Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Jeff Jetton

I'm Getting My First Concertina Today!

Recommended Posts

Hello folks! Newbie here.

 

Well, I finally pulled the trigger and bought a concertina from The Button Box. Ordered a Rochelle, which I understand is a reasonably decent beginner's model with which to test the concertina waters. I've got the Bramich book & CD coming in the same shipment.

 

UPS says it's "out for delivery" today! (I've been following the shipment online for the past several days--it frustratingly has been sitting here at the Nashville hub all weekend. Maybe it's a good omen that it was waiting for St. Patrick's Day to arrive?)

 

I come from a piano accordion background (thus the Gravatar) and have long wanted to give a diatonic instrument a try. I figured that something like a button accordion might have just enough similarities to throw off my piano accordion playing, but that a concertina might be "different enough" for my brain to think of as a fundamentally separate instrument. Maybe I'm wrong. We'll see!

 

Oh, and the fact that a starter concertina seems to be about half as expensive as a starter B/C button accordion also helped steer me in the concertina direction too. :-)

 

Anyway, just thought I'd introduce myself and share my excitement with people who can relate.

 

Any advice/support is welcome. Thanks!

Edited by Jeff Jetton

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jeff,

Welcome to concertina.net (1st post) and the wonderful world of concertinas.

 

Yes, auspicious indeed the arrival of your anglo on St. Patrick's Day. Good craic!

 

May you have the best of concertina adventures.

 

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations! I got a Rochelle about 13 months ago, and traded it in in June 2013 for a Morse Ceili. I'm sure you'll enjoy it!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Welcome aboard!

 

I've found this forum instructive and entertaining and fine fellowship. Of course, it's important to remember that the forum is to support your concertina life, not your concertina being a justification for being on the forum!

 

I've learned a lot, even about systems I don't play. You'll find helpful advice here. Just remember that something that works for another forum member, and about which he or she is very insistent, won't necessarily work for you. Like most other venues, people occasionally make absolutist, universal statements that really should begin, "Well, in my experience . . . ." But it's all part of the fun.

 

Mike

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies and the welcomes, all!

 

Got the Rochelle yesterday. Looks pretty good, sounds pretty good... even smells good (that "new concertina smell"?) The method book that comes with it seems really well done too, which is a nice touch.

 

But boy, playing this thing is going to take some getting used to. :-)

 

I know you all are used to it by now, but imagine being handed a guitar that plays a different chord on the down-strum than on the up-strum. Or a violin with strings that play different notes depending on whether you're playing an upbow or downbow. Madness, I say... madness!

 

But I can already slowly clam my way through the C and D major scales, and "Twinkle, Twinkle" is coming along okay.

 

We shall see...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
"But boy, playing this thing is going to take some getting used to. :-)

 

I know you all are used to it by now . . . .,"

 

Jeff, if it's any consolation, you already can do more on your Anglo than I can, and possibly more than many of the English system players on this list can do. And you now can play something--even a scale--that you couldn't play at all before you got it. Enjoy the challenges and the progress. I still remember how on top of the world I was when I could play "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" and such like. The zero baseline means upwards and onward!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jeff - I'm a duet player, but best of luck with your new anglo.

Just to say, I'm off this very weekend ( with others) to play in Iceland with none other than Mick Bramwich......if you stick to his starter book you can't go wrong.

On another trip , to Lisbon, we were playing in a very crowded Portugese bar with a young anglo player - who was new to the instrument but already proficient.He said he had learned from a fantastic instruction book he had got, from Mr Bramwich ...and was then utterly gob-smacked to discover he was sitting next to, and playing with, Mr Bramwich himself.

 

Keep squeezing. "Let the music keep your spirits high"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mike -- Good point. Thanks!

 

Lakeman -- Well that's pretty cool! If you get the chance you'll have to shake his hand for me. (Or offer him a few choice curse words on my behalf. I suspect that, as I work through his book, I'll have both sentiments in roughly equal measure!) :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff - Mick's a super bloke, and always willing to respond in person. So, if you have got any particular queries/ issues, post them here and I'll point them out to him- and he'll get back to you.

 

By next week he might be adding a chapter on Icelandic tunes!

