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Author Topic: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?  (Read 1550 times)

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Steve C.

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"Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« on: August 30, 2018, 01:14:38 PM »

Am I imagining this?
I have been recently looking at concertina.net regarding an impending anglo purchase and come to notice they have a permanent thread on "ergonomics". 
At times here on melnet we get some topics going, especially on left hand "helpers".  Some players have issues with shoulders or instrument weight, from time to time.
The only other music forum I look at with regularity is banjo hangout and it is fairly seldom that there are threads regarding "ergonomics", other than very ocasional ones on short-scales or instrument weight.  Fairly rare.
Maybe there is a tuba/horn forum full of orthopedic threads?  String forums full of neck issues?
Or are free reed instruments just weirdly designed, are (some of us) old and feeble not as young as we used to be? Are concertina players whiney very opinionated? Or what?
« Last Edit: August 30, 2018, 05:21:17 PM by Steve C. »
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2018, 02:52:26 PM »

If I play an Anglo sitting down I tend to rest the right end on a knee and move the left side.
Stood up this doesn't work so easily.  It's quite difficult to play. Some support would definitely help.
Never had any other problem like that, though.
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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2018, 07:22:56 PM »

I wouldn't dream of playing the concertina - anglo or english.  The contortions needed to make the things work just look unnatural to me.
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Pearse Rossa

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2018, 08:57:14 PM »

..  It's quite difficult to play. Some support would definitely help.

Have you seen this video?
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2018, 09:14:28 PM »

..  It's quite difficult to play. Some support would definitely help.

Have you seen this video?

Were I still playing it in the band I would definitely start wearing braces (:)
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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2018, 09:26:40 PM »

..  It's quite difficult to play. Some support would definitely help.

Have you seen this video?

Ah! Goran, he has had the ergonomics bee in his bonnet for many, many years. But most everyone else is happy with concertina ergonomics as they are

Lester

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2018, 09:28:07 PM »

I wouldn't dream of playing the concertina - anglo or english.  The contortions needed to make the things work just look unnatural to me.

I play English and it requires no more 'contortions' than playing melodeon.

malcolmbebb

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #7 on: August 30, 2018, 10:24:23 PM »

In general instrument ergonomics are take it or leave it, one size fits all for a given instrument. I used to get on ok with an anglo but always struggle with outer top notes, especially on a 30 button. My fingers are too short to comfortably reach them.
I have a Stagi that was given to me by a chap who had the opposite problem, his fingers were too long and he modified the hand rest to hold his fingers further away.
I guess if your bits are average size it all works.
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Steve C.

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2018, 01:02:56 PM »

Like Malcolm, I agree, the finger length thing can be an issue (I guess that's why I remain, even after a few years of trying, a 2 or sometimes 3 finger bass side player).
But I did have to laugh at the belt and suspenders concertina video.  I mean, part of the "fun" of concertina is swinging it around, they are so light.  Seems like it would be hard to get any kind of nice rumpy-pumpy morris swing going with all those straps.
My memory of my English (it was a restored rosewood Wheatstone) was that it was easy and comfortable to play...
« Last Edit: September 01, 2018, 12:47:08 PM by Steve C. »
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george garside

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2018, 08:41:08 PM »

see youtube Alistair Anderson and Kathrine Tickel   for utter ease of handling an English concertina with absolutely no special straps or other support contraptions

Also lots of other youtubes of Alistair


george
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Gromit

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2018, 09:07:23 PM »

I thought that video was hilarious, couldn't stop laughing especially when he used his braces. Was that a Monty Python sketch or was he serious?

Oh gawd here we go - another half a dozen attempts to post something!
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george garside

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #11 on: September 01, 2018, 09:56:58 AM »

just to clarify matters.   Gromits post was not referring to   Alistair Anderson but to an earlier posting by Lester.



george
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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #12 on: September 01, 2018, 10:09:57 AM »

*snip*
 Are concertina players whiney very opinionated? Or what?

There are a few concertina players who spend time trying to modify the instrument instead of just getting on with playing. 

Here is a delightfully eccentric example
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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #13 on: September 01, 2018, 10:47:34 AM »

*snip*
 Are concertina players whiney very opinionated? Or what?

There are a few concertina players who spend time trying to modify the instrument instead of just getting on with playing. 

Here is a delightfully eccentric example

For those of us of a certain age that might make going to the gents (and I use the word advisedly) in a crowded session even more difficult... : :|glug :|glug :|glug :|bl
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Steve C.

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #14 on: September 01, 2018, 01:00:24 PM »

Thank you Theo and Baz, made my day. 
On the video Pearse reference, OK, I can see it, the idea is make the box "weightless", so the effort can be lent to buttons and push pull. 
But on Theos reference, what is the idea?  Is he using his legs to provide additional push pull?  Are boxes of that type known to fly away with exuberant playing?
Be sure to install quick release buckle!
Did not mean to start a "beat on concertina" thread, I am thinking of getting one.  I thought maybe this was more a free reed issue generally. 
But concertina folks, whew!  I mean have you read all the posts on sore finger tips? (!!!!)
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-Y-

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2018, 03:17:21 PM »

I don't think we're (the free reed players) the only one to have issues with ergonomics. For other instruments, and especially those used for classical music, there has been tremendous work done on ergonomics. I think in particular of stringed instruments where posture and such has been studied and has a great importance in the teaching methods.
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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2018, 11:20:56 PM »

Ergonomics are very personal.  Everybody's bodies are different.  People have big hands, small hands, fat fingers, slender fingers, over-extension, mobility problems.  Playing most instruments require both an understanding of how your own body works and how your particular instrument plays as well as what you need to do in order to achieve what you want to on the instrument.  I have long concluded that any attempt to say that there is one single correct method which covers everyone who wants to learn is doomed to failure.

Compare what Django Reinhardt did on the guitar with what "official" guitar methods tell you to do.

The temptation to extrapolate "I find it difficult or wrong" to "It is difficult or wrong for everyone" should be avoided whenever you notice yourself doing it!
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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2018, 12:36:17 AM »

I wouldn't dream of playing the concertina - anglo or english.  The contortions needed to make the things work just look unnatural to me.

boxer's right, you know, just look at this reckless nonsense: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZxFFHNlLzbU

Surprised Health and Safety didn't shut that gig right down. ;D
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Steve C.

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Re: "Problematic" ergonomics of free reed playing?
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2018, 12:34:38 AM »

(I guess I was noticing the superior dynamics...)
(try THAT with a Tommy)  :Ph
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