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Holding Anglo Concertinas

How do you hold anglo concertina  

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Without counting the replies the impression seems to be that the majority does use either side (left or right thigh/knee) supporting one of the ends of the instrument and mainly working the bellows with the other.


Spontanously this is a bit odd to me since the handy and light Anglo with its symmetrical construction really invites to symmetrical management which is most easy to practise playing standing. Symmetrical playing while seated is a bit awkward:

If sitting on a table chair you have to lift the instrument in the air too high for comfort.If sitting on a foot-stool the postition may become more comfortable.

If resting the instrument somewhere on the legs like has been said hanging it over one thigh is not efficient and the obstacle is not only wear of the clothes but the friction obstructs bellow movements. The Anglo is usually too small for resting one end on each thigh like you can do with larger instruments and wider bellows.

My trick for playing seated symmetrically is resting just the edge of one end on one knee/thigh and 'fanning' the bellows by opening mainly the upper bellows folds.

This is not always efficient for Anglo playing however if you do very frequent and forcible push/pull but for English playing it is superb (despite not always ideal for the durability of the bellows since the strain on the folds is uneven)

I have writtten more about this in the article "Holding the concertina":



The main reason that most players do use some kind of support by the knee/thigh I believe is the lacking stability of the 'system'. Compare accordion playing which mostly offers fixation of the right part of the instrument. An improved handle for the concertina may offer better stability and options to play more 'freely' without this support by the legs. The specific type of music likely decides how much stability you need for good performance.

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I'm yet anotrher one who holds it in the air between the two hands, the the position varying between arms almost straight down, to having the instrument at head hieght. Also lying on my back, sometimes resting it one my body, sometimes in the air.


This surely is one of the beauties of a concertina, you can play it in almost any position you want!. Standup,, sit down, lay down, all without interrupting the tune!



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