Concertina Etudes

Concertina Etudes

So I play the fiddle as well as the Anglo concertina. Now for the violin there are literally endless books of etudes and exercises which help students to work on their technique. Etudes on bowing, fingering, articulation, dynamics…you could fill a freakin’ library with them. Just look at Sevcik, Kreuter, or Flesch - really useful stuff. In my experience, mastering these challenging etudes helps overall violin/fiddle technique immensely.

But there’s nothing, to my (limited) knowledge, even remotely like that for the Anglo concertina. Until now. Calling all Anglo players, let’s make some etudes. What are the big technical challenges for concertina players (particularly intermediate-advanced ones)? What are the extremities of technique on the instrument that can be practiced to improve overall technique? What kind of exercises would you do to improve bellows technique, ornamentation, chording, finger response time, articulation, dynamics, etc? I’m not talking just "do scales", I want something that really addresses the unique technical challenges of the instrument. Post your ideas below (or links to the hidden dark web library of concertina technique literature that I haven’t found).

Re: Concertina Etudes

I find that I don’t have enough mileage playing in the (slightly) more uncommon keys (Bb, E, B and their parallells) and some of the common ones (C and F). I don’t have much time to practice these days, but when I do, I find that transposing and practicing a tune I know well into a key I don’t know well, broadens both my technical abilites and appreciation for said tune.

Re: Concertina Etudes

Is there even an official form of music notation for the concertina? I would most certainly be interested in Etudes for the concertina, especially after my work studying my favorite Chopin Etudes for piano.

Re: Concertina Etudes

I heard a nice explanation once from a violin teacher - "you spend so much time working over a piece of technique repeatedly that you become sick of whatever piece of music contains it - hence Etudes, rather than spoiling your feelings about a "real" tune. Also, an Etude can work around a technical problem in ways that make training sense, but may not necessarily make for a balanced piece of music. Who needs a flute tune that constantly goes between c# and d, or runs like DEDFDGDADBAc#DBDADGDFDED, or on a keyed flute: DEFNatGFNatEDFnatGFnatDFNatEflatFnatEflatFnat… Or DFnatG#FnatD… Flute players! - you know what I mean…

Re: Concertina Etudes

Have you asked this question over at concertina.net - I’m sure they’d be interested and there’s (obviously) a greater "density" of concertina players there!

I’d suggest looking into what Bertram Levy has done. He seems to have the sort of approach to Anglo you’re advocating, he’s also been to the bandoneon and back! (Brave man!) He’s produced various books.
https://bertramlevy.com/concertina-tutor

Re: Concertina Etudes

Anything you play on an Anglo is an etude.

Re: Concertina Etudes

Anything I play on an Anglo is an eturd.

Re: Concertina Etudes

I think many off the Irish tunes contain etudes, you’ll know when you come across them.

Posted by .

Re: Concertina Etudes

In the voice of Paul McCartney….

Etude, don’t be afraid,
Take a short phrase-from-a-tune
And repeat ad nauseam
Repeat, till you think you’re losing your heart
Then you can start…. to take it to sessions, Sessions, SESSions, SESSIONS

and so forth….