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Geoff Wooff

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Everything posted by Geoff Wooff

  1. Whilst most of the youtube videos show Duet players in a seated position, as far as I recall from watching the old players at ICA meetings in the 1970's, those who played standing up held their forearms more or less vertical. In this way the weight of the concertina is directed back into the base of the hands and there are less problems with the the instrument tilting forwards. Tight straps and the thumb wrapped around the hand rail will help too , along with practice and building up muscles. Look for videos of Perci Honri.
  2. Right then Syncopepper, I can see your desire for that eBay Aeola. What to expect from a 1942 Aeola : I think the top of the range Wheatstones were still very well made, even in 1942. Information from a knowledgeable ex member of this forum is that the 48 key Tenor was mostly made for the Salvation Army. This would suggest the Tenor 48 has , perhaps, an ideal range for singing to. Expect metal capped plastic core buttons and a new type of 'hook' action. Perhaps Aluminium reed frames too, which, if it does the lighter weight might help with your arthritis/tendonitis. Will this 1942 Tenor be tuned to A440 ? The new case suggests it has been bought / used recently and could have been restored in the last few years and thus also tuned BUT if it is, or was, a Salvation Army instrument then it might be tuned to a slightly different standard. Re-tuning is not a real problem, plenty of people offer to do this. Perhaps the seller knows or can check to pitch . The other Aeola I mentioned is about 100 miles up the road from Kalamazoo but it's an extended Treble and not tuned to A440.
  3. Syncopepper, what sort of music do you play on your concertina ? Or perhaps more clearly what sort of concertina do you want ? I have a good reason for asking, in that there is another Aeola for sale in your general vicinity.
  4. I have come to an obvious conclusion regarding this 'larger size' instrument; A rough calculation shows that a 6 1/4" Hexagon has a cross sectional area of approximately 32 square inches. A 6 1/4" Octagon's cross sectional area is about 25 square inches . So, increasing the size of the octagon to 6 3/4" gives a cross section of about 36 square inches. The effort to push and pull this slightly larger Aeola will be negligible and the air capacity more than matches the six sided models.
  5. This is listed as a model 17a which means it is a Tenor 48 . Like a Tenor Treble without the top 8 buttons. Goes down to C one octave below middle C. Generally speaking Wheatstone concertinas from the later years are not so well thought of ( not meaning they are bad) but if you generally play the lower notes then this could be ideal and 'golden period' ( prior to 1930) versions are like hens teeth. My 56 Baritone/Treble also does not have those top few notes of a normal Treble 48 but although I do use the whole keyboard on it I rarely run out of notes . The price is probably fair, though there is 'eBay money back guarantee' and you could 'make an offer' . I noticed today that eBay.com lists another Aeola for sale, from France even though I bought that instrument last week... not through eBay. Check for bogus listings.
  6. Thanks for all the comments and suggestions. The 'slightly oversized' Aeola questions came as I contemplated the purchase of the instrument , but now it is in my possession I can say a wee bit more. I doubt if i'd notice any increase pressure needs, certainly not at present as almost every gusset of the bellows is perforated, nay.... ripped . However, it is still playable, amazingly, and moves are in hand to replace the ruined bellows. The most notable thing about a larger bellows is the speed of opening and closing, well that is what I notice perhaps more that any pressure changes as I alternate between my 8" Aeola and 6 1/4" Hex. As this new ,to me, instrument comes from the very end of the golden period of Wheatstone production I can see why they have slightly enlarged the frame size. Being a 56 Extended Treble the extra room is well used to provide slightly larger reed chambers and it appears to be better balanced especially at the upper end. I usually find C6 on a treble EC can be painfully loud in comparison to notes just below it whereas on this slightly larger instrument the balance throughout the upper two octaves appears equal. Of course with only a sieve to test it I could be wrong. Buying a somewhat shabby looking 91 year old squeeze box ,meeting the vendor, a clown, outdoors in the pouring rain , half way from his house to mine due to the need for both of us to arrive home before the curfew, no hotels, restaurants or public toilets open, is perhaps dangerous and a real pup could have found a new keeper... we shall see.
  7. Yes , but with the particular example I am thinking of, which is a 6 3/4" Octagon as opposed to a 'standard' 61/4" version I wonder if the player would notice any pressure difference. Perhaps that extra half an inch might give an air supply advantage for one who plays a lot of chords ?
