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VJJB
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My wife gave me a 20 button "Ceili Band" concertina for Christmas. I don't read music. I would like to learn to play it. I know I am talking to confident expert players here, but think back to the days when you first picked up the the instrument. How do I get started? Are there videos or instruction books for the rank beginner? I am not hopeless in music. I self taught myself the harmonica. I await any guidance you may have.

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VJJB,

 

Congratulations on the thoughtful gift (and wife)! I'm kind of a novice with concertinas, so I don't mind showing my ignorance -- I thought the Morse "Ceili" model concertina was a 30 button.

 

In any case, if what you have is a 20 button Anglo, there are a LOT of good books out there about learning the Anglo. Since the most common instrument is a 30 button model, they're mainly targeting that instrument, but most of the starting tunes in C and G will be at least accessible to you. My favorites are:

 

"The Irish Concertina" (with CD) -- Mel Bay publications

"Deluxe Concertina Book" -- Mel Bay Publications

 

I also happened to be on the Mel Bay website today and noticed they have a new book targeted at the TWENTY button. I haven't tried this, so I can't vouch for it, but it's:

 

"Absolute Beginners Concertina" -- Mel Bay publications

 

 

When I picked up the concertina, it had been many years since I read music. So, in addition to the concertina books, I also picked up a book on that specifically -- I found "How to Read Music: Reading Music Made Simple" by Terry Burrows to be quite accessible.

 

 

Have fun!

 

Brian

Edited by Brian McGee
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My wife gave me a 20 button "Ceili Band" concertina for Christmas. I don't read music. I would like to learn to play it. I know I am talking to confident expert players here, but think back to the days when you first picked up the the instrument. How do I get started? Are there videos or instruction books for the rank beginner? I am not hopeless in music. I self taught myself the harmonica. I await any guidance you may have.

 

 

Harmonica helps, especially if you play it by ear. Think of your concertina as a C & G harmonica taped together, which you blow and suck with the bellows, not your lungs, and select the holes with the buttons rather than your tongue! The scales go: blow,suck,blow,suck,blow,suck,suck blow, just like on the harmonica.

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Basically, it's a pump action harmonica. The best way to learn is to play lots. Fiddle about, think of simple melodies that you can sing or whistl and try to pick them out.

 

Once you have three or four melodies, play them repeatedly until you can do them smoothly.

 

It should be quite intuitive, but it won't happen unless you do it a lot.

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I'm kind of a novice with concertinas, so I don't mind showing my ignorance -- I thought the Morse "Ceili" model concertina was a 30 button.

 

...which indeed it is. VJJB has a "Ceili Band" concertina, which I don't recall running across before but which may be a Chinese-made, German-pattern 20-button instrument. I tried googling "ceili band concertina" to confirm my hunch, but unsurprisingly those terms return lots of pages for ceilidh bands...

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I thank the responders to my plea for help. I ordered "The absolute beginners concertina." Should come within a week. My instrument does look like a China made model. If it lasts long enough to survive while I beat up on it during my initial self taught lessons, I will be happy. I can pick out a simple tune with the right hand buttons. My harmonica playing is a help. The left hand buttons seem to be cords. Don't know what to do with them yet.

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Thanks for the web sites. I am looking at them. I would like to play blues, Zydego, and polkas. If I can play "Happy Birthday" by April I will be a happy camper. Good thing I am retired now. Not enough time in the day.

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I thank the responders to my plea for help. I ordered "The absolute beginners concertina." Should come within a week. My instrument does look like a China made model. If it lasts long enough to survive while I beat up on it during my initial self taught lessons, I will be happy. I can pick out a simple tune with the right hand buttons. My harmonica playing is a help. The left hand buttons seem to be cords. Don't know what to do with them yet.

 

Um, VJJB, better post a picture of what you've got. If the left side is chords, it's not an anglo. Does it look like this

 

250px-Accord%C3%A9on_diatonique.jpg

 

 

or this

 

gr4711k.jpg

 

B

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I thank the responders to my plea for help. I ordered "The absolute beginners concertina." Should come within a week. My instrument does look like a China made model. If it lasts long enough to survive while I beat up on it during my initial self taught lessons, I will be happy. I can pick out a simple tune with the right hand buttons. My harmonica playing is a help. The left hand buttons seem to be cords. Don't know what to do with them yet.

 

Um, VJJB, better post a picture of what you've got. If the left side is chords, it's not an anglo. Does it look like this

 

250px-Accord%C3%A9on_diatonique.jpg

 

 

or this

 

gr4711k.jpg

 

B

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I thank the responders to my plea for help. I ordered "The absolute beginners concertina." Should come within a week. My instrument does look like a China made model. If it lasts long enough to survive while I beat up on it during my initial self taught lessons, I will be happy. I can pick out a simple tune with the right hand buttons. My harmonica playing is a help. The left hand buttons seem to be cords. Don't know what to do with them yet.

 

Um, VJJB, better post a picture of what you've got. If the left side is chords, it's not an anglo. Does it look like this

 

250px-Accord%C3%A9on_diatonique.jpg

 

 

or this

 

gr4711k.jpg

 

B

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