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Author Topic: One rows  (Read 4477 times)

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mselic

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Re: One rows
« Reply #60 on: April 16, 2018, 01:01:49 PM »

The great Quebecoise accordionist Philippe Bruneau kept his thumb securely locked behind the keyboard. As does the currently great Quebecoise accordionist Sabin Jacques.

When I met Philippe Bruneau he showed me that it was only the tip of the thumb that went into the strap. Though limited by my imperfect understanding of the French language I understood that he had arrived at this technique through careful examination of photographs of John Kimmel and that he had also observed the same technique used by Alfred Monmarquette.

That is also how I play.
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Melodie in D, Hohner 4-stop in G, Hohner Erica A/D

pgroff

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Re: One rows
« Reply #61 on: April 16, 2018, 01:25:24 PM »

If my memory is correct, Gilles Poutoux posted to his facebook page some detailed photos (with rulers for scale) of the thumbstrap pattern preferred by M. Bruneau. 

FWIW (since I'm not a pro melodeon player) -- I personally like to have the thumbstrap long enough to brace my thumb (in the strap loop) against the edge of the keyboard, not too different a thumb position than I would use  if I used a single shoulder strap and no thumb loop.

Whatever works! Some really amazing players  have their thumb way behind the keyboard

PG
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kenakordeon

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Re: One rows
« Reply #62 on: April 16, 2018, 02:29:02 PM »

Of coursse, you are all correct. I should have chosen my words more precisely. Neither Philippe Bruneau nor Sabin Jacques kept or keep the thumb "securely locked" behind the keyboard. I had meant to offer the fact that two wonderfully talented players' thumbs were placed placed in a strap loop more behind the keyboard than on the edge of the keyboard with either a longer thumb strap or no strap at all.

Ken
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melodeon

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Re: One rows
« Reply #63 on: April 16, 2018, 03:09:18 PM »

I prefer a thumb groove and no strap.

I do have a "swivel" strap on my 2 1/2 row Swiss made box..

I replaced the original leather strap with one that is long enough, and big enough (sloppy thumb fit) to do as Paul describes with the thumb against the edge of the "keyboard" .  I wanted to retain as much of the originality of the box as is possible  and  not remove the thumb strap mechanism.  I can make this work but still prefer the single shoulder strap and ideally a thumb groove.

When I was making HOHNER replacement keyboards, they were with a thumb groove and no provision for a thumb strap. 
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 03:15:02 PM by melodeon »
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triskel

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Re: One rows
« Reply #64 on: April 16, 2018, 04:51:29 PM »

Another great gentleman of the accordion, who was beknighted for his playing, liked to play his 2-row Hohner with its thumb strap:

Jimmy Shand - Melodeon Solo

Whilst John Joe Gannon did the same (all the time) with a 4-voice Paolo Soprani! :o

John Joe Gannon, Kevin Webster & CCE Britain Group - Boyne Hunt Set

But it's a case of what works for you...
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Winston Smith

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Re: One rows
« Reply #65 on: April 16, 2018, 05:01:36 PM »

"But it's a case of what works for you..."

Yes, as most comments seem to say.
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komat

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Re: One rows
« Reply #66 on: April 16, 2018, 05:59:55 PM »

The great Quebecoise accordionist Philippe Bruneau kept his thumb securely locked behind the keyboard. As does the currently great Quebecoise accordionist Sabin Jacques.

When I met Philippe Bruneau he showed me that it was only the tip of the thumb that went into the strap. Though limited by my imperfect understanding of the French language I understood that he had arrived at this technique through careful examination of photographs of John Kimmel and that he had also observed the same technique used by Alfred Monmarquette.

Is it possible the fact he had hands like mitts might have played into this too?
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Baldoni-Bartoli in D and D/C#, Castiglione in ADG, Paolo Soprani In F/Bb, Sag'né in D.

mselic

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Re: One rows
« Reply #67 on: April 16, 2018, 07:01:15 PM »

Sabin uses a thumb strap of very stiff leather (old belt) shaped a bit like a funnel, and into which he wedges his thumb.  His thumb is behind the keyboard and the strap is oriented at about 1 o'clock which means his thumb is almost perpendicular to the keyboard's edge as can be seen about 2 minutes into this video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9-glhGdTDg .  This is what works for him...

I’ve noticed a few Quebecois players play similary to this, ie with thumb in thumb strap but behind the keyboard. Raynald Ouellette, Alexandre Caron both seem to hold the box this way, as does Gilles Poutoux who has shared detailed photographs of how his thumb strap gets used. I’m curious about this because I’ve experimented with variations of this, but the problem I always ran into was that the box was never fully stabilized. Without a shoulder strap, it all comes entirely down to the thumb bracing a box, so how do they make it work when it’s behind the keyboard? The best I could get on with it was  when I secured the thumb strap very firmly to the box so that it allowed for no movement; with the push my thumb with be pushing up against a firm strap, and the loop would keep my thumb secured with the pull. For me, I couldn’t get the same stability as when my thumb was pushing against the side of the keyboard, so that’s what I stuck with. It obviously works for others, though, so I’m curious how they do it!
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Melodie in D, Hohner 4-stop in G, Hohner Erica A/D

melodeon

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Re: One rows
« Reply #68 on: April 17, 2018, 03:19:42 PM »

What if there was a thumb strap attached to a metal dovetail "sled" that travelled in a dovetail groove.  This might work for back players, edge players  and removed, or not installed, for no strap players.

