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Questions About English Concertina


badok88
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Hello,

I have been learning the Anglo for a while now on an instrument generously given to me by danersen but have unfortunately worn out the bellows by rubbing them against my leg. Then on eBay I found an English for sale and won for the starting price - £299. It is a Lachenal 48 button tutor model but I have some questions about it.

 

Is there anyway I could stop the bellows rubbing against my leg when I play and wearing them out?

Would a neck strap help?

 

And also any tips on playing the English would be good as well.

 

Thank you very much,

Badok88

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I used to play a rather heavy English Concertina by resting one of the wooden ends on my right knee (to take the weight) supporting the left hand end with my hand (using the thumb strap and little finger rest) so that the bellows and left end spanned the void between my knees. This way there was no bellows contact with the legs and much of the weight is supported - it also gives a degree of freedom and expression in terms of bellows use, not being restricted by the flat of the lap. As time went on I developed the requsite strength in my fingers etc to play unsupported/standing - but still use this technique if I am at a sing around where standing is either innappropriate or problemmatic.

 

(I have not used a neck strap - and having a few disc problems in my back worry that this might invite other problems)

 

In terms of tips I am sure there are many included in various spreads on Cnet, in terms of EC I would suggest learning to read music if you do not already - given that the keyboard is layed out in direct reflection of standard notation (if I can learn to do this, anyone can!). Makes learning tunes so much easier. Also, initially, I made good progress when playing the tunes I liked and already knew, and knew well enough to know when my rendition wasn't quite what most people achieve. Sorry if this sounds obvious, but quite a lot of tutors inevitably contain tunes that will not all be familiar and are a bit of a bland slog at times.

 

Most of all enjoy - and play and do what feels right.

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Thank you for your reply's,

That's a good idea on the bellows I will try that. I already read music - on my trumpet I am about to take grade 5. I really like the layout of the English system and I have been learning a song called sergeants Cahill.

 

Thanks again for your reply's,

Badok88

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I recall a previous debate on which knee to use.

You can have:

-left end on left knee

-left end on right knee

-right end on right knee

-right end on left knee

 

there is no definitive answer, just pick which suits you.

Edited by John Wild
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Also one quick question,

What do you think a good case for a concertina would be? A while a go their was an auction for a Jeffries with a brilliant case - does anyone know where I can find one like that?

Badok88

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i've been playing EC for about 8 months. i have never used written music to learn the EC layout, and have not used the ledger line-notes-versus-space-line-notes dichotomy to learn the layout. it's an extremely logical layout that follows certain patterns, and i've used those plus a little straight memorization to get it into my head, which happened very quickly. i've found it super-helpful and useful to associate the notes with their place in the keyboard patterns rather than link them to writing. i do use written music if there's something i want to learn off of sheet music, but i never read it on EC thinking "ledger line, this side, space line, that side." for me, that would block "true" learning of the notes and their relationship to one another...

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Or you can do this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwkJ0cnYcDk

No knees, no rubbing of the bellows.

 

AA has always astounded me in that he just shakes the concertina and all the notes fall out, in the right order, at the right volume and with the right duration. Any one else does it and the thumb straps fall off.

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Or you can do this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nwkJ0cnYcDk

No knees, no rubbing of the bellows.

 

AA has always astounded me in that he just shakes the concertina and all the notes fall out, in the right order, at the right volume and with the right duration. Any one else does it and the thumb straps fall off.

 

 

:D Well, he's had at least 50 years practice at it!

 

Chris

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In the late 1970's I had the privilage of having dinner with Alistair before he performed at the english style folk club I regularly attended near Washington D.C. I was so impressed with him that I sold my Anglo and bought an EC - always been glad I did that. I have alway made a point of standing up to play it when performing.

Edited by Syncopepper
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