Josh Birch Posted March 12, 2016 Share Posted March 12, 2016 Hi, folks, After a whole lot of years I seem to be on the verge of going over to the dark side and switching from English to Anglo. I'm trading in my Lachenal for a C/G Céilí, and now all that's left is the button layout, which is where this post comes in... I also play B/C/C# accordion so I'm familiar with the principles involved in bisonoric boxes, but I've only been working on Anglo concertina for about six months and I feel like I ought to get some other people's opinions before I go forward with a custom layout. I've attached a keyboard map of what I'm working on now, with modified notes in blue; here's the general idea: I play only fiddle tunes with occasional chordal embellishment -- no full chordal backup -- in keys from Bb through to E and related minors. I also only play in the fiddle range, so the vast majority of the time I'm between G3 and B5, only occasionally going up to E6 for a handful of tunes. My aim is to keep to the Wheatstone layout as much as possible for accessibility with other people's instruments, while making a few modifications to give me reversals that I'd like or improve the ergonomics in particular keys. I play a lot of Irish music, and I've heard a lot of people say that Irish players generally prefer Jeffries. I do have a substantial repertoire in Bb, F and C from other traditions that I'd like to carry over, though, and for flat keys in particular I just really feel like I need the pull D#5 on the first button and the A5/G5 reversal on the second button. The thing that makes me a little nervous about my modifications is that I seem to be doing some things that I've never heard anyone else talk about, which might be because they're actually bad ideas. If anyone has the patience to read through all this, I'd love to get your feedback on what I'm doing here and hear whether you think it makes sense or whether I'm making mistakes you could set me straight on! LEFT HAND ACCIDENTAL ROW * I've replaced the first button with G#3/C4. I don't really need notes lower than G3, as I mentioned, so I'm opting here for a G# that I do need in some melodies, and a pull C to use with an F chord. C ROW * I don't quite know what to do with the push note on the first button of the middle row. The low C3 is totally useless for me; in the end the best thing I could think of was E3 to give me the potential to go a little lower when playing in octaves, but if anyone has a better idea I'd definitely love to hear it. RIGHT HAND ACCIDENTAL ROW * It seems like just about every tune I play in Bb or F features a jump between F5 and Bb5, so I've moved the Bb from the third to the fourth button so I don’t have to use the same finger for both notes. * Moving the Bb5 opened up a space to fill for the reversal of G#5. As weird as this is, I can't seem to get away from wanting another G#5 here for ornaments with F#5 which would otherwise be pretty ugly, and easier phrasings in the key of A in general. I've definitely never ever heard of someone opting for a unisonoric G# key on Anglo, though, so...? * I haven't figured out what to do with the fifth button. I don't think I'll ever need a D#6 for anything, so I'm looking at reversals. If there's space for the reeds, a pull C#4 could be useful for the occasional F# chord; I could also imagine a push F#5 being very useful, though obviously I can't fit those on the same button. It's such an awkward button for me to reach that I don't really want to put anything too important there, but it's still precious real estate that I feel like I should do something useful with. G ROW * I don't have a use for the high notes past the third button. For the fourth I've put the Jeffries-inspired D#5/C#5 reversal that I'm hoping will give me some of the best of both worlds. It's a perfectly useful position that otherwise would almost never get used so I feel pretty happy with it, except again for the fact that I've never heard of anyone else doing something like this. * For the fifth button I've put a push F#4 for occasional chording or maybe smoothing out phrasing, and E4 on the pull also for chording — particularly for an A chord when I don't have enough air to use the RH push notes -- or helping me out of jams in Em. I think that's it! If anyone has any thoughts at all on all of this, positive or negative, I would love to hear them. Thanks so much, Josh Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
Join the conversation
You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.