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Concertina Has Arrived!

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I just got my Jackie in the mail yesterday after noon! I played through the first half of the tutorial before being told by my wife to go to bed! I absolutely love it! Other than re-learning to read music, and memorizing the note/button relation (beginner troubles) what seems challenging is bellows direction. Is there a "correct" time to reverse bellows direction or will it become intuitive?

 

Greg

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Is there a "correct" time to reverse bellows direction or will it become intuitive?

Yes, and yes. At least a little before you need to. :)

 

In spite of the smiley, that's serious advice. With practice, you should learn to be aware of how much longer you can play before you run out of bellows, then do your reversal in a non-disruptive spot in the music while you still have some leeway.

 

And better to have unnecessarily frequent reversals than find yourself having to stop because you can't go any further. One thing you could do is reverse for each measure. If it feels too frequent, try two measures between reversals, maybe even four. Once reversing becomes second nature, then you can work on doing it with less regularity, but with more attention to the feel and phrasing of the music.

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[sounds like good advice...I find myself running out of air before the tutorial says to reverse in one or two specific measures...just wondering if the reversals are written in stone, as it were!

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Try playing short sharp notes on the pull as well as the push,this will give you the air you are looking for.

Al

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Congrats. Tis a wonderful large package to receive.

 

Enjoy enjoy enjoy. I'm starting to think that it is more important to enjoy your instrument than to practice or do things correctly.

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I'm starting to think that it is more important to enjoy your instrument than to practice or do things correctly.

 

I have to agree, but I would like to be able to follow along these folks' discussions a little closer! So far, so good as to self-teaching.

 

Greg

 

PS- could they make these buttons any closer together?!?!?!

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...could they make these buttons any closer together?!?!?!

Yep. And I really miss my old Æola (the one that was stolen), which had buttons about 1/32" closer to each other than usual! :(

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Perhaps I just have elephantitis of the fingertips, but I'm unintentionally inventing "chords"...if you can call them that.

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I've had my Jackie a few weeks now and like you find it difficult to follow the Tutor's advised bellow movement. I'm sure the directions are fine if you can play the pieces perfectly however whilst learning the tunes we take time to hit the right button, hit extra buttons or wrong buttons which all take air so I guess its natural that we run out of puff earlier than expected.

 

I ignore the bellow direction advice until I can play a tune (almost) without mistake then try to follow them. I suppose the tutor is showing us best practice.

 

Ian

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Perhaps I just have elephantitis of the fingertips, but I'm unintentionally inventing "chords"...if you can call them that.

Maybe so, but are your fingers coming straight down onto the ends of the buttons, or are they coming in at an angle? If the latter, that could well be your problem. Also, the center of your fingertip should be striking the center of the button. Off center means closer to the button on one side than on the other. Beyond a certain point, "closer" becomes "too close".

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Actually, I'm pretty centered over the buttons...it's all in trying to play a progression of notes and re-hit a previous key once the finger leaves "home"...D on the right hand, for example is fine to start a tune, then I hit an A with the same finger, and miss D on my way back....it probably all comes down to practice!

 

As for the bellows, I find I get a lot more notes on a pull than I can fit into a push. Am I probably pushing too hard/fast? I was trying to be quiet, as the wife was trying to sleep, so perhaps that influenced things.

 

Meanwhile, I was out on my porch doing honking, beginner scale excercises when I looked up and realized that my neighbors were having a showing of their house to a couple of prospective buyers! :P There goes the neighborhood! (They asked me not to fire up the motorcycles, but didn't say anything about concertina!!)

 

Greg

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I think your answer there is just a matter of getting your fingers used to where each note is.

 

Don't look for the note feel for it. You need to stop thinking about what your fingers should be doing and let your fingers get on with it.

 

Bit vague I s'pose. The best way I can describe it is this :

 

When I was learning my first song on guitar, I had the chord diagrams in front of me and positioned my fingers slowly looking between the guitar neck and diagrams. After about 3 hours of halting playing I forced myself not to look.

 

When you've tried doing something once you have normally learnt it. Or rather your body knows what it is doing and often it is just a matter of convincing your conscious self that it should let the rest of you get on with it.

 

Can you name all the notes on either side in correct order? If you can do that then you can be sure your fingers know precisely where those notes are.

 

As for bellows movement, I was wondering if you where exerting too much pressure in either direction - bah my mind gave up on me I lost the thought that went with this bit...

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I've had my Jackie a few weeks now and like you find it difficult to follow the Tutor's advised bellow movement.  I'm sure the directions are fine if you can play the pieces perfectly however whilst learning the tunes we take time to hit the right button, hit extra buttons  or wrong buttons which all take air so I guess its natural that we run out of puff earlier than expected.

 

I ignore the bellow direction advice until I can play a tune (almost) without mistake then try to follow them.  I suppose the tutor is showing us best practice.

 

Ian

I too have a Jackie and have been learning for about a month now. I have the same problem with the bellows, so at the moment I don't always follow the instructions re bellows movement.

 

I am really loving it and am 'hooked'!!!

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Bravo Sarah! Rules are made to be broken. I have always tried to use bellows direction as punctuation. While accompanying myself on a song I tend to take longer phrases. Each instrument that comes into your hands will request something different of you.

 

I just viewed a video of my bluegrass band and was a bit supprised to see how close I keep the bellows while playing a tune (was a bit embarrassed about the faces I make and the odd body movements...seems like some sort of fit at times).

 

Oh well, I ain't winnin' any beauty contests either :P .

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Mark,

 

You are just doing facial exercises to help the tune along.

 

Or perhaps the bellows, just giving them a little sendoff.

 

Facial aerobics, perhaps you could teach it at a squeeze in. I would come for that. (NO SINGING). :angry:

 

Helen :rolleyes:

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