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the closet concertinist

“Winterizing” the concertina

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Hey there everyone,

 

I’ve been going back through a lot of the articles and learning a tonne but I figured I’d throw my question out there anyways and see if there are any fresh thoughts!

 

I live in Alberta Canada and earlier this summer I received a 40 button Wheatstone that I have been in love with. BUT it came from a much more humid Australia, and especially now that It is mid winter here in the north and very dry with -30°C temps, it is starting to make a few sounds.

 

The most common sounds are:

1. Gurgles or buzzes at certain pressures on certain reeds

2. Hiccups right as the reed is initiated and then the sound is clear

3. A few buttons that produce softer/quieter notes

 

So I’ve heard there are methods for “resetting” my instrument according to seasonal changes.

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Yes the topic Greg directed you to will be helpful.  The bottom line is you need to humidify your instrument in the winter and monitor the humidity in the summer as well depending on where you live.  Lots of good advice in that link.  Good luck to you!

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If you take your concertina outdoors in cold winter temps, then when you bring it indoors you do not want to open the case until the temperature inside the case is close to indoor temperature otherwise lots of moisture will condense on the reeds, which ain't good.

 

You can buy remote indoor/outdoor thermometers for very little money.  Put the outdoor sensor inside the case and carry the indoor display with you when you go out.  Once you are back inside a warm, humidified house then you can watch the outdoor (ie. the concertina) temperature climb slooowly up to something close to indoor room temperature.  Then you can open the case.

 

If you are truly anal, then you can get a little wifi temperature and humidity sensor that talks to your phone over t'internet.  Then you can monitor the state of your precious wherever you are:

https://www.amazon.com/SensorPush-Wireless-Thermometer-Hygrometer-Android/dp/B01AEQ9X9I/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

 

 

Edited by Don Taylor

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Numbers 1 & 2 on your list are valve issues and yes it is likely the valves are reacting to humidity. (Was this a 40 button from Hazelbrook in the Blue Mountains? If so then I know the instrument, a decent example of its sort and in good condition.) These may settle down but supplying a (consistent) more humid environment would help.  Number 3 may also be valves but also could be fluff caught in the reeds, a loose reed shoe, or even a just touching tongue. These often respond to removing the assembly, inspecting for fluff and replacing back in the slot. 

 

Many instruments have valve related buzzes and gurgles and top instruments owned by top players often have them too. People learn to play around them.  Avoiding changing bellows direction with the button depressed will often eliminate your number 2, which  is common on lower notes. The way you express number 1 indicates you can find ways to play around those noises also though it will dictate your phrasing at times.  If it does not settle you might need to change the offending valves. 

 

 

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23 minutes ago, Chris Ghent said:

Numbers 1 & 2 on your list are valve issues and yes it is likely the valves are reacting to humidity. (Was this a 40 button from Hazelbrook in the Blue Mountains? If so then I know the instrument, a decent example of its sort and in good condition.) These may settle down but supplying a (consistent) more humid environment would help.  Number 3 may also be valves but also could be fluff caught in the reeds, a loose reed shoe, or even a just touching tongue. These often respond to removing the assembly, inspecting for fluff and replacing back in the slot. 

 

Many instruments have valve related buzzes and gurgles and top instruments owned by top players often have them too. People learn to play around them.  Avoiding changing bellows direction with the button depressed will often eliminate your number 2, which  is common on lower notes. The way you express number 1 indicates you can find ways to play around those noises also though it will dictate your phrasing at times.  If it does not settle you might need to change the offending valves. 

 

 

 

This is what a forums all about, sharing information, it really helps those of us who don't have the knowledge and experience.   Thanks.

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