Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
David Levine

Forbidden Territory

Recommended Posts

Forbidden Territory

 

Lately I have been taking some trips to the dark side of Anglo concertina-land. I have been concentrating on tunes that extend to the low G on the left hand. Thse include such tunes as: Martin Wynne's #1 & #2, Road to Garrison, Maudabon Chapel, Farrell O'Gara, Green Fields of Glentown, Master Crowley's #1, Farewell to Ireland (Am), Lads of Laoise, Dr. Gilbert, and Humors of Lissadell. They aren't part of the local repertoire and are not played by local concertina players.

 

These tunes all require facility with the use of the little finger, and require the use of both of the low As. These tunes are not for the faint of heart or the weak of pinkie. I'd love to hear what people have to say about playing these tricky tunes. For the most part concertina players seem to have avoided them. Noel recorded Road to Garrison and Dr. Gilbert, and Edel recorded Wynne's #2, but apart from that there isn't much out there.

 

I'd love to hear what other players have to say about these tunes. Any reference to recordings I might have missed would be appreciated.

 

Thanks-- David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Good idea David,

 

but do you feel, as I do, that it is a little strange that not many people are doing this ? After all the concertina has the range and there are lots of wonderfull fiddle tunes like those that you suggest. I often play those types of tunes on my EC and even been known to play them on the pipes in the way the Flute players do.

 

I assume that many 'session' Anglo players would play these expanded range tunes.

 

Happy Days,

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm glad you posted that David. I was going to ask the4 same questions.I've recently been going down to the low A etc and working out a second position etc. I'm trying Tuttle's off Na Fir Bolg CD in Dmin which needs a pull on the little finger and a run up on the pull which is really hard ar first but I'm working on finger strength. Another is McGlinchey's Hornpipe which goes down low.. This has made me explore the best way to locate the bellows too (see other post) to stop wobbling or twisting the ends upwards as I try to see the finger on the low buttons.

 

 

I play with fiddlers who like to get onto the G string. One of my problems is that I find it tricky in a session to hear those low notes so I am trying to get the muscle memory so I just go there automatically.

 

Another couple I like are Stoney Steps and London Hornpipe that Anahata plays that have runs up from low down. Here's his Stoney Steps on melodeon. He does the two tunes on Anglo on Hard Core English CD that accompanies Barry Callaghan's tune book. Very nice tunes.

 

 

Cheers

Mike ( Hoping to come on holiday this Summer )

Edited by michael sam wild

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

David, as I am a leftie, tunes residing primarily on the left side of the anglo are of particular interest to me. At my earliest period with the anglo, I was exposed to Noel's playing of Master Crowley's and Maudabon Chapel, and I found the tone, lilt, and rhythm delightful. For many years I have worked to have a performance of Master Crowley's suitable for public consumption -- to no avail -- though I haven't given up. I do also enjoy adding the C# from the outside row whenever convenient to extend the range of some D tunes. Plus one should not forget the other wonderfully rich notes hanging out down there.

 

What is particularly frustrating for me is that when I move to one of my two 28 button Jeffries, I have a different and more aggravating challenge since these instruments have the low A stuffed into the far corner -- one button over from its position on a 30 button Jeffries or Crabb -- and neither of these 28 b. instruments has the low A on the draw on the bottom button on the inner row. Of course, I could have that low draw A added if I could find suitable reeds, but the ergonomics of the outside row are completely destroyed by the shifted note positions on the left side. The result is that I can't fully enjoy the low tunes as much on the 28 button instruments as I can on the 30 button ones. But I haven't quit yet -- I just hold little hope for my aging pinkie! In the meantime, I derive particular enjoyment from the playing of those who have mastered that range of the anglo and enjoy it as I do.

 

Ross Schlabach

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

One of our sessions plays Farewell to Ireland (Erin) regularly, and since I was sitting next to a whistle player, I never realized it went down to low A. Then I sat next to a fiddler......

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David,

 

I also like to explore down that side of the box. I think that the use os the 2 "A's" and 2 "G'" are critical to the ease of the tune(none of it is easy!) I got a hint from Niall Vallely and he said to lighten the presure on the bellows when playing the low notes. Good luck Doug Barr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi,

as a reschooled fiddle player, I would tend to want to play all the tunes I know (on the fiddle), regardless of register.

I was hedgy about until my first concertina lesson (in Clare) where the second tune taught was "The Green Fields of Glentown".

Tunes like Jackson's (La Cosa Mulligan), Maudabawn Chapel, The Silver Spire, McGlinchey's HP (Across the fence), The Cedars of Lebanon and Master Seamus where soon enough put on the repertoire. My approach is simply to practice the "new" (or "illogical") patterns on the LS ad nauseum. The first bar of the second part of the Silver Spire is a great excercise in "bass dexterity".

Doug: Thanks for relaying Mr. Vallely's tip about easing pressure.

Edited by Snorre

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Currently working on the reel "The Jug of Punch", which goes down to the low A a few times...

