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Playing Anglo and English systems


Tiposx
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Hi I wonder if anyone would share their experience of playing both systems. I have been playing Itm on English concertinas for a couple or so years. I have recently bought a 22 button Anglo and spent a few days getting used to it and learning a tune or two. I have only attempted tunes that I haven’t played before. This was challenging and I enjoyed it, but then it was time to practice on the English again.
To my horror I couldn’t get a tune out - the rows were in the wrong place, and one of the thumb loops had crept forward by a few buttons. It took me quite a while to readjust my finger positions, and even after that I seem to have forgotten how some of my tunes started. It feels like I have gone backwards.  I am on holiday for a few days now and won’t be playing any instrument, but have time to mull it over. 
So I am a little worried now - has anyone else on the forum made a success of it? Will I get used to it eventually?
I have a friend who plays Anglo, English and two kinds of duet concertinas successfully, but he is what I call a “proper” musician.

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I think you need two compartments in your brain, so that you can think of them as separate instruments. When switching from one to the other it is as different as switching from either one to a an accordion or bandoneon.

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I  recall     when  I  went  back to  the  Mac Cann  after  a  year  on the Hayden  I  could  not  play it.  Though all the  time  I  had  continued to  play  the English. Perhaps  it  was a case of  these duets  being too similar.  I've  never seriously  tried  an  Anglo  but  I  am  happy  playing  the  Chromatic  Button Accordéon  and  the English.

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It can take a while to get adjusted when you return to an instrument you haven't played in a while. Same thing happens with me going between penny whistle, mandolin, button accordion and English concertina. I even gave up guitar...one too many. That's why I don't take up the Anglo...one too many.

Edited by Everett
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10 hours ago, Tiposx said:

So I am a little worried now - has anyone else on the forum made a success of it?

 

Yes, they have... at least a few.

 

10 hours ago, Tiposx said:

Will I get used to it eventually?

 

That's a separate question.  People differ.

 

The fact that you have been successful at playing both anglo and English suggests to me that you can get used to switching between, but your current difficulty suggests that to do so, you should practice the switching itself.  E.g., practice a tune on the one for 5-10-20 minutes, then the same tune on the other for a similar length of time, then back and forth again and again, switching to a different tune when the "current" one hits a learning plateau.

 

And as with learning the tunes themselves, start slowly, then gradually increase speed as it becomes comfortable ("easy"?).  Practice is important.   Practice doesn't guarantee perfection, but perfection is virtually impossible without practice.  Or, as expressed in one of my favorite quotes (origin unknown, at least to me):

 

"An 'amateur' practices until he can get it right.  A 'professional' practices until he cannot get it wrong."

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Thanks everyone who has replied. I am interested in the Jim Lucas suggestion of practicing the switching of instruments and of playing the same tune on both systems. I was deliberately avoiding this, but I will try it as I can’t really spoil anything at this stage.

 I always practice slowly at first until I can play without mistakes, (well for the most part) so no worries there.

Cheers

Tiposx

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Might I compare playing an Anglo vs an English to playing a melodeon to playing an accordion? I play a melodeon with the in/out note changes, but for some reason, I play an English concertina. Now you have me wondering if I should get an Anglo. Would I find it easier than an English? I don't think so, just different. Subtle differences in rythmn, style and choice of music perhaps?  Keep on switching between Anglo and English. It'll come in time.

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It's different tools for different jobs.

 

I've played both EC and AC for years, and can easily switch back and forth since the keyboards and handrests are so different, as is what I want to play and how I play it on each instrument. 

 

The really hard switch is between Anglo and Jeffries Duet, since 1/4 of the keyboard is identical, and the harmonic chord patterns are just close enough to really scramble things up in my little brain - definitely have to make sure to NOT try to play the same tune on both because the end result would be not being able to play it on either!

 

Gary

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On 9/11/2021 at 11:12 AM, Tiposx said:

I am interested in the Jim Lucas suggestion of practicing the switching of instruments and of playing the same tune on both systems.

 

I should clarify.  Eventually, you probably won't be duplicating most of what you do on each instrument.  But that should be for reasons of how the music fits on each instrument, not because you're "confused" by the fact of having two instruments that look similar, though they feel very different under your hands.

 

Practicing switching back and forth will -- I hope -- result in your brain connecting both instruments to the music, rather than to each other.

Edited by JimLucas
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I can report that it is getting easier. I am using a jig tune that I can play fluently on the ec to ease myself back into that system each session. The problem doesn’t show when I start to play the Anglo, as it is so new to me.

Further to some other posts about playing different instruments, I don’t have issues when moving between melodeon and piano accordion, just the concertina systems. I can see a way forward now though, now my initial worries have eased.

Cheers

Tiposx

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