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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. I have played both Anglo and Hayden for a couple of months during my transition between systems, but then have abandoned anglo altogether simply because I found duets more suiting my needs. But I had no problem switching instruments during practice session, as the nature of those two systems is so much apart, that there was no confusioin at all. But, as years long owner of Elise I must ask - what repertoire exactly are you thinking of? Because the main difference in instrument limitations between anglos and duets isn't bisonoric vs unisonoric nature of the instrument, but the universal range of notes on the anglo vs model specific range of notes on duets - up to a level of "standard" 46 or Beaumont 52 keys you will always desire more, as you will run into many arragements problems. And while Hayden is a great system and Elise is an ok entry level instrument, it is, at it's core, a diatonic instrument dressed up into chromatic outfit. So be aware, from the very start, of the prices and note ranges of upgrade options and check what exact range you will need for your final desired repertoire.
  2. Nowadays you have the following options, in price order: Stagi, then Troubadour & Peacock from Concertina Connection, then Beaumont from Morse Concertinas, and finally Wakker H-1 & H-2. Note range wise the list goes as follows: 36 button Troubadour, 42 Peacock, 46 Stagi and Wakker H-1, 52 Beaumont, 65 Wakker H-2. That is all.
  3. I actually have two tunes causing trouble by this. The feature I talk about is even more pronounced on slanted Park layout (similar hex based layout with whole tone/minor third/perfect fourth instead of Hayden's whole tone/perfect fourth/perfect fifth axes) where you play all major, minor, seventh, sus4 and augmented chords with a natural middle finger position further from the palm. On a Hayden you play minor and sus4 chords with inverted finger position, with your longest finger closest to the palm, which causes me a lot of troubles with left hand minor chord oom-pahs and arpeggios, because my middle finger attack angle is so skewed (I have very long fingers) and Hayden slant emphasises this problem even further for the left hand.
  4. Index finger on root, then for major triad middle finger on fifth and ring finger on third. Then ~90 degrees wrist twist gives you index still on root, middle on minor third and ring on fifth. You can also play first inversion of IVmaj mid twist (at ~45 degrees) with same fingering. On a „proper Hayden” row shift is larger so that this wrist twist is bigger and grouping my fingers to do the same feels uncomfortable. The reason I find this usefull is that you can play oom-pahs and some arpeggios using same (mirrored for arpeggios) wrist-gimball-only movement which enable „tremor amplifiying” technique of fast playing. Of course on concertinas there is also hand strap preventing you from doing this, but nevertheless I find it a feature of Striso angles, not the bug.
  5. One aspect of his offset that I actually like - you can play minor and major triads with the same finger on the root note, which makes a typical pop progressions easier to finger, but require wrist twist that is way harder on concertinas. This also shows that he started working on his grid with squares instead of hexagons and then skewed them slightly.
  6. Would be interesting if not for this ugly synthetic tone. And one funny thing - from the description on Kickstarter site it seems like this guy reinvented Wicki-Hayden for the n-th time and has no clue about previous kickstarter projects with the same layout, let alone historical inventors.
