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button and bellows control


jggunn
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I have posed this question before, but because the advice has seemed ambiguous, I am trying yet again -- but with a specific example. I am referring to an English concertina, but the issue may be applicable to the Anglo as well.

 

When playing a tune with many consecutive identical eighth notes and considerable syncopation -- in this case the San Francisco Bay Blues, is it best to make the notes by depressing and releasing the buttons on each note, partially depressing the buttons and moving the bellows, or holding the button down and making the note by bellows movement (and if the latter, in one direction or alternate directions for each note.

 

I hope the question is stated intelligibly. I find that after using each of these alternatives, I cannot readily conclude that one way is better than the other. If Ratface should read this, I would be particularly interested in his reply, because I have watched a number of his videos.

 

Thanks in advance for thoughts on this issue.

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I faced a similar situation when playing "Steamboat" for a dance yesterday. Because I wanted a staccato effect I used repeated fingering of the button (I haven't mastered changing fingers, so this was done using a repeated press by the same fingers). I've never been satisfied with the result of using just a bellows reversal to articulate repeated notes, so I'd do a repeated button press combined with the bellows change if I were to use the bellows. I suppose the decision comes down to which sounds better to you when you do it-- my fingers will move faster than my bellows, so I get a better effect with repeated button presses.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The 'correct' way to do it would be by repeated button presses and always using the

same finger. You are not supposed to use different fingers on the same row of notes.

 

However in the end it depends on what sounds best to you.

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Hi jggunn

 

If this is close to the version you're playing, and it were me, I would use the same finger for the repeated notes. It's not that fast. It's a song.

http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiSANFRISC;ttSANFRISC.html

 

I would also use an alternate fingering in some of the places or alternate notes. For instance on the first three notes, the F to F#, I would use my long finger for the F, and my ring finger for the F#, but in other spots, instead of using a D then D# on the left, I would use the Eb on the right for easier flow and position for E as the next note maybe with my long finger to get ready and use my index finger to get ready for an A next. I'd try both to see which way makes the music flow smoother.

 

There is not a dogma that says there is correct way. It's a myth. The more things that can be put in your bag of tricks, the easier it becomes, when used at the right time. I've not used the bellows reversal, but, in listening to the Boer music from South Africa, I can see where there is a use for it to good effect.

 

Other music, I've tried this suggestion, but I'm not very good at it:

 

Thanks

Leo

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The 'correct' way to do it would be by repeated button presses and always using the

same finger. You are not supposed to use different fingers on the same row of notes.

Who in the world told you that that was "correct"?

I've gotten just the opposite advice from several excellent concertina players, including players of all systems (English, anglo, duets). The advice has always been to avoid, if possible, using the same finger twice is succession.

 

I also wonder who told you, "You are not supposed to use different fingers on the same row of notes." Using different fingers is something I do all the time, and I find that it greatly improves my playing.

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The 'correct' way to do it would be by repeated button presses and always using the

same finger. You are not supposed to use different fingers on the same row of notes.

Who in the world told you that that was "correct"?

I've gotten just the opposite advice from several excellent concertina players, including players of all systems (English, anglo, duets). The advice has always been to avoid, if possible, using the same finger twice is succession.

 

I also wonder who told you, "You are not supposed to use different fingers on the same row of notes." Using different fingers is something I do all the time, and I find that it greatly improves my playing.

 

Sorry Shaunw,

I agree with Jim. You have four fingers on each hand for playing the EC so if you can get a finger to a button when you need to then does it matter if you use two on the same row? No, I think not.

 

Listening to the first track of CD 1 of English International you can hear the soloist of that concertina band playing many reiterated notes at great speed... he is using two fingers to play the same button alternately. Simon Thourmire does this also. It is not a movement that I am that fond of but it is very effective.

 

In slower reiterations I prefer doubling or trebling with one finger.

Geoff.

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The 'correct' way to do it would be by repeated button presses and always using the

same finger. You are not supposed to use different fingers on the same row of notes.

 

I strongly suggest using repeated button presses and avoiding wherever possible using the same finger. It results in really sloppy timing (normally). Also get used to being much more flexible about what finger to use for the different buttons/rows.

 

Most people, when using the same finger for two successive notes on the same button, end up leaving a bigger gap between the notes than they want, and also play the second note late, even when playing slow tunes.

