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Everything posted by rlgph

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Thank you JimLucas and W3DW for replying with answers to my curiosity about transference of skills from one hand to the other.
  7. 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.
  8. "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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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?
  13. I think i like squeeze best, especially with the past tense of squoze. Twiddle is also kind of appealing, as is noodling, which pretty much describes my playing on all my instruments.
  14. I've been wondering about a verb to use when i'm playing my concertina. For guitar (and some other stringed instruments, at least in the US) we use "picking". What about concertina?
  15. Over in the "Buy and Sell" forum there is a thread titled "wtb Wakker W-2" which has drifted far from its original intent. Since i want to make a comment that would take it even further afield, i decided to start a new topic here. This question about whether a slant is optimum for a Hayden duet or not has ignored the fact that on a usual Hayden (in which the sides are not mirrored) the functionality of the individual fingers on the two hands differs. So far as i can see, the "fact" that a given configuration works better for the right hand does not mean that it will also work better for the left hand -- unless, of course, the left hand button arrangement mirrors that of the right hand (to the extent that it can, with usually fewer buttons). I, of course, am an advocate for a mirrored left hand arrangement because (1) it allows almost automatic transfer of finger memory from the right hand to the left hand, making it relatively easy for beginners to play melody or phrases with the left hand an octave or two lower (simultaneously with the right hand or not) and (2) so far as i can imagine, collectively it is no harder to play chords with a mirrored left hand (although some individual chords may be easier with one arrangement or the other). Anyway, it seems like it would be easier to determine whether a slant works better for the hands of a given player if the two sides are mirrored. ron
  16. I agree. And from this point of view drawing analogy to different stringed instruments doesn't work because the experience of listening to guitar music is different for the audience than that of a banjo or mandolin, for example.
  17. Thanks for the suggestions, especially your long, thoughtful post, Don -- a lot there for me to mull over. Just, to be clear, though i initially started my left hand accompaniment with octave shadowing entire tunes, i now limit all of the variations 0-3 to a measure or two here and there. The melody is always dominant in my playing. Although i can in principle work out and learn counter melodies to go with my right (or left) hand melody, my biggest enjoyment with the concertina is playing a melody by ear and devising variations of it. (In addition, recently i've been having fun quietly playing single hand accompaniment at a weekly guitar/banjo jam that i attend.) I'm not willing to invest a lot of time memorizing a few set pieces (that would be substantially inferior to those of a good player, no matter how hard i worked). That's why i tend to base any accompaniment i do on the octave variations that i mentioned -- i can do those on the fly along with my melody playing, with a relatively small sacrifice in speed. Thanks again for your comments; i shall be trying out some of your ideas over the next batch of months. ron
  18. In another duet accompaniment thread Don Taylor said "I am just so happy if I can get anything going on the left hand that sounds good with the melody on the the right." I immediately thought "I resemble that remark." That's the primary reason i consider myself as remaining at an advanced beginner level. (I play mostly American or British folk or pop tunes by ear.) Since the left side of my Hayden is mirrored, octave accompaniment is very easy for me, so that's what i usually go for when i do anything on the left side other than playing melody. However, obviously i don't always want to slavishly follow a right side melody with my left hand. As i have thought about it, i've come up with the following variations on octave accompaniment that i've tried (I mostly limit the use of one or two of these variations within a given tune.): 0. Strict octave shadowing of phrases within the tune. 1. Echoing phrases of the right side with the left side (call and response). 2. Alternately playing phrases of the melody between the right side and the left side. 3. Shadowing the melody with the left side shifted a fourth (or other fixed shift). I'd like to hear comments you have about other possible variations, or your views about the artistic merit of any/all of these variations. Thanks.
  19. This is a job for ... a Hayden duet! ?
  20. Take a piece of paper and fold it once in the middle — one ridge and two “half valleys”. Now take two such folded pieces and tape them together. Two ridges, one full valley and two “half valleys”. Continue as far as you like, the number of folds is the same as the number of ridges. Or you can turn the pieces over and talk about N (full) valleys, N-1 full ridges, and two “half ridges”. In either case the number of folds is the same as the sum of the number of ridges or the sum of the number of valleys. Of course, Alex is right that it would be better to think in terms of hinges.
  21. Surely that’s the waiting time for a Wakker Hayden, not a CC Peacock. The wait time for one of those is about 6 weeks, and used ones show up fairly frequently.
  22. It is no more difficult, nor is the deposit any higher, to get a CC Peacock with mirrored left side than the more common configuration. I understand that the B.B. Beaumont can also be ordered with a mirrored left side, though I don’t know that for sure, nor what the deposit is. ron
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