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I have a wheatestone C/G anglo with the standard 30-button layout on which I play primarily irish music. I have seen some discussion on modified/hybrid layouts for ITM, but they have all been focused on the mid-range, usually focusing the C#. I am getting fairly comfortable with the wheatstone system in this sense, but there is one thing that has continued to bug me. I would really like to have the D below middle C to throw in chords. As it is I can throw in a nice low G, A or E and even the odd C, but the one I would get the most use out of for irish music woudl be that D. Does anyone have experience modifying the layout in this range? Are there any particular issues one might run into or reason's not to do it. I realize that there could be some issues with differently sized reeds on the low end. Here is the mod that seems the most obvious to me. Remove the low F natural on the pull (top row, far left) and replace that with the low G. (That low F is probably my least used button on the left hand side anyways). Then replace the existing low G pull (Mid row, far left) with a low D pull. It seems like this should be fine space-wise as the G should be the same length or shorter than the F, and the D would be on the same as the low C, so there should be room for it. Plus I think it should only require one new reed since the low-G would just be moved. Moreover this layout seems like it would have nice options for a DA fifth and and an inverted GD fifth on the pull in that leftmost column, As well as a nice D octave combo in the middle row. The lowG-mid D pull that I currently use on the pull would be slightly more awkward, but not prohibatively so. I would love to know if anyone has advice regarding either the ease with which I can find someone who make such a modification (It is beyond my own tinkering ability and comfort) and also if anyone has other alternative layouts for the low range. I am not in any particular hurry, but I do think I will want to do it eventually, maybe once it is in need of a general tuneup. Of course the other option would be down the road to look for a different instrument with more than 30 buttons, but I have a bad habit of acquiring too many instruments as it is. Thank you.
Instead of going OT in the "chosing a system" thread I'm starting this new one: You read this all over, and of course it's true - in a way. But it should be mentioned that playing the EC "in any key" will be increasingly difficult if you're playing in sort of a "harmony style" like I do. I know Jim's reports that he doesn't find it that hard but from my experience everything beyond C/Am - G/Em - F/Dm (with the parallel modes and secondary dominants up to B7) will turn out to be difficult if you want to employ all six harmonic steps to a given scale. I had to explore D for the first TOTM tune - The Fiery Clock Face where I didn't have to apply F#m, but actually backed off from A until this very day. There's one song which simply doesn't sound well in G and is way too high for my voice in C, so it's A or Bb... For A, which I choose, you need (if not C#m) F#m and as a "fortified" secondary dominant to B even F#7, and you'll find the keyboard lacking the A# button (and the enharmonic equivalent - Bb - is located on the other side). Of course this can be rehearsed, and within a few days one might be safe in one additional key, but - long story short - as to easy access it's more that you have all the accidentals for the melody or certain modulations, whereas the choice of keys farther "away" from the home key (which is of course C/Am) will demand breaching the general pattern which is disturbing, at least at first... Instant access to playing in any key will be the main advantage of "isomorphic" Duet systems (although there seem to be some limitations with smaller keyboards where the player has to "jump" from one end to the other). The EC has a diatonic "core", and that I greatly appreciate! What do you think?
The following quote is from the January 2014 "Tune of the Month" topic, but further discussion doesn't really belong there, so I've started a new topic here. Geoff, I thought you were also working with a Maccann duet. Have you given that up in favor of the Hayden? Or more generally, how do you find they compare? And if any of your toy's former owners are members here, it would be interesting to hear why they parted with it.