In the warmer months, having the window open, sometimes even drew audiences of passers by, mostly admiring/encouraging & some dancing!!


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: The Sandman
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 07:55 AM

another good thing to do ,and this applies to any instrument, is to make a diagram of the finger board, you can then see where you have alteernative notes of the same pitch, but going in a different direction.


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Valmai Goodyear
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 08:14 AM

There is an all-day melodeon workshop with Issy Emeney at the Lewes Saturday Folk Club on Saturday 24th. April. Full details will be on the club's website in the near future. Issy performs at the club that evening with David Emeney and Kate Riaz.

If you'd like to go on the Interested list, please email me on valmaigoodyear[at]aol[dot]com.

Valmai (Lewes)


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Subject: RE: Melodeon help please
From: Gurney
Date: 11 Jan 10 - 08:58 PM

I've seen an old picture of a trumpet 'practice box.' It's a heavy and carpet-lined box on a stand, and the guy was playing with the business end of the instrument inside it. That would work for whistles, but it would need to be smallest-room-sized for squeezeboxes.

Baffles work, short 'walls' at right angles to the real walls, providing corners where the notes can go to die!


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