I am amused with this question since last months, because I am in the Alex Holden’s list for a new Hayden duet, thus I have to decide between slant or parallel design.
I am taking into account:
- The opinion from duet players. Thank you Joy, David, Didie and other people for your opinions!.
- The comments of Bryan Hayden (there is another thread where this question is raised out)
- The comments of concertina makers (it seems the majority of new Wakker hayden orders ask for parallel design).
- My (limited) own experience with duets, as only have tryed my Stagy Hayden
To be brief, my preliminar conclusions are:
- - Probably slant benefits a better reaching of some keys, and perhaps some arrange of chords, but parallel could have similar effect with different keys/chords. My current feeling with the Stagi slant (even having different feaures that hayden does, finally it is a slant type) are: I can not reach the first buttons in the upper left row with my left pinky finger, and I have to extend (probably more than would make a confortable playing) both my right ring and pinky fingers to reach the higher-pitch keys in the upper right rows.
- - As I conclude, It is not a dramatic decission, because finnally you will have to fiddle with the limitations of one or another disposition.
- - I think the preferences for one or another disposition would be highly a matter of personal taste, the size of hands (mine are small) and the type of music mostly played (I like different styles, but mainly like irish/scottish music).
Thus, I thing it is necessary to try with both sistems to reach your own conclusion.😜
I have builded two very basic end prototypes (left and right, with cardboard, plywood, litle silicon bars, etc) with same dimensions and same keyboard’s specifications as will be in the final instrument. In these prototypes I can locate the keybords and handrails in any position and/or slant I want . So I can get a very rough idea of what is my feeling with different dispositions of them.
By the moment… parallel wins… but the game continues😊 .
(a question I am thinking about is which disposition would also benefit a more natural position of the hand (aligned whith the arm??), as (at least for me) when playing sited my arm doesn't form a right angle, but one slightly minor, so perhaps a slight slant could favor maintaining a more natural alignment hand/arm)