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Can You Play Concertina Like Accordian

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"I get that there is a air button but then I'd have to stop playing use the button and continue."

 

Actually, you can use the air button while sounding notes. You don’t have to stop to take a breath.

 

Endorsing what Jody says (not that he needs it!) learning to use the air button well is one of the skills that makes you a good player because you can let the instrument breathe, rather than being forced to cheat by playing inappropriately louder or softer, or cramming down extra buttons just to keep the bellows within their range. The air button is played at as and when necessary, usually at the same time as one or more notes. The way I do it is with an occasional sharp tap with the side of my thumb, in time with the music, by sort of bracing or arching my hand slightly more. It's hard to describe, tricky to learn, then surprisingly easy to do.

 

what i meant was is say I was to play la tarantella on a 30 anglo c/g the first part of the song that uses chords is fairly long and so I would start with a minor as I can use that in both directions however in part of the song I would need dm and so would only be able to play the chord dm going outwards. so I would need to stop so I can close the concertina a bit then continue.

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what i meant was is say I was to play la tarantella on a 30 anglo c/g the first part of the song that uses chords is fairly long and so I would start with a minor as I can use that in both directions however in part of the song I would need dm and so would only be able to play the chord dm going outwards. so I would need to stop so I can close the concertina a bit then continue.

 

The usual thing with an Anglo is, if all else fails, to imply chords by playing the one or two notes that are available. It is an Anglo, and will not necessarily provide all you need for an arrangement written for a different instrument. It is often the compromises that give the Anglo its unique and charismatic sound. Nothing wrong with that: there are plenty of perfectly respectable instruments (violin, flute, need I go on) that don't do chords at all.

 

That said, it is surprising how easy it becomes to manage the amount of air in the bellows and play without stopping if you practise.

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what i meant was is say I was to play la tarantella on a 30 anglo c/g the first part of the song that uses chords is fairly long and so I would start with a minor as I can use that in both directions however in part of the song I would need dm and so would only be able to play the chord dm going outwards. so I would need to stop so I can close the concertina a bit then continue.

 

The usual thing with an Anglo is, if all else fails, to imply chords by playing the one or two notes that are available. It is an Anglo, and will not necessarily provide all you need for an arrangement written for a different instrument. It is often the compromises that give the Anglo its unique and charismatic sound. Nothing wrong with that: there are plenty of perfectly respectable instruments (violin, flute, need I go on) that don't do chords at all.

 

That said, it is surprising how easy it becomes to manage the amount of air in the bellows and play without stopping if you practise.

 

in this scenario what would you do? thanks for your help so far

Edited by accordian

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The Hayden duet is the closest concertina to the Accordion. A 65 button instrument has virtually the same compass as a 34 key piano-accordion on the right hand side. On the left hand side you have notes going down about an octave and a half below this, and an overlap with the right hand side. All the notes are individual, so you have to make a chord by playing several buttons at the same time. However on a Hayden duet once you have learned the pattern for a major chord this repeats for many other major chords. Minor, dominant seventh and diminished chords each have repeating patterns too.

Now here is the big bonus for an accordion player :- the chords are in the same order from left to right as the standard stradella accordion bass; but concertinered into a zig-zag nearly half the width !

On the 65 button instrument it is easy to play something very similar to an accordion um-pah bass. First play a deep note and the octave higher on adjacent fingers to give the "Um" ; (and note, this is easier on an instrument with the specified Hayden slope, which slightly offsets the octaves than the American slopeless style). Then play the chord(s) in a higher register to give the "Pah(s)".

I would compare the 65 button Hayden concertina as the equivalent to a 34 key 72 bass piano-accordion, and the 46 button Hayden concertina equivalent to a 25 key 40 bass piano-accordion.

 

Inventor.

 

Are there any records of somebody playing a 65-key Hayden concertina available anywhere? I'd be curious to hear how it can sound.

