ConcertinaXL is a 30-button Jeffries-style C/G Anglo Concertina for the iPad.
Anglo concertinas are commonly used for playing traditional Irish dance tunes, and is a much-favored instrument in County Clare, Ireland.
The Anglo concertina is bisonoric, meaning the instrument plays a different note for each button depending on whether you are pushing or pulling on the bellows.
In the app, to play, place the iPad on your leg and simply tip the iPad to the left for a bellows push note, or to the right for a bellows pull note, and press a button.
The PUSH/PULL display on the top of the screen shows which direction the bellows is moving.
You may reverse the bellows while pushing a button simply by tipping in the opposite direction.
Multiple buttons may be pressed at the same time to play chords.
Note guide (touch the 'i' icon in the center) shows the note names in realtime for each button when pushed or pulled.
Adjust the tilt sensitivity and volume using the sliders at the top of the screen. All settings are saved when the app exits.
Touch the diamond area at the center bottom of the screen for tremolo effects. The higher up on the diamond, the greater the effect.
The button layout and spacing for the iPad exactly matches a real standard 30-button Jeffries-style instrument.
Uses extremely high-quality audio samples recorded from a high-end Anglo C/G concertina.
Multiple buttons may be pressed at the same time to make chords.
Main screen (Push)
Note guide (Push)
Shows note highlights when pressed, touching tremolo area at bottom center.
Note guide (Pull)
Rotate the iPad to portrait orientation for the instruction screen
Q: I just updated my iPad to iOS 6.0.1 and I'm stuck at the help screen!
A: Apple messed up the Mute/Orientation switch state in the update. Please visit this site for a simple fix.
Q: I seem to be stuck at the help screen and can't get to the playing screen!
A: Check that the orientation lock switch on your iPad (just above the volume controls on the side) is in the off position, then rotate the iPad to landscape orientation to play.
Q: I have an iPad with iOS5 or iOS6 and the sound stops when I put 4 fingers on the screen.
A: You must disable "Multitasking Gestures" in the iPad Settings to use many of my iPad apps.
Apple stops the sound and their gestures take over the iPad once three fingers are on the screen, so you need to disable them.
Q: I'm not hearing any sound, help!
A: Make sure that the mute switch on your device is turned off.
In iOS4.2, the mute switch is the physical switch on the corner of the iPad. In iOS4.3+, you can select between orientation lock or mute for the switch on the device. If you've set the iPad for orientation lock on the switch, then the mute is on the far left side of the task bar, double click the home button and then slide the task bar all the way to the left.
Q: Are the fingerings the same as a real Anglo Concertina?
A: Yes, exactly the same.
Q: What's the best way to play cleanly and quickly?
A: I find that the best way to play the app quickly and precisely is to use a staccato style. If you are changing fingers along with a bellows direction change, practice completely removing the previous finger from the button before the bellow change, tilt the iPad the other direction, and then put down your finger for the new note. This avoids "crossing" sounds and results in a very clean style of playing. With practice, you can play extremely quickly and cleanly using this method. This technique also translates well to the real instrument.
Q: Where can I learn more about how to play the instrument?
A: Please visit the following sites for more information and online learning materials:
Concertina.net - Learning to Play the Anglo Concertina
Q: Now that I've learned the fingerings for some tunes on the iPhone/iPod Touch app, I'd like to buy a real concertina. Who do you recommend?
A: I personally own or have owned instruments from the following builders and highly recommend any of them:
Also The Button Box carries a wide range of new and vintage instruments.
Anglo concertina is difficult enough on a real instrument, so as I've adapted to playing on the iPad, I've learned some tricks to make it easier to play faster and more accurately.
For best speed, on my iPad, I generally have the tilt sensitivity set rather high, in the 80-90 range.
Rather than have the iPad perfectly balanced on my leg, I have the pivot point on my leg so the left side is a bit heavier than the right.
This allow me to use my right hand as the primary tilt control, much as I would handle the bellows on a real instrument.
In this configuration, you can press with your right palm for a push, and just relax your hand and allow the iPad to tilt on it's own to the left for a pull.
This frees up the fingers of the left hand to play more fluidly, particularly the ring and little finger.
I am very interested in any suggestions for features or improvements to the apps for future updates, please drop me an email anytime with your ideas!
Tradlessons iOS Apps Catalog
For more information, please contact Michael Eskin or visit the Tradlessons.com website: