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Greg Jowaisas

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Everything posted by Greg Jowaisas

  1. This piccolo Eb/Bb turned up in my neck of the woods. Wasn't sure what I was going to do with it but knew it was a quality instrument, fast as the devil and with a lovely, if high ringing sound. I tuned it and put it in good order and when Noel was in town for camp I showed it to him. He was impressed with the instrument and said it would be perfect to play with Frankie Gavin's 'F' flute. (D fingering for a C/G comes out as 'F' on an Eb/Bb concertina.) We made a deal and needless to say the concertina found a good home.
  2. In the old wood hex cases there were generally three fabric covered wood blocks to support 50% of the six corners and keep the buttons from being depressed. Not much in the way of mitigating shock to the instrument if the case was dropped. There was also the ever present danger of bellows wear as the instrument was removed and reinserted in the traditional "end up" wooden case. There are horror stories of instruments being "trapped" in perhaps wooden cases that were not the original size as sold with the concertina. Some of the leather Jeffries hexagonal "jug" cases came with the same caveat. The concertina had one safe orientation into the case. if the end in was reversed or the hex orientation rotated a cherished instrument could be difficult to removed and possibly damaged. I will occasionally ship an instrument in a hex case to insure its safe passage but only with a strong suggestion the new owner find a proper case. The old wood hex cases and leather jug cases make excellent "stand alone" mantle displays. Greg
  3. I believe Bob Tedrow might defy that zero, Mike. https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/homewood-musical-instrument-co-homewood
  4. I have a repair/refurbishment that could possibly use a replacement set of Whetstone Aeola reeds. I'm looking for steel tongues in brass shoes with the reeds in good shape, if possible from an instrument in the 1920s (serial # close to 30,000.) If you have a "rescue" Aeola languishing in the closet with reeds of of this description and you'd like to turn a project that you might not get to into cash, drop me a personal message or email. (leave out the exclamation points): !!gjowaisas@fioptics.com!! Best hopes for a happy and healthy New Year, Greg
  5. Adding wrist straps can work wonders taking some pressure off the thumbs on the draw. My sympathies. At 70 and fly fishing hard I looked at my right hand and thought, "Wow! Look how developed my thumb muscles are getting!" Nope! Arthritic thumbs! I'm with Wunks as far as short sessions with the concertina, building surrounding muscle strength and playing smart, i.e. employing good technique. There is a topical (Voltarin is one brand containing diclofenac) which you might ask your doctor about. (Sometimes the pros can really help) For a whole day of fishing it allows my thumbs to stay in the game. Greg
  6. Letting the concertina acclimate from extreme temps prior to playing could be a concern. I'm thinking about moisture condensing on cold reed tongues and making them vulnerable to eventual rust. Allowing the instrument and its reeds some time to regain room temp is a good idea before pumping air through it. Sounds like you are already considering ways to mitigate temperature shock to any wood parts. Again, the drastic changes to humidity are probably the main concern. Take along a Dave Elliott "Concertina Maintenance Manual" for trouble shooting and a few spares like springs and different sized valves and perhaps a spare pad or two. Proper sized screw driver and small pliers (bent nose are best) + some pva or hide glue will be a big aid. You'll want to be prepared to cope with any minor annoyances during your 5 month sojourn. Good luck and let us all know how it goes. Greg PS. baffles or a way to control the volume of your concertina may win new friends and keep old ones in a confined environment!
  7. Probably not uncommon in the making but uncommon to survive 150+ years. I have several similar Wheatstones and Lachenals with wood baffles on the workbench or in the project closet. Chris, check for original 1/4 comma mean tone tuning. (Although the shiny spots on your reeds may indicate a retuning) The combination of wood baffles and mean tuning make for a sweet, mellow instrument. Greg
  8. Never say never. I had the luck to find an "Edeo Anglo" at a backyard auction #33301. (Apparently a few where bought in the Cincinnati, OH area. Grey Larsen found two others!) 40b hook and arm action and a very even sound. The late Cindy Mayti of the Cincinnati Irish band, "Silver Arm" played a 40b New Model anglo which was/is a very nice instrument. FWIW I think New Models are under rated. Very nice Lachenal sound (that says "vintage concertina" to me) and in most cases very good response. with a bit of time and care the hook and arm action can usually be set up for a pleasant playing touch.
