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  • Interests
    DIY, fixing things, trying not to get annoyed with music theory and, of course, learning to play my English concertina
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    5 years West of Bideford

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TinkerPhil's Achievements


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  1. I think my initial love for the concertina is fading away - to get better will require more effort than I ever put in I'm sad to say that I don't get any fun out of it - when I was focussed on it I could "achieve" playing a tune but it was not 'fun' Another issue is that the concertina is not a quiet instrument - when I practise, the whole house practises too and to go elsewhere will require even more dedication I did wonder if there were electric-concertinas - I know there are a few - at least then I could listen via headphones but if I baulk at £500+ for a useable older one, the £000s for an electric one would be way too much Lastly, learning seems such a selfish action - I lock myself away in a room on my own - there's no social interaction - nobody immediately to hand to gee me along and I don't think a zoom call will particularly help - and I don't feel like I get anything out of it - and the likelihood of me playing in public anytime soon is very low I suspect I will pick up the concertina and annoy family and friends with it for a while and then likely sell it Thanks for all your feedbacks I like to think that some of my questions kicked off interesting discussions
  2. Thank you - I own an English concertina and so I am going to pretend that the advice does not apply I realise now my ambition was to become "campfire guitar" level - there is no way I can dedicate the time to play the way you and plenty others can I will try not to let this dishearten me - I know that was/is not the intention of anyone here - at least it will stop me buying an older and 48 key version - my relatively heavy and less-noted Jackie will surely suffice for quite a while yet Thanks everyone FWIW I am trying to learn more music by reading it and committing it to memory - you are right, I am learning to get the "feel" for it
  3. Wow! I have sooo much to learn - it is very daunting - maybe I should limit myself to asking simple questions in the future! I will try to keep as many of these things in my mind as I can - Thank you all! With regard to my original question, and having started to learn "Morning has broken" (I really am not any good yet!) I can already feel I am "learning" the tunes - my example is that I can still remember much of "Silent night" which I last sight-read a couple of weeks back and others like "Skip to My Lou" which I can "play" quite well without music - though I still stumble on the quaver bit! I can see how "crib sheets" could help too I can see, like everyone said, practice, practice and more practice is the solution!
  4. What are "crib sheets" - Sorry this thread is going to be huge!!
  5. Wow a cornucopia of different observations - and your reward? More questions 😀 Hayden? Is that a method or a tutor? Sigh - I will google this too but I have other questions I want to ask! One day will I be playing chords on my concertina - and will they be 3 button chords? (I've tried and I do not seem to be able to use 1 finger to press two keys - let alone 3! I play an English concertina- maybe chords are easier on an Anglo?) "Accompaniment"? Are you playing the melody and the chords - ie up to 4 keys at a time?? Wow! (Actually that is so awesome I think I am slightly deflated I will never get to such dizzy heights) I will try and practise the "extension" trick - but it is my little fingers that hurt because they take much of the wright of my concertina - perhaps this is wrong. Also, my concertine is a Concertina Connection Jackie and I'm beginning to realise it is rather heavy!
  6. I think this is the converse of my problem - I frequently start a tune with the wrong note and then get disappointed when it all goes "accidentally wrong". I can see it is an obvious stepping stone but for my novice hands maybe a bit too soon I won't go on to ask another question about that key transposing - which is does it really change the mood of the music (I definitely did not ask that question! 😀)
  7. Hi - another key related clarification required Are you saying that "Doe a deer" and "Dueling Banjos" are both played in C major key but that Duelling Banjo's starts on the Mi? This is kinda what I was alluding to with me starting in the wrong place - if I started Duelling Banjo on a note I thought was correct lets say I though it started on Re - then before long I would be playing complex accidentals Should I just assume that everything is in C Major and somehow guess the first note and the rest will follow?
