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Anglo Straps And Reaching


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#1 LDT

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 10:00 AM

Ok..I did a search of the forum for stuff on handstraps (totaly confused too many to read through)
I'm still not quite sure how tight they should be. But I find the last notch it too tight and the next one up too loose. And it kinda rubs a bit so I had a brainwave. Fingerless gloves. Makes my hand for the straps and stops it chaifing. :)

anyway other question. Would you say having long nails an advantage or disadvantage in reaching the buttons?

Edited by LDT, 20 August 2008 - 10:18 AM.


#2 PeterT

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 10:30 AM

Fingerless gloves. Makes my hand for the straps and stops it chaifing. :)

So; that's playing outdoors, in the winter months, sorted!

Would you say having long nails an advantage or disadvantage in reaching the buttons?

Disadvantage, if you learn to play in the "across rows" style, and need to slide your fingers on/off buttons.

Regards,
Peter.

#3 LDT

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 10:38 AM

Fingerless gloves. Makes my hand for the straps and stops it chaifing. :)

So; that's playing outdoors, in the winter months, sorted!

Would you say having long nails an advantage or disadvantage in reaching the buttons?

Disadvantage, if you learn to play in the "across rows" style, and need to slide your fingers on/off buttons.

Regards,
Peter.


I might get some lacy fingerless gloves for summer ;)

well this is how long my nails are
Posted Image

What do you mean by across rows style? Is that hard?

#4 fidjit

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 10:46 AM

[/quote]



What do you mean by across rows style? Is that hard?
[/quote]

Er. Can be

Great nails for nose picking :rolleyes: :rolleyes:

Where in Essex are you?

Chas

#5 PeterT

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 11:32 AM

What do you mean by across rows style? Is that hard?


If you look at the two videos where I demonstrate scales in the keys of "C" and "G" (I have an instrument in the keys of C and G), you might get a better idea rather than me trying to explain it here.

I have attached a link to my "Playlist", for C.net members and visitiors who may not have seen it:

http://uk.youtube.co...E75B58D13322FBA

Regards,
Peter.

#6 Rod

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 02:53 PM

LDT......Trim your finger nails so that they extend no further than the flesh of each finger tip.......if you can bear to !!

#7 Bruce McCaskey

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Posted 20 August 2008 - 04:26 PM

Ok..I did a search of the forum for stuff on handstraps (totaly confused too many to read through)
I'm still not quite sure how tight they should be. But I find the last notch it too tight and the next one up too loose. And it kinda rubs a bit so I had a brainwave. Fingerless gloves. Makes my hand for the straps and stops it chaifing. :)

anyway other question. Would you say having long nails an advantage or disadvantage in reaching the buttons?


On the topic of straps, make sure you've inserted your hands and positioned the straps such that they are not directly on top of the knuckle at the base of your fingers, straps should be slightly toward your wrist and clear of those knuckles. As to length, I suggest you set them such that with your hands fully engaged you can see a little daylight (1/8 inch) between them and the palm bar when you flatten your hands while stretching your fingers out straight. With such a setting you should be able to move your hands and yet solidly anchor them (by cupping slightly) when you wish to do so. It's not uncommon for people to have to punch holes half-way between the existing ones on the straps to find the setting that works best.

On the topic of nails, first, my compliments, they're quite nice. However, you've received good advice from Rod. While it may not be impossible to play with nails somewhat longer, it'll be harder. Concertinas are typically played with the tips and flats of fingers and longer nails tend to get in the way when switching between buttons. If you're reluctant to shorten them so radically right away, I suggest you pay attention when playing, note when your nails are getting in the way and trim accordingly. If you're playing slow music it may not be much of a problem, but if you decide to take up fast Irish music I suspect you'll end up trimming them as Rod has described.

I see Peter T. has addressed the "cross-row" concept. I've not followed his link but will instead only comment that there is something of a standard approach (with minor variations) in playing Irish music and the short explanation is that one plays nearby buttons (across or between the C and G rows) that offer the desired tones rather than staying on the individual rows to find those tones. There are multiple reasons for that approach, but rather than go into details that might raise new questions, I'll just say that it offers certain advantages for some styles of playing.

