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Łukasz Martynowicz

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Everything posted by Łukasz Martynowicz

  1. Because when playing a lot of drone accompaniment or using a lot of minor chords in oompah rhytms it is the fully depressed state that hurts my fingers most. I have my middle finger significantly longer than index and third, so playing minor chords on a Hayden makes me back bend my middle finger and press he button with a fingertip near the nail instead of a digit [i hope this vocabulary makes sense ]. With sinking buttons finger rests on an endplate which is far more comfortable.
  2. If I can recall corectly, original Elise buttons are just a bit under 5mm and my current alluminium ones are also 5mm. For my DIY I go for 6mm diameter (which will sink completely into endplates when pressed) for two main reasons: - increased comfort of long sessions. I use flat buttons with beveled edges. More diameter means more room for nice, round bevel and still enough space left for comfortable flat area. - easier multibutton fingering. In this case 6mm buttons seem to me as the largest option available with standard Hayden spacing. On my MIDI prototype I have 7,5mm buttons (with a slightly different spacing - 15x10) and it requires a great deal of precision while fingering - it is prone to accidental multibutton presses. And just for the sake of comparison: while 4,5-6,5mm is somewhat variable width, my cheap Anglo has 10mm buttons and could easily be fitted with my CBA's 14mm buttons. Both 10 and 14 mm buttons allow for very fast, very expressive fingerings which are quite hard on a tight Hayden grid...
  3. @ button size&spacing: not much can be done here, I'm afraid. There are different button sizes with Anglos, but with Englishes and Duets you have to fit even twice as much buttons within comfortable reach. There is simply no way to make this happen on a 7"box - you need something the size of chemnitzer to do that. It is not only the size of the keyboard, but also minimum lever lenght and lever routing that play significant role here. Only Tona's Custom Dipper has bigger buttons, because his layout is arranged around the wrist pivot point. @ my handrail/handstrap: I'm thinking about quite distinctive design here, but I will share it after building a working and proven prototype for my DIY. @ adjustable handrail: I can think about at least a couple of robust, adjustable designs, of both height and distance to keyboard. And even slant. And I think that if there were demand on such solutions, modern concertina makers would include them. The problem here is that only few of us think in terms of adjusting concertinas to our personal needs. And there is one other limiting factor here: you can sell your instrument easier if it has common ergonomics and can be played by the new owner straight ahead. And there is also one other question: how much change in ergonomics/design/layout will make the result to be a completely different instrument? Chemnitzers and bandoneons are also in the concertina family, but on this forum we don't treat them as such. There is one guy who makes rectangular "anglos" with large melodeon buttons...
  4. The most important Duet capability is full independence of hands and thus being able to play more than a melody line in various styles in ease. This can be done to some extent on both Anglo and English (with different limitations or requiring different level of mastery). Duets are also more versatile and more suited for modern music. I agree with Daniel, that Anglo is very distinctive in it's bounciness and this is a feature of bisonoric instruments that is very hard to fake with unisonoric boxes. But "bigger chords" advantage is only relative to Englishes, all Duet types can accomodate (and be used this way in practice) more complex and larger harmonies than both Anglos and Englishes. [for example, I can easily play four step progressions with full triads on both sides or build and use 4 finger chords. I often use 6 notes sounding at once for rock songs accompaniment]
  5. Thanks for 17 Hippies, Jim! They're great! (though I must say, that this kind of music sounds very "fusion" with english lyrics). If you like some cool Klezmer music with an energetic punch, you might find Polish band Klezmafour interesting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FVDzrdourao or Neofarius Orchestra #249 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fW01C1FCV_A
  6. [All of the following ideas refer to Hayden Duet] First thing that cames to mind is ergonomics (in terms of bellows controll, fingers reach and overall handling of the instrument in different body positions). Traditional handrail/handstrap have never suited me well, as I have very long fingers. I did some rudimentary adjustments to my Elise and plan to do some own research on this topic when my DIY project will finally reach handling stage. The second thing to fiddle with is simplifying the action board, both in terms of number of parts and serviceability of the instrument. It drove me a bit mad to position and bush all buttons when I did my keyboard modification to the Elise. I have some ideas to experiment with on my DIY box and I remember seeing a drawing by one of concertina makers, that illustrated the usage of linear springs under the buttons, but I cannot find it now... @Matthew - I think that the most robust concertinas suitable for camping and oher harsh conditions are some of the old German 20b Anglos - those which use common plate reeds. This is because such reeds are mounted to reedblocks not by waxing but by screws, so can tolerate high and low temperatures well. Unfortunately, they are usually double reeded, so they are quite large. As to concertina reeds - they not only need more work per piece, but also require a lot more work with the reedpan and there is too little demand for them for large scale production. So I wouldn't count on any change in their price and availability in any foreseeable time.
