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New Mown Meadows - advice on air supply


Paul Draper
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I have a 30 button Lachenal Anglo and I've just started to learn the reel New Mown Meadows in Am (The New Mown Meadows (reel) on The Session). The  A part seems to be ok but I'm having trouble with running out of air on the B part. I've only been playing for 18 months and haven't gotten the hang of the air button (short thunbs!) yet. The B part seems to have a lot on the pull and I can't identify a suitable place in the tune to use the air button. One solution to this would be to play the starting A note on the push on the accidental row. Is this the best solution? Has anyone got a better idea?

Thank  you. 

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Hi Paul,

 

I make extensive use of the first two fingers either side of the concertina. That way you have control over almost every note, from E on the first line of the stave, to b' on the the second space above the five lines, with duplicates (in different directions) for B, c natural, d' and e'. The only notes that you have to deviate from these two strongest fingers on either side are, D and F#.

 

If you are running out of air, I'm guessing you're running up the middle row. So, subtly changing a few notes gives a kind of an "oasis" in the middle, where you can, hopefully depress the air key, and "lose" some air to collapse the bellows in somewhat.

 

You should have enough time, hopefully to depress the air button, where you see three press notes in a row. In this example these are the two sets of three "L"s at the end of bar 2 and the 4th bar .

 

Don't use the press A.

 

image.thumb.png.5561210e23b1c584cf100b02126d30d6.png

Edited by John, Wexford
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2 of 2

 

I hope this is of some help to you.

 

I have previously engaged with Alex Holden on the issue of the air-button.

 

I was lucky on some of my concertinas to be able to slope the handrail down towards the air-button, but it depends on lots of factors, whether you have a metal handrail or where the retaining screws are located.

 

Here is very crude image of what my handrail looks like.

 

Regards, John.

Handrail.png

Edited by John, Wexford
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I play the second part of this tune exclusively on the G-row of the concertina. I hope I'm playing it in the same key because I learned in by ear but I start on high A RH 2nd button pull.

 

Throughout the entire second part I don't think I really need the air button at all and I use LH Ring/Middle/Index fingers and RH Index/Middle fingers only for those 5 buttons on the G-row.

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For me, usually play the tune in D minor and find it a pretty common key. With some pipers and fiddle players up the step to E minor. In D minor almost an in C row tune, except the high g leading to the second part of the tune. In that key also very easy to do octave playing for second part of the tune. A minor is also a lovely key for the tune, and might give it a go after dinner.

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I think the reason I chose Am is that that's the key I can play it in on a DG melodeon so I'm more familiar. I've tried it in Dm and I think I could manage that as well. No harm in being able to play a tune in more than one key, eh? I already do this with some polkas.

I'm also trying out Alex's suggestion for the air button. I bought some leather straps and have sliced up a whisky bottle stopper but I might change that if I can find the sheet cork I had. It seems to work but needs some adjustment.

Thanks again to all of you.

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