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Your opinion, please on Hayden layout


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I'm interested in that I'm on Wim's waiting list for a new instrument.

 

I really like the Idea of an ergonomic curved Wicki layout that is carefully designed to fit the hand.

An obvious question should be, "Whose hand?"

And of course, you want it to fit your own hand.

 

The trouble is--I don't necessarily expect a convincing design to have been determined before I need to finalise my order with Wim.
I've been thinking of creating a "dummy" button field that I could rearrange - maybe just dowels mounted on little discs and attached to a flat piece of wood with double-sided tape. Then I could at least experiment with different curves, spacings, and angles, to get an idea of what might work best (for me and the way I play, at least) in the real world.

Assuming that Wim will allow you to specify the precise details of the button layout, maybe you should try Boney's suggested approach?

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[till feel that the slant helps with certain chord combinations, and octaves are a bit easier to reach. But it also hinders other combinations.

Is the slant in the handrest or in the button field itself? Could one simply make an adjustable handrest that pivots to give different slants?

This is just what some of us have been discussing among ourselvees -- an adjustable-slant handrest.

Also the handrest should/could/might be able to shift sideways, to play in far-right keys liek E and A. Also be shiftable up and down, i.e., closer to or farther from the buttons, to match your finger length.

 

This would reduce the need to build custom concertinas. Put the adjustable handrests on, and let the customer do the customizing. It wouldn't solve the problem of large hands wanting the buttons farther apart.

--Mike K.

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As for ergonomics -- I've looked (OK, not real thoroughly) for anyone's claiming on this Forum that the Hayden slant was ergonomically determined (Brian?).

Brian hasn't made an appearance on concertina.net since April. Anybody heard anything?

 

I'm also intrigued by Jim Lucas' idea in a previous thread of a slightly curved Wicki layout. With your hand strapped in, the position of your hand in relation to the buttons changes when you change keys. Wouldn't the layout be more regular for practical purposes if the rows curved the same way your hand does when you reposition it? It wouldn't look more regular, but it might feel more regular, which is what really matters. I'm not sure of that until I try it, of course. I've been thinking of creating a "dummy" button field that I could rearrange - maybe just dowels mounted on little discs and attached to a flat piece of wood with double-sided tape. Then I could at least experiment with different curves, spacings, and angles, to get an idea of what might work best (for me and the way I play, at least) in the real world.

If the rows are curved, then either the upper rows will have more space between the buttons than the lower rows or the alignment between corresponding buttons on successive rows will be lost. I would think either of these choices would cause more trouble than curved rows would eliminate.

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Brian hasn't made an appearance on concertina.net since April. Anybody heard anything?

I'd noticed that. Prior to April, his postings had become less frequent, and were from a public computer. Don't know whether anyone from W.C.C.P. can shed any light.

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Brian hasn't made an appearance on concertina.net since April. Anybody heard anything?

I'd noticed that. Prior to April, his postings had become less frequent, and were from a public computer. Don't know whether anyone from W.C.C.P. can shed any light.

I don't think he ever owned a computer. He once described his routine as checking in on concertina.net once a week from the computer in the library.

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Brian hasn't made an appearance on concertina.net since April. Anybody heard anything?

I'd noticed that. Prior to April, his postings had become less frequent, and were from a public computer. Don't know whether anyone from W.C.C.P. can shed any light.

I don't think he ever owned a computer. He once described his routine as checking in on concertina.net once a week from the computer in the library.

Yes, this is exactly what Brian told me a few years ago when I was negotiating to buy a Hayden Bandoneon from him.

He came into town once a week to use the library computer to check into this Forum.

 

His absence lately is disturbing. Any way to check up on his health?

--Mike K.

Edited by ragtimer
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  • 2 months later...

So if you had to choose between positioning the Eb/D# note in the Hayden layout as an Eb, or positioning it as a D#, which would you choose?

 

Here's a diagram that shows one of the Tedrow 52 modifications with the D#s crossed out and replaced as Ebs.

 

(Also it shows two extra buttons on the right hand side: a Bb and B. Those two are just suggested possibilities if the air button can be moved somewhere creative.)

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So if you had to choose between positioning the Eb/D# note in the Hayden layout as an Eb, or positioning it as a D#, which would you choose?

 

Here's a diagram that shows one of the Tedrow 52 modifications with the D#s crossed out and replaced as Ebs.

 

(Also it shows two extra buttons on the right hand side: a Bb and B. Those two are just suggested possibilities if the air button can be moved somewhere creative.)

Your diagrams also show added notes B and Bb on the LHS (left side). Those are very desirable, but may be hard ot fit into the real estate available.

 

I'm still on the fence aobut Eb versus D# on the LHS. ON the RHS, Eb is just as good as D# and maybe mroe ueful.

 

If there is room, a low A in the obvious place (the Ted Row or row #0) would be really handy for fiddle tunes in A. WOuldn't midn a low A on the LH side for bass, but that's a BIG reed.

--Mike K.

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Your diagrams also show added notes B and Bb on the LHS (left side). Those are very desirable, but may be hard ot fit into the real estate available.

--Mike K.

Those B,Bb notes on the LHS are actually not added. They are substituted for the high Bb,C on the original Tedrow layout.

Edited by Jim Albea
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So if you had to choose between positioning the Eb/D# note in the Hayden layout as an Eb, or positioning it as a D#, which would you choose?

 

I was asked by PM to give my take on this question, so I’ll reply in the thread itself. Since my Hayden is in the original Tedrow configuration (see first figure), I am not taking into consideration the Stagi or any other configurations, although I will also briefly comment on the added rearrangements just above of replacing the LH high B2 and C2 with a low B and Bb.

 

The right hand configuration as shown is a perfect 27 button arrangement (not necessarily the perfect arrangement), in that there are no missing notes and the scales and a set of standard moveable 3 note chord shapes are conserved in the keys of F, C, G, D, A, and E. For example, the second figure shows how a dominant 7th chord retains its shape in C, G, D, A, E and B. (Whether you want to sound all 4 notes at the same time is a separate question.) The other key signatures require learning some different chord shapes (although these are logically related to the first set, but I won’t go into that), and Eb/Cm requires learning a third set. These non-folk keys aren’t really difficult with practice, but do require some reaching.

 

Anyway, the point is that this keyboard is optimized for F, C, G, D, A, and E. I personally find playing on the left side of the RH face easier, so A is a little more difficult for me to play faithfully at speed, although I personally haven’t have that much practice at it. This may be changing as I’m beginning to learn some old-time fiddle tunes in A. The key of E should probably be even more difficult, but the only tune I play in E (Satie’s Gymnopodie #1) seems to lie well on it. It may be easier than A because it is on the extreme edge, so that locating the appropriate buttons is slightly easier than in A. As I begin to learn more blues tunes, which are often in E, we’ll see how this goes.

 

The point, to get back to it, is that my layout is optimized for the key signatures I have mentioned. If you convert the D#s to Ebs and move them to the left hand side, you have shifted the core one key down the cycle of 5ths. Now your optimal key signatures are Bb, F, C, G, D, and A. Whether this is useful depends on the keys you play in and what chords you play in them. I do play quite a bit in Eb/Cm, so Jim’s proposed conversion of D# buttons on the right side to Eb buttons on the LH side would actually make my life a little easier, in that the Bb and some of the Eb chords would retain the chord shapes I use for the “core” keys. The penalty for would be loss of the standard chord shapes that contain D#. This would be Edom7 and Bmin7 in the key of A and Emaj7 and Bdom7 in the key of E. So there’s really no penalty in A for folk chords if you don’t insist on having the 7th in the dominant chord, but the key of E starts to require stretchy chords. (I am considering here that the workhorse chords are I, IV and V for folk tunes, I, ii, V, vi and diminished chords for jazz - lower case numerals indicate a minor chord).

 

What else? The diminished chords have a really standard set of shapes due to the regularity of the Hayden layout and the equal spacing of diminished chords, so what is lost on one side reappears in just the right place on the other side. In the core set of keys, I mostly use the D# for blues notes and chromatic runs. These retain their basic playing character regardless of which side they are on.

 

So, to sum up my response to the quoted question, it is purely a matter of what key signatures you like to play in. How you form your chords can be another factor. I tend to play both jazz and folk chords as 3 note chords, omitting the 7th in folk and the 5th in jazz and with inversions that put space in the chords.

 

Whether you want to replace the Bb2 and C2 on the LH side with a lower Bb and a low C is a separate question. I’ve developed my playing style with the original Tedrow configuration and can’t think of many, if any, situations where I would have used those notes, while I use the overlapping ones often.

 

Wouldn’t it be nice if Rich Morse were still around to add his unfailing polite and astute observations to this thread?

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  • 2 weeks later...

I don't think it's a big issue for me whether the buttons are on the right side as D-sharps or on the left as E-flats. If I had to pick, I guess I'd choose E-flat, it seems to be slightly more common in the tunes I play. I also agree it's easier to play the buttons on the left than those on the right, so playing in B-flat would probably be more comfortable than playing in E.

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Are there genres of music that sort of fall under the fingers with one configuration as opposed to the other? For instance would Blues tunes be easier to play with D#'s? Or would maybe the Big Band sound be best constructed with Eb's?

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