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Chords on English Concertina


Regie
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Recently someone asked how to make chords on an English concertina without having to cross fingers, eyes, etc. trying to do so with only one hand and wanting to know how to do it without having to play one note an octave too high (I think). I could not find the message originally sent.

 

I've not been interested in playing chords much but with a little experimenting I think the best way is to play the fifth of the chord as the lowest note in the chord and to play the first and third with the other hand. I'm no musician though.

 

I hope I have made sense. To me the sound is better this way.

 

Regie

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Recently someone asked how to make chords on an English concertina without having to cross fingers, eyes, etc. trying to do so with only one hand and wanting to know how to do it without having to play one note an octave too high (I think). I could not find the message originally sent.

 

I've not been interested in playing chords much but with a little experimenting I think the best way is to play the fifth of the chord as the lowest note in the chord and to play the first and third with the other hand. I'm no musician though.

 

I hope I have made sense. To me the sound is better this way.

 

Regie

 

But what's a big deal? This thread makes people to believe there's some trickery in playing chords on EC, when in fact there's none. It's very easy, unless one has very very thick and immobile fingers. In which case an accordion in better choice of an instrument. Playing chords on CBA is much more uncomfortable, but people manage.

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I tend to play the root note as the lowest until I go to the five (in a standard folky 1:4:5 pattern). It's only when I'm looking for major or dominant sevenths or diminished chords that I let the root note go. (probably the piper in me! :D )

That's assuming major key tunes/songs, when it's mixolidian all bets are off.

 

Ray

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Heavyweight,

 

Maybe I'm the only one here who is not an expert musician. I fiddle with the concertina because I love music and the English concertina is the easiest thing I have ever tried to play. I do it because I enjoy it. My message was not meant to the experts on this forum but was simply an effort to tell how I had experimented around to try to make chords. I love the simplicity of playing melody and trying to throw in 2 parts at times. Maybe I just don't belong here.

 

Regie

 

Recently someone asked how to make chords on an English concertina without having to cross fingers, eyes, etc. trying to do so with only one hand and wanting to know how to do it without having to play one note an octave too high (I think). I could not find the message originally sent.

 

I've not been interested in playing chords much but with a little experimenting I think the best way is to play the fifth of the chord as the lowest note in the chord and to play the first and third with the other hand. I'm no musician though.

 

I hope I have made sense. To me the sound is better this way.

 

Regie

 

But what's a big deal? This thread makes people to believe there's some trickery in playing chords on EC, when in fact there's none. It's very easy, unless one has very very thick and immobile fingers. In which case an accordion in better choice of an instrument. Playing chords on CBA is much more uncomfortable, but people manage.

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Maybe I'm the only one here who is not an expert musician. I fiddle with the concertina because I love music and the English concertina is the easiest thing I have ever tried to play. I do it because I enjoy it. My message was not meant to the experts on this forum but was simply an effort to tell how I had experimented around to try to make chords. I love the simplicity of playing melody and trying to throw in 2 parts at times. Maybe I just don't belong here.

 

Regie

 

 

Hold yer horses, oh Sensitive One!

My reply was not aimed at you, but to multiple posts that began to sound as though there is some secret passage to playing chords on EC.

EC is easy to pick the melody with, AND it is easy to play chords on. In fact, it's so simple, you don't need to experiment, just push needed buttons and there they are. You may find your fingers to be cramped, but unless you do have very (very!) thick fingers it's just a fleeting impression, and with little practice and relaxation you'll be an expert.

With EC it is so easy to read music, that learning to play chords is probably better done by learning to read. Then you'll just see those dots and connect them with your fingers on the buttons. And if you DO read, you are set.

I personally suggest to ignore pinkie rests, then each of your fingers will have "assigned" column of buttons. But this "rule" is frequently broken too.

Another suggestion would be to take it easy while participating on Internet Forums. We are not hot headed goons, but I certainly am not going to employ "smily faces" too much. For training purposes you may visit electric guitar forum or even Cajun Accordion and get used to the lingo. Then come back and

Relax.

 

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Well, your reply was to the message I sent. I do read music and I do what you said and ignore the pinkie rests. I have been on internet forums for a long time and I like straight answers but I did not detect yours as a simple straight answer.