  8. Thanks for the suggestions Tiposx . I am now just wondering why the instrument I am looking at, which is an otherwise standard model from Wheatstone & co., should be listed in the ledgers as " Large Model"... it being half an inch wider than usual. Does this allow for the use of longer reeds , bigger chambers or more air in the bellows ? Perhaps there is a tonal advantage ? Any thoughts ?
  9. I see that Concertina Connection in the USA offers a replacement bellows making service but I live in Europe . Who offers such a service in the UK or Europe ?
  10. Whilst there are several suppliers of new bellows of common frame sizes what is the situation for non standard measurements and shapes ?
  11. Wim Wakker thicker thumb straps; I think the straps that began to tear on my 48 Treble were these heavier Wakker straps. They had served a dozen years of strenuous use and I have rebuilt them to the same thickness and comfort. Highly recommended . Though the much thinner thumb straps I use on the ' sit down' Baritone/Treble do work well , quite loosely adjusted, because they are supported by the wrist straps and allow me to slide my thumbs backwards and forwards depending when I desire a hand position change for fingering purposes.
  12. Leather craft workers, harness makers etc. The straps should not be a problem but fixing those straps to the instrument , at least in the way that was used during the vintage period, might need the services of someone with a half decent workshop.
  13. I suggest the best person to contact with these questions is Wim Wakker at concertina connection.
  14. Interesting ! Is that a wrist strap bracket just disappearing out of view on the left ? I think many people would like to see a review of your new Parnassus TT... if you would oblige .
  15. Hmmm, I'll have to think about that during my morning practice. Perhaps not too tight but sufficiently so to transfer the 'pull' effort from thumbs to arms. On my Treble 48 I generally only employ the wrist straps when not seated.
  16. Simplest fixes for sore thumbs and strains on the EC are wrist straps. Add to that, Syncopepper ( for your comfort around the lower notes) an instrument where the thumb strap relation to the keyboard favours the bottom end buttons. For this I find my old hands are happiest playing my Baritone/Treble Aeola. I lean my hands back into the wrist straps and those 'one row lower' thumb straps allow comfortable button pressing right to the bottom end. I keep the thumb straps a fairly loose fit so I can slide my hands backwards and forwards to better cover the whole keyboard. There is no twisting of the thumb straps after 10+ years of daily playing.. Of course the weight of these larger instruments , like the Baritone/Treble, is a consideration so perhaps a 'Tenor' 48k might make a better choice ? On my Treble the thumb straps started to tear from twisting so I made soft, but strong, replacements with an extra canvas layer in between the leather ones. So far so good and comfortable too.
  17. Lovely Aeola! I must find me one of those.
  18. You are welcome... I like your Avatar photo.... very nice concertina.
  19. Hello Christian, the word is not gauge but gauze ( with funny old fashioned Z with a tail)..... meaning a net type lining under the fretted ends to stop insects and other wrong things getting into the instrument.
  20. Indeed Wolf ! Lots of nice touches if we think of the bellows as our violin bow. Stay safe !!
  21. Whilst much emphasis is put on arrangements for changing bellows direction and even to using the effect of changing as a way to add structure to the timing, I find it is also useful to change the pushing and pulling force, without changing bellows direction, as a way to add dynamics to a melody. This can produce a more subtle pulse to the music but perhaps it is not so useful on an instruments with a leaky four fold bellows.
  22. Hello Maarten, an interesting topic, I do not know if it is covered by any of the tutor ( method ) books. You might look at www.concertina.com to see if there are any articles. After many long years of playing the English I have started to examine and think about the bellows habits that have developed without much conscious input on my part. The first obvious point is the control of loudness and using this to emphasize rhythm and phrasing. Whilst playing with the bellows nearly closed it is possible to accentuate staccato playing with tiny bellows direction changes, many Irish anglo players use this closed bellows technique. The material of the bellows is somewhat flexible but its effect on the speed of air direction changes is minimized when the folds are not open far. So, the opposite situation occurs when the bellows is quite far open and a more legato , almost spongy, feel can be introduced to any dynamic use of pressure changes. The most important thing is to listen to what sounds are coming out of your instrument.
  23. What a fantastic resource! Many thanks to all concerned .
  24. The best way to do this sort of thing is to record the piece and play it back using a speed control device that you can set to give the tune in small sections ( phrases) as in an A/B setting. Pressing the A/B button at the start of a phrase and pressing it again at the end, the device will then play that part of the tune again and again as you play along at a pace that suits you. Many small digital recorders have these functions or you can plug it into your computer and use one of the downloadable slow down programes available on the Web, some are even free. These tools usually come with a tuning range which can be helpfull to put the recorded piece into a key that suits you and your instrument.
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