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G/d 20 Button Anglo


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Hi Everyone,


I bought my first concertina this fall and this site has been very helpful. Thank you.


I'm working on 3/4 time tunes, mainly English ones. I can play melodies, but find chords very challenging. I've read 'Faking it' but need more help.


Is anyone familiar with the 'Anglo Concertina Tutor Book' by Pip Ives? There is also the 'Anglo Concertina Course' from the Concertina Academy, but I couldn't find which key it is for.


Am I correct in thinking that which key the tutor is written for is very important to a new learner with very little musical experience?


Would these books be helpful to a new learner?


Thank you.


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The Pip Ives book barely touches on chords at all, it is mostly a book of melodies with no harmonies.


You can use other tutors written for C/G and just pretend that you have a C/G concertina, you use the same fingering but you sound a fifth lower. Everything works but some tunes might sound a bit low. That includes the Faking It stuff - where Roger says play a C chord, you press the same buttons but sound a G chord, same for the other chords: you finger an F but sound a C, and fingering a G sounds a D. But the sounded chords are all in the correct relationship to each other. John Mock (look him up on YouTube) is a professional session musician in Nashville and he plays multiple Anglo boxes but he notates everything he plays as if it was a C/G box.


Take a look at Gary Coover's tutor (Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style), he has most of his tunes up on YouTube played on a C/G box, but he uses a tab notation that works for any box. With a bit of technical jiggery-pokery you can capture the audio from YouTube videos and then run them through transposing software to hear what they sound like in G/D.


You can use www.video2mp3.net to capture audio to an .mp3 file. I have been using Transcribe! to play an .mp3 file and transpose it to a different key, but I think that the free, open source program called Audacity will do it too. Also, maybe the Amazing Slow Downer?


Another option would be to take Skype lessons from Jody Kruskal - he teaches and plays the G/D concertina in the harmonic style.

See: http://jodykruskal.com/concertina_lessons.html


edit: correct spelling of Jody Kruskal, sorry about that.


edit2: Sorry, I missed that you said 20 button in the title. Pip Ives book assumes 30 buttons as do most other recent tutors. Gary Coover mentions his Civil War (20B) Concertina in a later post in this thread. Another 20 button tutor would be Alan Day's tutor which can be found at:



Alan's tutor consists mostly of audio files played on a C/G concertina so you will need to transpose each of them down by a fifth (7 semitones) to match your box. You can do this with Audacity but this will also make Alan's voice sound strange!

Edited by Don Taylor
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Since you have a 20-button instrument, "Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style" will only help you with a few tunes since it is mostly geared to the 30-button Anglo.


However, if you're interested in chords and harmonies, all 60 tunes in "Civil War Concertina" will fit on a 20-button Anglo. They're written for the C/G, but the button numbering and tablature would be the same for G/D, so everything will just sound a fifth lower for you. All the tunes are posted on YouTube, so give them a listen and see if there are any that interest you. The "Look Inside" feature in Amazon will also give you a sneak peak at some of the tunes so you can try some of them for free.


Before I wrote the book I thought the 20-button was really limited - what a pleasant surprise to find out how much could be played on just two rows!



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You could also look at 'Absolute Beginner's Concertina' by Mick Bramich. I've found it quite

useful, though I don't know what the experts in this forum might think of it.


He has a second book (title escapes me) which is geared towards 30-button instruments.



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