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Sorry RAc, You posted while I was writing.  

Comments, but not criticisms on your #

 

1.  Jeffries is similar for the home key but zigzag on the middle 2 rows across the fan shaped pattern with sharps and flats above (for the most part) and low notes below.

2.  I consider left/right, accompaniment/melody to be an option rather than a mandate due to the overlap and chromatic nature.  

3.  There are some repeating chord patterns on the JD but like a guitar you can form chords other than barring.

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1 hour ago, Piyush Sachdeva said:

I wanted to use it as a tool to spice up my productions with my ear leading me to play parts that sound sweet with whatever i make. 

Michael Eskin has made a number of concertina emulators that play on iPads.  He has Anglo, EC and Hayden duet versions - no Crane emulator, but the Hayden is conceptually similar.  You can find them via:

https://apps.apple.com/us/developer/michael-eskin/id342739369

 

You can use these to get a feel for the different instruments, and maybe you could even use them right now in your music productions...

 

I will also give a little plug for the concertina sound font that you can find at the bottom of my posts.  Maybe you can use this in your production software - it is an SF2 font so I think it will work with most music production software.

 

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8 hours ago, wunks said:

Sorry RAc, You posted while I was writing.  

Comments, but not criticisms on your #

 

1.  Jeffries is similar for the home key but zigzag on the middle 2 rows across the fan shaped pattern with sharps and flats above (for the most part) and low notes below.

2.  I consider left/right, accompaniment/melody to be an option rather than a mandate due to the overlap and chromatic nature.  

3.  There are some repeating chord patterns on the JD but like a guitar you can form chords other than barring.

Hi wunks,

 

thanks for clarifying, much appreciated! I'll change my #1 according to your input! I don't quite understand your remark #3 though. Could you clarify so I can work that into my earlier post as well? Thanks!

 

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RAc,  I'll clarify my post also. 

 

#1 Outside the home key at either end of the two middle rows, things get a bit wonky with the sequence changing to a more linear layout for the L/H low notes, while the overlap zone is like having 2 mini mirror image EC's, then, at the high end it's back to a liner mode.

#3 This is hard to pin down but valuable info for the OP I hope.  On the Jeff duet there are many opportunities for 3 note chords on the L/H using 3 or less fingers that invite dropping a resting finger (or the thumb) on a desired low note (or melody note if playing in the middle of the box).  This three note trick is a set of easy fingerings repeatable in any key (that I've explored) but never in the same place in every key!  So if you play a tune in one key your fingerings, voicing and ornamentation will be different in another.  I like that.

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On 6/9/2021 at 6:09 PM, RAc said:

 

That's my background as well. Back when I asked a similar newbie question on another (now obsolete) concertina forum, the user present here as anglo-irishman advised me that a duet (in particular a Crane or a Hayden) would make the most natural transition path from a stringed fretted instrument such as a guitar or banjo. I never really tried any other system, but I'd chime in with him for those reasons:

 

1. Like the left hand on the guitar, each hand walks up chromtically or diatonically a row of buttons like on the frets on a string until the end of the position is reached, then moves on to the next string (or button row). This holds true for Crane, Hayden and Jeffries systems (see wunk's later post) but not McCann.

2. On the guitar, the right hand thumb takes over the pianist's left hand (accompaniment), while the fingers take over the pianist's right hand side (melody). On a duet or anglo, you're back to left/right for accompaniment vs. melody. Your brain can be trained to splitting the thumb/fingers roles into the left/right hand roles fairly easily. In fact, a number of fingerstyle techniques (stride bass, Travis picking etc) can be adapted quite fast. This holds true for all duet and anglo concertinas, but not the EC.

3. Somewhat like on the guitar, you can think in terms of movable chord patterns for both hands. To my understanding, this is easiest on the Hayden and on the EC, a little more clumsy on the Crane (because when moving a chord pattern up or down a row, you'll need to adjust one finger by a semi tone for most chords), also present on the Anglo but less on the McCann and Jeffries duet systems (I'm sure someone is going to corrent me fairly soon here if I didn't do the sysems I'm not too famiiar with justice).

 

I know about one EC player with a guitar background and another (very good) one who adapted guitar styles to the McCann duet but a fair number of Crane and Hayden players with a guitar background. I myself still "think" guitar a lot when I play one of my Cranes. To me the Anglo is not an option because I can't make heads or tails of bisonoric layouts, but that's just me.