#8 David Levine

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 03:33 AM

Regarding playing across the rows - actually, you would play across the rows in the key of G as well as in the key of D. And for the D note Noel Hill taught me (15 years ago, anyway) to use the Press D, 1st finger, on the inner left hand row, in preference to the Draw D on the right hand, 2nd finger, middle row.

The choice of which D you use, above, would determine your choice of an A note immediately after the D: either the middle row 1st. finger draw, or the inner row 3rd. finger draw.

Gets a bit confusing, eh?

#9 LDT

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 03:58 AM

As to length, I suggest you set them such that with your hands fully engaged you can see a little daylight (1/8 inch)

what's that in metric?

On the topic of nails, first, my compliments, they're quite nice. However, you've received good advice from Rod. While it may not be impossible to play with nails somewhat longer, it'll be harder.

that's the longest they ever get. Before I trim them. I cant stand them cut down really short theres at least got to be a couple of millimeters of white showing. :)


Regarding playing across the rows - actually, you would play across the rows in the key of G as well as in the key of D. And for the D note Noel Hill taught me (15 years ago, anyway) to use the Press D, 1st finger, on the inner left hand row, in preference to the Draw D on the right hand, 2nd finger, middle row.

The choice of which D you use, above, would determine your choice of an A note immediately after the D: either the middle row 1st. finger draw, or the inner row 3rd. finger draw.

Gets a bit confusing, eh?


erm..yeah. Especially trying to imagine it in my head from what is written on the page...

cross rowing = Rowing a boat after an argument ;)

#10 Bruce McCaskey

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Posted 21 August 2008 - 01:48 PM

If my math works out, 1/8 inch would be about 0.3 centimeters. Rather than try to focus on measuring that spacing though I suggest you work with the concept of just a little space (daylight) showing when you flatten your palm and stretch your fingers out straight. If you can't see any space between your palm and the bar, then the straps are too tight.

Nothing wrong with having some white showing on your nail tips. Looking at your photo I'd suggest you'd want to trim them just slightly shorter than your index finger nail.

#11 Anglo-Irishman

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Posted 22 August 2008 - 01:14 PM

Ok..I did a search of the forum for stuff on handstraps (totaly confused too many to read through)
I'm still not quite sure how tight they should be. But I find the last notch it too tight and the next one up too loose. And it kinda rubs a bit so I had a brainwave. Fingerless gloves. Makes my hand for the straps and stops it chaifing. :)

anyway other question. Would you say having long nails an advantage or disadvantage in reaching the buttons?


Hi, LTD,

I think we have a consensus that straps shouldn't be too tight - but what is "too tight"?

In my experience, this is one thing about music making that has to be optimised for you personally on your personal instrument. And it has to be re-optimised occasionally as you get more familiar with holding and playing your concertina. If you find you're not comfortable with the adjustment you made a while ago, try re-adjusting - you might just get a pleasant surprise :)

I've read that beginners tend to have the straps too tight - they feel more secure that way, but it limits movement. When you're more familiar with your concertina, you'll get that feeling of being in control even with looser straps, and playing will be easier. (I did just that recently, after having my Anglo straps in the same holes for years. Gave my playing a real boost!)

In fact, an old Duet tutor recommends that one start with the straps tight, when one is playing in the scale of C and not using the outer buttons. By the time you get on to the keys with sharps and flats, you're ready to loosen the straps.

So what is right for you as a beginner is not necessarily right for you when you've had more practice.

Fingernails - now, there I'm an expert ;)
I also play finger-style 5-string banjo, which requires very short nails on the left hand, but a significant projection beyond the flesh on the right-hand index and middle fingers. Here, I have to optimise very finely. To reach the inner row of the Anglo, I have to curl my fingers and play with the tips. If the nail is too long, it hits the endplate of the concertina before the finger-tip has pressed the button right down, and I get a strangulated sound, because the pad isn't completely open. In the middle and outer rows, it's not so bad, because the fingers are slightly extended and I play with the pads of the fingers. So it's a matter of the relative geometries of concertina and fingers. Smaller hands should have less nail trouble with the inner row, and a few millimetres more or less between the handrest and the inner row could make a difference.

