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mike_s

Music Genres-Concertina Type?

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Posted (edited)

I am sure I could get the answer to my question by spending a bunch of time searching around the web, but figured the expedient solution lay in the “expert” opinions I’d get here.  I’ve started on the Anglo now for the second time in the hope of being able to play some tunes at an ITM session at some point.  I’ve taken a few lessons and am attending the Noel Hill school next week.  However, my learning seems to be paralleling other instruments I attempt to play (for example I’ve played mandolin for about 10 years and can only play one tune at session speed.  At the tender age of 71, my fingers just are not as nimble as they used to be.  So.......tempo is a big issue (I practice with a metronome).  By tempo, I’m talking speed.  Now for the question.  If I regroup, and decide to just play at home for personal enjoyment (the main thing anyway as the local sessions occur 2-3 times a month), would I be better served switching to English, Duet, or another and what genres are those best suited, and which may be better for harmony/accompaniment?

 

Hopefully this makes sense.

 

Thanks, Mike

Edited by mike_s
Typos

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Hi, I would say the duet is probably the most versatile but I play English and find that it is well suited to any genre from classical to Irish (if you punch the latter up with some bellows movement). It has same chromatic range as a violin and violin as well as mandolin music is well suited o it. It is probably the best of all for complex chording and it works well with simply chords for singing along.

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I'm starting to play a bit more of an accordion style on English and happy with that. I wouldn't mind a tenor-treble for the extra few notes, but I'm doing OK. A piano accordion keyboard goes one note lower, to F, so I'm not feeling cheated yet. I never considered Anglo because I have habitually played all sorts of music, including violin parts in quartets, and currently I'm into Finnish waltzes and polkas. Duet would have been a choice, but I didn't know about that when I got my first concertina 40 years ago. Another thing that drew me to the English was the equal division of labor between hands because I was never a fast player on any instrument and thought that might be good for speed, and that did prove to work out well.

 

Relevant to age and speed: I played actively through the start of the 90s, then stopped. I have just started up again, several months ago. I'm 69. I was worried about my speed, which was pathetic, but I have been practicing between 30 minutes and two hours a day, and noticed recently that my speed kicked up quite a bit without my having noticed or tested it, when I ripped through a couple of scales at . . . . unfamiliar. . .  speed. I think that is mainly because I am practicing more then I every used to. My flexibility is also WAY up beyond whaat it ever was. So, practice more, longer, and don't give up.

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Hi Mike, if you‘re inclined to try out the English: go for it, it‘s a wonderful instrument (from folk to baroque and anything) and capable of a harmonisation both rich and subtle...

 

In any event, best wishes - 🐺

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15 hours ago, mike_s said:

...

Now for the question.  If I regroup, and decide to just play at home for personal enjoyment (the main thing anyway as the local sessions occur 2-3 times a month), would I be better served switching to English, Duet, or another and what genres are those best suited, and which may be better for harmony/accompaniment?

Lots of other genres than ITM are played on Anglo. 

Since you are already familiar with the Anglo why not explore these? I'm not convinced you're better served switching to another system.

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18 hours ago, mike_s said:

what genres are those best suited

 

I tend to think that the instrument you play is the instrument best suited to play whatever genre you want to play.

 

I play a german 20 button concertina, and I play (always with harmonies) french chansons like "Non, je ne regrette rien", Seekers-songs from the 60's, medieval sequentiae & conductus, movie soundtracks (e. g. Pirates of the Caribbean) or techno hits from the 90's like "Barbie Girl" form Aqua &c. Let not the instrument decide what you play, but let the instrument play what you decide to play. :)

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Posted (edited)

A long  time player of the English, using it for any genre  that came my way, I've also  dabbled with two Duet keyboards  BUT  I have to say  that in 50 years involvement with the concertina  I have seen more people  get on  well and quickly  and play  fine music  on the  Anglo  than the other  types.

 

Ok that is a sweeping statement  and perhaps  it  is  because I have come across more Anglo  players,  they  certainly are numerous  in ITM  circles.  At  the age of 71  and starting again  on the Anglo,  most of us  could  not  expect  to achieve  a  high standard  of playing.  I  began  learning the Chromatic  Button Accordion  at 64  and  I know  I'll  never reach a high standard  with it but    taking new adventures  adds   spice  to living  and I have stuck with it  through the  first  difficult  years. Enjoying the journey  is what it's all about.

 

If I were you I'd keep going with the Anglo!

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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11 minutes ago, Geoff Wooff said:

If I were you I'd keep going with the Anglo!

 

I guess that depends. If Mike should feel uncomfortable with the Anglo or is looking for the boost of a new beginning, he might well switch to the English, or Duet..., or at least give another system a try...

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16 hours ago, mdarnton said:

and currently I'm into Finnish waltzes and polkas.

 

The English is great for Nordic music - much of the fiddle repertoire goes well on the EC. 

Myself I use a TT Aeola and play many different varieties of polska, as well as Finnish waltzes (and the odd Finnish tango).

If you're into Nordic music, take a look at the Nordic Tunes thread.

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55 minutes ago, Wolf Molkentin said:

 

I guess that depends. If Mike should feel uncomfortable with the Anglo or is looking for the boost of a new beginning, he might well switch to the English, or Duet..., or at least give another system a try...

Wolf,  I'm taking the  feeling that  Mike wishes to succeed  with the Anglo... or perhaps he is asking  the question  " Is there a music  that would suit me  better  than ITM ?".... In that case,' the world is your oyster' .  

 

For an easier path  to enjoying music making  generally, I suggest the   Wicki/Hayden  Duet....  by far  the simplest  to get  started  on....though  I think complex music   is just as difficult  on it as on any  keyboard.

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5 minutes ago, Geoff Wooff said:

complex music   is just as difficult  on it as on any  keyboard

 

wise words definitely, Geoff!

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Thank you all for the thoughtful replies.  This is my second try at the Anglo having failed miserably the first time.  I have a much better instrument this time. When I decided to start up again, I didn’t consider other systems for no good reason. I think my plan is to attend the Noel Hill school next week and if that goes OK probably just keep on with the Anglo-maybe add in some pirate music for variety. If the school goes poorly, I may rent an English from the Button Box and see if I like that better.   Thanks again for the replies.

 

Mike

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I live in the West suburban area of Portland, Oregon,  and have been playing English  concertina for a few weeks. There have been some challenges of course,  but I am having a lot of fun. I only wish I had made the leap sooner. 

 

Good luck with your decision. 

 

Best wishes, 

 

David 

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