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Helen Lindley

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Everything posted by Helen Lindley

  1. Thank you all for the recent replies and sorry for not coming back until now but we've been on a family camping holiday in the Lake District so internet wasn't something on my radar! I'm back in the workshop today but I'll have a proper read through all your replies later tonight. For now budget is a major constraint and there is no way on earth I would be able to warrant spending several hundred pounds when we need repairs to the house and soon a newer car and the children's school shoes and summer holidays etc etc. I have no choice but to start at the bottom, although I am more and more leaning toward English if I can possibly find entry level at an affordable price. Financially I might be able to stretch to £125 thanks to some birthday money last week that I really should be spending on new walking boots! Please no harmonicas though as I absolutely can't bear them (I have to switch off the radio at the slightest hint of Bob Dylan - sorry!) And I'm trying to get away from woodwind/blowing instruments as they're all I've played in the past - including clarinet etc. Folk recorder isn't nearly as widely heard these days as it was when I was a child in the 1970s but I do still have my sopanino, descant, treble, and tenor recorders which I occasionally still play! Ukelele is out too - that's been a tried and failed thing. My late grandfather in Stamford was a very accomplished ukelele, guitar, and banjo player so I had plenty of chances but I've never quite gelled with strings, to be honest. Other guitar-type instruments that I've attempted haven't been enjoyable - at school when friends were getting into guitars I was definitely in the 'keyboard' camp. But I absolutely love my 10-15 minutes each day with the plasticky toy melodeon and having made more progress with that in 9 months than I ever did on the aforementioned stringed instruments I'm definitely sticking with bellows!
  2. Hi Helen, I understand and sympathise (broke aspiring concertina-maker). Unfortunately concertinas are complicated little beasts to build, and the very cheapest ones have lots of corners cut in their construction that make them not just sound bad, they are more difficult to play and wear out quickly too. Imagine trying to build a fine chest of drawers with the sort of tools you find in a £1 shop. Good point Alex - except I know full well that if I wait to have enough money to buy a quality instrument then I'll never do it. Something will come along like a children's school trip or a car repair bill etc (plus we're renovating our house!) and I won't be able to justify spending a big sum of money on me. (However, woodworking tools and paintbrushes is something I do know quite a lot about. Years of experience has taught me that sometimes the supposedly top quality tools aren't always very good at the job. Never be afraid to seek the right tools in the places you don't expect to find them rather than worrying about which brand it is!)
  3. There's an idea - we already hake a bird box shaped like a fiddle/violin (amongst other things) so a concertina box would be relatively simple!
  4. Thank you everyone for replying. Some very useful information and it's marvellous to finally find some people local (ish) to me which I shall check out after half term. And thank you for sharing your stories of starting at the budget end. It's not the perfect way to start but perhaps an imperfect start is better than no start at all? I had considered the hiring issue but I know darn well that my music loving children will want to play whatever I buy (our 5 year-old and 8 year-old do seem to have a natural ability to play music, which we obviously encourage!) and I'd hate to feel too worried about anything which wasn't mine getting damaged. Perhaps I need to try to up the budget slightly though to buy a used entry-level English. Much food for thought. Thank you again (tea break over, now I'm back into the workshop!)
  5. Thanks Jim. Tools and practicality are not a problem - we make stuff all day every day - we handmake painted wooden boxes for a living. And I taught myself about computers in the early 1990s by taking 2 old ones apart and rebuilding them into 1 so I'm more than happy in the long term to buy a renovation projects. When you see what I've been playing for the last 4 months then you'll understand why I'm perfectly happy to 'upgrade' to a simple 20k pre-owned! (Sorry for huge image - I can't seem to resize it)
  6. Excellent - I'm from Stamford originally - only just up the road now on the other side of Grantham so although I can't make 4th June I'll certainly check in. Thanks Mike
  7. That's the idea - cheap and (probably not so) cheerful to start with and gradually upgrade. My husband and I own a small woodworking business so we're members of the 'artisan but poor' crowd! But I remember back in the day being told that it's far better to actually go for it (with anything in life) and not waste your life waiting around until you have more time and/or money as there's always something getting in the way. And before you know it you've never got round to doing anything. We did it with our business - had the idea and just went for it - and have never regretted it. Apart from being relatively poor of course. Poor but happy! I have seen some used bargains but it's a case of waiting for something to pop up. These things have a habit of doing so. Thank you for your comments and advice.
  8. Hahaha - can't sing through a harmonica though! But seriously I have to start somewhere. I can't afford spending more currently (2 young children!) and the couple of people I've spoken too have been rather snooty, implying that if I can't afford to spend over £200 then I have no right learning to play! But it's like my kids who are learning clarinet - they have the cheap plastic practice instruments to learn on as recommended by the teacher - they sound bloody awful but they are learning how to play at a vastly reduced cost. It might not be the preferred route of more affluent players but hey, you have to go with what you can.
  9. Hi to everyone. I'm totally new here....and new to concertina ownership as I'm about to enter the world of the 'tina. And isn't it a minefield? I'm in the UK with a very limited budget (which isn't likely to get any larger as there's always something that seems to need fixing at home!) so from what I can see I'm going to have to go with Anglo, much as I'd love an English these are way way over my measly £45-£75 budget. (yes I know that's tiny but I have to start somewhere!) I'll only realistically manage 10-15 minutes a day to practice so I assumed that some sort of 20 button Anglo could be a good thing to start on? My entire experience has been a few months playing on our children's Scarlatti junior melodeon but that's very limited with only 7 buttons! But as a result I'm not entirely new to the diatonic instrument and have even learned a few tunes on the basic little thing - I give it 10 minutes a day nonetheless just to prove to myself that I will indeed keep it up. It's given me the bug and I realise that a concertina is the next step as it takes up much less room that a full size melodeon and (I think) looks far nicer! We're an English Folk-loving family so that's what I'll be wanting to play. I'd love a few pointers before I buy. There are no places near me to try things out (there's no longer a Hobgoblin in Nottingham) and the English Folk scene in my area is almost non-existent so I'm going to have to take the plunge and just go for it blindly and hope for the best. Probably something used on ebay - I've been watching the listings for the past month and researching models but the concertina is a complex old thing, isn't she?! Thank you in advance for any advice you can give to a concertina newbie!
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