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Will Moore

A Gentle Enquiry...

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I have been fairly active on this forum of late - mainly because I am completely hooked to concertina playing, however I still have so much to learn and my tastes and style are still very nascent. (I have 7 songs in the memory bank now though! ;) )


I recently spent a chunk of cash on a beautiful Edgley G/D Anglo and had it shipped to the UK, but having had it for a few weeks, it has become very clear that while the instrument has a lovely tone, is made with incredible skill and is a joy to play - I'm not sure it is the instrument for me.


My main reasoning is that it is quite loud due to metal ends. If you were a professional or playing in a group or outside at an event, it's loudness would be perfect, but I am still practising, and the hour or so I spend each day playing is done in my home, after I have put my two (under 5) kids to bed. As such I have to try and be quiet, which ends up creating a less than ideal sound!


I had a Wheatstone G/D for a few months with wooden ends on loan and I could play that at full volume without upsetting either the kids, the wife or the neighbours!


So, While I haven't made up my mind totally yet, I wanted to put the feelers out to see if anyone would be interested in swapping or part exchanging something wooden ended (up for discussing modern or preferably vintage) for my metal ended Edgley?


I'm looking for G/D tuning with a minimum of 30 keys.


I've attached a few pictures of the Edgley below. Sorry for my waffling and thanks for your continued patience as I learn a grow!


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IMG_2734.JPG
Edited by Will Moore

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Will, there is a wooden-ended G/D lachenal on eBay right now. looks a little rough for the asking price but who knows, can't hurt to look http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Latchenal-32-Button-GD-Anglo-Concertina-/191955536951?hash=item2cb1710c37:g:~kMAAOSwMtxXtykn

I would ask what "tuned to pitch " means

Edited by nicx66

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Will

 

I don't mean to sound sarcastic, but have you tried playing it quietly? You have a box that should have a good dynamic range.

 

Although the bigger reeds in a G/D need a bit more wellie to start, you should be able to play it fairly softly. If not, then maybe some of the reeds need resetting and the Edgley maintenance notes that I sent you tell you how to do that. Go through the buttons one by one and test if they can all be sounded with minimum bellows pressure. Make a note of any reeds that need more umph to get started - those are the ones that need resetting. You said earlier that you thought that the instrument might have been stored for years on its end; in addition to causing the valves to deform this might have put the reeds out of set. That is just a hypothesis on my part.

 

Edgleys already have a thin leather baffle behind the metal grill, maybe a thicker baffle would help. Talk to Frank, he may already have a solution for you.

 

Another trick you might try is to drape a towel or thick cloth over your concertina while you are playing. This has the added advantage in stopping you looking at the buttons...

Edited by Don Taylor

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I agree with the previous two posts. You may have had a pretty weedy Wheatstone to start with. Sometimes, the reeds have had so much re-tuning, to make a D/G, that it takes the life out of them.

I'm not so sure about playing gently though. I've tried that, and it distracts me from actually playing in time. I find it inhibiting.

The baffles, or towel or thick cloth is the best remedy for me. You can rig up a sort of poncho so that it stays in place. It's a lot less bother than trying to find a quiet D/G.

An old throw, or blanket, or any heavy cloth will make a huge difference, and you can then give it plenty, without making too much noise.

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Thanks for the feedback guys!

 

I love the constructive help. I really don't want to get rid of it as I love it!!

 

I'll speak to frank about thicker baffles, does anyone know of any UK suppliers that might be able to help with thick leather? I will be able to cut and fit myself. Will any Leather suffice?

 

Thanks again!!

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Don - you know Edgleys - what should minimum pressure be? I can play most of the notes with little pressure but the lower notes take a lot of puff to sound (as expected!)

