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Randy Stein

Photo of Boris Matusewitch

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I was cleaning out a drawer and found some photos I had long thought were lost. In them was this picture of Boris Matusewitch. I remember we traded pictures. I gave him one of my new publicity photos in my circus costume playing the concertina and he gave me this one.

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Edited by Randy Stein

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I don't actually see the attachments or the link to them. Is this just me or is something amiss?

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I don't actually see the attachments or the link to them. Is this just me or is something amiss?

No it's not just you Mike.

 

Come on then Randy, and how about posting the picture of yourself you gave to B M as well? (I have an idea we may have seen it once, but you might as well put them up together)

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I don't actually see the attachments or the link to them. Is this just me or is something amiss?

No it's not just you Mike.

 

Come on then Randy, and how about posting the picture of yourself you gave to B M as well? (I have an idea we may have seen it once, but you might as well put them up together)

Here's one:

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I don't actually see the attachments or the link to them. Is this just me or is something amiss?

No it's not just you Mike.

 

Come on then Randy, and how about posting the picture of yourself you gave to B M as well? (I have an idea we may have seen it once, but you might as well put them up together)

And another:

 

 

post-8314-0-02086600-1320807077_thumb.jpg

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Excellent. I feel deprived. All I know how to do is sit stodgily in a chair when I play.

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The first photo is of myself and Joey Bello. We were Bello & Stein, Musical Acrobatic Clowns. We played the song "Stumbling" which ended with me doing a back flip off Joey's shoulders and then we played the last four bars of the song. It was a great act and the music was a hoot. I had a couple of cheap Honers I used in the act when I had to do tricks. Otherwise I played my Wheatstone.

We worked together for 6 years and then I did another 5 years solo (second photo at the 1982 Worlds Fair. That is where I met Rodger French with whom I play in a trio today). I stopped traveling and circus life when my son was born and joined civilian life.

 

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Thanks for sharing these great photos Randy!

 

It is gratifying, for me, to see Boris Matusewitch's thumb position which is the way I've allways held my EC's . Some have said this is not a good way, placing the thumb so far into the strap but, if it was good enough for Boris then I can continue with peace of mind. :)

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Sorry. Operator Error.

 

Hmm. Wonder if the concertina in the pic is the same as this one, which went up on Ebay recently.

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Hmm. Wonder if the concertina in the pic is the same as this one, which went up on Ebay recently.

Possible, but unlikely.

Boris told me he had instruments with his name on them ("rebadged"?) made by both Wheatstone and Crabb, which he then sold on... mostly to his own students, I believe. I've seen a couple with the Matusewitch label, and this one is No. 17.

 

Also, I seem to recall that Boris' main instrument was a "Wheatstone" Aeola.

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His son Eric has his TT Ebony Aeola. It has the finest tone.

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Edited by Randy Stein

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It is gratifying, for me, to see Boris Matusewitch's thumb position which is the way I've allways held my EC's . Some have said this is not a good way, placing the thumb so far into the strap but, if it was good enough for Boris then I can continue with peace of mind. :)

And it was gratifying for me, at the recent German Concertina Meeting, to see Dave Townsend promoting the tip-of-the-thumb-only (and don't neglect the little finger) method that I prefer. The reasons he gave were similar to mine... increased control, flexibility, and reach, particularly toward the lower notes.

 

But if something works for you (or for me), then there should be no great pressure to change.

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It is gratifying, for me, to see Boris Matusewitch's thumb position which is the way I've allways held my EC's . Some have said this is not a good way, placing the thumb so far into the strap but, if it was good enough for Boris then I can continue with peace of mind. :)

And it was gratifying for me, at the recent German Concertina Meeting, to see Dave Townsend promoting the tip-of-the-thumb-only (and don't neglect the little finger) method that I prefer. The reasons he gave were similar to mine... increased control, flexibility, and reach, particularly toward the lower notes.

 

But if something works for you (or for me), then there should be no great pressure to change.

 

 

 

 

Well, as they say "different folks, different strokes" Jim.

 

 

Perhaps Hand shape makes a difference... or is it just habit? I don't think I have a problem reaching the lowest notes of my Baritone/Treble but I find it a bit of a reach sometimes at the top end. This could be due to the shifted thumb strap position in comparison to my Treble. I'll add that this reach problem only happens when playing complicated chords and octaves in quick succession... but with a "thumb tips only"position I think it would be worse.

 

I see that Kevin Toner makes mention of his 'new' "thumbs all the way in" position for increased control... in his current post "memories of you" .

 

Incidentally, I use Wrist Straps on the BT combined with very loose Thumb Straps. This way I can lean back into the wrist straps to change position.

