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Eric Fiddle

English Ergonomics: Stagi Representative?

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A friend loaned me her Stagi 48 key English. I find it incredibly difficult to finger, eps. the lower tones.

 

Is the Stagi a good representative of the ergonomics of the standard English concertina? 'Cuz, i'd be pretty disappointed. :(

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A friend loaned me her Stagi 48 key English. I find it incredibly difficult to finger, eps. the lower tones.

 

Is the Stagi a good representative of the ergonomics of the standard English concertina? 'Cuz, i'd be pretty disappointed. :(

 

Stagi may not be the best, but I wouldn't think it would be the worst. I would want to see how you are holding it before laying the blame entirely on the concertina.

 

In particular, are you pushing your thumbs through the loops as far as they can go? I don't. I put only the tips of my thumbs into the loops (which I keep tight enough to prevent them going in further), and that gives me most of the length of my thumbs as extra distance for reaching both the higher and lower notes. In particular, it means I can lift my palms and reach for the lower notes rather than having to curl my fingers under, as some folks say they "have to" do.

 

By the way, how does your friend handle that problem? And for that matter, what are the relative sizes of your hands and hers?

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In particular, are you pushing your thumbs through the loops as far as they can go? I don't. I put only the tips of my thumbs into the loops (which I keep tight enough to prevent them going in further), and that gives me most of the length of my thumbs as extra distance for reaching both the higher and lower notes. In particular, it means I can lift my palms and reach for the lower notes rather than having to curl my fingers under, as some folks say they "have to" do.

 

 

Wise words from Jim - I'm another one who only puts the tips of the thumbs in the loops and have no trouble reaching the full range of the keyboard. As far as I can remember it wasn't something I was taught or told, it just seemed logical from very early on in my learning.

 

It's probably also worth looking at whether you're bearing the whole weight of the instrument on the thumbs and little fingers, because if so you might find it much easier to rest one end of the instrument on your thigh with that foot on a footrest or the instrument case.

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I don't think the first go at an EC is a good time to judge the problems of low notes. As already pointed out putting the thumbs too far in can cause difficulties, and also EC feels heavy, cumbersome, and awkward when you first pick it up. The thumbs or little fingers hurt! All of these issues tend to go away once you've had some time with the instrument, and I think should be "put up with" since they do go away...

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plus, there are folks who throw those pinky things away and never look back, precisely because they find them to be agonizing torture instruments. thus liberated, you can do the thumb maneuvers already suggested here, plus, place your pinky (and ring when not using) lightly for balance wherever is comfortable and rotate your hands accordingly. if you keyword "simon thoumire" on youtube, you'll get a vivid example of what i mean...

Edited by ceemonster

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Well, I'm one of those who in fact are pushing their thumbs through the loops as far as they can go (to quote Jim). I didn't face any real problems to reach all the buttons from the very beginning. When supporting the right end with the (right) knee I don't use the pinkie rests any more, otherwise (whilst playing simpler tunes standing up) I support the ends with the palms and stabilize the instrument by using pinkie rests...

 

This is just to say, it depends... You will have to find out your own way...

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