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Learning The Three Row


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I have played the two row box for a few years now and really am pretty fluent finally, but I have been playing on the row, not cross row. I recently acquired a nice three row and am learning the cross row Irish style. What tips can you give me for making a smoother upgrade? G is quite good, D is fair and my A scale is coming along nicely. Someone posted somewhere that the other scales are just modified D scale, which has been helpful to my mind set. Anyone else going through this conversion right now? Thanks in advance!

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OK, you have one topic here in Teaching and Learning, though your topic title was better before I started pushing buttons.


When I got my first three-row, I was ready to finally have those accidentals (I was already working across rows). It was an ergonomic adjustment, however, as the instruments were rather different in size and layout.



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The best tip that I can give you would be to scan through all of the topics in this forum (yes, more than 50 pages since 2003) starting at the beginning and read any topics that appear to be about your concertina, actually any topics that might be remotely interesting.


This will take several days and you will need to bookmark some of the topics for re-reading and further thought.


Then come back and ask specific questions rather than ask an open question that probably needs an entire tutor book to answer. The core members of this group have already answered most questions many times over and I guess they have little interest in repeating themselves again.


I know that this is tedious advice, but it is a worthwhile task to do.


You will also find answers to many questions that you have yet to ask.


Bonus tip: Use Google's advanced search to search these forums rather than the built-in forum search. For example:


cross row teaching learning site:http://www.concertina.net


(Enter this complete string into Google search, I can't seem to stop the forum converting the last bit into a link - which is not what I intended).


might be a good place to start.



Edited by Don Taylor
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I play Anglo (but not in the Irish style) so I can offer some basic non-Irish-specific advice for playing the 3-row. I do play across the rows quite a bit; sometimes to give fluidity to a specific passage, but more often to give access to chords/bass notes that are not available otherwise. A good starting point is to draw up three fingering charts for your instrument - one showing only the notes available on the push, another showing the notes on the draw, and a reference chart showing both. Learn the notes in each direction and apply them to tunes you already know. Pay particular attention to the buttons on the outer row that are reversals of buttons located in the main rows. Work on scales and arpeggios using as many combinations of notes that are available. There is no shortcut to learning the keyboard of the instrument. BTW, there is quite a bit of this that is equally applicable to the 2-row as well.

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I don't know what you expect from here, Dale. Members put quite a bit of effort into answering your question in your other thread and perhaps, as stated by Don Taylor above, they aren't too anxious to re-write answers that already exist. Add to that your pushiness in forcing your other topic and your complete lack of thanks when you got an answer (especially to Stephen Chambers, who put in considerable work researching your poorly-phrased query) and it's no wonder we aren't falling over ourselves to help you with this one.


I may not have the knowledge of Irish concertina techniques to fully answer your question, but I have given you some very valuable advice, which you unfortunately appear to dismiss out of hand. Here's a clue: if you want to learn an instrument, you're going to have to work at it. That includes scales, arpeggios, tunes in different keys, etc. No one here can give you a magic doggie biscuit that will allow you to get results without putting in the grunt work.

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Searching the archives is surely one of the pleasures of arriving at a forum that has been going for years before your arrival. On any given day, there are only maybe 10-20 new posts to read, but past threads are a huge library of information and help. If you only value instant, personalised reponses from people who happen to be present on that day and happen to know something about your topic and happen not to be put off by being treated rudely when they try to help, you're losing out on most of the value.

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Spinningwoman - good post!


DaleR - re-reading your response to those of us who helped you in both of you threads, I shouldn't even be doing this. However, it may be of help to others, so here goes:




This is a chart for a 30-key Lachenal Anglo I used to own. It includes a basic fingering chart, a chart with the octaves color-coded, a chart with duplicate notes color coded, a chart of push notes only, a chart of pull notes only, and a simple (but by no means complete) chart of chords for the left hand.


(edit to fix bad link)

Edited by Marc G. Lamb
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