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New to English Concertina

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Hi All,


Just wanted to introduce myself.  Ive just inherited a Jack English Concertina and coming from a music background (Guitar/Keys/Violin) I have managed to familiarize myself with the button layout and learned a few basic melodies (london's Burning/In the Bleak mid Winter)

Ive had a look at teaching resources and found that it is much harder to find English instruction over Anglo.

Does anyone have any advice on where to find more English based tuition and am I limited in having an English.  I was hoping to learn sea shanties and english folk tunes, is the English suitable for this.


Sorry for all the questions.


Many Thanks



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Welcome aboard! It helps us give advice/locate help for you if you tell us where in the world you are located (or add it to your profile, in which case it will appear by your name). There is a lot of info we can show you.



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I started here: http://www.alistairanderson.com/cds/2008-concertina-workshop.htm

It's especially good if you read music, which I guess you probably do.


I got part way through the book, then went to sight-reading starting at random points in O'Neills Music of Ireland: http://www.oldmusicproject.com/oneils1.html

That's something I still do to keep up my sight-reading ability. There are similar books available for the music you want to learn, though inevitably smaller in number of tunes than O'Neill. 🙂


When you start to feel familiar with where things are on the instrument (and in spite of what you think now, there will come a time where you can dive for a button that's far away, and hit it) then playing by ear will have become more comfortable.


The next step is to listen to what your favorite players do, and try to do that.

Edited by mdarnton

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Hi Stu,


English concertina is fine for what you want. I play trad tunes and songs and find EC great for this. The thing to watch for when playing tunes is that you attack the notes quickly and also take your finger off sharply so that the notes are clear and well separated. Not doing this tends to smear the melody and then the tune lacks definition; this is what gets EC a bad name when players do not take care.


I second mdarnton's recommendation of Alistair Andersons workshop.





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