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What Would You Have Done Different?


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#1 Voomy

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Posted 20 December 2016 - 10:02 PM

that's the question for any serious concertina player.

 

 

its a more serious question than this but ill answer:

 

don't buy a cheap instrument for a starter. you'll stop before you start



#2 BW77

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 03:27 AM

This is supposed to be an ergonomics section...is there something in particular you think of ..."different" ? Or are you just searching for a beginner's strategy for the first instrument? "Cheap" may be many things.... Buying a brand new, expensive, object mostly means that the second hand value is less...while If you buy a second hand object and may get your money back everything is "cheap" if you can afford the investment. The important factor ought to be that the instrument works allright and even seemingly "cheap" ones may do so. About your initial question......who is "serious"? and about what? What may C Wheatstone and others almost 200 years ago have done "different" if living today? Not much has changed with their concertinas....



#3 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 08:56 AM

Are you confusing ergonomics and economics, voomy?

 

Ergonomics is the field of optimising how humans interact with machinery. 

 

Having said that, if you don't have any experience of the mechanics of any instrument, it's best to get one that works perfectly, cheap or not. 

 

I don't subscribe to the notion that paying more means you get more. You still need to be vigilant when you buy, and either give something a good try-out, or buy cheap enough that you can afford a bit of servicing to get everything working well.


Edited by Patrick McMahon, 21 December 2016 - 08:56 AM.


#4 BW77

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Posted 21 December 2016 - 11:07 AM

Ergonomics is the field of optimising how humans interact with machinery. 

 

I don't oppose to that at all but I think it may be more. I believe ergonomics today includes all aspects of *work* , also the mental sides even though brain activity is no *work* from a physical viewpoint, and thus not necessarily interaction with machinery, but for our part we certainly got a *machine* to deal with and I fully agree that the mechanical side of all squeezeboxes is of crucial importance when searching for an instrument to play. The conversations in these forums reveal that. Are there any other musical instruments seemingly calling for so much interest among the users how to *fix* things??? Or do concertinas particularly attract "fixers" ? There are some 1500-2000 parts in them and lots of screws....so that may be tempting...:-)



#5 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 08:50 AM

Since an erg is a unit of work, that sounds good.

 

I think that the fixing thing is down to the fact that, as you say, there are a lot of moving parts, and also, there are a lot of old but good instruments out there that are worth fixing.



#6 Alan Day

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Posted 22 December 2016 - 05:32 PM

I started with a Hohner large white button CG and I had it for about two years playing it for Morris Dancing .You can still pick them up cheaply now. At that time it cost me ten quid. There is a lot you can do on a Twenty button instrument . The only reason I moved on to a more expensive concertina ,my next one was a Jones thirty buttons ,was that the Hohner was not fast enough, or provided me with as many chord options as I wanted. Only then after I was absolutely certain that a concertina was the instrument for me did I go for a Jeffries CG which I still have

I have never changed my mind about that progression.

Al



#7 BW77

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 01:35 AM

I started with a Hohner large white button CG ,,,,,,,. There is a lot you can do on a Twenty button instrument . The only reason I moved on to a more expensive concertina ,......,was that the Hohner was not fast enough, or provided me with as many chord options as I wanted. Only then after I was absolutely certain that a concertina was the instrument for me did I go for a Jeffries CG which I still have

I have never changed my mind about that progression.

Al

Do I get you right meaning that it is all right ( or rather smart) starting with a simple/cheapish instrument with somewhat limited resources? Of course it can't be too bad mechanically - that would obstruct learning - but as a beginner you can not use the potential of a top class instrument anyway and there is a lot you can do with 20 keys indeed, 

 

The (large) button issue is a riddle however. People mostly associate large buttons with cheap instruments and history may say so but why? My guess is that initially-  when using the same drilling pattern for the endplates - cheap line instruments - with no bushings in button holes - might have the same endplate hole diameter as expensive instruments - with bushed button holes - but for these they had to choose leaner buttons of course. Or why do more expensive instruments  have less comfortable buttons??

You can also compare with the very early rectangular Wheatstone Duett model with quite large buttons.

Everyone, like You Alan, who has tried large button German instruments must admit that they are a lot more comfortable and there can hardly be any disadvantage with that....or? Possibly for the maker?  - but for the player?



#8 Jody Kruskal

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 02:47 AM

So Voomie, what are you playing on?

 

My thoughts are that if you get a piece of junk you will not be happy, so what's the point of that? Still... good music can be made on a crummy instrument even though it will be breaking soon and often, or be hard to play and that causes frustration, especially for beginners.

 

If you get a decent 20 or 30 button instrument (likely many hundreds or even a few thousand dollars) you can learn on it.

If you get a new fancy instrument for many thousands you will know that problems in playing it are not with the concertina itself.

If you get a vintage instrument you might have to learn to fix it as well as play it but there is great pleasure to be had in the old sound and playing an antique.

 

I have a few great players and a few instruments that are not so good... old or new, I enjoy them all. They all feel different and the good ones are much more fun to play.

 

BUT... when recording them and listening back, it's hard to tell them apart... so I'm tempted to think that for a listener, they all sound pretty much the same with only slight differences between them in how they sound. Though this seems true for the instruments, each player I've heard sounds completely different, regardless of what they are playing on.

 

My conclusion? Practice more and don't worry too much about the concertina you are playing. Musicianship trumps equipment every time.

 

Oh yes... also for beginners and intermediate players, hire a good teacher and pay them lots of $ to save you gobs of time as you try to figure things out.


Edited by Jody Kruskal, 23 December 2016 - 03:30 AM.


#9 Patrick McMahon

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Posted 23 December 2016 - 11:17 AM

BW77, I agree completely about the buttons. 

When you watch a good player play the melodeon, you just know that there is no advantage to the player with small buttons. 

 

To the manufacturer, small buttons are less likely to jam I suppose, and fitting them into a small area doesn't leave the end plate too weak. And there's the problem of consistency. Some instruments have too many buttons, to allow for big ones.

So you wouldn't have consistent button sizes across the range, if you fitted big buttons in the more basic models.



#10 BW77

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Posted 24 December 2016 - 07:45 AM

BW77, I agree completely about the buttons. 
When you watch a good player play the melodeon, you just know that there is no advantage to the player with small buttons. 
 
To the manufacturer, small buttons are less likely to jam I suppose, and fitting them into a small area doesn't leave the end plate too weak. And there's the problem of consistency. Some instruments have too many buttons, to allow for big ones.
So you wouldn't have consistent button sizes across the range, if you fitted big buttons in the more basic models.

Yes,certainly the trad construction raises some obstacles against wider buttons but I see no major problems making some minor modifications that might admit a more comfortable button design in most models.

#11 ceemonster

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Posted 02 March 2017 - 10:24 PM

I'm going to throw two cents in support of the OP's original post.  Because just as the personal can be political, so can economics be ergonomics.   And "Exhibit A" of that principle might be, the cheap concertina.  Many such concertinas by virtue of their very shoddiness, have dreadful ergonomics.  And due to their dreadful ergonomics, might discourage one from playing due to discomfort or sheer disgust with the whole enterprise.  I've seen at least one master player/teacher from Ireland quoted as advising starters not to begin with one of these precisely because it can injure your tendons. 






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