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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. I think that might not be the reason - i.e. a folk background behind Elise purchases - at least a part of them. If you'll look at beginner concertina videos on YT, you'll see, that many of them are not trad tunes, but accompaniments for singing covers of popular music (myself included). And this might be a "word spreader" for amateur concertina playing - not tradition but growing popularity of concertina as a casual instrument and a power of YT search engine There is strong revival of casual music playing (at least in my country) - because of different reasons: hipster subculture focused largely on music and creativity, YT cover community, strong scout and campfire tradition etc… While guitar is still the single most popular instrument in Poland - seen on the streets, at campfires and in amateur and professional pop/rock bands, there is a shift latey towards more diversity: we have a revival of accordions, both in hobby playing and popular music; there are woodwinds or brass sections in large number of young bands… On the top of that, young people spend more and more time traveling, be it on summer trips or studying away from home city, so mobility makes portability an important issue - thus when it comes to instrument choices for sing accompaniment it's ukuleles over guitars and concertinas over accordions. And only a duet concertina can be trully called a "miniature accordion". And Elise is cheap (though in Poland it is considered as a very expensive casual instrument, as expensive as a good quality guitar), easy to learn and readily available. Of course, one can argue, that it is possible for a skilled Anglo player to play covers of modern popular music, but IMHO the word "skilled" is the most crucial one in this matter. Especially in fast paced life of young people. Haydens exceed at ease of learning and are very straightforward, they allow intuitive chordal play and even such small instrument as Elise has enough buttons for many popular songs in few different keys. I really don't think, that there will be a significant market for traditional concertina reeded Haydens for two reasons: 1) for all those potential "new approach" players I have described above, the true concertina sound of a trad reed is just an expensive flavour for their "miniature accordion" 2) as can be seen from different discussions over this forum, for traditional concertina players neither Hayden layout itself nor modern trad-reeded Haydens offer a significant advantage over vintage Cranes, Maccans or even Anglos.
  2. Well, there are 3 sided dices http://www.gmdice.com/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/3/3/3302-0013.jpg.jpg
  3. @ceemonster: I would add two more things about CBAs - accordions in general are constructed in a way, that isolates finger movement from bellows movement. This makes them a little bit harder to learn but a lot more precise in terms of expression. The second is a free-bass convertors, which makes it a real "superduet" configuration. All of these factors make accordions much more flexible than concertinas of any kind and makes them much more appealing for anyone wanting to play classical music on a virtuoso level - there are classes of accordion in musical schools continously for decades, while we have only one professional bandoneonist in Poland and no concertina players outside of a shanty genre. And on "relative affordability" - a good quality, used instrument around 60 basses, with 3-5 registers can be bought even for the price of new Rochelle/Jackie/Elise, while perfectly playable (for educational or hobby purposes) russian accordions can be bought as cheap as 100$… And a fully blown Bayan, with ton of registers and a free bass will cost you only twice as much as a "simple" modern duet…
  4. It also has mounting points for handrest not a thumbstrap.
  5. This last one sounds and looks like this "concertina performance" was dubbed over by a mussette accordion.
  6. Jim, we just won't agree on the matter so why not just stop arguing? From all your recent posts you seem to despise Hayden and other isomorphic layouts to a point, where any argument is simply "of no musical importance". You had your musical path and have your musical habits and way of understanding things and I think you can't grasp the geometric beauty of the isomorphic keyboard that is so appealing to me and Matthew. And to be clear: this is not to ofence you in any way. We just think different, like a difference between a painter, a sculptor or a photographer. They all create representations of reality or their imagination but use different approach and you can rarely be a great sculptor and a great painter at the same time. What I think me and Matthew here are advocating for (I can only know for sure what I have in mind), is that if you learn "from a Hayden" you'll have a completely different view on music theory than when learning music from a piano or an EC. I know that I had very hard time learning music theory on a piano keyboard and traditional staff - hard to a point where I gave up for a couple of years. Then I decided to try an Anglo (for sentimental reasons), and all I could do after a few months of playing was some single line shanties. And then I came by Hayden layout, built a MIDI and tried this layout in practice on 64 button keyboard and it was like a revelation. Suddenly tonal music theory was logical, chordal accompaniment an instant matter and with each passing month I knew and been able to play more and more. So you can say that all this hype over Hayden layout is just a fuss, but this layout is the single reason I can play on an instrument and enjoy my playing and steady progress. And because I just started this path a couple of years ago I still remember how hard music seemed to me before and how easy it looks now. As to pianists: the most important feature of a piano is it's dynamic range and tone, which can be only achieved by a hammer mechanism which requires a linear keyboard. It is also a large instrument, so pianists must rely on a common layout to be able to play in different locations without traveling with their own instrument. Thus for keyboard layouts like Janko and alike it is very hard to get enough popularity to play important role. Piano layout has a huge inertia you cannot simply stop by inventing new, superior layout. If you decide that you want to play an acoustic piano you have no alternatives to look for. It is somewhat same with piano and button accordions - all of the different button layouts are better suited for such instrument, but if you play a piano accordion you can also play a piano, which may be important for your career. But when speaking about keaboard instruments in a broader sense than just a acoustic piano, this is changing, as "actual making music" you often refer to is more and more dependant on electronic generation and MIDI controllers and there is a steady growth of popularity of both physical and touch-based Hayden input devices, especially among jam session players. And if it were like you say, that it is a fancy of no musical advantage, there would be no place to even think about layouts other than a piano. Or a single duet layout on a concertina.