Edited by ritonmousquetaire

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There is quite a lot of music played on the Hayden Duets of all makes and sizes on youtube. Specifically for the 65 button look for Chas Jacobs. Also see many different types of music played on smaller Hayden duets. Look out for JeffLeff on his 46 button instrument.

I mentioned the 65 button instrument as being the closest to a medium sized piano-accordion. One other feature I didn't mention which the Hayden duet has in common with accordions is that octaves repeat.

 

Inventor.

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There is quite a lot of music played on the Hayden Duets of all makes and sizes on youtube. Specifically for the 65 button look for Chas Jacobs. Also see many different types of music played on smaller Hayden duets. Look out for JeffLeff on his 46 button instrument.

I mentioned the 65 button instrument as being the closest to a medium sized piano-accordion. One other feature I didn't mention which the Hayden duet has in common with accordions is that octaves repeat.

 

Inventor.

just out of question where would i buy a duet as i can't seem to find any

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what i meant was is say I was to play la tarantella on a 30 anglo c/g the first part of the song that uses chords is fairly long and so I would start with a minor as I can use that in both directions however in part of the song I would need dm and so would only be able to play the chord dm going outwards. so I would need to stop so I can close the concertina a bit then continue.

 

The usual thing with an Anglo is, if all else fails, to imply chords by playing the one or two notes that are available. It is an Anglo, and will not necessarily provide all you need for an arrangement written for a different instrument. It is often the compromises that give the Anglo its unique and charismatic sound. Nothing wrong with that: there are plenty of perfectly respectable instruments (violin, flute, need I go on) that don't do chords at all.

 

That said, it is surprising how easy it becomes to manage the amount of air in the bellows and play without stopping if you practise.

 

in this scenario what would you do? thanks for your help so far

 

I would need to know the piece of music, and I might then spend a lot of time deciding, and a better player might well come up with different or better solutions.

 

I have generally found that in some specific cases, "artificially" changing the bellows direction just to "chase" the right chord can sound wrong. It's not just whether you have the right 3 notes for the chord, but whether it is the right version of the chord (which inversion? Is it high or low? Is it close position or spread over a wider range? What chord precedes it? What chord follows it?) You can't always get away with just playing the version of the chord that is available.

 

Where a full chord is not available, or where the one that is available sounds wrong in context, you need to consider things like how long you would like to hold the chord for, and whether it is on the beat, off beat, or across two or more beats.

 

Several common options, at least one of which will always work:

 

1) Do not play an accompaniment at all for that note. It is often less than half a second, and the ear will fill in what s missing, or at least, will not miss it.

 

2) Play a note an octave (or 2 octaves) below the melody note. This keeps the accompaniment going. In some tunes, I play a bar, or half a phrase, or more, in octaves.

 

3) Play the third or the fifth if available.

 

4) Vamp on the melody side - the next button down (in pitch) usually works, but other options are available on a 30(+) button.

 

5) Play a pair of notes, either together or sequentially (a partial arpeggio). Where the full chord is not available, it is often the case that two of the required notes are available.

 

6) Transpose the music into a different key. In very simple terms, on a C/G, there are some tunes that sit better in C and some that sit better in G.

 

I'm sure if I put my mind to it, I could come up with other solutions. The thing is that the Anglo is an instrument that encourages/forces you to be creative. We try to do things with it that it was not originally designed for.

 

The limitations of a 20 to 30 button instrument create a distinctive Anglo sound, with lots of octaves, pedal points, short bass runs, dry fifths and vamped thirds as the musician works out the best solution for that particular tune. A 38 (or more) button instrument offers more choices, but sometimes at the expense of that distinctive sound. In theory at least, an Anglo could have enough extra buttons to be full chromatic across 2 or 3 octaves and offer every full chord, but it would be huge, unwieldy, and no longer really an Anglo. The core of the Anglo is the two diatonic rows a 5th apart, and all the other buttons are useful extras.

