Hi everyone,

As soon as you publish a book like The Concertina Diaries, you wish that you could make changes/additions/deletions, and so on.  Well, the first edition is almost sold out, and this winter I'll be working on Edition 2, which will indeed have some changes: some different/more tunes; more on decoration, chords, bellows modulation; and so on. The first edition has had some great feedback, but Edition 2 should be better, I believe.

In the meantime....

I thought users of "The Diaries" might like some additional resources - some of which will be going into Edition 2.

Scroll right down this page to find an increasing number of tunes, written out in the concertina notation.  If you don't have the book itself, you can read up on the concertina notation used by clicking on the "Sample pages" menu link, and spending just a few minutes reading up on it and getting it into your head.

Let me kick off with two really easy jigs - which, if you wanted, you could learn right after you've learned the first tune in the book (The Newmarket) - because these tunes are played completely 'along the row' - that is, without having to cross rows to play.  OR...if you've advanced much more than that, you could learn them anyway, cos they're nice tunes!

The first is "The Hole in the Hedge", and it's in C major. Why C? Because Martin Hayes, that great fiddler, plays it in C on one his CDs (slowly, as it happens), and it sounds great. AND it's easy!

The second is actually already Tune 2 in "The Diaries":  Cooley's Jig. But this version is in G major, rather than D major. Actually, you play it EXACTLY the same as you play it in D, but you play it on the C (middle) row, and not the inside, G, row.

The tunes go great together. They're easy to learn. So if you're a beginner, learn these and amaze your family and friends, who may secretly think you're way past learning a musical instrument.

Below, you'll find:

1). Three mp3 files, on which you can hear The Hole in the Hedge (C) and Cooley's Jig (G) played once slowly;  and then a file on which you can hear them played together, somewhat faster and with a few 'twiddles' added in. I play each tune once, but with Cooley's, I play it first in G, then switch to D (the version in the book). I do NOT make great claims for the quality of these! They are intended to be learning devices - that's all.

2). Three downloadable pdf files, containing each jig in musical notation, ABC and the concertina notation as given in "The Diaries".

Do try these tunes out. I think you'll find them easy. And enjoyable.

First, the mp3 files:

Hole in the Hedge Jig - Cmaj - slow.mp3

Cooleys Jig - Gmaj - slow.mp3

Hole - C - and Cooleys G and D - Jigs - faster.mp3

 Now three downloadable/printable pdf files (A4), containing:

- The two tunes in musical notation, ABC and conc notation

- A page of hints and tips on playing them.

- A note on bellows modulation in relation to The Hole In The Hedge.

Hole in the Hedge C.pdf Hole in the Hedge C.pdf
Size : 142.33 Kb
Type : pdf
Cooleys Jig - G.pdf Cooleys Jig - G.pdf
Size : 188.958 Kb
Type : pdf
Hints - Hole and Cooleys Jigs.pdf Hints - Hole and Cooleys Jigs.pdf
Size : 48.682 Kb
Type : pdf

 Now, here is a well known reel in G major, called The Sally Gardens. A user of The Concertina Diaries wanted this tune; so I wrote it our for her in concertina notation. It's an easy tune, and one that's played very often (and fast!) for sean nos dancers. So it's a useful one to have in your repertoire. There's also a note on playing the tune - including thinking about your use of the bellows.

2a The Sally Gardens reel as a pdf.pdf 2a The Sally Gardens reel as a pdf.pdf
Size : 188.255 Kb
Type : pdf