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Anglo beginner tutor book advice

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Greetings all,

I am hoping to gain advice on which tutor book to purchase. I'm sure this has been enquired about multiple times before, but thought it was worth asking considering my specific experience and wants.

 

For some background, I have wanted to learn the concertina since I was 17, (but opted for a electric guitar for my 18th birthday instead, I was a fool), and have now finally ordered a 30 button anglo.
I have general music knowledge and experience playing folk music in an English session (on tin whistle) in Brighton where I live. I also finally learned to read music over the last year. My interest lies in English folk music and morris music, as well as in shanties, Finnish folk tunes, and in adapting other songs for the instrument. I've also done some research already, and as such I think learning the harmonic style will match my goals as a musician. I can play whistle, ukulele, guitar, as well as some harmonica, and very basic piano, so I think this puts me in good stead for learning a new instrument. 

Ideally I need a resource that will get chords, scales, and some tunes under my fingers, so i can look at the dots in my session's tunebook and pick up playing them with some ease, and also by ear -  like i can with the whistle...not sight reading (yet), but able to pick them up easily after some practice without having to break it down to every part, bar, beat, sub-division.

I am considering Gary Coover's books, as they have good reviews and recommendations, but do not know whether to buy 'Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style', or 'Easy Anglo 1-2-3: A Beginner's Guide to the Anglo Concertina', I worry the latter will prove too basic, but also that the former will prove too much too quick...When i have improved, I will surely buy his other books; I appreciate the songs being available on youtube, and when I listen to them, I think "that's what I want to sound like". 

Also, if there is an alternative available in the UK or as an e-book specifically for this style of playing, I'd be interested to know about it also.

 

I found some PDFs of tutor books from the end of the 19th/ start of the 20th centuries ( 'Tutor for the Chromatic Anglo Concertina' by George Jones c.1946, and 'Howe's Eclectic School for the Concertina' by Elias Howe, c.1880) but I do not know if they will be worth looking at because of thier age and their seemingly steep learning curve (they may have been intended to be used in conjuction with formal lessons)

 

Best wishes

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I'd wager that I'm a less accomplished musician than yourself, and I didn't have any trouble starting with "Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style". I think I made it about halfway through the tunes in the tutor section before running off after other tunes (I really should go back and finish it - there's a lot of good stuff in there). It did help me get comfortable with some basic chords pretty quickly.

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7 minutes ago, schult said:

I'd wager that I'm a less accomplished musician than yourself, and I didn't have any trouble starting with "Anglo Concertina in the Harmonic Style". I think I made it about halfway through the tunes in the tutor section before running off after other tunes (I really should go back and finish it - there's a lot of good stuff in there). It did help me get comfortable with some basic chords pretty quickly.

 

Thank for the reply. I wouldn't say I was accomplished though! Just over eager.

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The prudent thing may be to buy both perhaps!

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Posted (edited)

Well, I certainly can't argue with that conclusion! Easy Anglo 1-2-3 is in three sections, with tunes in 1-row, 2-rows and 3-rows, so it progressively builds your abilities without leaping into 3-rows immediately (like ACHS). There are some example pages floating about here on cnet, and you can try Amazon's "Look Inside" feature for more freebies.

 

And you'll be pleased to know both books feature tunes from Brighton Morris concertina player John Watcham.  Easy Anglo finishes up with his difficult but beautiful arrangement of "Ladies of Pleasure" from the Bledington Morris tradition, and ACHS has 5 more. Both books are available on Kindle as well as paperback.

 

Welcome to the concertina world (and cnet) - I hope you enjoy playing it as much as I do!

 

Gary

 

 

Edited by gcoover

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Posted (edited)

From the man himself! Well, I decided to purchase both, and start with 1-2-3 and then move onto ACHS, just to give me the gradual build up for learning.

 

I'm pleased to be told that! I've not had the pleasure to meet John yet, but several of the band members and dancers for Brighton Morris come play at the session I play at, so the degree of separation is small. Would be great to meet him and bust out one of his arrangements as a 'tina hello!

cheers !

Edited by J_Newbs

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Look out for Valmai Goodyear's workshops at Lewes - when they are allowed to resume!

They cover a broad range of interests but anglos do get featured, and it is not too far from you.

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19 hours ago, John Wild said:

Look out for Valmai Goodyear's workshops at Lewes - when they are allowed to resume!

They cover a broad range of interests but anglos do get featured, and it is not too far from you.


The name rings a bell, but I'm not sure why; and I have been meaning to attend things in Lewes, this gives me more of an excuse, cheers!

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Just voicing for posterity that both books go together very well. I think 1-2-3 is the book if you're only just holding a Concertina for the first few times, but the difficulty curve ramps up somewhat similarly in Harmonic Style. As in you can get to a place in 1-2-3 that then carries over to Harmonic Style pretty easily.

 

Once Gary starts introducing individual artists in Harmonic Style, you're sort of at the highest part of the difficulty curve and all those songs could be studied and practiced for some time.

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, perspiration said:

Just voicing for posterity that both books go together very well. I think 1-2-3 is the book if you're only just holding a Concertina for the first few times, but the difficulty curve ramps up somewhat similarly in Harmonic Style. As in you can get to a place in 1-2-3 that then carries over to Harmonic Style pretty easily.

 

Once Gary starts introducing individual artists in Harmonic Style, you're sort of at the highest part of the difficulty curve and all those songs could be studied and practiced for some time.

 

Of course, there are other tutors. Although I purchased one of Mr. Coover's books when I started, personally, I found the Mick Bramich

tutors very helpful. They are both simple and concise. I used Absolute Beginners Concertina and In-Between Concertina.

 

Edit: And, harking back to the OP, MB is UK-based, which specifically addresses one of the points in the OP. 

Edited by lachenal74693

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