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Lefty Concertina Players?

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I was just looking at Bob Tedrow's website and saw a picture of him holding a pencil in his left hand. So he is either left-handed or ambidextrous. I am left-handed as well. Are they other Left-Handed Concertina players out there? If so, do you find it harder to play the melody on the right side?

 

Farion

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I was just looking at Bob Tedrow's website and saw a picture of him holding a pencil in his left hand. So he is either left-handed or ambidextrous. I am left-handed as well. Are they other Left-Handed Concertina players out there? If so, do you find it harder to play the melody on the right side?

 

Farion

 

Left-handed pianists and piano accordion players do it all the time, so I don't imagine it's much of a problem. Until you become convinced it is.

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Left-handed pianists and piano accordion players do it all the time, so I don't imagine it's much of a problem. Until you become convinced it is.

 

I have seen photos of full size left handed piano accordions and continental chromatics, though never handled them. I have repaired several left handed melodeons, indeed I converted one for a left handed customer on one occasion.

 

However, I have never encountered a left handed piano, but I would be surprised if some one hadn't built one.

 

But left handed concertinas? Any particular system in mind? It could be advantageous for a left handed duet player I suppose. English? Can't see the point. Anglo? Interesting concept, perhaps of more interest to chordal style players than for ITM use.

 

MC

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I was just looking at Bob Tedrow's website and saw a picture of him holding a pencil in his left hand. So he is either left-handed or ambidextrous. I am left-handed as well. Are they other Left-Handed Concertina players out there? If so, do you find it harder to play the melody on the right side?

 

Farion

 

Hi Farion,

I'm a lefty, and I think it might be a little bit of an advantage on the anglo - in that my 3rd and 4th finger on the left see a good deal more action than those same fingers on the right, which are somewhat less responsive. I support the box on my right knee, so weight isn't an issue. What do the lefty EC players say?

Cheers,

Molly

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I'm left handed & I think it might be an advantage - at least in the beginning. Living in a right-handed world we get used to having to do some things with our weaker hand, so I think that because of this the initial stage learning to use both sides of the concertina is just that bit easier. That said, when you've done hours & hours of practice on both sides I think any advantage / disadvantage disappears.

 

As for left-handed pianos - see this http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/178608.stm

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Lefties rool OK! Well, I've been left-handed since birth and there's nothing sinister about it. I play the EC and the way the EC has been designed, strikes me as very logical and quite suitable and easy for any-handed person to learn, once you know where the notes are. In fact, it encourages you to become a bit more ambidextrous. When it comes to playing stringed instruments such as the guitar, I would have to have a normal right-handed guitar re-strung the other way round, so that I can properly finger chords with my right hand, though I have come across left-handed people who happily play a right-handed guitar upside down. Jimi Hendrix was one such guitarist. I have on occasion, seen left-handed melodeons for sale on Ebay but despite being left-handed, I can quite happily play a melodeon with the treble keyboard on my right as normal. It's the same with a piano. I guess even left-handers are all probably wired a little differently and have their quirks. BTW, I am still looking for a left-handed mug, after many years of searching. Any leads would be greatly appreciated. :rolleyes:

 

Chris

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I'm left-handed too, and I've never even thought that it might affect the way I play instruments. I just get on and do it. The keywork on the woodwind instruments which I play (clarinet, saxophone, flute) is laid out in a manner which means you have no choice over which hand to use on which half of the instrument. The LH is always nearest your mouth, the RH always furthest from it. Whenever I see youngsters learning to play the whistle the 'wrong way round', I always fear for their future problems which they are building for themselves should they ever want to learn a standard woodwind instrument with keywork. I have just once seen an adult ITM player on a keyless flute playing it the wrong way round. But never, in over 40 years of orchestral playing, have I seen anyone with a custom built left-handed instrument. And believe me, there are plenty of left-handed players among them.

 

Apart from most brass instruments, where the valves being operated by the RH only, most other instruments normally require finely refined motor skills on both hands, requiring them to do intricate things, and in my experience, there is no special advantage nor disadvantage in being left- or right-handed.

 

 

But back to concertinas:

I was interested to read Molly's post. Like her, I also rest the end of my anglo on my right knee - it seems to feel more natural that way, although I can do it the other way round too. I play in the chordal, harmonic style, so much of the melody is on the RH, which I find no difficulty with. If I am very analytical, maybe I do find my little finger action fractionally easier on my LH than on my RH, but if so, the difference is very, very slight. When playing English concertina, I find no difference between playing LH and RH sides.

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Hi

As a guitarist as well as concertina player it always puzzled me why, given that right handed players would have better control of their right hands, that we end up using our left hands for fret work (which usually requires greater dexterity) I always thought that left handed guitarists should have a greater advantage playing a conventionally strung guitar.

chris

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Im another leftie

 

When I first started playing the melodeon it took a little while for my right hand to get used to the more active role but after I learned my first couple of tunes I was away, no trouble there. Subsquently Im haveing no trouble with concertina, I play harmonic style. If I had started tina first It would have been the same.

