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Hello Everyone,


This is my first post.


My name is Gavin. I live near Derby and I'm also a member of an exclusive drinking club . . . . the Ripley morris men.


I only acquired my first concertina about two weeks ago.


If I'm honest, it was an impulse purchase and I didn't put too much thought into it . . . . . I suppose I was just feeling saucy and extravagant, on the day.


I play the melodeon usually and I left my Wife and children on the beach, at Sidmouth, while I went to "look around". My departing words to her were "I probably won't buy anything" though in truth there was a Hohner Liliput that I was interested in.


In short, after playing the Liliput I just thought that I've already got quite a few melodeons that I really like already and Eb / Bb didn't seem particularly useful but . . . . . in the corner, I happened to notice a 26 key Lachenal G/C anglo.


Even though I'd never picked up a concertina before I was still a bit embarrassed when it was pointed out to me that I was holding it upside-down . . . . with the air button on the left. Honestly . . . where else would it be ? ?


Anyway, I had a rudimentary look - there were no silent reeds, sticking buttons and the bellows seemed quite tight and free of damage / wear . . . . and so I bought it.


Two weeks later . . . . I've got to be honest it's proving to be more of a challenge than the melodeon ever was. Though that was quite a long time ago.


The playing is a challenge - particularly learning where all of the chords are and even getting a tune out. Then there's the issue as to which side of the concertina do I play the melody on ? The "G row" is mega squeaky on the right side bottom end so if I play on the left where do I play the accompaniment ? etc . . . .


I'd be very glad of any tips / advice. Tho' I daresay that these basic questions have been asked a million times by new people in the past.


The box is a bit of a challenge too - despite the fact that it doesn't seem "leaky" it definitely feels "air hungry". I was wondering if this is normal behaviour for concertinas in general ? Melodeon bellows do have a bigger capacity after all . . . . or is it just my particular box ?


It has been suggested to me that the reeds may simply require more air to drive them. As far as I've read Lachenal concertinas were considered to be "budget boxes" when they were made, only now they're older. If that's true then I wouldn't expect the reeds to be the brilliant.


I'm sure there are plenty of people who own concertinas like mine. Please can anyone tell me - do they all behave like that or does mine require some maintenance ?


Regards and Thanks All,




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Hi, Mike Wilkinson from Dolphin MM here. You have a good Anglo player in Ripley MM, but don't tell him I said so. :P He should be able to help you.


Although you would say D/G melodeon, you would normally say C/G concertina, because the rows on an Anglo are a 5th apart whereas the rows on a melodeon are a 4th apart. (That is, on the Anglo, the nearest row to your fingers is higher in pitch, which is the opposite of the melodeon.)


You will find it a challenge. I used to be able to knock a tune out of a Melodeon but I stopped soon after I began Anglo.


Some pointers:


Melody mainly on the right hand.


Chords and bass note accompaniment almost exclusively on the left hand.


Start off playing in C, and learn to cross the rows. There are several routes through the keyboard to get the C major scale. The most obvious across the row scale is:


C - F on the C row (in out in out) 4 notes, 3 buttons, followed by

G - C on the G row (also in out in out) also 4 notes 3 buttons


Second one to learn is

C-G on the C row (in out in out in) 5 notes, 3 buttons, followed by

A-C on the G row (out in out) 3 notes, 2 buttons.


Another useful shortcut is

C-A on the C row (in out in out in out) 6 notes, 4 buttons, followed by

B on the G row (in) 1 note only, followed by

C on the C row (in) 1 note only.


Try to break away from the oom pah oom pah melodeon style accompaniment as soon as possible. You can break up chords, play arpeggios, and simply play octaves.


Playing octaves in practice scales is a good discipline. It helps you to become used to the way that the draw notes are offset on the higher octave (like the higher octave on a melodeon).


A nice easy way of vamping a chord is to play notes 1 and 5 together then to fill in the 3rd. Open fifths can sound good used in moderation.


When you are confident in C, start to play a few tunes in G. You shouldn't try just to transfer the fingering, because you have different options for the accompaniment if you cross the row. Remember that apart form the F/F# all of the notes appear on both of the main rows.


Crossing the row in G enables you to go further down the scale below the tonic before the melody reaches the left hand. Therefore, tunes that go below the tonic often fit better in G if you want to add an accompaniment.

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Ha ! ! Hello Mike,


It's a small world !


Where are Dolphin dancing tonight ? We're at the White Hart in Bargate . . . .


It's our Squire's pub tour but he's on holiday and I've got to take the bloody sticks . . . . Grrrrrrr.


I think the last time we met I was gallivanting about, dressed as a pantomime horse, up at the Cliff in Crich.


Anyway, yes thank you for the tips - I'll crack on with those and give them a go.


It's odd really picking up another instrument. When you haven't got a clue as to what to do with it these tips make a huge difference.


I've even ordered a tutorial book off of the Amazon machine. Though, I can't say that I'm particularly keen on them.


I was going to ask Malcolm but I don't like to bother people too much. Though he did have a look at my instrument last week . . . .


Thanks for your reply Mike.


All the best,



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Closed season for Dolphin. I hoe you had a good evening. Search YouTube for a channel called "Angloconc" or my own channel, Mikefule. both show some Anglo tunes in the chromatic style.

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