Jump to content


Photo

Ec Bellows Use And Reinforcement?


  • Please log in to reply
46 replies to this topic

#19 Wolf Molkentin

Wolf Molkentin

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2730 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baltic coast, Schleswig-Holstein

Posted 15 December 2017 - 09:59 AM

Don,

 

I will certainly not let her down but get her back to playing order. As I'm very reluctant of replacing the beautiful bellows and my impromptu repairs are not all too uneffective, I will first have to replace the valves once again, using more suitable leather this time (and then see what I can make of the instrument now).

 

However, the Wheatstone is in need of replacement valves (particularly in the higher register) even more then the Excelsior ever was (prior to the unsuccessful replacing, I should say), so I might get me two full sets and approach them one after the other.

 

In the outcome regarding the Excelsior I hope to achieve a reliable back-up instrument and an extra voice for slower tunes which will benefit from the lovely tone. It's just that I will have to accomplish my treatment of the Wheatstone first. However, I'm in fact musing about sending the Excelsior away to a professional as she's no longer the only one at hand (but would have to raise another amount of cash first then).

 

Best wishes - Wolf


Edited by Wolf Molkentin, 15 December 2017 - 10:13 AM.


#20 d.elliott

d.elliott

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1236 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England

Posted 15 December 2017 - 01:43 PM

Everything is great, except neck straps (unless you want to suffer terrible pain later in life) and note against fanning out the bellows. Fanning will safe your bellows folds in like new condition for years with fanning. 

 

Neck pain in later life?, depends on the strap, It is no different to hanging a heavy SLR Camera round your neck. I have never met anyone my age who can attribute an arthritic neck to a concertina on a strap when a lad. However you are right that there is a risk so if I am asked to fit neck strap mountings I tend to suggest using a broad camera strap.

 

Dave



#21 Bubo

Bubo

    Member

  • Members
  • PipPip
  • 15 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:USA

Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:11 PM

Hi, I hope I'm not getting slightly off topic but I was wondering if someone could answer two questions for me! Is playing with the bellows over the knee sometimes used to get a kind of "percussivey" sound? Also, I don't know much about the various systems, but I've noticed lots of musicians on these forums play EC. What are the differences between EC and Anglo? 



#22 Wolf Molkentin

Wolf Molkentin

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2730 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baltic coast, Schleswig-Holstein

Posted 15 December 2017 - 02:22 PM

As to the "percussivey" sound I seem to recall Robert Harbron making such a claim. However the kind of extra bounce I would wish to apply I get from bumping with the supporting knee.

Best wishes - Wolf

#23 harpomatic

harpomatic

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 145 posts

Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:48 PM

 the kind of extra bounce I would wish to apply I get from bumping with the supporting knee.

Best wishes - Wolf

Yep, tango style. Also, on a much "smaller" scale, I occasionally get the kind of raspy chirp of a note, don't know what you call it. I hear Irish players do it in a pretty controlled, intentional way, while I only get it once in a while. It seems that traditional concertina reeds lend themselves to that sound a bit more readily...



#24 harpomatic

harpomatic

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 145 posts

Posted 15 December 2017 - 06:52 PM

What are the differences between EC and Anglo? 

to put it simply, one is a bit more of a concertina than another...



#25 m3838

m3838

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2650 posts

Posted 15 December 2017 - 09:46 PM

 

Everything is great, except neck straps (unless you want to suffer terrible pain later in life) and note against fanning out the bellows. Fanning will safe your bellows folds in like new condition for years with fanning. 

 

Neck pain in later life?, depends on the strap, It is no different to hanging a heavy SLR Camera round your neck. I have never met anyone my age who can attribute an arthritic neck to a concertina on a strap when a lad. However you are right that there is a risk so if I am asked to fit neck strap mountings I tend to suggest using a broad camera strap.

 

Dave

 

Tell you what, the modality of body work that I studied is called "Neuro-muscular Reprogramming". It's a difficult approach, the top notch. I didn't master it, but was on the way.

When you see a client, you begin asking questions and guess what? Many current problems do seem to stem from events long gone. Neck is unfortunately the most common cause for people to seek attention of a body worker, often after years of medical treatments. I have never seen a case, not involving the neck, my luck, as neck is the most difficult to work with. You can experience lots of problem: breathing, eye sight, jaw pain etc. stemming from your concertina neck strap.



