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How do your hand rest while playing the Anglo


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#1 Hasse

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 02:46 PM

Hello! Been lurking round concertina.net on and off for ages now reading lots of nice threads. Not many Anglo players round here in south of Sweden, so it's great to be able to consult this forum with loads of information. But can't keep on lurking I guess, so here is a question I can't find any answer to.

I’ve been wondering how the lots of you rest your hand on the hand bar/rest while playing your AC?

I find I often end up playing with the hand rested near the little finger and only slightly up by the index finger, in-between the hand is not touching the hand bar at all. I got rather long fingers and been experimenting with different heights on the hand bar, but always end up raising the mid part of the hand away from the bar otherwise it gets uncomfortable. My fingers often starts to pain if the hand is strapped to close to the hand bar.

For a while I’ve been borrowing a clacking and rather slow Lachenal, But now I’ve ordered a A P James concertina that doesn’t arrives until April. I ordered the AP James with a hand bar height (25 mm) only slightly higher than standard (20 mm), since my hand anyway will curve away from the hand bar even if the bar was higher. But maybe that was a mistake, maybe I should have ordered a higher hand bar after all… ?

Well well, until April I’m unfortunately stuck with a Chinese concertina, it's descent sounding, makes my fingers hurt and I just have to keep changing broken springs and look for air leaks all the time, so I guess I could do some more experimenting… Longing for April – springtime and a new concertina!!! B)

Edited by Hasse, 25 October 2011 - 03:06 PM.


#2 JimLucas

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Posted 25 October 2011 - 05:00 PM

Not many Anglo players round here in south of Sweden....

In Skåne?

Not thousands, but maybe more than you think? And I'm just on the other side of Öresund/Øresund.

What sort(s) of music do you play? Swedish? Irish? Other?

If you're into in Irish music, you should head for Mejeriet in Lund tomorrow night tonight (Wednesday). No concertina on the program, but fine singing and tunes, and a good place to make contacts. (Might even be a concertina player in the audience, but I'm not sure.) I won't be there, but that's because 1) I have a prior commitment, and 2) I've already seen them twice on this side of the water and might even see them again on Saturday. :)

And though my schedule is very tight these days, I could at least try to meet you at some point to see first hand what you're struggling with and maybe offer some suggestions. I'll email you.

Edited by JimLucas, 25 October 2011 - 05:13 PM.


#3 Hasse

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 05:32 AM

Davs Jim! Yes, I live in Skåne. I'm in fact going to Lund to night and I've been thinking hard about going to the Cathal McConnell trio concert, but I need to be in better playing form myself, so instead I'm of to play with "Lunds Spelmansgille". Sometimes cloning would be nice!

I play mainly Scandinavian music Swedish and Danish, on melodeon, double bass and more frequently now a days on the AC. When I was yonger living in DK and Gothenburg (Göteborg) I attempted to played ITM for a period, and I was never any good at it. But I still very much enjoy listening to ITM! But I guess my anglo style of playing is rather like the Irish style, more melody than chord playing.

The Chinese "no name" concertina might in fact be nicer to my fingers than the Lachenal? Haven't really realised it until last night after posting. Now I'm only resting the hand down by the little finger. Maybe a more normal hand approach when playing the Anglo? Hmm, Maybe I'm just starting to grow of a bad habbit got playing the Lachenal!?!

And though my schedule is very tight these days, I could at least try to meet you at some point to see first hand what you're struggling with and maybe offer some suggestions. I'll email you.

Thanks a lot Jim! And I know all about tight schedules, never enough time these days!! I'll have a look at your email! :)

Edited by Hasse, 26 October 2011 - 05:33 AM.


#4 MarkvN

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 10:26 AM

Hi Hasse,
Having rather long fingers myself, I know what you are talking about. How a concertina holds does not only depend on the height of the hand bar, but also on the distance between hand bar and buttons. In that sense, you might be allright with your AP James.

I also had the problem that only the lower part of the hand rested on the wood, while the upper part was hoovering in the air. After reading some on this forum and experimenting with foam tube (used to isolate radiotors), I built myself two wooden hand bars that fit neatly over the original ones. No changes to the instrument, and easily removable! I do get the occasional remark about my 'prothesis', but I am quite happy with them. They are curved - higher near the thumb than the pinky, so they solve two issues in one (hand height and position).

An additional advantage - in my opinion - is that my hands are fixed between hand bars and straps, which gives me more control over the instrument, although initially I felt that it was impossible to reach the buttons that way.
Cheers,
Mark

#5 Hasse

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 02:28 PM

Thank you Mark, really good ideas! :)
I'm off playing tomorrow and thought I would test to move the hand bars a bit back, wouldn't any harm to drill extra holes in that Chinese concertina anyway. So I drilled new holes and reattached the hand bars, which gave me 8 mm more space, and what a big improvement. Really great! Didn't imagine it would be that big a difference. I could use just some extra millimetres, but not enough space and reaching the air button would also be a problem.

I'm certainly going to play the concertina much more tomorrow than usually, just hope this concertina will stand for it. :P

#6 MarkvN

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 02:43 AM

Hi Hasse,
My pleasure!
As you say, a few millimeters difference between hand bars and buttons makes a big difference. I noticed this when playing other peoples concertina.
One small precaution: moving the hand bars does change the weight balance of the instrument. If you ever intend to (learn to) play standing, you may want to test what effect it has.
Cheers,
Mark




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