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Buzzes and wheezes. Is this a problem?

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I was given a new Rochelle for Christmas. I am a complete novice. I am enjoying the instrument. On the left hand side of the instrument, the row 2 C/G notes has a distict burr/grating noise on the g. At low air pressure it is all burr and on stronger pressures the note sounds but the burr is still detectable. Row 1 on the left hand side, note F/E has a burr when making the transition from one note to the other whilst the button is depressed (I know I should be releasing and then pressing the note again when making the change!)

Two notes on the left hand side of the instrument don't speak well at low air pressures. The G/A on row one when sounding the g and the E/D on row 3 when sounding the D. All the other notes on the instrument sound earlier at lower belows pressure.

As a beginner never having touched another concertina I don't know if these issues are problems or part of the general character of any instrument that will be obscured in the general wash of sound. If they are problems what should I do?

atb steve

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I was given a new Rochelle for Christmas. I am a complete novice. I am enjoying the instrument. On the left hand side of the instrument, the row 2 C/G notes has a distict burr/grating noise on the g. At low air pressure it is all burr and on stronger pressures the note sounds but the burr is still detectable. Row 1 on the left hand side, note F/E has a burr when making the transition from one note to the other whilst the button is depressed (I know I should be releasing and then pressing the note again when making the change!)

Two notes on the left hand side of the instrument don't speak well at low air pressures. The G/A on row one when sounding the g and the E/D on row 3 when sounding the D. All the other notes on the instrument sound earlier at lower belows pressure.

As a beginner never having touched another concertina I don't know if these issues are problems or part of the general character of any instrument that will be obscured in the general wash of sound. If they are problems what should I do?

atb steve

 

you dont need to let go of F/E when changing directions unless you are trying to play staccato.

 

there is not supposed to be background noise on a note. there may be something caught in the reed.

 

with an accordion reeded concertina, certain notes may just not sound well at low pressures. on a top of the line concertina, they should have a more uniform response.

 

i have only played a rochelle once or twice, so i am not familiar with the properties of this particular instrument. so, i dont know if that is typical.

 

they dont sound like much of a problem to me, given the price of the instrument. if other's say that is not normal for a rochelle and you received it new, then perhaps you should do something about it. i dont know how well rochelles fair for self-repair. if it was a more expensive concertina, i would take it apart and check the reeds and fiddle with a couple different things, but only if it bothered me enough.

 

it all depends on how much it bothers you. for example, i need to replace several pads on my concertina. one or two buttons stick if i hit them really fast or if i tap them in passing. i just tap the buttons again (or hit them hard), to get them back into place. for some reason i keep ripping the connectors on the pads between the pads and the arm of lever. i've gotten so tired of replacing them that i just kind of got used to it. so... i would say that on mine it is definitely a problem (and i dont even mind), and on yours it would just be an annoyance.

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I was given a new Rochelle for Christmas. I am a complete novice. I am enjoying the instrument. On the left hand side of the instrument, the row 2 C/G notes has a distict burr/grating noise on the g. At low air pressure it is all burr and on stronger pressures the note sounds but the burr is still detectable. Row 1 on the left hand side, note F/E has a burr when making the transition from one note to the other whilst the button is depressed (I know I should be releasing and then pressing the note again when making the change!)

Two notes on the left hand side of the instrument don't speak well at low air pressures. The G/A on row one when sounding the g and the E/D on row 3 when sounding the D. All the other notes on the instrument sound earlier at lower belows pressure.

As a beginner never having touched another concertina I don't know if these issues are problems or part of the general character of any instrument that will be obscured in the general wash of sound. If they are problems what should I do?

atb steve

 

you dont need to let go of F/E when changing directions unless you are trying to play staccato.

 

there is not supposed to be background noise on a note. there may be something caught in the reed.

 

with an accordion reeded concertina, certain notes may just not sound well at low pressures. on a top of the line concertina, they should have a more uniform response.

 

i have only played a rochelle once or twice, so i am not familiar with the properties of this particular instrument. so, i dont know if that is typical.

