New to hurdy-gurdies

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New to hurdy-gurdies

Postby Bedon » Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:45 am

First heard a hurdy-gurdy at a medieval fair a fortnight ago. What a great sound! Would love to learn to play one. Ouch - aren't they expensive. I'm not deterred though so obviously I would like to get as much advice as possible before spending £1000 or so. I have looked up as much as I can on the internet. How about a Symphonia? I am no musical instrument technician. I would like to play Scottish bagpipe tunes if possible. Can you help a complete novice? Thanks.
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Re: New to hurdy-gurdies

Postby Scott Marshall » Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:38 pm

Neil Brook makes a well featured, small ,but loud, instrument within your budget, I don't think his waiting list is too long http://www.hurdy-gurdy.org.uk/wren.html
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Re: New to hurdy-gurdies

Postby WaterPig Master » Sat Oct 30, 2010 1:34 pm

Hi there,

I can personally recommend Chris Allen's Symphony - I 'upgraded' mine with a few features and it cost me slightly less that £1000. You can find demonstration and review here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJSOwSWGYv8

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3b6NlPXS-0

Either Chris or Neil will get you a top quality, affordable instrument. I suggest you contact them both and see what they have to offer. Have fun!

Barnaby
Most buskers aren't tramps... Most!
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Re: New to hurdy-gurdies

Postby Bedon » Wed Nov 03, 2010 10:56 am

Thanks very much Barnaby. Great clips on YouTube, just what I needed. Your Symphonia sounds really good too, just the sort of vaguely Celtic sound I wanted. I'm sure it's not as easy as you make it look but super clear demonstration. Thanks a lot, Tony.
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Re: New to hurdy-gurdies

Postby Bedon » Wed Nov 03, 2010 11:05 am

Thanks Scott and everyone else for taking the trouble to reply. The names that are coming up again and again are Chris Allen and Neil Brook. I think you are quite right in suggesting I contact them. Thanks again, Tony.
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Re: New to hurdy-gurdies

Postby Bedon » Wed Nov 03, 2010 8:58 pm

Have e-mailed Neil Brook today. 18 month waiting list! He did suggest that as I am not a real musician or technician it might not be the instrument for me. Refreshing not to get the hard sell anyway. Perhaps have to reconsider. Tony.
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Re: New to hurdy-gurdies

Postby Scott Marshall » Wed Nov 03, 2010 9:44 pm

Have you played any instruments before Tony? I think if you like the sound persevere with it and try to find an instrument. There are alot of things to learn about how to maintain and get a good sound etc, but you would get alot of help from forum members. Maybe there is someone near you who could give you a lesson/ let you have a go?

PS Barnaby is a bit of a whizz-kid, but I think he had only been playing 2 weeks when he made those you tube clips :)
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Re: New to hurdy-gurdies

Postby halpin_bridget » Thu Nov 04, 2010 10:48 am

Hi Tony,

Scott's advice is very good: if you're keen, give it a try and persevere! I started learning to play the hurdy gurdy approx. 4 1/2 years ago and didn't play an instrument before. And as has already been suggested, try to find a gurdy player near you or alternatively go to a gurdy gathering and have a go on someone's gurdy. For me it was love at first go, so to speak ;) .

All the best!

Bridget
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Re: New to hurdy-gurdies

Postby Bedon » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:04 pm

Thanks for the encouragement, both of you. I did play the guitar (badly) for many years for my own amusement and the harmonica (if that counts as an instrument). Had a minor stroke which meant my right hand (I'm left-handed) doesn't work quite as well as before. Got fed up with missing chord changes so gave the guitar to my daughter. The hurdy-gurdy looks ideal as the right hand only winds and the left does the hard work. Perhaps I will carry on my initial interest. Tony.
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Re: New to hurdy-gurdies

Postby Scott Marshall » Thu Nov 04, 2010 3:35 pm

Tony the right hand does quite a bit to make the rythmic buzzing sound, but you can play without buzzing :) I sometimes think of the gurdy as a one string guitar you have to go up and down alot :D
Keep an eye on the forum for a secondhand instrument, or look on eBay, or get your name down on a makers waiting list...the time does go quicker than you think, plus it gives you time to save up! Incidentally I used to have one of Chris Allen's Symphonies, it was an excellent instrument.

Simon Wascher has a list of makers here: http://drehleierwiki.a.wiki-site.com/in ... umentenbau?

The Gurdy festival is in May, it's a good place to see/try/hear alot of instruments.
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