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Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina

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Black belt caterpillar wrestler 12 Nov 16 - 06:28 PM
GUEST,cnd 13 Nov 16 - 05:14 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 13 Nov 16 - 05:50 PM
Guran 14 Nov 16 - 01:13 PM
Dave the Gnome 14 Nov 16 - 01:29 PM
Dave the Gnome 15 Nov 16 - 05:00 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 16 Nov 16 - 06:47 AM
Guran 16 Nov 16 - 10:45 AM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 18 Nov 16 - 06:39 PM
Guran 19 Nov 16 - 12:34 PM
Guran 19 Nov 16 - 01:08 PM
GeoffLawes 02 Dec 16 - 10:43 AM
The Sandman 03 Dec 16 - 06:22 AM
The Sandman 03 Dec 16 - 06:48 AM
Guran 04 Dec 16 - 01:41 PM
Black belt caterpillar wrestler 05 Dec 16 - 06:36 AM
Guran 05 Dec 16 - 12:40 PM
Guran 08 Dec 16 - 09:31 AM
Richard Mellish 08 Dec 16 - 04:05 PM
GeoffLawes 09 Dec 16 - 06:15 PM
GeoffLawes 09 Dec 16 - 06:37 PM
GeoffLawes 09 Dec 16 - 06:51 PM
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Subject: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 12 Nov 16 - 06:28 PM

I have just added another item to my list of mediocre achievements in that I have become an author.

At last I have got round to publishing a tutor for the Anglo based on the way I taught myself to play. It's been about five years since I first said that I would write one.

Initially I have decided to go the electronic route and "Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina" is now available for download from Amazon priced at whatever the equivalent is of $3.99 is in your locality (currently £3.19 in the UK).

I shall be looking into publishing it in physical form sometime soon.

Basically I play in octaves and by ear and this is reflected in the text which has no musical notation in it, but does have button layouts and fingering labelling.

Interested to hear any comments.

Robin Madge


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: GUEST,cnd
Date: 13 Nov 16 - 05:14 PM

Is this the one?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MSKQ4WT/ref=zg_bs_tab_pd_bsnr_1/151-4333192-3990652?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=GVPWCG39STAQ18T1P7C

I don't play any concertina, but from how you've described it it sounds nice, especially the chord instructions and avoiding "dots"


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 13 Nov 16 - 05:50 PM

That is the one.

Apparently I have sold three so far in 24 hours!

I don't think that is bad for such a niche market.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Guran
Date: 14 Nov 16 - 01:13 PM

Robin, you got my full support and admiration for your initiative in spreading your experience to others. Since you have taught yourself I get the impression you have much integrity and put a great deal of thinking into the matter of concertina playing in wider sense and not firstly relying on tradition and "authorities" This makes me curious to hear if you accepted the design of the instrument without questioning its perfection and wondering if some changes might make the learning process easier?

When I met concertinas (coming from various other musical devices) for the first time 40 years ago - german, english, anglo, duet(s) in that order - I thought for myself immediately: "Such nice instruments but why these strange and inefficient ways holding them??" There were no concertinaplayer(s) around so I asked several people, musicians and others, "What do you think of these squeezeboxes?" and they all said "Pretty boxes but impossible to hold properly"

Since then I have wondered how it is possible that the design of concertinas hasn't changed at all during 150 years - haven't you also?? The conclusion would be : Is it not a good idea finding means to hold the instruments properly before wasting a lot of time learning to play them while using unnecessary effort for the task?
Göran Rahm


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 14 Nov 16 - 01:29 PM

Make that 4 Robin :-)

Cheers

DtG


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Dave the Gnome
Date: 15 Nov 16 - 05:00 AM

Added bonus with Robin's book - I got a £1 credit towards buying or renting a film :-)

DtG


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 16 Nov 16 - 06:47 AM

I should point out that I don't have any say in who gets special offers!

As to how the instrument is held I am beginning to think that hands vary more from individual to individual than is oftem realised.
I am quite happy with most anglo concertinas as the button arrangement is within my range of flexibility, however I am useless with chords on stringed instrments as my fingers do not spread far enough when the hand is curled around the neck of the instrument.

It seems to me to depend on how your hand action is affected by the angle of the wrist.

Anyone else see this as a connection to dexterity in different hand positions?

Robin


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Guran
Date: 16 Nov 16 - 10:45 AM

Robin, it definitely is, just as you indicate, a matter of both anatomy and dexterity when looked upon in an individual perspective and of course individual players (hopefully) choose instruments which suite them personally rather than desperately insist trying to learn an instrument which for some reason is unnecessarily awkward. Still it may be admirable in a way playing violin with one arm but I gave it up pretty soon myself when the right arm was paralysed from an injury...