  7. If you go for a Hayden, there is a little point in not buing Elise - both Concertina Connection and Button Box will accept it as a trade-in (for full price) when buing Peackock or Beaumont. This way you'll be fairly good at playing this system when you outgrow an Elise and not starting from scratch on an expensive instrument. The lack of D# and G# is of course a strongly limiting factor if you play with others, but if you play solo then most tunes can be played in other keys and this is exactly where Haden layout shows it's advantage. Even on as small instrument as Elise you just learn the tune over "ghost buttons" and then move your hand up or down. And even on a such small instrument you can do some things which would be very hard or impossible on an Anglo, e.g. playing both melody and fully fledged rhytmic, "accordion style" accompaniment for any tune. Of course, if you aim at playing real concertina with proper concertina reeds, then choose Crane, as the options for that on a Haden are very expensive. @Jim: while both Jeff's and Brian's renditions are absolutely brilliant and indeed show that it is possible for an anglo to sound in such "complete" manner, it is IMHO best to judge the possibilities of a given system by "an average" of many performances of different people. This way one can clearly hear what the differences between Englishes, Anglos and various duets are and what styles suits them best. E.g. while you can play ITM on an English it will usually sound different than on an Anglo and you can choose which way is more appealing to you. Various systems also require completely different set of skill, different left-right hand coordination, different style of finger, wrist and arm movement and may suit different people differently. And some systems will "fit your brain" better than others, so "actual music done by others" is not the only concern. I think that one of the reasons of many such debates on this forum might be a "mileage" of different players which strongly biases the point of view of a person. Different things will be considered as easy, basic or important by people with 20 years of playing under their belt and by those with couple of months or years only. And different things will be important for profesional musicians and for amateurs simply wanting to play a concertina and not even thinking of ever waiting 6 years for a made-to-order, car worth instrument or training for 5-10 years to simply take their instrument for a campfire singing session.
  8. @ John: As I agree, that small keyboards of any system are a limitation of one sort or another, I don't see how your argument stands when considering larger Hayden keyboards… They are fully chromatic and in the contrary to popular belief, using accidentals outside of a key is as easy on a Hayden as on any other instrument - it just requires different practice, as those accidentals will usually be played with ring or pinky finger. Another misconception about Haydens and isomorphic keyboards of any kind is that whatever is simpler must be also "lesser". CBA systems like B-, C- or Bayan are all isomorphic keyboards and noone says, that you cannot play a masterpiece on a Bayan… To date, I have found that gypsy and klezmer scales do require odd finger patterns and are quite odd and hard to play (but not impossible) but you can play any kind of "advanced" music on a 46 button or larger Hayden (within a compass of a given instrument). It may be much harder to play semitone grace notes or some other kind of ornamentation, but all and not just basic harmony is straightforward on a Hayden. ALL chords of any kind have a single non-edge shape, ALL inversions of any chords allways follow the same pattern. And even when we focus only on basic types of triads, being able to play each of them with a single fingering makes arpeggios something very basic on a Hayden. It is not an "easy entry" "people's instrument" - it just turns the difficulties in music inside-out. It is not an atificial layout made up only to "move those pesky black keys away" for the ease of early stages of learning - this property is more of a "side effect" of this layout. It is a layout with deep fundaments in music theory and one of the very few practical enharmonic layouts (although you need an instrument as big as the old square Bastari or a MIDI keyboard to benefit from that)
