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Anglo C/g 30 Buttons, Which Row For Most G Tunes?


Azalin

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Hello,

 

I'm a whistle player just recently (today) converted to super concertina newbie. I was wondering, I learned "Out on the Ocean" on the concertina, mostly using the "C" row, borrowing a F# from the "G" row. In theory, I could also play the tune using mostly the "G" row, and since "Ocean" is in "G", it would theorically make more sens, but I find I prefer to use the "C" row because my fingers seem more centered, I'd rather use middle (and upward) buttons instead of buttons that require your little finger.

 

Does that question make any sens or am I such a newbie that I'm missing something? :-)

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Azalin,

 

Welcome to this concertina community!

On your question you will get more than one answer from people with more experience than I have. To give you a simple answer: you are not developing bad habits by playing a tune in G mainly on the C row. To develop the skills of your little finger I advice you however to keep on trying it on the G row.

The next step is to discover that you can "mix" the rows more than you do now. The C and G row have a lot of common notes (in fact all except for the F#). As a result you can play more notes in a sequence in one pull or push movement. This "style" can improve playing speed.

 

So go on and explore your instrument and explore this website: there is a lot to learn here!

 

B.T.W.: what type of concertina do you have? 20 button or 30 button?

 

Have fun

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Thanks Henk,

 

I got a 30 buttons... I read the other big thread about which fingering people should use, and what is best. I guess the common answer is "whatever suits you". This is scary in a way, we're not talking about the ol' whistle with 6 holes here!

 

I will definitely look into using notes from both rows, not really for speed but mostly for phrasing, a consistant push-pull is hampering the phrasing I think.

 

Anyway, thanks a lot and I guess it's practice time for a big while :-)

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I guess the common answer is "whatever suits you".

I would say, "Whatever suits you... and the tune." E.g., in the upper octave I mostly play G on the push, in either the C row or the G row. But in a quick triplet of E-F#-G, or F#-G-A (or their reverses), I often do all three notes on pull. (Also, I sometimes do all three on push, but that's because I have a push F#. :) )

...a consistant push-pull is hampering the phrasing I think.

That's often my opinion, though there seem to be "Irish" players who feel that the push-pull should dictate the phrasing, rather than the other way around.

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I got a 30 buttons... I read the other big thread about which fingering people should use, and what is best. I guess the common answer is "whatever suits you". This is scary in a way, we're not talking about the ol' whistle with 6 holes here!

Scary.. Confusing... or whatever you call it, BUT that's what the Aglo makes so interesting (at least for me). Try to see it as an extra playing-dimension, a challenge or an expedition on which you certainly will discover a lot of "hidden treasures".

 

Have fun

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Hi Az! Good to see you over here. Hey, maybe next time you're out west, you and MurphyStout can play a duet, you on concertina and him on accordion! (Sorry folks, a little inside joke there from another board....)

 

I read the other big thread about which fingering people should use, and what is best. I guess the common answer is "whatever suits you". This is scary in a way, we're not talking about the ol' whistle with 6 holes here!

Yeah, that's part of why I chose the English concertina instead of anglo. I would find it hard to wrap my brain around the anglo, whereas English makes sense to me. One button, one note, and they're all lined up in order. You just have to use the bellows for volume and color. Then again, I've heard anglo makes sense to some people, and English is hard for them to figure out. Nice to know we don't all work the same, I suppose.

 

:)

Steven

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After 9 months of anglo playing I'll venture an opinion with the disclaimer that i am no expert. I think Frank Edgley "got it right" in a topic under "Bad Fingering Habits?" in this forum:

 

"Just as there are several different concertina systems there are different concertina fingering styles. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, but none is superior to the others. It's all what you get used to. However, having said that, I would not recommend anyone try to incorporate all of them into your playing at too early a stage in your playing. The anglo is a fascinating instrument because of its choices, but it can be counter-productive if you have to decide among 10 different ways to play a tune. It then becomes extremely difficult to pick up a tune at a session by ear as the tune is over before you have figured out what pattern to use, and energy is lost on those decisions instead of thinking of the actual melody.

