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Tricks Of The Trade For Beginners


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Regarding the EC, Bullethead said: "Just remember that in the treble clef, the lines of the staff are the left buttons and the spaces are the right buttons, and you're golden." Beautiful stuff, that. T

 

Regarding the Anglo, does anyone have any "magic bullet" gems to share with us beginners? I've got one:

When figuring out fingering, make sure you don't have sequential notes that make you have to jump a finger from one button to the next.

 

I look forward to your gems!

 

Thanks!

 

Christine

 

 

 

 

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Still very much a beginner, but things that have helped my playing:

 

1. Learn to play a melody in octaves on both sides of the instrument, both along the row and across them. Not only does it get both hands working, but it sounds surprisingly good, both for entire tunes and for occasional embellishments.

 

2. Learn to separate the rhythms on the left and right hands, so you are not always playing in unison. Merrill's Harmonic Method (available on archive.org) has some great beginner-level exercises for this.

 

3. When playing in C, the E/F button under your left middle finger almost always harmonizes nicely. :-)

 

(I am aware that 1 and 2 are kind of contradictory, but being able to play both in unison and not has made my playing much more flexible and interesting.)

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If we're talking 3 rows, discover, use, and get used to the reversals on the top row as soon as possible. That applies to both ITM and harmonic style playing. Opens up much greater fingering possibilities.

 

My 10c worth of magic :rolleyes:

I'll take all the magic I can get. Thanks, Malcom!

Christine

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Still very much a beginner, but things that have helped my playing:

 

1. Learn to play a melody in octaves on both sides of the instrument, both along the row and across them. Not only does it get both hands working, but it sounds surprisingly good, both for entire tunes and for occasional embellishments.

 

2. Learn to separate the rhythms on the left and right hands, so you are not always playing in unison. Merrill's Harmonic Method (available on archive.org) has some great beginner-level exercises for this.

 

3. When playing in C, the E/F button under your left middle finger almost always harmonizes nicely. :-)

 

(I am aware that 1 and 2 are kind of contradictory, but being able to play both in unison and not has made my playing much more flexible and interesting.)

Thank you, MJ. #1 would not have occurred to me at all. But I can see how it could be helpful, too, in overly loud sessions at the pub.

#2 is certainly something to work toward. And (yeah), #3. It's good to have a magic bullet for chords.

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If we're talking 3 rows...get used to the reversals on the top row as soon as possible....Opens up much greater fingering possibilities.

 

Could you clarify what you mean by 'reversals'? I think I know what you mean, and I'm working out

such alternative fingering possibilities right now, but just to be sure...

 

Thank you.

 

Roger

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If we're talking 3 rows...get used to the reversals on the top row as soon as possible....Opens up much greater fingering possibilities.

 

Could you clarify what you mean by 'reversals'? I think I know what you mean, and I'm working out

such alternative fingering possibilities right now, but just to be sure...

 

 

On the (often misnamed) accidental row on the left hand end of a 3 row C/G , there is a button that plays the same notes as the middle button of the G row, but A push/G pull instead of G push/A pull, hence the term "reversal".

 

A similar, but higher pitched G/A reversal also appears on the right hand side, but the position of the G and the A on the accidental row can vary according to whether your concertina has Wheatstone/Lachenal or Jeffries fingering. And of course, on the right, the G and the A notes on the G row are on different buttons too. However, they should be easy enough to find....

 

Why use reversals? Firstly, playing a note in the opposite bellows direction can often help greatly in achieving a smoothness to a phrase. And secondly, if you play in a harmonic style, it will often assist in achieving a chordal accompaniment that may not be available in the bellows direction usually needed for the melody line.

 

Hope that makes sense and help, Roger.

 

 

 

As an aside, I have heard two well known and respected teachers, one Irish and the other English, use the words "magic buttons" rather than "reversals"; both claim to have invented the term, which I just managed to avoid using in my previous post....but I think that their importance is indicative by the use of the "m" word....

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Hope that makes sense and help, Roger.

 

It certainly does! Thank you very much indeed!

 

I hadn't formally quantified these duplicated notes in my own mind and your clear explanation has

'forced' me to do this - not before time.

 

I was 'aware' of these duplicated notes on the accidental row in an informal way but haven't yet

started exploiting them fully because at the moment, being still very much a beginner, I'm focussing

on the C-row and those duplicated notes which can be found on the accidental & G-rows which

make for 'easier' fingering.

 

For example, using the accidental row (a) to duplicate notes on the C-row (c) :

 

aL2^/aL2 = cL1/cL1^

aR2^ = cR3

 

and using the G-row (g) to duplicate notes on the C-row:

 

gL2/gL2^ = cR1^/cR1

gL1/gL1^ = cR2^/cR2

gR2^/gR2 = cR4^/cR5^ (I guess this one is a 'half-reversal'?)

 

all of these except the last are, I think, reversals in the sense you are using the term.

 

I don't think I duplicated your examples and I hope I got them right (I used a C/G with a slightly

non-standard layout to do the above, but it should be correct for a standard layout?).

 

I don't think it has been explicitly mentioned in this thread so far but the C-row notes which are

duplicated in the G-row and which are not reversals are very handy for those of us whose pinkie

is not nimble enough to easily stretch to the R5 button on the C-row. I'm finding that sequences

of notes on the 'high' end of the RH C-row can often be just as easily played on the G-row...

 

Maybe this is obvious to many of the experts who frequent this forum, but the OP asked for hints,

and when I twigged these duplications, it was a revelation to me, and helped me advance my

playing skills from very, very bad to a much improved very bad. Perhaps it's time to share...

 

I hope my 'shorthand' is clear - it's pretty similar to the one used on the Australian Bush Music

site.

 

Roger

Edited by lachenal74693
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For Jeffries duet players: turn brain inside out. Repeat. :lol:

 

Joking aside, on any of the layouts I'd say get practising scales in more remote keys early on -- don't just stick to C, G, D and F. It will really help you internalise the whole of your instrument's keyboard.

Scales, yes. Ugh. But yes. Thank you.

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If we're talking 3 rows...get used to the reversals on the top row as soon as possible....Opens up much greater fingering possibilities.

 

Could you clarify what you mean by 'reversals'? I think I know what you mean, and I'm working out

such alternative fingering possibilities right now, but just to be sure...

 

 

On the (often misnamed) accidental row on the left hand end of a 3 row C/G , there is a button that plays the same notes as the middle button of the G row, but A push/G pull instead of G push/A pull, hence the term "reversal".

 

A similar, but higher pitched G/A reversal also appears on the right hand side, but the position of the G and the A on the accidental row can vary according to whether your concertina has Wheatstone/Lachenal or Jeffries fingering. And of course, on the right, the G and the A notes on the G row are on different buttons too. However, they should be easy enough to find....

 

Why use reversals? Firstly, playing a note in the opposite bellows direction can often help greatly in achieving a smoothness to a phrase. And secondly, if you play in a harmonic style, it will often assist in achieving a chordal accompaniment that may not be available in the bellows direction usually needed for the melody line.

 

Hope that makes sense and help, Roger.

 

 

 

As an aside, I have heard two well known and respected teachers, one Irish and the other English, use the words "magic buttons" rather than "reversals"; both claim to have invented the term, which I just managed to avoid using in my previous post....but I think that their importance is indicative by the use of the "m" word....

 

Using reversals when planning fingerings is a good tip indeed! This gem has already made itself useful when I planned fingerings for "The Old Favourite". Thank you.

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