#26 Don Taylor

Don Taylor

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1151 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Ontario, Canada

Posted 15 December 2017 - 09:47 PM

 

What are the differences between EC and Anglo? 

to put it simply, one is a bit more of a concertina than another...

 

Err no, definately not true, but you were smart enough not to name which system is a bit more of a concertina than the other.  You obviously like to start fights!

 

Briefly:

 

Notes played on an EC are the same on the push and the pull whereas on an Anglo you get a dfferent note in each direction. 

 

On an EC notes alternate between the left and right hand as you play a scale, on an Anglo higher notes are all on the RHS and lower notes on the LHS.  On an Anglo you can usually play a scale using one hand pushing and pulling for different notes.

 

A 'typical' Anglo has 30 buttons, 15 on each side while a typical EC has 48 buttons, 24 on each side.  However, because of having differing notes on the push and on the pull, the typical Anglo actually has a larger range than the typical EC.  There are many variations from the typical for both types of concertina.

 

While both are chromatic instruments, the EC is more systematic in its approach and has all of the accidentals within its range.  The Anglo may have missing  accidentals in some octaves.  The Anglo was originally designed as a diatonic instrument and the additional accidentals were added as an afterthought later in a separate row.

 

(Gross generalization). If you see someone using sheet music then they are probably playing an EC - the notes on the staff map consistently to the buttons on an EC.  The Anglo appeals to ear players as it is easy to pick out diatonic tunes using buttons along one row of the concertina.

 

(Another gross generalization).  The EC is more suited to playing smooth legato music while the Anglo is more at home with bouncy, dance type music.

 

I am glad that you did not also ask about duet concertinas...

 

If you are not sure what type of concertina you want then the usual advice is to observe what kind of concertina is used to play the music that you like and start with that type. This is good advice, but some folks find that their brain is pre-wired for the Anglo (the push pull does not feel weird) and some for the EC (the alternating hands does not feel weird) and you may not know how your brain works until you try both systems for a while.



#27 harpomatic

harpomatic

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 145 posts

Posted 16 December 2017 - 12:15 AM

[quote name="Don Taylor" post="186856" timestamp="1513392461"][quote name="harpomatic" post="186853" timestamp="1513381976"]
[quote name="Bubo" post="186846" timestamp="1513365092"]
What are the differences between EC and Anglo?
[/quote]
to put it simply, one is a bit more of a concertina than another...
[/quote]
Err no, definately not true, but you were smart enough not to name which system is a bit more of a concertina than the other.  You obviously like to start fights!
 
As one wise man said,"concertina is not just for decoration, it is an instrument of attack and defense against an enemy"...
Seriously, Don - great summary of the main differences and similarities, I was overwhelmed with both, simplicity and complexity of the question.

#28 Anglo-Irishman

Anglo-Irishman

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1492 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Near Stuttgart, Germany

Posted 16 December 2017 - 10:00 AM

 

Yep, tango style.

 

harpo,

I take it you mean "Bandoneon style," because piano and violin technique aren't so relevant in this discussion.

 

I may be stating the obvious, but bear in mind that the Bandonoen and the EC are about as far apart as you can get on the concertina spectrum. They're a different size for a start, so they're different weights. One is square in section, the other hex- or octagonal. One has hand-straps, one has thumb-straps. One is bisonoric, the other monosonoric. One has a lot more buttons than the other. One has an air-valve, the other hasn't.

 

The characteristics of the Bandoneon are interdependent. It is big and heavy because it has so many reeds - up to 146 in a full-sized one.

 

This means that it must almost inevitably be played on the lap. For this reason, it has metal wear-protectors on the corners of the bellows folds (and the traditional German square shape means a larger area in contact with the players clothing, so less concentrated wear).

 

An essential part of any bisonoric bellows instrument is the air-valve, and the Bandoneon has a much more efficient one than the Anglo. Part of the reason for this is the sheer mass of the ends, which inhibits bellows reversals, making it easier to play legato passages all on the press or all on the draw. So a Bandonoenista has to be able to gulp air between phrases, much as a woodwind player does. And the Bandonoen's air-valve admits a lot of air, quickly and quietly.

 

Further, the aforesaid mass, combined with the necessary freedom of the right thumb to activate the air lever, and of the pinkies to press outlying buttons, makes hand-straps and palm-rests the only viable way of working the bellows.