 

It is a gross simplification, but think of the English and various duet systems as "designed" and the Anglo as "developed". The Anglo started life as 2 buttons, 2 keys, offering very simple chord options. It was often played by people with little or no musical training who played by ear and either used a simple 1,4,5 accompaniment, or even a 1,5 accompaniment, or played in bare octaves for extra volume.

 

More buttons were then added to provide more options. Players then took this in two directions: some used the accidentals to build scales in different keys and used it to play mainly single line melodies (Irish traditional music, for example) whilst others used it in the main keys, but with richer accompaniment. Some of the better players then developed ways of playing both melody and accompaniment in a wider range of keys, working creatively around the limitations of the instrument.

 

Professional folk singer/concertinist, Keith Kendrick, who gave me my first few lessons, refers to the Anglo as the "thinking man's piano". He would say that "it's all there if you know where to look."

 

If you simply want to take an existing arrangement of a piece of music in any key and transfer it to a concertina as unchanged as possible, then the Anglo is probably not for you. You would constantly be battling it, frustrated that you need to transpose to different keys, and grumbling at the compromises. A duet would probably suit you better, or possibly an English.

 

However, if you want the challenge and enjoyment of playing an instrument that encourages you to be creative, to find out how the tune works, and find new things in the tune that you hadn't noticed before, the Anglo is a truly wonderful instrument.

 

I play mainly by ear, although I sometimes use the dots to learn a new tune or remind me of an old tune. There are tunes that I play most days and have known for years, and every so often, despite having played the tune 1,00 times before, I suddenly find a different solution. It may be two beats of one bar where a different bass note fits, or it may be something more fundamental like refingering a whole phrase, or transposing the tune to a different key. It is not true to say that corny jazzman thing, "I never play the tune the same way twice" but it is certainly true to say that I don't always play the same tune the same way.

 

A flute can only lay one note at a time, however good the player. A violin can play two notes at once, but double stopping is the spice that brings a tune to life, not a fundamental aspect of the instrument. A piano can play anything in any key, but it can't bend notes like a harmonica. Every instrument has strengths and limitations. Ask not what your Anglo can do for you; ask what you can do on your Anglo.

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what i meant was is say I was to play la tarantella on a 30 anglo c/g the first part of the song that uses chords is fairly long and so I would start with a minor as I can use that in both directions however in part of the song I would need dm and so would only be able to play the chord dm going outwards. so I would need to stop so I can close the concertina a bit then continue.

 

The usual thing with an Anglo is, if all else fails, to imply chords by playing the one or two notes that are available. It is an Anglo, and will not necessarily provide all you need for an arrangement written for a different instrument. It is often the compromises that give the Anglo its unique and charismatic sound. Nothing wrong with that: there are plenty of perfectly respectable instruments (violin, flute, need I go on) that don't do chords at all.

 

That said, it is surprising how easy it becomes to manage the amount of air in the bellows and play without stopping if you practise.

 

in this scenario what would you do? thanks for your help so far

 

I would need to know the piece of music, and I might then spend a lot of time deciding, and a better player might well come up with different or better solutions.

 

I have generally found that in some specific cases, "artificially" changing the bellows direction just to "chase" the right chord can sound wrong. It's not just whether you have the right 3 notes for the chord, but whether it is the right version of the chord (which inversion? Is it high or low? Is it close position or spread over a wider range? What chord precedes it? What chord follows it?) You can't always get away with just playing the version of the chord that is available.

 

Where a full chord is not available, or where the one that is available sounds wrong in context, you need to consider things like how long you would like to hold the chord for, and whether it is on the beat, off beat, or across two or more beats.

 

Several common options, at least one of which will always work:

 

1) Do not play an accompaniment at all for that note. It is often less than half a second, and the ear will fill in what s missing, or at least, will not miss it.

 

2) Play a note an octave (or 2 octaves) below the melody note. This keeps the accompaniment going. In some tunes, I play a bar, or half a phrase, or more, in octaves.