 

they dont sound like much of a problem to me, given the price of the instrument. if other's say that is not normal for a rochelle and you received it new, then perhaps you should do something about it. i dont know how well rochelles fair for self-repair. if it was a more expensive concertina, i would take it apart and check the reeds and fiddle with a couple different things, but only if it bothered me enough.

 

it all depends on how much it bothers you. for example, i need to replace several pads on my concertina. one or two buttons stick if i hit them really fast or if i tap them in passing. i just tap the buttons again (or hit them hard), to get them back into place. for some reason i keep ripping the connectors on the pads between the pads and the arm of lever. i've gotten so tired of replacing them that i just kind of got used to it. so... i would say that on mine it is definitely a problem (and i dont even mind), and on yours it would just be an annoyance.

Thank you for your comments David. I guess it really only bothers me in as much as the 'imperfections' are there on an instrument that seems to enjoy first place for recommendations for beginners. At the moment I really enjoy playing and I can easily live with what I've got rather than send it away. You suggest that there might be something caught in the reeds. This seems possible as I can hear something rattling inside when I turn the instrument over. I can live with that too! I'm all too prone to taking things apart as soon as I get them. I'm happy to accept the advice of a proper player and get on with it.

Thanks again.

atb steve

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Well I'm not a proper player as I just began last June, however my Rochelle does this as well, but it seems to be intermittent. By that I mean I think the reeds self clear at times.

 

Don't be afraid to take it apart, as a matter of fact, I'd recommend it. There are dust screens that on mine were not totally glued down so I used cynoacrylate #2 (spelling?) and finished the job. Another thing I found inside was small bits of shredded plywood slivers and hot glue bits which I just brushed out (used an artists paint brush). Take a look at your bellows inside as well, mine were/are split on a lot of the inner folds, doesn't seem to be a problem, but I now get in there and look every once in awhile to monitor and see if they are getting any worse for wear. Another thing that was in there the last time I looked was chrome curls shedding off the bends of some of the lever arms.

 

Taking it apart is interesting, you will get a much better understanding of how it all works. The way the reeds are set up you can really only get to the outer sets, but cleaning and checking that things are in running order is a pleasant experience, at least for me.

 

Putting it back together I had penciled marks and you will want to have a box or something similar to place the reed pan on so you can align buttons. When putting the screws back in do it gently and just snug them up, it's easy to tear the threads in the wood.

 

I originally took it apart to build new handles as the stock ones were just too low for my hand size, so you may want to look into that.

 

post-6769-1232314165_thumb.jpg

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Well I'm not a proper player as I just began last June, however my Rochelle does this as well, but it seems to be intermittent. By that I mean I think the reeds self clear at times.

 

Don't be afraid to take it apart, as a matter of fact, I'd recommend it. There are dust screens that on mine were not totally glued down so I used cynoacrylate #2 (spelling?) and finished the job. Another thing I found inside was small bits of shredded plywood slivers and hot glue bits which I just brushed out (used an artists paint brush). Take a look at your bellows inside as well, mine were/are split on a lot of the inner folds, doesn't seem to be a problem, but I now get in there and look every once in awhile to monitor and see if they are getting any worse for wear. Another thing that was in there the last time I looked was chrome curls shedding off the bends of some of the lever arms.

 

Taking it apart is interesting, you will get a much better understanding of how it all works. The way the reeds are set up you can really only get to the outer sets, but cleaning and checking that things are in running order is a pleasant experience, at least for me.

 

Putting it back together I had penciled marks and you will want to have a box or something similar to place the reed pan on so you can align buttons. When putting the screws back in do it gently and just snug them up, it's easy to tear the threads in the wood.

 

I originally took it apart to build new handles as the stock ones were just too low for my hand size, so you may want to look into that.

 

post-6769-1232314165_thumb.jpg

 

This is all true and you will eventually have to deal with the odd bit of fluff or whatever so you might as well at least get rid of the loose bits inside; they'll stick in something eventually if you don't...make a note of the dodgy reeds beforehand so you remember what you're looking for, write note names on the works in pencil perhaps, buy dave elliot's book, all that stuff...

