Jump to content

Another Elise learning question


StevenD
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello. I am learning how to play my Elise Duet and am using the book that came with it (Tutor for the Elise Hayden Duet Concertina by Wim Wakker). I am now starting page 21 which deals with the left hand. It says to play the E note in the bass clef to use finger 1 (L1). My natural inclination is to use finger 2 (L2) and then use fingers 3 and 4 to play the last buttons (D & C). Is there a right way to play and should I use the fingers that are shown in the instructions and just get used to what seems to be awkward?

 

Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello. I am learning how to play my Elise Duet and am using the book that came with it (Tutor for the Elise Hayden Duet Concertina by Wim Wakker). I am now starting page 21 which deals with the left hand. It says to play the E note in the bass clef to use finger 1 (L1). My natural inclination is to use finger 2 (L2) and then use fingers 3 and 4 to play the last buttons (D & C). Is there a right way to play and should I use the fingers that are shown in the instructions and just get used to what seems to be awkward?

 

Steven

 

 

Hi Steven, as first...I am not an expert as I received my Elisa recently as well. Having said this, I made already the mistake of following too much manuals and teachers with 2 other instruments. Both remained abandoned in a corner... I personally think we should experiment a bit ourself and always keep in mind in ancient time great player existed without manuals...In other words, your fingers are not the same than the writer of the book possibly, and if sound is fine forget about the accademic approach. Have fun and change anything you like provided you can play the tunes.

In my humble opinion.

 

PS-.. I hoped real experts where responding but then took the courage. cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello. I am learning how to play my Elise Duet and am using the book that came with it (Tutor for the Elise Hayden Duet Concertina by Wim Wakker). I am now starting page 21 which deals with the left hand. It says to play the E note in the bass clef to use finger 1 (L1). My natural inclination is to use finger 2 (L2) and then use fingers 3 and 4 to play the last buttons (D & C). Is there a right way to play and should I use the fingers that are shown in the instructions and just get used to what seems to be awkward?

 

Steven

 

 

Hi Steven, as first...I am not an expert as I received my Elisa recently as well. Having said this, I made already the mistake of following too much manuals and teachers with 2 other instruments. Both remained abandoned in a corner... I personally think we should experiment a bit ourself and always keep in mind in ancient time great player existed without manuals...In other words, your fingers are not the same than the writer of the book possibly, and if sound is fine forget about the accademic approach. Have fun and change anything you like provided you can play the tunes.

In my humble opinion.

 

PS-.. I hoped real experts where responding but then took the courage. cheers

 

Well that is what I am thinking. I have heard some people talk about a right way of playing an instrument and not picking up bad habits but then again I have of other musicians who have learned to play an instrument their own way and do it fine. I understand Maybell Carter had a very unusual way of playing the guitar and I saw Joni Michell reach over the top of the guitar neck to play a chord instead of playing the chord from under. I learned to play the ukulele with my thumb instead of the index finger like a lot of players do. That is guitars and ukuleles but I wasn't sure about the concertina so I was hoping to hear or read some thoughts from other concertina players. Thanks for the response.

 

Steven

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello. I am learning how to play my Elise Duet and am using the book that came with it (Tutor for the Elise Hayden Duet Concertina by Wim Wakker). I am now starting page 21 which deals with the left hand. It says to play the E note in the bass clef to use finger 1 (L1). My natural inclination is to use finger 2 (L2) and then use fingers 3 and 4 to play the last buttons (D & C). Is there a right way to play and should I use the fingers that are shown in the instructions and just get used to what seems to be awkward?

I'm guessing that you're referring to the exercise on page 22 (at least in the edition that I've got) that covers the lowest notes on the left hand side. I personally would use Wim's recommended fingering. That low C is an important note, and I wouldn't want to get into the habit of playing it with my littlest finger (finger 4) since my little fingers are a bit weak and uncoordinated compared to the others. But it's in the end a personal choice, as others have said.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello. I am learning how to play my Elise Duet and am using the book that came with it (Tutor for the Elise Hayden Duet Concertina by Wim Wakker). I am now starting page 21 which deals with the left hand. It says to play the E note in the bass clef to use finger 1 (L1). My natural inclination is to use finger 2 (L2) and then use fingers 3 and 4 to play the last buttons (D & C). Is there a right way to play and should I use the fingers that are shown in the instructions and just get used to what seems to be awkward?

