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Peter Turvey

Chord guidance for G/D Anglo

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Now that I have more leisure time courtesy of corona 19 thought I would get my concertina, a 31 key G/D Anglo out again, never quite got the hang of chords on it, can anyone direct me to a simple guide or fingering chart for G/D Anglo chords, here is the fingering chart for my concertina in case it’s different from the majority.


Thanks

 

E3EB721C-9FEB-498B-9EBF-7D1D2E82B70C.jpeg

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I have a G/D beginner's book by an English author. I can't remember the name but will check tonight when I'm home. It has chord charts show as visuals. Very handy.

 

You can also figure it out with a little music theory. I'll give an explanation below - and it may not be your cup of tea but someone else might find it useful.

 

There's quite a few exotic chords but the 2 main ones to start with are either major or minor chords.

 

Major chords

The basic chord structure is built on the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes of any scale. So if you look up C major scale, the I, III & V notes (it's always written as roman numerals) will be C, E and G.

So on the left hand on the bellows pull you have the top left for a low C, a C that's an octave higher  in the middle row, plus an E next to it. On the bottom row there's a lower E, an E that's an octave higher and a G. From those notes you can create a C major chord.

 

Similarly, a D major chord is I, III & V from the D major scale, which are the notes D, F# and A.

E major  = E, G#, B

F major = F, A, C

G major = G, B, D,

and so on, working through all the scales available on a piano, both white and black notes.

There's a ton of chord finder websites for those who don't know music scales.

 

The notes of a chord can be in any order, as long as they are the notes that belong to the chord. Your ear will tell you!

 

It doesn't matter if there are 2 notes that are the same but different octaves - this just creates a fuller sounding chord.

 

Once you've grasped the concept of pulling the I, III and V notes out of a scale, then you can look at your fingering chart and figure out the chords you want to learn.

 

Some major and minor chords require a note that is a sharp or flat. I must tell you that a note that is a sharp, is also identified as a flat. A# (A sharp) is the same note as Bb (B flat). It's got a different name depending on what scale it belongs to.  If you were to play on the pull:  F, A# and D from the top row of your left hand buttons you would be playing Bb major.  But those notes are also A# major chord, except we would say A# instead of it's alternate name of Bb.

 

Minor scales.

Minor chords sound melancholic compared to major chords but these are still made of the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes pulled from the minor scale. They are written as I, iii & V (lower case roman numerals for the 3rd (iii) note to distinguish them from major chords).

 

In order to create a minor chord,  the I and V notes are the same as for the major chord - but the 3rd note changes.  The C minor chord requires an Eb to create the chord. Eb is alternatively known as D# and you have a D# on the top row of your left hand on the push.  However, while you could play the  Eb (D#) and a G note (from middle row) on the push I don't see a C note available on the push. So this 2 note chord would still work to give a minor chord sound but be missing the 1st note of the chord.

 

2-note chords are very useful  - and a workaround to not having all 3 notes of the chord available. You can stick to the 1st and 5th (I & V) and not worry about the 3rd (III or iii) note. This chord will fit in with what you're playing and sound minor when the tune is in a minor key, or major if the tune is in a major key. 

 

So going back to the C major chord example. If you were to play only the C and G notes (I & V) you could play this as C major or C minor chord. To have a fuller sound with 2 notes you'd have to play a couple of C's with the G note on the pull.

 

I know music theory explanations aren't for everyone, but it's very helpful to learn some basics. It means you can figure out your own arrangements. Knowing just the 2-note chords of I & V will be a game changer.

 

I'll come back to this post with the name of the G/D book that has chord charts. I don't want to scan pages and post them due to copyright considerations.

 

 

 

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Thank you Breve, I'll work through this, the two note chords look like an interesting way forward - I've not been very good at music theory despite a science background! 

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The 3 chord trick for G major:

  • G major chord, push, combination of any or all of notes G B D.
  • C major chord, pull, combination of any or all of notes C E G
  • D major chord, available on push or pull, combination of any or all of the notes D F# A

 

Make it into a 5 chord trick by adding:

  • E minor chord, mainly on the push, using one or both E notes from the accidental row, plus G and or B.
  • A minor chord: the easy one: the notes A C E are adjacent on the pull, top 3 buttons G row.

 

Later, playing in D, the equivalents are

  • D major:  D F# A
  • G major: G B D
  • A major: A C# E
  • B minor: B D F#
  • E minor, mainly on the pull, 3 adjacent notes on the D row.