I must say that I've found a nail length that lets me enjoy banjo and concertina turn about - but if I'm preparing for a gig, I manicure my right hand appropriately: cut the nails for a concertina gig, let them grow for a banjo gig. If I'll be playing both, I file the nails to an optimum.

There's something to be said for the short-nailed, calloused fingers of the banjoist's left hand. I can easily slide my finger from a middle-row button to an inner-row button on the concertina, which can be useful at times :)

My experience, FWIW ;)

Cheers,
John

#12 LDT

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Posted 23 August 2008 - 08:59 AM

What do you mean by across rows style? Is that hard?


If you look at the two videos where I demonstrate scales in the keys of "C" and "G" (I have an instrument in the keys of C and G), you might get a better idea rather than me trying to explain it here.

I have attached a link to my "Playlist", for C.net members and visitiors who may not have seen it:

http://uk.youtube.co...E75B58D13322FBA

Regards,
Peter.


I had a go http://uk.youtube.co...h?v=uw_GswvZqJA
I found the chords quicker than the scales....got to try and memorise them. ;)


as for the nails...well they might get shorter.... I've had them that long for ages now I'm so used to them I can't hold stuff properly when they are short. lol!

edit: My sisters giving me a manicure today so the nails will get shorter.

Edited by LDT, 25 August 2008 - 05:19 AM.


#13 LDT

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 07:48 AM

nails cut now......It feels odd..I keep dropping stuff. lol!

oh does having double jointed fingers help with reaching buttons as well?

#14 PeterT

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Posted 29 August 2008 - 04:10 PM

oh does having double jointed fingers help with reaching buttons as well?

You'll have to keep us posted on that one. I does explain (and confirm) what I thought I saw in one of your videos!

#15 John Sylte

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Posted 01 September 2008 - 01:07 PM

If you have a wooden ended concertina, and you can hear your nails clacking when you play, over a significant amount of time you will end up with wear pattens/gouges around each button. It's not really a big deal that affects the performance of the instrument, just affects aesthetics in the long run. Just a word of caution...

#16 Mikefule

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Posted 08 February 2009 - 03:06 PM

What do you mean by across rows style? Is that hard?


I don't understand why anyone does not cross the rows. It gives you several options for runs of notes and for harmonies. And you don't need to change your hand position as often.

#17 Kautilya

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Posted 13 February 2009 - 06:47 AM

Ok..I did a search of the forum for stuff on handstraps (totaly confused too many to read through)
I'm still not quite sure how tight they should be. But I find the last notch it too tight and the next one up too loose. And it kinda rubs a bit so I had a brainwave. Fingerless gloves. Makes my hand for the straps and stops it chaifing. :)

anyway other question. Would you say having long nails an advantage or disadvantage in reaching the buttons?


Some good stuff from this guy somewhere in Sweden on youtube

Here is an earlier reference (but there are more by him on youtube - someone also mentioned putting a little bit of foam sponge around the strap (tho that was partly to swap users where one had smaller hands but sponge avoided moving strap holes up and down.



Apr 6 2008, 02:48 AM
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Looks like this video was just posted on You Tube. Discusses English and Anglo straps and wrist supports.

http://www.youtube.c...mEPTosZ44g&NR=1

Yvonne


Also look at shoulder straps to reduce need to 'hold' the box: see Pauline de Snoo of the Int Concertina Assoc at http://www.youtube.c...h?v=RevjQRnRQeg

#18 david_boveri

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Posted 20 February 2009 - 03:52 AM

If my math works out, 1/8 inch would be about 0.3 centimeters. Rather than try to focus on measuring that spacing though I suggest you work with the concept of just a little space (daylight) showing when you flatten your palm and stretch your fingers out straight. If you can't see any space between your palm and the bar, then the straps are too tight.

Nothing wrong with having some white showing on your nail tips. Looking at your photo I'd suggest you'd want to trim them just slightly shorter than your index finger nail.


i was taught the daylight rule, but that you should hold it with one strap, and let the weight of the concertina carry it down.

as your playing progresses, you will probably feel the need to loosen and tighten, back and forth, as you learn to control the concertina in different ways. it is ok to try what works and not what we say to do.

i agree the nails might have to go. what i might say is that make them as short as it does not cause a problem in your playing.




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