Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
bakerspace

Wanted Cheap(Ish) Concertina For 10 Year Old

Recommended Posts

My daughter is interested in learning to play the concertina. Does anyone have a suitable 30 key instrument available for a young beginner?

G/C or preferably D/G?

 

Thanks

 

Paul

Edited by bakerspace

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Since no one else has commented, I'll offer some thoughts here.

 

Perhaps you need to clarify what your notion of "suitable" might be in terms of expense and durability. I suspect that in part you are hoping that people here might help define that notion. It might be better in that light, to post a question asking for recommendations in the "General" section, since I suspect there is a broader spectrum of readership there. I know my visits to this section are infrequent since I'm not in the market for another concertina at the moment and so tend to skip over this set of listings.

 

Having gone this far, my thought is to caution you to be sure that an Anglo is the best choice for the type of music your daughter might like to play. I'm an Anglo enthusiast, but recognize that for some music an English might be a better choice, and that one of the Duet systems might also be a suitable option.

 

Assuming for the moment that it's definitely the Anglo path she wants to travel, then we come to the "suitable" question again. I'm a firm believer that so long as she is responsible and will be careful and protective of the instrument, then the best you can afford is the most suitable. The better the instrument, the easier (for the most part) they are to play and the more enjoyable they are to work with.

 

If you're strictly looking for an inexpensive but functional starter instrument, the Rochelle line comes to mind. I've not checked prices lately but I think one can be purchased new for something between $400 and $450. Well cared for used ones are a good choice, they have been "broken in" so the bellows are a little easier to work and you can find instruments in good working condition for $100 less than the price of a new one.

 

I've heard that the Button Box will rent concertinas, which is another way to inexpensively get a toe in the water while one is figuring out if they want to commit more serious money to the enterprise. I believe they rent Rochelles and perhaps even some of their Morse line. You would need to contact them (easy to find by a Google search) to learn the details of what they may offer in the rental line and terms.

 

You can get into higher grade instruments for more money, but I'm thinking you likely aren't looking to spend $1,400 or more to start with, and that's the next step above a Rochelle in my mind. At the $1400 to $1,900 range you'll find good used accordion reeded concertinas that are great learning instruments. Your daughter would find they take far less bellows effort, have a much better button action and will likely enjoy the sound much more. If you want to purchase a new instrument at this level, they run about $1,000 more.

 

Though clearly not something that qualifies as "Cheapish," to complete the price picture here I'll include that the next level of Anglo above the accordion reeded models falls into the $5,000 to $8,000 price range. These have true concertina reeds, very good actions, and depending on the maker, various other distinctive and desirable features. At this level, the price difference between used and new is often negotiable because of the quality of the instrument and the limited availability.

 

Good luck and I hope she takes to the instrument, her young age will be quite an advantage in learning to play. Many of us that started after age 50 often wish we'd started before our teen years.

Edited by Bruce McCaskey

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

.... Assuming for the moment that it's definitely the Anglo path she wants to travel, then we come to the "suitable" question again. I'm a firm believer that so long as she is responsible and will be careful and protective of the instrument, then the best you can afford is the most suitable. The better the instrument, the easier (for the most part) they are to play and the more enjoyable they are to work with.

...

 

 

I agree with Bruce.

 

You asked for an instrument in G/C or D/G.

(BTW: they are more commonly mentioned as C/G or G/D)

This choice is maybe important as well.

 

It has something to do with the music, your daughter wants to play.

For Irish music for example the C/G is recommended, the G/D for Morris music.

 

There are more options in buying a C/G than a G/D concertina.

 

You can find C/G concertinas in nearly every price range. And you can find modern instruments with accordion reeds as well as concertinas with classical concertina reeds.

And it's the same with English concertinas.

 

It's more difficult to find a "cheap" G/D concertina. Most of them are modern ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People on this forum often recommend the Rochelle from Concertina Connection as a suitable learner instrument. It is the only one of oriental manufacture that has been very carefully designed by an expert concertina designer, and thus actually works properly and retains some decent second hand value: there is some second hand availability if it was more than you wanted to pay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Speaking of rentals, an acquaintance rented a concertina from the House of Musical Traditions in Takoma Park, Maryland. I don't know if they still rent, or where in the world bakerspace lives. In this international forum, "where in the world" is not just a figure of speech!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Unfortunately "where in the world" this time, means Gloucestershire, England. So while I like the idea of rental, I've not heard any anywhere offering that service in the UK.

