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Right Hand C# Options On C/g Anglo


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Following all the replies on my Baritone Anglo thread, I've decided to order one. I also have a Carroll on order and will soon have to make a decision on layout. My only concern is the C# button. The Wakker Phoenix I currently play is Lachenal layout with a C# push on button 1. I'm happy with that, but I do find I would like a pull C# as well. I'm thinking of having a pulled C# on button 2, as I have yet to use the A/G currently sitting there. I'm thinking C#/Eb, Eb/C# for buttons 1,2 (push/pull). I know this arrangement is the opposite of the Jeffries layout.

 

My reasoning is that I like the current ability to play B,C#,D,E all on the push, but I'd also like to be able to play A,B,C#,D,E all on the pull. That would make a nice flow on tunes like "Si Beag Si Mor" and generally make for smoother runs.

 

I've read Ken's article on this site, so I'm clearly not the first to have this dilema. I've also had a look back though previous posts and its clear that opinion is divided on this issue, so I'm not looking for any concensus here, but just want to ask this: Will my proposed layout caused me any major problems in the future? I still concider myself very much a beginner and don't want to build a hole for myself.

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... My only concern is the C# button. The Wakker Phoenix I currently play is Lachenal layout with a C# push on button 1. I'm happy with that, but I do find I would like a pull C# as well. I'm thinking of having a pulled C# on button 2, as I have yet to use the A/G currently sitting there. I'm thinking C#/Eb, Eb/C# for buttons 1,2 (push/pull). I know this arrangement is the opposite of the Jeffries layout.

 

My reasoning is that I like the current ability to play B,C#,D,E all on the push, but I'd also like to be able to play A,B,C#,D,E all on the pull. That would make a nice flow on tunes like "Si Beag Si Mor" and generally make for smoother runs.... Will my proposed layout caused me any major problems in the future? I still consider myself very much a beginner and don't want to build a hole for myself.

Why not stick to the standard Jeffries arrangement of these two buttons - you will still have the option of push or pull for C# and Eb and in future you will not have problems if you borrow or buy a standard Jeffries layout concertina. Having recently (in the past year) switched from Wheatstone/Lachenal to Jeffries layout myself, it wasn't terribly difficult to relearn the C# push on the next button along and I am now merrily incorporating either button as appropriate in known and new tunes.

Samantha

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... My only concern is the C# button. The Wakker Phoenix I currently play is Lachenal layout with a C# push on button 1. I'm happy with that, but I do find I would like a pull C# as well. I'm thinking of having a pulled C# on button 2, as I have yet to use the A/G currently sitting there. I'm thinking C#/Eb, Eb/C# for buttons 1,2 (push/pull). I know this arrangement is the opposite of the Jeffries layout.

 

My reasoning is that I like the current ability to play B,C#,D,E all on the push, but I'd also like to be able to play A,B,C#,D,E all on the pull. That would make a nice flow on tunes like "Si Beag Si Mor" and generally make for smoother runs.... Will my proposed layout caused me any major problems in the future? I still consider myself very much a beginner and don't want to build a hole for myself.

Why not stick to the standard Jeffries arrangement of these two buttons - you will still have the option of push or pull for C# and Eb and in future you will not have problems if you borrow or buy a standard Jeffries layout concertina. Having recently (in the past year) switched from Wheatstone/Lachenal to Jeffries layout myself, it wasn't terribly difficult to relearn the C# push on the next button along and I am now merrily incorporating either button as appropriate in known and new tunes.

Samantha

Samantha,

The C# push is not the problem, its the C# pull. To pull the right hand C row B then the C# above it, does not make for a nice flow. I've read Jim's response in another thread about crossing the fingers over, but that just seems too tortuous for me. Going from the B on the index finger to C# on the middlefinger seems much easier.

The point about making a non-standard instrument is well taken though.

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I, too "thought this through" many years ago, and ordered a 36 button from Colin. My reasons were similar to yours, Gerry. Now, after my ablilities on the anglo have improved, I'm not sure it was the best idea. Techniques which were too awkward for me then are not longer difficult. Many (but not all) players in Ireland do use the Jeffries layout. However, your fingering develops according to the instrument you learn on. Neither the Wheatstone/Lachenal or the Jeffries system is inherently superior to the other. It's all what you get used to. I would consider very carefully about shifting too far from one of the two main systems, however, as you will have difficulty playing anyone else's instrument especially tunes which use these changed not positions. Consider the vast number of instruments using Wheatstone compared to Jeffries. Then again, if you have a great instrument, you may never want to play anyone else's.

