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Concertinas Only


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#1 Mike Franch

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 07:25 PM

We have a huge outpouring under the heading of "multi instrumentalists," a quite daunting outpouring of talent by members of C.net.

I have to testify that I only play the concertina (EC) and can't imagine myself learning to play anything else. I picked one up when I was almost 69 and have been at it with great love and enthusiasm for two-plus years now. If it were not for the concertina, I don't think that I would be able to play an instrument.

This might be a confession of my limitations as a musician, but it is definitely a tribute to this great instrument!

I should proudly add that, busking with two friends at a local farmers' market, I have come home with $8.70 from my playing.

#2 Chris Drinkwater

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 08:26 PM

Good for you, Mike. Keep it up. I started to learn the EC a few years ago, because it was the only instrument I was attracted to that I thought I might be able to learn, late in life; and I am pleased to say that I took to it like a duck to water. Recently, following on from my success with the EC, I decided to expand my musical horizons and abilities and have a go at learning the fiddle and mandolin, instruments I also like the sound of in sessions and being melody instruments, easy to transfer my current repertoire to. After two months, I am progressing very well with the mandolin, less so with the fiddle because bowing is harder to get right than plucking strings. Even if I manage to reach a reasonable level of musical competency on the mandolin and/or fiddle in a few years time, I would still consider my concertina to be my favourite and primary instrument! (doffs his hat to Charles Wheatstone, without whom this forum might not exist) :)

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#3 jggunn

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Posted 13 March 2012 - 09:29 PM

I started by playing clawhammer banjo at mid-life (47), switched to the guitar, then to the mandolin, some harmonica, hammer dulcimer along the way. Never felt that I could get to the "bottom" of these instruments, that is fully grasp their possiblities and ways to play them. So many years later, after watching the Button Box display at the Old Songs festival outside Albany NY, I thought I would try the English concertina. That was in the mid-90's. Can't say I have come close to reaching the bottom but at least I know what it would be like to be there. Now thinking about joining a folk orchestra in Davis CA where I now live, but I am not sure I can play with others after so many years of doing it by myself.

#4 yankeeclipper

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Posted 14 March 2012 - 07:40 PM

Over the years, I made half-hearted stabs at piano, oboe, harmonica, recorder, pennywhistle, even a Chemnitzer concertina, but nothing held my attention for more than a few lessons. Then I found an old (1915) Wheatstone model 21 EC, the lone musical instrument in a militaria antique/junque shop in Glasgow, and got hooked. :) Thirty years later, I'm still hooked. Best 100 I ever spent! :D

#5 Andy Holder

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Posted 15 March 2012 - 05:35 PM

Well done Mike. I wish I had your balls to go busking! But who was the cheapskate that gave you 70 cents?

#6 Alfred John

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 09:28 AM

Hello to all of you. I am fairly new at the concertina myself, playing for just over a year now. Just joined Concertina.net a couple weeks ago. I have played harmonica for many years, probably not all that well, but I have fun. While looking at harmonicas on the Hohner site, I saw their concertina, and just had to have one. I found the buttons to stick, and returned it for another instrument which had the same problem, so I gave up on that. More research led me to the realization that I would have to make a more substantial investment to get a decent instrument. Almost 4 years later I ordered a Morse c/d anglo. No regrets about this instrument. I found a great teacher in my area and have been learning and enjoying ever since. I will be 60 next month, and feel like I have many good years of playing ahead, and hopefully improving as I go.

#7 Chris Timson

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 02:58 PM

I will be 60 next month, and feel like I have many good years of playing ahead, and hopefully improving as I go.


Speaking as a 60-year old, I agree.

Back in my 20s I played melodeon for a while. No idea why I didn't carry it on, perhaps I was fated to play anglo. Once I took up the anglo I've never had much inclination to learn a different instrument. It suits me too well.

Actually I do have a button accordion that was made for me a few years back, but the key layout is a direct copy of a 30-button Jeffries G/D, so I can pick it up and just play it. It's called the Anglodeon. So I don't think that qualifies me as a multi-instrumentalist.

Chris

PS In case no-one else has said it, welcome to the forum.

Edited by Chris Timson, 21 April 2012 - 02:59 PM.


#8 Alfred John

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Posted 23 April 2012 - 04:15 PM

Thanks Chris. Oh I just noticed that I said I bought a Morse c/d anglo, but it is actually c/g.

#9 Mikefule

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 12:26 AM

Well done Mike. I wish I had your balls to go busking! But who was the cheapskate that gave you 70 cents?


Surely it was all of them? LOL

#10 Mike Franch

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Posted 24 April 2012 - 11:54 AM

My take was $8.70 because there were three of us and we took in a bit over $26.00

What was really neat was that The Baltimore Sun, our once-great newspaper, had an article about the farmers' market and noted the three musicians at the entrance to the market, citing us as part of the wonderful ambiance. So I've been called a musician!

I have found that playing a concertina, as opposed to some other, more familiar instrument such as the recorder, fiddle, or whatever, gives even an unaccomplished player such as myself a great advantage. There's a tremendous "Wow" factor as people look at all those buttons and hear the great sounds that even inexpensive instruments make.

Mike

#11 yankeeclipper

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Posted 25 April 2012 - 07:46 AM

The biggest advantage is that I'm usually the best (and only) EC player in the room. :) Of course, for listeners, that's a disadvantage. :(

#12 Rod Thompson

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Posted 02 May 2012 - 10:28 PM

I think I qualify as "concertina only". I can play a few tunes on button box and piano, and came to the Anglo via harmonica, but only play the 'tina on a regular basis.




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