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Failed on the Anglo, trying the English?


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I have failed to make sense of my anglo. The changing notes on the squeeze thing is still messing with my mind two years on. So, I'm having a go with a Jack baritone beginner's English instead. My theory is there is less to worry about because you only have to worry about the buttons rather than the note changing on the squeeze (so technical in my descriptions!!)

 

Is this wise, foolhardy or other - do you reckon?! :-)

 

Anna x

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Definitely "other". It mightt depend on how your brain is wired. I don't have a problem with picking out a melody line on anglo, but I think I'd struggle with English fingering. But perhaps that's because it's been described to me in terms of a piano keyboard and I've never been attracted to playing one of those...

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I have failed to make sense of my anglo. The changing notes on the squeeze thing is still messing with my mind two years on. So, I'm having a go with a Jack baritone beginner's English instead. My theory is there is less to worry about because you only have to worry about the buttons rather than the note changing on the squeeze (so technical in my descriptions!!)

 

Is this wise, foolhardy or other - do you reckon?! :-)

 

Anna x

 

 

I play an EC for many years now and an organetto as well. The keyboard of an EC can not be described in piano terms because its alternating between the left and right hand. A G on the right hand side will be followed by an A on the left hand side. If you play from sheet music all notes between the lines are on the right hand side hand, all notes going through the lines are on the left hand side. To me it is the most logical lay out of all keyboards, but maybe a Wicki - Hayden lay out is even more logical. I hope to find out in a few months.

 

There are some good EC tutors free to download, have a go!

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I have failed to make sense of my anglo. ... So, I'm having a go with a Jack baritone ... instead. My theory is there is less to worry about....

 

Is this wise, foolhardy or other - do you reckon?! :-)

I would say it's wise to try it, but foolish to form a "theory" to predict a particular result.

 

And if the English doesn't work, either (I hope it does), you might give Wim Wakker's new Hayden duet a try before giving up entirely on concertinas.

 

Definitely "other". It might depend on how your brain is wired.

Quite true. But so far I don't know that anyone has come up with a quicker or better way of determining "how your brain is wired" than actually trying the different instruments.

 

I don't have a problem with picking out a melody line on anglo, but I think I'd struggle with English fingering. But perhaps that's because it's been described to me in terms of a piano keyboard and I've never been attracted to playing one of those...

Speculation. You speculate that you would struggle, apparently without even trying it to find out.

 

As for the "piano" description, I find that a surprise, because to me the English-system keyboard doesn't resemble the piano keyboard in the least. I should note, though, that many folks who first learned to analyze music through lessons on the piano seem to feel that music (and everything about it) is based on the piano keyboard, though in truth it's the other way around. All (musical instrument) keyboards were designed to (re)produce music, and different keyboards emphasize different kinds and aspects of music.

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I have failed to make sense of my anglo. The changing notes on the squeeze thing is still messing with my mind two years on. So, I'm having a go with a Jack baritone beginner's English instead. My theory is there is less to worry about because you only have to worry about the buttons rather than the note changing on the squeeze (so technical in my descriptions!!)

 

Is this wise, foolhardy or other - do you reckon?! :-)

Anna x

I agree with the others that you shoudl try the EC, to find how your brain is wired. You may find it quite natural.

 

But personally, I agree more with those who advise you to try the Hayden Duet, now that there's the Elise priced about the same as the Jack(ie). I think the Hayden is by far the easiest system to learn quickly, plus you get to accompany yourself with the left hand.

You can play a major scale on the Hayden within 30 seconds of first picking it up -- no kidding :rolleyes:

 

Finally, I tried to learn EC on a Jack. I wish I'd had a Jackie treble instead, since the notes on the Jack are so slow responding that you have to wait for the audible feedback to tell you whether you've hit the right button. If you can trade yoru Jack even-up for a Jackie (like you just bought it this weekend), I'd say make the swap.

 

Anyway, trying all the systems is a fine idea. I learned Hayden first, but still like to fool with the Anglo and EC when I get the chance.

--Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer
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But personally, I agree more with those who advise you to try the Hayden Duet, now that there's the Elise priced about the same as the Jack(ie).

And the fact that you play Hayden duet has nothing to do with your opinion, eh? ;)

 

I think the Hayden is by far the easiest system to learn quickly,...

Not for everyone. That's the whole point of "how your brain is wired".

 

Yes, I was able to pick up the Hayden scale, and to knock out a melody and even a few chords (though I'm not chord-oriented) fairly quickly. But that was after I had been playing English and -- to a lesser extent -- anglos and other duets for many years. I'm pretty sure the layout was also described to me in advance.

 

But as I've described before (long ago and far away, in another thread), I picked up the English keyboard even faster, without being told anything beforehand about how it was laid out. And that was the first concertina I ever had in my hands.

 

... plus you get to accompany yourself with the left hand.

On the English I get to use both hands for both "melody" and "accompaniment". I get to treat both the instrument and the music the way I think of them... as wholes, rather than as separate ends or parts to attend to individually, yet somehow synchronize.

 

You can play a major scale on the Hayden within 30 seconds of first picking it up -- no kidding :rolleyes:

Without being told in advance how the keyboard is laid out? I wonder.

 

I have seen people do that with an anglo... though of course not in just any key. ;)

 

And I was playing two-part harmony (parallel harmony, not chords vs. melody) on the English within 5 minutes of picking it up, and only later learned that I had done so in a "difficult" key.

Different wirings, I think.

Anyway, trying all the systems is a fine idea. I learned Hayden first, but still like to fool with the Anglo and EC when I get the chance.

Agreed.

 

Anna, you may find that only one (or even none) works for you, or you may find that you like playing different ones at different times, taking advantage of the strengths of each in turn.

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I followed much the same path you did except I went to the English from the Anglo a few months in. I just like being able to "think music" and have the notes go... the push-me-pull-you of the anglo was too frustrating to me.

 

Going to the English, it's been 2 years now, made all the difference in the world and I'm never turning back! :)

 

Though I'll admit there's some thought about a Duet, but... neah I like my EC! :)

 

---

Patrick

Edited by Dieppe
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I followed much the same path you did except I went to the English from the Anglo a few months in. I just like being able to "think music" and have the notes go... the push-me-pull-you of the anglo was too frustrating to me.

 

Going to the English, it's been 2 years now, made all the difference in the world and I'm never turning back! :)

 

Though I'll admit there's some thought about a Duet, but... neah I like my EC! :)

 

---

Patrick

 

i think the problem is that if you try to think about the anglo it just doesnt work. you have to just let your fingers find the notes.

 

i always found the anglo suited me very well cuz i consider myself to be hardwired a bit inside out and backwards, and the insanity of the anglo just seems to make so much sense to me. i found the english to be a bit screw-brained (i.e. too logical), and had trouble picking it up as fast as the anglo. however, i know if i spent a couple weeks with it, it would start to make sense.

 

good luck with the english, and i hope you like it!

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Hmm....tricky though. I couldn't make head nor tail of the anglo when I started, but practice does seem to do the trick.

Would changing interfere with the music you play/want to play? I only play Irish music, and the change over wouldn't do it for me.

However, good luck, and maybe when you find your way with the EC, you might find your way back to the Anglo:-D

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i always found the anglo suited me very well cuz i consider myself to be hardwired a bit inside out and backwards, and the insanity of the anglo just seems to make so much sense to me. i found the english to be a bit screw-brained (i.e. too logical), and had trouble picking it up as fast as the anglo.

That just about parallels my experience with the wondrously eccentric and ever delightful anglo, and is the reason why I've always reacted badly when someone suggests that if you want to play a certain type of music you must play a certain system of concertina. Fortunately, as the years go by, that sort of statement is now rarely to be heard echoing around these hallowed halls.

 

Go for it, Anna.