  7. When it comes to self accompaniment you're looking for something easiest to play on while performing other, very focus-intense activity. Even on the easiest instruments simultanous playing and singing is quite hard - I can sing pretty well, I'm quite decent at concertina accompaniment playing, but doing both at the same time requires my absolute focus and is not as natural as either of these activities alone. IMHO Haydens are the best option for self accompaniment, then comes Crane system and EC is third (descending order of logicality of layout). Anglos require you to memorize and controll more parameters while playing. You have two layouts of notes and must mantain not only proper pressure in the bellows, but also it's direction and limits (you have to watch out for running out of air). Of course anything can be done by skilled enough individual. But said that, there is one, most important factor to consider: both availability and price tag favour ECs over duets if you don't need duet specific capabilities.
  8. One more thing: my statement regarding span was meant for duet boxes, my fault that it came after the sentence about Englishes.
  9. Jim, I didn't intend to insult English system players or the system itself. I do love English system recordings and capabilities of this system, nevertheless it is less capable than duets for playing complex polyphonic arrangements. Please bear in mind, that Maki asked about easiest concertina systems to play Eastern European music, and while some skilled players indeed can perform duet-like arrangements on English (not as complex as, for example, Tona's renditions, but indeed far from "melody only"), it is not an entry-level capability of English system. As to required span: when I did my research on "how big my DIY Hayden should be" I marked all spans from my desired repertoire, including some Klezmer and Gypsy tunes, and I have landed with 66 buttons. When melody spans two octaves, then switches an octave higher for one part in tune and you want to put "always lower" accompaniment and some basses, then yes, 3 1/2 span for duets is a minimum. Especially when you have it divided between two hands. Most Klezmer accordionists use large CBAs for a reason. Of course you can squeeze tunes into smaller spans and do a lot of different adjustments, but for me, Klezmer and Balkan feel comes from immense complexity.
  10. This is one of this rare ocasions, when my answer won't be "a Hayden Duet" Both Gypsy and Klezmer music use quite exotic, chromatic scales [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gypsy_scale]. On a Hayden it makes fingering spread all over the keyboard. Probably best would be Tona's Dipper Custom or Chromatiphone layout. From more popular types, a Crane duet seems to have the most accesible fingering of those scales. For melody only playing English should be more than enough. And it should be a rather large box, because of wide pitch ranges within a tune.
  11. Judging from those samples (this first one is played on a Stagi Hayden duet concertina), you should find Breton and some slower Scandinavian folk appealing. Also, try searching under the term "Early Music" - it is used to describe all different kinds of western music before the common practice era (pre-baroque classical music). Slavic, Gypsy, Balkan, Russian and Klezmer music are so deeply interleaved due to history fo eastern Europe throughout last few centuries, that they cannot be easily summed up as distinct styles. Instead, they they form something more like a continuum of different influences. But they have stronger or weaker tradition depending on region, so you might want to try some Gypsy, Balkan and Klezmer folk searches as a starting point, as well as Ukrainian and Belarusian. Just like Scandinavian and Irish/Celtic folk music, they have been played a lot in modern, folk-rock arrangements as well as in traditional forms. One example of a gypsy tune that has it's variants and flavours in almost any eastern culture is "Two guitars": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nLB_14jFJ68 This one is a Klezmer tune, but with strong balkan feel to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y0N_mTKUPRQ And this is an example of Balkan Gypsy tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WFa5_1S2NQ8 Here is a sample of modern-written russian harmoszka tune: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O-mUuCvNrp8 I have never heard anyone playing this kind of music on a concertina, mostly because concertinas were never a traditional folk instruments in eastern europe (with an exception of last years of Tsar Russia, when strong German influence had build up some popularity of 20b German Anglo). Try also our TOTMs, they might be your anchoring point to some of the less popular (than ITM) but playable concertina genres. And last but not least - anything can be "concertina music" if you can arrange it and play on our instrument. I do mostly modern rock and folk-rock tunes, and folks try all sort of different things from all around the world.
