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Playing chords on English


Ishtar
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Hi,

 

What is the recommended way to play chords where all the notes are on the same side?

 

For example C is C-E-G, and Aminor is A-C-E.

 

Do you squish three fingers up to play three notes together, do you use one finger to do two of the notes together, or do you take one of the notes from a different octave, therefore from the other side of the concertina?

 

Thank you. :)

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Do you squish three fingers up to play three notes together, do you use one finger to do two of the notes together, or do you take one of the notes from a different octave, therefore from the other side of the concertina?

 

Thank you. :)

I actually do both squishing and using one finger for two notes. There are other good reasons for using a more widely spaced chord (notes from a different octave)---they often sound better than closely spaced ones. There's something about the overtones on the thirds. That said, a lot of Victorian arrangements for EC use a lot of parallel thirds.

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Do you squish three fingers up to play three notes together, do you use one finger to do two of the notes together, or do you take one of the notes from a different octave, therefore from the other side of the concertina?

 

Thank you. :)

I actually do both squishing and using one finger for two notes. There are other good reasons for using a more widely spaced chord (notes from a different octave)---they often sound better than closely spaced ones. There's something about the overtones on the thirds. That said, a lot of Victorian arrangements for EC use a lot of parallel thirds.

 

Jackie has wider spacing of buttons and using separate finger on each button for a chord is quite possible, even for 7ths or 4 note chords.

On my Albion and now on Lachenal it is more problematic. But doable. Using one finger to squish two buttons at once is, to my view, sloppy way of playing, because it will lead to sustained chords, whether you want them or not. And, to my taste, sustained chords on the Concertina are not tasty.

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Whether to use one finger for two notes, or one finger per note depends on where you've come from, what else you're doing whilst playing the chord, and where you're going afterwards.

 

Also... thirds tend to sound rather harsh on the concertina, and closely spaced triads (containing two thirds, obviously), sound really harsh.

 

It's a bit of a diversion, but playing thirds moderately high up on the concertina leads to beats that you can actually hear. For example, play the "high" g on the right hand side together with the b above it. The frequencies are 784 and 988Hz. The beat (difference) is 204Hz which is _almost_ the lowest G sharp (208), and you can hear this low "buzz". Doesn't sound nice with the G# against the G and B though!

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This is really a reply to Danny (I think). You say that thirds sound harsh, but to me it is fifths that sound harsh. Am I idiosyncratic? If I try to play two note chords, I always use the root and third. It seems to me, however, that I have heard others say the root and fifth sound best.

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