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JackJ

Cutting G (ITM anglo ornamentation)

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I'm coming to concertina from playing ITM on whistle and flute, and I'm now at the point where I'm trying to apply what I know about ornamentation.  

 

Starting with cuts, I pretty much always use the finger above the note to cut with the wind instruments.  So if I'm cutting the note G, I'm using the finger that, when lifted, would sound an A.  Though not everyone does it this way, keeping the interval between the cut and the note small (a whole step or a half step) generally sounds better to me, even though the cut should typically be so brief that its pitch isn't harmonically significant.

 

In translating that to the concertina, I'm cutting a note using the button above in the scale.  That's usually an interval of a third, and when it is a third (or a second) I can get it to sound good to my ear.  But I'm struggling with how best to cut the G played with the left hand index finger.  The next highest note I can get with the same bellows direction is the C with the right hand index finger.  Even when I nail the briefest cut I can manage, it sounds qualitatively different from the cuts I get on other notes.  Not bad, necessarily, but not as subtle an effect as I usually want to achieve.

 

Wondering if anyone else finds this troublesome?  Or is it just one of the quirks on the instrument?

 

And for me, it's specific to the C row.  The corresponding left hand index button on the G row, the D, I can cut with the E on the right hand C row, and that works well for me.

 

More generally, I'm wondering if there's a good instructional source that goes into depth on ITM ornamentation for the anglo concertina.  I'm getting some tips here and there from the OAIM lessons, but hoping for something more detailed an analytical.

Edited by JackJ

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TBH I do not think it matters so much as to worry. I played ITM on the Chromatic Harmonica for a time. Then I quickly learned that somethings are completely home made to get around decorations. I don't bother too much with them on the Anglo, but have noticed those who do will use any note that works to achieve their goal. LHS G on the C row is topmost, so you'll probably want to try using the LHS G on the G row, and tickle the B - next button up from there.


You mention Edel Fox. If you slow her down on YouTube you will find she uses notes far removed from the main one for her rolls/cuts/ etc.

 

I have no idea what would work best for that.

 

Curious, why did you move over to the box from the Flute?

Edit:

Just recalled that I use the LHS DRAW G outside row 2nd from top button. That will work with a DRAW A on either G or C row...

:0)

 

 

Edited by Notemaker
i for e

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The grace-notes or cuts don't necessarily have to come from the same row. The press B on a C / G instrument works well for both press G's on the Left Hand Side (LHS), and the G's themselves, and the grace-notes and rolls on the G's, are all fairly interchangeable. The C on the RHS would be my second choice, for gracing G.

 

I would like to produce a guide to concertina ornamentation, but it is a ways off at the moment. (I do have an index, however).

 

Can I ask, do you cut E's with F#'s, and F#'s with G's on the whistle and flute.

 

This, my reply, I can see, has crossed with Notemaker's reply.

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From your description, you have a C/g Anglo.  Therefore you (probably) have a couple of options, if you are willing to cut from another note on the same side as that G under the left index finger in the  C row:

 

1) The B 2nd from the top on the left in the G row

2) If you have a 26 - button or more instrument, then there likely is an A reversal on the push, on the left, 2nd from the top in the "Accidentals" row.

Either of those require that the middle finger be available though, which will depend upon what note precedes the G you wish to cut toward.

 

3) Another option would be to play the G in the left-middle of the G-row, cutting down from either of the mentioned notes above, although this is easy cutting down from the B.  This choice would depend upon what finger will be needed for the following note.

 

A completely different approach would be to play the A on the draw with a little hiccup in the bellows motion, then keep the same button down to play the G on the push. This can also work if the preceding note was on the draw, and you just press the button with your index finger the tiniest bit early to get that hint of A before compressing the bellows to get the G.  This will clearly NOT sound the same as cutting on the Flute, but that is the point.  In certain places the rhythmic bounce produced can fit the music in a way unlike anything the Flute would produce, so it can be part of the peculiar charm of playing a bellows instrument.

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Thanks for these  very helpful replies!  To answer and respond to some of the questions/solutions:

 

5 hours ago, Notemaker said:

 you'll probably want to try using the LHS G on the G row, and tickle the B - next button up from there.

[...]

Just recalled that I use the LHS DRAW G outside row 2nd from top button. That will work with a DRAW A on either G or C row...

 

 Yes!  Those are both good options, and a reminder that I'll benefit from spending more time on some of these alternatives for sounding certain notes.  That outside row in particular, apart from the push C#, is mostly terra incognita for me still.

 

5 hours ago, Notemaker said:

Curious, why did you move over to the box from the Flute?

 

I'm still working on the flute, but the embouchure is coming slowly.  Whistle is my primary ITM instrument, and I'm still devoting time to that, too, but the concertina has a more interesting sound for me , plus the chord possibilities.  

 

5 hours ago, John, Wexford said:

The grace-notes or cuts don't necessarily have to come from the same row. The press B on a C / G instrument works well for both press G's on the Left Hand Side (LHS),

 

Thank you, I have been mostly confining myself to the same row, unnecessarily.  I did discover cutting the inner row push d with the middle row push e, and that was something of a revelation.  But what you're suggesting for the middle row push g sounds like what I'm looking for.  A little embarrassed that it didn't occur to me! 

 

5 hours ago, John, Wexford said:

 

Can I ask, do you cut E's with F#'s, and F#'s with G's on the whistle and flute.

 

 

I do.  Quite a few tutors sugget, IIRC, using just the G finger to cut D, E, F#, and G, and the B finger to cut A and B.  But I follow the Grey Larsen technique of using whatever finger is above the note, with the exception of B where only the B finger is available.  He explains the reasons he prefers this at some length in his books.  I don't think other techniques are inferior, but they do sound a bit different, and I like Grey's sound.

 

5 hours ago, Tradewinds Ted said:

From your description, you have a C/g Anglo. 

 

Yes, 30b C/G, I should have specified that.

 

5 hours ago, Tradewinds Ted said:

 

A completely different approach would be to play the A on the draw with a little hiccup in the bellows motion, then keep the same button down to play the G on the push. This can also work if the preceding note was on the draw, and you just press the button with your index finger the tiniest bit early to get that hint of A before compressing the bellows to get the G.  This will clearly NOT sound the same as cutting on the Flute, but that is the point.  In certain places the rhythmic bounce produced can fit the music in a way unlike anything the Flute would produce, so it can be part of the peculiar charm of playing a bellows instrument.

 

Thank you for this (and the other suggestions you offered too).  I am somewhat limited still by my flute mindset.  I am getting some articulations (not always intentionally!) through bellows reversals, and it makes sense to exploit these possibilities that are intrinsic to the concertina.

 

Really looking forward to practicing these tips tonight.  Thanks again.

 

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