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Don Taylor

Song Accompaniment

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Steve, in what way would the English be easier?

Perhaps I'm not really qualified to answer that since I don't play the duet. However on the duet if you want to play the melody on one side and some sort of chord or bass accompaniment on the other I think it would be a bit more involved than playing a simple melody line or a simple chord accompaniment on the english. Of course you can do just the same on the duet, simple melody line or chords, without putting the two together. So in that respect I guess one could say the duet shouldn't any more difficult than the english. Trumped myself.

 

But you'll still have to decide the kind of accompaniment you'd like for your songs. Then learn how to do it!

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Lots of answers imaginable as to what system would be "easier" (not just regarding song accompaniment) - it depends.

 

My guess (as an English-only-player): Anglo is the most intuitive system, Duet the most neatly organized - and the English? Well, it has a very special "logic" with it (which I personally appreciate a lot!), thus facilitating some extra "fluidity" which might be harder to acquire with other systems...

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How does the 'logic'/'fluidity' of the English work?

 

Well, the "logic" is:

 

  • "white" keys in the two center rows, "black" keys = accidentals just beneath the "white" key which is flattened or raised (you get what you will more likely need or expect)
  • dots on staff lines on the left side, dots in spaces on the right side which means scales are played switching between the sides.

 

The latter feature is

 

  • providing open fifths and triads
  • spreading the melody on the two sides which means you can not just play a series of connected notes entirely on the push or on the draw but in addition to that two-handed and intertwining.

 

Hope that helps - feel free to ask.

 

Best wishes - Wolf

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My guess (as an English-only-player): Anglo is the most intuitive system, Duet the most neatly organized - and the English? Well, it has a very special "logic" with it ... , thus facilitating some extra "fluidity" which might be harder to acquire with other systems...

 

Wolf,

This is nicely put, but I wonder if the intuitiveness, the organisation and the logic are not perhaps chatacteristics of the player, or maybe of the collective of instrument and player.

Sure, the Anglo as such is intuitive to use, if it matches your intuition (it matches mine!). And the duets are neatly arranged: the Maccann for accessing the notes quickly, the Crane for finding them methodically. The logic of the EC is much vaunted; to me it's a "logical" extension of staff notation conventions (as you explain).

 

But the fact is that, whatever system you learn (and I mean learn, not mess about with), eventually things come to you intuitively; you invent an "organisation" behind the system, even if there isn't one; and you'll work out a "logical" basis for improvising in places you haven't been to before.

 

When you've got all this, and mastered the method of making chords and chord progressions, you're ready for song accompaniment. Which instrument you choose - a specific concertina system or a stringed or keyboard instrument - is not so important. What you can learn about song accompaniment can be applied to most instruments - most definitely to any instrument that you can play well!

 

Cheers,

John

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Would anyone be kind enough to transpose the Alf Edwards accompaniment on 'All for me grog' or 'John Barleycorn'?

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