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How to play simple chords for folk songs on anglo concertina


carlovian
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If your sheet music already has guitar chords, then that's a good start. Ignore the little pictures, but a chord of C is a chord of C, whether on guitar, concertina or anything else. If you use the chord charts for the concertina which have been mentioned earlier, you should be able to work out how to play the chords given. on the sheet music

 

However you should keep in mind that the guitar chords may not always be the best ones for the tune. They may have been written in by someone with no understanding of folk music, or even applied automatically by a computer program. Folk tunes don't always follow the "rules", and the "right" chord in musical terms is not always the best one. For example, the "Three Chord Trick" requires a 7th chord (eg in C it's C,F,G7) but there is a widespread view that 7th chords aren't appropriate for English folk music (although they may work very well for American) and I would usually play a G rather than G7. At the end of the day, you have to trust your own ears and musical judgement.

 

Arpeggios are just the notes of a chord played in a sequence rather than all together. Once you've got the hang of the chords you can start to link them by using arpeggios and bass runs, which was what Dick was getting at - these are bread-and-butter to a guitarist, which is why he was recommending them, but of course other instruments use them as well.

 

Melodeons break all the rules because they have only a limited number of pre-set chords and so you have to make the best of what you've got. I drive accompanying guitarists to distraction with my chord sequences on melodeon, which don't follow the sequences they would naturally play.

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Check out Roger Digby's articles on "Faking it " at http://www.concertina.com/digby/faking/index.htm" and John Kirkpatrick at http://www.johnkirkpatrick.co.uk/wr_Anglo3.asp for some very practical help on playing accompaniments on an Anglo. Lots of good ideas well expressed.

 

(Sorry, don't know how to post the hyperlinks, but you can copy and paste them yourself!)

 

David

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right, some basic chord substitution,any dominant 7 chord can be substituted,by a chord based on the second chord,in the key.lets take Cmajor[the dom 7 chord is g7] this can be substituted by a dminor chord,with additions, if one wants,why ? because they share two notes in common g7 has d and f,as does dminor,this works particularly well,if the melody notes are d and f,

the dominant 7 can sometimes be substitued by the dominant 11,g b d f c, [the b can be left out if so desired]more likely to work if the melody notes are are g or d.

this rule can be applied to any chord substitution,if two chords share two notes in common there is a probability the substituion might work.a minor for c major,e minor for g major.the probability is higher if in the first example ,the melody is c or e ,two notes shared by both chords aminor and c major however in traditional music,it is often tasteful,to leave out the third note of the chord[the me note],that is a question of the individuals own preference,sometimes the [me note]sounds good

.i find that often the following chord dfaf[the third doubled]works well for g7 substituion.,dependant on the melody.

partial chord substitution can work too,if you are in the key of c major,and the melody note is d,instead of playing a g based chord,a d minor type chord possibly with additions can be used and then a g based chord ,or if the melody note is g, g 11 [gdc] and then a g 7,or sometimes g 9 gbdba instead of g 11 ,it is also dependent on wherE youare going next chordally. g7 plus 9 GBDFA sometimes works when youare going back to cmajor[ dominant to tonic] .remember also, you dont have to play all the notes of achord you can play g9 gdfa or gda or gba or gfa.

 

This is great but I have become somewhat confused and will have to take stock. In the meanwhile, I'm just going to press buttons until somethings sounds right. If my wife reaches for something to fling at me, I'll know I erred.

 

Ian

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Hi Folks,

 

I am new to the concertina (Anglo 30 key) and I have learned a few Irish trad tunes which is great.

I would also like to play a few Irish Folk songs and I am trying to find out is there a simple method to play songs on the anglo concertina. Is there any chord charts on the web ( there are loads for guitars etc but I cant find any for the concertina).

Or is the mehod a combination of chords and small melody runs - if yes, any tips would be very welcomed. Thanks:)

 

I don't know where I found it and I don't think I have it in electronic format, but Chris Timson had a fantastic chord chart - might have been for G/D, which is what I play, but one of the beauties of Anglo in my mind is that (with a few note exceptions) your playing is transferable into the relative keys of other boxes.

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....

This is great but I have become somewhat confused and will have to take stock. In the meanwhile, I'm just going to press buttons until somethings sounds right. If my wife reaches for something to fling at me, I'll know I erred.

 

Ian

 

This is an excellent method.

Samantha

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....

This is great but I have become somewhat confused and will have to take stock. In the meanwhile, I'm just going to press buttons until somethings sounds right. If my wife reaches for something to fling at me, I'll know I erred.

 

Ian

 

This is an excellent method.

Samantha

I'd prefer to call it an experiment in ornamentation ^_^

 

Thanks

Leo

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I'd been playing the guitar for almost 30 years before I seriously took up the concertina (insofar as I could be described as a serious concertina player). And I must say that -- from a technical point of view -- that 30 years meant very little in terms of how I do chord selection/voicing on a concertina. Perhaps it gave me an ear for the kind of big open chords, drones and reverses I like -- I don't know.

