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Anglo Chords


Barry J
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I'm sure this has been covered before, but I've read some of the old posts on chords and don't follow some of the music theory involved.

 

I'm fine playing a melody, but I would like to embellish my playing with some chords.

 

Is there some simple rules of thumb that I can employ ??

 

I've experimented and found that, to my ear, a tune ending with a C sounds good when C-E-G is pushed on the left hand C-row.

Similarly, tunes finishing on a D sound good with the D and A pulled on the left hand C-row.

 

Open to suggestions ??

Edited by Barry J
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I'm sure this has been covered before, but I've read some of the old posts on chords and don't follow some of the music theory involved.

 

I'm fine playing a melody, but I would like to embellish my playing with some chords.

 

Is there some simple rules of thumb that I can employ ??

 

I've experimented and found that, to my ear, a tune ending with a C sounds good when C-E-G is pushed on the left hand C-row.

Similarly, tunes finishing on a D sound good with the D and A pulled on the left hand C-row.

 

Open to suggestions ??

 

Somebody else may be able to give you specific tips on the Anglo, but my advice will be: brush up on your music theory. Not only will you be able to understand other people's advice; you'll be able to make your own. There's an awful lot of useful stuff to learn before it gets out to the level of rocket science. Give me a minute here, and I'll try to whip up some advice mixed in with a music-theoretical foundation.

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Let's start with those "tunes that end on C" that you mentioned. If a tune ends on C, and pushing C-E-G along with it often sounds good, chances are high that the tune is "in the key of C Major" (or just "in the key of c"-- let's leave out minor and stuff for now). The other telltale sign to check for is that it doesn't use any sharps or flats-- no B-flat, no F-sharp... or at least not very often, if it does.

 

Say you've got a song in the key of C. Your C-Major chord (that's the 'C-E-G' you mentioned) will sound pretty good with it-- but better at some times than others. If you run into a spot where it doesn't sound as good, or where you feel like there needs to be a change, your next best bet is the G-Major chord "G-B-D". (You don't have to do the whole thing, either. Maybe just one or two of the notes). Some songs are written around just those two chords, and that would be all you needed. But for many songs, you'll want to know one more chord-- F-Major: "F-A-C". If neither of the others fits very well, that's your third-best bet.

 

Those three together are the chords for what some call "the three-chord trick" in the key of C. There's not a whole lot more to "the trick"-- just figuring out which chord goes where. You'll find that "C-E-G" probably goes at the end, and "G-B-D" is probably the one right before it, and from there it's a little less certain, and you've just got to figure it out for yourself.

 

Basically, when you're writing a chordal accompaniment, there are some helpful questions you can ask yourself:

 

1. What key is the song in?

2. What chords am I likely to need?

3. How might one make them?

4. When do I play them?

 

If you can answer these questions for a song, you'll be well on your way. I've hinted at some of the answers here, and hopefully that'll give you something to go on as you explore. Each one of these questions could be a whole thread on its own (a whole book, in some cases), so in the unlikely event that you want more of my blathering, you'd be best off picking one of the questions that interests you more than the others, and then we can chat about that in particular.

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For Irish dance music tunes it is probably better to limit the use of too many chords and just use the LHS for two notes 'bichords' missing out the 3rd note ( eg C (E)G / F(A) C ,G (B) D ,

 

 

Most session tunes wil be in G or D and same 'rule' can apply.

 

 

Many Irish tunes don't fall easily into standard Western scales and missing the 3rd allows tou to go into 'minor' sounding modes, which will accomdate the melody notes.

Edited by michael sam wild
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  • 2 weeks later...

I'm fine playing a melody, but I would like to embellish my playing with some chords.

 

Is there some simple rules of thumb that I can employ ??

 

 

 

The rule of thumb for chord arrangement on the Anglo is to stay in the home keys (e.g. C and G on a C/G Anglo), play along the rows, and push the 2 buttons to the left of the one that the melody note is on (along with the melody button, of course, i.e. 3 buttons in all). The push-pull feature sees to it that the result is more or less harmonious.

 

If the result is less harmonious, try using just one button to the left of the melody button, and if that doesn't sound too good either, try the next-but-one button to the left - in each case, 2 buttons pressed in all).

 

Your ear should tell you which of these three harmonisation alternatives is the best. If you can't for the life of you find one or two accompanying buttons that fit the tune at a certain point, it could be that the tune modulates, i.e. shifts temporarily into another key. The end of the B part of "The Ash Grove" is a classic example of this. These tunes should be played on the C row, and the awkward bit fits comfortably on the G row.

 

If that doesn't work, you'll have to start learning chord theory, but you can stave that off for quite some time with the above rules of thumb.

I haven't got a link to one right now, but there are chord charts for Anglo in the Internet. These help if you have a copy of the tune with chord symbols over the stave, or even just lyrics with chords, such as camp-fire guitarists often use.

 

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

John

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I have found Roger Digby's article on concertina.com very helpful. John Kirkpatrick also has three 'lessons' on anglo chords and accompaniment on his website and finally, Alan Day's own teaching programme has lots of information and ideas... and all of these are free!

 

David

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Thanks for the mention David.

The teaching programme is exactly the method I used to coordinate my left hand with my right. It is fairly simple, but too many skip through the initial part to get on to the tunes. It is the first part that gives you the basis for chord playing.

I recorded it for a friend (Daniel Bradbury)and the original is the one offered free for anybody interested.

http://www.concertinaman.com the music has also kindly been written out by David Bernert, also available on the site.

Al

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