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Two Crane technique questions


Daniel Hersh
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A couple of questions for Crane players:

 

When you're playing notes in the center three columns of buttons (the "white keys'), do you try to consistently use your middle finger for the middle column and your index and ring fingers for columns 2 and 4? And do you consistently use your little finger for column 1 on the left hand and column 5 on the right? Or does this vary depending on the phrase that you're playing?

 

And a related question: when you play a phrase that has consecutive notes a fourth apart (such as a D and the G above it), do you use the same finger for both notes or do you twist your hand a bit so you can change fingers when you change buttons? Or do you do either, depending on the phrase?

Edited by Daniel Hersh
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A couple of questions for Crane players:

 

When you're playing notes in the center three columns of buttons (the "white keys'), do you try to consistently use your middle finger for the middle column and your index and ring fingers for columns 2 and 4? And do you consistently use your little finger for column 1 on the left hand and column 5 on the right? Or does this vary depending on the phrase that you're playing?

 

And a related question: when you play a phrase that has consecutive notes a fourth apart (such as a D and the G above it), do you use the same finger for both notes or do you twist your hand a bit so you can change fingers when you change buttons? Or do you do either, depending on the phrase?

 

First Questions. No.

 

Related question(s):

 

Two studs with one finger: First, it is nearly impossible to accomplish this on the lower end of the keyboard. So you may as well learn not to do it.

 

Same finger hitting two notes in a consecutively (fourth or otherwise) should be avoided. You lose much in doing that - the most important is the ability to slur the two notes, which might be musically tasteful.

 

That said, it would be disingenuous not to admit breaking these rules on occasion. I occasionally use one finger on two studs the upper keyboard. And when playing two parts on the same hand ( when doing four part harmony ) I am unable to work out schemes where two consecutive notes with the same finger can be practically avoided. This occurs relatively often. Fortunately, when there are four voices, a lapse in phrasing between just two notes in just one voice isn't well heard. Finally, when the two notes are well separated, it doesn't really matter, does it?

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FYI. A Solution. Not that there wouldn't be others, but this works for me -- No consecutive notes on the same finger.

 

See attached.

Daniel: well, if in doubt, trust Kurt over me...

Thanks to both of you! Now I have some homework to do in learning the item that you posted and trying out both of your approaches to it. The finger-to-column correspondence that I asked about in my first question is recommended in the early Crane tutor that's posted on concertina.com. In my own playing (though I've still got a lot to learn) I have occasionally found that when the fingering gets awkward it's because I've moved away from that pattern and returning to it solves the problem.

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Hi Daniel,

 

I notice that you are working on two different duet systems. Have you played enough on both to generalize about their respective virtues? I currently play English, but I really like drone accompaniment and I suspect I will be switching to a duet soon. As far as I can tell by reading peoples posts, I can learn any system but I don't have enough comparative information yet. I must say the Crane system looks interesting. Eric in Montana

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Hi Daniel,

 

I notice that you are working on two different duet systems. Have you played enough on both to generalize about their respective virtues? I currently play English, but I really like drone accompaniment and I suspect I will be switching to a duet soon. As far as I can tell by reading peoples posts, I can learn any system but I don't have enough comparative information yet. I must say the Crane system looks interesting. Eric in Montana

Eric--

 

I addressed some of these issues in this post, where I was specifically comparing an Elise Hayden and a 35-button vintage Crane as starting points for duet playing. Start there, then let me know if you want me to try to address any issues that I didn't cover.

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The finger-to-column correspondence that I asked about in my first question is recommended in the early Crane tutor that's posted on concertina.com. In my own playing (though I've still got a lot to learn) I have occasionally found that when the fingering gets awkward it's because I've moved away from that pattern and returning to it solves the problem.

 

As pointed out earlier, these old tutor fingering do not, for the most part, take into account details of articulation. Still it is worth pointing out that a slightly more modern tutor for the Crane is available here.

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