Jump to content

Right Notes Or Bellows Movement First


Nicholas
 Share

Recommended Posts

In trying to relearn the English concertina, I have a question. I am trying to pick out the notes by ear for some simple tunes like Molly Malone and The Rights of Man. I am having some difficulty finding the notes, but I will be able to in time. Should I focus on finding the right notes and then concentrate on the bellows movement, or vice-versa, or both skills together? One of the issues affecting the bellows movement is that some of the notes on my Jackie are sticking, so it takes slightly longer to get the note to sound, thus affecting the bellows movement. What do you all suggest?

The other question refers to playing concecutive notes, not chords that are a 5th apart. Do you all really play them with 2 different fingers? Is there a method to figure out which fingers to use on either hand? I would be grateful for any help. Thanks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...

The other question refers to playing concecutive notes, not chords that are a 5th apart. Do you all really play them with 2 different fingers? Is there a method to figure out which fingers to use on either hand? I would be grateful for any help. Thanks.

 

For the second question, the answer, for me depends on how fast the tune is, and the effect I want. I do use the same finger for 5th jumps where I'm happy with a staccato effect - it gives a bit more bounce sometimes. It also depends on where the tune is headed next ..... the B part of Madame Buonaparte is a great tune for fifth jumps - fortunately fiddlers find them tricky too, so they sometimes remember not to go too fast :lol:

 

Generally I stick to using the index and middle fingers each playing it's own vertical line, accidentals mostly are 3rd finger (for the G,D and A keys we usually stick to in sessions - also F with the Bflat) with the occasional lean in of a first finger to catch an occasional inside accidental like the lower C#. I don't play much in the way of chords, that's where you really have to start taking fingers out of line!

 

Chris

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The other question refers to playing concecutive notes, not chords that are a 5th apart. Do you all really play them with 2 different fingers? Is there a method to figure out which fingers to use on either hand? I would be grateful for any help. Thanks.

 

We all do different things! There are at least three ways to deal with repeated notes on English concertina: just use the same finger, swap two or more fingers, hold the finger and use the bellows.

 

These produce different effects. You should try each of them and see which you like best in a particular tune. The speed may influence your choice as may the possibility of holding other notes.

 

I got very geared up to always using the same finger on any particular button unless I go stuck (hand out of position from playing a G# for instance). Emily Ball helped me to loosen up and be more flexible about which fingers to use.

 

As rather general advice, you want to know where the buttons are and where your fingers are (all of them even if you do not plan to use them for a while). The simplest way to achieve this when starting out it to be consistent about fingers and buttons but sooner rather than later you should try different fingerings.

 

(I used a little finger to play a note last week. Just felt like the right thing to do; I was sitting. Worked fine, made the rest of the tune easier. Try it one day, you may like it. If not, do not do it again.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm hoping that more playing will help the instrument respond better. I am a public school teacher in the States who will have my summer free to garden and play more music. Actually I have 4 more hours left till I'm off, but who's counting. Should I focus on notes first and then the push/pull of the bellows?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Should I focus on notes first and then the push/pull of the bellows?

 

Both is important of course, but my vote goes to the bellows.

Bellows movement is ever so important. Knowing where the notes actually are located is something which will come with more practice.

I can always hear my accordion teacher saying that at every time you have to able to control the sound of every single note in what you´re playing and that at every speed - and he was and is right. Bellows are wonderful because they allow the player to put in so much influence.

I´d always prefer putting more attention to the bellows - there are many things you can do with them.

 

Christian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

One of the issues affecting the bellows movement is that some of the notes on my Jackie are sticking, so it takes slightly longer to get the note to sound

 

I had similar problems with my Jack and Jackie 'tinas and the solution was fairly straightforward if fiddly and a bit nerve-wracking at first . The Jack also developed a sticking key which took time, patience and frustration before I figured out what the problem was; the cure was ridiculously simple.

 

Over the last few days I've considered starting a new thread in the Construction and Repair forum specifically for the Jack/Jackie/Rochelle concertinas recounting in detail my experiences along with a few relevant photos. There are quite a few posters here who play or have played these instruments and I hope they will add to the pool of knowledge, perhaps the pro makers/repairers will join in too with suggestions for tweaks and/or improvements so that practical owners can turbo-charge their instruments. Someone did this elsewhere for the Stagi so why not the Wakker models?

 

Past experience of doing a full setup on budget guitars and mandolins has proved to me that very ordinary and even poor instruments can become really quite good.

 

So far I haven't had time to write the inevitably long post to start this new thread but perhaps I'll get time over the long weekend especially as it looks as if the weather will be bad. Does anyone think this is a worthwhile idea?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hi

sounds like a good idea to me. Anything that helps people play better and easier and have confidence in doing minor adjustments themselves can't be a bad thing

chris

 

Hello,

 

and wouldn´t it be practical to have a type of forum section for that?

Here are so many things collected and I think it would be a waste to not have them at least mentioned

somewhere - general repair things not included, there is D. Elliotts book and searching the site here would give enough of results.

But special things, like a "quick fix" of typical problems with a Jacki, Leo´s collection of videos...

 

Might be worth a tought.

Christian

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As the Jackie player that began this post, I would be most grateful for any simple thing I could do to get the notes to stop sticking. I am being held back in my playing by the notes not sounding, and really want to stay with the concertina, as I love the sound. So, PLEASE post your experience!!!!! Thank you so much.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...