 

Although 99% of my 'tina playing is for song accompaniment, I honestly don't think about what chord I'm playing. In fact, I couldn't tell you, most of the time -- unless I took a look at my fingers and worked it out from there. :huh: Thing is, a lot of English traditional song isn't major/minor, it's modal -- so accompaniment-wise, it's not a question of "Is this the right chord?", it's more a question of "Which are the dominant (meaning 'strongest,' rather than 'dominant' in the music theory sense) notes in the scale that this melody is based on?" And for me that's a matter of feel rather than sitting down and working it out (although I understand that the latter is possible). This is how it looks from my corner, anyway.

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I'm just going to press buttons until somethings sounds right. If my wife reaches for something to fling at me, I'll know I erred.

 

Ian

Works for me. B)

 

Edit: Although I'm not married, thus saving on the cost of the almost-inevitable divorce. ;)

Edited by meltzer
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....

This is great but I have become somewhat confused and will have to take stock. In the meanwhile, I'm just going to press buttons until somethings sounds right. If my wife reaches for something to fling at me, I'll know I erred.

 

Ian

 

This is an excellent method.

Samantha

 

I agree wholeheartedly! To my mind, that's what the Anglo is all about. Get the melody going along a row, and then press buttons to the left of the melody note. The bellows direction cancels out most of the "wrong" alternatives, and when your wife throws something at you, that narrows it down even further.

 

Get comfortable with tunes in C and G before you start on the advanced stuff. That's how I learned - on a 20-button with no third row to distract me. ;)

 

I must admit I'd have learned faster if I'd had one of those chord charts and a song-book with chord symbols to match them to. Part of learning is to get those chord changes into your fingertips, and the more tunes you play by chord symbols, the more feeling for chord changes you'll develop.

 

A bit of music theory never harmed anybody, but the Anglo is a very pragmatic instrument. I never used the theory that I've accumulated over the years on my Anglo - but now that I'm learning the duet, it is standing me in good stead!

 

Keep pressing those buttons, and be sure that your wife is surrounded by soft objects! :lol:

 

Cheers,

John

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....

This is great but I have become somewhat confused and will have to take stock. In the meanwhile, I'm just going to press buttons until somethings sounds right. If my wife reaches for something to fling at me, I'll know I erred.

 

Ian

 

This is an excellent method.

Samantha

 

My lovely wife has most patient, in fact almost appreciative, as I've learned to play the melodies over the past few months. Not even a hint of complaint. But in the last week or so, I've started working on the left hand accompaniment. Something about badly executed chords and oom-pahs seems to have raised the irritation factor significantly. After 40 halting minutes of Constant Billy, she sweetly suggested that I might be "over-training"!

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I don't know where I got this or what layout it's for. I hope it's helpful.

Anglo Chords

 

Hey, you old pirate, which dead man's chest did you get that treasure chart from? ;)

 

At any rate, I've saved it to my anglo files. For the beginners and waiters for concertinas: it shows the left side of a 31-button anglo with a C/C drone on the thumb button. No charts like that when I was learning - no Internet either.

 

 

 

 

So, the button which is placed between the right and left side is a drone button? I always thought that a 31 key referred to the air button :huh: Are drones very common? Also, these charts are for a C/G, am I correct?

 

Thanks

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So, the button which is placed between the right and left side is a drone button? I always thought that a 31 key referred to the air button :huh: Are drones very common? Also, these charts are for a C/G, am I correct?

Thanks

Yes, a 31-button anglo has a drone button opposite the air button. Only Ebay sellers who don't know much about concertinas count the air-valve as a button. (On German Konzertinas and Bandoneons, and even on some very old German-made Anglos, the air-valve has a lever rather than a button. Much easier to use!)

 

No, drones are not all that common. I personally don't see the point of having 2 Cs - I'd much rather have a Bb on the press (for a good C7 chord when modulating to F) and a C on the draw.

 

And yes, the chart in question is for a C/G Anglo.

 

Cheers,

John

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The left-hand thumb button is often tuned to the same note in both directions to give a drone, but it may be tuned to different notes. Whether you find this helpful or not I think depends on the sort of music you play.

 

My 40 key C/G has a drone C, which I find useful (I play "English" style). The drone can be very effective, although it needs to be used sparingly. It is also occasionally useful to have a C on the pull.

 

My 31 key G/D has the thumb tuned to C on the push - this allow me to play a C chord on the push, which is otherwise lacking. The pull is tuned to something else, but I find I never use it so I couldn't tell you what note it is!

 

I tend to mostly avoid 7th chords, but again that is down to the music I play.

 

Sometimes the LH thumb button might be used for bird calls or other effects.

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