 

The usual advice is to "dry test" the different layouts by printing them out on paper and "air playing" them to get a feel for the playing idiosyncracies.

 

 

I was hoping to chat up with a guitar player who also plays the concertina. 

 

Thank you RAc !! You’ve provided me with some useful insight. 

 

Concertina seemed like a complex instrument when i first heard about it but now that you’ve pointed out so many similarities with the guitar it doesn’t seem as intimidating anymore.

 

What you said in the last line really helped get some clarity on what kind of system would be comfortable for me. i did print out the different systems on a piece of paper and found that compared to the other systems i would prefer the Hayden. It seems fairly easy for my brain to remember where the notes are placed. 

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On 6/10/2021 at 2:16 AM, wunks said:

RAc,  I'll clarify my post also. 

 

#1 Outside the home key at either end of the two middle rows, things get a bit wonky with the sequence changing to a more linear layout for the L/H low notes, while the overlap zone is like having 2 mini mirror image EC's, then, at the high end it's back to a liner mode.

#3 This is hard to pin down but valuable info for the OP I hope.  On the Jeff duet there are many opportunities for 3 note chords on the L/H using 3 or less fingers that invite dropping a resting finger (or the thumb) on a desired low note (or melody note if playing in the middle of the box).  This three note trick is a set of easy fingerings repeatable in any key (that I've explored) but never in the same place in every key!  So if you play a tune in one key your fingerings, voicing and ornamentation will be different in another.  I like that.

ok, if I understand you correctly, you confirm my statement here that there are almost no moveable chord patterns on the Jeffries but each chord pattern is a different triad inversion? By moveable I mean that (first approximation) the same order of fingers can be shifted by rows and/or columns yielding an identical chord. This is taken to extremes by the Hayden layout where there is exactly one triangular (three finger) pattern for minor and major triads, respectively, that never changes, but which chord actually sounds depends on where the root note sits. On the Crane, this is similar, but moving the chord a row up typically involves changing one finger.

Edited by RAc
clarification of the clarification...
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On 6/9/2021 at 6:36 PM, wunks said:

As a duet player (Jeffries) I would add that while the "home key" is easy (C for my Box) so are F, G, Bb, A minor D minor and several sharp keys.  In fact, I don't find any particular note combinations very difficult especially if you're used to the contortions involved in playing the guitar.  Additionally the overlap twixt LH and RH solves many difficulties.  A further advantage of duet is with voicing potential.  You can use a lot of bellows work but you don't have to and you can chord and counterpoint, drone, slur, punch and/or linger at will.  The different types of duet will have their own advantages.

 

I wasn’t familiar with the Jeffries but i used the following for my reference :

 

https://www.concertina.info/tina.faq/images/finger2.htm

 

Comparing it with the Hayden it does seem a bit more complicated because of how the notes are placed on the buttons. But i guess once you start playing something new,it takes a while before you get the hang of it. 

 

I was concerned about being able to play accompaniment. Thank you for pointing out that it has a a lot of flexibility in that area. 

 

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1 minute ago, Piyush Sachdeva said:

 

I was hoping to chat up with a guitar player who also plays the concertina. 

 

Thank you RAc !! You’ve provided me with some useful insight. 

 

Concertina seemed like a complex instrument when i first heard about it but now that you’ve pointed out so many similarities with the guitar it doesn’t seem as intimidating anymore.

 

What you said in the last line really helped get some clarity on what kind of system would be comfortable for me. i did print out the different systems on a piece of paper and found that compared to the other systems i would prefer the Hayden. It seems fairly easy for my brain to remember where the notes are placed. 

 

I'm glad I could be of help! All the best with your choice and let us know how you get on!

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On 6/9/2021 at 7:15 PM, Don Taylor said:

Michael Eskin has made a number of concertina emulators that play on iPads.  He has Anglo, EC and Hayden duet versions - no Crane emulator, but the Hayden is conceptually similar.  You can find them via:

https://apps.apple.com/us/developer/michael-eskin/id342739369

 

You can use these to get a feel for the different instruments, and maybe you could even use them right now in your music productions...

 

I will also give a little plug for the concertina sound font that you can find at the bottom of my posts.  Maybe you can use this in your production software - it is an SF2 font so I think it will work with most music production software.