What I recommend is to decide on a system, the simpler the better, and stick with it, so that when hearing a sequence of notes you immediately know how to play it. As you become more and more comfortable with the instrument, you will gradually be able to add alternate figerings to your fingering repertoir. For example, I play certain note sequences exclusivly on the G row, but other note sequences on the C row, or by crossing over between the rows. When these sequences of notes occur, I automatically play them in the pattern I have adopted for them. Nevertheless, I have my "default" pattern to keep me grounded. Keep it simple and predictable to start." (Quote from Frank Edgley)

 

My 35 years of experience playing and teaching stringed instruments corraborates

Frank's advice: Learn a home system, learn it well and develope your own style from there. As to "what" system to learn, I generally advise students to pick musicians that they admire and find out as much as they can about the way they play. Listening to and imitating Andre Segovia can teach you a lot about the guitar but it might not be the best way to learn how to flatpick like Doc Watson.

 

 

With the anglo if you love John Kirkpatrick's playing you might not necessarilly want to follow Noel Hill's system. But Alan Day's tutor might be the ticket to where you want to go.

 

I like Henk's optimism in his "anglo options as opportunity". But another side of the same coin was expressed by Mr. Hill as he "encouraged " us to follow his system: "The (anglo) concertina can be a minefield!"

 

I think a mentor, a map, a system can be very helpful in beginning an instrument.

 

Best of luck,

 

Greg

Edited by Greg Jowaisas
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Steven, I don't recognize you from the other board, whats's your nick? :-)

 

Thanks Greg, I think this is what I'm gonna do anyway, stick to one fingering and with time experiment a little more. You know, it's the same with the whistle, for a year or two I was playing tunes the same way, until I felt comfortable enough to add variations on the fly and let loose a little. It will come with time hopefully.

 

My concertina is a Edgley, I don't know enough about concertinas to comment on it in term of comparison, but I really like it. You know, I press the buttons and there's a sound coming out, volume is great (not too loud) and it's very comfortable to play.

 

You will laugh at that one, but I have the feeling that 10 years as a programmer, using my keyboard every day for hours, is actually good practice for the concertina!

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...a consistant push-pull is hampering the phrasing I think.

That's often my opinion, though there seem to be "Irish" players who feel that the push-pull should dictate the phrasing, rather than the other way around.

Does anybody else find that they breathe with the bellows? When I play a long phrase on the pull with my Anglo, I sometimes feel like I'm going to explode!

 

:blink:

 

Rick Ruggiero

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Does anybody else find that they breathe with the bellows?  When I play a long phrase on the pull with my Anglo, I sometimes feel like I'm going to explode!

There's another good reason for practicing alternative fingerings: your own survival :lol:

 

To be serious, I had this problem for a rather long time. I always thought that it was caused by my (mouth)harmonica playing when I was a child. It will disappear.

Maybe ttrying to sing while playing can help :unsure: ?

Edited by Henk van Aalten
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Singing while playing might help me, but I shudder to think of what it would do to any innocent bystanders!

 

Incidentally, I just started learning EC as well (bought a Jackie) and have been playing it quite a bit more than the Anglo - and so far I seem to be able to breathe more comfortably. . .

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You will laugh at that one, but I have the feeling that 10 years as a programmer, using my keyboard every day for hours, is actually good practice for the concertina!

No laughing at all, but a bit of admiration at what I assume is your touch-typing skill. It really does help, IF you use all your fingers, but too many programmers these days use only one or two fingers on their keyboard. Do any computer-science or computer-use programs teach touch typing keyboard skills? It really makes a huge difference not only in text preparation, but by allowing programmers to enter their programs at a speed closer to that at which they think. Yet virtually all the programmers I know had to teach themselves to "type", and many never bothered to learn.

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Incidentally, I just started learning EC as well (bought a Jackie) and have been playing it quite a bit more than the Anglo - and so far I seem to be able to breathe more comfortably. . .

That doesn't necessarily mean that you're now breathing independently of the bellows. Instead, it may indicate that you're changing bellows direction to match your breathing, rather than the other way around. :)

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Steven, I don't recognize you from the other board, whats's your nick? :-)

Hi Azalin. Same nick on both C&F and GC as I use here. I'm not very original. I guess you and I maybe don't post on many of the same threads over there....

 

:)

Steven

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My learning curve went something like -

Go to concertina workshop - Learn to play it on either row.

Go to another concertina workshop - Learn scales in a single direction, then learn to play it on the push or the pull.

Go to another concertina workshop - Go back to playing it on the C row.

 

By the time you can do all these, you may find your favorite method was how you started.

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That doesn't necessarily mean that you're now breathing independently of the bellows.  Instead, it may indicate that you're changing bellows direction to match your breathing, rather than the other way around.  :)

I think you're right . . . :huh:

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