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Long Haired David

30 button Anglo fingering

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I have been playing a 20 button C/G Lachenal for about 6-7 years and got on really well with it. I play mostly 1900 - 1930s type music making lots of adjustments for the accidentals that I don't have. I play single melody and, with only 5 bellows, have never tried seriously to play chords (not enough puff!).

 

I have now swapped it for a 30 button C/G Lachenal which has the first two rows in the same place and all those nice accidentals on the top row (or bottom depending on your point of view).

 

Now, I have a question about fingering. I am getting on very nicely with the first three button on the left hand so G G# A A#/Bb. What I can't figure out is how to play the right hand notes. I am finding moving between C, C# D D# very clumsy. Now, assuming that I have my index finger on the C and the 2nd finger on the E, etc. which finger should I use to get across to the third row?

 

Not well explained but some tips would be helpful.

 

David

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I haven't been playing as long as most of the people on here, but in my relatively short experience, a large part of the joy of a 30 button is working out optimal fingering 'paths' on the fly. For the most part, I'm going to play C#/D# with my index finger. There might be occasional exceptions, but not many. The trick then is arranging things so that you can get your index finger there on time. If I've got the note sequence G - E - C#, I'm going to play the G with my index finger, the E with my middle finger, and then while I'm playing that E, I'm going to move my index finger up to the C# so it's ready for that next note. On the other hand, if the sequence is B - C# - D, I'm going to play the B with my left hand middle finger, so my right hand index finger is free to move to the C#. And then for the D, it would probably depend on what comes after that, but I'd likely go with the left hand index finger so that all three notes are on the push. For the most part, you can find paths such that the same finger never has to play two different buttons in a row. Not always. You might have a C# followed by an F#, and then it's really down to the particular tune and personal preference whether you want to try and move your index finger from the accidental row down to the G row in the space between notes, or whether you want to try and twist your hand a bit so that you play the F# with your middle finger. If you want to give your right hand a workout, the B part of 'Wizard's Walk' makes you get creative.

Edited by Mjolnir

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One step at a time.  :)

 

Firstly, you do not need to use any of the extra notes on the 3rd row.  They are a facility, not an obligation.  Everything you can already play on your 20b will transfer to the 30 with identical fingering.  (Slight exception: the lowest pull note on the left hand on the inside varies a bit.)

 

Introduce those extra buttons one at a time as you need them.  You don't need to use all of them just because they're there.

 

There are two sorts of note on the 3rd row and they are there for different purposes:

  1. Opposite direction duplicates.
  2. Accidentals: notes that are not available on the 20b.

 

Opposite direction duplicates — some starting points:

  1. Duplicates be used to allow smoother fingering of melodies.  You can play most of the scale on the push, or on the pull — that is, without changing direction part way through.  This allows you to play faster and more legato when you want to.
  2. Duplicates allow a choice of harmonies for the most important notes in a tune.

The most important notes harmonically in the major key are the tonic and the dominant (5th).

  • Playing in C on the standard 20b layout, you can find the tonic, C, in each direction: C push on the C row and C pull on the G row.
  • In G, the tonic is G, and in C, the 5th is G.  On a 20b C/G, you can find the G push on either the C or G row, but it's not there on the pull. This is where the 30b offers an advantage: the G pull falls easily to hand on the 3rd row.  This will be the note on the 3rd row that you use most often.  Find it and learn it, on each hand.

The 3 most important major chords in a major key are I, IV and V.  In C major, they are C, F & G.   On a 20b, you have the bass notes C and G readily available, but the lowest F is an octave higher.  On a 30b, the bass F is pull on the lowest left hand button on the 3rd row.  Use this and you immediately give more "beef" to your accompaniment.  Learn this one and get used to using it.

 

Playing in C, you can often add flavour to a simple tune by substituting A min chord for the C maj chord when playing the melody notes C or E.  In order to do so, you need the note A on the push.  It occurs twice, an octave apart, on the left hand on the 3rd row.  Find them and get used to making that chord.

 

 

 

Accidentals: extra notes — some starting points:

  1. Some tunes have one or more rogue "black notes" that are not available on the 20b.
  2. Some tunes modulate up or down a key and need one black note per key change.
  3. You may want to play in keys other than C/G.

1 & 2 are often more or less the same thing.  The most common accidentals in any simple tune are the ones needed to modulate one step around the circle of 5ths.  Easy example: If you are playing in C major, you may find you sometimes need the F# as the tune dips into G for a bar or two.  If you are playing in G major, you may need the F natural as the tune dips into C for a bar or two.  You can do both of these on the standard 20b C/G.

 

However, if you are playing in C and need to dip into F, you will need the B flat.  If you are playing in G and need to dip into D, you will need the C#.  They are therefore the first two "black notes" you need to find and learn on the 3rd row.

 

 

Fingering generally:

On a 20b CG, a single octave of the C major scale can theoretically be fingered 128 different ways.  This is because all of the notes except F are each available in 2 places.  2C x 2D x 2E x 1F x 2G x 2A x 2B x 2C = 128.

 

On a 30b, there are even more ways to play that one octave scale because some notes are available in 3 different places.

 

Of course, not all of these theoretical options are used, and if a tune includes a complete 8 note scale, it will always fall readily to one of the more obvious fingerings.

 

However, in the context of a tune, you always need to think what came before and what comes after, and how fast you want to play, and whether you want to play legato or staccato and what harmonies will fit.  Experiment with different ways of finding the run of 4 notes G A B C  (in each octave, using all 3 rows) and the run of 4 notes D E F# G.  Be aware that those options are there, and try different approaches when learning a new tune.

 

Do not be dogmatic:  (Well, I say don't be dogmatic, but some people may disagree and I could be wrong... 🙂  )

  1. Although you will find that in the normal course of events, certain fingers will operate certain buttons, this is not an absolute rule.  Sometimes you will need to use different fingering because of context.
  2. Although it is usually best to change finger when you move to a different button, there are occasions when it is preferable, or even unavoidable, to use the same finger consecutively on different buttons.
  3. The same sequence of notes can often be harmonised different ways according to mood.  Playing solo, there is no single "right" arrangement for a melody.
  4. If anyone shows you their "method" treat it with respect because there will be good reasons behind it, but remember that it is only one method among many.  A method that works well for fast fiddle tunes may not be the right one for richly harmonised music hall songs, and vice versa.

The Anglo was invented to make music readily accessible without a lot of theoretical knowledge.  The more you play it, the more sense it makes.  You will find that the most useful of the buttons on the 3rd row "just happen" to be exactly where they fall to hand.

 

Enjoy exploring the options, a bit at a time.

 

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On 11/7/2018 at 8:32 AM, Mikefule said:

One step at a time.  :)

I quite agree!

 

And a good first step would be to print out Mike's posting and read it through regularly.:)

 

Cheers,

John

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