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Jim Besser

Concertina reeds vs. accordion reeds in COLD weather

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Well, I brought a vintage c/g and a hybrid g/d. But since I was playing alone and it was very noisy, I used the old C/G, which is much louder. No mechanical problems, but cold fingers were an issue; in the middle of Abbott's Bromley, I lost all sensation in my fingertips. Good gloves and chemical hand warmers, used between dances, were lifesavers.

Hey Jim,

 

Glad to hear that you survived. As for me, my solstice gig went very well with no concertina reeds sticking this time. It was hovering just above freezing so that is a bit warmer than last year when I had problems. Before I left home, I went to the glove drawer and found a pair of tight fitting thin stretchy ones of my wife's and they worked fine to play in. I would not have thought it possible to play in gloves, so thanks Dave for the suggestion which worked a treat. Playing generates lots of upper body heat for me, so no problem there, but my feet were freezing by the end of it. As we played and sang and froze, we were accompanied by flocks of geese coming in over the lake in the twilight... magical.

 

Well, last night we were out at an observatory watching the eclipse - with a handful of Morris dancers, who danced Jockey to the Fair at 3 am, under an eerie, totally eclipsed moon. Great fun. This time I did play a hybrid - but not because of the cold, just didn't want to risk the Jeffries in my groggy, befuddled state. I'm too old for all-nighters!

 

I still haven't mastered the playing-in-gloves trick.

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Well, playing for the morris on my Morse G/D the other day 2 reeds, the right hand pull C# and F# kept going silent if I hit them too hard. Fortunately I was in a band so it didn't notice too much except when I led one tune off.

 

Chris

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Funny; I've had a Morse G/D for about 7 years...it got played heavily for 5 of them, and it's never been opened, never had a problem. That's what I played last night during the Solstice eclipse!

 

Years ago I played in a Christmas parade in the mountains in 18 degree temperatures - and a blizzard. I was playing an early Herrington then, and by the end of the parade none of the notes were sounding...nor were the notes of several melodeons. And the flute players gave up for fear of losing some lip tissue on the frozen instruments!

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I still haven't mastered the playing-in-gloves trick.

The trick is to use glove liners, not gloves per se. Very thin, but (much) better than nothing.

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Well, some of our Morris side were having a pre-Christmas beer or three on Thursday night, and one of them wanted to know what, exactly, was an English concertina. As I was explaining at length, Squire butted in and said, "They're the ones that stop working when it snows."

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