Bellows Control For Itm On Anglo in General Concertina Discussion Posted June 13, 2013 To add a bit more ITM specific info on the accented notes, or pulse: For jigs, you stress not only the first note of each 3/8 group, but also the third. This is a bit tricky at first, and as always the melody itself has always priority. That means certain tunes or certain phrases lend themselves better than others to add this third note accent. You can practice this maybe by whistling the tune and giving an extra huff of air on the stressed notes. Also playing it slowly and deliberately in the beginning. And of course, listening to recordings, maybe slowing them down so you can pay attention to that third note. Micheál Ó Raghallaigh is a player with a very nice pulse in whatever he plays. For reels, you also add a fair amount of back beat to it. I.e. in a sequence of 8 eigth notes, you end up playing an alternating pattern of stressed-unstressed notes, and the back beat gets a little extra umph. You can practice that not only by playing louder and softer, respectively, but also by lengthening and shortening the notes a bit. Once you play up to speed, the slight variation in length per se will not be noticeable, but you get a nice pulse. One little thing that Micheál Ó Raghallaigh often does to add a little additional umph on the back beat or the third note in jigs is using a cut on that note or a chord in the left hand. Also, don't be afraid to give a good extra umph on those notes. In the beginning, I was convinced that my pulse was almost too strong - until I recorded myself playing and I could barely hear it. I think half of that extra stress happens only in your head. That's good this way because you don't want to overpower the melody with your accented notes, but probably particularly in the beginning it doesn't hurt to overdo it a little bit. Once the pulse becomes second nature, you can control it and blend it together with the melody and vary it or break the pattern by stressing different notes here and there.