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Jefferies or wheatstone layout?


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I'm looking to purchase a good anglo concertina, but I'm confused about the layout - some say Jefferies, other say Wheatstone.

 

I"m interested in playing from the Gary Coover books.  What layout do I need so I can use the tabs shown in his books?

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I believe Gary Coover plays a C/G 30 key with Wheatstone layout. Personally I would recommend it if you want to play in the harmonic or English style, the A/G reversal on the top row is quite useful for combining chords with the melody sometimes both in terms of cross row playing to smooth out a sequence of notes or also giving depth to certain chords. 

 

I believe the Jeffries layout is generally preferred for Irish music as you get a C# in both directions on the right hand side.  

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7 hours ago, Jake Middleton-Metcalfe said:

I believe Gary Coover plays a C/G 30 key with Wheatstone layout. Personally I would recommend it if you want to play in the harmonic or English style, the A/G reversal on the top row is quite useful for combining chords with the melody sometimes both in terms of cross row playing to smooth out a sequence of notes or also giving depth to certain chords. 

 

I believe the Jeffries layout is generally preferred for Irish music as you get a C# in both directions on the right hand side.  

dmksails:   Jake's right, and Gary's notation is definitely for the Wheatstone layout.  His book, "The concertina music of John Watcham" is based on this notation, which is interesting as John W is a Jeffries player!  However, as a player of both Wheatstone (30 key Linota) and various Jeffries instruments myself, I have to say, there's no significant difference, especially if you compare 30 key boxes - except that the dominant triad on the pull in your primary key (the middle row) is easier on the Jeffries layout - at least, it is,  in my reckoning.  Frankly, you get used to what you have at your disposal.  Good luck with whichever option you take!

Edited by Simon Rosser
Clarification
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Both systems have their advantages and disadvantages, so Simon is right - you learn to work with what you have. The books are geared for the Wheatstone/Lachenal accidentals since that's what I have, and also since that's the system on probably 99% of all the 30-button Anglos out there, especially the lower priced instruments.

 

I deliberately adapted John Watcham's 39-button button Jeffries tunes to the more-accessible 30-button Wheatstone/Lachenal system,  but some of the things that were frustrating were the lack of a high d' on the pull on the right, and any push F#'s. For Adrian Brown's A Garden of Dainty Delights we arranged all tunes for both systems - perhaps the first harmonic-style book to also cater to Jeffries accidentals. I have no idea how many folks have bought it for Jeffries instruments, but looking back we should have made it into two books - easy to tell how many for each system!

 

For ITM, everyone seems to want lots of C#'s everywhere, so Jeffries accidentals make more sense for the 1a and 2a buttons on the upper right. For harmonic style I much prefer the Wheatstone/Lachenal arrangement. Of course, for instruments larger than 30-buttons you'll have much more choice for alternate notes and workarounds.

 

The left hand top row is identical for both systems, so it's only on the upper right row where you'll find the differences.

 

Hope this helps!

 

Gary

 

 

Edited by gcoover
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8 hours ago, gcoover said:

...geared for the Wheatstone/Lachenal accidentals...since that's the system on probably 99% of all the

30-button Anglos out there...

 

That's very interesting, as I've recently been wondering about just that - what are the relative numbers of

Jefferies layouts as opposed to Wheatstone/Lachenal layouts. Are there any  actual figures anywhere?

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Go here and click on “Notecharts” to see different key layouts.

 

Gary uses Wheatstone layout in his books. But his “Easy Anglo 123” shows you how to  “translate” the tablature to Jeffries key layout.

 

I hope Gary doesn’t mind me posting it here.

 

84264055-F4D2-4D9F-BA3D-0D6DD2BEA3CE.jpeg
 

But after a while, you’ll develop your own fingering, and treat the tablature in the books as suggestions, not as hard and fast rules.

Edited by pentaprism
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