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    American folk or folk-inspired music; songwriting
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    Western North Carolina

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Chatty concertinist

Chatty concertinist (4/6)

  1. I play a Hayden duet during jams with (mostly) guitars, a banjo and occasionally a mandolin. I usually use pentatonic scales and play something approximating the melody, with occasional variations. I like it (don't know about the others, but no complaints -- once i learned not to play too loudly).
  2. Are the striso boards still available? The web page says out of stock, and it's not clear to me that the site is still active.
  3. I have not found it more difficult to play chordal accompaniment on the unidirectional layout than the bidirectional layout (based on my limited experience with the Elise). I have not been patient enough to learn to play counter-melodies with my left hand, but i see no intrinsic reason it would be more difficult to do so with a mirrored layout. I have not found the theoretical tendency for the left hand to mirror the right hand to be a problem with learning a chordal accompaniment.
  4. I'm apparently one of the few who have chosen the unidirectional (mirrored) layout. I chose it because i discovered from a Hayden simulation app (unfortunately no longer existing) that once i learned a melody with my right hand, it transferred almost automatically to my left hand so that i could play it an octave lower. This makes octave-based or 4th- or 5th-based left hand accompaniment (which i prefer to chord-based) very easy. However, since any chord you can finger with your right hand you can also finger with your left hand on the unidirectional layout, chordal accompaniment is also available. The primary disadvantage of the unidirectional layout is that it will likely be more difficult to sell such an instrument.
  5. I went into pare-down mode about a year ago. I gave up the bagpipes because i could play most of its tunes on concertina, so i rarely took it out of its case. (I also couldn't use it at my regular folk jam, as i could the concertina.) I also gave up on my 4 string instruments -- tenor guitar and ukulele -- to spend the time learning guitar in more detail. I did get a baritone guilele, which satisfies the small stringed instrument niche.
  6. The Eb rather than D# would make it awkward to play in E, a very common key for the American folk/blues players that i jam with.
  7. You have apparently misread my post. I did not state a premise. I stated some results about my own playing that gave me insight into learning transference from one hand to the other in the case of a mirrored left side, and asked for information from others about whether similar transference occurred for a non-mirrored left side. I have many other interests beyond playing concertina, although i do occasionally seek to utilize my concertina playing to give me insight into those other interests. With regard to left hand accompaniment in actually playing tunes, however, i find it surprising that you (RAc) say that you don't think that the lower octave adds anything significant. I personally find it much more interesting to insert octave (or other parallel key) snippets as accompaniment than the more common chord or partial chord inserts. Becoming a good musician is only one of my goals, so i will continue to theorize and seek experimental data because doing so satisfies my intellectual curiosity. I accept that i will never become an outstanding (or maybe not even good) musician, but so long as playing is enjoyable, i will do so.
  8. Thank you JimLucas and W3DW for replying with answers to my curiosity about transference of skills from one hand to the other.
  9. I find human learning very interesting, so i'm curious about learning of other players of duets. Those of you with standard non-mirrored duets (essentially all duet players i gather), if you learn to play (e.g, by ear) a simple tune on the right side, does that learning transfer directly to playing it on the left side, or do you (or would you) have to undergo a corresponding learning period to play it an octave lower (or, if it's a Hayden layout, some other key shift) with your left hand? I understand this is not a task that you would normally do in learning a new melody with accompaniment. I'm just proposing a simple experiment to investigate transference of learning between the hemispheres of the brain.
  10. "I relate to the note position, not the finger." So do i, but i don't have a conscious image in my mind of the layout or of my finger positions relative to it. However, i don't agree that "humans learn complicated things very easily". There are far too many who have tried to learn to play an instrument (e.g., guitar) but have given up without significant progress.
  11. Your point about selling is true, but i didn't buy my instrument with any thought of selling. Your point about chord visualization is not true, at least, not true for all people. For me, mirror image visualizations are no more difficult than non-mirrored ones, and mirrored notes/chords are easier to play without conscious thought. To use your analogy with a guitar, when first learning i think most people do visualize chord shapes to know where to put one's fingers. But as we get more proficient, we see (e.g.) the symbol C and automatically know where our fingers go without having to visualize the diagram of a C chord. On my mirrored Hayden concertina, if i learn to play a simple tune with my right hand, i can pretty much immediately play the tune simultaneously with my left hand. In fact, i can play the tune almost automatically with my left hand alone, albeit more slowly. My brain apparently transfers the learning from one hand to the other. Based on the book that i mentioned in a previous thread, i am not alone (or even in a minority) in being able to do this. Apparently it is a common human trait.
  12. I only just discovered your thread. I wish you luck with it, but i'm not up to trying it out because of too many other things on my plate.
  13. As indicated by my previous threads, i am a strong advocate of the uni-directional layout. I had it on my CC Peacock and have one on my current Wakker W1. I think that it would be especially useful on beginners' instruments because it allows one to quickly learn a non-trivial form of left hand accompaniment -- playing in octaves or other fixed relationships (e.g., 4ths) -- without (so far as i can see) making it any more difficult to learn other forms of accompaniment. As you say, it also makes sense to have the same functional use of fingers between left and right hands. The appeal to an analogy with piano playing is inappropriate because the concertina has a hard boundary between left and right hand notes.
  14. This will work quite well in playing American folk and acoustic rock with my Saturday jam group. I for one will be saving up to get one of these -- unidirectional, of course ;-) Can you explain the advantages of the Wakker bellows, please?
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