 

I think you would take a little while getting used to anglo whatever hand you use, especially if its the first instrument you ever learned. I know a couple of lefties who play their melodeon upside down, being left myself I find myself asking "is that really necisairy?" or are some people perhapse more left handed than others? :D :unsure:

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"I'm the only man in the world that plays the accordion upside-down," Rockin' Dopsie used to claim. "It's all because daddy didn't taught me how to play. I just picked it up."

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockin'_Dopsie

 

I play guitar and fiddle left-handed, but melodeon and concertina always seemed naturally left-handed anyway to me, in that the the notes of the melody (English style Anglo) are being "stopped" with the fingers of the right hand (the same way I play my other instruments).

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I know a couple of lefties who play their melodeon upside down, being left myself I find myself asking "is that really necisairy?" or are some people perhapse more left handed than others? biggrin.gif unsure.gif

 

Jake,

I think this is a valid point!

In my experience, there seem to be more ambidextrous lefties than righties. I put this down to the fact that lefties are constantly having to use right-handed implements, so any potential they may have for ambidexterity is developed to the full. Righties never have to try using the "wrong" hands, so any ambidexterity they may potentially have remains dormant. There do seem to be varying degrees of "handedness", both left and right, but normally you only notice it with left-handers.

 

A notable exception is top snooker player Ronnie O'Sullivan. He's right-handed - holds his cue in his right hand and supports it on his left - but when he gets into an awkward situation, where another right-hander would have to use the rest, or severly contort his body, to get at the cue-ball, Ronnie just switches hands and plays with the same skill and finesse as usual. Phenomenal!

 

Cheers,

John

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Here's a oxymoron for you. I'm right-handed but I use my knife and fork left-handed and used the left-handed scissors at school. And when I sew I use both hands. And when I attempted unsuccessfully to learn the guitar I kept wanting to hold it the wrong way round. lol!

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I'm another left-handed.

For the concertina I don't beleive it makes a great difference.

I also played some guitar and have learned to play it in the "regular" way,

ie as right-handed players normally do.

 

"I'm the only man in the world that plays the accordion upside-down," Rockin' Dopsie used to claim. "It's all because daddy didn't taught me how to play. I just picked it up."

 

I have once met a fiddle player who learned on his own and has taken the instrument in the "wrong" way,

holding the bow with left hand, but keeping the strings in the regular position. So the highest string

was the farther to the bow, not the closest. This seems a bit unnatural but he managed very well.

 

 

David

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I am also left-handed. I play ECs, so I have a truly ambidextrous instrument. I do find I support the Right Hand end on my Left leg when playing, however, a position for my left arm that feels more natural to me as I also play piano-accordion.

 

I have always thought that left-handed accordion and melodeon players had the advantage of supporting and 'working' the bellows with their stronger arm.

 

Paul.

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My fatehr and mother were both left-handed (thoughmy father was forced to become ambidextrous) but I am very much right-handed.

Having said that I am quite happy to let my left little finger do lots of work on the Anglo and I always want to play whistles "the wrong way round".

Surely it is logical to form the low notes with the left hand?

 

Robin Madge

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"I'm the only man in the world that plays the accordion upside-down," Rockin' Dopsie used to claim. "It's all because daddy didn't taught me how to play. I just picked it up."

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rockin'_Dopsie

 

I play guitar and fiddle left-handed, but melodeon and concertina always seemed naturally left-handed anyway to me, in that the the notes of the melody (English style Anglo) are being "stopped" with the fingers of the right hand (the same way I play my other instruments).

 

A melodeon (buttonbox) player at a session that I go to plays left handed on the melody buttons by turning the box upside down.

He has his current box slightly customised by moving the air buttonfrom what is now the top RHS to the bottom, where he can reach it with his thumb.

 

Chris

ps as you can see in the picture I'm right handed but the little charkha wheel that I'm spinning with is a leftie, so I've made myself learn to spin right or left handed.!

Edited by spindizzy

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I am a leftie also, but since I've only been playing the Anglo for just a year and have never learned to play any other instrument, I don't know any different!

 

What I have found is that my right hand dexterity is improving. As a child I used to be very left biased (hand, foot, left eye dominant) but have found myself becoming more ambidextrous as time goes on. I blame computers. For many years I was a C.A.D. draughtsman, using a mouse left handed & using my right hand on the numeric keypad & I think this has helped my left/right co-ordination.

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We all use both hands for a wealth of activities, so strange then that our handedness is down to one increasingly antiquated activity: writing! For the record I'm also left handed by that convention, but in many things I can used both hands. Anyway, shouldn't lefties have an advantage on the anglo with just a single press for melody right and all that complicated chording on the left?

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