 

The trick is not finding the chords, but finding which combination of notes works best for that place in the music.  A chord can be played as:

  • Oom pah: a bass note followed by 2 higher notes
  • A block: 3 or even 4 notes of the chord played simultaneously
  • Arpeggio: the notes of the chord played individually one after the other
  • Bare fifths (for example, G and D played simultaneously as a bare 5th from G major)
  • Bare octave.  Not really a chord, but useful: two notes an octave apart, such as G and g.
  • 5ths and fill in: play the bare 5th then keep those notes sounding but fill in the middle note.  For example, play G and D, then add B n a later beat to make a full G major
  • Just basses: typically but not always the root of the chord (G in G major) or the 5th (D in G major)
  • Pairs of notes (typically adjacent buttons) a 3rd apart, such as G and D, or E and G.  Remember that there is also a note that is part of the melody, so that gives you 3 notes.
  • And many other ways.

 

There are other tricks for minor or "modal" tunes.

 

The more you work at it, the more you'll find.  I'm still discovering new ways of accompanying tunes I've played for years.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Mikefule said:

The trick is not finding the chords, but finding which combination of notes works best for that place in the music.  A chord can be played as:

  • Oom pah: a bass note followed by 2 higher notes
  • A block: 3 or even 4 notes of the chord played simultaneously
  • Arpeggio: the notes of the chord played individually one after the other
  • Bare fifths (for example, G and D played simultaneously as a bare 5th from G major)
  • Bare octave.  Not really a chord, but useful: two notes an octave apart, such as G and g.
  • 5ths and fill in: play the bare 5th then keep those notes sounding but fill in the middle note.  For example, play G and D, then add B n a later beat to make a full G major
  • Just basses: typically but not always the root of the chord (G in G major) or the 5th (D in G major)
  • Pairs of notes (typically adjacent buttons) a 3rd apart, such as G and D, or E and G.  Remember that there is also a note that is part of the melody, so that gives you 3 notes.
  • And many other ways.

This is very important list! 

 

Can others add to it?

 

How about:

  • Little runs leading up to the root of the next chord.  e.g. Play G-A-B leading to C when going from G major to C Major .
  • Play 6ths or 10ths below the melody.

Anybody else got some more to add?

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I like that list of bullet points. Bravo! 

 

When people use the phase "3 chord trick "- what does that actually mean? 

Well, many tunes are 3 chord tunes - many trad tunes fit this pattern. 

But it's not 3 random chords though. The chords have a relationship to one another based on music theory.

They are the chords based on the first, fourth and fifth note of a music scale. Or using roman numerals again, I, IV & V.

In C major scale the I, IV and V notes are C, F, G. 

Thus a traditional tune in C major will include the chords of C, F and G major.  The tune will start in C major, and as the melody develops will change to F major or G major and it will always end back at C major because that's the root or home key. 

This is a predictable pattern. This is why it's called a "trick".

A 3 chord tune in the key of G is built on the I, IV and V chords of the G major scale. That's the G, C and D major chords. 

Then you can branch out into 5 chords as described above, adding in 2 minor chords. These minor chords are not random but part of the pattern that's coming out of the music scale. 

 

Anyway, the beginner G/D book I mentioned in my previous post is by Pip Ives. "The Anglo Concertina. A comprehensive guide to the 30 G/D Anglo Concertina in the English Style". I'm attaching one page of the chord charts so you can see what they look like.  The book has a bit of concertina history/how to play, a bit of basic music notation instruction,  chord charts, 12 tunes (English traditional) and some maintenance/repair info. It comes with a CD. The author has his own fingering system - but if you read notes that doesn't matter so much. 

 

 

IMG_20200330_205734440.jpg

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2 hours ago, Breve said:

...Pip Ives. "The Anglo Concertina. A comprehensive guide to the 30 G/D Anglo Concertina in the English Style". I'm attaching one page of the chord charts so you can see what they look like.  The book has a bit of concertina history/how to play, a bit of basic music notation instruction,  chord charts, 12 tunes (English traditional) and some maintenance/repair info. It comes with a CD. The author has his own fingering system - but if you read notes that doesn't matter so much.

 

Any chance you could summarise that system - I'm sort of 'collecting' such systems for one of my programming projects.

 

I can't find any details online.

 

Thanks.

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You can also find a fairly comprehensive set of chords for the left hand by Barry Metzler in the old magazine "Concertina & Squeezebox" Numbers 14 & 15.  You'll need to do a bit of work as the chords are organised for a C/G concertina and your layout may vary - but the work required may help you get around the keyboard and also understand the theory required as well.

 

Let me know if you can't find a copy on line

 

Alex West

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Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply to my query, lots of useful advice to work through over the next few weeks, months or wherever whilst in lockdown! I will also do a search/keep an eye out for copies of Concertina & Squeezebox Magazine issues 14 and 15 too, as Alex West suggested. 

