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The Advantage of two C# Buttons?


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Is it like the Jeffries layout with two C#/D# buttons swapped on the right hand accidental row?

 

http://www.suttnerconcertinas.com/images/key_layout_jeff_31.pdf

 

When I play in D with my instructor, I have an easier time with fluency and melody because of those two. He has the Wheatstone layout, and must change direction frequently mid-phrase. As with all 30 button concertinas, F#s are only available pulled, while his layout has C#s only pushed. My Jeffries layout instrument has a C# in each direction.

 

B

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I am having a concertina made and can get standard Wheatstone layout or a standard design with two C# buttons. What do people recommend?

Insufficient information?

  • I assume you're getting a 30-button anglo.
  • Is the second "standard design" a standard Jeffries layout, or something else?
  • What sort(s) of music do you intend to play? (Possibly including song accompaniment?)

I definitely like having the C# in both directions, but when I had the Button Box make me an anglo I didn't take the standard Jeffries layout, but added some other changes, too. In particular, I had the c# in both directions on the same button, the first (index finger) button of the "accidental" row in the right hand. I didn't feel I needed the d# in both directions, so on the second button I got d# on the pull, but f# on the push (very useful, IMO). And "of course" a pull low A at the bottom of the left-hand G row, rather than the duplicate D that is often considered "standard".

 

In the past there have been many discussions about the relative benefits of various modifications to the "standard" layouts, and I'm sure you'll get some interesting replies this time, too.

 

My 32-button Jones anglo, by the way, also has the c# doubled, but the pull c# is on the extra button (at the "top" of the C row) in the left hand. And the push note on that same button is the F (natural) above middle C, so I have that on both push and pull. I hope to get that instrument reconditioned this summer, and I'm looking forward to seeing how its differences affect the way I play various tunes.

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Sorry about not giving enough info. I am a beginner player so not up to speed on all the technique and differences among concertinas! I will be playing Irish music only on a 30 button C/G Anglo concertina. I want to order a concertina from Frank Edgley and he offers "standard Wheatstone layout or standard Wheatstone layout with option of 2 C#) hence my question.

Thanks for all the replies!

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Sorry about not giving enough info. I am a beginner player so not up to speed on all the technique and differences among concertinas! I will be playing Irish music only on a 30 button C/G Anglo concertina. I want to order a concertina from Frank Edgley and he offers "standard Wheatstone layout or standard Wheatstone layout with option of 2 C#) hence my question.

Thanks for all the replies!

 

 

Beryl,

 

Checking his website, he says actually "There are two basic Anglo fingering systems, Wheatstone and Jeffries." And he offers both. For the differences, check anywhere, or the two links below:

 

Wheatstone:

http://www.suttnerconcertinas.com/images/key_layout_wheat_31.pdf

 

Jeffries:

http://www.suttnerconcertinas.com/images/key_layout_jeff_31.pdf

 

In addition to my comments above, there's a third difference which, to me, makes the Jeffries layout superior. And that's the position of the G on the right hand accidental row. It's the only place you get that G on the pull, and it's very useful when playing in the key of G, because you'll often want that G with your F#. Consider, for instance, playing a run in G from the upper A down -- on a Wheatstone you have to use your pinkie for that high A, otherwise your A and your G are on two rows of the same finger, or you're changing bellows direction (not that there's anything wrong with playing that way, it's just not as easy). On a Jeffries, the G is moved to the ring finger, which means you can get your A on the middle, G on the ring, and F# on the index -- all on the pull.

 

B

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In addition to my comments above, there's a third difference which, to me, makes the Jeffries layout superior. And that's the position of the G on the right hand accidental row. It's the only place you get that G on the pull, and it's very useful when playing in the key of G, because you'll often want that G with your F#. Consider, for instance, playing a run in G from the upper A down -- on a Wheatstone you have to use your pinkie for that high A, otherwise your A and your G are on two rows of the same finger, or you're changing bellows direction (not that there's anything wrong with playing that way, it's just not as easy). On a Jeffries, the G is moved to the ring finger, which means you can get your A on the middle, G on the ring, and F# on the index -- all on the pull.

My mileage differs. On my Jones, the pull g is in the "Wheatstone" position, and I find it quite comfortable to play the descending a-g-f# run all on the pull by using (ring finger on a in the G row)-(middle finger on g in the 3rd row)-(index finger on f# in the G row). For that matter, I have no problem with using my little finger for the a in the C row; I do it often.

