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button presses and bellows


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Hi All,

 

I'm dreading the answer to this question because it may mean fighting muscle memory on several songs I've already learned. If you are changing the bellows direction on the same button, do you need to press the button twice (once on each note) while doing this.  none of the online lessons I've taken have mentioned this but I saw post on the forum saying not doing it could damage the concertina.

 

Thanks

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You will not damage the concertina this way.

 

Releasing and re-pressing the button on bellows changes will produce a different articulation than just holding the button. Either can be ok, but it should be an intentional choice. Folks generally encourage new players to do the former, because most people require practice to not automatically do the latter.

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I think it depends on what kind of 'tina you're playing. Changing direction on an English or (on most) duets will the button down will give you the same note. If you're playing an Anglo, it will give you a different note.

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I use bellows reversal while holding down a button quite often. Sometimes just to get a different (more gentle) attack to the second note, or because its the end of a phrase and I want the other bellows direction for the next phrase.

 

On some tunes (e.g. Captain Pugwash/Trumpet Hornpipe, or Mademoiselle from Armentieres) which have several repeated notes played fast, I find it easiest (and sounding good) just to hold down the button and do a bellows reversal shake.

 

So don't worry about your muscle memory.

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In my view, 2 consecutive notes on the same button in the same bellows direction should always be 2 presses of the button.

 

2 consecutive notes on the same button in opposite bellows directions should usually be 2 button presses. It gives a crisper articulation, with a definite start to the note.

 

However, there are occasions where the speed and difficulty enforce a compromise,  and some circumstances may call for a slurred sound for artistic reasons.

 

It's better to be able to lift of and press agai , and choose not to, than to be unable to do it.

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