 

Regie

 

Maybe I'm the only one here who is not an expert musician. I fiddle with the concertina because I love music and the English concertina is the easiest thing I have ever tried to play. I do it because I enjoy it. My message was not meant to the experts on this forum but was simply an effort to tell how I had experimented around to try to make chords. I love the simplicity of playing melody and trying to throw in 2 parts at times. Maybe I just don't belong here.

 

Regie

 

 

Hold yer horses, oh Sensitive One!

My reply was not aimed at you, but to multiple posts that began to sound as though there is some secret passage to playing chords on EC.

EC is easy to pick the melody with, AND it is easy to play chords on. In fact, it's so simple, you don't need to experiment, just push needed buttons and there they are. You may find your fingers to be cramped, but unless you do have very (very!) thick fingers it's just a fleeting impression, and with little practice and relaxation you'll be an expert.

With EC it is so easy to read music, that learning to play chords is probably better done by learning to read. Then you'll just see those dots and connect them with your fingers on the buttons. And if you DO read, you are set.

I personally suggest to ignore pinkie rests, then each of your fingers will have "assigned" column of buttons. But this "rule" is frequently broken too.

Another suggestion would be to take it easy while participating on Internet Forums. We are not hot headed goons, but I certainly am not going to employ "smily faces" too much. For training purposes you may visit electric guitar forum or even Cajun Accordion and get used to the lingo. Then come back and

Relax.

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Playing chords on CBA is much more uncomfortable, but people manage.

 

 

My friends often use CBA as a useful email shorthand. As in "I wondered what he meant and thought about asking but CBA." In this case I CAN be ar*ed. What is the polite translation of CBA please? It's no doubt obvious but escapes me.

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Playing chords on CBA is much more uncomfortable, but people manage.

 

 

My friends often use CBA as a useful email shorthand. As in "I wondered what he meant and thought about asking but CBA." In this case I CAN be ar*ed. What is the polite translation of CBA please? It's no doubt obvious but escapes me.

Hi Dirge

 

"Chromatic Button Accordion" is one.

 

Thanks

Leo

 

OOPS! I forgot; Australia/New Zealand translation

 

oǝl

sʞuɐɥʇ

 

˙ǝuo sı "uoıpɹoɔɔɐ uoʇʇnq ɔıʇɐɯoɹɥɔ"

 

ǝƃɹıp ıɥ :lol:

Edited by Leo
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Playing chords on CBA is much more uncomfortable, but people manage.

 

 

My friends often use CBA as a useful email shorthand. As in "I wondered what he meant and thought about asking but CBA." In this case I CAN be ar*ed. What is the polite translation of CBA please? It's no doubt obvious but escapes me.

Hi Dirge

 

"Chromatic Button Accordion" is one.

 

Thanks

Leo

 

OOPS! I forgot; Australia/New Zealand translation

 

oǝl

sʞuɐɥʇ

 

˙ǝuo sı "uoıpɹoɔɔɐ uoʇʇnq ɔıʇɐɯoɹɥɔ"

 

ǝƃɹıp ıɥ :lol:

 

 

Thank you very much, Leo...(I knew it would be something obvious)

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But what's a big deal? This thread makes people to believe there's some trickery in playing chords on EC, when in fact there's none.

 

But we're all at different stages in our learning, and we all have different levels of confidence and inventiveness.

 

I bought my EC almost three years ago and haven't set eyes on another one since, apart from a little one that the accordion maker/tuner had for sale, but he said he's never met another EC player. As I have no live input at all, it was very helpful to me to be able to ask about fingering chords.

 

I admit it's embarrassing how long it's taken me to get round to learning chords. :rolleyes:

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But we're all at different stages in our learning, and we all have different levels of confidence and inventiveness.

Regardless. Chords are not hard on EC.

I bought my EC almost three years ago and haven't set eyes on another one since, apart from a little one that the accordion maker/tuner had for sale, but he said he's never met another EC player. As I have no live input at all, it was very helpful to me to be able to ask about fingering chords.

 

I admit it's embarrassing how long it's taken me to get round to learning chords. :rolleyes:

 

Almost nobody has any live input, it's not the point. The point is simply that you were satisfied with single line melody playing, that's all.