  8. Hi - Could you elaborate on that? My over-complicating head says that 1, 3 and 5 could be C, E and G in one C Major but something wildly accidental in another key. I am also unsure what you mean by 2 fingers instead of 3 - on an English concertina would you ever play those three notes with 3 fingers? (In my head C and G are 1 finger and E the other (I have avoided saying which hands/fingers because I now know that different Cs can be on different fingers 😀)
  9. Thanks both When I first got my concertina (last October) I tried to play Happy Birthday At that time I could not read music - it was very painful for my family to endure Obviously I was learning the instrument too - so progress was slow After a couple of days and very aching little fingers I could just about rattle it off Then I went in search of a tuition book and, with Christmas looming, sheet music for carols and I've not looked back Its only as I have become more proficient that I have realised that reading sheet music when playing a concertina is 'odd' Anyway, if I am trying to piece a song together without sheet music I try to match the notes to the the tune in my head sometimes I hum the "words" to try to get to the melody When I do this, I frequently find I end up needing accidentals which are more difficult for me to play and so I lose heart I realise this is likely because my starting note is wrong but after I shift that around a couple of times and still cannot muster it I then move on I've not tried writing the music - as fiddling around with the concertina is so much quicker - but maybe I should give it a go
  10. I'm not too sure how to phrase this question so I will blurt it out Like most people, I have always found learning the words to songs quite easy especially the chorus - I guess because it is repeated After a few singalongs, I will have learned a couple of verses too And the weird thing is when I then want to sing them say a year later I still remember them enough to sing along But I really struggle with learning a tune to the point I can play it without the music I just cannot get the notes into my head in the same way I can get the words As an example, I might have sung hark the herald Angels 3 times one Christmas when I was a kid - I don't think I've needed to read the words ever again Whereas last Christmas I played it 20+ times (much to my wife's discomfort) but for the life of me I could not play it today To me, the concertina isn't a "formal" instrument that you would expect to have a music stand with you wherever you play and with both hands occupied there's nowhere to prop up the music I was wondering about getting a pair of "google glass" specs - but they are way too expensive So, is the ability to quickly learn a tune something that I will only get with years of practice?
  11. Wow! I did not realise my post would take this course Apologies for my late returning to my thread - I did not receive any emails and I just assumed that I had no replies!! I will remember to apply "Follow topic" next time! I was only posing the questions as examples of the sorts of things a newby like me is asking and why a teacher would probably save me hours of painful google-self-learning! Off my own back I had decided that 6 line staffs would be perfect for the 12 semitones - and I think I'm glad but a little disappointed (though I really shouldn't be given I've been doing music for 5 minutes) that someone else already did it 🙂 I accept that the huge body of pre-existing music in the traditional style will preclude any new style so I will just have to suck it up! I'm glad to see that there is a local group I can join - I will be doing that today! I have tried to keep my hand in but I am struggling to keep motivated - hopefully a teacher will help Thank you all for helping and validating my questions!
  12. Hi! I have played my way through G Coover's Christmas Carol book on my Jackie 30 key English I am far from proficient but I can kinda read music now and seem to be asking the weird questions: Why does a staff have five lines when there are 12 semitones? If a piece of music is in G-Major but it has zero F#s why is it not in C-Major? How do I transpose a piece of music (because I don't have a D4)? How do I get better? So, on that last one.... I know nobody who owns a concertina Anglo or English - how do I go about finding someone to teach me? Just ring a local music shop? Ask a local school music teacher? Ask concertina.net? I live near Bideford in North Devon - can anyone recommend a teacher? Phil
  13. I bought the book (and a music stand) - hopefully the neighbours won't be too traumatised when I go carolling
  14. Thank you all for your quick responses! I will add the book to my shopping list and take a look at the online options - I need to find a way get the music from them onto a bigger screen As to shouting "discord"s - LOL Surprisingly it does not make me that angry - I rarely make more than a Grrrr sound - maybe I will progress to discords 😉
  15. I have tried a few online books and a couple of physical english concertina tutor books but my interest is waning because I just don't know most of the classic folk songs they want me to learn. Is there a very basic christmas carol music book that would suit an absolute beginner with a 30 key "Jackie" english concertina? If I buy that and crack on I might be useful on one or two carols by christmas! Hahaha - my little fingers hurt!
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