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FINGER/BUTTON OPTIONS?


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I have been working on the Gigue from Bach's Cello Suite 5, transposed to A minor, and came across some awkward fingering, which set me wondering. I am playing on a Rochelle-2 which has Lachenal type button placement, with C# above midway between D and top G bottom row, whereas, the Jeffries style has the C# almost directly above the D. Here, I am playing the trills with middle finger on the D and ring finger on the C, then C#, which is awkward, but possible with some hand twisting. So, my contemplation, and also thinking which concertina next, is, does that sort of fingering get easier, or more difficult with the Jeffries style button layout?

 

Also, as far as I can tell from images, the Rochelle has the buttons rather closer to the strap than many other concertinas, and I am feeling that such finger contortions would be easier if the buttons were further away, nearer the edge of the instrument. Am I right?

1355435362_Screenshotfrom2023-01-1516-00-33.png.4030c6cd7447c8e8775366ed78f62cac.png

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One way to sort of get the buttons farther away is to raise your hands on taller handles. I do it by cutting up inexpensive pipe insulation. (An article from the static version of concertina.net two decades ago). It's cheap and quick to try and see if it helps with any fingerings.

 

Good look with your impressively ambitious work!

 

Ken

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I call awkward reaches on Anglo concertina "finger twisters". Because they are a challenge to play as far as some of the higher notes go. I think the method of doing awkward notes probably best achieved from each person's own experience; because everyone has their own strong points, in dexterity. What suits one may not suit another.

Because I am noted for putting my entire hands inside my straps, thumb and all..  it may allow me to reach higher notes differently to that normally recommended; which goes back, again, to individual approach.

 

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 1/15/2023 at 9:00 PM, Ken_Coles said:

One way to sort of get the buttons farther away is to raise your hands on taller handles. I do it by cutting up inexpensive pipe insulation. (An article from the static version of concertina.net two decades ago). It's cheap and quick to try and see if it helps with any fingerings.

 

Good look with your impressively ambitious work!

 

Ken

That sounds like a jolly good idea, will try that out, thank you ❤️

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I don't have my own instrument to hand to check how this works in practice, so I am relying on Anglopiano.com's 30 button Wheatstone layout, but couldn't you play the C6 pull on the same button as D6 push? That only requires two fingers. It requires a bellows reversal, but you have to do that anyway as the C#6 is also on the pull?

 

Or cheat, and modify how you play the trill. The piece was written for an instrument where these notes are all next to one another. It seems reasonable to me to make some adjustments to reflect the nature of the instrument you are playing, and this is only a decoration, it doesn't change the melody.  Perhaps a Bach purist might object, but they would probably also object to your transposing the key, and probably to playing it on concertina at all.

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