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20 Button Lachenal With Two Notes In Non-Standard Position

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I am a beginner and have just bought my first concertina, a 20-button C / G Anglo Lachenal. The buttons result in the expected notes, all except for one, on the left side, first one the lower row which is G-1 on the push and D on the pull (rather than what I think is more usual B1 and A1). Am I right, is this an unusual set-up?And is it a problem as I learn to play?

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Do you mean the inside row or the outside row? The inside row is the first row your fingers reach when you ut your hands through the straps.

 

The first (lowest) button on the outside ( C ) row on a C/G 20 button should always be C push and would usually be G pull.

 

On the inside row, there is more variation. Some boxes have the same pattern, but in the different key. Others take advantage of the fact that these notes are readily available on the outside row, so they stick something else in. I have 3 boxes, and the 1st (lowest) button on the inside row is different on each one.

Edited by Mikefule

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Thanks for enlightening replies,

I am talking about the inside row, so your post is reassuring.

Doesn’t that make switching to another box more tricky?

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Mine has a B on the push and a C on the pull. I think there are many different arrangement for this button but in modern boxes it will be B on the push and A on the pull. What type of music and style are you planning to play?

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Thanks for enlightening replies,

I am talking about the inside row, so your post is reassuring.

Doesn’t that make switching to another box more tricky?

Yes and no. :)

 

This is a CG box, and we are talking about the inside row?

 

Your first button has a G on the push? That is the root note of the G major chord. It is also available as the second button push on the outside row, so you have a duplication. It means you can transfer fingering for a given tune from the outside row to the inside row. However, you have lost the B push, which is the 3rd of the G major chord. This will slightly limit your options of bass note accompaniment, but you will never go that low with the melody. Whether you have G or B there, you will always have the right chord.

 

On the pull, you have D? That is the 5th note of the scale, and the root of the 5th chord, D major. I have the equivalent on one of my boxes, although I prefer to use the same note which is available on the pull on the 3rd button of the outside row. The reason that I prefer it is that this fingering will always be transferrable to another Anglo. Again, you will never go that low with the melody, so it is only the bass accompaniment that is affected.

 

I really wouldn't worry about it. If you play single line melody, it will never affect you. If you play harmonic style with bass notes, chords, and arpeggios, then you can always find at least 2 notes of the chord you want, and usually all 3. It's just whether you have the lowest bass note available.

 

Part of the charm of the Anglo - especially the 20 button is the special sound that comes from working with the compromises that the keyboard requires. If you had every note of every chord, the sound would become bland and homogenous. As some chords are only available in certain patterns, and sometimes only 2 notes are available, you get that wonderful folky Anglo sound.

 

Enjoy. :)

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I've just checked my 20 b Lachenal. 1st button, left hand, inside row (G row): Push is B. Pull is C.

 

I've looked at my 37 button B flat/F Jeffries, which has some non-standard notes. Transposing to CG, the same button would be: push B, pull D.

 

I've looked at my 30 button Dipper and transposing to CG, the same button is push B, pull A.

 

Therefore, on 3 very different boxes, the push note is the 3rd of the major chord (B is the 3rd of G) but no two boxes have the same pull note.

 

Yours will be slightly easier to play along the row, transferring tunes from one row to the other. However, it will offer slightly fewer options for bass notes. You only have the 1st and 5th available on the push for the G major chord.

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Interesting and informative replies, thanks. Really helpful.

Regarding type of tunes I want to play, my intention is to try all sorts whilst I learn, however, I like the sound of sea shanties and, to please the family, I need to master a couple of carols in time for

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I was at an event in Lincolnshire recently and there was a chap there who sang and accompanied himself on a 20b Lachenal. It was great to listen to: a real folky sound. The 20 b is surprisingly versatile for chords and harmonies.

 

I play mainly Morris tunes on my Lachenal CG and I often find that there are more harmonic opportunities whenI play in G - but it took many months of playing to get confident with these. At first, playing in C seems easier.

 

I am a fan of the 20 b. In the world of melodeons, there is a subset of people who play top quality single row boxes (the simplest layout available) and good quality 2 rows are ubiquitous. It is a pity that in the Anglo world, the focus is on 30 buttons (or more) and most or all of the 20s are fairly basic quality. Just imagine the 20b that someone like Dipper could make. It would be light, beautiful, and full of character and a joy to play.

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I took the (duplicate) original post out of the test forum and we'll let the discussion continue here in "general." Cheers,

 

Ken

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