Edited by eskin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"The Auld Rocking Chair" is a lovely air that walks all over the left side of an anglo. I also use it to get a little shake vibrato to contrast with the fast tunes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Brilliant choice of tunes to look at. I think the Lads of Laois is lovely on the concertina. The need for the pull low A is a definite. It also gives opportunity for the upper E to B figure to alternate hands. I often start the second half of the tune with push E, then push B on the G row, switching back to pull e on the g row to ascend the line. The melody also lends itself to the last long E being accompanied by an octave below on the outside row, or a push low B to get the chord to sound. Farrell O'Gara an Farewell to Ireland also wonderful sounding on the anglo. Practice for the third row on Farewell. A few Reavy tunes to think about like the Starry Lane to Monaghan. The low B keeps coming in on the first half.

 

Forbidden Territory

 

Lately I have been taking some trips to the dark side of Anglo concertina-land. I have been concentrating on tunes that extend to the low G on the left hand. Thse include such tunes as: Martin Wynne's #1 & #2, Road to Garrison, Maudabon Chapel, Farrell O'Gara, Green Fields of Glentown, Master Crowley's #1, Farewell to Ireland (Am), Lads of Laoise, Dr. Gilbert, and Humors of Lissadell. They aren't part of the local repertoire and are not played by local concertina players.

 

These tunes all require facility with the use of the little finger, and require the use of both of the low As. These tunes are not for the faint of heart or the weak of pinkie. I'd love to hear what people have to say about playing these tricky tunes. For the most part concertina players seem to have avoided them. Noel recorded Road to Garrison and Dr. Gilbert, and Edel recorded Wynne's #2, but apart from that there isn't much out there.

 

I'd love to hear what other players have to say about these tunes. Any reference to recordings I might have missed would be appreciated.

 

Thanks-- David

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

W

"The Auld Rocking Chair" is a lovely air that walks all over the left side of an anglo. I also use it to get a little shake vibrato to contrast with the fast tunes.

 

Obviously, the degree of vibrato would depend on the amount of rocking in the chair as you played! :D

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi David You might try an axis rotation in your left hand so the ring finger is on the C/G (L6) the middle finger on the E/F L1 top row and the index on the A/Bflat. In that hand position you have much greater agility and the fingers can move to the other low notes easily. When the piece ascends the hand returns to the standard position.

 

This is the basic technique of the bandoneon where there are five positions and the axis is continually shifting between the positions through rotation of the wrist. I explore this principle in the later studies in the "American Fiddle Styles for the Anglo Concertina" with tunes like blackberry blossom and 28th of January

 

ANyway something to try for yourself

 

Bertram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What a great tip from one of the best. Thanks Doug Barr

 

 

 

Hi David You might try an axis rotation in your left hand so the ring finger is on the C/G (L6) the middle finger on the E/F L1 top row and the index on the A/Bflat. In that hand position you have much greater agility and the fingers can move to the other low notes easily. When the piece ascends the hand returns to the standard position.

 

This is the basic technique of the bandoneon where there are five positions and the axis is continually shifting between the positions through rotation of the wrist. I explore this principle in the later studies in the "American Fiddle Styles for the Anglo Concertina" with tunes like blackberry blossom and 28th of January

 

ANyway something to try for yourself

 

Bertram

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i have been working on developing the weaker fingers on the LHS. In working out some exercises I find that tunes on the RHS help to maintain interest and then I've been doing , octaves ,harmony and countermelodies two octaves down. That also helps with the lower notes in the chord shapes as well.

 

Ihave a low A, on the pull on the G row as the original duplicate D pull wasn't much use (I understand in the past the D was tuned slightly differently for diferent keys but that seems to have fallen out of use)

 

 

any advice of other exercises or runs would be welcome.

Thanks Bertram for the advice on wrist orientation it helps to think opf the ring finger as a swivel or fulcrum in locating the fingers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I must admit that although playing in the lower octave is a nice exercise I much prefer to drop down to G to play the tune on a CG or in D on a GD and use the chords available to me on the C row or G row. The procedure is that at the point that the tune switches to the left hand you move up a row and continue the tune.This switches the direction to what you are used to but you gain those lovely rich chords that are available to you.

Al

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"Ashokan Farewell" in D is a nice test of the pinkie for the low G and low A on a C/G Anglo. Also requires a shift of the wrist away from the default home position to play the lower notes of this waltz well. Its a beautiful tune though and well worth the effort.

Edited by CaryK

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i am preparing for a major competition this week, so i can't really talk about different issues when playing down in "forbidden territory." here is a recording of me which includes me playing the aforementioned maudabawn chappel. this is a raw recording without any EQ so the balance might be a bit off, but i think that the forbidden territory of the tune is clear enough, which starts at about 1:30 into the recording.

 

Beare Island - Maudabawn Chapel - Nine Points of Roguery

 

after the weekend, i'd be more than happy to discuss my own experiences down low, if anyone is interested. any feedback on the recording would be appreciated, as well :D

 

p.s. it does indeed start at the 0:14 mark, which is an artifact of the raw nature of the recording.

Edited by david_boveri

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×