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Concerteeny

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Thanks to all those who helped me (a novice) figure out that the instrument that had fallen into my hands didn't work right. The experience made me decide that I want to fulfill my long-time dream of learning to play. Now that I've decided to take the plunge, I don't know how to consider whether to get an English or Anglo. Daniel Hersh suggested the Rochelle/Jackie/Elise lines on Concertina Connection and I looked at them - I'm thinking I won't go with the 34 key Elise, but how to decide between the 30 key Rochelle Anglo and 30 key Jackie English - which both come with the extras offered by that site.

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What kind of music do you want to play?

 

Thanks to all those who helped me (a novice) figure out that the instrument that had fallen into my hands didn't work right. The experience made me decide that I want to fulfill my long-time dream of learning to play. Now that I've decided to take the plunge, I don't know how to consider whether to get an English or Anglo. Daniel Hersh suggested the Rochelle/Jackie/Elise lines on Concertina Connection and I looked at them - I'm thinking I won't go with the 34 key Elise, but how to decide between the 30 key Rochelle Anglo and 30 key Jackie English - which both come with the extras offered by that site.

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That's the key question. Once you decide that you can choose according to your pocket and get stuck in. Get all the advice and tuition you need or can afford or access.

 

You can always add another type of instrument later

 

Even if you have catholic or eclectic tatses you need to try to master one style and instrument first, and listen to lots of players in that style, on different instruments too.

 

Best of luck

Edited by michael sam wild

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Hi Concerteeny

 

I have no idea why, but my brain just doesn't work with the in and out note differences of an anglo, so my choice is an english concertina. Different logic. I still can't make a harmonica work either.

 

Since you live in the US, have you considered a rental from the Button Box in Mass. for a month or two, and try out each system. It's an option available without making a commitment, and I understand their rates are reasonable. I also don't know what instruments they have available, but, it's worth talking to them.

http://www.buttonbox.com/other-services.html

 

Bob Tedrow in Birmingham, AL is close too, but I don't know if he has a rental program.

http://hmi.homewood.net/rochelle/

 

In any case, once you decide and play for a while, with their policy of offering full purchase price refund when, (not if), you upgrade, Sounds like a good deal.

 

Thanks

Leo

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Thanks to all those who helped me (a novice) figure out that the instrument that had fallen into my hands didn't work right. The experience made me decide that I want to fulfill my long-time dream of learning to play. Now that I've decided to take the plunge, I don't know how to consider whether to get an English or Anglo. Daniel Hersh suggested the Rochelle/Jackie/Elise lines on Concertina Connection and I looked at them - I'm thinking I won't go with the 34 key Elise, but how to decide between the 30 key Rochelle Anglo and 30 key Jackie English - which both come with the extras offered by that site.

 

Main thing: Anglo is not fully chromatic but easy to pick up by ear and play folk tunes, with or without self-accompaniment.

English is fully chromatic, but one needs to understand harmony to sound livelier and self-accompaniment is trickier to master, as it needs some time for finger dexterity. Probably less easy to play by ear and it doesn't have "automatic" harmonizing in home keys, like Anglo.

 

Rest is secondary:

Anglo is key specific, English is key free.

Both are easy to read with.

If you choose Anglo, you will have many to listen to, but only in Irish style.

English will leave you longing for company, unless you have donkey ears.

Anglo will help you with phrasing and rhythm, English will ask for deliberate accentuation.

But Rochelle is probably less capable instrument then Jackie. Anglo need to be able to speak quickly bellows change, needing to play melody, unless you are going to play slower and without those quick tricks.

Jackie will allow you to play faster, if you are not into bellows changes for accentuating the beats.

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Main thing: Anglo is not fully chromatic but easy to pick up by ear and play folk tunes, with or without self-accompaniment.

English is fully chromatic, but one needs to understand harmony to sound livelier and self-accompaniment is trickier to master, as it needs some time for finger dexterity. Probably less easy to play by ear and it doesn't have "automatic" harmonizing in home keys, like Anglo.

Quite good summary by Mischa, but I will clarify a few things....

 

Anglo is key specific, English is key free.

A 20-button anglo in C/G will allow you to play easily in C, G, modal Am and modal Dm, with some of D major (but you don't have that all-important C#)

A 30-button anglo is fully chromatic across much of its range and much more versatile in terms of keys; C, G, F, D, Am, Dm and Em, are fairly straightforward.

 

Although the English is fully chromatic over all its range, most people find it rather challenging to play in the more extreme keys say more than 3 sharps or flats in the key signature (although this is largely a matter of familiarity and practice).

 

If you choose Anglo, you will have many to listen to, but only in Irish style.

Not true. There are plenty of Youtube videos and CDs of anglo concertina playing in non-Irish style.

 

English will leave you longing for company, unless you have donkey ears.

I guess it depends where you live. There are plenty of both anglo and English players around in the UK. You would have no trouble meeting up with your peers.

 

 

But Rochelle is probably less capable instrument then Jackie. Anglo need to be able to speak quickly bellows change, needing to play melody, unless you are going to play slower and without those quick tricks.

