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  1. Giving advice to a new player to the concertina is like asking for directions: Everyone knows the best way to get there but most everyone's directions are different. Look at the buttons. Don't look at the buttons. Place it on your right knee. Place it on your left knee. Hold it up. Elbows in. Thumb straps tight. Thumb straps loose. Learn by ear. Learn to read ABC or music notation. Yeah, it is a lot to take in. So I say if you are new to the concertina and want to play, start playing. Pick a tune out and see how your body places itself as you play. Always seek out help from different players for ideas and suggestions to see what works for you. Attend sessions. Watch. Listen. Learn. And take some organized lessons either in a group or privately. I teach the English system using musical notation. I know Anglo teachers who use ABC notation as well. For the most basic beginner I will often use a fingering placed below each note to assist. Below are fingering notation I made for the EC and ABC charts for an Anglo (from thesession.org) for the reel Harlequin Aire. Both assist the player with bellow direction and fingering. Practice and learning the tune will eventually displace the need to constantly refer to these charts. HARLIQUIN AIRE.pdf
  2. What is your favorite ABC player? I just discovered that VLC media player will play ABC files (at least in Debian Linux) but it sounds lousy and chokes on chords. A python script called abctool handles chords and sounds good, but it lacks pause and other nice features. Practicing along with ABCs provides flexibility, a clean sound and easy to set tempo. But a better player would be nice.
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