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Just joined

Postby The_RealScott » Sun Mar 03, 2013 12:43 pm

Hi All,

I've just joined as a prospective Hurdy Gurdy player. However, I'm not starting from a very strong position; I don't play any other instruments, I've never played any other instruments, I don't own a hurdy gurdy, I've never seen a hurdy gurdy in person, I don't know anyone who plays a hurdy gurdy and, lastly, I don't know of anyone who plays a hurdy gurdy anywhere near where I live! ... Well, how hard can it be? Actually, perhaps I'd prefer if you didn't answer that!

Are there any other Australian players here?

Cheers,

Scott.
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Re: Just joined

Postby Gallopede » Sun Mar 03, 2013 5:22 pm

I'm nowhere near Australia. I see there are people over there who make Hurdy Gurdies though. Are you thinking of getting one? They're addictive, be warned!
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Re: Just joined

Postby The_RealScott » Sun Mar 03, 2013 10:59 pm

Hi,

Yes, I intend to buy one when I can find one and also find the money for one. I also have to work out which makers and instruments are 'good' and which ones are 'not so good'. I briefly considered making a kit, but I think it'd be better to buy one that I know is set up properly given that I have zero experience! I did look at Philippe Mousnier's instruments; I have watched and listened to lots of recordings and YouTube videos of players and I've seen a few who's sound I've liked... often they seem to be Mousnier's instruments and also another that I don't recognise. I'm sure it's a lot to do with the player rather than the instrument, of course. I've also read that some luthier's instruments aren't as good as others. The question now is whether I should spend a decent amount of money up-front and get a really good instrument that will sound good and have room to 'grow' as I learn it (but risk wasting my money if I don't like it or just can't do it very well) or whether I should buy a cheaper instrument to start one, and 'upgrade' if I find I like it. How easy is it to sell a high quality instrument, and how well do they hold their price?
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Re: Just joined

Postby Gallopede » Mon Mar 04, 2013 4:11 pm

As far as I can tell a good instrument holds most of its price and is relatively easy to sell. I think though, now I know more about these things, that if I was buying a new instrument I would get it from a luthier where I could visit and try out instruments, rather than order it from someone I'd never met. When I bought mine I was working full time and I hadn't the energy or the free time to go and see people and try things out and so I just ordered one unseen. Also I'm very shy and was embarassed by buying an instrument I had no idea how to play and I didn't know how i would go about talking to a maker. The first one I got just didn't do anything for me. There was nothing wrong with it, but I somehow wasn't able to make it mine. That wouldn't have happened if I'd been able to talk to the luthier and try out instruments.
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Re: Just joined

Postby The_RealScott » Mon Mar 04, 2013 10:27 pm

Gallopede wrote:if I was buying a new instrument I would get it from a luthier where I could visit and try out instruments, rather than order it from someone I'd never met.


Unfortunately, that's not really an option for me. As far as I can tell, there are only 2 people in Australia that build them... only is about 800km north by road, and one is about 800km south, across about 500km of open sea!
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Re: Just joined

Postby Gallopede » Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:09 am

While the distance wasn't as great, that was very much my problem too. The first maker I bought from was several hundred miles away. I don't drive and I was working long hours. The second maker was slightly nearer, but I still just got the instrument effectively by mail order and it was just luck it suited me. In retrospect I think I should have contacted a number of makers by phone and discussed options. I know some people borrow instruments. It might be possible to get an instrument demonstrated over a video link. Individual hurdy gurdies are very different from each other and they are very personal things. You're going to sit and hug your hurdy gurdy for hours, so you need to be pretty sure you're going to love it!
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