 

All this adds up to the availability of a technique that provides emphasis by "breaking the bellows over your knee" on the draw. The draw, in this case, is not only outwards, but partially downwards, so the weight of the ends adds to the force applied to the handstraps, which can be considerable in itself. And all this without seriously wearing the bottom of the reinforced bellows.

 

Now, what about emphatic use of the EC bellows?

 

Cheers,

John



#29 harpomatic

harpomatic

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 145 posts

Posted 16 December 2017 - 02:09 PM

John, my use of bandoneons, based on the observations of its use by others, confirms all your statements. Appart from the bellows wear, it seems that most of the techniques are related and are transferable, though on a much smaller scale, as in the example of "breaking" over the knee on the draw. I find that a light stomp of the foot accomplishes what the heavier stomp does in case of bandoneon. I read all the discussions about "anemic" use of bellows on EC, vs Anglo, possibly attributed to the unisonoric nature of the instrument and strongly disagree with that view, particularly due to my observations of tango bandoneonistas, who prefer to play on the draw. In effect, such use renders it to be a unisonoric, in practice, yet there is no shortage of drama and expressiveness in this style of playing. I attribute possible lack of "emphatic" bellows' use in EC to music that is most often played:sweet, genteel, nostalgic, sounds of the pre rock-n-roll era. Not much blues, not much jazz either. Whatever jazz I have heard is not really jazz, but rather are jazz standards, played in most "un-jazzy" ways (rehersed, prearranged, unimprovised). The issue is somewhat related to the lack of mass popularity that concertinas once enjoyed: it (concertina) has an image/sound of the times passed, which is attractive to some people (like all of us here), these same people are also attracted to music of the times long gone - as a result, its a catch 22. The concertina is an antiquated instrument that is good for antiquated music, which we all play. Its cute, but no new ground is broken, no new music is being played on the instrument, music that would to some degree capture the times that changed since the beginning of 20th century. Hey, we're gaining up on the first quarter of the 21 century by now. Doesn't have to be that way, look at violin - centuries-old technology doing fine in the world of rock, jazz, fusion, etc... A similar fate occured to pedal steel guitar - a super advanced technology, yet the instrument is somehow typecast as an outdated country thing. As such it attracts a limited number of players that are into this sound and style, but no mass appeal. Guys like Robert Randolf are breaking new ground, in terms of other styles, and although his playing techniques are actually much more simple than most country pros normally employ, the guy singlehandedly has done more for the mass appeal of the instrument than generations of (highly accomplished) players before him, by playing funky, dancy, rocky and overall modern music for younger crowds. Where's such a figure among concertina players (and I mean all types of concertinas, hey, lets throw in all free reeds, with the exception of harmonica)?

#30 m3838

m3838

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2650 posts

Posted 16 December 2017 - 02:54 PM

Very good points. I'd add that as a result no new improvements for the EC are thought of and implemented. So the discussion about the "new" ergonomic handles is welcome. Perhaps the handle as they are presented are in need of much more thought, but outright dismissal is not even funny.
I'd disagree with you about accordions. It's a somewhat ethno/geo-centric point of view. Accordions are pretty hot in most of the world except, perhaps, US, thanks to Lawrence Welk show, which portraited it in such an outdated view. But in those places, where the show is unknown, there is no stigma.
Funning the bellows is a standart in all professional playing, because it provides needed stability and rigidity to the otherwise wobbly instrument. Read all the accordion tutors, talk to teachers or professional players, you'll get the same answer. lack of proper concertina technique I'd attribute to the lack of professional school, producing top notch music. But all of these hase been discussed in the past, I'm surprised these issues are still being pondered at. Coming back to forum seems like coming back in time.

#31 Wolf Molkentin

Wolf Molkentin

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2730 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baltic coast, Schleswig-Holstein

Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:19 PM

I really don't get the pressure on those not agreeing here, m3838. Why should this go away simply with the years? Others may fan there bellows back and forth, leaves me still feeling free to use them the way it seems to suit my music. Seriously!

And "harpomatic", I absolutely agree, let's see what can be done!

#32 Anglo-Irishman

Anglo-Irishman

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1492 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Near Stuttgart, Germany

Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:24 PM

I read all the discussions about "anemic" use of bellows on EC, vs Anglo, possibly attributed to the unisonoric nature of the instrument and strongly disagree with that view, particularly due to my observations of tango bandoneonistas, who prefer to play on the draw. In effect, such use renders it to be a unisonoric, in practice, yet there is no shortage of drama and expressiveness in this style of playing.

