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G/d Bass Design


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#1 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 10:51 AM

Dropping a G/D Concertina down an octave will produce some staggeringly low notes.

They may also require a staggering amount of air to play.

In talking with Bob Tedrow (who is building the instrument), we've been discussing leaving the G row unchanged, and dropping the D row by an octave. By making the D row a fourth lower than the G rather than a fifth higher, you stay basically in the same pitch and air range as a C/G baritone.

For play along the rows, the instrument would basically play the same, however, moving across the rows you would find the alternate fingerings had shifted along the rows.

So, what do people think of the notion? And does anyone have suggestions for the layout of the accidentals row (the original design was 25 button, purely in G/D, but with the shift in range, there is room for a full accidental row)?

--Dave

#2 Ken_Coles

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Posted 22 August 2003 - 04:38 PM

Well, you have already talked to Bob, so I can't add anything, except that I have watched him play his unusual D/A where the A is a fourth lower than the D row, and it does give some nice nearby alternate fingerings in the upper octave when you watch Bob play. Have fun with it!

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#3 Chris Timson

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 04:47 AM

I would suggest you give Colin Dipper a ring, as I know for a fact he has made more than 1 G/D an octave lower than normal. The one I encountered sounded wonderful. He should be able to advise.

Personally I wouldn't muck about with the intervals between the rows. For anyone who plays across the rows that would make it it immediately unplayable. My philosophy is that we do not own concertinas - we are their custodians. A good concertina might outlast us by centuries. If you make something very nonstandard, then generations to come will find it difficult to play.

Chris

#4 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 07:33 AM

Personally I wouldn't muck about with the intervals between the rows. For anyone who plays across the rows that would make it it immediately unplayable.


The accidental row of Concertinas tends to vary (as do the end most buttons, or at least, that is where I've seen the most variations on layouts).

What about a D/G/D concertina. Top row D down a fourth, then G, then D up a fifth. The bottom two are essentially the same as a 20 row G/D, but with a lower D row above?

--Dave

#5 Richard Morse

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 07:49 AM

Personally I wouldn't muck about with the intervals between the rows. For anyone who plays across the rows that would make it it immediately unplayable.

Maybe for concertina only players, but a breeze for melodeon players.... I've always thought that having the center row be G and handrest row be D would be a much more accessible design, especially if laid out like a button accordion:

Button Accordion: G/A, B/C, D/E, G/F#, B/A,
Angle Concertina: G/F#, B/A, D/C, G/E, B/F#

Of course, I play button accordion and so am a bit biased, but then again - I really find fingering the octave much easier when it falls completely under my four fingers rather than have to break out with my pinky to grab that 5th button. The inner D row could be set up like a BA too with the same layout which makes cross playing much easier than the typical anglo setup (IMHO).

At any rate, it's easy to try before you buy. Just borrow a standard BA and see what you think. Pretend that the buttons 3-7 are your concertina's buttons 1-5.

#6 stuart estell

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 11:52 AM

What about a D/G/D concertina. Top row D down a fourth, then G, then D up a fifth. The bottom two are essentially the same as a 20 row G/D, but with a lower D row above?


I've was thinking about custom G/D layouts a couple of months ago - my thought, though, was that a duplicate G-row an octave higher would be most useful. Quite where would be best to put the extra G-row, I'm not sure (on a 30-key it could either replace the accidental row, or you could move the normal G and D rows up, and have the octave-up G-row nearest the handrest).

I'm pretty sure somebody mentioned a custom-built G-D that had similar characteristics, but can't remember who. :(

Cheers
Stuart
(currently having an adventure in reed-tuning...)

#7 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 23 August 2003 - 04:55 PM

Quite where would be best to put the extra G-row, I'm not sure (on a 30-key it could either replace the accidental row, or you could move the normal G and D rows up, and have the octave-up G-row nearest the handrest).

You could go to 40 buttons and go D/G/D/G...

Although I really don't want to think about that stretch.

One other notion is making the left hand third row down a 4th D, and the right hand third row up an octave G, giving the extended range at both ends.

--Dave
(Well on the way to never being able to play a standard concertina)

#8 Chris Timson

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 01:38 AM

Don't get me wrong here, I don't want to stop people devising new systems; much of what's being discussed sounds a lot like the Dipper Franglo system. But I can't help being a bit uneasy about somehing that's "basically an anglo but...".

