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Learning to play the English Concertina


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Because I have been surprised and alarmed by some of the ideas that people have expressed in

other posts I am offering this standard professional way of learning to play the English

Concertina for people who cannot afford lessons or who do not live near a teacher.


1. Get yourself a copy of Frank Butler's tutor book 'The Concertina'. This is available for

free over the Internet although you will need to print out a copy. This book contains more

than 76 graded exercises. If you work your way through all of them you will be able to play

the Englsih concertina competently in many keys and you will be able to read music.


2. Frank Butler was a professional teacher who taught classes in London for the London

Education Authority.


3. If you don't have a teacher then it may be useful or essential to hear what the exercises

sound like and what you are aiming for. I can supply all the exercises from this book either

in midi file format or in wav file format to play on a PC or CD player.


I will have to make a small charge to cover the cost of blank CDs and CD duplication.

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Hello Shaunw


How would I obtain a Frank Butler cd from you?





Thanks for your inquiry. Let me try to explain exactly what I have. I wanted to know

what the exercises sounded like before starting to learn. If you have a teacher then

the teacher will play them for you and this will give you an idea of what you are

aiming for.


This started life as a collection of computer midi files for all the numbered exercises

starting at exercise 3 and including some of the unnumbered fragments also. If you can

use midi files then they are so small that I can email the whole collection to you (cost

zero), just give me an email address.


The files are played moderately slowly since they are for a beginner but they are not so

slow that you fall asleep or fail to get the flow of the tune. The advantage of midi is

that you can speed up and slow down the tune and you can watch the cursor as it jumps

from note to note but this only works if you have a PC and a midi editor program.

If you don't have a midi editor then you can easily get a free midi player which will

at least let you hear how the tunes sound and you can get a free concertina sound font

which will let you hear how they will sound on a Wheatstone concertina.


I also turned the files into standard CD or PC wave files using a synthesiser and a

concertina sound font from a Wheatstone concertina. The result is 680MB of wave

files which would probably have to be spread over 2 CDs.


For the CDs I will charge one British Pound per CD to compensate me for the cost of

blank CDs and possible wear and tear on my computer CD drive. Postage will be

charged at cost, may be only one pound at most if you are U.K. based. If you are

based in some other country then making small payments may be difficult, I can't

accept non U.K. cheques since the Banks charge a fortune to convert them but we

can discuss ways round that.

Edited by shaunw
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