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Playing Anglo As Well As English

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Dear Concertinists!


After playing for years on an Anglo, I am considering to buy a simple English concerina. However I am a little bit unsure about this. I am afraid that this could be confusing and could affect my level of Anglo playing.

Am I right?? Do you have experience with this??


please tell me!


Thanks in advance


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Of all the concertina players I know, only John Roberts seems to have mastered both systems, but I suspect another English playing friend of learning Anglo on the sly.


Peter -- I must disagree. The attitude of limited time limits everything. Play for todayand don't fret about what follows. It is only "play" after all -- Tom

Edited by Tom Hall
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I am afraid that [learning English] could be confusing and could affect my level of Anglo playing.


Would you worry that learning fiddle or mandolin would adversely affect your banjo or guitar playing? Same sort of thing. They're really completely different instruments.

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I agree with JujmLucas. I myself have played Anglo for a little over 2 years, and in the past few months have been learning English from the Roger Watson book. (I don't recommend that book for everyone, but that's another subject).


So, I can tell you from experience that you will not confuse the two. They are two very different instruments. The way they are gripped is very different. The way you play scales is different, and I guess I am not adding anything new here other than what has been written.


Well, I do say, go ahead and give it a shot, and enjoy it. On the English, when it comes to playing just melodies (without chord accompanyment) it becomes really easy to sight-read in a short time. Soon it becomes easy to play melodies in different key signitures too.


As for me, as soon as I finish the Roger Watson book (I like to finish something I've started and I'm on the last song), I will stop focus on the English and I have decided that I'm not going to spend money on an expensive one. I am going to focus on MacAnn Duet. (I recently bought one from Barleycorn and so far have just been practicing my scales). I do not consider my brief affair with the English to be a waste of time at all.


- Alex C. Jones

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Danger - I was a confirmed anglo player for decades until I went over to the opposition. Since taking to English, I have never played my anglo so little.

BUT - different boxes for different music - the traditions don't always mix on both instruments.

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Though I've not (yet) learned any concertina system other than anglo fluently, from my own point of view I'd recommend learning as many different instruments as time allows, of whatever sort. Your "main instrument" may end up varying a lot though :D


In my experience, the whole process gets easier with every new fingering system you learn, and cross-pollinates your playing right across the board, rather than being confusing (although I confess I quite often forget what fingering I should be using when I've tuned my guitar to some daft open-string tuning). Certainly both my articulation on piano and my rhythm guitar playing have benefited no end from new perspectives gained from playing Anglo.


Not sure what my point was, but hope this helps. :)


Cheers all


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I added English two years ago to my Anglo and one-row BA playing. It is great fun and I enjoy it. No confusion at all, it is just a different instrument. Duets, watch out, you're next. Of course practice time is limited and rationed, so progress is not exactly fast!


Don't let apprehensions about confusion stop you (though I'm glad I was well past beginner on anglo, I think that was crucial). Apprehensions about time and money...that's another matter.



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Yep..I play both too. I've never found ANY confusion between the two.Where I get confused is trying to relearn tunes on the melodeon where I've learnt them one way and I'm trying to re-learn them with different fingering for a different bass..I find that REALLY difficult !!

I said earlier in the week ,in the duet post,that I think my anglo playing has improved because I was playing another instrument (a duet).

However, my suspicion is that I would be a much better player if I had stuck to one instrument.........its just that life is too short not to try every kind of concertina.

Regards Robin

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