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The Concertina Diaries


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  • 4 months later...

I'm glad if you're finding "The Concertina Diaries" useful, Ron.


It's selling well to learners around the world as well as in shops and online to Irish concertina learners, and getting great feedback, which is very gratifying.


A couple of days ago, Dick S from the UK emailed me to say "What a treasure this book has proved to be...". Robin T emailed me a short while ago saying: "Progress is being made (albeit slowly) thanks to your really good book. Our local friend Jan S bought one too after hearing about mine,..." And if I might mention Ron: "Just received the Concertina Diaries book and have to say what a great book,I can see a lot of work has gone into this book and it will be so much help to me ,I have other books on the concertina but not a patch on this one."


It's really great when people buying the "Diaries" find it useful. We're just going into the 4th printing; and during the winter I intend to produce a 2nd Edn., which will have material on working the bellows - as important, really, as learning the various button options for a given tune/sequence..


For anyone who is interested, our online website is www.IrishTunebook.com (there are other tunebooks, including "Ten Years of Tunes", which includes 419 (!) tunes in musical notation and in ABC. Many are given in 'sets', which we play out regularly and have stood the test of time. The concertina part of the website includes some additional tunes in the same concertina notation as The Concertina Diaries (plus dots and ABC of course), and notes on various aspects of playing. I intend to add a lot to these downloadable 'extras' in the coming weeks and months.


So: thank you for the comment on concertina.net, which I've only just seen and am grateful for.


Best wishes



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  • 1 month later...
  • 2 months later...

As a complete beginner but having this book I would suggest 28 of the 47 could not be played on a 20 key unless one of your keys happens to be c# which would enable you to play in the key of D.

I rather hope that someone else with more knowledge than I replies or even Heather herself with a difinitive figure.

I do apologise if I am wildly out.

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Thanks for the reply.

I guess that, even if only about half of the tunes are playable it's not a bad idea as I really like the approach on the sample pages. Also, if I take to the instrument, the plan would be to upgrade to more keys in a year or so.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Hi Gorwel


Well, we've corresponded privately on this already, so that you'll know that Craftydab's reply is about spot-on. Really, with the 20-button you stick to tunes in G major (or, for Irish tunes, most in A minor, since 90% of Irish tunes in A minor are in a mode [Dorian] which uses the same notes as G major. C major is also fine, and although not common in Irish music, it's a good key. Following Martin Hayes (fiddle), we often play the jig "Hole in the Hedge" in C, followed by "Cooley's Jig" in G - both of them easy (the first is really easy played along the upper row on the 20-button). You won't find these in The Concertina Diaries, but they're available for free download on our site: http://www.irishtunebook.com/more-tunes.php .


But I think loads of 20-button players will find 'get-arounds' for that missing C#, so don't give up on D!


Thanks very much to all who have posted positively about the tutor. I'm really glad if it's helpful. I think it will suit some people and not others; really important to read the first couple of chapters first before trying out the tunes. AND not to take suggested fingerings as Gospel! The aim of the tutor is to help learners's fingers find their way around the keyboard, and discover that there really are many ways to skin a cat when it comes to playing a tune on a concertina.


I'm always happy to get feedback or suggestions or comments, folks. So if anyone wants to email me, contact me first through the website www.IrishTunebook.com and then we can carry on by exchanging email addresses; I prefer not to put my email address on forums, in order to avoid spam.


Happy playing!

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