 

Regards

 

Peter

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Posted (edited)
On 3/31/2020 at 12:08 AM, lachenal74693 said:

 

Any chance you could summarise that system - I'm sort of 'collecting' such systems for one of my programming projects.

 

I can't find any details online.

 

Thanks.

 

Yes I could do that for you. Sent you a message.

Edited by Breve

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On 3/31/2020 at 3:57 AM, Breve said:

I like that list of bullet points. Bravo! 

 

When people use the phase "3 chord trick "- what does that actually mean? 

Well, many tunes are 3 chord tunes - many trad tunes fit this pattern. 

But it's not 3 random chords though. The chords have a relationship to one another based on music theory.

They are the chords based on the first, fourth and fifth note of a music scale.

 

 

Stick with this because it's simpler than the number of words makes it look!  :) 

 

If you twang a string and get the note C, and then you exactly halve the length of the string and twang it again, it vibrates twice as fast and you get the note C an octave higher.

 

There is a fixed physical relationship:

  • One octave is a halving (or doubling) of the frequency of the sound waves.

 

 

There is a similar fixed physical relationship between a note and the note that is a 5th above it:

  • you a get a note 5th higher if you shorten  the string by 1/3.

 

After the octave, the 5th is the most important physical relationship between wavelengths of musical notes, and therefore the 5th note of the scale (or the chord based on it) is called the "dominant".

 

 

 

Take C, and the note a 5th above it is G.     C D E F G.               We say that G is the dominant of C.

 

The note a 4th above C is F — but looked at the other way, counting up from F, you get F G A B C            We say that C is the dominant of F.

 

In the bigger picture, therefore, you get F G A B C D E F G

 

So C is the dominant of F, and G is the dominant of C.

 

Looked at in the other direction, C is the "subdominant" of G, and F is the "subdominant" of C.

 

So in the key of C, the 3 chord trick is C (the tonic) plus G (the dominant) plus F (the subdominant).

 

 

The major chord is made up of the 1st, 3rd and 5th notes counting up a major scale starting with the "root" note.

 

So C major is C D E F G      giving you a chord of C E G.

 

F major is F G A B C            giving you a chord of F A C

 

G major is G A B C D           giving you a chord of G B D

 

Now look at the 8 notes of the C major scale:

  1. C is in the chords of both C and F  (Notice how the tonic note C appears in two chords: the one based on the tonic and the one based on the subdominant.)
  2. D is in the chord of G
  3. E is in the chord of C
  4. F is in the chord of F
  5. G is in the chords of C and G  (Notice how the dominant note G appears in two chords: the one based on the tonic and the one based on the dominant.)
  6. A is the in the chord of F
  7. B is in the chord of G

 

Therefore:

  • With just those 3 chords, all 8 notes of the major scale are accounted for.
  • There will always be 1 of those 3 chords that fits the note being played.

This is why the 3 chord trick is so important when you are playing in the major key.

 

 

Edited by Mikefule

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Thank you Mikefule, for this succinct explanation - I found the last pargraph 'There will always be 1 of those 3 chords that fits the note being played' very useful, been drawing out fingering charts for the three chord trick, and was wondering how you tied this in to a tune. Now making better progress,.

 

Also gradually realised that over the years I had hit on a few of the chord combinations in your 30 March Bullet Points just by fiddling around for the best combinations of notes, without much understanding of what I was doing.  My knowledge of musical theory has greatly increased over the last few days!

 

Regards

 

Peter Turvey

Edited by Peter Turvey
Typical awful grammar
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On 3/31/2020 at 6:32 PM, Breve said:

 

Yes I could do that for you. Sent you a message.

Received - thank you very much!

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8 hours ago, Peter Turvey said:

Thank you Mikefule, for this succinct explanation - I found the last pargraph 'There will always be 1 of those

3 chords that fits the note being played' very useful, been drawing out fingering charts for the three chord trick...

The three-chord trick is also explained in Roger Digby's 'Faking It' document on concertina.com.

 

There's also a 'chord wheel' which allows you to determine 'at a glance' at the three essential chords for any

given key...

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Hi Peter your G/D seems to be a Jefferis System .I have a Wheatstone 34 button G/D and have worked out every Chord for the left hand(I doubt I will ever use them all ) . You may be able to adapt these chord charts to your concertina .any two buttons make a chord that includes the melody note you may be using  for the tune . PS the forth picture includes chords I missed  .Bob

GD Chords Ato C.jpg

GD Chords Cto E (2).jpg

GD Chords EtoG.jpg

GD Chords Gto A + C#.jpg

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Thank you Kelteglow, my concertina is indeed a Jefferies style one, made by Colin Dipper c.1980, your comment has reminded me that I should look up what there is online abut the Jefferies system as well.

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