i came to irish concertina after five or so years on b/c accordion, which has less "across-the-rows" potential than anglo concertina of course, but the most of any diatonic button box, so i had already been introduced to the idea of having the same note available in different directions so you can make choices about whether to go for "punch" or "flow." also, i have a fascination with the large concertina known as the bandoneon, which has even more note duplication and directional choices than anglo concertina, and had done a lot of reading about how bandoneon worked. which is to say, i came to concertina not knowing that there was even any issue of "on the rows" versus "across the rows".....to me, it was all up for grabs, and that's how i taught myself to play. to me, the idea of schools of thought about where you play the high D is ludicrous---obviously, you use both options at will, depending on the tune or what phrasing or inflection you want. i also use all of the right-hand high "Gs" including the pull one on the accidental row. granted, this has taken a while to get into my neural pathways, but the payoff in terms of expressive choices is huge. i personally have not bought into the school of concertina, er, attack, where cross-row players are supposed to avoid same-direcction options so they can sound more, er, muscular. around about the time the "muscular" sound came into fashion, fascinatingly enough, a more flowing sound (which you can get playing on the rows no less than across the rows) began to be dubbed "feminine," in articles by commentators, a conceit which makes me want to upchuck and would probably strike smooth, flowing players such as packie russell or paddy murphy as hilarious. in irish music, a "punchy" sound or a smooth, flowing sound, are both legitimate stylistic options with no applicable gender stereotype. i personally want as flowing as sound as i can get short of sounding classical or like an English concertina, because the paddy carty-ish sound is my fave (ha, flute, like fiddle & pipes, has remained free of the "feminization" of flow-style playing, which seems to be in play only with concertina....i think this would be a great paper topic: "Oedipal Insecurity and the Bean Chairdin"!!!)
all of which is only partly digressive---it is to say that, if you sign up for a class that presents a method forbidding you to use certain note options in favor of others, the class may well be worth its weight in gold as a good introduction to a "default" approach that would give you a great start, but just remember in your secret heart that once you leave the class, .....as Friedrich put it, "Nothing Is Forbidden." All options are open, the only limitations being a) does a fingering choice snarl you up---i.e., lead to a "dead end" that snarls up the tune, or create intractable bellows-control problems; and limitation B ---does the fingering choice create an ambience outside the parameters of Irish music (they are wide parameters, with a nice wide spectrum of punch-versus-flow choice open to you before you start to sound too slack or too hurkledy jerkledy).
Edited by ceemonster, 13 March 2008 - 11:42 PM.