Mudcat Café message #2308973 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #108326   Message #2308973
Posted By: JeffB
07-Apr-08 - 08:33 AM
Thread Name: concertinas in folk music
Subject: RE: concertinas in folk music
I've been playing English system for a year, working out my own song accompanyments. Have no idea what it is like to play any other system. For anyone thinking about taking up the concertina and wondering (as I did) the merits of English v Anglo for song, I can say that the EC's fully chromatic abilities are irrelevant. C, D, F and G are easy keys to play on the English and very singers (or musicians for that matter) will want more.
With regard to Greg B's comment above (do you play Anglo, Greg?) that the chords are one-handed triangles : obviously if you can play these easy-peazy formations (? major triads) then you can also play 3rds and 5ths, but in practice playing chords including the other hand is as easy. In fact I found 4ths came very naturally and are an important part of my arrangemants. No problem with 6ths either, if ever you should need them. So it's not a question of playing trianglular major chords and trying to pick out a melody line with the 4th finger (that finger is in the finger slide helping to support the concertina!). Obviously, you can just play a suitable chord on the first beat of every bar, but it's not that much more difficult to intersperse melodic runs.
I have to disagree with Greg's theory of a left/right brain conflict. There are different conceptual functions between the two hemispheres, but the physical co-ordination involved in playing a musical instrument shouldn't be too much of a problem for most people who want to sing with it. Speech is a deeply estabished function from the age of 3 or 4, and singing also starts more or less naturally at an early age. I don't think that playing the English is inherently any more difficult than any other instrument, personal abilities aside of course. The desire to play and practice are the inmportant factors.