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Geoff Wooff

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About Geoff Wooff

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    Heavyweight Boxer
  • Birthday 04/24/1950

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    playing music on English concertina, uilleann pipes and hurdy gurdy (among others). Making instruments, keeping healthy in my old age, chatting with friends. Now learning to play MacCann Duet.Latest project is Learning the Hayden Duet.
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  1. Geoff Wooff

    Earlier today, out West

    A lot to be said for a Teetotal lifestyle!
  2. Geoff Wooff

    loose thumb strap on EC

    If the bolt has sheared off ,or is not gripping in the wood, you'll need to open up and take a good look inside. It is the long bolt that takes the force of pulling on the strap. The little screws alone will put too much strain on the end plate.... which can be a big problem for wooden ends but even in a metal ended concertina the central bolt needs to do its job. If in doubt as to what you should do... consult a concertina repair person. Good luck.
  3. The first rule for learning a new instrument should be to obtain the best you can afford, however one should afford enough to make the journey worthwhile. Those old Tutor models were hard work 50 years ago when I started so I cannot see them having improved much since. A good vintage EC should hold its value; they have done exactly that for me, on average, through the years. I've mostly gained monetarily on concertina ownership although of very recent years we can see a softening of prices. All in all the basic rule that you will get your money back if you buy a good instrument but want to pass it on either because you find a better one or because you just do not get on with the system and wish to jump ship. That is a long winded way of saying your budget is too low and the more expensive instrument will /might cost you nothing in the end. Double ( or treble) your budget and play happy music. Good luck.
  4. Geoff Wooff

    Earlier today, out West

    Lovely photos Peter and wonderfull to see Chris Droney still in great form.... would that we all will keep in fine condition into our 90's.
  5. Geoff Wooff

    Concertinas and Climate Change

    In France: Last night our band had a gig , end of year party at a primary school , playing for dancing in the school's playground, a walled in area of tarmac. It was not the hotest day supposedly reaching 37°C, the evening temperature was still 33°C and did not appear to cool off, with 250 + people eating , drinking and dancing. The humidity was close to 90%. Between setting up our amplification and packing it all back in the van at the end we suffered 7 hours of noisy kids and perspiration. My concertina suffered less than I, the biggest problem for me was sticky hands. I left my accordeon at home as it has 'waxed-in ' reeds . The wax can soften and reeds can fall out. Most French made accordeons have , or should that be 'used to have', nailed on reeds which suffer less in the hot weather . I think it is a case of trying to be reasonable with your antique concertina ; keep it out of the sun, don't play it when you are uncomfortable and try to avoid sudden changes of heat and humidity.
  6. Geoff Wooff

    Keeping instrument dry in rain

    It is not impossible to play the trombone in D or G and people have used such instruments in English Country Dance bands... but the question that begs is 'how do the other people in your band keep their instruments dry ?' What do Morris dance musicians use to protect their instruments ? Perhaps they wait for better weather... in a convenient Pub. The idea of playing a concertina in a plastic bag, or under a water proof poncho brings to mind the possibility of condensation... any squeezebox will process quite a lot of air during use. Perhaps it would be just as effective to employ an umbrella holding person and avoid windy situations?
  7. Geoff Wooff

    Keeping instrument dry in rain

    Most musical instruments are not designed for playing in the rain. Simplest solution is to change key, Bb or Eb, and play the trumpet or trombone. Advantages , such as far more volume and very waterproof should not be overlooked as well as the huge repertoire of sheet music arrangements available from sources like the Salvation Army in plastified, all weather versions too.
  8. Indeed Dee746, the experiment worked well but in the end I decided to modify the way I played and found a better balanced instrument. I think one problem for me was that coming from the English I was so used to a volume /tone balance equality. Well it was some years ago and I do not recall exactly why a gave up on the baffling BUT if you go to www.concertina.com and put 'baffles' into the search box at the top right... it will take you to Robert Gaskins' "Baffles for Maccann Duet Concertinas". This is a comprehensive guide to the subject. For my part if you wish to hear how I got on without baffles you could go to www.soundcloud.com and search 'Geoff Wooff'. There you'll find three recordings made for the Tune of the Month forum: Josephins Dopvals and ITMduet3 are played on a 46 key Hayden with wooden ends and La Luna dins L'aiga on a 57 key metal ended Maccann. A function of making these recordings with the microphone positioned off centre to favour the right hand end is to give a better balance. Good luck.
  9. For session playing in ITM it is good to have a concertina with plenty of volume available, when one needs it of course and not neccessarily all the time. I agree with Wolf that a Wheatstone model 22 or 24 will usually provide enough power whilst retaining a decent tone quality. A metal ended Lachenal 'New Model' will also have good carrying power but I find the tone can be a wee bit thin ( cutting) and sometimes annoying. Wooden ended New Models are a little quieter but have a so much sweeter sound. I play an early model 22 in a noisy dance band, it holds its own very well and my current spare concertina is also a 22, for those just in case, rare, moments when the main squeeze breaks a spring or drops a pad during a gig. Keep the Anglo too.
  10. Geoff Wooff

    Tuning of 1860 Lachenal

    At a quick glance it looks like a Meantone temperament. As a rule of thumb for this, and similar temperaments, all the sharp keys are flat and all the flat keys are sharp, of some some central point. It is not unusual to come across EC's from the 19th century which were originally tuned this way.
  11. Geoff Wooff

    What our concertinas look like?

    Hi Wolf, no I already had the Baritone Treble. The New Model baritone was an instrument I found here in France a few years ago. It needed a little maintenance work but played very well and the low notes had really nice tone and spoke quickly. I should have kept it but I sold it to Nils Meyn in Hambourg, so you might meet it sometime. Good luck with yours, Geoff.
  12. Geoff Wooff

    What our concertinas look like?

    Wolf , that is one number later than the New Model Baritone I used to own.
  13. Geoff Wooff

    Modern Times ending

    Phew!! Bravo Thomas😃
  14. Geoff Wooff

    Ear Pain, Ringing from Higher Notes

    The Geordie Baritone is surely not a really loud instrument so perhaps your first port of call should be your hearing. I sometimes have difficulties with blocked sinuses which cause pressure regulation problems in my ears during air travel and even when going down a steep decline on a road ! It is usually higher notes and very loud instruments which cause ear pains for me. I sometimes use ear plugs, or just cotton wool , when playing my LOUD Wheatstone in the house. Perhaps your ear pains started to occur following a heavy Cold or flu ?
  15. Restorers would probably bend the lever arm a little but you may find putting a leather or cardboard spacer between the lever end and the pad is less invasive. I would not normally expect that a warped end would cause the keys to lift out of their location holes but on an 81 key McCann I can imagine it. Good luck.