 

But now we're on the slippery slope to debating all the possible note permutations -- both "standard" and non-standard -- and our personal reactions to how they might interact with each other within the myriad different musical phrases. There are numerous prior threads going into that (I've contributed to a few, myself), but I suspect that's way beyond what Beryl wants to delve into at this stage in her playing career. I'm inclined to stop here, unless she asks us to go further.

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In addition to my comments above, there's a third difference which, to me, makes the Jeffries layout superior. And that's the position of the G on the right hand accidental row. It's the only place you get that G on the pull, and it's very useful when playing in the key of G, because you'll often want that G with your F#. Consider, for instance, playing a run in G from the upper A down -- on a Wheatstone you have to use your pinkie for that high A, otherwise your A and your G are on two rows of the same finger, or you're changing bellows direction (not that there's anything wrong with playing that way, it's just not as easy). On a Jeffries, the G is moved to the ring finger, which means you can get your A on the middle, G on the ring, and F# on the index -- all on the pull.

My mileage differs. On my Jones, the pull g is in the "Wheatstone" position, and I find it quite comfortable to play the descending a-g-f# run all on the pull by using (ring finger on a in the G row)-(middle finger on g in the 3rd row)-(index finger on f# in the G row). For that matter, I have no problem with using my little finger for the a in the C row; I do it often.

 

But now we're on the slippery slope to debating all the possible note permutations -- both "standard" and non-standard -- and our personal reactions to how they might interact with each other within the myriad different musical phrases. There are numerous prior threads going into that (I've contributed to a few, myself), but I suspect that's way beyond what Beryl wants to delve into at this stage in her playing career. I'm inclined to stop here, unless she asks us to go further.

 

 

Jim,

 

You're quite right, of course. It's primarily a matter of preference. That's why one or the other hasn't totally taken over :) And, as I found with motorcycles, until you GET one and play around with it a bit, it's impossible to guess what your preference will be.

 

B

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Sorry about not giving enough info. I am a beginner player so not up to speed on all the technique and differences among concertinas! I will be playing Irish music only on a 30 button C/G Anglo concertina. I want to order a concertina from Frank Edgley and he offers "standard Wheatstone layout or standard Wheatstone layout with option of 2 C#) hence my question.

Thanks for all the replies!

 

 

Beryl,

 

Checking his website, he says actually "There are two basic Anglo fingering systems, Wheatstone and Jeffries." And he offers both. For the differences, check anywhere, or the two links below:

 

Wheatstone:

http://www.suttnerconcertinas.com/images/key_layout_wheat_31.pdf

 

Jeffries:

http://www.suttnerconcertinas.com/images/key_layout_jeff_31.pdf

 

In addition to my comments above, there's a third difference which, to me, makes the Jeffries layout superior. And that's the position of the G on the right hand accidental row. It's the only place you get that G on the pull, and it's very useful when playing in the key of G, because you'll often want that G with your F#. Consider, for instance, playing a run in G from the upper A down -- on a Wheatstone you have to use your pinkie for that high A, otherwise your A and your G are on two rows of the same finger, or you're changing bellows direction (not that there's anything wrong with playing that way, it's just not as easy). On a Jeffries, the G is moved to the ring finger, which means you can get your A on the middle, G on the ring, and F# on the index -- all on the pull.

 

B

The easiest way to go is to pick one of the two basic systems as stated on my website. However these can be tweaked a bit by offering:

-C# on push & pull on the same button (eliminating the D#-----not my favourite solution)

-Jeffries style on the first two buttons and wheatstone for the remaining three buttons. Some people prefer the C# on the push on the first button and the draw C# on the second etc.

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I have the two c sharp buttons in the first button of the third row of the right hand.

I made it the first time in my 32 buttons Lachenal, and I changed the Eb to the additional button of the left hand.

I is easier to play in D and in A, with the C sharp on the pull, for playing B, C sharp and D pulling.

The problem is if you play usually in C minor. In galician music there are many tunes in C minor, in C bagpipe the most common keys are C major, C minor, and D minor, and it is very uncomfortable to play jumping to the Eb button from the left side, mainly if you try to play doing chords accompaniament in the left side and melody in the right (sorry, do you say in english on the right side, or in the right side?)

There is a very interesting page about anglo concertinas that I found just yesterday that discussed about the layouts.

http://concertutor.wordpress.com/customizing-the-anglo-keyboard/

 

My concertinas have the lachenal/wheatstone layout with the doubled c sharp, in my suttner I adapted the 40 buttons system to 38 buttons, putting some diferent notes for having a full C natural scale in the lowest part and in the highest part of the concertina.

