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New Guy!


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Hello all! I am new to the concertina, and have yet to get one of my own. As they are a little on the expensive side for me at the moment. I stumbled on this website as I was looking into what instrument I was hearing and seeing in many Irish folk songs. Soon though, I found myself falling head over heals with the sounds it made. And I have been wanting to pick up a new instrument to play. And this one fits the bill for me! But sadly, I don't have any experience seeing or holding one. And if I am going to drop a grand or more on something. I at least want to know what I 'should' be getting for my buck. This brings me to another point. I am a young man in the middle of the heartland of the U.S. In Nebraska. I would love to get in touch with someone out here or near by at all that knows how to play or at least owns one that I could look at for a bit. As I find just reading about them and seeing them on youtube is not helping me as fast as I think it should as I have no physical point of reference. And there are no stores out here that have them. I know a place that can get me a Hohner D40 twenty button. But I have read that, it will not do me to well before it will start breaking down and what not. Though I have thought about getting one of those starter models from the button box. Mainly the Rochelle model as they offer a buy back if I give it back and upgrade to another they make. Which is not a problem really. Though I have one thing with them. Is I don't know if the deal they offer for the Rochelle is a legit deal or not. As in will they stand by their word when time comes to pony up the cash for the next concertina. As I have not done any business with The Button Box. I know I would like to play Irish styled music. But, I do hear that is hard to start at. So my thoughts where to get an anglo styled concertina and learn some basics before getting a model that can play the Irish style a little easier. Not to mention during that time I am learning I can save for my next one. Which will be a slow process for me. Given the economy and all. Well that is my very long winded Hello! And all. I hope to learn lots from this website and hope that I can add my own knowledge to this site soon as well. Also if there is someone who lives in Nebraska, say Hello sometime and maybe we can meet up and talk!

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The Button Box is a well-respected business in the free reed community, and their Rochelle deal is indeed the real thing--of course, you must start with a new Rochelle from them, and the upgrade must be to a Morse (the BB's proprietary brand). You can get the same deal from Wim Wakker's Concertina Connection (manufacturer of the Rochelle) to the CC's Clover anglo or one of the high-zoot Wakkers, or, I'm fairly certain, from Bob Tedrow to one of his instruments--as I understand it, though, you can only upgrade where you buy (so no buying from the Button Box and then upgrading to a Tedrow, for example).

 

For my part, I found getting started on the Anglo fairly easy, though of course it takes work to make any progress from there. Others may have some suggestions for trying out some instruments; I'm too far away to be helpful in that regard, so I'll just bid you welcome to the wonderful world of the concertina and wish you good fortune.

Edited by jdms
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Another vote of confidence for the Button Box. I have been dealing with them (and before they opened, with the late Rich Morse, who founded it) for 25 years. I second everything Joshua (jdms) says, above. Although I have not dealt with the other folks he mentions, I have been reading about them here for years, and have met Wim. This is an honest, trustworthy community you've stumbled into. Good luck with your endeavors.

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I'm in a very similar boat. I've played several other instruments over the years and really consider myself an accordionist at this stage in life. When our daughter was born in april I wanted to look into getting a concertina as an instrument I could sit on the floor to play with her. Of course, I also had never played one and, living in kc, didn't know where to try one. In the end, I got in touch with the button box and found that they not only offer the trade up, but a rental as well. I am currently renting an elise for 3 months. If/when I decide to buy it, they offer to apply half the rental price to the purchase. If I had decided to return it, I would have been out about $150 instead of $1000 plus. That was a much more comfortable way for me to try it. You won't want to return it, though. :)

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Our sort of mid-USA repair guy, Greg Jowaisas, a member here on c.net--also has a pony string of instruments--all the way from the beginner "tutor" models to the rare, lovely, and seldom seen. He will always work with you, and seems to be a little more reasonably priced than the store-based dealers. He probably does not have rentals--but even that might be worth enquiring about--as the vintage tutor models really are not very costly. And Hello from here in Wisconsin. I was in the same boat as you, about 2 years ago. And still have never seen another live concertina other than my own. Ain't the internet great?? I've learned to play and repair all thru this forum--and even have a great set of internet buddies all over the world. :) Shelly

Edited by shelly0312
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Wow! Lots of replies! So I will start at the beginning.

 

 

To Jdms: Thank you for your recommendations. As I will have to do a little more research before I settle on who and what I go with. But thank you very much. And I know it will be a different and unique experience learning this new instrument. And I am more than ready to invest the time and discipline in learning how to play it. So thank you again for all your help and well wishes.

 

To David: I see. Then I feel a little bit more assured in possibly using The Button Box. And I am very happy I stumbled upon this site. There seems to be alot of helpful people here. So thank you for your help.

 

To KC MetroGnome: Yes as much as I love the midwest life of mine. I often find that I cannot find the things I want to see. But I didn't know about the renting it thing. This is something I will have to look at as it will be perfect for me to test one out! Thank you for the great information and help! And I think you are correct when saying I won't want to give it back!

 

To Shelly0312: Hmmm that is interesting. I will have to look him up. Does he have a website or do you just have to talk to him through here? And yes, I have to agree. The internet is a great thing. I would not have been able to keep up with or be involved in most of my hobbies. Not to mention all the fun people I get to meet from far and near!

 

To Michael Sam Wild: Thank you for the warm welcome! I am learning quickly how right you are on the helpful and nice people here!

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Welcome to the forum. Mine's another vote for the Rochelle - really good value starter instrument. I had one for about 18 months and it never let me down. I've dealt with the Button Box a couple of times. I'm in the UK and it's always a bit of a worry doing business with a company in another country but the BB has always proven to be excellent, trustworthy, and they go the extra mile to make sure you're a happy customer - a truly excellent company!

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I am a bit late chiming in here, but I have been dealing with The Button Box ever since Rich Morse (founder of The BB and sorely missed) and I worked on concertinas together in his attic many years ago. The Morse is an outstanding instrument and the people at The Button Box are more interested in music than in profit. They are wonderfully supportive people and are a pleasure to deal with.

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I am a bit late chiming in here, but I have been dealing with The Button Box ever since Rich Morse (founder of The BB and sorely missed) and I worked on concertinas together in his attic many years ago. The Morse is an outstanding instrument and the people at The Button Box are more interested in music than in profit. They are wonderfully supportive people and are a pleasure to deal with.

 

+1

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Hey New Guy, I'm fairly new at this myself. I went through 2 of those Hohners before I gave up on them. They both had stuck buttons after just a couple of hours of really gentle playing. I waited a couple of years, and saved enough to get a Morse Ceili from the Button Box. I went there partly because of their great reputation and partly because they are sort of local to my location (about a 4 hour drive). I do take lessons, but I'm certainly no expert. I can honestly say that I have had this instrument for 2 years now, and have no regrets or complaints about my choice. Good luck in finding something nice, and hope you enjoy whatever you decide to get.

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Button Box folks are just fine, and certainly worth contacting. But I second the suggestion that you contact Greg Jowaisas. He has a large inventory of used instruments, does top level repair and tuning, and will work with you to meet your needs. I suspect he'd have more options available than the Button Box, at least of some models.

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  • 2 weeks later...

It's not the type of concertina you're looking for, but if you're close to Grand Island in Nebraska, I would let you have a Jackie English concertina to play with for a few weeks. It might make you realize that English is what you've actually wanted all along. At the very least you could get an idea of whether or not a concertina is the right instrument for you.

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