The anglo concertina is arguably one of the most robust melodic characters of traditional Irish Music. A close relative of the accordion, the concertina is a reed instrument, that requires a combination of pressing buttons and gentle movement of the hands to create the bellows effect that sounds the notes. This squeezing motion led to the common nickname of the instrument as the ‘squeeze box’. This course is aimed at the absolute beginner concertina player.
By the end of this beginners’ course, you will have a repertoire of seventeen popular Irish tunes, the ability to play cuts, rolls, chords and octaves and a deeper understanding of the Irish music tradition. The course has 18 lessons, broken into 3 to 4 tutorials each, where tunes are taught phrase by phrase.
This course is designed to equip the beginner with all the techniques necessary to play Irish music on the concertina. How to hold the instrument, proper hand/finger posture, the use of the air button and alternate fingering are all important skills that are addressed in the early lessons. There is a progressive study of scales, ornamentation, use of chords and octave playing throughout the eighteen lessons.
The course also comes with accompanying animated diagrams. When the tutor is teaching each tune slowly, phrase by phrase, there are graphic inserts of each side of the concertina on the video, with highlighted buttons showing where to press and when to push or pull adding to the ease of learning.
The traditional Irish tunes taught in this course are:
Johnny Will You Marry Me
Green Grow The Rushes
A Hundred Pipers
The Boys Of Tandragee
The Maid Of Feakle
The Carrigkerry Slide
Joe Banes Barndance
Dan The Cobbler
Sample Sheet Music
Sample mp3 of Maggie In The Woods
Recommended Concertina for Beginners
The 30 button C/G Anglo Concertina is used in Irish music. Brands such as Wren, Lachenal or Barleycorn are recommended for beginners. The tutor in this course plays a Geoffreys.
Advice Starting Out with the Concertina
Enjoy the journey. Don’t progress to the next lesson until the current lesson is mastered. Lesson sequence is progressive and designed in such a way to develop your skill step by step. Remember these are video tutorials, so rewind, repeat, stop and rest to suit your pace of learning. Everyone learns at a different speed, the important thing to keep in mind is that the more relaxed you are about learning, the more you will absorb the instruction, that’s why we at OAIM always focus on enjoying the practice and playing of music.
Particularly with Irish music, it is highly recommended to be familiar with the tune you are learning before you begin learning how to play it. For that reason we recommend downloading the accompanying mp3 file for each lesson and listen to it frequently first before beginning the corresponding tutorial on it.
Detailed questions and discussion on the course can be found in the Community Forum, available to paying members only.