 

The only bit I'm not sure about is bothering to raise the handles; you learn to brace your hand out against the strap using your thumb and the handle height gradually seems to be less and less important. I used to think it was something I should do; now I'm not so sure if it matters. I'm confident it can't hurt, mind. But most players have a large air gap under their hands as they play; the handle is just a strap anchor and thumb rest, I think. I don't think my palm ever touches the bar. (it goes straight to the next full glass, Ho Ho.)

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Hello thingaby, welcome to the forum. :) Wim Wakker always recommends that you play the instrument for a month or two before getting too concerned about minor glitches, many of them iron themselves out. If the problem continues it's perhaps time to do something about it so drop Wim an email outlining the problem and see what he has to say.

 

Jack/Jackie/Rochelle instruments do tend to have 'teething problems', some cure themselves but others don't so keep an eye (ear?) on it for a little while before delving inside.

 

Quite a few people here have these instruments and will be happy to help if the problem persists but do consult Wim first, his concern is genuine and he'll go out of his way to help.

 

Pete.

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War Stories:..... :rolleyes:

 

I felt I needed to raise the handles as my left hand has been through the tables saw twice (a year to the day apart, I no longer work in the shop on Feb 3's) I kept getting bad hand cramps when I first started playing and couldn't get to the G row at all. I'm probably still holding and playing incorrectly.....

 

First accident, the tips of the first three fingers got cut a bit (about 1/8"deep) from cutting 1/4" thin boards to repair the paint bucket platform on an old wooden ladder. Late on a February day, very poor light (at that time, as the shop was just getting built), frozen hands, waiting for a certain someone to show up with the car to give me a lift to the house we were renting, and thought I would do one of those nagging little repair jobs that usually get ignored.

 

The second time knuckles got hauled in when I was doing a plunge cuts and a person (not the same one) came into the shop and yelled, startling me, the wood jammed and shot straight out towards me, pulling my left hand back through the blade. That caused the first knuckles to get fused on the first two fingers. It was the thirteenth board of a run of 26 cherry spindles to be turned for a bannister....

 

The blade in each event was proud of the work by about 1/8" and certainly saved me from much more serious consequences.

 

With the handles raised I can push down and reach out as I can't physically do it if my palm is close, which is why I stopped playing guitar (I tried reversing the strings and switching hands, but brain just couldn't/wouldn't re-organize, no neuroplasticity here, and then the years just seemed to slip away).

 

Most of the time I don't notice the handicap, playing the concertina does make it quite noticeable, but I'm happy and do my best to work around it. Heck, if anything it gives that hand a pretty good workout!

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I was given a new Rochelle for Christmas. I am a complete novice. I am enjoying the instrument. On the left hand side of the instrument, the row 2 C/G notes has a distict burr/grating noise on the g. At low air pressure it is all burr and on stronger pressures the note sounds but the burr is still detectable. ...

 

My Rochelle has the same problem. I assume it's a feature of less expensive instruments - and for the price I still think it's a good instrument to learn on. I'm not sure how much of a strain my lack of technique in the beginning was on the bellows, but I am glad that I had time to practice on something not too expensive. The unwanted noise will be a good excuse for you to upgrade to something better soon. :)

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War Stories:..... :rolleyes:

 

I felt I needed to raise the handles as my left hand has been through the tables saw twice (a year to the day apart, I no longer work in the shop on Feb 3's) I kept getting bad hand cramps when I first started playing and couldn't get to the G row at all. I'm probably still holding and playing incorrectly.....

 

First accident, the tips of the first three fingers got cut a bit (about 1/8"deep) from cutting 1/4" thin boards to repair the paint bucket platform on an old wooden ladder. Late on a February day, very poor light (at that time, as the shop was just getting built), frozen hands, waiting for a certain someone to show up with the car to give me a lift to the house we were renting, and thought I would do one of those nagging little repair jobs that usually get ignored.

 

The second time knuckles got hauled in when I was doing a plunge cuts and a person (not the same one) came into the shop and yelled, startling me, the wood jammed and shot straight out towards me, pulling my left hand back through the blade. That caused the first knuckles to get fused on the first two fingers. It was the thirteenth board of a run of 26 cherry spindles to be turned for a bannister....