With our without thumb groove.

Hard to explain without photos or drawings but I think it may have merit.

Could be made to be retrofitted..


My problem with thumb behind the board (strap or no strap) is that the thumb then is the pressure point for a grip which encumbers, immobilizes,  the fingers.

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Steve C.

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Re: One rows
« Reply #69 on: April 18, 2018, 12:57:20 PM »

Jeff, it sounds like those banjo 5th string capos that slide on a steel track.  Work fine, look like hell. I do like the dovetail sled idea, though.  Wouldn't it be easier to just put in a few more pre-drilled holes on the back of the fingerboard and have the thumb strap attach with a cotter of some sort? (also probably look like hell!)
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melodeon

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Re: One rows
« Reply #70 on: April 18, 2018, 01:57:25 PM »

The idea of a sliding mechanism is that the thumb would be able to move up and down the fingerboard.

Drilling holes and fitting a cotter would make it a "fixed" location.

I did some drawings last night and may have a solution.  I'll try to make a working mock up.
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jonm

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Re: One rows
« Reply #71 on: April 18, 2018, 04:08:29 PM »

I have an ancient flutina with a thumb strap on a rail which runs the length of the instrument behind the fingerboard.
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melodeon

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Re: One rows
« Reply #72 on: April 18, 2018, 09:21:07 PM »

Thanks,

That's where I first saw such a contraption.
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triskel

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Re: One rows
« Reply #73 on: April 18, 2018, 10:58:25 PM »

I have an ancient flutina with a thumb strap on a rail which runs the length of the instrument behind the fingerboard.

Woven thumb loops that slide on a nickel-silver rod behind the keyboard were a feature of the very earliest accordions made by (the inventor of them) Cyrill Demian, in Vienna, in 1829 - and I have two of his that are completely original in that regard. Similar arrangements are to be found on some early German models too, like my 1850's Anthony Faas of Philadelphia.

But the bar/rod on French accordions was set further back, and (early tutor books make clear) was intended for the player to hook their thumb directly onto, though that didn't stop some people from adding, and using, a thumb loop/strap.
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playandteach

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Re: One rows
« Reply #74 on: April 18, 2018, 11:59:35 PM »

Free the thumb. It's a digit in its own right. In these days of gender fluidity, I propose digital blindness: yesterday's anchor is tomorrow's harmony digit. I bite my thumb at you, sir? Thumbing my nose? Under the thumb? - such negative connotations. 1, 2, 3, 4 let's have a thumb war. I'd love the moment of realising that my thumb is needed to rise to the challenge - a bit like the chorus line girl stepping up to understudy a drunken star. Or is a row crosser a different breed to one rower?
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triskel

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Re: One rows
« Reply #75 on: April 19, 2018, 12:50:22 AM »

Free the thumb. It's a digit in its own right. In these days of gender fluidity, I propose digital blindness: yesterday's anchor is tomorrow's harmony digit. ...

You'll be needing a full harness then, to liberate your thumb - two hefty shoulder straps and a back strap, so you can anchor the box on your chest.

Only trouble is, it's hard enough to find room/means to fit a single, lightweight, shoulder strap to the narrow frames of many single-row melodeons, never mind a pair of heavyweight ones...

Or is a row crosser a different breed to one rower?

Absolutely, in my estimation.

I'd play a 4-voice, 2-row C#/D with two broad, but unpadded, shoulder straps (these ones to be precise), but give me a 10-key, 4-stop and I'll be perfectly content with a single narrow shoulder strap and the thumb strap.
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Chris Rayner

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Re: One rows
« Reply #76 on: April 19, 2018, 10:21:35 AM »

Row crosser:  (n) Manually powered passenger ferry across river or tidal creek.

One rower: (n)  Eccentric oarsman propelling tiny boat with outsize oars while wearing singlet and shorts.
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Elderly amateur musician hoping to stave off dementia by learning to play the melodeon.  Just upgraded to a Tommy, also rather breathless G/C pokerwork and a G/C Benny.  Oh! And single row 2 stop Hohner in need of serious leak proofing.

Winston Smith

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Re: One rows
« Reply #77 on: April 19, 2018, 10:41:06 AM »

Don't be too harsh Chris, I can only wear the clothes my wife gives me, and I like circles! (That's why I'm following this thread.)
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