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Gaspar

Maccan Duet Concertina. How To Gett Better? Teachers, Books, Videos, E

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Hi everyone.

I´m sure I´m not the first Maccann player who ask this. I have been playing this system for a year now and I have the feeling of not getting better.

There are no videos I could find of Maccann duet teaching and there are only a couple videos on Youtube of people playing it.

Also living in Buenos Aires, Argentina does not help. I´m the only concertina player in maybe the whole country (and this is a big country)

So I would be very thankful to anyone who can give me some tips or info. Anyone giving lessons online?

Thank you so much! ^_^

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Concertina.com has videos and transcriptions of MacCann master, Reuben Shaw's playing. I could not successful download a video but perhaps someone more tech savvy than me can assist.

 

http://www.concertina.com/callaghan/reuben-shaw-video/index.htm#rs-clip-01

 

Let me know if this helps.

 

Greg

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Hi Gaspar,

 

as a Maccann-Player, I know exactly what you mean. It took me 3 years of playing all on my own until I heard another concertina player live (I had to go to Ireland and took some Anglo lessons!).

I´m afraid I can´t really help you. The only thing I can think of are the instruction manuals on the concertina.com site http://www.concertina.com/maccann-duet/index.htm But these have not been very helpful to me, because the musical style is just not where I want to go.

The arrangements of David Cornell were helpful though, because he writes out the fingering. It was interesting to learn how his fingers move.

 

I know how frustrating it can be, not to have someone to guide you through the learning, but it also has it´s advantages. You HAVE to develop your own style of playing and you will. Sometimes it is refreshing to me, to see the concertina as the little box with these knobs, that waits for you to bring it to live. I see it as a little organ that has so many possibilities. It only depends on your imagination.

 

And sometimes it can be good to limit yourself. Maybe you could set a smaller aim? For example - be good in certain key that suits your singing.

 

I don´t think that I could teach anyone anything on the concertina, but if you are interested, we could maybe setup a skype connection or something, could be interesting.

 

And: through the years, I tought myself a few instruments, but always only to a certain degree. At some point, I kind of lost interest. A few years ago, I read a post on the internet about becoming frustrated with an instrument. It said that if you become frustrated you should analyze why. That was good advice. It´s always good to remember why you play an instrument anyway and it always should be fun.

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It took me about 18 months before it all started to fall into place. Since then I've progressed about as far as I ever will, since any improvement is countered by the effects of arthritis in my fingers.

 

However, I can say that the best way to improve is to play along with other musicians, that way you can put in what notes you can and leave out the ones you can't play or can't find quickly, and no-one will care as long as there is enough noise going on. If there is no-one to play with in Buenos Aires, then just put a CD on and play along to that (preferably a CD in a sensible key like G, D or A minor rather than E-flat or B). You will find that what you couldn't do one day you can do the next day.

 

Good luck and keep persevering (we need all the Maccann players we can get).

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Concertina.com has videos and transcriptions of MacCann master, Reuben Shaw's playing. I could not successful download a video but perhaps someone more tech savvy than me can assist.

 

http://www.concertina.com/callaghan/reuben-shaw-video/index.htm#rs-clip-01

 

Let me know if this helps.

 

Greg

Thank you so much Greg. i was aware of Reuben Shawn and those clips but the videos do not work. I will try writing to the mail that shows at the bottom of the page to see if I can get a copy.

 

Stefan thank you so much for your words. It does help to know about others struggling with Maccann concertinas :)

You are right about setting a smaller aim. I have two Maccanns and both are 46 buttons wich I feel very comfortable with.

I play in G, C, D, F and Bb. Those are pretty easy keys on this system and Bb is perfect for my singing.

Thanks again

 

 

It took me about 18 months before it all started to fall into place. Since then I've progressed about as far as I ever will, since any improvement is countered by the effects of arthritis in my fingers.

 

However, I can say that the best way to improve is to play along with other musicians, that way you can put in what notes you can and leave out the ones you can't play or can't find quickly, and no-one will care as long as there is enough noise going on. If there is no-one to play with in Buenos Aires, then just put a CD on and play along to that (preferably a CD in a sensible key like G, D or A minor rather than E-flat or B). You will find that what you couldn't do one day you can do the next day.

 

Good luck and keep persevering (we need all the Maccann players we can get).

 

Thanks Maccanic! I have been playing with some friends using my concertina more like an organ to fill songs behind acoustic guitars an vocals. It does sounds great this way!

I will keep persevering on this B) thanksss!

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Make yourself a separate chart or diagram of the layout for each octave. Put them together vertically on a big chart, and note to yourself in your own words, how they are similar, and how they differ. The exercise of doing that, will help anchor it in your brain.

 

Practice each octave hands together in all major and minor keys, particularly the "hard" keys, and in jazz keys if you are a jazzer. Do the same with chromatic scales. Then, in all these keys, practice each octave hands together in contrary motion. Get so you can do all octaves from top to bottom, bottom to top, hands together, in unison and in contrary motion. You can also do this with different octaves on each hand.

 

Do the same with arpeggios and chords.

 

This isn't "playing" the Maccann. But getting very fluid at it, will help enormously with "playing" the Maccann.

Edited by ceemonster

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Does contrary motion mean, for example:

 

[C4 & C4], [D4 & B3], [E4 & A3], [F4 & G3], [G4 & F3], [A4 & E3], [b4 & D3], [C5 & C3], \cont

[b4 & D3], [A4 & E3], [G4 & F3 ], [F4 & G3], [E4 & A3], [D4 & B3], [C4 & C4]

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Thank you Ceemonster. That´s a great idea. Some keys are really really tricky on the Maccann. C# for example could be imposible to play fluently.

Thank you Don For the example on contrary motion :)

 

All of your help makes me feel more confident about keep going with this peculiar system.

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Both on the Jeffries system and Maccann, I find it useful to learn something in a fairly friendly key, and then once it's fluid, transpose it into a really challenging key instead. The benefit is that when you tackle the real horrors you already know all the pitch relationships. I recently learned Dylan's "Desolation Row" in Db for that very reason.

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