 

The blade in each event was proud of the work by about 1/8" and certainly saved me from much more serious consequences.

 

With the handles raised I can push down and reach out as I can't physically do it if my palm is close, which is why I stopped playing guitar (I tried reversing the strings and switching hands, but brain just couldn't/wouldn't re-organize, no neuroplasticity here, and then the years just seemed to slip away).

 

Most of the time I don't notice the handicap, playing the concertina does make it quite noticeable, but I'm happy and do my best to work around it. Heck, if anything it gives that hand a pretty good workout!

OK, Rusty, maybe I wasn't allowing for your particular penchant for regularly partially removing your fingers when I wrote that the rest height wasn't too important...

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I was given a new Rochelle for Christmas.

 

Someone loves you enough to give you a concertina for Christmas! You are indeed blessed. Enjoy learning, but, as you'll have noticed on this Forum, BEWARE! Concertinas can become an addiction, even an obsession for some.

 

All the best with your new toy,

 

David

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I like to think of it as unplanned body sculpting.....

...the power of positive thought.

 

Manly, a few scars...

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A few....

 

My little avatar pic shows me paragliding above the farm. What you can't see is the lower bluff as it is just outside the lower frame. The lower bluff is covered in 10' high rosa rugosa. I was ridge soaring it a couple of years ago, when the breeze quit. I was fighting to maintain altitude (about 10' above the little darlings) but no go. I settled into the roses just as the breeze built again, dragging me across the tops and tumbling me into a little hollow. It took 5 hours to carefully extract my glider, as the roses underneath had to be cut away along the bluff face.

 

Sweaty and not in a great mood, I went home to have a hot shower, as I was feeling more than a little sorry for myself. I think they could hear me screaming at the top of Everest, as all the hundreds of little rose scratches got treated to hot salt sweaty water and soap. I looked as if I'd been mauled by a cat, my wife had no sympathy and kept bursting into gales of laughter, and believe it or not, I'm just leaving this second to fly there now, the fogs cleared......

 

post-6769-1232405773_thumb.jpg post-6769-1232406140_thumb.jpg

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HI

??President of the Masochist Society perhaps?? :blink:

chris (President of the Society for Self Preservation)

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Well maybe not the president, but certainly a member in good standing.... :P

 

It did produce "manly scratches" on this simpering wimp, but somehow it just doesn't have the same ring to it as "manly scars".

 

Chris, we've traveled to Leicester often, as my wife's parents and brother live there. We aren't planning a trip this year unfortunately, as the economy will probably (we aren't taking any chances) have an impact on our income (craft based, sales already in decline). But we'll have to go the following year, perhaps we could meet up. It was there last spring that I started my search for a concertina, what a comedy of errors that was.....if only I'd known about this site then, and had the time to read it all. I would have been much better informed.

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Well I'm not a proper player as I just began last June, however my Rochelle does this as well, but it seems to be intermittent. By that I mean I think the reeds self clear at times.

 

Don't be afraid to take it apart, as a matter of fact, I'd recommend it. There are dust screens that on mine were not totally glued down so I used cynoacrylate #2 (spelling?) and finished the job. Another thing I found inside was small bits of shredded plywood slivers and hot glue bits which I just brushed out (used an artists paint brush). Take a look at your bellows inside as well, mine were/are split on a lot of the inner folds, doesn't seem to be a problem, but I now get in there and look every once in awhile to monitor and see if they are getting any worse for wear. Another thing that was in there the last time I looked was chrome curls shedding off the bends of some of the lever arms.

 

Taking it apart is interesting, you will get a much better understanding of how it all works. The way the reeds are set up you can really only get to the outer sets, but cleaning and checking that things are in running order is a pleasant experience, at least for me.

 

Putting it back together I had penciled marks and you will want to have a box or something similar to place the reed pan on so you can align buttons. When putting the screws back in do it gently and just snug them up, it's easy to tear the threads in the wood.

 

I originally took it apart to build new handles as the stock ones were just too low for my hand size, so you may want to look into that.