  7. One other comparison, from musicnotation.org, showing how chords look like compared to traditional notation, my chosen one is directly below traditional, Parncutt 6-6: http://musicnotation.org/pdf/comparisons/Triads.pdf
  8. So here is an example, just couple of simple bars. This is a continuous staff, each four lines are F, G, A, B of consecutive octaves, I have left cleffs for you to orient yourself, and added a quick reference of where natural notes are on. I use color coded notes because on continuous staff there sometimes is overlap of LH and RH lines and all black noteheads cause a mess. Now it should be clearly visible how this system is a natural pair for Hayden keyboard. @David: that is a valid concern regarding my chosen system as you can see in linked example. However, chromatic notations come in certain "families" ('6-6' in this particular case, you can find out more at musicnotation.org), with different graphical details, some designed specifically to adress this confusion. Musescore can represent some of them. The original source for the fork, Clairnote page, has two subsystems, SN and DN exactly to lessen the confusion if someone wants to remain "bilingual", as DN uses hollow/full noteheads for pitch instead of length of note. I have chosen this particular over more distinct alternatives exactly because I needed to remain bilingual. @Thread: Of course, to each their own. As I said, I merely share the sources to those who might be interested once there finally is a way to easily translate systems so that "score availability" argument is no longer valid (at least not so much as six years ago, when I first raised the topic here on c.net). I have been raised in QWERTY tradition and have never felt the need to switch to Dvorak or other alternatives (which in case of Poland is less abstract topic than it seems, as we had a period of competing implementations of missing symbols and I actually had to retrain muscle memory for modifier key when I switched from PC to MAC), but I do find sticking to Imperial units over adapting metric system a bit... stubborn. Including food recipes :D And as a graphic designer there is no way anybody can convince me, that US paper sizes shouldn't burn in hell :P notations comparison.pdf
  9. I’m sharing this in case anyone else is in similar position and will find this usefull, not to preach to people who feel comfortable with traditional notation. Before my long break from concertinas I have come to realize, that I deeply loathe western music notation and it’s overcomplicated and convoluted nature. The rhytmic part works just fine, but non-proportional vertical pitch placement and non-repetitive octave positioning makes it impossible for me to sight read it thus limiting my options only to scores I can fully memorize, which in my case simply does not work for more advanced duet repertoire. The answer to this was chromatic notation - in which I fell in love instantly. Combined with isomorphic keyboards such notation finally made both music and music theory understandable and I could sight read it fluently after just a day of getting acquainted with my chosen system. But there was one huge problem - back then there was no software for easy convertion from traditional to chromatic, one had to use lext based Lilypond or graphic software to create scores and the only option with playback capabilites was percussion track workaround in pricy Finale - all options tedious and thus practically useless... But no more! To my delight a fork of Musescore2 was made during my absence, which enables the use of many of existing chromatic notation systems! And now I’m like a kid in a candystore, because I can now convert ANY sheet music available in musicXML format in just few clicks! But enough about my personal story. There is one notation system, that I find particularily straightforward when used with Hayden keyboard - Parncutt 6-6 Tegragram http://musicnotation.org/system/6-6-tetragram-by-richard-parncutt/ In it’s essence, it is a piano roll with a twist - assignment of naturals to spaces/lines shifts at semitones, just as rows in Hayden, making it very straightforward for me to sight read it. Moreover, this Musescore fork allows not only staff adjustment, but also colorcoding notes, so now I can have LH and RH lines, including overlap zone, in true vertical octave positions without any ambiguity (this however requires some manual work with reversing and scaling stems properly, but this takes about 10 mins for 50 bars). Now I can finally directly see how accompaniment relates to melody and how harmonies are formed between hands without having them mentally translated - being a graphic designer by trade I’m very sight oriented person. The fork can be downloaded here: https://clairnote.org/dn/software-musescore/ Unfortunatelly ready to install pre-compiled version is only available for Macs and you have to compile it yourself for Windows or Linux. The second drawback is that there seem to be no active development going on and the app itself is now six years old, there are only very limited instructions for it and it is a bit buggy, but nothing game breaking if you save often.
  10. Thanks, that was informative. From a perspective of a Hayden player I would say that Crane system is half way there: it is fairly logical within an octave and chords aren’t „all over the place”. It has some resemblance to 3-row variants of accordion B- and C-systems in that you have different but limited shapes of chords depending on row of the root note. On the Crane however it all goes out the window when you go up an octave - same chord octave higher is fingered entirely differently. @RAc while it is true what you say about „music theory coming alive” in this example, it is also true that in order to construct chords on a Crane one has to already know music theory and how to construct every chord he wishes to play. That is not the case on isomorphic keyboards: the layout itself teaches you theory! (That of course includes the simplest isomorphic layout of them all - bleached and leveled, entirely linear version of piano keyboard:) )That is what I find most usefull about them - all you need to know to play a chord is it’s universal shape and root note. You get all other information directly from your fingers.