  9. I.e., he says that your guess is wrong. Yes Jim, I CAN read english. I know Jeff Lefferts videos since my first interest in Hayden layout, they are the oldest Hayden videos I could find on YT. And indeed, his Whistling Rufus is brilliant. But perhaps he himself should answer a simple question: which arrangement took less effort to learn and practice? It is quite strange for me to discover, that some concertina players on this board seem to feel some kind of discomfort every time someone playing on a Hayden is comparing the ease of learning different systems. No one says, that you can't be brilliant on an Anglo, McCann, Crane or bisonoric bandoneon. A skilled and dedicated player can master any instrument to a virtuoso level. But not all of us have such dedication or time (myslef included) and it's just easier and faster to learn a system which is logical and consistent. And Hayden makes it very easy to practice two hand play just by fooling around part of a keyboard, hear and feel different harmonies which will by definition go well together and will teach you music theory by playing it. And because of that it gives you much more time to spend on areas you need more practice - a huge advantage for someone who is not a musician and doesn't have a time to practice for whole and every day or can't or don't want to go to a music school. My comment was just a "food for thought" for Frogspawn realy, that maybe after 1,300 hours of practice it is something between him and his Crane that is not working, and not his supposable inability to become proficient on a concertina in convinient amount of time. A notion that seems to upset you Jim to a degree I can't understand really... But yes, I can be a sort of a "Wicki-Hayden fanboy" sometimes, trying to "spread a word" to everyone that might be interested or might benefit from this layout.
  10. You definately should try to switch to Hayden (try an Elise if you can) - it is uncompared for such singing accompaniment, mostly because you don't have to think about chords - every single type looks exactly the same, so ompah rhytms are as easy as on accordion and generally chord accompaniment is as easy as on a guitar. I'm guessing that most of your 1,300 hours was spent on memorizing the layout and shapes of different chords and that most mistakes you make is hitting the chromatic keys which are not part of a key you play in (on the left side)? I understand, that it is hard to switch after so many ears, but you should keep in mind two things: 1) some concertina skills are universal regardles of the exact type of box you play (e.g. bellows control is different only on an Anglo; forearm muscles training for staccato (you lift your fingers to make staccato not press the buttons for this effect) will not fade out etc..) 2) after initial confusion on the new layout, Hayden is very (and I mean like "OMG that is so easy") intuitive and straightforward when it comes to chord playing. Try it, even if won't stick to it you'll have a comparison which may give you a new look on what you should practice more.
  11. Or it may be, that you have chosen a wrong keyboard layout for your "brain wiring"- I could not make any sense out of music when I tried traditional staff and piano keyboard approach or an Anglo "memorize everything" approach. But after trying Hayden layout suddenly all became clear and there is a steady improvement of my skills ever since. And if you want to be able to do a chordal song accompaniment there is really no better layout than Hayden - check the thread here: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=15974&hl= for some details.
  12. @ Stuart: I too came to the world of Duets after playing Anglo (for a year only but…) but IMHO the bisonoric property of an Anglo is it's very fundament. So even that Anglos are side-divided like duets and capable of playing accompaniment and melody at once, they are so different in their nature from any unisonoric instruments. Interesting is your point of view on advantages of Wicki/Hayden as not being as crucial - this consorts well to mine and Matthew point exactly: for anyone I've spoken to date, who learned music on a diatonic instrument (for me, a piano is in it's core structure a diatonic, "chromatized" instrument, oriented around a key of C - a Janko piano keyboard is trully chromatic), the Wicki/Hayden layout is merely a handy shortcut. Your comment about "pianists not complaining about fingerings" was something I discussed lately with three pianists I know, with all of them admiting, that they don't realy think about other layouts mostly because they've invested so much time and effort already. It is true, that music theory can be learnt and prowess achieved to a virtuoso degree on any instrument, with any notation system and different examples and aproaches. But in only few of those systems, as Matthew have stated, "the instrument will become the instructor…" and this is fundamentally true for Haydens. @Wolf: unfortunately, I was unable to try out any instrument prior to buying it - there are no dealers of concertinas in Poland and going abroad just to try a few boxes was and still is way above my budget… But I did considered a Jack or Rochelle when I was deciding what to buy after initial fiddling on a cheap Anglo. But I quickly realised that Englishes were out of the question for me not for musical reasons (I love the use of EC in classical music) but for their ergonomics - I have very long fingers and a wrist injury. But I agree, that the interwoven nature of EC is it's defining property as much as bisonoric nature of an Anglo.
