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E Minor Tunes On 30 Button Anglo = Arghhhhhh


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I have been trying to get some tunes on my 30B Anglo, and discover that there is a dearth of the notes B on low side, and it so just happens that the one on the G row makes me chop to get an E off the C for my pharse, B-E-G.. So Ok, I get the B off the other end on the draw ( C scale). It sounds horrible! I wish I had a button to press the low side B but not in the same line as the existing one. Moved down or up but off the second finger.

 

One common tune I like in E minor is "The Drunken Sailor" but there are loads of dance tunes in E minor and D major.

 

I don't want to switch reeds out or anything radical, I imagined I could make a remote button on the outside of the concertina which would press the B button but with another finger. I have seen this sort of arrangement on other instruments such as the saxaphone and boheme flute. So I do not think this is impossible to do, however complicated the engineering might be.

 

As a general rule I would not want to do the same to every key that causes the problems outlined, but would like to try it for those combinations which keep recurring.

 

Any suggestions welcome.

 

 

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I've always played this in D minor because it fit my one row melodeon. So, taking it to E minor on my 30 button CG anglo was interesting. Works fine for me starting with the B push under my middle finger on the G row and going from there. Actually, I like it better. Working between the push B on the left and pull B on the right smooths it out. Thanks for the suggestion.

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Notemaker, you haven't really described what sounds "horrible" about it, but I suspect the benefit of such an alteration to a 30-button C/G would be far outweighed by the cost. Yes, the fingers can get a bit tied up in that little triangular B-E-G shape and how ungainly that feels depends on the size of one's fingers, I guess. You could try some alternate fingering - say 4-3-2 rather than 3-3-2 if you particularly want it to be legato...

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I have been trying to get some tunes on my 30B Anglo, and discover that there is a dearth of the notes B on low side, and it so just happens that the one on the G row makes me chop to get an E off the C for my pharse, B-E-G.. So Ok, I get the B off the other end on the draw ( C scale). It sounds horrible! I wish I had a button to press the low side B but not in the same line as the existing one. Moved down or up but off the second finger.

 

Yes, I'd like to know what you mean by "horrible" ? I use both Bs and they both sound great. Also, on anglo I often think it's nice to have a pull B and push E on the C row. Also, if I really wanted to play push B on the G row followed by a push E on the C row, I'd probably use my pinky for the push B and middle finger for the E. You can borrow fingers, it's "legal" and not that hard ;-)

Edited by Azalin
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i use(d) them both constantly, and i use both "e" buttons constantly. i don't follow the "use only this one, not that one" method. what i want is a lower "e" and "f" to replace the bottom-row "pinkie" a/g button that i never use. i use the a/g on the middle row, and the a/g on the top, and it's more than enough. i don't need three a's and three g's. i think that low button would be a great spot for my reverse e/f...

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i use(d) them both constantly, and i use both "e" buttons constantly. i don't follow the "use only this one, not that one" method. what i want is a lower "e" and "f" to replace the bottom-row "pinkie" a/g button that i never use. i use the a/g on the middle row, and the a/g on the top, and it's more than enough. i don't need three a's and three g's. i think that low button would be a great spot for my reverse e/f...

 

He's talking about the lower E as far as I know, and there's only one of those with standard layout. I'm surprised you don't use the A/G on the LH G row, I could not live without them!

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i use(d) them both constantly, and i use both "e" buttons constantly. i don't follow the "use only this one, not that one" method. what i want is a lower "e" and "f" to replace the bottom-row "pinkie" a/g button that i never use. i use the a/g on the middle row, and the a/g on the top, and it's more than enough. i don't need three a's and three g's. i think that low button would be a great spot for my reverse e/f...

 

He's talking about the lower E as far as I know, and there's only one of those with standard layout. I'm surprised you don't use the A/G on the LH G row, I could not live without them!

 

 

I did exactly this replacement on my C/G 30-button several years ago, and I love it. Zero downside for me, and I use the new "f" and "e" reversals all the time. I understand it may have a big downside to those who follow traditional fingerings for Irish trad music, as there would be a lot of retraining your fingers.

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I should add -- this is an extremely simple (and easily reversible if you found you didn't like it) alteration on a Morse Ceilí, where each chamber can be made larger or smaller if need be, though I think in this case they don't even need to be re-sized. The f/e and g/a accordion reed plates are either the same length or else different by only a millimeter or so.

 

Thus it's probably not hard on other hybrids either (most have chambers that are of fixed size), though I've never done it on anything other than a Morse so I can't speak from experience here.

 

For that matter, it's probably not hard with concertina reeds -- the shoe sizes of f and g, and of e and a, are probably pretty similar if not exactly the same. And here it would be even easier to reverse.

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I have been trying to get some tunes on my 30B Anglo, and discover that there is a dearth of the notes B on low side, and it so just happens that the one on the G row makes me chop to get an E off the C for my pharse, B-E-G.. So Ok, I get the B off the other end on the draw ( C scale). It sounds horrible! I wish I had a button to press the low side B but not in the same line as the existing one. Moved down or up but off the second finger.