Jackie will allow you to play faster, if you are not into bellows changes for accentuating the beats.

I think by 'less capable' you are referring to the Rochelle's response and ease of playing? The reeds in the Rochelle and the Jackie are exactly the same quality.

Having played a Rochelle, I am impressed with its responsive nature. It speaks quite readily and the bellows direction changes are fine. I think it is an excellent beginner's anglo, probably the best on the market for its price.

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I guess it depends where you live. There are plenty of both anglo and English players around in the UK. You would have no trouble meeting up with your peers.

 

But what, if you live in Memphis TN, like Concerteeny? :ph34r:

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I guess it depends where you live. There are plenty of both anglo and English players around in the UK. You would have no trouble meeting up with your peers.

 

But what, if you live in Memphis TN, like Concerteeny? :ph34r:

Emigrate? tongue.gif

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Misha where have you beenhuh.gif Jody Kruskal, John Kirkpatrick, Anahata, Brian Peters , John Spiers etc etc

 

Listen to Anglo International for non Irish style players and read Dan's book.

Edited by michael sam wild
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Everybody who's posted a reply has helped me work this out. Thank you all so much. Do you give advice on other things, too, say, plumbing or auto repair? I'm leaning toward the Rochelle, but will go back and listen to as many Anglo videos as I can find first, and also consider the suggestion to rent. My musical tastes are eclectic, I mostly play folk, but I have recently realized my first memory of a concertina (or accordian) was from my dad's record of Michel Legrand's I Love Paris. That's probably not what most of you play, I'm guessing. I loved it as a child. Anyway, thanks again one and all.

Main thing: Anglo is not fully chromatic but easy to pick up by ear and play folk tunes, with or without self-accompaniment.

English is fully chromatic, but one needs to understand harmony to sound livelier and self-accompaniment is trickier to master, as it needs some time for finger dexterity. Probably less easy to play by ear and it doesn't have "automatic" harmonizing in home keys, like Anglo.

Quite good summary by Mischa, but I will clarify a few things....

 

Anglo is key specific, English is key free.

A 20-button anglo in C/G will allow you to play easily in C, G, modal Am and modal Dm, with some of D major (but you don't have that all-important C#)

A 30-button anglo is fully chromatic across much of its range and much more versatile in terms of keys; C, G, F, D, Am, Dm and Em, are fairly straightforward.

 

Although the English is fully chromatic over all its range, most people find it rather challenging to play in the more extreme keys say more than 3 sharps or flats in the key signature (although this is largely a matter of familiarity and practice).

 

If you choose Anglo, you will have many to listen to, but only in Irish style.

Not true. There are plenty of Youtube videos and CDs of anglo concertina playing in non-Irish style.

 

English will leave you longing for company, unless you have donkey ears.

I guess it depends where you live. There are plenty of both anglo and English players around in the UK. You would have no trouble meeting up with your peers.

 

 

But Rochelle is probably less capable instrument then Jackie. Anglo need to be able to speak quickly bellows change, needing to play melody, unless you are going to play slower and without those quick tricks.

Jackie will allow you to play faster, if you are not into bellows changes for accentuating the beats.

I think by 'less capable' you are referring to the Rochelle's response and ease of playing? The reeds in the Rochelle and the Jackie are exactly the same quality.

Having played a Rochelle, I am impressed with its responsive nature. It speaks quite readily and the bellows direction changes are fine. I think it is an excellent beginner's anglo, probably the best on the market for its price.

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Everybody who's posted a reply has helped me work this out. Thank you all so much. Do you give advice on other things, too, say, plumbing or auto repair? I'm leaning toward the Rochelle, but will go back and listen to as many Anglo videos as I can find first, and also consider the suggestion to rent. My musical tastes are eclectic, I mostly play folk, but I have recently realized my first memory of a concertina (or accordian) was from my dad's record of Michel Legrand's I Love Paris. That's probably not what most of you play, I'm guessing. I loved it as a child. Anyway, thanks again one and all.

I don't mean to complicate your life further...but if you like accordion music, you might consider a third option: the Hayden Duet. Concertina Connection makes one of those too, the Elise. Duet concertinas are designed to play melody on the right hand and accompaniment on the left, like an accordion (though without the accordion's pre-packaged chords). Though many people play Anglo that way too, called "English" or "harmonic" or "duet" style Anglo playing.

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Everybody who's posted a reply has helped me work this out. Thank you all so much. Do you give advice on other things, too, say, plumbing or auto repair? I'm leaning toward the Rochelle, but will go back and listen to as many Anglo videos as I can find first, and also consider the suggestion to rent. My musical tastes are eclectic, I mostly play folk, but I have recently realized my first memory of a concertina (or accordian) was from my dad's record of Michel Legrand's I Love Paris. That's probably not what most of you play, I'm guessing. I loved it as a child. Anyway, thanks again one and all.