 

3) Play the third or the fifth if available.

 

4) Vamp on the melody side - the next button down (in pitch) usually works, but other options are available on a 30(+) button.

 

5) Play a pair of notes, either together or sequentially (a partial arpeggio). Where the full chord is not available, it is often the case that two of the required notes are available.

 

6) Transpose the music into a different key. In very simple terms, on a C/G, there are some tunes that sit better in C and some that sit better in G.

 

I'm sure if I put my mind to it, I could come up with other solutions. The thing is that the Anglo is an instrument that encourages/forces you to be creative. We try to do things with it that it was not originally designed for.

 

The limitations of a 20 to 30 button instrument create a distinctive Anglo sound, with lots of octaves, pedal points, short bass runs, dry fifths and vamped thirds as the musician works out the best solution for that particular tune. A 38 (or more) button instrument offers more choices, but sometimes at the expense of that distinctive sound. In theory at least, an Anglo could have enough extra buttons to be full chromatic across 2 or 3 octaves and offer every full chord, but it would be huge, unwieldy, and no longer really an Anglo. The core of the Anglo is the two diatonic rows a 5th apart, and all the other buttons are useful extras.

 

It is a gross simplification, but think of the English and various duet systems as "designed" and the Anglo as "developed". The Anglo started life as 2 buttons, 2 keys, offering very simple chord options. It was often played by people with little or no musical training who played by ear and either used a simple 1,4,5 accompaniment, or even a 1,5 accompaniment, or played in bare octaves for extra volume.

 

More buttons were then added to provide more options. Players then took this in two directions: some used the accidentals to build scales in different keys and used it to play mainly single line melodies (Irish traditional music, for example) whilst others used it in the main keys, but with richer accompaniment. Some of the better players then developed ways of playing both melody and accompaniment in a wider range of keys, working creatively around the limitations of the instrument.

 

Professional folk singer/concertinist, Keith Kendrick, who gave me my first few lessons, refers to the Anglo as the "thinking man's piano". He would say that "it's all there if you know where to look."

 

If you simply want to take an existing arrangement of a piece of music in any key and transfer it to a concertina as unchanged as possible, then the Anglo is probably not for you. You would constantly be battling it, frustrated that you need to transpose to different keys, and grumbling at the compromises. A duet would probably suit you better, or possibly an English.

 

However, if you want the challenge and enjoyment of playing an instrument that encourages you to be creative, to find out how the tune works, and find new things in the tune that you hadn't noticed before, the Anglo is a truly wonderful instrument.

 

I play mainly by ear, although I sometimes use the dots to learn a new tune or remind me of an old tune. There are tunes that I play most days and have known for years, and every so often, despite having played the tune 1,00 times before, I suddenly find a different solution. It may be two beats of one bar where a different bass note fits, or it may be something more fundamental like refingering a whole phrase, or transposing the tune to a different key. It is not true to say that corny jazzman thing, "I never play the tune the same way twice" but it is certainly true to say that I don't always play the same tune the same way.

 

A flute can only lay one note at a time, however good the player. A violin can play two notes at once, but double stopping is the spice that brings a tune to life, not a fundamental aspect of the instrument. A piano can play anything in any key, but it can't bend notes like a harmonica. Every instrument has strengths and limitations. Ask not what your Anglo can do for you; ask what you can do on your Anglo.

 

ah this instrument is so tempting. I mean as I showed with the katyusha video and the monkey island theme https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-YhUTXVaOQ

 

i'd love to be able to play that but I don't know how to go about it. especially for minor chords but then again I spose you can play other things instead of chords as katyusha by the same person doesn't use chords

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mxn8n5Shu4M

 

the thing is I don't mind simplicity however that being said i'm not really the best at music theory or anything like that so i don't know about finding things out.

 

if I buy an anglo and try it and find it too comfusing just say that I'd like to change some of the reeds with accordion reeds so that it's custom to me, is it possible?

