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    Art and design, writing, sculpting in wood, intaglio print making, composing music for soloist, writing novels, illustrating, video films and more!
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  1. You can consider the Anglo concertina system as having its own set of lungs [ bellows] which take place of your own when you use mouth played instruments, [ mouth organ for example].. and likewise the bellows is important for not only air use [ to get air in or out when required] but also to make the notes themselves when need be. Example G natural in on bellows, and yet same button pulled out on bellows is an A and so on.. They are really very versatile instruments, which, and despite in appearance having fewer buttons than other types, are capable of a great deal of music, and effects, and all within reach of the fingers. [ of which more fingers, in number, tend to be used in playing Anglo, than English for example. But I am just denoting some differences, so please [anyone else reading this reply] do not think I am taking sides [ as to one type being favoured over another] ; I am just trying to help out in your enquiry. They are all great instruments regardless. If you can bear to watch my own little demo [ on my YouTube channel] I have just recently added a short video explaining the Anglo concertina and how it works, explained in my own personal viewpoint. I do not claim to know it all, it is simply my own attempt to enthuse others, and is really done for those who maybe never had chance to understand alternative instruments; and so, it is very basically explained. I do not recommend you copy my own way of holding the instrument, however, as I am noted for a very unusual way of putting hand and fingers inside the straps. [not usually expected]. But, otherwise, you might find it interesting. [ I hope]. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v7cPEDR776k
  2. I think you will certainly find there's plenty of 30 key concertinas in a range of keys ( other than the C, G variety). But don't let the apparent initial key detailed put you off playing all kinds of music ( outside the given range).
  3. Very interesting and in depth articles, and selection of music. The binaural process of recording sounds interesting. I wonder if just placing two standard stereo speakers a measured distance apart, similar to a concertina's two ends, in distance apart, would have the same desired effect as it is?
  4. Maybe that GD sticker on the instrument is just someone's initials (ie; Gordon Davies!)?.. you never know. Anyway, you get on and enjoy playing it, although with all the advice being provided here... It may seem a bit overwhelming as to what to do!😁😁😁😁😁😁
  5. Like any instrument, concertina music can be usually fitted to accommodate its range, by transposition. And same goes for your 20 key Anglo. Before moving onto 30 key Anglo - I started out playing on 20 key Anglo model and had to transcribe various pieces to fit its range, and I found a lot that worked within the range of 20 key [40 notes]. You will certainly have the skills as existing musician to know how to make tunes fit into other keys to fit - a different instrument. Have a go - some will work, and others won't but you will find many hundreds that do work very well [ I did].
  6. It sounds very daunting that - Silver Spear for a Céilí. I fear that it would then be more likely I would be the one that would be quivering [not my bellows] attempting it?😊
  7. Another way to do those repeated single notes more quickly in succession is to very slightly shake, or more quiver, the bellows as you hold on the note. If done rapidly it can also make an effective series of fast repeated single notes!
  8. When I first tinkered about with my first concertina [ 20 key Anglo German made] I just played it a lot,, and got to know how to make sound with it, and let my fingers and mind go freely over the buttons. Soon, I began to properly learn a bit more music theory [ basic at first] enough to then get going, at a rudimentary level, basic stuff, but enough to enthuse me to become more proficient at the process. Gradually reading [ with aid of a tablature system of numbers and symbols above the pages] it helped to speed things up greatly. It helped me also because I always had interest in music, and so I could have in my mind a tune, and follow along with it sometimes on the page as I heard it to a degree. The lesson here is perseverance, patience, and to stick with it, and what may seem impossible now, will become feasible soon enough with practice, and by not being disheartened by maybe slower progress than you may have expected. One day soon, for all you know, you could be playing things you may now think are impossible to master. So keep at it; and do not give in.
  9. There's a comedy scene in a Laurel and Hardy film with an Anglo [20 button] concertina, being severely punished by Stan Laurel [ poor thing] it really gets a good bit of musical torture [ playing sound is mimed too obviously; not him playing it!].. Maybe they lend themselves to theatrical things, because they can transform physically from small, to long, in shape, in a few seconds, which lends itself to visual trickery, and humour.
  10. When I first heard the term 'off beat rolls' I thought it should have butter on it... or it may be stale bread.. but then I realised, when you think about it that "off beat roll" thing is a bit like if when humming a note, you then tap your chest or sternum, as it creates a similar interruption to the notes!! Or is someone pats you on the back in the process!!! 😁
  11. It takes a lot of courage and dedication to entertain people - and make it seem so effortless - great stuff.
  12. I have often seen and heard musicians [on lots of instruments] whether piano, flute, violin etc.. use the slight lengthening or mildest slowing on certain notes to emphasise the tune in a more individual way, or 'Rubato'.. and I think it is a useful thing to do for more complex or faster pieces, particularly a good way to bring out the particular melody, or to really bring into focus part of a musical work. It can happen quite without thinking in a particularly conscious way, rather than mechanically going at one fixed tempo, to emphasise a particular bar or notes, by that slower fixing onto it, for just a momentary thought. And in slower pieces too, it can bring notice to a melody or piece, in a more lyrical way.
  13. I call awkward reaches on Anglo concertina "finger twisters". Because they are a challenge to play as far as some of the higher notes go. I think the method of doing awkward notes probably best achieved from each person's own experience; because everyone has their own strong points, in dexterity. What suits one may not suit another. Because I am noted for putting my entire hands inside my straps, thumb and all.. it may allow me to reach higher notes differently to that normally recommended; which goes back, again, to individual approach.
  14. This is merely a very short improvised little amusement to accompany this short 'wildlife' film event. The film was made back in about 2015. [ No more to be said-] except, it's sometimes nice to do an 'off-the-cuff' session for the fun of it. And these busy little Sparrows [which I rarely see now in my garden] seemed to need an accompaniment [musical] at least!
  15. The repeating of similar notes ( like this A notes) rapidly is always a bit of a challenge. I attempted pieces where one note( in note group) is followed by three repeating same notes ( let's say B followed by three G notes).. played at a fairly quick tempo, and you just have to play them best you can; maybe play slowly until you get used to the method. If the requirement is on a stronger finger, for playing those notes, then it can be easier, but if falls onto smaller fingers, a little weaker, again keep at the practice, and do not be put off if progress seems slow. I tried out a piece meant for mandolin ( Vivaldi), and it posed similar problems, of a lot of short quick, repeated notes. I am not saying it was greatest performance, but I got through it.
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