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Playing in sessions is really good practice for playing in time. Sit on the edge of the session and play quietly (not always easy with a concertina). Don't worry about playing all the notes, but concentrate on playing the "strong" notes in the tune and keeping up with the others. As you get more confident you'll be able to fill in more notes until you find you're playing the whole tune.


A common problem with novices is that they struggle to fit all the notes in, and this holds up their playing. I actually think its more important to keep the pace and rhythm going than trying to play all the notes. At a more advanced level, you find players struggling to add ornamentation which holds up the tune. Concentrate on getting the basics right, and you can add in more as your level of ability increases.


This is great advice. It'll help you to start keeping in time, and is a great way to start to pick up tunes by ear, too! The most difficult thing about learning to play an instrument is stepping into that group thing, where everyone is going to carry on whatever you've just done. Learning how to keep up (this includes dropping out til you recognise where you are, or playing only the occasional note or short phrase each time you hear it) is so hard! At home the temptation is always to stop and put your mistake right, or go back to the beginning, but some practice sessions at home should include "carrying on with the rhythm regardless of what notes you're playing", maybe the metronome or playing along with the CD can help here (and I should take my own advice! :lol: ).

All the best


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I've been somewhat successful at playing along with MIDi files. There is nothing reasonably close where I can go. It has the added advantage of displaying the music in front of me. Sometimes I can only follow only with my eyes, and catch up when my eyes and fingers get back coordinated.




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I don't know if this is usable or even helpful, but:


I noted by coincidence that placing my ears in the near-field of the speakers (?!) and playing along was a real kick!


Let me make myself more clear (or ridiculous): to be in the near-field off laptop speakers, requires that your nose is basically between "G" and "H" on the keyboard. This makes playing very difficult - the instrument is under the table...


But you can achieve the same effect if you use (not head phones - too much isolation), but small ear phones, like you have with iPods and MP3 players. They leak sufficiently and allows you you to adjust the balance between yourself and the tune optimally.


Dependent on your level and the tune, you will need to some way of slowing down the tune and of course it is no use if you are trying to pick your way through it the first few times.


But do wait until wives and partners are out shopping, or else... :D


But seriously - it can have the well-known session effect: You find yourself carried away, and playing things you didn't really thought you could.


Around here, I am known for having a screw loose and family members no longer react to the fact that I seem to be writing a letter with my nose :lol:



Give it go - but don't say you haven't been warned -




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