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if I buy an anglo and try it and find it too comfusing just say that I'd like to change some of the reeds with accordion reeds so that it's custom to me, is it possible?

 

 

 

It is possible to change the reeds in an Anglo, within certain limits.

 

On a traditionally built concertina, the reeds are in little "shoes" which slot in. They need to be physically the right size. Also, a properly built concertina has small resonating chambers which are matched to the pitch of the note. On a modern hybrid, the reeds are attached to plates and can easily be swapped, but again, within reasonable limits. Any individual reed can be tuned up or down, but the further the pitch is changed, the more it might affect the tone or timbre as well.

 

I try not to be dogmatic, but I will say this, dogmatic as it sounds: you are approaching this in exactly the wrong way. Well over a hundred years of development by thousands of musicians and many manufacturers has produced the various standard Anglo layouts that are available today. Those developments were in response to what people discovered they really needed when they were actually playing them. A first glance at the accidental row on a 30b gives you no idea of the logic behind it, but when you start laying, you find that the notes you actually need fall easily to your finger tips, and the chords that you need are a convenient shape.

 

I am in a lot of forums for various activities including this one and the unicycle forum. It amazes me how many people in all of them all post words to the effect, "I'm about to take up this hobby, I know little or nothing about it, but what do you guys think of the following changes to the standard design because although I have no experience, I have lots of preconceptions and new ideas?"

 

No no no.

 

Whether you buy an Anglo, an English, a McCann, Crane, a melodeon, accordion, or any other free reed instrument, or even a banjo, start with the assumption that the people who designed it knew best. Learn to play it as it is. Play to its strengths, work around or avoid its weaknesses. Enjoy it for what it is.

 

Then, when you are very good indeed, say at the level of someone like John Kirkpatrick, or you have identified something that would make a big difference to the unique style of music that you actually play on it, you might be ready to get a professional to adapt your instrument to the needs that you actually have, rather than the needs you think you might have.

 

 

 

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Very well said Mikefule.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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if I buy an anglo and try it and find it too comfusing just say that I'd like to change some of the reeds with accordion reeds so that it's custom to me, is it possible?

 

 

 

It is possible to change the reeds in an Anglo, within certain limits.

 

On a traditionally built concertina, the reeds are in little "shoes" which slot in. They need to be physically the right size. Also, a properly built concertina has small resonating chambers which are matched to the pitch of the note. On a modern hybrid, the reeds are attached to plates and can easily be swapped, but again, within reasonable limits. Any individual reed can be tuned up or down, but the further the pitch is changed, the more it might affect the tone or timbre as well.

 

I try not to be dogmatic, but I will say this, dogmatic as it sounds: you are approaching this in exactly the wrong way. Well over a hundred years of development by thousands of musicians and many manufacturers has produced the various standard Anglo layouts that are available today. Those developments were in response to what people discovered they really needed when they were actually playing them. A first glance at the accidental row on a 30b gives you no idea of the logic behind it, but when you start laying, you find that the notes you actually need fall easily to your finger tips, and the chords that you need are a convenient shape.

 

I am in a lot of forums for various activities including this one and the unicycle forum. It amazes me how many people in all of them all post words to the effect, "I'm about to take up this hobby, I know little or nothing about it, but what do you guys think of the following changes to the standard design because although I have no experience, I have lots of preconceptions and new ideas?"

 

No no no.

 

Whether you buy an Anglo, an English, a McCann, Crane, a melodeon, accordion, or any other free reed instrument, or even a banjo, start with the assumption that the people who designed it knew best. Learn to play it as it is. Play to its strengths, work around or avoid its weaknesses. Enjoy it for what it is.

 

Then, when you are very good indeed, say at the level of someone like John Kirkpatrick, or you have identified something that would make a big difference to the unique style of music that you actually play on it, you might be ready to get a professional to adapt your instrument to the needs that you actually have, rather than the needs you think you might have.

