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English Concertina Finger Rest Discomfort


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#19 RossDubois

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Posted 12 January 2018 - 11:03 PM

Dave, 

In the case of my concertina's finger rests, there seems to be evidence of previous leather installation. While the rests look predominantly to be nickle, I cannot say for sure that they truly are, and certainly do not look as good as photos of nickle rests that I have seen. There are some discolored areas that almost look like brass and other areas that look like filed solder. Though, I really cannot tell. What I can say though is that they arent especially attractive, even after giving one a good polish. I can attest to the fact that if anything, their plating job is a bit inconsistent or incomplete, whatever the case may be. I'll take some photos when I can. Im glad to hear that Im not alone in feeling some awkwardness from the bit of overhang. I may just pad it as Kenneads suggested, the idea of which is further supported by your testimony


JimLucas,

Thank you so much for the details of your post. The information youve provided is very interesting, especially considering how 'inconsistent' each concertinas attributes, in regards to the rest, are. Perhaps this is a testament to how commonplace customization was on a per customer basis? 
I also find your description of how you hold the concertina very useful. The details do provide me a basis of comparison when analyzing my own grip.
Ive got very skinny fingers and have come from playing guitar, piano and ocarina for my entire life, which are all very different in terms of grip, so even though Id say I have a very standard hold on the concertina, the ridge has proven itself rather uncomfortable. Im not applying a lot of pressure, its just that my bones are just a hair away from the metal! my nerves are a bit too close to the edge for comfort, so I think Id benefit from some padding, though the thought of bandaging my finger every time Id play for extended periods of time, as suggested by Geoff, sounds reasonably inconvenient, though I appreciate the suggestion.  

That said, Geoff; its interesting that youd say that these such examples of lachenals apparently did not have leather originally. It appears as though mine may have at some point in time due to some remaining 'evidence' in the form of dark materials and fibers upon removing the rest. As I said above, Ill post some pictures soon when I can so you guys can tell me what Im looking at. I can imagine they might improve the players grip, but for me Id sooner have the friction and padding of leather than experience the metal lip digging into my skin.

All in all, Id prefer to get to a point with my playing where I do not need to use the finger rest for support at all. At the moment Ive been working off of videos ive seen on youtube, closely studying folks the like of Wim Wakker to see how often the little finger moves out of the rest for utilization. Honestly Ive enjoyed the support system of wrist straps on my anglo moreso, but I think I just need to grow more accustomed to how the EC's support really feels.



#20 JimLucas

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 04:44 AM

Honestly Ive enjoyed the support system of wrist straps on my anglo....


Once again I must wonder, do people really consider the back of their hand to be part of their "wrist"? That strap goes across the concealed inner bones of the fingers.  Those bones do connect to what I'm used to calling the "wrist", but the strap is positioned a significant distance from that joint.

 

Meanwhile, some English concertinas are fitted with actual wrist straps, which are quite different in both location and function from the hand straps of anglos and duets.



#21 RossDubois

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 11:39 AM

Ah that was definitely a misnomer on my end. Too many new terms for me, all blending together. Hand straps they are. They’re not actually tethered to my wrist in any way

#22 JimLucas

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 01:22 PM

Ah that was definitely a misnomer on my end. Too many new terms for me, all blending together. Hand straps they are. They’re not actually tethered to my wrist in any way

 

 

FWIW, lots of people seem to call them "wrist straps".  I can only guess that it's because after the first misuse, folks just repeat what they heard someone else say, without thinking about what the words might mean if examined independently.



#23 David Barnert

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Posted 13 January 2018 - 08:42 PM

Rule of “thumb”: If the thumb goes through it with the rest of the hand, it’s a wrist strap. If the thumb doesn’t go through it (but the other four fingers do), it’s a hand strap.

 

You EC players with thumb straps, you’re on your own.



#24 JimLucas

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Posted 14 January 2018 - 03:26 AM

Rule of “thumb”: If the thumb goes through it with the rest of the hand, it’s a wrist strap. If the thumb doesn’t go through it (but the other four fingers do), it’s a hand strap.

 

You EC players with thumb straps, you’re on your own.

 

In any case, we concertina players are all strapping lads and lasses.



#25 Myrtle's cook

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 10:06 AM

Returning to ridges/flanges etc....

 

Following on from Jim Lucas's survey of instruments, I took a look at the little finger rests on my concertinas. I noticed that on my Aeola 'pinhole' treble EC (no. 21477), the rests are a further variant where the metal is thinnned towards the outer edge or chamfered. This appears to have been done at the time of manufacture. Until I noticed it I had not been aware of any particular difference it makes to my playing. On reflection it does enable rather freer movement of my little finger as the remaining fingers wander across the keys - particularly when compared to another rest with the flange/ridge.

 

I wonder if this form, the plain form and the flanged/ridged form are little more than examples of the areas of choice manufacturers offered for their better instruments in the late C19th-earlier C20th?

Attached Thumbnails

  • EC Pinhole finger rest.jpg

Edited by Myrtle's cook, 15 January 2018 - 10:07 AM.


#26 RossDubois

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 03:30 PM

Ah interesting. That seems much more comfortable to me, personally.
This sort of bevel seems to encourage the potential for slipping, if it were to occur, but a design oversight seems unlikely considering it is part of on an already well engineered concertina. There must always be a logical reason, shouldn’t there?

#27 JimLucas

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Posted 15 January 2018 - 03:41 PM

There must always be a logical reason, shouldn’t there?

 

I will once again remind everyone that true logic is a method for deriving conclusions from assumptions, but it cannot prove that the initial assumptions are valid.  ;)

 

(Logic can, in some cases, demonstrate that assumptions are inconsistent and that therefore at least one must be wrong, but even then, logic alone cannot determine which is/are wrong.)






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