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The C# push is not the problem, its the C# pull. To pull the right hand C row B then the C# above it, does not make for a nice flow. I've read Jim's response in another thread about crossing the fingers over, but that just seems too tortuous for me. Going from the B on the index finger to C# on the middlefinger seems much easier.

The point about making a non-standard instrument is well taken though.

 

In practice every button layout is going to involve compromises. While there are tunes that would no doubt benefit from the proposed layout, there are others where I greately prefer having the push C# under my middle as opposed to my index finger. One of the Concertinas I have has 3 C#s on it, but except when transitioning between my Marcus (which only has a push C# under my index finger) and my Edgley which uses a standard Jefferies layout I generally never use the 3rd C#. Over all I much prefer the Jefferies layout now that I have gotten use to it.

 

 

--

Bill

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... Over all I much prefer the Jefferies layout now that I have gotten use to it.

 

 

--

Bill

 

So do I. That A over there on the right hand accidental row, to name but one button, can't imagine how I lived without it!

Samantha

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... Over all I much prefer the Jefferies layout now that I have gotten use to it.

Bill

 

So do I. That A over there on the right hand accidental row, to name but one button, can't imagine how I lived without it!

Samantha

The only A is the one for the little pinky on button 5, same as the Lachenal isn't it?

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Hello, everyone. This is my first post here on this helpful site. I hope my posts will be useful.

 

Gerry,

I don't think it's a particularly "big" hole you would be digging with your custom layout. Based on my experience and what Samantha, Frank and Bill have written, it'd be more like a divot---it might trip you up a little but you couldn't get buried in it. You could have the reed positions changed later. It's possible, though, that with a standard layout, your new instrument would be attractive to more potential buyers if you chose to resell it.

 

I understand your wanting to have the ability to run a number of notes on the pull without awkward fingering. I've discovered, however, that certain tunes, to flow smoothly, force me to use fingerings that seem awkward at first. In fact, just holding the darn little box was awkward for me, at first.

 

I have a Jeffries layout Morse C/G. You described a pulled run including the right hand B, C#, and D. I often play that run like Jim Lucas described it. That and other similarly tortuous fingerings become relaxed and easier after practice, as Frank mentioned, and really help me to appreciate the possibilities of my instrument. I've also come to appreciate that reversing bellows direction, even when I don't "need" to, can improve a tune's flow by limiting bellows stretching and as a consequence, lessening air button usage and the associated sound effects that come with taking "breaths," although I'm far from perfecting that technique.

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Everyone!

Thanks muchly for all the advice. The points about not straying from the standard layouts (well too far anyway) is well taken. In deference, I've decided to go with my proposed layout. As hard as I look, I don't see anywhere where it will trip me up in the future:

C#/Eb Eb/C# G#/G C#/Bb A/D

Its not really too far out actually, as this is the layout in Mick Bramich's book - The Irish Concertina. I can't find any other references to it though, except Ken's article which refers to this book.

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Everyone!

Thanks muchly for all the advice. The points about not straying from the standard layouts (well too far anyway) is well taken. In deference, I've decided to go with my proposed layout. As hard as I look, I don't see anywhere where it will trip me up in the future:

C#/Eb Eb/C# G#/G C#/Bb A/D

Its not really too far out actually, as this is the layout in Mick Bramich's book - The Irish Concertina. I can't find any other references to it though, except Ken's article which refers to this book.

 

Hi Gerry,

 

Not to weigh in with anything myself on this question, but have you checked out the thoughts on keyboard designs for Irish music that Simon Wells put together in his free 'Supplementary Anglo Concertina Tutor? It's worth a look, whether or not you agree in the end with his ideas. It can be taken free from www.users.tpg.com.au/cghent/tutor.doc

 

Cheers,

Dan

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Everyone!

Thanks muchly for all the advice. The points about not straying from the standard layouts (well too far anyway) is well taken. In deference, I've decided to go with my proposed layout. As hard as I look, I don't see anywhere where it will trip me up in the future:

C#/Eb Eb/C# G#/G C#/Bb A/D

Its not really too far out actually, as this is the layout in Mick Bramich's book - The Irish Concertina. I can't find any other references to it though, except Ken's article which refers to this book.

 

Hi Gerry,

 

Not to weigh in with anything myself on this question, but have you checked out the thoughts on keyboard designs for Irish music that Simon Wells put together in his free 'Supplementary Anglo Concertina Tutor? It's worth a look, whether or not you agree in the end with his ideas. It can be taken free from www.users.tpg.com.au/cghent/tutor.doc

 

Cheers,

Dan

Thanks Dan,

If I hadn't already decided to go with the above layout, that would have clinched it for me :)

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