This map of the concertina is a great and useful tool to have printed out and beside you when you’re starting to learn the concertina and even later, when you’re learning extra buttons and notes.
Push and Pull, In and Out, Press and Draw
On this map of the concertina, I have placed the notes that go OUT on the top half of the circle.
To sound these notes, press the button down fully and PULL out the bellows.
Underneath the line in each circle, you'll find the notes that sound when you press the button and PUSH the bellows IN.
You might notice that some notes are repeated. Yes! You have two and sometimes three options for almost each note on the concertina. Fun, eh?
This gives you many many options of buttons for the same sequence of notes.
For example, there are many ways you could play the sequence C - B - A - G.
To avoid confusion, I teach just one option for each note at the start.
You can see this in my lessons in the Starter Course here on www.IrishConcertinaLessons.com.
On this map of the concertina, the notes marked in red are the most important notes to familiarise yourself with initially. Get to know these particular buttons first.
Gradually we’ll introduce more notes and more buttons as we learn our first tunes here on the website.
You’ll see on this map that not all the buttons are labeled with notes.
This is because these notes are so seldom used, and there’s no point in confusing you at the start. (I couldn’t tell you what most of them are!).
The notes I have filled in are the notes that get used the most, with the red notes being the very first you would learn off by heart.
When starting out, spend some time learning the names of the red notes off by heart; which notes go IN and which go OUT. This is important.
When learning your first few tunes, it’s important to know the names of the red notes; where they are and which direction they go in, without having to check back to this map.
When I’m teaching, I quiz the students; play G, play D, play C, play A, etc, in a random order to check that they know which button and which direction (push or pull).
This makes it easier for you to learn the melody in the lesson; when I say ‘D F B A’, that you know where to go to get those notes.