I'm guessing that you're referring to the exercise on page 22 (at least in the edition that I've got) that covers the lowest notes on the left hand side. I personally would use Wim's recommended fingering. That low C is an important note, and I wouldn't want to get into the habit of playing it with my littlest finger (finger 4) since my little fingers are a bit weak and uncoordinated compared to the others. But it's in the end a personal choice, as others have said.

I wouldn't agree with this at all; I'd say you should most certainly get in the habit of using your little finger. The only 'personal choice' involved here is to reduce your options. On the Maccan I use all 4 fingers equally, you practice and the little finger gains strength and you get used to using it. Then you have 4 sideways steps you can take before you run out of fingers. Your little finger is also the most mobile on your hand, you can get it well underneath the rest of your hand for odd shaped chords, counterpoint, or rolling other fingers over to continue a smooth passage. I'd say it is very important to learn to use it. I know I don't play a H. but I can't see that the principle is any different. Given that the Hayden keyboard is wider than a Maccans, wouldn't sideways mobility be even more important?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That low C is an important note, and I wouldn't want to get into the habit of playing it with my littlest finger (finger 4) since my little fingers are a bit weak and uncoordinated compared to the others. But it's in the end a personal choice, as others have said.

That "personal choice" could also be affected by personal anatomy.

 

In comparison to the other fingers, some folks' little fingers can be considerably longer or shorter than average. Here's a poll that I started about just that. (7 years ago? Wow, it sure doesn't seem that long!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That low C is an important note, and I wouldn't want to get into the habit of playing it with my littlest finger (finger 4) since my little fingers are a bit weak and uncoordinated compared to the others. But it's in the end a personal choice, as others have said.

That "personal choice" could also be affected by personal anatomy.

 

In comparison to the other fingers, some folks' little fingers can be considerably longer or shorter than average. Here's a poll that I started about just that. (7 years ago? Wow, it sure doesn't seem that long!)

I wouldn't agree with this at all either. It's another finger. Learning to use it increases your playing options.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm with Dirge on this, and applaud your wish to use all 4 fingers. I play Hayden, and I use my little fingers as much as I use any of the other ones - would be lost without them. There might, however, be a reason why Wim suggests that you don't use the little finger on that particular C in that particular bar of that particular tune - maybe to make fingering the next passage easier. If you're playing in C, it's often useful to have the little finger free to play the F on the row above. In another situation using the same E, D, C, you might need the little finger on that C so that your first finger's free for the next note, instead.

 

 

Good luck with the Elise.

 

Joy

Edited by Spectacled Warbler
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello. I am learning how to play my Elise Duet and am using the book that came with it (Tutor for the Elise Hayden Duet Concertina by Wim Wakker). I am now starting page 21 which deals with the left hand. It says to play the E note in the bass clef to use finger 1 (L1). My natural inclination is to use finger 2 (L2) and then use fingers 3 and 4 to play the last buttons (D & C). Is there a right way to play and should I use the fingers that are shown in the instructions and just get used to what seems to be awkward?
I'm guessing that you're referring to the exercise on page 22 (at least in the edition that I've got) that covers the lowest notes on the left hand side. I personally would use Wim's recommended fingering. That low C is an important note, and I wouldn't want to get into the habit of playing it with my littlest finger (finger 4) since my little fingers are a bit weak and uncoordinated compared to the others. But it's in the end a personal choice, as others have said.

I wouldn't agree with this at all; I'd say you should most certainly get in the habit of using your little finger. The only 'personal choice' involved here is to reduce your options. On the Maccan I use all 4 fingers equally, you practice and the little finger gains strength and you get used to using it. Then you have 4 sideways steps you can take before you run out of fingers. Your little finger is also the most mobile on your hand, you can get it well underneath the rest of your hand for odd shaped chords, counterpoint, or rolling other fingers over to continue a smooth passage. I'd say it is very important to learn to use it. I know I don't play a H. but I can't see that the principle is any different. Given that the Hayden keyboard is wider than a Maccans, wouldn't sideways mobility be even more important?

I actually partly agree with this. I do use my little fingers when I play Hayden since you really need them for runs of four adjacent ascending or descending notes on the same row and for some "oom-pah" basses as mentioned in the thread that Jim linked to. But if I have the option of using my stronger, better-coordinated ring finger, I use that one - though Dirge may be right that if I made a point of using my little finger more it would eventually start working better than it does now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That low C is an important note, and I wouldn't want to get into the habit of playing it with my littlest finger (finger 4) since my little fingers are a bit weak and uncoordinated compared to the others. But it's in the end a personal choice, as others have said.

That "personal choice" could also be affected by personal anatomy.

