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Expaining my custom layout on the anglo : G/D

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Hello all

Over my years of playing I have experimented several layout modifications on all my instruments.

I have eventually converged to a personal design, with only few modifications with respect to standard Wheatstone layout,

but which to my point of view improve a lot, at least for what I'm playing (especially for chord playing).

Surprisingly the modifications brings the layout closer to both the Jeffries system and the C/G melodeon.

Some years ago when I was a regular contributor to this forum there was often discussion on this issue and I was thinking about posting my layout.

I'm doing it now because I'm considering selling one of my instruments, so explaining the layout will be useful at least for one person !


I'll first explain here the layout of my G/D 30 button built by Edgley. If there is interest I'll post also the layouts of my other instruments (wheatsone 40, levitina 37b, mini Norman 13b).

I provide two version of the layout : the first with the true notes, and the second one transposed as a C/G (I actually play it as if it was a C/G, with the result as transposing one fourth down). Modified notes are in red.

Explanation in next post. 








Edited by david fabre
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Explanations now.

In these explanations I'll refer to true notes but also indicate the "transposed to C/G" notes in parenthesis so that both users of the C/G and G/D systems can follow.

Note that the modifications were done in parts by Edgley himself while building the instrument, and in parts by an accordeon builder from Toulouse (Marc Serafini).


1/ On the left, the only modification is on button 33, pull, I have replaced the A# by B. (c/g : replaced D# by  E).

This modification provides the B (or E) in both directions, which I find very, very useful for chords. Notably, the E, Em and Bm chords (c/g : A, Am and Em) become fully playable in both directions. This button has become essential in my playing ! Of course, the tradeoff is the loss of full chromaticity on the left hand. There are times where I miss the lost A#, but there are many, many more times where I exploit the enhanced possibilitis for chording.


2/ LH, button 61 : G# bidirectionnal instead of G#/A# (c/g : c# bidirectional instead of c#/d#).

I know this modification is relatively common among c/g players of irish style and I also have it on my C/G. I don't play irish session tunes on my  G/D (I keep this for my other instruments), but I modified it similarly to have uniform layouts. Also useful for chord versatility to provide chord E (c/g : A) in both directions.


3/ LH, button 64, pull : a instead of a# (c/d : d' instead of d#').

This allows playing this a (or d) in both directions, which is again very interesting for chord playing style. Incidentally this converges with the Jeffries layout whuch also has this reversed not in about the same location.


4/ LH, button 65 : A#/c instead of  c'/e' (c/g : d#/f instead of f'/a').

The A# (d#) is the one which was originally on the button 61 which was made unisonic as expained in point 2.

The reverersed c (f) is also very useful for playing melody, if the harmony calls for pushed chords.

The tradeoff is loss of notes in the very upper range but I don't miss it much on the G/D.

Note that the modified notes for this button are about one octave lower than the  original ones. When doing the modification, Marc Serafini had to drill the pan built by Edgley to enlarge the chamber.   


5/ Lastly, button 45 : the c#' (f#') was reversed from its initial direction and the opposing note lowered to a# instead of the normal f#' (c/g : d#' instead of b'). This reintroduces the note which was lost on button 64 (see point 3). I use this a# regularly when playing in the key of B minor (c/g : E minor) and find it very practical to have it on the pull and at this location. I use more rarely the pushed c#' and never miss the lost f#'.



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Some analysis now:


A/ The most important midifications concern the three A# notes (c/g : D#) which are removed from their normal location. The one on the left hand is lost, while the two ones on the right side are displaced from their initial position to the last buttons of the rows I and III.

Again considering what I'm playing, I consider A# the less useful note of the scale, and I have replaced it by more useful notes. And when I need to play A# (generally in Bminor tunes) I'm happy to find them in the displaced locations.


B/ On the right hand, my modifications sacrify a few notes of the extreme upper range and replace them by duplicated notes in the reverse sense from their normal direction. With this aspect, the practical range of the instrument in both directions becomes closer to that offered by the Jeffries system. However, the logic of the Wheatsone system is essentially preserved.


C/ Surprisingly the layout of the G/D acquires some similarities with the G/C melodeon system !

(the most common system here in France for "accordéon diatonique").

Remind that the melodeon is G/C not C/G, meaning that the G row is tuned one octave lower compared to a concertina.

To understand this you may have a look at the layout of the G/C melodeon :


On the pull, the G row has A-C-E-F# on both instruments. The C row of the melodeon, which is located above, has D-F-A-B. Interestingly, my instrument has notes B-D-F on the left and d-f-a on the right at approximately the same places ! this means that when playing in cross-row style on the pull, the fingerings get quite similar.

In my area, there are many tunes in the the key A minor which are played in cross-row on the G/C "accordeon diatonique". Hence my G/D turns out to be more fitted to this repertoire than a C/G, contrary to what could be expected !








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Last thing for today:

the layout of my other G/D instrument, a stagi which I will probably sell soon.

Here the modifications were done by myself and are more limited. But they mostly concern the A# notes, again.

Note also that my Stagi initially had note "A," on the bottom button of the D row (button 11). I weighted the reed to 

lower it to "E," as on most Wheatstone instruments.




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