 

 

I don't think i'll be able to use the concertina emulators since i don't own an apple device that will allow me to do so. 

 

But thank you so much for sharing the Plug-in. I really appreciate it. This will allow me to get started right away. Also playing in different keys to might not be a problem since it will be in the digital domain. 

 

Nonetheless i will get a concertina at some point. It seems like a wonderful sweet sounding instrument and i want to experience the joy of holding the instrument in my hands and playing it.

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7 minutes ago, Piyush Sachdeva said:

 

I don't think i'll be able to use the concertina emulators since i don't own an apple device that will allow me to do so. 

 

In case you have access to a Windows device, this here may be of interest to you:

 

 

 

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5 hours ago, RAc said:

ok, if I understand you correctly, you confirm my statement here that there are almost no moveable chord patterns on the Jeffries but each chord pattern is a different triad inversion? By moveable I mean that (first approximation) the same order of fingers can be shifted by rows and/or columns yielding an identical chord. This is taken to extremes by the Hayden layout where there is exactly one triangular (three finger) pattern for each minor and major triad that never changes, but which chord actually sounds depends on where the root note sits. On the Crane, this is similar, but moving the chord a row up typically involves changing one finger.

I think that's right.  It's like playing a chord progression in first position on a tenor guitar as opposed to barring up or down the neck with, say, a barred E chord.

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5 hours ago, Piyush Sachdeva said:

 

I wasn’t familiar with the Jeffries but i used the following for my reference :

 

https://www.concertina.info/tina.faq/images/finger2.htm

 

Comparing it with the Hayden it does seem a bit more complicated because of how the notes are placed on the buttons. But i guess once you start playing something new,it takes a while before you get the hang of it. 

 

I was concerned about being able to play accompaniment. Thank you for pointing out that it has a a lot of flexibility in that area. 

 

It may be worth noting that the 50 button "C" core JD extends down chromatically to the low Viola C with an added low G (I have one with an added B and Bb).

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I have said on other threads, and will say again here, that someone considering taking up the concertina should if at all possible go somewhere where they can try twiddling on as many different kinds as possible. They are all very different from each other, even among the duet systems, and you are likely to find that one system fits better than the others with the way your brain is wired up.

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2 hours ago, Richard Mellish said:

I have said on other threads, and will say again here, that someone considering taking up the concertina should if at all possible go somewhere where they can try twiddling on as many different kinds as possible. They are all very different from each other, even among the duet systems, and you are likely to find that one system fits better than the others with the way your brain is wired up.

 

Another vote for this summary of past experience. Of course it is a challenge, if we can't help find some examples of instruments near someone asking the perennial "which system."

 

Hope you find your match!

 

Ken

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  • 4 weeks later...
Posted (edited)

I want to address the expense issue. A guitar, melodeon, and most other musical instruments can be every bit as expensive as any concertina. A well made quality instrument will help you grow into playing it. I think you should concentrate on Anglo/English/'Duet question and which will do what you want. Don't even think about the expense yet. Perhaps you could find a way to "try-out" the various forms of the concertina before buying. I know I spent a lot of money "trying out" various instruments before finding what "works" for me. On the other hand, the process of exploration can be very pleasurable.

Edited by Everett
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On 7/4/2021 at 3:44 PM, Everett said:

I want to address the expense issue

 ...

I know I spent a lot of money "trying out" various instruments before finding what "works" for me. On the other hand, the process of exploration can be very pleasurable.

On the whole, money saved by buying a cheap instrument is wasted.  At worst, a cheap instrument will put you off playing, and at best you will need to upgrade.  However, that is not to say that a good instrument has to be "expensive", just not "cheap".

 

When I started out, I read up on the English and Anglo systems and their supposed pros and cons.  On paper, there was no doubt that English was the system for me.

 

I borrowed an English for a month and practised scales and attempted simple tunes every day.  I made no progress, and had no feeling of "making music".

 

I then had the good fortune to hear both types played by experts on consecutive evenings and knew the Anglo sound was what I was after.

 

I then had a quick go on a borrowed Anglo and immediately knew I could make it work.  Years later, I am still learning new ways around the instrument.

 

I already played harmonica, and had some knowledge of melodeon, so you would think that choosing Anglo would be a "no brainer" but in fact the Anglo is so different from both that as I have got better at Anglo, I have lost all my facility with the melodeon.

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