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Beginner needs advice regarding budget concertina


pfleury
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Hello all,

 

I am new to the forum so pardon me if I'm asking something stupid.

I was considering buying a concertina and wanted some advice on which instruments to look for.

 

Even though I'm on a short budget (US$500), I was looking for something not as cheap manufactured as some italian concertinas i've read about. I am a professional musician (play double bass in a symphony orchestra) so I really wouldn't be able to stand an instrument which can't keep in tune, or just seems like a toy. I don't mind it being low quality as I know it's an expensive instrument and my budget doesn't go far but I wanted something which I'll be able to enjoy.

 

I was considering either an anglo 30keys or an English concertina. A Lachlan Anglo 30 keys seems nice, but I don't think I'ld be able to afford that.

 

Another problem is that I live in Rio de Janeiro, however, I'll be in Frankfurt for a day on February 2nd, so if anyone knows where i could shop for one there, it would also be much apreciated.

 

Regards.

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Hey guys, I just found a topic in the forum that answers some questions.

 

I got very interested in one of those from the concertinaconnection.com

However, they don't ship outside the US, and I still haven't decided what model type would be best. The English or the anglo-german. I thing the english would be easier to grasp at first (fully cromatic, same note on pull/push) but I like the fact the anglo is quite small and has a rhythmic dynamic to the playing.

 

Anyway, anyone know where I can check one of those in Frankfurt?

 

Regards.

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Hey guys, I just found a topic in the forum that answers some questions.

 

I got very interested in one of those from the concertinaconnection.com

However, they don't ship outside the US, and I still haven't decided what model type would be best. The English or the anglo-german. I thing the english would be easier to grasp at first (fully cromatic, same note on pull/push) but I like the fact the anglo is quite small and has a rhythmic dynamic to the playing.

 

Anyway, anyone know where I can check one of those in Frankfurt?

 

Regards.

Hi pfleurey

 

That would be a good place for a concertina.

 

I would assume you don't mean Frankfurt Kentucky, US. It's kind of hidden, but Concertina Connection has a list of dealers in Europe. Take your pick.

http://www.concertinaconnection.com/dealers%20list.htm

 

Thanks

Leo

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Another problem is that I live in Rio de Janeiro, however, I'll be in Frankfurt for a day on February 2nd, so if anyone knows where i could shop for one there, it would also be much apreciated.

 

Hi, pfleury,

 

Assuming you're coming to Frankfurt, Germany, which Frankfurt are you coming to? We've got two of them: Frankfurt/Main in the former West Germany and Frankfurt/Oder in the former East Germany.

 

If it's Frankfurt/Main, one of the addresses from the link that Leo provided is fairly close:

 

Diatonie

Fachgeschäft für diatonisches Akkordeon

Oliver Stoffregen

Theodor-Reh-Str. 46

64289 Darmstadt

www.diatonie.de

 

Darmstadt is just 20 minutes by train from Frankfurt/Main. (That's main station to main station. I don't know how convenient the Diatonie is to the station, but urban public transport in Germany is pretty good.)

 

Oliver Stoffregen of the "Diatonie" company always gets positive mentions from the German Internet concertina community. I haven't dealt with him myself, but others have found him helpful and good to do business with. That's just as well, because he's one of very few concertina dealers in Germany.

 

Hope this helps,

Cheers,

John

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Thanks for the help guys,

 

Yes, it is Frankfurt/Main. I checked the adress on the shop at Darmstadt, it seems to be a little outside Darmstadt, but on the website he gives directions form Darmstadt's Main Station (I assume that's the one I'ld arrive from Frankfurt). Apparently if I get a tram and walk a few blocks, I'll be there.

 

Thanks for the help!

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I got very interested in one of those from the concertinaconnection.com

However, they don't ship outside the US...

 

I'm one of their dealers and I'd be happy to ship one to Rio, or pretty much anywhere else...

 

 

I thing the english would be easier to grasp at first (fully cromatic, same note on pull/push) but I like the fact the anglo is quite small and has a rhythmic dynamic to the playing.

 

English concertinas and Anglos are normally exactly the same size as each other, and that is the case with the Jack/Jackie and the Rochelle, though some of the other accordion-reeded Englishes (with more than 30 keys) may need to be a bit larger.

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I know the problem. I was given an old disposable German 20 button Anglo of uncertain age. When the buttons started falling off I bought a 20 button Stagi from a music shop that was getting out of selling concertinas. This leaked air and as a result was a somewhat difficult starter instrument (yes yes a bad workman and all that). It had a lovely soft sound though. Getting nowhere with a concertina instruction book and there not being a great number of concertina players in Vancouver (BC that is)to provide succor and encouragement I decided to enroll in the Noel Hill Concertina Boot Camp (NHICS)in Oregon. It was recommended that I equip myself with a 30 button C/G. So I did the research. Concertinas come in 3 price ranges: Around $500, Around $2000 and then $4000 up. I have a propensity to start things and not follow up so I opted for a $400 Rochelle from Concertina Connection. I took it along to the workshop and suffered through Noel's kindly disparagement of my new axe and saw that most participants had at least 2 or 3 high end Wheatstones and Jefferies with the a significant following of Wally Carroll's Wheatstone replicas ($5000+) and at that time a two year waiting list)along with Frank Edgeley's highly regarded instruments, or the Wakker not to forget those from the many other British and German makers.

 

The NHICS is not to everyone's taste apparently but I can only say that my own experience convinced me that although I would probably never reach expert status that here was an instrument and a repertoire that I was already partially familiar with and really enjoyed playing. I thoroughly recommend the experience; especially in Oregon. It was a life changing experience. For the positive that is. After this I gave myself a year of the Rochelle and if by the end of that time I was still playing I would get a better instrument. Noel has as he sees it a water tight argument for buying a $5000 instrument. The argument centers around the purchase of a new car which loses 20% of its value as you drive it off the lot which a good concertina doesn't when you take it off a concertina lot. Or something like that. Why bother buying a $2000 instrument which you will outgrow and eventually sell. Not having the same faith in my own capabilities and staying power I opted for a c.$2000 Clover from Concertina Connection. It was not an entirely trouble free early partnership but Mr C and I are engaged in a regular bout of acutely hard brain exercise and muscular coordination. It is mostly nonviolent and occasionally wonderfully rewarding - and may stave off Altsheimer's.

The thing is although the Clover plays easily and is an instrument I would recommend, Noel was right. I am now looking for the next step because I am not getting the sound of the concertina reeds that I would like to hear when i play.

But $5000 is $5000 and I am glad I made the decision to buy the Clover. Buying a Carroll or a Wakker straight off is a costly venture.

The thing is its easier to learn to play a good instrument than a cheap one.

Over to you.

And Noel, I am now reading the dots on the lines.

Thanks.

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