On Dave's original post - having played a bass G/D and *loved* it, I really think you should give the fifth interval a try. If it really doesn't work (and I think it will) then go ahead and invent the Weinstein system.

Chris

#9 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 07:34 AM

On Dave's original post - having played a bass G/D and *loved* it, I really think you should give the fifth interval a try.

How large was the G/D Bass you played?

The problem right now is that the really low notes (G1, A1, B1, with C4 being Middle C) take a lot of air to sound.

--Dave

#10 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 24 August 2003 - 09:59 AM

I have put two designs (one for the 25 button Bass, and one for a 31 button baritone with the D dropped an octave) up in Word format. Both designs also include the layout of my Lachenal 20 button G/D for reference, and all notes are relative specified by octave, where C4 is Middle C.

One thing that became apparent with the 31 button design is that it has a lot of natural alternate fingerings; something that is quite nice.

25 Button Bass

25 Button Base (HTML)

31 Button Baritone

31 Button Baritone (HTML)

I'm very interested in comments and feedback.

EDIT: 4:30pm Eastern Time, Sunday: I've updated the fingering charts to color code duplicate notes. Notes in green have at least one alternate fingering which is in the opposite bellows direction, notes in orange have at least one alternate fingering in the same bellows direction, notes in black appear only once. I also shifted a few accidentals around.

EDIT: 5:50pm Eastern Time, Sunday: I've put the files up as HTML as well.

Regards,
--Dave

Edited by Dave Weinstein, 24 August 2003 - 04:52 PM.


#11 Chris Timson

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 05:07 AM

How large was the G/D Bass you played?

As memory serves, about the size of my baritone. Here is a picture of the baritone alongside a normal sized anglo:-

http:///www.concerti...per/dipper1.jpg

So we're not talking small. The reeds in the baritone left hand are humungous, because Colin tried (and succeeded, IMHO) to make something that sounds something like a harmonium. Yet the usage of air is not overly huge, which is why I am surprised about the problems you are having. Does this box use accordion or concertina reeds?
Chris

#12 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 25 August 2003 - 06:45 AM

Does this box use accordion or concertina reeds?

It will be using Accordion reeds.

--Dave

#13 Chris Timson

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Posted 27 August 2003 - 03:13 PM

It will be using Accordion reeds.

I guess it's going to be big, then. Well then, the reeds will be big and use lots of air, but on the other hand the bellows will be correspondingly big in cross section and hold lots of air. So it all works out. It certainly does on my baritone - which for reasons explained above is comparable in many ways to what you intend.

Chris

#14 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 02:28 PM

After much thinking about it, I have elected to go with what, for want of a better term, I am calling a G/D "Drop D Baritone", with the D row down a fourth from the G.

--Dave

#15 Richard Morse

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 02:33 PM

After an anglo or melodeon pattern?

#16 Dave Weinstein

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Posted 28 August 2003 - 03:09 PM

After an anglo or melodeon pattern?

The layout is here.

Also included is the layout of my current G/D 20 button Lachenal, as a reference. Notes listed in orange are duplicated but have the same bellows direction, notes listed in green have one or more alternate fingerings with the opposite bellows direction, notes listed in black occur only once.

--Dave

#17 d.elliott

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Posted 30 August 2003 - 01:37 AM

As you incorporate big reeds, you will need to remember that their response will be relatively slow. This slowness will be made considerably worse by the equally big valves. As your proposal is for an anglo, you cannot follow the 'single action' design used on english system bass and some baritones, valves are inevitable.

The valves in the chambers are assisted by the valve pins which not only prevent valves being jamed against the chamber walls or pad board/ hole, but also stop the valve being blown too far away from the reed pan base. This means that they can be sucked into place and respond as quickly as their size permits. On the underside of the reed pan valve pins cannot be fitted. Many baritones use valve wires, or sometimes they are called valve springs. Recently I stripped down a double action Edeophone bass. This had the expected very big reeds, and commensurate valves. The valves were made from quite heavy double layered leather and had strong valve wires fitted. Despite this, and although it was not unacceptable, it still played slower than a single action instrument.

This valve design aspect needs to be thought through as much as the reed form that you are choosing.

pic of valve wires attached

Dave

#18 d.elliott

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Posted 30 August 2003 - 01:42 AM

we seem to have lost the picture on my posting. Hopefully, see the attached

Dave




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