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button placement


shelly0312

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I've been a "wannabe" for over 2 years. But midwest USA not too conducive to personal shopping for concertinas. With my fervor at a pitch last year I did travel to a music store a couple hundred miles from home that had a line of about 6 Steigi--I had reached the point of "something better than nothing". I did find in live person that the concertina buttons were so close together that I had to move all my fingers all the time to be able to hit the correct button. I was discouraged and walked away. Is the closeness of button dictated by the size of the instrument? I'm in the medical professions--I wear medium gloves so I don't think my hands are particular large--but it would seem to me to facilite playing a concertina, at rest your middle three fingers were always above their correct "home" button? Sort of like typing? So was it the Steigi I was looking at or all concertina buttons positioned "too close" and you just take a stab at the buttons with no resting postion for the middle three fingers? thanks for advice. Michelle

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Hi Michelle,

 

Welcome!

 

Are we talking Anglo system concertina or English system concertina. I remember when I went from a 20 button Anglo to a Lachenal the buttons seemed so close together!

 

What part of the Midwest? We may have a member/player nearby who can let you try other instruments.

 

Ken

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Are we talking Anglo system concertina or English system concertina.

I think Michelle's comment about the "middle three fingers" makes it pretty clear that it's an anglo.

 

So was it the Steigi I was looking at or all concertina buttons positioned "too close" and you just take a stab at the buttons with no resting postion for the middle three fingers?

All the "better" concertinas have small, closely spaced buttons... what you're calling "too close". The good news (I hope) is that hundreds (thousands? more?) of people play those concertinas without that causing difficulty. Odds are that if you'll just give it a go, you'll quickly find yourself getting used to it.

 

Is the closeness of button dictated by the size of the instrument?

I think it was more of an independent design choice.

 

I was discouraged and walked away.

I do hope you'll give it another chance.

 

...it would seem to me to facilite playing a concertina, at rest your middle three fingers were always above their correct "home" button? Sort of like typing?

That sounds sensible, but it also seems a somewhat artificial criterion, if it doesn't work, since something certainly does work for most of us. I think you'd be better off just taking the instrument in your hands and experimenting with hand and finger positions until you find something that works. But also get a teaching video. (Others can make recommendations, since I haven't yet tried any of them. When I started, there weren't any.)

 

However, I -- with hands that are moderately broad and not small -- can comfortably rest my three fingertips on the tops of three adjacent "too close" buttons. The fingers are touching each other when I do so, but that doesn't inhibit my playing. Also, I don't think there's anything wrong with "moving all your fingers all the time". I do that also when I type (I'm an all-fingers touch typist), and I think it helps reduce muscle strain. (I find that rigidity, not movement, causes strain.)

 

As for "no resting position" and "taking a stab", there's not much chance for "resting" when I'm playing, and I don't relate the position of the next note to a "resting position", but to the positions of my fingers when I played the preceding notes. And after not very long, I knew exactly where my hands/fingers were without having to touch even one button first, because I could feel the wooden bar and leather strap holding my hand, and the buttons' locations are fixed relative to those references. (That's unlike a typewriter, where your hands are free to "float" in the air and to move freely in all directions without touching anything.)

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I think Michelle's question is motivated, particularly with englishes,anglos have wider spacing.Of course playing would be more comfortable if all the fingers came right at the position of the keys, as with full size typing keyboards.I guess the measures of the english keyboard came from an ambition to make the instrument as compact as possible.On the other hand it ought to be technically possible to widen the spacing a bit sideways at least.Mysterious.

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