 

post-6769-1232314165_thumb.jpg

 

This is all true and you will eventually have to deal with the odd bit of fluff or whatever so you might as well at least get rid of the loose bits inside; they'll stick in something eventually if you don't...make a note of the dodgy reeds beforehand so you remember what you're looking for, write note names on the works in pencil perhaps, buy dave elliot's book, all that stuff...

 

The only bit I'm not sure about is bothering to raise the handles; you learn to brace your hand out against the strap using your thumb and the handle height gradually seems to be less and less important. I used to think it was something I should do; now I'm not so sure if it matters. I'm confident it can't hurt, mind. But most players have a large air gap under their hands as they play; the handle is just a strap anchor and thumb rest, I think. I don't think my palm ever touches the bar. (it goes straight to the next full glass, Ho Ho.)

 

i have seen noel hill make hand rest modifications for students because hand rests are a very important part of playing.

 

i take issue with the large air of space methodology you prescribe. if you think of the physics of the instrument as an energy system, this approach does not make much sense. the two points of contact for the transmission of energy into and out of the bellows are the hand straps and the hand rests. if you are using the buttons as the main method of pressure against the instrument, then you are creating a very inefficient system.

 

 

in order to change bellow directions, for example, you must change pressure from against the handles to against the rests, or vice versa. it does not make sense to put a large distance between the handles and the rests, because your hand (which is an extension of the energy system of your arm) would have to go through dead space to do this. jodie kruskal is an exponent of using the hand rest instead of the buttons to control the pressure into the instrument. i know how tight he makes his students tighten their straps if they ask--tight. when he tightened my straps/added a hole so i could get them at the tightness he wanted, i could only see the light of day between the straps and the hand rest if you have the instrument hang from one hand. the light that gets through is just a sliver.

 

in practice, of course, people grasp with their thumbs. this seems unintuitive. why are you leaving space only to reduce it with your thumbs? not only does this add undue stress to the thumbs, leaving you highly likely to pinch a nerve (my thumb went numb for several days because of this on at least one occasion), but it adds for bad bellows control. in my experience, the tighter the straps, the more bellows control. there is a trade off, of course, in being able to reach the buttons, but this is not a problem if you work at it. i tighten mine to the point where i can barely get my hands in or out. i have very small hands for a man. no matter how loose i used to keep my straps, i still had trouble reaching all the buttons. even as tight as i keep them, i can reach every button comfortably, but only because i have spent a lot of time at that problem.

 

note: please dont tighten your hand straps to the point that you lose feeling in your hands or feel uncomfortable in any way. you can play the concertina very well with loose straps, as many do. heck, i can play the concertina with no straps at all about as easily as with straps (i developed this skill as a gimmick).

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Chris, we've traveled to Leicester often, as my wife's parents and brother live there. We aren't planning a trip this year unfortunately, as the economy will probably (we aren't taking any chances) have an impact on our income (craft based, sales already in decline). But we'll have to go the following year, perhaps we could meet up. It was there last spring that I started my search for a concertina, what a comedy of errors that was.....if only I'd known about this site then, and had the time to read it all. I would have been much better informed.

 

Hi RustyH

If you get to Leicester again it would be good to meet -stay in touch (assuming you haven't cut off too many bits in the mean time :rolleyes: )). There is a small group of concertina players that meet near Leicester - mainly English players but at least 1 anglo player

chris

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Thanks Chris, I'm interested, and we usually spend 6 weeks attending to aging parents, so would have time to organize something I'm sure. English is no problem, I'm open to it!

 

David, good post.

 

I have tried everything, tight straps and loose, and currently I'm just a little looser than snug, with about 1/4" showing on the pull. I noticed when snug I had to get my palms just right to be able to get at all the buttons, with this current setting I can move around more freely, and with a slight pressure on the strap with the thumb, tighten it all up if need be. I'm still open to experimentation and will probably adjust as I go through various instructors. I'm booked into the Noel Hill classes in August, and I'm looking forward to learning his system and taking his advice. I just hope the Rochelle lasts that long...lol

 

Rusty

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