When constructing/designing an instrument ( or whatever tool) meant to be used by a wider population you better try to consider a wide variation of anatomical data hoping to make it accessible for almost everyone. Talking anglos for a start the hand position vs the keyboard layout ( for the standard 30 key) *may* be almost ideal for the majority but for people with large (long fingers firstly) hands the hand strap comes over the knuckles and locks the hand, for people with short fingers a good position vs the handrest/strap means that the distant buttons can not be reached at all with the little finger unless you slide within the handstrap or constantly rotate the instrument ( clockwise looking at the right end) Many anglo players adapt to this playing position spontaneously but it is not particularly comfortable.

You may compare trad british style "anglos" with german style six-sided 20 key instruments. These from tradition have the keyboard located further to the top of the endplate and the hand bar is located at the geometrical centre of the endplate, The result from this is 1) you hold the instrument in a more balanced position 2) you reach the button rows with fingers in a more neutral position ( speaking about "ordinary people" with midsize hands.

Naturally these problems can NOT be solved in a simple way for all size hands unless there are means to adjust the position of the handbar/handstrap. ( Still talking anglos... and duets, which have the same arrangement)
The same of course with englishes. The position of the thumbstrap and little finger rest have to be adjustable to become suitable at all except for players with really small hands. The distance between the button rows shows that also. Is it not surprising that such evident needs have not been dealt with during 150 years??

The english concertina fingerplate remains being a total mystery. It WAS originally designed to be the resting place for BOT 3rd AND 4th finger BUT later on almost nobody plays like that but uses it for 4th finger only which of course makes both the design and the location of the trad fingerrest completely absurd....strange....


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 18 Nov 16 - 06:39 PM

Having acknowledged all of the above, what you can buy off the self is a standard design of handstrap, so it is up to the individual to experiment if they wish to.

Robin


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Guran
Date: 19 Nov 16 - 12:34 PM

Robin,
You said: "It seems to me to depend on how your hand action is affected by the angle of the wrist".

RE:The individual range of movement by the wrist certainly varies a lot but that still ought not to be of great importance for concertina playing conditionally that the handle arrangement is fairly allright, and it often is not like I said. Firstly the wrist should be supported higher up than the trad handbar admits. Secondly the handbar should be sloping, higher at the little finger side than the thumb side of the hand. Thirdly for most individuals the handbar ought to be closer to the keyboard at the little finger side and for most hands more distant from the keyboard at the thumb side. This can may all be fixed by attaching a new hand rest by means of the common screws

You then said: " what you can buy off the self is a standard design of handstrap, so it is up to the individual to experiment if they wish to"

RE: The "standard design of handstrap" mostly is pretty useless. The handstrap ought to be steadier, broader and individually cut in a U or S shape that offers a steady support. Combined with a broader and better shaped hand/wrist support the handstrap may form a cuff that holds the wrist rather than the midpart of the hand to the instrument. By that arrangement the wrist can be flexed and extended and the fingers also in a more efficient and relaxed way. By rotating the handbar location according to the above you get space enough to add a thumbstrap to the Anglo/Duet handle arrangement and that helps a lot.

Naturally it IS "up to the individual to experiment" but it helps a lot analysing the situation at first to understand what you are actually doing and what you can expect from doing it. It took me more than 5 years going from scratch to a reasonable result and that was despite I am supposed to be an "ergonomic pro"....it is all selfevident once you've come out from the tunnel


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Guran
Date: 19 Nov 16 - 01:08 PM

At a second thought maybe I misunderstood what you meant by "angle of the wrist"...! Did you mean just what I spoke about - that the handrest works differently for different individuals depending on the wrist angle the hand size determines and thus restricts the hand - in turn depending on individual dexterity" ??

Even if I did get you wrong it should not change what I said after all...You often see anglo players either rotate the instrument extremely clockwise looking at the right end if they have fairly short hands or flex the wrist extremely to the little finger side if they have very long hands in order to adapt to the rigid trad handle arrangement which like I said by accident suits some midsize hands fairly well.
The English is even more tricky - it actually suits ONLY very small hands so I have always wondered WHO's hands offered the model for the initial design....some young daughter of Charles W ...or his wife..??


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 02 Dec 16 - 10:43 AM

This seems an interesting publication and one I would like to see. However, deciding "to go the electronic route" has effectively ruled me out . I do not have a Kindle, which is the "electronic device" which Amazon Uk requires for the tuor's download. To buy a Kindle to obtain this tutor would make this a very expensive proposition. If you, later, bring out a cheap paper copy then please let us know because I will probably get one.


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Dec 16 - 06:22 AM

"There were no concertinaplayer(s) around so I asked several people, musicians and others, "What do you think of these squeezeboxes?" and they all said "Pretty boxes but impossible to hold properly"
rather like asking someone who is not a plasterer, how to use plastering tools and the technique of using the trowel to put plaster on the walls,not very bright really, Guran.


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: The Sandman
Date: 03 Dec 16 - 06:48 AM

why not ask a trombone player how to hold a violin.


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Guran
Date: 04 Dec 16 - 01:41 PM

Me before: " and they all said "Pretty boxes but impossible to hold properly"

And Dick: "rather like asking someone who is not a plasterer, how to use plastering tools and the technique of using the trowel to put plaster on the walls,not very bright really, Guran " and "why not ask a trombone player how to hold a violin".

Hello Dick, always inspiring to "see" you! There is a lot of sense in that of course...the craftsman is expected to know his craft better than the layman.. but one problem still is that the plasterer mostly doesn't know how to avoid having to retire from the job prematurely because of arthrosis in the shoulder or the neck...neither does the fiddler know that in several studies 75% of fiddlers report having severe complaints from extremely unhealthy working habits. Yehudi Menuhin, one of the foremost violin players, has said that doing his daily yoga routine has been of greater importance for the fiddling success than practising the violin...It was hardly a violin pro who told him that either.

Anyway Dick, the spontaneous remark from non concertina players that the concertinas have terribly primitive "handles" ought to be taken seriously and from your own viewpoint maybe not least since the mid 19th century inventors of "our" common instruments - the "anglo" "duet" and "english" - were not musicians themselves but technicians and the present knowledge in the field of ergonomics to more than 90% has manifested itself after 1950.You can not blame these old inventors for being ignorant but we definitely don't need to be ignorant ourselves when knowledge can be found behind the corner...


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Black belt caterpillar wrestler
Date: 05 Dec 16 - 06:36 AM

I don't have too much of a problem with the Anglo standard handle, just need to get the straps the right size and support the instrument on a knee for best control.
What I do have a problem with is these stringed instruments where I can't form chords as my fingers will not spread because of the angle of the neck.
The nearest I can get to doing it is holding a fiddle like a cello (as seen in some older photos).

In short, you fit some instruments but not others!

Robin


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Guran
Date: 05 Dec 16 - 12:40 PM

Robin, if it works allright for you it IS ok of course but at the same time you probably have not tried some better alternative either so you can not know what you possibly are missing. What is "wrong" with the anglo handle is this:
1. The handbar location makes the contact unstable. The instrument wants to wobble so that you use fingers or the wrist to stabilize it. There are german style "anglos" having the handbar at the geometrical centre ( which at the best also is the centre of gravity
2. The hand slips within the handbar so you either let the instrument rotate ( clockwise looking at the right side) or grip it with the thumb to keep it in place (of course when resting the instrument on the knee this is partly compensated
3.The bar/handrest usually has even height but ought to be slanting so that it is lower at the thumb and higher at the little finger side ( to make the fingers hit the keys in line with their travelling axis )
4. The handstrap locks the midpart of the hand and thus restricts movements by the fingers. With a wrist support combined with a wrist strap a stable connection may be achieved while fingers may move more freely
5 Combining the wrist strap with a thumbstrap offers the best stability
6. The handbar locks the hand making it difficult reaching the distant buttons on the top row. The handbar/wrist support should be closer to the keyboard at the little finger side ( unless you have very long fingers
7. ( apart from the handle issue, the air valve better not be controlled by a press button but a lever working sideways instead)


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Guran
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 09:31 AM

Robin, if you read this I just want to add one comment: Yous said
"In short, you fit some instruments but not others!"

That was the general approach in "ergonomics" 50+ years ago saying basically "Fitting the man to the task" and resulting in the common ambition *selecting* "the right man for the job". Naturally that can be an efficient way looking at it from an elitistic viewpoint BUT today the general approach has switched ( and it is hard to deny the humanitarian progress in that) to saying " Fitting the task to the man" - meaning that the work/tool better be adjusted to suit firstly the general population but also individuals with restrictions of their functional capacities. Isn't that likeable ?


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: Richard Mellish
Date: 08 Dec 16 - 04:05 PM

GeoffLawes said
> deciding "to go the electronic route" has effectively ruled me out . I do not have a Kindle, which is the "electronic device" which Amazon Uk requires for the tuor's download. <

I do not have a Kindle either but I have read many Kindle books, using the Kindle application that runs on a bog-standard PC. It's a free download from Amazon.


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 06:15 PM

Thank you Robert Mellish . Here is a link to the download site
AMAZON KINDLE APP DOWNLOAD SITE

Does anyone have any experience or advice with this ?


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 06:37 PM

I found another site which carries reviews of the Amazon Kindle for Pc's download. Several of them say it is not a good idea and some reported the downloading of an accompanying virus.
. http://download.cnet.com/Kindle-for-PC/3000-2125_4-75185974.html

What do Mudcat down loaders think?


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Subject: RE: Another Approach to the Anglo Concertina
From: GeoffLawes
Date: 09 Dec 16 - 06:51 PM

Another link Does this make anything clearer?
Kindle for PC [Download]


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