G/D would be the preference, purely because I play G/D concertina, so playing along, and helping my daughter would be much simpler if we're in the same keys, rather than complicated playing cross rows on the concertina. Initially music would be mainly English, so also makes more sense key wise.

However from the looking around I've done to date, there are obviously many more 30 key G/C boxes available, so might end up going that way.

I have been offered a Rochelle which is tempting, however 90% of people I've talked to say I should just go straight for a more expensive instrument which will then keep its resale value, and be much better to play..

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, forgot to ask in the post above! As well as the Rochelle, I've been offered a Hohner (30 key metal ended). The Hohner being the slightly cheaper of the 2, but similar. Any thoughts on which is the better instrument?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sure, I'll take a turn.

 

I belive the Rochelle to be far superior to the Hohner. I haven't seen a metal ended Hohner, though.

 

I've played several Rochelles and several Hohners, and the Rochelles were all better instruments than the Hohners. All were 30 key C/G's.

 

Resale value of the Rochelles seems to remain close to the original price.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You could buy two Rochelles, one for you and one for your daughter, as you will be able to sell or trade them for most of what you pay.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry, forgot to ask in the post above! As well as the Rochelle, I've been offered a Hohner (30 key metal ended). The Hohner being the slightly cheaper of the 2, but similar. Any thoughts on which is the better instrument?

 

If it's an older Hohner 30-button, it was most likely made for Hohner by Bastari or Stagi and might be marked "Made in Italy". If so, whether it's better than a Rochelle is more or less a matter of personal preference - but it's probably smaller than a Rochelle and might fit better into a 10-year-old's hands.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

SAs well as the Rochelle, I've been offered a Hohner (30 key metal ended). The Hohner being the slightly cheaper of the 2, but similar. Any thoughts on which is the better instrument?

 

I believe one of our members plays one (see the avatar!) - you might pm him....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ivan and SJM raise a good point regarding resale. I've noted that owners of new Rochelles have been able to resell them with less than $100 loss off the original purchase price, and some that purchase good used ones have been able to resell them for no loss off their used purchase price - assuming the instrument is still in good condition.

 

As a player yourself, clearly you didn't need my comments on the general concertina market. I often encounter people asking about concertinas that have no perspective on their cost, so I like to be sure the topic is touched on. Many seem to assume that they should be able to get a good starter instrument for $150 or less and that for $500 or more they should be able to buy a premium model.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As a player yourself, clearly you didn't need my comments on the general concertina market. I often encounter people asking about concertinas that have no perspective on their cost, so I like to be sure the topic is touched on. Many seem to assume that they should be able to get a good starter instrument for $150 or less and that for $500 or more they should be able to buy a premium model.

 

I think that expectation comes from the band/orchestral instrument marketplace where your statement is true for many common instruments, and those entry-level instruments are perform reasonably well. Concertinas (and other 'fringe' instruments) are a different beast, generally made by artisans, and the entry-level is much higher (as it is for e.g. a bassoon, which will cost you the same as a good hybrid for a starter model)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I do agree entirely about the cost issues around the instrument. The big issue for me is the whole debate on beginner vs "pro" instruments.

As a melodeon player, i'm well away that a £200 melodeon is likely to be unplayable, however a second hand £400 or £500 is likely to actually be quite reasonable, and many people never feel the need to move on to a £1500 (or more) Castagnari.

However, with the concertina, there does not appear to be any middle ground. Second hand I can find a cheap concertina for £100, a second hand Rochelle for around £200, but then nothing until I hit around £1000.

 

From my position this gives me a very tricky decision. Do I go with the cheap option, for my daughter to try out the instrument, knowing that the instrument would probably only be good for a years playing, and potentially lose money on the resale? Or do I try and find £1000 to tie up for an indefinite period in an instrument, knowing that I would be able to resell without losing money (assuming she was carefull with it!)

 

With the Melodeon, I could happily spend £400 and get an instrument I could resell, but would also be good enough for several years playing.

 

I guess it's what comes with the territory of less commercial instruments, but i'm not sure there's an easy answer!

 

Paul

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

"rather than complicated playing cross rows on the concertina."

 

I did not know there was a more efficient way of playing the anglo, when a few fingers can effeciently hammer out most of your tunes. Before being flamed, I admit I took this out of context (intent was transposing keys - forgive my twisted sense of humor and 6 fingers of scotch).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...