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Hi! I am a (McCann) duet player, and when I see early videos of great duet players, playing standing up on stage, sometimes on very heavy 81 button instruments, I wonder how they managed to do so! When I try my fingers won't face the keyboard properly. Anybody has an idea?

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Some people add neck straps to their instruments (in a way that is completely removable without a trace, using the handrail screws). I generally play seated, particularly for complicated stuff, but I also play for Morris Dancing (simpler tunes), which I do standing. I have a 46-button Hayden, the same size as a 48-button English or 30-button Anglo.

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My McCann duet weighs 1,7kg. Not so heavy. But the straps are in a very eccentric position, I think, so when I hold it, it leans forwards.

 

cuty.jpg

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Whilst  most  of  the youtube    videos  show  Duet players  in a seated  position, as far as I  recall   from  watching  the old players  at  ICA  meetings in the  1970's,  those  who  played  standing up  held  their  forearms more or less vertical.  In this way  the  weight of  the  concertina  is  directed  back into the  base  of  the hands   and there   are less  problems  with the  the  instrument  tilting forwards.

 

Tight  straps  and    the  thumb  wrapped around  the  hand  rail  will  help too , along with  practice  and  building up  muscles.

 

Look for  videos  of  Perci Honri.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Hi Gilbert, did you ever try to play standing while resting the concertina on one thigh like I do in this video?

I think that it can also be a good compromise to experience the pleasure to play standing while keeping a good stability of the instrument, but I can't do that anymore with my 11 folds bellows:

https://youtu.be/2TZZj3yzDAA

 

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Hello Didie! That's what I did in the past every time it was possible, and still do today, I mean playing standing up, left end of my concertina on left thigh, left foot on a stool. I was just wondering if it was possible to play duets with both ends free, as english concertina players do ... but it's true they have this finger plate that helps a lot keeping the instrument in horizontal position. I've tried to tighten my straps, but with no significant results, apart from hinder the movement of the fingers!

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When I play at  a Folk Club I like to play standing up if possible with a step or chair close by in case I tire .It helps I feel , that the audience see the concertina as well as hear my Anglo Concertina . When playing for Morris I always stand and use a folding step ( like guitarist use they are about £10 to buy) .Often with our Pensans Morris we play while walking in a procession .I then use  plastic ratchet straps which I put all the way around the wooden ends of my concertina with a key ring attached to clip a shoulder strap to. When I had my new34 Key G/D made by Colin Dipper I asked for it to be made as light as possible so I could play it without support. He made the reed frames of Aircraft Aluminium Alloy . Bob

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3 hours ago, gcarrere said:

I was just wondering if it was possible to play duets with both ends free, as english concertina players do

 

7 minutes ago, Kelteglow said:

When playing for Morris I always stand and use a folding step

 

As posted recently in another thread, this is me playing a 46-key Hayden Duet for Morris Dancing (in 1989). Thirty years later (until the pandemic shut us down), you could see me doing the same thing (albeit with a better concertina: this was a Bastari, I got my Wheatstone in 1994). Some trickier numbers (requiring the use of 4 fingers) are best played sitting with an end of the instrument on a knee, but Morris tunes aren’t generally that tricky. Notice I’m basically playing with three fingers, using my little finger to help stabilize the instrument (on both sides).

 

image.png

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Such interesting experiences! I keep the idea of the little finger, acting like on english concertina. But perhaps difficult on a McCann, when you're used to use your four fingers all the time. But I'll try, perhaps for simple tunes.

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Wow! such a wonderfull tune, and wonderfully played! Surprinsingly your (beautiful) Crane duet tends to stay horizontal. Maybe it's possible with standard sized instruments: mine is bigger than that. Thanks, Little John!

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On 1/10/2021 at 6:52 PM, gcarrere said:

Surprinsingly your (beautiful) Crane duet tends to stay horizontal.

 

It might look that way, but it's actually 45 - 60 degrees below horizontal. Maybe this recent (i.e. 15 minutes ago) video shows it better. The key is not to try to hold it horizontal, but to let it hang naturally from the thumb end of the straps.

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/CKJOjrvhN-c/

 

On 1/10/2021 at 6:52 PM, gcarrere said:

Maybe it's possible with standard sized instruments: mine is bigger than that.

 

The first example was standard size for a 48 Crane - 6 5/8 inches. I've done the same on a 51 button Crane weighing slightly more than your (1.79kg).

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Coincidentally another thread led me to Dan Worrall's book on line and I came across this illustration. The concertina is being held 60 degrees below the horizontal, much as when I play standing.

 

[I hope this isn't breaking any copyright or anything. Please remove it if so.]

 

697886429_Screenshot2021-01-21at2_42_35pm.png.68984affb81d7e843c30ee788e6d7f5c.png

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