I would submit that a Bandoneonista playing predominantly on the draw is not "degrading" his instrument to monosonority - he is exploiting its bisonority! It is precisely because the Bandoneon is bisonoric that it has an air-valve. And this allows the player to play a longish phrase on the draw, close the bellows quickly (like a flautist drawing breath), and play the next phrase on the draw again.

With a unisonoric instrument like the EC, with no air valve, you just can't do that. At best, you can identify phrases that would benefit from being played on the draw, and manage your bellows in the lead-up to such a phrase in such a way that the phrase starts with the bellows closed. But the next phrase will have to be on the press.

 

I think there's no getting round the fact that many genres - particularly in popular music - are formed by the instruments typically used in the area they come from. Irish hornpipes are definitely fiddle-tunes; musette waltzes are typically accordion music; singer-songwriter music is typically guitar music; ragtime is typically piano music. You can try to play pieces from these genres on other instruments - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.

 

You wanna play Victorian parlour music? Take your EC. Wanna play tango? take your Bandoneon. Wanna play pop music? Take your e-guitar ...

 

Cheers,

John



#33 Wolf Molkentin

Wolf Molkentin

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2730 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baltic coast, Schleswig-Holstein

Posted 16 December 2017 - 03:28 PM

John, as to push and draw, you're having it absolutely right. But hey, why not (apart from that) try to push (pun deliberate) the boundaries!?

Best wishes - Wolf

#34 harpomatic

harpomatic

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 145 posts

Posted 16 December 2017 - 04:34 PM

John, what they do on bandoneon (which is exactly as you described), is to avoid a bellows reversal, because as you know, all the notes are there on push and pull. In effect, they are playing despite its bisonoric layout, avoiding taking advantage of its bisonoric nature. (They are doing it only to avoid learning two fingerings for everything, instead of one. I don't believe in any inherent extra expressiveness of the pull vs. push. Different, but not less or more expressive. The instrument is being played as a unisonoric one, at least as much as possible. I know, not by all, but by most, and true - only in tango tradition, but.... Definitely states a good case for those old single action bass ECs...
Ps. About appropriate styles on appropriate instruments:I, both agree and disagree. Agree that if one is seeking a specific, let's even call it "traditional" sound, for personal reasons (say, you just want to play Hendrix on Eg, that sound... or a rock band is missing their lead guitarist - I wouldn't propose to fill the role on my concertina... Though I may mention that pedal steel can do all that and more, kind of stretch the boundaries, when appropriate. Which gently ;) leads me to a disagreement:once you, as an artist begin stretching your boundaries, there's no limit really. Those that play more than one instrument know the distinct pleasure that interpreting any piece of music via different instrument brings. And from there on - there is only more of that. I am finding my way into EC via chords of the songs I already know, like Hendrix' , so far my only English folk consists of 1 song by Pink Floyd and another is a Beatles tune... (modern folk - stuff that everyone knows and loves)
Edited to add: sometimes when I play that Beatles song, I have a reoccurring thought "they could've written it on EC".. I am sure they didn't. It just lays out so well and sounds so... English.

Edited by harpomatic, 16 December 2017 - 05:04 PM.


#35 Wolf Molkentin

Wolf Molkentin

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 2730 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Baltic coast, Schleswig-Holstein

Posted 16 December 2017 - 04:58 PM

same here with "my" Beatles song (which I'm taking a bit slower these days however).

Edited by Wolf Molkentin, 16 December 2017 - 05:10 PM.


#36 harpomatic

harpomatic

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 145 posts

Posted 16 December 2017 - 05:37 PM

Absolutely, although what you are doing is pretty complex, I think it's further proof of some misconceptions about the layout: you are playing it in a very "duet" style. I heard little bit of your playing before, and know I am not the first to note that. So, how about that idea of EC not being as "duet" as the Duet? I also find EC to be super duet - capable, it seems to be perfect for that:hands are independantly mirrored in just the right places, just where you want them to be, octave-wise. To me, it seems that the duet, being an "improved design of english concertina" is just an attempt at that - to improve the design for those that find the split hand layout bothersome, as opposed to the ones that see a split hand layout as an advantage. One is not in fact any less or more "duet - capable" than the other. Separate melody+accompaniment isn't easy to do in either case, I hear some people still find it hard to walk and talk at the same time...




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users