 

Chris

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Gulp! Such speedy helpful responses! Thanks! However so much variety of response - double gulp! I'm just going to have to get practising and see how it goes aren't I? I like a degree of logic so I'm hopeful.

 

I liked the idea of the lower tone of the baritone - I sing, so if I can work it out, that is better for me. If I can't however I'll end up with a house full of concertinas and will have to get a barrelful of fishermen round once a week to sing shanties and play them for me!! :D

 

Can someone explain something about a duet to me? I don't know anything about them. Why is it called a duet and how does it differ from other concertinas?

 

Thanks all for your friendliness and wisdom as ever!

 

Anna x

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i think the problem is that if you try to think about the anglo it just doesnt work. you have to just let your fingers find the notes.

I find that thinking about the anglo helps (me) a lot. But getting to the point where I no longer have to think about it is much better.

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Can someone explain something about a duet to me? I don't know anything about them. Why is it called a duet and how does it differ from other concertinas?

 

Thanks all for your friendliness and wisdom as ever!

 

Anna x

There's a description of the various types of concertina in the faqs at http://www.concertina.info/tina.faq/conc-typ.htm which includes the different systems used by duet concertinas. I found it useful but know no more about them than I've read there!

 

Pete

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Hi Anna

 

This site has some descriptive articles on the right, and on the top under the picture that will help:

http://www.concertina.com/

 

A quote from one of the pages states: "Maccann Duet concertinas are designed to play a melody along with accompaniment or to play multiple parts at the same time—so a single concertina can “play a duet with itself”". I guess it's as good a definition as I've heard yet.

 

Pete already mentioned concertina.info, so I won't mention it again :D . It's also a good site.

 

Thanks

Leo :)

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I have failed to make sense of my anglo. The changing notes on the squeeze thing is still messing with my mind two years on. So, I'm having a go with a Jack baritone beginner's English instead. My theory is there is less to worry about because you only have to worry about the buttons rather than the note changing on the squeeze (so technical in my descriptions!!)

 

Is this wise, foolhardy or other - do you reckon?! :-)

 

Anna x

 

 

clearly what you are craving is a duet. The anglo is a good sytem, yet it lacks the simple refinement of the elegant and much maligned Duet. You must be brave, ready to stair back at the ridicule that rolls off thier prententious noses.

 

The duet is the only concertina worth investing any time in: all other forms of "concertina" are but mere fossils on the road of evolution. There worth a laugh, appraise thier virtues, summarize thier failures, and lift your head up and walk away. You have taken that first step to awakening from the humdrum of bisonoric snobbery.

 

However this path is not without its own pitfalls, the less traveled route is always the most interesting and challanging.

 

You will find no teachers for any Duet system, sparse books (my "Book" is just a photo copy of the 48key Crane duet with the staff below and the notes on the buttons labeled).

 

Remebr this young Annie:

 

as you emerge from the cave your eyes will be dazzled by the light, and all will be confusion, then, as you adjust you will see more clearly than you ever have before.

 

good luck

Edited by Hooves
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[...snip...]

 

i think the problem is that if you try to think about the anglo it just doesnt work. you have to just let your fingers find the notes.

 

i always found the anglo suited me very well cuz i consider myself to be hardwired a bit inside out and backwards, and the insanity of the anglo just seems to make so much sense to me. i found the english to be a bit screw-brained (i.e. too logical), and had trouble picking it up as fast as the anglo. however, i know if i spent a couple weeks with it, it would start to make sense.

 

good luck with the english, and i hope you like it!

 

Your logic is so logically illogical it makes me realize why I enjoy your posts so much. We are kindred spirits :blink:

 

More specifically to the topic at hand, I agree with the concept of the Anglo requiring sufficient play-time to allow the fingers to "find" the notes. The more I play the easier it gets, but it did take about 6 months of diligent effort to even begin to feel really comfortable. I'm not particularly good at writing down abstract concepts, but it seems I can't analyze it as I do most things. I just have to play and let the muscle memory do it's thing.

 

--jeff

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