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Hello all! I am new to the forum and to the english concertina. I've been playing for almost two weeks now. When I'm not working through a tutor book I have come to really enjoy practicing modal scales. It is really helping me to become more acquainted with the notes on the instrument.

 

Anyone else use modal scales during their practices? What other exercises would you suggest for a concertina beginner?

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One of the most important aspects of playing music is Timing. Rhythm, gait, measure... whatever you call it, can be a problem on the Engish Keyboard. The reason being that the instrument has no 'built in' rhythm aspect and the gammut being divided across both hands can cause extra problems. Therefore I suggest , right at the begining, to be aware of this problem and use your fingers and Bellows to emphasize rhythm. Keep the beat in your head, or tap your foot and be very carefull not to noodle out melodies.

 

Play scales, yes all of those that your instrument will allow and try to play scales in octaves ( or/and other intervals) which will embed the keyboard layout more quickly into your memory.

 

Good luck with your new venture,

Geoff.

Edited by Geoff Wooff
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Jeff, I've been playing almost 4 months now and I'm about half way through the Frank Butler tutor (the tunes are getting harder as he adds more complex fingering but it's a great tutor). For each of my practice sessions I mix in some exercises from the Salvation Army tutor pages 15, 17, 19, and 27. These exercises cover scales, thirds, sixth, and triplets. Then I make an attempt at playing one (or two) tunes from Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook (the slow, easy ones). If there's any time left I grab a fake-book and try to work through a song with lots of sharps & flats...still sounds very ugly but a little less ugly than yesterday.

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One of the most important aspects of playing music is Timing. Rhythm, gait, measure... whatever you call it, can be a problem on the Engish Keyboard. The reason being that the instrument has no 'built in' rhythm aspect and the gammut being divided across both hands can cause extra problems. Therefore I suggest , right at the begining, to be aware of this problem and use your fingers and Bellows to emphasize rhythm. Keep the beat in your head, or tap your foot and be very carefull not to noodle out melodies.Play scales, yes all of those that your instrument will allow and try to play scales in octaves ( or/and other intervals) which will embed the keyboard layout more quickly into your memory.Good luck with your new venture,Geoff.

Thank you for the advice. Bellow control is definitely a must for me to practice. Being primarily a stringed instrument player, bellow control is probably my biggest challenge.

 

It would be interesting to know what style(s) of music particularly attract Jeff CA, and whether he considered an Anglo before opting for an English.

I was debating the two for a while and decided to go with the english. I like the idea of having the chromatic system.

Jeff, I've been playing almost 4 months now and I'm about half way through the Frank Butler tutor (the tunes are getting harder as he adds more complex fingering but it's a great tutor). For each of my practice sessions I mix in some exercises from the Salvation Army tutor pages 15, 17, 19, and 27. These exercises cover scales, thirds, sixth, and triplets. Then I make an attempt at playing one (or two) tunes from Paul Hardy's Session Tunebook (the slow, easy ones). If there's any time left I grab a fake-book and try to work through a song with lots of sharps & flats...still sounds very ugly but a little less ugly than yesterday.

 

Thanks for listing the different tutors. I'll be sure to check those out! Edited by JeffCA
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Being primarily a stringed instrument player, bellow control is probably my biggest challenge.

 

As a former string instrument player (cello), I found that use of bellows for phrasing on EC came very naturally - I use the bellows much as I would a bow, with change of direction between phrases.

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Jeff, instead of "controlling" the bellows, I'd suggest thinking more about using the bellows to breath life into the tune.

 

It's good to use tutors to learn about the button-pushing aspect of when and where, but the magic happens when you're confident enough with the buttons to be able to mix the subtleties of button timing and bellows action. Doesn't happen overnight, but with time and practice and lots of listening and experimenting you'll get there!

 

Gary

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try this for practice

 

Yikes! That piece looks frightful plus I see double-sharps sprinkled about. He's only been playing for two weeks ! :lol:

 

So...start slow, methodical, and make pleny of mistakes. In 3-6 months it will be second nature.

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Jeff, instead of "controlling" the bellows, I'd suggest thinking more about using the bellows to breath life into the tune.

 

It's good to use tutors to learn about the button-pushing aspect of when and where, but the magic happens when you're confident enough with the buttons to be able to mix the subtleties of button timing and bellows action. Doesn't happen overnight, but with time and practice and lots of listening and experimenting you'll get there!

 

Gary

 

Thank you for the insight. I can see, depending on how one looks it, bellow control can become more of a mechanical operation rather than feeling your way through the music.

 

 

 

try this for practice

 

Yikes! That piece looks frightful plus I see double-sharps sprinkled about. He's only been playing for two weeks ! :lol:

So...start slow, methodical, and make pleny of mistakes. In 3-6 months it will be second nature.

Looks fun! I've played in orchestral settings before so the music doesn't look too intimidating. But for the concertina.....just a little bit haha

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