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frogspawn

Balance of C/G vs G/D Anglos in English sessions?

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9 hours ago, Mikefule said:

 I learn tunes on Anglo with carefully worked out arrangements

A session isn't really the place for complex arrangements. The cacophony you describe can be minimised where all the players are used to listening to what other players are doing and are adept at adapting their own playing in response.  However you have to be lucky to find a session where all the players can do this.  Admittedly, even then if there are too many players it is difficult to avoid clashes and misunderstandings.

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1 hour ago, hjcjones said:

A session isn't really the place for complex arrangements. 

I agree.  This is one of several reasons why I tend not to play in big sessions.

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9 hours ago, Mikefule said:

...more satisfaction and sometimes more musicality, in playing in D on the GD.  It's harder work, but it

introduces some harmonic options and a different way of thinking about a tune....

 

8 hours ago, hjcjones said:

...The cacophony you describe can be minimised where all the players are used to listening to what

other players are doing...even then if there are too many players it is difficult to avoid clashes and

misunderstandings.

 

My italics.

 

I only started playing in a session regularly at the start of 2019, and the other folks commenting in

this thread are far better players than I am (or ever will be). The session numbers vary wildly - I've

seen as few as 7 and as many as 20+ (which, as a newcomer to the game, I find really daunting).

 

Both the above observations are spot on. I've recently started to play much more on the D-row, which

is more demanding - the most difficult bit is actually remembering that the D-row is there, and

over-riding the 'memory' of the G-row version I'm used to playing. It's also true that a session with a

smaller number of participants seems to allow space/time to approach the music with a little more

thought than if I've an X-ist(*) and  a Y-ist(*) going at full volume in my left and right ear'oles. I really

look forward to the session having fewer attendees, which may be a bit selfish, but is certainly more

beneficial for my playing. 

 

(*)Insert instrument of choice...

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Numbers and acoustics can be important, but in my experience the most important factor is attitude. There’s a big session I go to at a particular festival which is usually excellent but one day a show-off fiddler turned up who tried to dominate the whole room. Happily the MC put him in his place.

 

In contrast, at a certain squeezebox session I could easily get to on a regular basis, everyone seems to play as fast and as loud as they possibly can...

 

I currently play mandolin in Old Time / Bluegrass sessions. Strings are, of course, not as loud as boxes but there also seems to be a different attitude, e.g. banjo players actually use things to muffle their own volume.

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Thanks to everyone for your responses which strongly point to a G/D for English sessions. My first concertina was an Anglo but then I went down the Crane route...

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One thing puzzles me. If the G/D, played harmonically, is the instrument of choice for English sessions, why aren't there any tutors for that?

 

I understand Pip Ives' book is for G/D tuning but addresses only melody playing. Otherwise everything seems C/G orientated and requires some degree of translation.

 

Whilst I appreciate that a G/D can be played as a transposing instrument, it becomes very confusing when you want to follow new scores in the real world keys.

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9 hours ago, frogspawn said:

...I understand Pip Ives' book is for G/D tuning but addresses only melody playing...

 

Pip Ives' book was mentioned earlier in this thread. I can't find a complete 'review'.

Anyone have any further comments 4+ years down the road?

Edited by lachenal74693

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Although I've owned but never really played G/D Anglo, I've tried with little success to find someone willing to author a tutor that I'd be interested in publishing. I keep beating on Jody Kruskal (who's a phenomenal G/D player) but he doesn't think there's a big enough market to make it worthwhile. Perhaps there is someone in the UK who plays G/D and could help with a book of common session tunes? 

 

Of course, the previous comment is very true about accompaniments being hard to quantify between so many players, but if the D/G melodeon is as dominant as many say, then one could tailor a tutor to match typical melodeon chord choices - "G/D Anglo for D/G Melodeon Players"???

 

Gary

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If you use a C/G tutor for a G/D, the Standard Notation becomes completely misleading and you will need to relearn it when you go beyond the tutor.

