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Geoff Wooff

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About Geoff Wooff

  • 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. Pictures are a bit dark Stephen. A report on its playability would be nice. Hope all is well with you, Geoff.
  2. One way to practice moving fingers from button to button is to try playing tunes using only one finger on each hand......
  3. Whilst the historic answer to your question has been covered by Stephen Chambers , the 'why' that most of us still use the thumb straps is covered by your other point. When a button needs the use of a finger that has just been engaged elsewhere then some twisting of the hand might be employed to gain a position where a different finger can be utilised. The pivoting of the hand around the thumb strap allows fingers to be positioned more easily to reach buttons further forward or backward..... The small compass of the Jackie keyboard is not really going to give you the full effect or need to shift positions. I'll agree that the thumb straps are hardly ideal and some here have championed the use of alternative holding methods whilst others, like myself, hang on to the original system.
  4. Perhaps there is wear in the lever pivots which can cause problems like those you describe. A Jeffries will have done a huge amount of playing over the last 100 years and the holes in the levers and the rivetted pivot pins are bound to show considerable wear. On the other hand perhaps the change of location is showing problems caused by lower or higher humidity ? I would be inclined to talk with a good restorer of concertinas.
  5. It is almost 50 years since I was out for a walk one Saturday morning and bought one of these Pin hole Aeolas for £9 in a pawn shop in South East London. Since then I have always had a great liking for Wheastones of this period... I'm guessing it will have a serial number in the 22, 000 or 23,000's .
  6. I find myself making emphasis with the bellows without changing direction , using changes in pressure to affect the dynamics and giving rhythmic structure to the music. A bellows with a little more elasticity is a help as is the amount of extension one uses as a starting point. To illustrate what I mean; the Anglo can be very effectively played whilst the bellows is only just open , changes in direction can be more quickly made because there is less flexiblility of the materials and structure when the folds are almost closed. I always recall the degree to which Alistair Anderson would let air into his bellows before begining a piece, I imagine he arrived at an ideal extension and then it appears as if his bellows never moves..... as he shuffles the bellows back and forth whilst using the elastic qualities to smooth the direction changes and add the degrees of loud and soft needed to enliven a melody.
  7. Of course, there are alternatives: A few years ago I had a beautifull Maccann duet which, according to the Wheatstone Ledgers, had ends made of Brittania Metal. The main thing I remember about this instrument was its TONE . I have never heard better!! Stainless Steel, Brass, Aluminium alloys, Sterling Silver and even Argentium could be used. For the amount of metal in the ends of a concertina the cost of the metal is surely a small factor compared to the work involved in making them ? My current needs for Nickel Silver sheet, if anyone finds a supplier, include thicknesses of 0.6 , 0.8, 1.2, 4 and 5mm sheets.
  8. It would appear that BREXIT has caused difficulties with importation from the makers Mettal Schulz in Nûremberg . I have heard the paperwork is too difficult but I have been searching for a supplier of Nickel Silver sheet in various thicknesses in Europe. Whilst I can purchase directly the minimum order is 50kg for each size which is too much for me. If anyone knows of a wholesale supplier or if someone were to take this on as a business I am sure many small craft workers and model makers would be only too happy to purchase metals in smaller quantites.
  9. Looks a bit like sealing wax but surely the laminate would not have been applied hot.
  10. fatt_mazio, I am not quite sure where to buy the bifurcated rivets, a kind person did send me some a few years ago. They come, of course, in different sizes but you can see them in use here ; look at the very recent post on the Buy & Sell forum by 'Pavel' , the photos show extensive use of those rivets.
  11. I had to take an accordeon appart today to fix a sticky key and was looking at some tiny wood screws that had to be removed. These were not dissimilar to those used on concertinas for the Pinky Rest and Thumb strap fixings. A few years ago I rounded up a few screws from a large dead accordeon and I am thinking, if you have an accordion repair shop in your region it might be worth asking if they have screws of a suitable size. Another point; on metal ended EC's those tiny screws are often threaded into hard leather blocks on the underside of the end plates.... perhaps for a wooden ended instrument a slightly longer screw with these leather 'nut's might be a suitable fix. Third point: I see that some people have replaced those tiny screws with Bifurcatted Rivetts.
  12. I have owned, or had pass through my hands, Aeolas from most periods and in the end so much depends on the individual instrument and its condition BUT three made in 1927 were the best I ever played. I got spoilt to begin with because my first Aeola , bought from Harry Crabb in 1974, was a 1927 metal ended Tenor Treble.... I wish I still had it ! If 1927 is too specific then I suggest 1910 - 1916 and 1924- 1928. Good luck with your search.
  13. As you are in buying mood can I suggest you might look at getting a 57key McCann, starts at C on the right.... just those few extra cross over notes makes for a good useable duet with a small ish size?
  14. "Play what you have" is one general suggestion but it may depend on what you have and IF you think another instrument will help you play better, or more . Another suggestion; in the 50+ years of playing and buying Concertinas I have never seen one go down in value yet. As an investment and because ' they ain't making them anymore'... why not add another, they don't take up much room... sure 'tis not like you collect Pianos,.....
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