  12. I don't know if this is equally possible on all Duet systems (due to different ergonomics of each of them), but on a Hayden you can comfortably use a bass/tonic drone as a third layer of arrangement, that is playing a drone beside a full chordal accompaniment on the LH. This is a VERY air consuming technique and of limited practical use (I sometime dabble on my concertina exploring it's capabilities in an improvised way and one time this technique of increasing number of voices came to my mind). As to maximum number of sounding notes I use up to 7 in some punk rock songs (single note bass + full chord on the left and an octave higher chord on the right) for necessary punch and fill. Other than that it is usually 3-5 notes maximum (full chord accompaniment plus melody with added fifth or octave on accents).
  13. The index and and middle finger works just fine for root & 5th in the mirrored layout; or am i missing your point? My bad. I was mirroring layout in my head only just before sleep, without the actual instrument in my hands and got this one confused. I'm so used to Hayden version now, that it feels unnatural to use different fingering on either side (spreading fingers differently uses different and less trained muscles in my forearms). I totally forgot, that it is exaclty the fingering used on RH side... Though the single digit multi button fingering is opposite to what I wrote earlier… It is easier to press root+fifth with a single button on a RH (or mirrored) side. But then, on a Hayden LH side it is easier to play root+fifth+oct this way. It is because the half moon shape of a digit when playing three buttons at once is bent upwards. I do this 3 button trick quite often for singing, but I use two fingers when playing root+fifth accompaniments for melodies. Thinking a bit more about those two variants, as with any two layouts there are advantages in both: playing major 7th chord is easier on the RH (or mirrored) (you can play it with two figers only), while 7th is easier on the Hayden LH. And you'll probably come to a point when you'll use single finger techniques and use 4 button chords like doubled root major or 7th chords, especially if you'll play self accompaniment for singing or as a harmony instrument when playing with others. @Patrick & Don: I don't think that sticking to any "rigid" finger-button assingment is a way to go on the Hayden. I use both your variants of fingering a major scale depending on actual phrases in a tune. And I use my wrist a lot when playing chordal accompaniment (especially oompah rhytms) and realy don't see how one can stick to rigid scale fingering when doing so. In fact, my melody playing is more closely related to chord fingering than to scale fingering as I often learn a tune from harmony structure, adding melodic passages to fill harmony, not the oposite way.
  14. Except for the one you've linked here and the ones on BBC website all other inside shots are 3D renderings and not actual photos. But it indeed looks like they are making it only partially from plastic parts. Nevertheless I would very much like to hear how this 3D printed soundboard sounded
  15. Original Wicki layout was mirrored, hence the "normal" and "inverted" (Hayden) modes. Mirrored layout is in fact easier to grasp as finger movements when playing octaves are identical, but Hayden version has some advantages when playing chordal accompaniment: - it is easier to use pinky finger for additional bass note (major triad with doubled root - with minor chords it is awkward in both layouts) - using index and ring finger (or a single digit) for playing chord core (root + fifth) is more natural in Hayden orientation There is also one unused (?) feature in Hayden version - one can play a single octave with two hands in 'Anglo' style: going up in one row on the LH and then going down on the RH without skipping rows with the same hand. Can be usefull in melody-only playing of otherwise "uncomfortable" phrases. Of course the same can be done with original Wicki variant, but going twice up doesn't feel that fluent as just rolling fingers in the same direction, like on a piano.
  16. If what can bee seen on theese few photos is in fact a production-ready prototype I'm more than curious on how will it sound. The whole reedblocks, soundboard and action are made from plastic. Outer shell looks like it's made celuloid-covered plywood and if the price is the main concern I wonder if they will use zinc plate reeds or standard accordion reeds. All previous "modern concertina building" threads can be summed up to "you simply cannot get a traditional sound without traditional materials".
  17. Given this whole "hand crafted" question above, I assume, that by "hand cut" you mean "with a jewellers saw" hand-tool and not "with a scroll saw" hand-guided power tool? But using scroll saw gives you quite the same varations and imperfections as hand tools, and takes a fraction of time and effort. Could you even be able to distinguish two fretworks done each way in a blind test?