 

Just using tab also raises questions. If, say, a G tune is played melodically entirely along one row, then transferring it from G on a C/G to G on a G/D is reasonably straightforward, but if any chords or cross-rowing is involved the experience will be different.

 

Different C/G tutors also use different systems of tablature, adding to the complications.

 

Perhaps none of this really matters. If you are only learning one tune at a time you can rewrite everything. Also, if you are playing by ear you don't need the notation. 

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43 minutes ago, frogspawn said:

...Different C/G tutors also use different systems of tablature, adding to the complications...

I've seen two tab systems (which are used in tutors aimed at C/G concertina), namely Mick

Bramich's and Gary Coover's. I'm also aware of a third which is introduced in the context of

C/G but which is easily(?) adaptable to other key combinations (Australian Bush Traditions

site).

 

Are you aware of any more? I'd be interested to have a look, if there are...

Edited by lachenal74693

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The C/G is good for ITM and also for Morris (playing outside) a G/D does not have the same punch as the C/G . It has a better range than the G/D because from C you can play up two Sharps or down two flats .The C/G becomes a bit limited when harmony playing in D but then its a concertina not a piano accordion .Most players (look on this site ) find ways to produce fantastic music by perseverance and not everyone has more than one instrument to play. I am presently playing melody in F and Bb its challenging on the C/G. If you want to play in rows get more boxes . Bob 

Edited by Kelteglow

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While searching through old threads on this forum I realised I had asked the same question four years ago! Well four years is a long time when you've been doing other things, but it does show that the Anglo keeps drawing me back.

 

I see that I got much the same response then but I didn't follow it up, possibly because the pros and cons are not entirely straightforward...

 

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22 hours ago, frogspawn said:

One thing puzzles me. If the G/D, played harmonically, is the instrument of choice for English sessions, why aren't there any tutors for that?

I think the majority of G/D players I know started out on C/G and simply adapted their playing.  If you play by ear this is more or less effortless, if you play from music then it may be more difficult to relearn the keyboard.  Playing in G on the G/D is the same fingering as playing in C on the C/G

 

There aren't many tutors for C/G, come to that, at least compared with other instruments. Numerically,  C/Gs must vastly outnumber G/Ds so it is to be expected that most tutors are aimed at them.  

 

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9 hours ago, Kelteglow said:

The C/G becomes a bit limited when harmony playing in D 

 

Which is precisely the point of a G/D.  And whilst the the C/G may pack more punch, the higher notes are approaching dog-whistle territory, and dropping an octave whilst still playing chords can be tricky with some tunes.

 

I am not for a moment suggesting that English session tunes can't be played on C/G, only that G/D is a better fit where G and D are the predominant playing keys.  I am lucky enough to have both at my disposal, and in a session it is the G/D which invariably gets more use.  Unless there are one-row melodeons in C ...

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The OP (Frogspawn) appears to have a nice 55 button Crane which I would have thought was ideal for English sessions and for reading directly from scores without having to mentally transpose.

 

Brian Hayden's All-Systems Duet Workshop Tutor teaches mostly simplified English session tunes in a harmonic style.

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Don

 

I hesitate to digress, but since you ask... 

 

The Crane is a brilliantly logical and versatile design. You can play it from dots and all the notes are there. The downside is that your fingers need to do a lot of running around to reach them. I guess it's good for hymns, but it's hard to keep up in sessions. The other problem is volume.

 

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In my home sessions in Bath and Bradford on Avon I play G/D, Mark plays C/G and Dave plays C/G or G/D depending on what he wants to do in the particular tune (he is a very good player). We all co-exist quite happily and anyone not an anglo player would have no idea we were playing different instruments.

 

All this is to say what I've said on many occasions and that is you find the instrument you're happy with and you then work out how to play what you want on it. I resist the idea that there are rules on this. I think it no more set in stone that English music should be played on the G/D only than that Irish music should be played on the C/G only (and playing Irish music on an English is the sin against the Holy Ghost).  It's down, always, to the player.

 

Chris

 

Edited by Chris Timson
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