Hi from a new member,
In fact, I'm new to the concertina world in general, having played first the fiddle and then the mandolin & tenor guitar for quite a while. The chances of trying out a concertina where I live in France before buying were non-existent, so after a lot of research and much indecision, I took the plunge just a few weeks ago and bought a lovely old Lachenal tutor English concertina through Chris Algar on Ebay and have been really enjoying learning some scales and my first simple tunes.
Only one problem: I work long hours as a technical translator typing all day and have minor repetitive strain injury in both hands and wrists. Trouble is, playing the EC seems to aggravate it, although this may still be due to being a novice. Having learnt from overdoing it on my other instruments, I try to keep my sessions short - 20-30 mins or so. I also play sitting down with the concertina on my knee.
So I'm in a bit of a quandry about whether to carry on and see if I can work through it or trade in the EC and try a 46 button duet concertina which at least looks to be a bit more comfortable to play. I nearly weakened yesterday and went for the Wheatstone 46b duet offered by Chris Algar on Ebay, but realised I didn't know enough about it. I did consider the duet initially but ruled it out on grounds of being too difficult and not being sure whether it would be suitable for the music I like to play: basically British Isles folk and American old-time music, but no classical or music-hall. I'm not interested in the Anglo system, much as I enjoy listening to it.
My budget is limited and I couldn't afford to keep the EC as well, so if I'm to change, the trade-in would be the only way to go.
Any thoughts from the experts?
Is the duet easier on the hands (I'm thinking McCann due to pricing and availability)?
Is it hellishly difficult to learn compared to the English and bearing in mind I have never played the piano?
Would a 46 button instrument be suited to my tastes in music? I'd like to try chordal accompaniment, but keep it quite basic.
Any opinions, even of the "Stop thinking about it so much and get on with playing" variety would be gratefully received.