 

My trouble is i have never heard anyone else play in person, only over video. I need to get along to a group soon but as I don't drive it's tricky! If anyone fancies a trip to Maidstone Kent I'll buy you dinner in exchange for some time playing alongside someone else ;)

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Will, have you seen the Rob Harbron workshop in Lewes, Kent, on 10th September (it's posted on c-net somewhere)? Rob plays English system, but the workshop is open to players of all systems and speaking as an anglo player who has taken a workshop with Rob Harbron before, I can say with some confidence that Rob will present lots of ideas and approaches and technique that you can apply to anglo as well as English. You might well not be the only anglo in the workshop, but even if you are, it's worth a go (if there's still space).

 

(I see Lewes and Maidstone are 42 miles apart; but I would imagine someone else might be going that way or that there are means of getting there other than driving? I can't say, really, as I've never been to Kent and don't know how well-connected it is by buses or trains... But for someone of Rob's talent being so near to Maidstone for a workshop, I'd say it's worth a bit of inquiry.)

Edited by wayman

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Would this help do you think?

 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/401054342113

Probably too thick and stiff. Got an old leather jacket you could sacrifice? No, take a look around a Charity shop, or maybe steal an old handbag from your wife.

 

Robert Gaskin wrote a long article about baffles, but you can experiment with whatever leather comes to hand. The existing baffles on an Edgley are just tacked on with double sided tape. You could replace this with stick on Velcro which would allow you to try different materials and to remove the baffles when you want. Warning: if you go all the way around with Velcro then fashion a little pop-up tab otherwise you will have a devil of a time getting the baffle off again - Velcro does not give up easily!

 

As far as sounding the reeds are concerned, you can expect the low reeds to be a bit slower to start at low pressure, but you should not have to sacrifice much dynamic range to use the low notes.

 

If you are going to try resetting the reeds yourself then start with just the lowest note and see if you can close it. Frank says to use a small screwdriver, but I felt happier using a wooden lolly stick/tongue depressor. It is hard to get a feel for just how hard to press to get a change, it is surprisingly hard but, as Frank says, be careful and do a little at a time. In retrospect a set of feeler gauges might help to see if you have actually got past the elastic point and made any difference at all before you put the box back together again. This process takes some patience until you develop a tactile feel for the metal.

Edited by Don Taylor

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Thanks.

 

I've played with the reeds already and feel comfortable adjusting them as many had to be adjusted to allow for the humidity and temperature changes between Canada and the U.K.

 

I will look into new baffles I think :) sadly I don't have a leather jacket (it wouldn't be a good look on me!) but good shout on the charity shop!! Will take a look :)

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wayman - with regards to the workshop - it would be ideal but sadly I'm on holiday in Wales that week! It was booked long before these workshops surfaced. I will try to plug into a local group.

 

Perhaps my kids just need to get used to a concertina lullaby each night ;)

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Perhaps my kids just need to get used to a concertina lullaby each night ;)

 

I think you just have to start them off early Will. Here's a younger me with mine at 2 weeks...

 

Adrian

post-6143-0-71515600-1472409973_thumb.jpg

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Perhaps my kids just need to get used to a concertina lullaby each night ;)

 

I think you just have to start them off early Will. Here's a younger me with mine at 2 weeks...

 

Adrian

Brilliant picture Adrian! :) My son walks round with his fingers in his ears when I'm playing, however my daughter who can't talk properly yet, sits and bangs on the case grunting until I play - so I guess one out of two isn't bad :P

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My son walks round with his fingers in his ears when I'm playing,

 

There's your answer then.

Motorbike ear plugs, a pound for ten in the pound shop. Dunno if they fit kiddies, but you can cut them down. :)

 

Edit, or, get an old German brass-reeded one just for practice. They are cheap and quiet.

And if it's just for practice, it wouldn't matter if it's in a different key.

Edited by Patrick McMahon

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Keep that instrument! Sell the kids! (just joking obvs)

 

Drape a big towel over it when your playing. Find time in another part of your day to practice. in the car, when the kids are doing something else

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If you think you have a problem then can you imagine what a Highland piper goes through to find somewhere to practice. I have seen a fellow deep in the bush with his pipes, and another in the middle of an empty parking lot.

 

Of course, they can use their practice chanter at home. Maybe we need a practice chanter concertina.

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