 

In comparison to the other fingers, some folks' little fingers can be considerably longer or shorter than average. Here's a poll that I started about just that. (7 years ago? Wow, it sure doesn't seem that long!)

I wouldn't agree with this at all either. It's another finger. Learning to use it increases your playing options.

Dirge, I'm confused. What aren't you agreeing with? My suggestion that the relative length of a person's little finger might be relevant to how useful or usable it is in playing?

 

I certainly haven't suggested that one shouldn't try to use the little finger. My own use varies considerably with the instrument:

  • On the English, I use my little fingers to hold the instrument, sometimes but very rarely bringing one up to press a particular button in an otherwise awkward fingering sequence.
  • On the anglo, I make considerable use of both little fingers.
  • On the Crane, I use both little fingers, though not equally with the other fingers. This is partly because of which notes (accidentals only) are positioned directly under the little fingers, but also because I have difficulty reaching the most distant buttons with my too-short little fingers.
  • On the Maccann, where I'd say I'm at advanced beginner level, I use my little fingers as a matter of course. As a simple consequence of the note locations in relation to the music I'm playing, I use my little fingers on the Maccann more than on the Crane, but less than on the anglo.
  • On both the Maccann and the Crane, I think I would use my little fingers more if the hand bars were closer to the buttons. On a concertina of either type with enough buttons, there are buttons which I simply can't reach with my little fingers, yet can with my ring fingers.
  • I don't have enough personal experience with the Hayden (a few minutes, more than 15 years ago), but I expect that on it I would use my little fingers even more than on the Maccann in the lower range of each hand, but might have more difficulty with the extremes of the upper ranges.

I definitely recommend exercising the little fingers and practicing using them as much as possible, but also being realistic about their limitations, if there are any, and for most people, there are. Their little fingers are also little used, being both smaller and weaker and also not fully independent of their ring fingers.

 

I think it would be a mistake to give more importance to equal use of the little fingers than to musicality. But as others have indicated, the more you work with them, the more you're likely to be able to do with them. They will become stronger and more independent. (Alas, not longer. :() So as you gain experience, you should probably find yourself using them more and more, even changing established fingering patterns in the process.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That low C is an important note, and I wouldn't want to get into the habit of playing it with my littlest finger (finger 4) since my little fingers are a bit weak and uncoordinated compared to the others. But it's in the end a personal choice, as others have said.

That "personal choice" could also be affected by personal anatomy.

 

In comparison to the other fingers, some folks' little fingers can be considerably longer or shorter than average. Here's a poll that I started about just that. (7 years ago? Wow, it sure doesn't seem that long!)

I wouldn't agree with this at all either. It's another finger. Learning to use it increases your playing options.

Dirge, I'm confused. What aren't you agreeing with? My suggestion that the relative length of a person's little finger might be relevant to how useful or usable it is in playing?

 

I certainly haven't suggested that one shouldn't try to use the little finger. My own use varies considerably with the instrument:

  • On the English, I use my little fingers to hold the instrument, sometimes but very rarely bringing one up to press a particular button in an otherwise awkward fingering sequence.
  • On the anglo, I make considerable use of both little fingers.
  • On the Crane, I use both little fingers, though not equally with the other fingers. This is partly because of which notes (accidentals only) are positioned directly under the little fingers, but also because I have difficulty reaching the most distant buttons with my too-short little fingers.
  • On the Maccann, where I'd say I'm at advanced beginner level, I use my little fingers as a matter of course. As a simple consequence of the note locations in relation to the music I'm playing, I use my little fingers on the Maccann more than on the Crane, but less than on the anglo.
  • On both the Maccann and the Crane, I think I would use my little fingers more if the hand bars were closer to the buttons. On a concertina of either type with enough buttons, there are buttons which I simply can't reach with my little fingers, yet can with my ring fingers.
  • I don't have enough personal experience with the Hayden (a few minutes, more than 15 years ago), but I expect that on it I would use my little fingers even more than on the Maccann in the lower range of each hand, but might have more difficulty with the extremes of the upper ranges.

I definitely recommend exercising the little fingers and practicing using them as much as possible, but also being realistic about their limitations, if there are any, and for most people, there are. Their little fingers are also little used, being both smaller and weaker and also not fully independent of their ring fingers.

 

I think it would be a mistake to give more importance to equal use of the little fingers than to musicality. But as others have indicated, the more you work with them, the more you're likely to be able to do with them. They will become stronger and more independent. (Alas, not longer. :() So as you gain experience, you should probably find yourself using them more and more, even changing established fingering patterns in the process.

Well that's all right then.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...