I don't mean to complicate your life further...but if you like accordion music, you might consider a third option: the Hayden Duet. Concertina Connection makes one of those too, the Elise. Duet concertinas are designed to play melody on the right hand and accompaniment on the left, like an accordion (though without the accordion's pre-packaged chords). Though many people play Anglo that way too, called "English" or "harmonic" or "duet" style Anglo playing.

 

I will second that.

Many people mistake concertina for small accordion. They loved accordion as children but don't have space for it in their adult lives, so they lean towards small and portable "traveler's accordion" - concertina. It's NOT an accordion, doesn't sound like one (unfortunately) and is not played like one. Elise is probably as close to small accordion as it can be.

To answer other people about who to listen to:

Aside from Irish Anglo players there is sparsity in styles and most important, quality of Anglo playing. Brian Peters and Jodi are good, but one can probably name hundreds of Irish concertina players who are exceptional. Very high level and it only gets better.

English is not represented. Duet is not currently represented. Eclectic Anglo playing exist, but sparsely. As for meeting fellow players, it's less important.

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Many people mistake concertina for small accordion. They loved accordion as children but don't have space for it in their adult lives, so they lean towards small and portable "traveler's accordion" - concertina. It's NOT an accordion, doesn't sound like one (unfortunately) and is not played like one. Elise is probably as close to small accordion as it can be.

 

 

I made the mistake of thinking the concertina was a small version of a Melodeon (Diatonic accordion).

Have you given one of those a try? I flit between that on anglo concertina...stops me getting too fustrated with one instrument.

*ducks and hides for mentioning melodeons on a concertina forum*

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Aside from Irish Anglo players there is sparsity in styles ...

 

Mischa, you are not in England so I can only assume your experience of "English-style" playing is limited.

 

There is a great variety of styles among English-style players - almost every player has their own personal style of playing. Perhaps your ears aren't attuned to the differences in style, just as my ears aren't attuned to the differences in Irish styles. To me, Brian Peters, Jody Kruskal, John Kirkpatrick and Will Duke (to name just a few) all have very different styles of playing.

 

This is partly because there isn't the same teaching infrastructure as there is with Irish-style, many players are self-taught, with the help of the occasional workshop. We don't have the structure of lessons offered by Comhaltas, and we don't have top players offering summer schools where students can work at length and in detail on technique. On the other hand, this leaves people free to work out their own way of playing and to develop their own style.

 

...and most important, quality of Anglo playing.

 

I'm not sure what criteria you're using to define "quality" of playing. English music is generally played slower than Irish, and with less decoration, but precise playing is just as important.

 

Brian Peters and Jodi are good, but one can probably name hundreds of Irish concertina players who are exceptional. Very high level and it only gets better.

 

Brian, Jody and John K are professional performers who tour widely and are known internationally. There are a great many more excellent players who are not so well known.

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I forgot to mention the other styles which are neither Irish nor English - South African, for example. Anglo International demonstrates just a few of these.

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concertina. It's NOT an accordion, doesn't sound like one (unfortunately) and is not played like one.

 

Now, this is one of the most annoying things I've readen in this forum. Of course concertina is not an accordion, LUCKILY.

 

I've played - yes, Irish music, so? - as a fiddler with lots of accordionists: piano system, continental chromatic, B/C, C#/D... and there's nothing more unpleasant to my ears than the multi-voiced musette tuned instruments - leave alone an inadequate accompaniment on left hand that clearly clashes with the one of the bouzoukist / guitarrist- . Not to talk about their irritant inherent loudness.

 

To my ears, the charm of the anglo is its single voice and articulation, and good blending with other ITM instruments.

IMHO, the anglo is the quintaessential harmonica - that I can't play because still am a heavy smoker -.

 

So, I'm sorry Mischa; I couldn't dissagree more with you.

 

Cheers,

Fer

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I just wanted to throw in my opinion that the anglo system is not necessarily better for learning by ear. I've played both english and anglo and learned a fair amount by ear, and I've found it easier to learn on the english system. I tend to be a visual learner, and on the english your chords are all in little triangles, which I find very easy (er, relatively) to navigate. Transposition is also easier for me since, like a piano, all the scales have very similar fingering. If I hear a V-I change the fingering is going to be more or less the same regardless of the key. I play a lot of fiddle tunes that are usually in A or D major and it was always a pain for me to swtich my brain between the two when learning a new tune because the fingerings are so different. Many genres of European folk music are heavily reliant on the I and V chord apreggios for melody. On an english concertina those chords look similar and have almost the same relative positions regarless of the key, this is not the case on an anglo. You also don't really have to memorize simple chords on an english (at least not in root position, I'm not going to touch more complex harmonies here), they're all just the same triangles. Whereas on anglo I had to put in a fair amount of practice to be able to call up Dmaj or Cmin without thinking. In short I've found the transposability of the english to be a great help in my own learning. I don't want to imply any kind of inferiority of the anglo, just offer my view that the kind of transitive logic (anglos are good for irish trad, irish trad is an aural tradition, therefore anglos must be good for aural traditions) that suggests anglos are better for aural learning is not true for everyone.

 

Also shouldn't this be in General Discussion?

Edited by L'Albatroce

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