 

Maybe one day when we meet.. we can compare hand shapes and finger lengths.

 

Best regards,

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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It is gratifying, for me, to see Boris Matusewitch's thumb position which is the way I've allways held my EC's . Some have said this is not a good way, placing the thumb so far into the strap but, if it was good enough for Boris then I can continue with peace of mind. :)

And it was gratifying for me, at the recent German Concertina Meeting, to see Dave Townsend promoting the tip-of-the-thumb-only (and don't neglect the little finger) method that I prefer. The reasons he gave were similar to mine... increased control, flexibility, and reach, particularly toward the lower notes.

 

But if something works for you (or for me), then there should be no great pressure to change.

 

 

 

 

Well, as they say "different folks, different strokes" Jim.

 

 

Perhaps Hand shape makes a difference... or is it just habit? I don't think I have a problem reaching the lowest notes of my Baritone/Treble but I find it a bit of a reach sometimes at the top end. This could be due to the shifted thumb strap position in comparison to my Treble. I'll add that this reach problem only happens when playing complicated chords and octaves in quick succession... but with a "thumb tips only"position I think it would be worse.

 

I see that Kevin Toner makes mention of his 'new' "thumbs all the way in" position for increased control... in his current post "memories of you" .

 

Incidentally, I use Wrist Straps on the BT combined with very loose Thumb Straps. This way I can lean back into the wrist straps to change position.

 

Maybe one day when we meet.. we can compare hand shapes and finger lengths.

 

Best regards,

Geoff.

 

This subject was also discussed at a recent workshop in Stirling in 2011 when I was dabbling quite well with 'thumbs-thro' already, but it's only 'till now that I realise how essential it is to do this for the tenor treble model 19A i.e. esp. for piano arrangements. I've recently been sliding back out to thumb tip unconsciously as I've been learning refingerings low down on the key board - One must execute fully through, definitely! I think two professional players concurred with thumbs thro' at the above workshop (i.e. as reel/jigs/etc. EC players). I'm very surprised by this myself esp. for jigs/reels, which put no counter pressures on the keyboard in the way that piano arrangements do. I think I understand this though as even some trad reels/jigs players could benefit for the manner in which they push the instrument - very impressive! I'm not sure it's a hand shape based problem (as I used to think) going on recent findings from myself. I concur with Geoff the a Baritone would make life easier, but exchanges the difficulty to the top end of the keyboard, which must be reached ergo why I think Geoff has favouritised a 'thumbs through' policy. Even on Tenor treble EC I would think that a thumbs through policy would benefit high note reach, so I understand where Geoff's coming from RE the Baritone treble layout

Edited by kevin toner

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Thanks for sharing these great photos Randy!

 

It is gratifying, for me, to see Boris Matusewitch's thumb position which is the way I've allways held my EC's . Some have said this is not a good way, placing the thumb so far into the strap but, if it was good enough for Boris then I can continue with peace of mind. :)

 

It looks to me as though Boris was striking a formal pose for the photographer and not necessarily playing the instrument ?

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It looks to me as though Boris was striking a formal pose for the photographer and not necessarily playing the instrument ?

 

Yes, I am sure you are correct Rod... but does it not suggest that his thumb straps were open too much for 'thumb tips only playing'?

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It looks to me as though Boris was striking a formal pose for the photographer and not necessarily playing the instrument ?

Yes, I am sure you are correct Rod... but does it not suggest that his thumb straps were open too much for 'thumb tips only playing'?

Assumptions, assumptions.

I have my thumb loops tight enough that only the tip fits in, but Dave Townsend's thumb loops seemed more open. It seemed to me that he kept the whole of his thumb from sliding into the loop -- even though there was apparently room for it to do so -- by the "gripping" action of his thumb and little finger. I know I've done that when borrowing others' instruments, so maybe my tight loops are simply a lazy "crutch"?

 

The little finger is very important in my method, and so are any other fingers at any time that they are pressing on buttons or have contact anywhere on the ends. If the concertina is simply hanging from the thumbs, whether at the tip or the base, the ends are free to rotate and are out of control. At least one other point of contact is needed for stability and control, though that point -- or those points, or even the number of those points -- can vary dynamically. But I find that using the little finger to help grip the end, rather than just bracing it, greatly improves my control.

 

Nevertheless, I wouldn't expect Boris to hold his instrument for a photograph with thumbs deeply into the straps if he consistently only inserted the tips when playing. I presume the difference would feel uncomfortably different to him.

 

In any case, I think that Randy, who took lessons from Boris, would be the best one to inform us of Boris' viewpoint on this matter.

Edited by JimLucas

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