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Everything posted by wannaplayjazz

  1. Ooh! Thanks for posting this. I play EC but, workshops aside, I live only about an hour away and will definitely pop over to Clare for some of the music and events that weekend.
  2. Well, my beeeautiful 48-button rosewood-ended Wheatstone English purchased from Chris Algar arrived last Thursday and I LOVE it! Such a lovely sound and I'm starting to get the hang of a few tunes on it now. I'm so happy to own my very own concertina after spending my entire life wishing for one - I just can't understand now why I waited so long! And many thanks again to everyone who gave me advice - I have absolutely no regrets about my purchase.
  3. Oh, the German Concertina Meeting sounds great but I won’t be able to make it. However, I will look up the musicians you suggested – thanks Conzertino. And thank you Kevin for those recommendations too. At the moment I’m working on Minor Swing, Joshua Fit the Battle of Jericho and Nature Boy. And I’ve ordered a book of Django music because I’m already getting lazy about learning by ear and trying to write and arrange stuff myself, so it’ll be easier for me to use books as a starting point. I must also get some good notation software because, as I say, I’m lazy about writing stuff out by hand and it annoys me if it looks messy! I’m also organising for some tuition from a professional musician for myself and a bunch of friends who want to learn more about jazz and jamming etc. Should be fun! I’m totally enchanted by the sound of the concertina and can’t believe I finally own my very own instrument! Plus, it’s been easier to learn than I had anticipated ... though it’s a long way from sounding how I’d like it to yet! But I am making progress I think.
  4. Just bought a lovely-looking Wheatstone by email correspondence! Can't wait to get my hands on it. Thanks ever so much to all of you for your guidance.
  5. Thanks again. Yes, I think a 48-button rosewood-ended Wheatstone would suit me nicely. I've made some enquiries based on your suggestions so fingers crossed I'll get my hands on one soon. I'm so keen to just start playing now!
  6. Thanks Daniel - that's very helpful indeed. Ideally I would be able to try an instrument before I buy it but the Anglo is so much more popular in Ireland and I'm looking for an English, so the selection of instruments available is really tiny and I may have to buy sight-unseen from the UK. So any information I can glean is useful when deciding which ones to consider. Norma.
  7. LOL I'm having such trouble figuring all this out, I can't see CAS being a problem for me ... yet! But I bet I could get used to it, given time! Thank you for all the advice. I'm starting to get a picture of what's involved. So I'm going to increase my budget - see, it's starting already!!! So, what the money goes on is the mechanism between the buttons and the pads, the reeds and the housing for all that? And everything else - buttons, bellows, pads & valves - is fixable/replaceable ... is that correct? By the way, if anyone knows of a nice English for sale, maybe an entry-level Wheatstone, you know where to find me!
  8. Thinking again, I'm wondering if the differences between the two concertinas are more specific to individual instruments or generally found in those makes/models? Is it possible that the qualities of one instrument might not necessarily be found in another example of the same type?
  9. Hi everyone! I’ve decided I’d like to buy an English concertina and I’d like some advice please as I really know next to nothing about them. I started out with a modest budget of about €1,000 or £850 and discovered I could get a vintage 48-button Lachenal with rosewood ends, 5-fold bellows, and steel reeds for that money. One I saw had the bone buttons replaced with steel and I’m curious about that – I believe they’re preferable to players but does it de-value the instrument in any way to have original features replaced? And what is the going rate for a fully-restored Lachenal compared to one pretty much in its original condition? I'm wondering whether to get one with the work done or to buy one that needs work and have it done? Also, I did something I really shouldn’t have ... I tried out a really beautiful Wheatstone that is way outside my budget!!! I think it was a 56-button Aeola from the 1930s (I knew I couldn’t buy it, so didn’t pay too much attention to those details, sorry!). But as an absolute beginner, even I could appreciate the difference in quality between the two instruments. Things I noticed were the much quicker response time between pushing the button/bellows and hearing the sound, the quality and clarity of the tone, the volume, the efficiency of the bellows (it had 6 folds compared to the 5 on the much cheaper Lachenel I tried but I don’t know if that’s the reason?) and the ease with which I seemed to be able to find my way through a scale because of the size and shape of the buttons. It also had extra buttons, but I don’t need the extra range myself. I know I can’t afford that particular Wheatstone or anything of that quality, but I definitely preferred the quicker response and the button size and shape. So, I’m considering increasing my budget now and my question is: what would be the minimum I would have to spend so that I could expect those qualities (quicker response and broader buttons) in an instrument? And what specifically would you recommend in that new price range, as in, is there some sort of middle ground between these two options I’ve already seen? Or is it an all-or-nothing kind of thing with these instruments? Apologies if I’m not using the right terms etc. I hope you can understand from my layman’s viewpoint what I’m trying to ask.