  13. I can only back Matthew up in everything he said about both Elise and Hayden layout in general. I do miss some notes on my Elise sometimes, but it has so much more potential in it than 20b Anglo. The single biggest reason why Hayden is the only duet layout currently in "mass" production is its very steep learning curve - after getting familiar with chords (just a couple of shapes, not huge piano/guitar-like chord sheets) you can just play accompaniments to everything easily, by ear or from fake sheets. Such ability is IMHO the real possibility for these concertinas to get out of a "ghetto" of traditional music: it is perfectly capable of playing punk, rock, world, indie or any modern instrumental music. And since we can observe a steady increase in number of available sizes/models the "dead end" problem of Elise is no longer an issue. @Don: There is really no tutorial needed for Hayden layout - just study these patterns http://www.shiverware.com/musix/wicki/chords.html This is a "roadmap" of all possible chords and for starters you'll need only major and minor (just two shapes) with occasional seventh and sus chords (another four shapes). Also practice scales (only two, one major and one minor) and you're good to go on anything you have dots for. This basic level of understanding of a Hayden is doable in couple of evenings!
  14. You might think of them as two Englishes glued together… Duet vs Anglo comparison however is a lot more complex, as each has it's own advantages and distinctive features, some shared by both and some unreplicable on the other...
  15. Thank you Robert Every time I come back to the original (which is not very often nowadays) I'm suprised, that there is no accordion in their verision, I'm so used to it that way... In my version I still miss the "songfulness" of performance, I hope I'll get it some day.
  16. Susi: Thank you for your compliments:) It fells under indie-rock genre, but is really a mix of influences from different buskers around Europe (mostly french and balkan music), done by one Zachary Condon, after his vagabonding for a year through different parts of "the old continent". It's a kind of music that really sounds great on accordions and was one of my target genres when I switched from playing simple shanties on an Anglo and undertaken "the path of duet". And about timing: the tempo throughout an entire tune is uneven… I have a great difficulty not going faster when the part that I'm playing requires complex fingering. It is a bit strange realy, that my fingers "remember" note sequences only with fast tempo and I often make mistakes when trying to play slowly… That is also the reason why the whole tune is played too fast.
  17. I'm very glad that this "theme of the month" idea finally came to life - recent TOTMs (as great as they were) were too far from my musical interests to spare even a small amount of time for them.. The tune I would like to present to you could easily fell into many categories, as this was the first tune I've tried to learn on a duet. It became something of a "progress bar" of my skills on a concertina (it took me couple of months to even try to play melody line with simultanous accompaniment) and is one of two pieces I play when I just have couple of minutes to grab concertina and play. It is a cover of a song called "Sunday smile" by band named "Beirut". Trying to get this recording good enough to publish it showed me how much work it still needs, especially on steady timing and bellows controll (you can still hear that it "looses breath" sometimes and rhytm is very unstable and too fast...). As I don't want this "Theme of the month" idea became a sort of a showcase but still a learning aid, I'll try to overcome those problems in the following weeks and send another rendition at the end of month. So, without further ado, here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S-bySYW3XVA
  18. I found the font I was PM you about, it is available for download here: http://www.barfly.dial.pipex.com/download.html If You have something better or of different tone (metal ends perhaps?) I'll be interested in it too
  19. @ 31 chord trick: each time I came upon such tricks and hacks for understanding and playing chords, be it for concertina or piano players, I'm very glad I play on Hayden But other than that it is a very true and usefull article, especially for all of those who like to play modern popular music, as this often can be found only as a combination of vocal melody line plus guitar chords fake sheets or even simple guitar tabs. As for the original question on how musik works. I have recently came to a conclusion, that the answer for this question depends heavily on history of ones musical education, especially instrument choices. This came to me after discussing the matter with couple of friends, who play piano or guitar or both, one of them tried also a russian diatonic accordion. And particularily one realisation was striking: while learning music on a piano or most of other instruments is arithmetic and linear, learning music on a Hayden or other isomorphic keyboard (e.g. various CBA systems) is geometric. And this applies not only to fingering patterns, but understanding music on any level. Also, there was some interesting disagreement on what is "simple and basic" on different instruments: on a piano, learning simple melodies is very straightforward, but understanding and playing chords is difficult and time consuming and "chord sheets" are huge; on a hayden chords are the most basic level of understanding (all chords and their inversions, and I mean all up to 13th, can be learned in one evening (practice of course takes some time, but because each chord has only one basic shape plus some "edge shapes" on small keyboards this is very easy)) and it is very fast and easy to learn harmony and diatonic functions and to do "inverted faking" - playing quite complex melodies and accompaniments from simple guitar chord tabs… This dependency becomes more visible when self learning and not taking lessons from scholars or players of other instruments (especially pianists) as this makes this different path more "pure".