 

 

 

 

I partially agree... But the reason people tend to imagine special features for their instruments might be - I guess - because they have specific ideas about what they would like to achieve while playing them, and realize that some layouts won't allow them to do so. Of course, experimented players learn how to overcome some weaknesses, or at least learn how to get the best within their instruments' limitations. They learn to cope with it. But beginners might want to achieve what they have in mind, and therefore imagine better-suited instruments - it's not necessarily bad, imho. But it may be a sign that they should have a look at other instruments that will allow them to play what they want.

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Hayden duets may be bought from "Button Box" and "Concertina Connection". Both these companies have first class reputations. Both sell in-house hand made high quality Hayden Duets. They also deal in cheaper imported Hayden Duets.

 

Hand made Hayden Duets are also made by Steve Dickinson (Wheatstone) and Colin Dipper to order, however because of the high reputation of both of these makers, they have rather long waiting lists.

 

A new maker to look out for in the Hayden Duet line is "Holden Concertinas".

 

Inventor.

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Lots of good advice and common sense from Mikefule.

 

"If you simply want to take an existing arrangement of a piece of music in any key and transfer it to a concertina as unchanged as possible, then the Anglo is probably not for you."

 

​I would go further than this. It's not just about whether the notes exist on your particular concertina, it's about how it sounds. Each instrument has it's own characteristics and timbre, and rarely does a straight transcription work. For example, dissonances that sound great on a guitar often sound horrendous on a concertina.

 

"You would constantly be battling it, frustrated that you need to transpose to different keys, and grumbling at the compromises. A duet would probably suit you better, or possibly an English."

 

I play mainly Crane duet, but even on that compromises are necessary; even when "copying" the playing of another concertina. But this statement itself needs two big caveats.

 

(1) "even on that" suggests that the Crane is more capable than the Anglo; but as has been pointed out in another thread, the number of alternative fingerings on an Anglo suggest that might actually be the more capable instrument; with enough buttons and in the right hands. Listening to Cohen or JK should convince anyone of that; and in fact it was also brought home to me watching Adrian Brown's video on mean tone vs equal temperament tuning. For all that, my brain is more attuned to the logic of the Crane layout, so I'll stick with that and work within the characteristics (or "limitations" if you prefer) of that instrument.

 

(2) "compromises are necessary" is the wrong way of thinking about it. It's more the challenge of "how do I make this work for me on this instrument?" Most if not all of the suggestions Mikefule makes for the Anglo apply equally to the Crane. For me, one of the most satisfying aspects of learning a new tune is working out an accompaniment that really complements it. And although the same principles apply to both instruments, the end results are likely to be different because of (i) different people's ideas of what sounds good and (ii) the options afforded by the particular system you're playing. I'm far from the first to say "necessity is the mother of invention". And therein lies the fun.

Edited by Little John

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Lots of good advice and common sense from Mikefule.

 

 

Thank you for the vote of confidence, although, looking back at my posts I see I referred to the Anglo starting life with 2 buttons and 2 keys (rather than 20 buttons!) and I also, weirdly, referred to "laying it" rather than the more conventional approach of playing it. <blush>

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Lots of good advice and common sense from Mikefule.

 

"If you simply want to take an existing arrangement of a piece of music in any key and transfer it to a concertina as unchanged as possible, then the Anglo is probably not for you."

 

​I would go further than this. It's not just about whether the notes exist on your particular concertina, it's about how it sounds. Each instrument has it's own characteristics and timbre, and rarely does a straight transcription work. For example, dissonances that sound great on a guitar often sound horrendous on a concertina.

 

"You would constantly be battling it, frustrated that you need to transpose to different keys, and grumbling at the compromises. A duet would probably suit you better, or possibly an English."

 

I play mainly Crane duet, but even on that compromises are necessary; even when "copying" the playing of another concertina. But this statement itself needs two big caveats.