  10. Hi! Yes I did. I sent you something yesterday. It obviously never got you. I sent another just now.
  11. Oh another fabulous clip! Really enjoyed that one a lot - thanks Kautilya. I've just added that to my "want to learn" list! And that early track would be fascinating to hear! Can you imagine? Er, Steve, I'm supposed to upload clips??!! *gulp*
  12. Ooh! Well done you! I hope you'll post more as you go along.
  13. I found the Dave Townsend clips – fabulous! Thanks Dirge. And thank you Randy – I loved Summertime especially. Many thanks also to Kautilya for all your research. It’s fantastic to hear all the different approaches and styles of playing. I have also been in touch with Chris at Barleycorn and he’s been very helpful as you all said he would be. So taking everything into account (drumroll please!) ... I have decided to go for an English. I think it best suits how I want to play. When I think about what I like to listen to and what in the music I react to as a dancer (lindy hop & balboa), it’s always the melodic instruments more so than the rhythm section that I’m drawn to. I think the English will allow me to play more with that side of things with the option to also play around a little bit with harmonies, but without getting bogged down in having to arrange pieces. Coming up with arrangements is never something that I particularly enjoyed with the piano so, despite my best intentions and ambitions, I don’t see my laziness in that regard changing anytime soon! Another consideration is that I would like to play with my friends, who have a range of different instruments, so having the flexibility to play in different keys easily is essential and the English should allow me to do that too. But even if I didn’t take your particular advice, I’m very grateful for it. Not knowing anything about the instrument, it was invaluable for me to hear about the specific properties of each type and what you all liked about the instrument you play in order to decide which most appealed to me personally. This was my first post on this site and I am totally overwhelmed with the outpouring of genuinely helpful and meaningful advice I received. I can’t wait to get one now!
  14. Oh my word - yes that's EXACTLY the style of music I'd like to play!!! Especially the non-accompaniment bit he plays. Thank you! But now I'm TOTALLY confused - that's on Anglo? The first thing I was told was to rule that one out. But, come to think of it, I don't really understand why. I keep hearing about how the push/pull of the bellows affects rhythm but I don't really understand how. Don't you push/pull the bellows on any concertina - what is it about the Anglo that makes it different? I mean, I know it changes the note, but how does that affect the rhythm in a way that couldn't be achieved on other concertinas? Pardon my utter ignorance! And more links to that sort of stuff would be fantastic!
  15. Hi Tony! Sorry, seem to have cross-posted so didn't see your message til now. I agree with what you're saying in principal but the problem for me right now is that I'm not just new to the instrument, I've also never played any jazz either! So I'm not overly competent of my ability to even work that bass line properly if I had it, which is why I'm tending towards the English right now. I think the task of facing two learning curves at once might be too much for me. BUT then I wonder, once I get to grips with the mechanics of a new instrument, would I then want to get into the jazz harmonies more, in which case I might regret not getting a duet. This is my main dilemma. If I end up not using the bass so much, then I don't like the idea of playing almost one-handed but neither do I want to buy an instrument that won't suit what I want to do in a year's time. Norma.