  11. Seconded, I have a dent in my A3 on the left and A4 on the right, that is enough to reposition my hands if I ever get lost. However, since I begun using thumb straps those dents aren’t really necessary anymore, as my static thumb position and muscle memory are enough to never get lost. One word about Hayden isomorphism. While I love it and not really having to learn anything about different keys to play in them is great, it has one quite significant drawback: if you run into a phrase that is awkward/difficult/impossible to finger smoothly, then you cannot transpose to different key in search of easier fingering, they are all the same by definition. This of course translates to having to step out of your comfort zone regularily and naturally advances your playing and/or arranging skills, but is nevertheless worth to note. This also translates to Haydens not really having „home position” and semi-constant finger-note relation known from Anglos, as which finger goes where at which point depends on exact phrase, not general note. And about chord shapes - I don’t know how constant chord shapes are on a Crane (I guess not that much since it is not isomorphic layout), but having distinctly different shapes for mayor/minor/all other chords is a feature, not a bug in isomorphic layouts. For some different type chords having same shapes, as on Anglos for example, one has to remember which exact chords those are. On a Hayden you don’t really care about anything other than purely geometric relations between buttons, both in chords and in melody sequences, as souds are secondary to geometry. On non-isomorphic systems geometry is secondary to sounds. This may be irrelevant for many, especially to those playing by ear, but for me personally this was fundamental to not only to be able to play on concertina fluently, but more importantly, to finally understand music theory.
  12. Wakker H-1 and modern Stagi Hayden are standard 46 key boxes. There is note layout chart for every concertina-connection and Wakker concertina on their respective pages on concertina-connection.com. Beaumont layout can be found on buttonbox.com
  13. „Standard” as defined by Brian Hayden himself. Compared to Peacock, it includes A1 and B1 on the left side and C3# and D3 on the right. Personally, it is A1 that is dealbreaker for me. ‚A’ notes are so central to how Hayden system is layed out, that I use A1 in about 2/3 of all my current repertoire. What is most annoying is that Wim decided to not follow the Elise core layout and gradually expand on it with higher level instruments, so switching between concertina connection instruments require switching arrangements, as Troubadour has the same issue.
  14. I second what David wrote - Troubadour is not worth it. It won’t give much edge to beginner over four times cheaper Elise and you will want to upgrade soon enough anyway, either to Peacock (which is still sub „standard”) or Beaumont, which is the largest readily available Hayden at the moment. And if you can afford Peacock or Beaumont they both shouldn’t be hard to sell if you ever decided on a different system, which makes concertina-connection trade in program less of an advantage.
  15. Maybe I wasn’t clear enough - of course larger duets are perfecly sufficient. So just to clarify: with duets smaller/entry price gives you less buttons (insufficiently so in case of Haydens) and reaching „standard” 46 buttons for Haydens costs many times more than entry level Elise, with largest and most capable 64 key boxes coming with a car level price tag. And there is only one intermediate Hayden model, the Troubadour, which offers only a slight range improvement for four times the price of Elise. With anglos, 30 buttons is 30 buttons regardles if it’s Rochelle, Wakker A-1 or vintage. You get exactly the same range, what changes is quality, durability, responsiveness and tone. And from the perspective of a beginner deciding on a system it is IMHO quite cruicial aspect of duets availability and usefulness to consider.
  16. Given your examples I would personally chose duet, and I that is what I did actually. After about a year on the anglo I have switched to Hayden to freely play accordion-like arangement and modern music. BUT, and this is a big but, there is one huge problem with duets, and it is the one of instrument size/range. With Anglos, your upgrade path is in quality and responsiveness of the box, but with duets it is in straightforward ability to play certain sounds/arrangements. For example, you won’t be able to play this Pokemon tune as written on entry level instruments, because they don’t go up that far and end up on A6 (but it fits one octave lower or transposed). And Elise model doesn’t have any G#/Ab or D#/Eb sounds which cuts out a lot of modern music, which tends to be partially or fully chromatic. Sometimes you will be able to transpose, but annoyingly lot of tunes simply don’t fit on it. Of course you can squeeze a lot from cheapest duets, just be aware of limitations and that you’ll want a bigger (and pricy) box for sure.
  17. Thank you Isel, I’m glad you enjoyed it That is a very old recording, from my first year on a Hayden, so it is lacking in a lot of aspects.