I was never excited to hear single voice concertina. Classical pieces on Concertina and Piano make me want to die.

I was always looking for fuller sound, with more notes, more harmony, counter melody etc. I'm not a pro, but I found that EC is not to be afraid of.

 

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Almost nobody has any live input,

 

Are we really such a solitary lot? Honestly, I'm surprised. I saw two or three in my short time in England, that's when I fell in love with them.

 

I've wanted a fuller sound, though, ever since I got it. Melody or second voice is okay to accompany singers (which I do), but unless you can do seriously impressive twiddly things, it can sound like an instrument from ToysRUs.

 

And I'm not joking about chords! I knew nothing about them 2 years ago. Nothing. However, I know that many guitar players (for example) don't actually understand chords or gammes either, they just play the shapes. And they can play very well, so I thought that somehow it would just "happen".

 

But the concertina doesn't work that way. Any guitarist, any chord book, will be able to show you a D chord on the guitar. There's no argument. But there is room for argument with the concertina, because there is no standard, accepted method of playing.

 

This year, a harmony course came my way, and now I understand chords and how to construct them. But the teacher is a jazz bass guitarist, so he can't tell me how to play them on the EC. That's what concertina forums are for. :)

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With regard to EC, when I am not reading music, I play simple chord formations in the triangle pattern (3rd’s ?) and I add a seventh when necessary, by choosing the next note down from the root note. I try to add a set in an adjacent octave, but this takes time to master with speed. I would not know where to start, as yet, on the translation of augmented & diminished chords, without reading them on a sheet music stave.

 

When reading in EC, I have found it essential to look for the most comfortable fingering option on a chord to chord basis. This is because half of the time the natural responses to chords, on a per chord basis approach, do not suit each other as you move from chord to chord, causing fingering entanglements.

 

So it is presumably next to impossible to fluently sight read chord intensive sheet music on the first attempt. My granddad was able to play fluent chord intensity on all chords, key registers and phrasing demands. I think this was due to having had years of schooling from a very young age and by the fact that he had a gift for playing by ear (his uncle, who had arranged music for an important concertina band, had also educated him prior to him converting from taught music into playing by ear as a young adult). He often told me to stick to the music and that the reason he veered off it was due to being "mentally lazy".

 

Adjusting the rotation of the instrument and hands can help for reaching keys. I therefore find sitting better than standing. I also imagine that, even with the best support apparatus to help aid standing, finding the adequate bellows leverage would require the need for hand straps, and I find that not using hand straps helps me reach buttons better on EC.

 

However, to my granddad, it was essential to have hand straps with no neck harnessing in order to stand and lift and move the box around in the air on a continuous basis to get additional tone quality. I do not know how this could have been humanly possible considering the amazing musical harmony produced. I will try to get some recordings uploaded at some point in the future.

 

Kevin

Edited by kevin toner
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I learned chording by starting simple with the each note playing their major thirds and fifths; i.e. C-E-G or G-B-D etc for each key in sharps and flats. Then adding the minor key. Then a major 7th. then the 6th and diminished chording as well. After time it becomes second nature to find the right chords for the tune or phrasing you need. Again I stress practicing arpeggios in every key for finger memory.

rss

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Once again I found myself as a free advertiser for Gary Dahl's "Harmony Application" book. It's written with Piano Accordion in mind, but works well for anything. My main instrument nowadays is good old Jackie with limited range, and not all that is offered by Gary is applicable. Still, lots to learn. Whoever has extended treble, can benefit more.

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Chords...

 

While I am presently not up for explaining myself much, and I am possibly bizarre, let it not be said that nothing has been composed for English Concertina that includes an honest-to-goodness 13th chord. Below are my links.*

 

http://twitpic.com/zeikq

http://twitpic.com/zf02a

 

*CORRECTION ADDED:

http://twitpic.com/144bmx

 

There's a chord-name error on my first copy. So I have corrected it on the new one. Db9 should be Db6,9. (Though, the Db,9 is ok.) No change in notation. Also, added this to my tunebook (Tune-o-tron).

Edited by bellowbelle
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