  16. I think I just spoke to Stephen on the phone! I'm in Co. Galway.
  17. Ooh! GREAT clips. Minor Swing is one of my all-time favourite tunes to (balboa) dance to - can't wait to learn it on a concertina!
  18. Thank you all again. It's definitely the pre-war jazz I'm interested in, Django, and some of the contemporary New Orleans bluesy street jazz (Tuba Skinny, Smoking Time Jazz Club etc) - I got into the music through dancing so, in my books, "it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing." Glad to see it's not such an outlandish idea to play that sort of stuff on a concertina after all. I did consider a Crane because the button layout was very logical to me but I have small hands and I heard the high notes are hard to reach with the right hand - is that so? It's really difficult to know without getting my hands on one for a while whether to go for an English or duet. Since it's mostly playing melodies I'd be interested in for now, I'm thinking an English might be the way to go but, having played piano for years, I wonder would I miss the ability to play a bass line after a while. I can’t find anybody in the country that has an English concertina (all Irish trad musicians with anglos) so it’s hard to envision what’s possible without even being able to hold one. So apologies if this is a really dumb question, but how tricky is it to add some harmony while playing an English? I'm sure very proficient players can make it do anything but realistically, for an ordinary mortal like me, how feasible is it?
  19. Thanks Steve. That does look lovely but, unfortunately, I won't be able to get the money together for another few weeks. Pity. I'll keep an eye on it to see what it goes for.
  20. Ah you're all teasing me by mentioning great musicians I want to listen to, but can't find clips of! I'm torn now between an English and a McCann Duet, but leaning towards the English. I grew up in the west of Ireland and fell in love with the concertina, of course, from hearing Irish trad played on an Anglo. And so that's the sound I associate with the instrument. I think the way I would end up playing a Duet concertina, however, would be more like how a melodion sounds because I would end up using a left-hand harmony more. Maybe I'm completely off the wall with that idea? But then, the idea of playing jazz on a concertina seems to be somewhat off the wall anyway, so why stop there?! All jokes aside, what kind of instrument (English) could I expect to get for my approx. €1000/£850 budget? Any recommendations?
  21. Wow! Thank you so much for all the replies! Not knowing enough about the instrument, I'm curious why some people feel it is inherently unsuitable for jazz? I suppose it's best to clarify the kind of music I envisage playing, so here's a link to one of my favourite bands, the Rhythm Junkies from Lithuania: Ignoring the cheesy radio station jingle in the first 10 seconds, they play two songs that pretty much encompass what I'm hoping to achieve on the concertina. I don't see myself joining a big band and trying to compete with the brass section or anything like that. I suppose I'm thinking about playing something like a combination of the typical clarinet and vocal parts (or what the accordion does in the clip above). I'm thinking I'll need something with an approximate range from about the F below middle C to about the second A above it (2-3 octaves), with every note in-between so that I can play in any key. And something that would enable me to play some harmonies underneath the melody too would be nice. Can that be done on both an English and Duet or what would be the relative strengths/weaknesses of one over the other? And is an instrument capable of all that within my budget? If all I can afford for now is junk, then is there something out there that I could upgrade from easily if I ever get to the point where my skills surpass the limitations of the instrument I'm playing? Thanks again for all the info so far! Norma.
  22. Hi everyone! I just found this forum and it seems like the ideal place to get advice. I'm interested in buying a concertina to play jazz on, but I'm new to both the instrument and the music genre. I play piano, but the nearest I've come is some to playing jazz is some ragtime pieces. But I love to listen to jazz, particularly gypsy jazz and big band swing, and I've always loved the concertina as an instrument so now I would like to combine the two. I have a very limited budget and would hope to spend no more than €1000 or £850. Am I dreaming to think I could get a suitable instrument for that? If not, what are my options please? As I know nothing, any advice about the type of concertina that would suit, specific models to consider, what to look for when purchasing, and who to buy from would be very much appreciated. Many thanks!
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