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Anglo Tutors Vs English Concertina Etc


Susanne

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As you all (or, some) know, I started learning English concertina two months ago, I downloaded some tutor book from the internet, but I didn't think it was much of use, mostly just tunes and simple music theory. Do you have experiences from the anglo tutors? Are there things there that are useful for English players?

 

What I would like to know, are there things I should think of when I learn playing or is it just to play? My tutor book had a little chapter about bellows control, and said that the bellows were to be compared with bowing when playing fiddle, that the tune should be ended with closed bellows. Should I think of where I change "bellows direction" on an English concertina? (I don't hear any difference, and since it's the same tone whether I push or pull, there shouldn't be any difference) Do you folks play this way or do you just play? Will anything be a limitation later if I don't think of it now?

 

I've learned to move around over the keys, I can play by sheet music and a little by ear (but that is slower). I concentrate on learning tunes and building up a repertoire. Do you think I should work on something else? With my beginner's eyes i don't see that there could be some technical stuff to work on. More timing issues, flow etc.

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... and said that the bellows were to be compared with bowing when playing fiddle...
Good! More people should think seriously about this ;)
... Should I think of where I change "bellows direction" on an English concertina?
Nope. What you should/could do, after a while, is to time the bellows change to the start of the next bar or the start of a new phrase. On my horribly battered, leaky little Stagi, I change when I think "Gosh, it's too late..." (and it often is :D )

 

I can only speak from personal experience: I used (by coincidence) Alistair Anderson's tutor when I started. It made me understand notes, at least on the very basic level - enough to get by. And it had one very good thing about it: a record with all the examples and tunes on it. Great thing! For a newcomer to written music that it priceless! This is also where one realises that notes are just a skeleton - it's up to us to put the meat on.

 

Meanwhile, go on practicing and do make a note of things which seemingly are "impossible" - we'll try to sort them out in May, at the SSI. Expect some heavy EC mobbing!

 

/Henrik

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... Should I think of where I change "bellows direction" on an English concertina? (I don't hear any difference, and since it's the same tone whether I push or pull, there shouldn't be any difference) Do you folks play this way or do you just play? Will anything be a limitation later if I don't think of it now?...

 

It's not that the notes themselves will sound different, but that the start of a note (and therefore phrase), can be given more definition by a change of bellows direction. As an Anglo player I have to work on ironing this out when a change of bellows direction is "forced" by needing a specific note, but you, as an English player, will find it useful to aware of how to utilise this to advantage in the tunes that you play.

That is what is meant by the reference "violin bowing" - watch a fiddle player, or the violin section of an orchestra as you listen to see how this works. Another approach would be to sing the tune and see where you choose to breathe: probably not where you have run out of breath, but before then, at the end of a musical phrase. That might be the place to change bellows direction.

Samantha

Edited by Samantha
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