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What about Bonetti Concertina?


Augustus
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My friends what about Bonetti 30-B Anglo concertina?

I'm a beginner and I'm looking for my firt concertina.

If it is good what on-line store is it can be found?

 

ps: The store has to ship to Brazil! rs

Unfortunately http://www.usamusicsupply.com doesn't ship to there :\

 

Cheers!

I believe that the Bonetti is what we often call a "cheap Chinese" concertina, which are sold under a number of different names. You can see a bunch of varieties of them here. They are by far the least expensive new concertinas out there, but thy are not very well made. Some people have found them to be good enough to be a first concertina - others have found them to be pretty much unplayable. If you can afford it, you would do better to start with a Rochelle (or Jackie or Elise) from Concertina Connection. They are also made in China, but they are much better built and designed.

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In general, it is a good idea to start with the best instrument you can afford. Having said that, the 30 button bonetti is just another generic sticker on a chenese concertina, which is totally decent, and in my opinion great way to get into playing this instrument. Again, if that's the best you can afford. For me, it was the best I could afford, and thank God I went for it!!! Since getting the first one I bought few more, vintage and even 1 trully original antique, but that first china-doll remains a great player, deeply loved till this day. I'll even admit to still liking it the most! Stuck an electric pickup into it - but that's another story... It's very much like Rick's story with his starter violin. Before I got my first concertina, I was already proficient on harmonica and very demanding of the "free-reed" sound, I kind of "knew/spoke" the free-reed language. So, these chinese concertinas have a slightly different tone than vintage english and some expensive handmade contemporary models have, but we're talking sight difference for thousands extra. Since I was not a particular fan of "concertina reed", but more of a "general free reed" fan (with a passion), to me it was not the issue at all. I'll even admit to liking the more "accordion" sound of contemporary concertinas a bit more. These are small differences within the species, so to say. Any instrument has variety of details that make it different, but still, fundamentally guitar is a guitar, concertina is a concertina, fiddle is a fiddle, regardless of details like what kind os strings, bridges, picks are being used... So, again - if that bonetti is the best you can afford - go for it.

P.S. I think I'm going to make a quick youtube video of my concertina to dispel any myths about it, but first I'll go look if someone hasn't done that already...

Edited by harpomatic
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funny how there is anything and everything out there! Not only does this guy have the same looking concertina(I admit, this is not the looker in a traditional sense;), but the playing style is somewhat similar to mine, so I think I won't be making that demo - watch this, tell me if there's anything lacking with this thing?

 

 

Now, here is an example of an expensive handmade concertina, a jewel of workmanship, a traditional sound, different style of music and playing technique. If you are particularly into this style, you may want to consider going for one of these, but it won't be cheap...

 

Edited by harpomatic
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These are small differences within the species, so to say. Any instrument has variety of details that make it different, but still, fundamentally guitar is a guitar, concertina is a concertina, fiddle is a fiddle, regardless of details like what kind os strings, bridges, picks are being used...

 

Whether I agree with you on this or not, depends on what you mean by "fundamentally!"

 

At the fundamental level of your first few lessons, where you'll just be finding out what note is where, and how you play a scale, or form chords, you statement may be true.

But as soon as you start playing music in a certain style, you will notice that (to take a familiar instrument) a guitar is not a guitar. There are dreadnought guitars strung with wire, and there are Spanish guitars strung with nylon, and these again are divided into classical guitars with a full tone, and flamenco guitars with a brilliant tone, and pegs instead of machines to make the head lighter. We're not talking about quality here - the best dreadnought will not give you the timbre you need for sonatas, and the best Spanish guitar will not flat-pick as well as a dreadnought.

So you can learn the scales and chords on whatever guitar comes to hand - but when you decide to become a guitarist, you must decide whether to stay with the guitar you happen to have, or buy a new one that suits the style of playing that you want to develop.

 

With the concertina we have a similar situation. All 30-button ones have fundamentally the same fingering and the same range, but the cheaper German instruments from Klingenthal have a softness about them that is good for accordion-style music with a lot of "oom-pah", whereas English-built concertinas have the harder timbre needed for single-line ITM melody, or for polyphonic music.

"Upgrading" from a cheap Chinese or Klingenthal to a vintage concertina is often mentioned here on the forum, implying a step up in quality, with the modern hybrids as an intermediate quality level. But in some cases, the developing beginner should, perhaps, be thinking about a "step across" to a different type of concertina - because a concertina is not just a concertina! For example, some people prefer hybrids to traditional concertinas for certain purposes because of the tone. The hard, nasal twang of the traditional concertina reed is not preferred by all, especially outside the British Isles.

 

Cheers,

John

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John, I totally agree with your entire post, I just keep in mind that it is a total novice, that's usually asking about chinese concertinas, so my purpose here is to let them know that as an introductory instrument - it is perfectly up to the task to be a starter instrument. Some people will never start on this instrument at "non-chinese" prices... For some, chinese-made will be sufficient enough to go well beyond the beginner level - at that point few will regret that initial investment, as you can always keep one for those camp-fire occasions, or sell it on the ebay with minimal loss, we're talking tens of dollars vs. hundreds... Again, it all depends on your budget. If it was Bill Gates asking about a concertina we'd give him a very different answer, like buy one of each kind, most expensive ones preferably, and post your report (with photos) here.

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