 

(1) "even on that" suggests that the Crane is more capable than the Anglo; but as has been pointed out in another thread, the number of alternative fingerings on an Anglo suggest that might actually be the more capable instrument; with enough buttons and in the right hands. Listening to Cohen or JK should convince anyone of that; and in fact it was also brought home to me watching Adrian Brown's video on mean tone vs equal temperament tuning. For all that, my brain is more attuned to the logic of the Crane layout, so I'll stick with that and work within the characteristics (or "limitations" if you prefer) of that instrument.

 

(2) "compromises are necessary" is the wrong way of thinking about it. It's more the challenge of "how do I make this work for me on this instrument?" Most if not all of the suggestions Mikefule makes for the Anglo apply equally to the Crane. For me, one of the most satisfying aspects of learning a new tune is working out an accompaniment that really complements it. And although the same principles apply to both instruments, the end results are likely to be different because of (i) different people's ideas of what sounds good and (ii) the options afforded by the particular system you're playing. I'm far from the first to say "necessity is the mother of invention". And therein lies the fun.

oh i don't mind the how can I make this work it's just i'm not particularly inventive. and as for compromises in terms of chords and what not if I can make a song like katyusha and monkey island etc. work on concertina like that then lets go for it. although granted not chords I don't really mind I was just thinking in terms of I'd like to learn how to play this instrument however with what I would like to play on it I don't know if it's possible eg. la tarantella. especially when it comes to being inventive eg. the katyusha video had no chords or at least none visible to me and so he made that himself which is quite amazing however in terms of writing music I can't read it let alone right it.

 

thanks

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There is quite a lot of music played on the Hayden Duets of all makes and sizes on youtube. Specifically for the 65 button look for Chas Jacobs. Also see many different types of music played on smaller Hayden duets. Look out for JeffLeff on his 46 button instrument.

I mentioned the 65 button instrument as being the closest to a medium sized piano-accordion. One other feature I didn't mention which the Hayden duet has in common with accordions is that octaves repeat.

 

Inventor.

Thanks for the references. I knew about JeffLeff's videos but not about Chas Jacobs. Are there any other players of 65 button instruments out there?

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Ritonmousquetaire, you wrote:

"But beginners might want to achieve what they have in mind, and therefore imagine better-suited instruments - it's not necessarily bad, imho. But it may be a sign that they should have a look at other instruments that will allow them to play what they want."

 

To me, this makes a lot more sense than your thread title "Can you play concertina like accordion?"

A beginner can have one of two differnt starting points: either he comes into contact with a particular instrument and wants to play it like the players he has heard; or he comes into contact with a particular genre of music, and looks for an instrument that will serve him in this.

 

In real life, instruments and musical genres are meshed. The violoncello is almost exclusively meshed with classical music; the Anglo concertina almost exclusively with British and Irish folk music. The violin and accordion, by contrast, are associated with classical music, jazz and the folk musics of many countries.

Looking at it from the other side, classical music is meshed with many instruments - piano, strings, woodwind, brass - but not with the Anglo concertina. Similarly, modern Irish dance music is meshed with uileann pipes, fiddle, flute, whistles, Anglo concertina, tenor banjo, bouzouki, bodhran - and that's about it. No saxes, trumpets or clarinets.

 

It seems to me, Ritonmousquetaire, that you are the type of beginner who has identified the genre of music he's aiming for, and should be looking for an instrument that will serve the purpose. If accordion capability is a criterion for you, why not learn the accordion? Or at least some instrument that is meshed with several different genres, since you don't seem to be the dedicated, folkie, jazzman or classical musician.

 

Or you can do it like I have - learn several different instruments, and use the one that best transports your current musical ideas. There are so many different instruments out there, and each of them has the rich history of experience and inventiveness behind them that Mikefule rightly mentions. No need to re-invent the wheel - just choose the one that suits you and is already tried and tested.

 

Cheers,

John

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