  9. Doug Barr is a forum member and both an excellent Irish Trad player and teacher. He is in your area,
  10. Chamber space was a factor in Robert retaining the novelty sounds on his duet. (Not enough room for desirable lower pitched reed replacements) I have a fancy metal end Lachenal with a "duck call". It consists of a 2 inch long tube which extends into the bellows cavity. Startling and good for a laugh or guffaw. Greg
  11. Crabb history: Brilliant!! Thanks for sharing.
  12. Back from another fishing trip. (We have a brood X cicada hatch so a once in 17 year fishing opportunity. Sad to report the local trout response has been less than overwhelming😒) PM sent to Stephen. I have some very patient customers waiting on repairs and I will now try and expedite their repaired and improved instruments' return. Tight lines and bellows, Greg
  13. These "in case" devices no doubt help. However, I think of these as a "static aid". Each year I usually remind concertina players that playing their instruments in humidity poor environments is in effect drying them from the inside out as the dry air gets pumped through. I like to think a more dynamic approach to helping a concertina through the winter is to actively add humidity to the playing environment. I recommend a small room humidifier in the area where the concertina gets played most often. I've found that while concertinas can adjust to lower humidity over time they seem to prefer 50-60% relative humidity. Your skin and respiratory system might enjoy the increased humidity in the music room as well. Greg
  14. Back in action in January (just about filled with scheduled repairs) and scheduling repairs in February. No Christmas pyramid from me this year, but Doug Barr has captured the spirit here: BTW all those instruments in Doug's "tree" passed through my workbench. Merry Christmas and holidays to all who sent concertinas for repair in 2020 and who will send instruments in 2021. Let's keep 'em playing! Greg
  15. Could be a curled valve that reluctantly seats upon increased pressure. If pressure is quickly applied you may get a "slap".
  16. Riggy, Email received and response sent. The fioptics address is correct. Greg
  17. Stephen and all, To quote "Spamalot" I'm "not dead yet." In fact have been quite busy with concertina repairs and refurbishment during these Covid times. Family and I are doing our best to stay healthy and here are hopes the concertina community can do the same. Best regards, Greg
  18. A few aids and ideas that might help. The Dave Mallinson books ("100 Enduring Irish Session tunes", 100 Evergreen Irish..." etc) usually have a decent, basic rendition of a tune. You can add the embellishments as you or your instrument dictate. They also can come with a CD so those of us challenged by the printed musical page have an audio reference. The CD format coupled with a computer "slow downer" program would enable you to keep the CD's correct pitch while dialing the music speed to suit your current ability. Individual passages can be looped for practice repetition. When you are confident and comfortable playing along at one speed then the tune can then be sped up by tiny increments to challenge and gradually increase your own playing speed. Playing along at a comfortable speed also reinforces good rhythm and gives you immediate feedback. The best tutorial would be to find someone who plays the same instrument you do in the style you enjoy or admire and get them to give you advice either informally or through lessons. Sean, in your case, it would be english concertina and I'll email a couple of possibilities. Of course listening and adapting the playing of one of the many great Irish Trad practitioners who play a different instrument to your own concertina playing can be an interesting and long term challenge. Listening (and lilting) to their recordings until they become part of your musical memory can shape and inspire your own playing. As far as learning the "correct" version of a tune I'd say listen to the masters and then judge whether your printed version comes close. If your goal is to play the particular versions of your local session then ask if you can tape those musicians and again compare your written resources. Before long you will be able to hear and change your playing from the written page to match the versions played at the session. It is a journey and may take a bit of time. Best, Greg
  19. Alex, Measurement of the thickness of the reed shoe and picture of the reed assembly particularly the clamp screws would be helpful. Thanks. Greg
  20. Perhaps mounting;placing the reeds in the interior of the reed pan?
  21. The inked # stamp is consistent with Tidder instruments. I "think" I am seeing the ample gussets in your pics which is also a Tidder trademark. Unfortunately the heads on shot of the action board and mechanism give no further clues. (A 45 degree angle shot and closeup might reveal more.) Not sure if I currently have a Tidder in the herd or project closet. The corner block bracing on the action board may be a distictive clue. My experience with nearly a dozen Tidders is that they are of consistent, comparable quality to the mahogany Lachenals. The only annoying drawback with Tidders is that the outside bellows runs seem to be covered with sheepskin or another softer leather that is not as tough and long wearing as goat.
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