 

However in the end it depends on what sounds best to you.

 

This is true, but:

 

1. Make sure it really does sound best - i.e. try to make sure that what you play is what you like, and you don't end up convincing yourself that you like what you play just because you can't (yet) do it differently.

 

2. Make sure you really know what you sound like when you play! The best way is to record yourself and listen really critically. It's _extremely_ difficult (though definitely a skill worth working on) to listen to yourself objectively as you're playing, especially when you're playing something difficult.

Edited by RatFace
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The 'correct' way to do it would be by repeated button presses and always using the

same finger. You are not supposed to use different fingers on the same row of notes.

Who in the world told you that that was "correct"?

I've gotten just the opposite advice from several excellent concertina players, including players of all systems (English, anglo, duets). The advice has always been to avoid, if possible, using the same finger twice is succession.

 

I also wonder who told you, "You are not supposed to use different fingers on the same row of notes." Using different fingers is something I do all the time, and I find that it greatly improves my playing.

 

Well Wheatstone and Rigondi and all the other great concertina players told me how to use my fingers. So suppose you

are playing the same note four times in succession then try to avoid using the same finger. The people who told you

that are idiots and you fell for it. Get hold of a copy of the Butler tutor for the English concertina. It is

available for free over the Internet. He will show you how to use your fingers without the amateur bullshit.

Avoid using the same finger twice in succession, that's the best concertina joke I've ever heard. I must pass

that on to all the players I know. Does that apply to the piano keyboard as well? You really need to get some

guidance from a professional teacher. Butler was a professional teacher. Give yourself a chance to benefit from

his experience for free. If you learn bad habits early on you will never be able to correct them.

Edited by shaunw
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Well Wheatstone and Rigondi and all the other great concertina players told me how to use my fingers. So suppose you are playing the same note four times in succession then try to avoid using the same finger. The people who told you that are idiots and you fell for it. Get hold of a copy of the Butler tutor for the English concertina. It is available for free over the Internet. He will show you how to use your fingers without the amateur bullshit. Avoid using the same finger twice in succession, that's the best concertina joke I've ever heard. I must pass that on to all the players I know. Does that apply to the piano keyboard as well? You really need to get some guidance from a professional teacher. Butler was a professional teacher. Give yourself a chance to benefit from his experience for free. If you learn bad habits early on you will never be able to correct them.

How about some sound samples of your own playing, to demonstrate the results of your superior method?

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The 'correct' way to do it would be by repeated button presses and always using the

same finger. You are not supposed to use different fingers on the same row of notes.

Who in the world told you that that was "correct"?

I've gotten just the opposite advice from several excellent concertina players, including players of all systems (English, anglo, duets). The advice has always been to avoid, if possible, using the same finger twice is succession.

 

I also wonder who told you, "You are not supposed to use different fingers on the same row of notes." Using different fingers is something I do all the time, and I find that it greatly improves my playing.

Well Wheatstone and Rigondi and all the other great concertina players told me how to use my fingers. So suppose you

are playing the same note four times in succession then try to avoid using the same finger. The people who told you

that are idiots and you fell for it. Get hold of a copy of the Butler tutor for the English concertina. It is

available for free over the Internet. He will show you how to use your fingers without the amateur bullshit.

Avoid using the same finger twice in succession, that's the best concertina joke I've ever heard. I must pass

that on to all the players I know. Does that apply to the piano keyboard as well? You really need to get some

guidance from a professional teacher. Butler was a professional teacher. Give yourself a chance to benefit from

his experience for free. If you learn bad habits early on you will never be able to correct them.

 

Hi Shawnw

 

...would you please entertain the thought of explaining Butler when he says on Page 55 of this wonderful book:

http://www.concertina.com/butler/butler-the-concertina-tutor.pdf

 

Exercise 69 Fingering

 

There is no absolute rule as to correct fingering, for what is convenient to one player may be very difficult for another. This is particularly so with adult students. You have already been given examples of using the third finger for keys in the 3rd row, and here are some exercises to give practice in other variations of fingering. They are worth some drudgery if they do not come easily. Re-iterated notes are best played either with alternating first and second fingers, or second and third fingers, as may be convenient. With the right hand in particular it is sometimes helpful to take the fourth finger off the finger plate and use it for the low B flat.

Thanks to you, Leo.
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