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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. Yep that's what the Jeffries played at the Cliffs of Moher looked like.... well perhaps not quite as bad as this. Another point; when people imagine the romance of playing a few hornpipes (or accompanying sea songs ) on the deck of a sailing ship, just think what the salt air will be doing to your steel reeds!!
  2. In recent conversation with an older generation accordion repairer , here in France , the matter of the amount of humidity that accordions were subjected to during public dances came up.Enthusiastic dancers perspire hugely in warm halls. This man had a lot of note books from his father who had tuned and repaired accordions on the mediteranean coast from 1940 until the early '70's. These high humidity levels were thought, by the father, to be responsable for a lot of the rust on the reeds which put instruments out of tune . During my years in County Clare one person called to me for help with her Jeffries anglo, which had suddenly gone completely off the boil. On opening it up the amount of rust on the reeds was incredible, having stopped many of them from working completely. When she said she'd been busking most of the summer at the Cliffs of Moher, well that was the reason for the destroyed reeds. The salty mist which invades those cliffs during on shore breezes had all but destroyed the reeds. So, as well as agreeing with those above who suggest not playing in the rain I would strongly advise to dry the reeds by, at least, blowing air through ( playing every reed ,in a dry warm room after such an event.
  3. Geoff Wooff

    Learn & Remember Note Positions

    It is probably best to try to memorise the note positions in your subconsious ear department.... trying to recall each note by name to a position on the keyboard may take longer but it will arrive. Working on the 30 button 'core' and adding those extras as you need them is the way I would approach the task.
  4. The problem I have with your recordings, or if you like 'your comparison', is that the timbre of each instrument sounds quite different. The first ( the Dipper) has a clear , bright tone whereas the second ( the Crabb) appears to be more subdude in the upper partials. Perhaps the 1/5 Comma Meantone is sweetening some of the harmonies but my own experiences with these two temperaments is that the inherent tonal qualities of each instrument are not particularly affected by a change. A bold toned concertina will benefit more when certain Equal Tempered intervals are modified to sweeten chords. You are playing a tune using chords that we are very used to hearing in ET, therefore the harshnesses are molified by our familiarity and the actual chord construction , what notes are used and in whch inversions. I think we probably have a natural tendancy to avoid grating intervals when constructing chords in our 'finger map' of a tune. I have been using 1/5th Comma for over 30 years on my EC's because it allows me to use the Major Third interval , which is the worst sounding common chord in ET on a strident concertina whilst also being the easiest usefull harmony to fall under the fingers. It is a usefull compromise that has so far failed to raise an eyebrow from those musicians I have played with. Coming back to your recordings: would I be correct in thinking the Dipper has brass framed reeds fitted to a solid wood reedpan and pallet board... whilst the Crabb has aluminium reed frames fitted to a plywood construction ?
  5. Geoff Wooff

    Reed tuning query - more or less ?

    My feeling on this is that something like 90% of the pre-war concertinas being played today have been retuned from 452 ( or some other pitch) to 440. From what I have seen the vast majority have had their reeds lowered in pitch without adding weight to the tips. Yes one does see tip weighted reeds on some low notes and Bass instruments but those weights would be, I think, almost always original fitments.
  6. I'd love to see pictures of your 'shell' Aeolas Mike..... 'spose there's no chance you'd sell one ? cheers, Geoff.
  7. Geoff Wooff

    20-Year Anniversary of Concertina.net

    A BIG thank you Paul and Ken for providing this great forum !
  8. Thanks for the clarification P.J. Geoff.
  9. AND ? Has it been sold ?
  10. Nope, though some are about the same size as their anglos...
  11. Depends on the make Collectauke. I had a 58k MacCann Wheatstone Aeola and that was 7.5" across flats... Later a 67k that was 8.5 ( if I remember correctly)... You can get sizes from the Wheatstone Ledgers held at The Horniman Museum , they are on line. Just scan through the pages for the 1920's where there are a plethora of Duets. You might need the model Type numbers, it helps... and you can find them on old price lists which can be found on www.concertina.com
  12. I cannot see any problem with describing a concertina in the way you suggest and often people do say the 'across flats' size but the button count is often of first importance and it can determine the size of instrument too. So, most players will know that a 48key Treble English, a normal (20 to 30+ ) key Anglo or a small duet (35 to 48) keys will usually be a 6.25" Hexagon for most of the output of Lachenal and Wheatstone.... though Jeffries anglos can be smaller at 6".. Of course I am refering to traditional 'English' made instruments. A Duet player will soon learn how big a 72 or 81 key instrument is. But I agree it would be usefull to sitpulate.
  13. Geoff Wooff

    Creeping Reed Shoe

    I guess in some cultures one might be thought a drug smoker when buying papers but not tobacco, but one packet will last a very long time... and one could always buy them in an 'out of town' establishment if one's sensibilities preclude local purchase. For the minimal amount of wood movement normally found in the better vintage instruments it would be hard to find a thinner material readily available.
  14. Geoff Wooff

    Cleaning reeds for tea

    😊You're Potty !
  15. Geoff Wooff

    Creeping Reed Shoe

    Cigarette rolling papers are suitable for this shimming job. They come in various thicknesses ,but 0.01mm or 0.0005" is about medium weight. One could use the gummed edge to glue the strip to the wood.