  20. If you'll look closely, it has a hinge:) There is a strap joining sides at the bottom of his concertina - it is clearly visible at the very begining of the video.
  21. John, do you have something like this in mind? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b1VW2HEZzbs&list=LLMz0Pq4s9eRLXoxNZU_PH7w
  22. I disagree, that only because a century worth of players used unmodified instruments and acomplished great things, one should abandon all attempts to make the instrument more comfortable for himself. Especially when there are so many people suffering from repetitive strain injuries caused by original concertina ergonomics. But all different types of concertinas has their own ergonomic issues and one cannot simply compare EC ergonomics with Anglo or various duet systems or even styles of play. E.g.: EC neck strap works fine on EC, but IMHO it's shoulder variant (over right shoulder and below left arm) works better for duets, making (together with left thigh and hip) a very stable foundation for rhytmic accompaniment. Thumb strap is a great thing for EC and Hayden, as it gives much needed freedom of reach to far notes, but indeed comes with a great handicap in terms of bellows control. I have recently worked on an a different approach on a thumb+hand strap, that I'll use on my DIY Hayden - I'll show it to all of you as soon as it'll be ready.
  23. I have small dents in A buttons on both sides of my Elise and on my MIDI Hayden (which is a project in playable but still prototype form, on hold for much too long now...) and I will make them on my in-progress DIY 66 button Hayden as well. It makes finding rest position automatic by just swiping the tops of the keys around the center in one motion (my rest position is as I was to play A minor chord - it is in the center of a keyboard and makes great reference point for all other chords and notes positions). On Elise this was in fact more cruicial on the begining of learning this instrument (and after each modification of handrests/straps/thumb-straps I've made to it) but on my 64 button MIDI it was absolutely necessary to find position in the middle of a tune if for some reason I have to move my left hand from the buttons (e.g. when playing RH solo with vigorous bellows movements). But after couple of years playing I got used to using also just the keyboard to navigate any Hayden size: both Elise and 46 standard layout can be easily managed, because they only have Bb on the top of a keyboard so you can rely on C buttons to "find your way" mid-tune (for me it is a two step "calibration": set fingers for C major chord then move middle finger one button to the side from G to A and form A minor chord). On larger instrument however, like Wakker H2 (the layout of my MIDI box), having no marked A button makes this a two-step calibration for the right hand (Gmaj->Amin or placing fingers on first row then moving middle finger one octave higher) but a 3 step calibration for the left hand (or 2,5 steps when simultanously changing fingers and moving whole hand from F-G-A position to my resting A minor). So having a dent/mark on As is now just easier and more efficient, especially in the middle of a tune. For me, relying solely on a handrest/strap/thumb position usually ends with a one-button accuracy (usually in a G-A-D or A-D-E triangles) and since original Hayden keyboard is not mirrored and have a slant this usually means that my hands are not aligned to the same key. @ John: yes, You're right, there are no rigid finger-note allocations on a Hayden (at least for me, even on instrument as small as Elise) - I play major and minor tunes with different fingerings and because on a Hayden chord shapes are constant you move your hand constantly while playing accompaniment - this makes playing ompah rhytms very easy and steady. Also, it is sometimes imposible to play different melodies in the same key (or even different variations within a single tune) with the same fingerings when playing legato because you'll have to use the same finger on two subsequent notes.
  24. Thank you David, the fact that You were unaware of this detail is a sort of an answer by itself - obviously You would pick up any clear differences between character of notes:) I'm aware that many other concertinas have perpendicular reeds: Elise, Bastaris, cheap german anglos etc.. And that bandonions and some multi-voice german concertinas have a mix of perpendicular/parallel reeds but they always (?) have a mix between voices, not between notes. @Matthew's Elise: the best way to upgrade this instrument is to replace buttons to fully bushed ones - I've done it right after purchase, as Elise turned out to be a downgrade in quality from cheap german anglo because of the buzz of buttons... I don't know if suitable buttons can be found as I have done mine myself. And you'll have to re-drill the holes in the case to bigger diameter to acomodate bushings. But after this replacement the action on Elise becomes quiet, responsive and rigid (no wobbly buttons) and much easier (and faster) to play.
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