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How many knees/thighs under your Anglo ?


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Forgive me if this is an old topic.  A search revealed nothing.

 

Over a few years I have acquired the habit of holding my Anglo over both knees/thighs set slightly apart. I play mainly ITM. Recently a colleague related her experience at an Irish workshop where she was heavily encouraged to play using the support of only one thigh and not both. Since then, after persevering, she is convinced that this led to an improvement in her playing.

 

I am trying this and whilst it does still feel a little awkward I can see that it might indeed help to free up bellows movement, and thus improve my playing. It also seems to help with my deadly tendency to sometimes breathe with the bellows as I seem more relaxed and conscious of rhythm.

 

Anyone care to comment please ?

 

Rob

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I believe it's a matter of anchoring and that playing the concertina, as is true of most instruments, involves a combined approach.  I anchor on my left knee, loose left hand strap, tighter on the right and I anchor with harmony notes surrounding the melody.

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I play in the traditional Irish style, originally learned to play from Noel Hill, and as per his teaching use a left light inner thigh instrument corner anchor.

I also started many years ago using a 8" square leather patch on my left thigh to provide further resistance to any instrument sliding on smooth material like some kinds of nice denim. The instrument is rock-stable in this configuration and allows me to reduce having to use any energy or attention to my left arm to stabilize the instrument on the push and provides some additional instrument left side motion resistance on the draw. It just doesn't move around at all with minimal effort from the left arm.  The leather is also great for playing when you are wearing shorts to avoid bruising from the corner digging into your thigh.  Left hand strap is a bit looser than my right, about 1/2" clearance from the bar.

 

Edited by eskin
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Thanks for the helpful responses Wunks and Eskin.

 

As a result I have made a small easing adjustment to the left hand strap plus trying some experimentation with a leather (or similar) patch over my left thigh. We shall see.

 

Best Regards,  ...Rob

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Thank you. This is really interesting about the inner thigh and will give it a go. I keep the instrument quite anchored but on the top of the thigh. I'm happy with the way my playing is slowly improving but I've been experiencing some terrible left shoulder pain - not very much when I'm playing, but really bad at night, for example.

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I think it is quite often the case that people can become tensed up when trying a new skill out; musical or anything else for that matter.  This tension can be physical too, the tendons on your hands rigid, and overall nervousness make things more apparent.  I have said it before on forum I know but enjoyment is an important element in learning a skill;  relax and your body will adopt a better posture, hands and fingers free up, and playing improve with practice.  I cannot give advice in holding concertina as I am known for holding my own concertina straps in very unconventional manner! with whole hand through! including thumb [Anglo system].  But my hands are freer in movement and never tense up as a result.  Really get going with your music and enjoy it, relax, and it will show in your musicianship!

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Yep, relaxation is obviously fundamental but so is sharing skills so that we can work out what works best for us. I just tried Eskin's suggestion and already feel that I'm not putting so much energy into the push. The draw is less controllable as it's now new, but worth persevering with to see what happens. 

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