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EC-- D-A and E-B intervals


RickC
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Since I already play C#/D box and mandolin and have long considered the Anglo C/G fingering kabbalah something that would better suit me as a spectator sport, I broke down last week and bought a little Jackie English from Bob Tedrow. At the moment I have no great expectations from myself on this instrument, I just want to see what I can do with it.

 

I'm working through the Wakker tutor as well as the Butler book and seem to be doing OK as long as I play slowly. But here's my question:

 

 

If you have to use the first finger to play both D and A on right side and the second finger on the left to play E and B (for example, any such interval), that would seem to be a huge impediment to working up any speed on the instrument. At this point it's not because I'm only playing excercises and beginner tunes from the books-- but how do you deal with this down the road a bit?

 

 

In the tunes I'm used to playing, those two intervals are very common, and there has to be a less clumsy way to manage them. Maybe this is a dumb question, but this is bothering me.

 

 

Many thanks,

 

 

Rick

 

(And yes, I'll continue to be no help at all to my friend Paige who plays Anglo...)

Edited by RickC
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If you have to use the first finger to play both D and A on right side and the second finger on the left to play E and B (for example, any such interval), that would seem to be a huge impediment to working up any speed on the instrument.

If you dogmatically restrict yourself to one finger for any given column of buttons, you can expect to encounter that problem frequently. Instead, you should use a different finger for each of the buttons. For the left-hand E-B jump that would normally be to use the ring finger for the E and the middle finger for the B. (Sometimes, though rarely, I might use ring-index or middle-index, depending on the notes before and after.) For the right-hand D-A, I tend to use index-middle most frequently, though often middle-index (and very rarely some other combination).

 

If you find this awkward at first, you should work on it. It should help improve the general flexibility of your fingers (and fingering).

 

Also when playing repetitions of a single note, I most often use different fingers.

 

In general, never using the same finger twice in a row is a technique worth practicing (though it's occasionally useful to violate that rule, too).

 

Best wishes on your progress.

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Welcome to the English Concertina!

 

Jim's advice is sound; I'll just add that when you get to page 25 in the Wakker book, there's a drill called "Fourths and Fifths" that seems designed to help answer this very question.

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Many thanks, Jim, Ransom-

 

I had hoped this was just a fingering convention to get a new player started and when "real" playing started there'd be a better way to do it. I appreciate the advice.

 

Wakkers' direction to slide the finger from one button to another rather than picking it up and putting it back down makes sense and I'm used to sliding to the outside row on box, but I haven't found a way to make that work on the Jackie, especially when trying to slide to a higher note.

 

Today makes a grand total of 6 days I've been at this instrument so far, so everything about this is new except for reading music. I'm sure I'll bother y'all again later about something else.

 

Thanks again,

 

Rick

Edited by RickC
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To slide?? Maybe he says that somewhere, but the page I'm looking at only says "In order to play these smoothly, you need to use two different fingers".

 

I suppose both techniques are worth some practice, in any case.

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To slide?? Maybe he says that somewhere, but the page I'm looking at only says "In order to play these smoothly, you need to use two different fingers".

 

I suppose both techniques are worth some practice, in any case.

 

Yep, I'm seeing that on page 13, the paragraph just before the excercise at the bottom of the page. Oh well, I can't do it anyway!

 

 

Rick

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Wakkers' direction to slide the finger from one button to another rather than picking it up and putting it back down makes sense and I'm used to sliding to the outside row on box, but I haven't found a way to make that work on the Jackie, especially when trying to slide to a higher note.

I sometimes slide a finger, but almost never from a lower note to a higher one, and never for the sake of speed.

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It just occurred to me that you might be keeping your little finger in the finger plate. Don't be too attached to that plate, some times it will slow you down.

I think you're still helping Paige,you're showing her a better way!! good luck,Geoff truelove.

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It just occurred to me that you might be keeping your little finger in the finger plate. Don't be too attached to that plate, some times it will slow you down.

I think you're still helping Paige,you're showing her a better way!! good luck,Geoff truelove.

 

 

Heh heh heh... I'll use that when the time is right.

 

 

I've actually been avoiding using the finger plate as much as possible( especially on the right, it just bugs me), and have thought about just removing them and seeing how it goes.

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Cross-finger it as several people have already said. Try it different ways, give each a fair chance because they will all feel strange to start with. You may wany to cross over in a different way in different places or for different tunes.

 

And sometimes, the best thing to do is just to jump it (or maybe use your little finger if you have already used all the others).

 

Be bold!

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  • 3 weeks later...

I know this comes down to ergonomic preference, but when I first started trying to use different fingers for notes on the same row I had a hard time of it as it felt really awkward and slow. Then I discovered that if I slightly rotated my hands/wrists upwards (parallel to the ends of the instrument) that it became much easier to do these fingerings quickly. It changed my hand positions so that my fingers were no longer parallel to the rows of buttons, but at a small angle to them.

Now, this has really just translated into me sitting up straighter when I play and maybe leaning forward slightly if I need more "tilt". An extreme example of this would be Simon Thoumire tilting the instrument 45 degrees, but what I'm talking about is very much less dramatic, but still quite helpful. And yeah, ditch the pinky rests.

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And yeah, ditch the pinky rests.

That can be -- and in fact has been -- a whole separate discussion.

 

For this time around let me just say that

  • I don't find it necessary (or even necessarily helpful) to remove my little fingers from the finger plates in order to do these fifth-intervals with two fingers.
  • I don't consider the finger plates to be "rests" for my fingers, but with them I use my little fingers to help support and control the concertina.
  • I consider restricting the hands to a single rigid position to be a bad thing, reducing control of the instrument and stressing the muscles and tendons more than necessary. Flexibility of motion is the key, and gives the various muscles and tendons opportunities to rest while others take up the strain. Though the majority of the time while playing I use my little fingers as just mentioned, I may at times lift a finger from the finger plate, sometimes letting it float free, while at other times using it to contact the concertina end at some other location. And the alignment of my fingers can vary at times by 30 degrees either side of parallel with the columns of buttons, even without removing my little fingers from the finger plates, though most of the time they are parallel.

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