  18. Well, for me, the single most important question whether the term "hand crafted" should be reserved only to pre-industrial era tools is - "Does it changes the final effect?". It is a bit like digital vs fully analogue photography, with everything set-up in front of the camera and not added in post-production. Does it looks and feels different? If not, where is the point of putting hours of work into something which is could be done in minutes? Does something turned on a treadle-operated lathe look, feel or work differently than turned on a modern, electric lathe? CNC looks and feels different than any hand method, because it has 100% reproducibility. No slight tolerance variations, no imperfections etc… I'm no purist, for me the term "hand crafted" means that no two pieces of work are 100% identical - each hand-driven tool, be it a modern power tool or a chisel and hammer will fell in this cathegory for me.
  19. The easiest to learn and play is Hayden duet concertina. It has a benefit of uniform fingering in all available keys: each chord type has its own shape, regardles on root note. It is the only strictly logical and fully repetitive layout, with no random exceptions or octave switches.
  20. Before investing any money in this project I would strongly suggest reading through those two threads: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16394 & http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16398 Discussed there, are probably all main problems when trying to mass produce a cheap electronic or "guitar range" acoustic boxes. Including 3D printing production limitations. There was also a thread earlier (probably not a single one), with a thorough analysis of the whole concertina market, with points on introducing new types of instruments in general. All of the above lead to some quite solid conclusions: cheap market is owned by Chineese and Wakker entry level concertinas; pro market would never turn their backs on traditionally built instruments and those would never be any cheaper due to amount of labour necessary; and last but not least there is no way to build up enough market for a common MIDI instrument, as anyone has different demands and plays a different system. As to 3D printing itself - unless we are talking about the newest fluid-hardening process or industrial-grade printers, household filament machines have VERY poor resolution and dimension tolerances, thus are completely useless for any serious manufaturing. Technology-wise it is MUCH cheaper to produce concertinas from wood using CNC machinery, than 3D print or cast/mould from plastic, especially given the possible scale of production.
  21. @Stradella: thinking about this particular system as "up a fifth, down a fourth" name-wise is completely reasonable, as Stradella system spans only a single octave and notes are arranged by a circle of fifths/fourths relations and not fifth interval - there are jumps that goes to lower pitch while still following "up a fifth" logic. It is the same logic in which Pythagorean tuning is made - each step of a scale is achieved by a fifth step up, but then "compressed" back into a single octave.
  22. I just tried to imagine how this Kalbe would feel, and that is indeed a very strange wrist position. But this second one looks quite comfortable (apart from it's strange note layout) an Harry Geuns makes modern bandoneons based on the same principle: http://bandoneon-maker.com/professional-model-c-b-and-russian-b-system-bandonion/
  23. Do you have any pics of this instrument? I'm very interested in how this instrument is held and played, since it sounds like having very odd ergonomics..
  24. What makes it belong to the accordion family is the direction of button action in relation to the bellows movement. In general - accordions have perpendicular action while concertinas have parallel. [This is true for any tradition and region… except for Portugal - "concertina portuguesa" is a portugese 2-3 row diatonic accordion, most closely related to the melodeon. ] All concertinas (including chemnizers and bandoneons) are also built with a same general principle of having single note buttons on both sides of the instrument, allowing couter melody play, while accordions have a left hand side built to play full chord/bass accompaniment, hence the name (a-chord-ion in western or harmon(y)ia in eastern languages). Concertinas are also single reeded, except from German concertinas (which include chemnizers and bandonions), which have two or three reeds per note (which in case of bandoneons are tuned in octaves and not as a dry/wet unisono like in melodeons).
  25. Well, this month went by so quickly… I had very little time to post or play or do anything concertina-related, but I made a resolution this month, that I'll get back to active playing, so here it is. This is just a short sample recording of A (old and rearranged) and B (completely new for me) parts of a much longer song. Hopefully I'll someday record it with vocals and in full lenght. Still much room for improvement, but I'll probably work on this tune only after finishing building my DIY-tina. https://soundcloud.com/martynowi-cz/dwie-siostry-revisited-wip [and for sake of reference, a link to the very first version posted earlier: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0buNZcKxHc ]
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