 

Yes, I'd like to know what you mean by "horrible" ? I use both Bs and they both sound great. Also, on anglo I often think it's nice to have a pull B and push E on the C row. Also, if I really wanted to play push B on the G row followed by a push E on the C row, I'd probably use my pinky for the push B and middle finger for the E. You can borrow fingers, it's "legal" and not that hard ;-)

 

Without adressing any other replies, what sounds so horrid in my case is having to quickly go from push to draw to get B on the RHS C scale. It just sounds too abrupt and harsh. But if I could use the LHS G scale / C scale E minor chord buttons it comes out smooth and sweet. And becuase my fingers are bigger than most I cannot put them all three on the LHS buttons needed for the chord. I still imagine, then, that a mechanical lever on another finger row, eg 1, would make it possible to quickly play the E minor chording passages which now cause me to use the RHS C scale draw note B.

Edited by Notemaker
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...what sounds so horrid in my case is having to quickly go from push to draw to get B on the RHS C scale. It just sounds too abrupt and harsh.

Would you be willing to provide a short sound file, so that by hearing what you're producing we might be able to suggest ways of modifying it? A video would be even better, where we could see your fingers and hands, including their size, which you suggest is larger than average.

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Most musical instruments have restrictions and limitations of one sort or another. Stick with tunes that are a practical proposition for the instrument in your hands.

 

Before coming to that conclusion it's always good to be open to the possibility that our playing might be improved so that such tune becomes playable in an acceptable manner. If I would have stopped learning a tune every time I thought my C/G concertina was limited, I'd be playing three or four tunes right now and not a couple of hundreds.

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30-button anglo has some frustrating limits when it comes to A-flat, E-flat, and B-flat. it does NOT have limits of any significance when it comes to e-minor. i suggest getting some skype assistance from one of the wonderful irish players who offer them, or from that online outfit that gives the lessons, can't remember its name right now.

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[[i'm surprised you don't use the A/G on the LH G row, I could not live without them!]]] i started out at the very beginning making a point to train myself to use the a/g on the LH top row as well as the one right under it, on the middle row. nobody does that, but it is a game-changer. i got the idea from reading articles about the bandoneon. [[ok--i'd bet perhaps bertram levy does it. he seems to use "all" the buttons to the max. and he is a bandoneonisto.]] gearoid and tim collins both remarked on it separately in catskills classes when they saw me doing it, and said it was unique but perfectly fine and dandy. an "A" in each direction, and a "G" in each direction is an abundance of riches. i want that other button for my reverse E/F!!!...... :ph34r:

Edited by ceemonster
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becuase my fingers are bigger than most I cannot put them all three on the LHS buttons needed for the chord.

Do you really need to play the full chord? I often play only two notes of a chord, usually the root and fifth. Of course this is ambiguous and could be either major or minor, but in practice the ear fills this in from the general feel of the tune, or the missing note might be part of the melody Thirds can sometimes sound a little harsh on a concertina, and this avoids that problem too.

 

I can't advise on your other problem as I think I play in a different style (I play 'harmonic'), however I consider Em to be one of the more useful keys.

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i started out at the very beginning making a point to train myself to use the a/g on the LH top row as well as the one right under it, on the middle row. nobody does that, but it is a game-changer. i got the idea from reading articles about the bandoneon. [[ok--i'd bet perhaps bertram levy does it. he seems to use "all" the buttons to the max. and he is a bandoneonisto.]] gearoid and tim collins both remarked on it separately in catskills classes when they saw me doing it, and said it was unique but perfectly fine and dandy. an "A" in each direction, and a "G" in each direction is an abundance of riches. i want that other button for my reverse E/F!!!...... :ph34r:

 

I did not imply it was a bad thing, it's just that in my case I really need them all. I sometimes use that A/G on LH accidental row, but that duplicate G/A on the LF G row has become such a requirement in my case it would be too late to try to live without. I often want to pull A and then push D and I prefer to use the push D on LH G row over the pull D RH C row when I can. So the LH G/A on G row really allows me to play with that LH D. But yeah if you are happy playing without it, a reverse F/E would certainly be a nice replacement. I'm glad I have some extra buttons and I asked for a reverse F/E on one of those buttons.

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[[i'm surprised you don't use the A/G on the LH G row, I could not live without them!]]] i started out at the very beginning making a point to train myself to use the a/g on the LH top row as well as the one right under it, on the middle row. nobody does that, but it is a game-changer. i got the idea from reading articles about the bandoneon. [[ok--i'd bet perhaps bertram levy does it. he seems to use "all" the buttons to the max. and he is a bandoneonisto.]]

 

Bertram Levy believes both push-g/pull-a buttons are necessary. When he noticed I was using "the wrong one" in a workshop, I explained that I use that I use that one for everything because I put an f/e on the other one. He didn't seem to see the merit in this.

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