Geoff Lakeman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jeff,

I, too, started (a year and a half ago) on the Rochelle. I rented one from Button Box for 3 months, then found and purchased a wonderful Tedrow on ebay... what a jewel! The tutor arriving with the

Rochelle was great... then I worked through the Mick Bramich book, which was also great.

 

Last April, I responded to a query (posted on this website) looking for people (beginners) who would be interested in "testing/trying out" various chapters of this tutor as it was being written/edited. I had a wonderful and enlightening time reading the text, learning the tunes and giving feedback to the author. The book was published this past December ... and I want to recommend it to you now, as you begin your concertina journey. It is perhaps best used after the Rochelle tutor and before Mick's book. It's called The Concertina Diaries: Discovering the language of the concertina in Irish music, by Heather Greer (Co. Galway, Ireland). It is available at:

www.IrishTunebook.com or www.DustyBanjos.com

 

Happy squeezing!

Kay

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks, Kay! I had actually looked at that site earlier and thought the book looked interesting. Glad to hear a solid endorsement, and the context of where it might best "fit" in the spectrum of tutor books is good to know!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Jeff,

Welcome to the world of diatonic free reed instruments :). This site got me hooked on concertinas (originally a B/C player)

 

You didn't mention what specific sort of music you are interested in playing. From your suggestion that the alternative was a B/C accordion, I am willing to bet it was Irish music, but I could be wrong. The lucky thing about today is that there are so many resources available for beginning concertina players now (especially for those interested in playing in the Irish Style) than there were even 10 years ago. Heck, its getting to the point where I think concertinas are going to over take Button accordions in popularity in Irish Music!

 

That being said, it might pay to look into getting a tutor. The Bramich book is okay (far better than the nearest equivalent for B/C accordion), but it will only take you so far. A teacher can also help you figure out the best fingerings for tunes. I started teaching myself based off of what I knew about B/C accordion, and thus initially tried to play everything on the C row and just used the G row for accidentals and my playing suffered for it. I later had to relearn a number of tunes to improve how I played them on the concertina.

 

Final thought. As you start working on the G scale, I would suggest trying very hard to play it with just your index fingers. That will start getting you to think about playing across the rows and working on trying to keep as much of the tune as possible under your strongest fingers.

 

--

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the advice, Bill!

 

You're correct that I'm mainly interested in playing ITM on it, but that's mostly because that's the only sort of music I've ever heard anyone play on it before! :-) I suspect my musical horizons will broaden the more I get into it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff,

You might consider attending the Midwest Noel Hill Camp this summer. It is held just south of Cincinnati, OH in northern KY about 4&1/2 hours driving time. (You'll lose an hour going from Central to Eastern time zone.) It usually happens towards the end of July 1st week in August and runs Monday am. thru noon on Friday.

 

It can be a rigorous emersion in Irish Trad and Noel has an excellent default fingering system that he "encourages" his students to learn.

 

Greg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Jeff,

You might consider attending the Midwest Noel Hill Camp this summer. It is held just south of Cincinnati, OH in northern KY about 4&1/2 hours driving time. (You'll lose an hour going from Central to Eastern time zone.) It usually happens towards the end of July 1st week in August and runs Monday am. thru noon on Friday.

 

It can be a rigorous emersion in Irish Trad and Noel has an excellent default fingering system that he "encourages" his students to learn.

 

Greg

 

I would point out that that there are other opportunities as well. I have never been to Noel Hill's camp, but those who have highly recommend them. That being said, they are very concertina focused. That can be a good or a bad thing depending on your individual needs and situation. The Catskills Irish Arts Week and other multi-instrument weeks can afford nice opportunities in practicing with other instruments (and if you know a fair number of tunes on your Piano Accordion to play that as well).

 

--

Bill

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Congratulations and welcome, Jeff!

 

The world of concertina music is a wonderful world.

 

Now, enjoy your new instrument!

 

Greetings from Spain!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the replies and the welcomes, all!

 

Got the Rochelle yesterday. Looks pretty good, sounds pretty good... even smells good (that "new concertina smell"?) The method book that comes with it seems really well done too, which is a nice touch.

 

But boy, playing this thing is going to take some getting used to. :-)

 

 

 

I come from a piano accordion background as well, and tried Anglo first, but ended up happier with English concertina. Not to start a concertina war or anything. ;)

 

Patrick

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...