• Blog,  Fun stuff,  Music

    How to learn tunes by ear

    Folk music has been learned by ear for centuries, and it’s the best way to learn it. Many of the beautiful subtleties that make folk music so great cannot be transcribed without loss. Ornamentation in Irish music is a prime example of this: You have to learn it by ear to get it right. Of course there’s nothing wrong with using sheet music, especially in the beginning, but your ultimate goal should be learning tunes by ear. It may feel like an impossible task at first, but fear not, it’s actually not that tough. Persistence will get you there and once you get the hang of it, you can learn…

  • Blog,  Fun stuff,  Music

    How to use our accordion tuning tools

    Without doubt, being able to tune your own accordion is a very useful skill. Of course it takes a lot of practice and knowledge to properly tune an accordion, but every journey begins with the first step which is why we have included a compact little set of professional accordion tuning tools in our shop. To make the best use of the accordion tuning tools, we have now published a video that demonstrates how to fine tune two reeds. For this tuning procedure only a tuning device, e.g. the Peterson Strobe Pro App for Android or iOS devices, and the contents of our tuning kit are needed. The reeds are…

  • Blog,  Fun stuff,  Music

    Gig: Tradtravellers on Folkerdey 2022

    Hooray, live music is back! We are happy to announce that Ole will join the Trad-Travellers on stage at the Folkerdey 2022 festival held on June 11th in Ratingen, Germany. The Trad-Travellers are a loose assembly of trad. musicians led by reknown German fiddle player Mich Neumaier. The festival line-up consists of Mich Neumaier (fiddle), Dorothee Lindenbaum (vocals, bodhran, concertina), Tobias Kurik (blarge) and Ole Carstensen (button accordion). We are very much looking forward to this and are hoping to meet a lot of familiar faces. Here’s a sneak preview of Mich and Ole playing a set of reels.

  • Blog,  Fun stuff,  Music

    Diatonisch nieuwsblad – The diatonic newspaper of the Netherlands

    The Netherlands are home to a very vivid scene of diatonic accordion players. This manifests not only in the surprising number of notable Dutch accordion makers, e.g. Frans van der Aa, Karel van der Leuw or Noud Martinali, or professional players, but also in many festivals, concerts and workshops hosted all around the country. For all those of us, who want to stay up-to-date with all the players, makers and events, we would like to introduce the diatonisch nieuwsblad (”diatonic newspaper”). The diatonisch nieuwsblad is a quarterly magazine, made for diatonic accordion, concertina, harmonica and bandoneon players. Each volume features an in-depth interview with a player, maker or otherwise notable…

  • Blog,  Fun stuff,  Music

    Irish Accordion Videos – our Top 5

    Do you also have a few videos that you keep watching over and over? Well, we do and of course, they are Irish Accordion videos. With the Mulligan’s Session in Amsterdam being laid off due to COVID, we spent the Sundays chasing new tunes on various virtual sessions or live streams. Let’s see if you find the following videos as inspiring as we do. Gary Curley & Stephen McKee Gary and Stephen play super groovy banjo/box music. This particular video starts with an all-time favorite of ours, Larkin’s Beehive by Paddy O’Brien. With plenty of Tadhg Mulligan’s the back-up is in good hands too. This video has it all. Much…

  • Blog,  For Sale,  Repairs

    Adjustable bass strap

    We are happy to announce that we started to offer our customers adjustable bass straps. Do you have a button accordion where the bass strap is too tight or uncomfortable? In that case this might be something for you! This ‘Made in Italy’ adjustable bass strap offers great comfort for the left hand due to its padded, soft velvet material. It’s black, made of leather and very durable. With this bass strap you can finally decide how tight the strap should be around your hand. It will definitely improve your comfort in playing the button accordion. It’s easy to fit. First, you need to remove your old one and put…

  • Blog,  Repairs,  Tuning

    Accordion reeds: old, used or brand new?

    We have all been there, deciding if the old accordion reeds should be tuned one last time or be upgraded to brand new ones. Sometimes it’s difficult to know what to do. If you are uncertain, open up the accordion and have a look at which state the reeds and valves are in. Sometimes you are lucky and the reeds are still in good condition to be tuned again. Maybe some valves have to be replaced but that is usually a quick fix unless the majority have to be changed. However if you have bought an old Hohner Erica on a flea market and it has never been serviced, or…

  • Blog,  Repairs,  Tuning

    Accordion tuning | Spot tuning vs. Full tuning

    There is more than one approach to accordion tuning and it’s not always obvious what you sign up for when you have your accordion tuned. That’s why we would like to share a few of our thoughts with you on two common strategies of accordion tuning, namely the so called spot tuning and the full tuning. Let’s begin by discussing what those two terms mean. Accordion tuning A spot tuning is a partial tuning of the accordion. Not all reeds will be tuned but only those reeds that are out of tune. To determine which reeds are out of tune, the tuner will typically use it’s ear but a more…

  • Blog,  Fun stuff,  Music

    Séamus Connolly Collection of Irish Music

    Here is a new rabbit hole for all of you who always hunt for fresh and interesting tunes. Master fiddle player and national heritage fellow Séamus Connolly collected over 330 wonderful Irish and Irish/American tunes. Mr. Connolly held the chair of Sullivan Artist in Residence in Irish Music at the Boston College from 2004 to 2015. He made his Séamus Connolly Collection available free of charge for everyone via the Boston College Libraries. The collection includes more than 330 tunes, the majority of which were unknown to me. The sheet music for every tune is accompanied by a background story. Each tune has also a proper recording from one of…

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