The Neanderthal's modification of the pinky rests of his EC has proved a great success. The inability to hold the instrument properly with his lumpish hands was really holding him back and causing frustration, but now he finds playing the EC much easier than before. As such, he is making fairly good progress. He now can play about 20 tunes reasonably well and has several of them memorized. He is focusing on tunes he's heard all his life although he's also dabbled with a few that he's heard recently and likes. At some point, I might make a recording of one of these.
The more I play the EC, the more I like it. And I've finally gotten the hang of the alien treble clef, and remembered how to sight-read, so have been playing all kinds of stuff. If I like how it sounds on the EC, I add it to my list and then play it regularly. Sheet music that's black with long runs of quavers and semis used to intimidate me but it seems the EC was designed especially to play such things, at least now that I can get a proper grip on it. Just let the fingers do the walking in many cases, without really having to think about where the notes are. And I've even started to be able to improvise a tiny bit thanks to knowing where the various tones are in relation to each other.
The physical manipulation of the EC isn't the only skill I'm having to learn. I've had to learn ABC notation, how to write in it, and how to use various software to manipulate it. But it's worth it for the sheer utility and convenience. Where has ABC been hiding all my life? And also, I've had to learn the European language of music. All this talk of quavers and such. There's at least as much difference between US and Brit musical terminology as there is between their car terminology . Who knew? Music being so mathematical, I figured everybody used the same names for the same elements. Oh well, life is full of surprises. In any case, so far I've found that learning the EC is as much a mental as a physical challenge.
I think the main reason I'll record myself playing next time is to get some feedback on volume. I find that I need more bellows force to make the notes on both the high and low ends of the EC's range sound the same volume as those in the middle, and I get the impression from reading this forum that this is somewhat common. However, I especially have to force the high-end notes and that raises a question. I've got a lot of high-frequency hearing loss from a war and a lifetime around loud machinery so I'm wondering how much of this extra effort on the high end is a real thing and how much is just that I'm deaf? IOW, when I play so all notes have the same volume to me, do I make the higher notes too loud for everybody else?
Was surprised to see you compare the English concertina to the harmonica, as the note structure of the Anglo seems the closer relative. But I suppose since you were referring to the sound, that may be all in how you have heard it played. Certainly the English has an easier time offering up a blues harmony than a simple Anglo can, but I haven't often heard an English concertina played that way. Would like to!
I would agree that the Anglo does compare with accordion (or melodeon) and also noticed your entry offering a Cajun tune. Will comment on that thread separately, but I enjoy playing Cajun tunes on my Anglo.
I look forward to your comments on Cajun music and hope you post up some tunes. It's hard to find such stuff online.
I was talking about the sound of the different types of concertinas. Sure, harmonicas are genetically/functionally closer to Anglos than ECs because their tones change depending on which way the wind's blowing. However, when listening to them, accordions are always playing chords/unisons because they always have multiple reeds going at once. While this is quite easy to do with the harmonica as well, often you don't want to, so I associate harmonicas with the sound of a single reed, the way an EC sounds. But with Anglos, I often hear multiple reeds at once, whether this is by accident or design.
Edited by Bullethead, 24 October 2015 - 01:18 PM.