 

Félix Castro

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I also have a modified wheatsone with c# in both directions on the first button of the outer row, and find it very convenient.However, my wheatstone is a 40b and the eb is displaced elsewhere ( i actually have 3 of them)On my other instrument which is a 30b, i prefered to keep this d# of the upper octave , on the other hand my choice has been to modify the two otherD#, the one of the lower octave ( lh, 3rd button, outer row) being raised to E, and the one at the top ( rh, 4th button, outer row) being lowered to d'.

The second solution suggested by franck : two first buttons as jeffries , the three others like wheatstone, seems to me a very bad idea, as you loseThe reversed G/a which is the main advantage of the wheatsone system (The reaseons for this are well explained in bertram levy's tutor.)

Beryl, welcome to this crazy community :)

 

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...as I found with motorcycles, until you GET one and play around with it a bit, it's impossible to guess what your preference will be.

Try one, and you can tell whether you like it or not.

 

Seems to me you would need to try at least two different ones to develop a basis for a preference. ;)

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I also have a modified wheatsone with c# in both directions on the first button of the outer row, and find it very convenient.However, my wheatstone is a 40b and the eb is displaced elsewhere ( i actually have 3 of them)On my other instrument which is a 30b, i prefered to keep this d# of the upper octave , on the other hand my choice has been to modify the two otherD#, the one of the lower octave ( lh, 3rd button, outer row) being raised to E, and the one at the top ( rh, 4th button, outer row) being lowered to d'.

The second solution suggested by franck : two first buttons as jeffries , the three others like wheatstone, seems to me a very bad idea, as you loseThe reversed G/a which is the main advantage of the wheatsone system (The reaseons for this are well explained in bertram levy's tutor.)

Beryl, welcome to this crazy community :)

The reversed G/A is a main advantage for many things.

I found it nice for playing D minor tunes that are very common in many genres of music.

In the wheatstone layout you can play pulling F, G, A, Bb, and then C pushing.

It is very similar to the common layout of a C/F accordion, as I telled some times, that you can play in D minor pulling D, E, F, G, A, Bb and C pushing, in the same buttons and the same places, using the C and the F row (not the accidental row as in the concertina). A C/F accordion has the C row nearer to the palm, and the F row further, not as in the concertina that the C/G has the C further from the palm rest and the G nearer.

C/F button accordion diagram.

http://forum.melodeon.net/files/site/CF21acc.gif

 

And C/G 30 buttons concertina diagram (note that the buttons placement are in diagonals in the concertina, not as front as appear in the diagram).

http://www.concertina.net/ms_finger_layouts.html

(You could do exactly the same scale as in the button accordion using the D pulling of the 2nd button of the C row in the right hand and with the E pulling using the E of the G row in the left side).

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I also have a modified wheatsone with c# in both directions on the first button of the outer row, and find it very convenient.However, my wheatstone is a 40b and the eb is displaced elsewhere ( i actually have 3 of them)On my other instrument which is a 30b, i prefered to keep this d# of the upper octave , on the other hand my choice has been to modify the two otherD#, the one of the lower octave ( lh, 3rd button, outer row) being raised to E, and the one at the top ( rh, 4th button, outer row) being lowered to d'.

The second solution suggested by franck : two first buttons as jeffries , the three others like wheatstone, seems to me a very bad idea, as you loseThe reversed G/a which is the main advantage of the wheatsone system (The reaseons for this are well explained in bertram levy's tutor.)

Beryl, welcome to this crazy community :)

I think there must be a misunderstanding of what I suggested. I agree the reverse G/A is desirable and it is why I prefer the Wheatstone, but I am only shifting the remaining button positions over one to the right so the reverse G/A is still there, just one position to the right of normal. The very last note is sacrificed (A/F), but I personally don't know anyone who uses it much.

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Felix : this is an interesting remark.

Personally, i had already remarked that many french tunes in Aminor, usually played on the g/c diatonic accordeon, are easier on the g/d concertina than on the c/g. Now i see that the reason is the same as for playing in Dminor on a f/c accordion !

On my instruments, as i explained, i have d' instead of eb' on the next button of the outer row (for the c/g) and this extends the analogy one step further, when playing up a dminor scale.

 

 

Franck : I understand better and see that this suggestion makes sense.

About the utility of the upper f'/a' button : on my c/g i think i haven't used it much, but on my Edgley g/d I use the corresponding button (which is c'/e') quite regularly!

 

 

David

Edited by david fabre
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