  18. A long time ago I have recorded „Sunday Smile” by Beirut in accordion style (based directy on accordion video tutorial) https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=S-bySYW3XVA I play a lot of accordion style arrangements of modern rock/alternative songs and duets are great for this, as you have all chords readily available and you can freely construct very large chords (6-8 notes) using both hands when you don’t need melody or play melody and full 3-4 note chords when playing both melody and accompaniment. The biggest limitation is the size of the instrument, so you’ll often have to play accompaniment in the same octave as melody or use a lot of inverted chords to mantain progressions structure. But a lot can be squeezed out even a humble Elise. While it is true, that concertina and accordion reeds sound different, the main reason why concertina arrangements sound different than accordion arangements is in number of reeds speaking at any time. The second one is that the left hand of duet concertina is equivalent to free-base converter equipped accordion, usually found only on expensive accordions, inviting more melodic style accompaniment instead of typical accordion oom-pah rhytms. So those two groups of players tend to explore different styles. You may also want to find and listen to Kato Toru on YT - he has recorded a lot of modern game/film music in duet like arrangements on his large (40+ buttons) anglo.
  19. Why oh why there is no A4 on the LH side? This is the same problem as with the Peackock, but in the Peacock it was the tradeoff for G#s and D#, but here? This decision makes it so that the player which upgraded from Elise cannot utilize all of their repertoire straight up and has to rearrange some of it for different fingerings or lose some rhytm of the accompaniment. A lot of accordion style accompaniments utilize LHS A4...
  20. Besides everything what was explained above, there is one other, very important thing to consider: while Hayden layout is both intuitive and very capable, Elise has one annoying limitation - it is not fully chromatic, you don’t get two notes on it. So while 30 button Anglo, any English and bigger Duets are all chromatic in at least part of their ranges, Elise has scope more similar to 20 button anglo. Moreover, the price jump to upgrade from entry level Hayden to „proper” instrument is biggest of all - there is no intermediary level instrument, only Elise and then Peacock (which is still sub-standard), Beaumont and Wakkers. With both Anglo and English systems you have a lot more steps to gradually jump between. So if the price is your main concern I would suggest Anglo as a starting point, as it is the most common system and it is easiest to both buy and sell an instrument.
  21. IMHO thumbs are too cruicial for fine outwards bellows controll and articulation to be „wasted” on just one or two easier to play notes. Besides, thumb joints axis orientation makes thumb movements a lot slower than other fingers’, especially when trying to reach further lower buttons. And frankly speaking even six notes at a time sounds rich enough on a concertina, with eight fingers being enough for smooth chord transitions in nearly all cases. I can imagine two or three thumb operated drone base buttons on the left side outside of Hayden layout being musically usefull, but otherwise it is wasted bellows controll for me.
  22. I do use my pinkies quite often - for low bass in four finger chord accompaniments on the left side and for sharps in chromatic melodies and as an intermediary finger in some downward chord progressions. This is why I use thumbstraps, my handstraps are so loose, that I don’t have any point of contact with hand rail - if I have to make a silent squeeze I rest one of my fingers on the board. Switching hand position in handstrap is IMHO key ability on Hayden.
  23. I have something similar to ideas mentioned above in mind for my yet-to-be-finished 66 button Hayden. My idea is to have a thumb strap (I already use one on my Elise), a wide pinky „saddle” instead of handrail and I also wanted to experiment with a different approach to handstraps - make it a set of rigid but deflectable slides that do not restrain hand movement about thumb pivot point while giving the same controll as a tight strap. This way changing the hand orientation to flat or sharp keys should not affect bellows control or stability while playing.
  24. When I wrote about neck strap earlier it was a bit of simplification - mine was asymmetric, going over one shoulder and under another, then splitting in two on each side. It provided a very good stabilization and held concertina in very precise position and did not strain my neck. But it required a slightly twisted back to have totally immobilized left end and when one of my spinal discs punctured I could not play this way anymore. Now I have switched to additional thumbstraps and a raised knee standing position and I have discovered that I have a lot more feel for volume controll this way, so I don’t experiment with straps anymore.
  25. At least one player tried not only resting, but also straping via velcro patches. On similar note, I have observed differences in my performance depending on the kind of trousers I rest my concertina on, with the best results with my bare skin - not only giving me additional traction, but also better tactile feedback. I can play softer and with less overall volume that way.
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