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I recently bought a 20-button Anglo concertina and don't know how to play. Can anyone recommend a good beginner book that will teach me the basics and perhaps a few simple songs? Thanks!

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Gary Coover's books are hard to beat. I think they're all technically for 30-button, but most the tunes in Civil War Concertina are playable on a 20 button, and the basic principles in Easy Anglo 1-2-3 will still apply - just skip the pages that say "and this is how to play a C#..."

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SHAMELESS PLUG ALERT! 

 

Hi wags, you'll be able to play 2/3 of everything in Anglo 1-2-3 (since it has tunes for 1-row, 2-row, and then 3-row), and everything in Civil War Concertina (all 60 tunes) can be played on a 20-button.

 

For the other books, most tunes have a "button map" showing which buttons are needed for that particular tune, so it's easy to spot the ones that work for 20-button. And sometimes you can still play the other tunes with a little crafty substitution or omission here and there. 

 

The 20-button is not as limited as you might expect - have fun exploring and learning!

 

Gary

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Thanks Gary—as an author myself I can appreciate shameless plugs. Have put 1-2-3 on my Kindle. Happy playing!

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One question, Gary--are the 20-button concertinas all C/G?

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I would guess that 99% are C/G, but I'm sure others will chime in on this.

 

One thing you might find different from the books is button #6 on the bottom left side - some 20-button instruments have a "D" on the pull instead of an "A" which is found more commonly on 30-button Anglos. Not a major problem but some accompaniments will sound slightly different. "Adapt and overcome"!

 

Gary

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Thanks for the tip, Gary, I'll figure it out. Fortunately, I've played harmonica for 45 years, so maybe that'll be helpful as I learn

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Not to take anything away from Gary's books - they are really, really good.

 

An additional resource that you might want to explore is Alan Day's concertina tutor which teaches you to play the Anglo concertina by ear.  It is a free download that can be found at the bottom of this post.  

 

Don.

 

PS.  I just switched from Dropbox to Google Drive to host these files.  Please let me know if you have any problem finding and downloading the files.

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I used Garys Easy 123 book to learn on my G/D and it was fine, using the tablature.  After one gets the hang of the button patterns you can learn the  "actual" notes to read from dots...

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55 minutes ago, wags said:

Thanks Don, but I can't get these to open

Dang! 

 

Ok, I will work on that and get back to you.

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9 hours ago, Don Taylor said:

Dang! 

 

Ok, I will work on that and get back to you.

I made some changes to the file organization so that the downloads should now work from Google Drive. 

 

Wags has successfully downloaded the files. 

 

It anyone else has problems downloading these files then please let me know and tell me the details of the failure.

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1 hour ago, Don Taylor said:

I made some changes to the file organization so that the downloads should now work from Google Drive. 

 

Wags has successfully downloaded the files. 

 

It anyone else has problems downloading these files then please let me know and tell me the details of the failure.

I just downloaded the collection and #1 played as expected, on a Windows Surface tablet.

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On 4/19/2019 at 2:09 AM, wags said:

One question, Gary--are the 20-button concertinas all C/G?

 

As long as you’re playing for your own enjoyment or progressing any 20b with a different pair of keys can be treated like a C/G - the tune will just sound at a lower (or even higher) pitch.

 

I have myself a C/G and a Bb/F, and in my own playing it’s no difference at all.

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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