Jump to content


Photo

Air Intake And Expel Help Sounds Stupid But...


5 replies to this topic

#1 darticus

darticus

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 256 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SPARTA NJ

Posted 31 January 2017 - 06:06 PM

Wondered if its trial and error or is there a method to when you add air or expel air with the concertina? It seems to be a problem to fit it in between the music notes. Maybe you just have to practice air in air out during playing. Is there any suggestions or tips on just when to get air or let it out? Thanks Ron



#2 RP3

RP3

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 371 posts
  • Location:Western North Carolina

Posted 31 January 2017 - 07:41 PM

Hi Ron,

When starting out on Anglo concertina, the issue of when to use the air valve looms rather large. A tune's pace and natural pauses can give you breaks when it is convenient to use the air button -- in the same fashion that many songs have natural breaks when a singer can breathe in air for the next passage. But since the Anglo concertina has a considerable number of buttons with duplicate notes that allow you to play a given note either on the press or the draw of the bellows, the way that you decide to actually play the tune (which buttons you are going to use) can influence when you will need to use the air button too.

Here's an example of the latter. If you are trying to learn the Concertina Reel, it is possible and seemingly convenient to play a good portion of the A part just using draw notes. But when you try to play it this fashion, you will discover that you will run out of bellows before the A part is over and have no place in the tune to dump the excess air to continue playing. This forces each player to develop a fingering pattern for the tune that will include enough of both press and draw notes so that you are less likely to run out of bellows. So the process of learning the tune also includes the choosing of buttons (either press or draw) that will simplify your bellows management.

Bellows management does not just involve figuring when you can take in or expell air between notes in a tune although that can be an important contributor to the bounce or lift of the tune. It also includes learning how to modulate the air button so that you can play a note or notes at the same time that the air button is being operated. This involves lots of practice because if you need to open the air valve while playing a note or even a chord, you will need to change the amount of force you are applying to the bellows to keep the volume of the note the same. You can practice this skill by playing a series of notes in one direction on the bellows, and then try to play those same notes at the same volume with the air button partially open. By varying the amount of pressure on the bellows you can open the air button a little or a lot. This combination of playing both the note and working the air button can be used to advantage in slow tunes. Similarly, if you are at a point in a tune where there is no convenient opportunity to expell air between notes and the bellows is most of the way open, and you only have a few press notes before a longer group of draw notes, then you might want to work the air valve as you play those press notes so you will have the bellows appropriately compressed and ready for the draw notes to follow.

So learning to use the concertina air valve is not just one skill but several. But everyone who has taken up the concertina has faced this same dilemma. You are not alone, and with practice and repetition your air button work will soon become second nature. Hope this helps. Good luck!

Ross Schlabach

#3 Jody Kruskal

Jody Kruskal

    Heavyweight Boxer

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1589 posts
  • Location:New York City

Posted 01 February 2017 - 02:50 AM

Wondered if its trial and error or is there a method to when you add air or expel air with the concertina? It seems to be a problem to fit it in between the music notes. Maybe you just have to practice air in air out during playing. Is there any suggestions or tips on just when to get air or let it out? Thanks Ron

Hi Ron,

 

Yes, "air in air out during playing" is key. Don't despair. Many here on these forums have reported that use of the air button will soon become automatic and requires no active thought at all.

 

As you try to get to that point, one thing that might be helpful... let your thumb lightly rest on the air button while you play. That way, a quick sip of air requires very little movement of the thumb.

 

Another approach is to plan ahead. If you know that a long draw section is coming up, manage things to start it with the bellows as compressed as possible.

 

Another approach is to find a long note that has an alternate fingering in the other direction and sip air while you play it.

 

Another approach is to conserve air by either playing more simply with fewer buttons... or playing more quietly. Quiet playing can be very effective.


Edited by Jody Kruskal, 01 February 2017 - 02:57 AM.


#4 Alan Day

Alan Day

    Ineluctable Opinionmaker

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3099 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Horley Surrey England

Posted 01 February 2017 - 04:30 AM

Some wonderful advice and explanation by Ross and Jody,

Al



#5 darticus

darticus

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 256 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:SPARTA NJ

Posted 01 February 2017 - 06:54 AM

Very good info. I ask as you may have tricks that you can share. I have been playing about 9 months and doing ok but this air thing is a concern. Thanks for all your help and that confirms that I just have to keep working on it as I go. Thanks Ron



#6 BW77

BW77

    Chatty concertinist

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 162 posts
  • Gender:Male

Posted 09 February 2017 - 03:24 AM

Some additional comments:

Problems how to use the air valve efficiently arise not only for the beginners and they are not only methodical  

...as has been discussed above...but also anatomical...as has been discussed recently in another topic:

http://www.concertin...showtopic=19371

 

There are a few different issues related to this:

- Particularly players with short hands/fingers can not comfortably reach the air button at its traditional location

- How the player holds or grips the instrument and individual preference decides what the best design for the

  air valve control is, and a lever acting sideways may work better than the common traditional press button

- Depending on methods holding the instrument and playing sitting or standing; the insufficiency of the common

  arrangement with the traditional hand bar and hand strap may form an obstacle to efficient management of the

  air valve ( and of the instrument in general )





Reply to this topic



  


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users