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About Mikefule

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    Author of Bridge of Otherwhere, 2018, available on Kindle/Amazon. Dancer, Fool, and occasional musician with Dolphin Morris Men of Nottingham, UK. I play Anglo concertina and harmonica. My concertinas are a Dipper 30b G/D, Lachenal 30b C/G baritone, and Lachenal 20b standard and piccolo. I have composed a few tunes and also written songs for occasional performance at Morris events. Other hobbies include sailing my Cornish Cormorant (12 ft balanced lug), cross country unicycling, motorcycling (Moto Guzzi V7) and other outdoorsy stuff.
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    Lincolnshire, UK

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  1. On a 20 button, you only have the notes for 2 major scales, in your case, C major and G major. However, there are many routes through the maze. For the part of the range that is typically used for melody, every note appears twice except the F natural (on the C row) and the F sharp (on the G row). Therefore, there are many many theoretical ways of playing each of those two major scales. The first way to branch out is cross row scales in C. Common tricks are to borrow some or all of the following notes from the right hand G row: G A B C D E It is
  2. The important thing is not to play every note of the chord at the same time, all of the time. A chord can be played as 3 notes together, or even 4: often called a block chord. The chord can be "represented" by a bass note, often but not always the root or 5th note of the chord. A chord can be played as a pattern: all of the notes once each. (Arpeggio) A chord can be played as a pair of notes, with the melody note either making the missing note, or simply duplicating one of the notes. (Try not to duplicate the 3rd note too often.) A
  3. My step up from a Rochelle was to a Marcus. I have since stepped up further to a Dipper, but the Marcus was an impressive box and I sometimes regret selling it.
  4. For folk music/dance music, the rule is play what sounds right. Keep it simple and pay it well, rather than making it complex and stumbling over the rhythm. Applying that to your question, you may play a block chord (3 or 4 buttons pushed together), or a single note from the chord (often but not always the 1st or 5th) or a pair of notes from the chord, or an "oom pah" of bass note followed by a pair of other notes... the possibilities are endless. I play Whitehaven Volunteers quite a lot and use all or most of the above techniques in it at various times. If you play a
  5. Hi, Kathryn. An "arrangement" is basically a tune with a specific accompaniment of chords, bass notes, or other harmonic decoration. So you could choose a simple tune that "everyone knows" like When the Saints Go Marching In and, on a 20b C/GAnglo you could: Just play the simple melody on the right hand in C, or in G along the row Just play the melody on the left hand in C or in G along the row Play it in parallel octaves, either note for note, or only playing the lower octave on the main beats Add block chords Play bass notes on the left hand,
  6. I know someone who plays melodeon (push pull) and English concertina (not push pull) so that's similar in principle t o combining piano accordion with Anglo. I also know someone who plays both Anglo and English concertinas.
  7. There is a huge amount you can achieve on a 20 button box. It's not as versatile as a 30 (or more) but I feel that its restrictions give it more of what I consider "the authentic Anglo sound". Harmonic style on a 20b Anglo requires a lot of compromises, gaps, cheats and bluffs and as a result it sounds like no other instrument. I play my 20b from time to time just to get back to basics. I think it makes me a better musician on the 30b. Playing in the second key (G on a CG, D on a GD) gives you a pretty full set of chords and bass notes for tunes in the maj
  8. Assuming you are playing the melody mainly on the right hand, you have 2 octaves below your tonic. So if you're playing in C on a 30 button CG, you can use any of C (E) G c e on the left hand as bass notes for any part of the tune that needs a C major chord. (E) is button 1 on the accidental row.) A simple but effective technique is to play an Oom accompaniment, rather than "oom pah". Play the bass note once or twice per bar (depending on the time signature) on the "on beats". That bass can alternate between 2 notes a 5th apart (C G, C G) or stick on one n
  9. Two approaches: 1) On an Anglo, almost every note of the two main key is available in both directions if you cross the row. Therefore you can often find an easy way to do a run of melody notes all in the same direction rather than "push pull" along the row. 2) Failing that, just because the arrangement shows continuous long notes, it doesn't mean that you have to play them like that. Indeed, breaking them up a bit and leaving a few gaps (rests) may liven up the arrangements. The music is as much in the gaps between the notes as it is in the notes themselves
  10. There are many many routes through the maze. On a 20 button CG, in the main octave used for melodies in C (starting on the C on button 1 on the right hand) every note is available twice except the F. That means that just for that one octave C-c there are 2 x 2 x 2 x 1 x 2 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 128 different ways of playing the scale. Of course on a 30 button, there are even more options. Of course, in real life, you don't need to learn them all, but you will find yourself using short runs of 3 or 4 notes along various routes. Assuming your box
  11. On the octaves thing, it is (in my mind) important not to play simple octaves note for note all the way through. If you do this, you may as well get a single row 2 voice melodeon. Instead, I tend to play the lower note of the octave only on beats 1 and 3 (in 4/4) most of the time, occasionally playing every beat of a bar, and sometimes lingering on one note for longer, perhaps if it is a pedal point (a note that is common to two or more consecutive chords). From here it is a simple extension to vamp pairs of notes (the octave and the next button up or down) some of the
  12. I set out from day 1 to learn "the harmonic style" and now tend to feel that there is no single "harmonic style" There are techniques and approaches that work for different types of tune. However, you need to make a start with a basic style and the develop techniques as you go on. The two things to work on are: The physical coordination required to play 2 things at once. The intuition of which notes to play. The simplest harmonic styles are based on octaves. Here is a link to an excellent article on the subject: https://www.concertinajournal.o
  13. The air pressure generated by the bellows affects the attack and volume of the reeds. Pressure and volume are inversely related: on the push, in order to double the pressure, you must halve the volume of the bellows. On the pull, if you want to double the pressure, you must double the volume of the bellows. (This is approximate as there are other allowances that need to be made.) Thus, if you use the full length available in a set of longer bellows, you have to move the ends further in the same amount of time (i.e. faster!) to achieve the same change in pressure.
  14. Rochelle. It is good enough to tell you later when you need an upgrade. A good player can get good music out of one. Good value at that price point. I had one before I moved on to a Marcus — and later to various even better ones.
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