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Azaelius

Introduction From A New Soon-To-Be Concertina Player!

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Howdy everyone! I've juuuuuuuuuusssst purchased my first english concertina from Concertina Connection! A Jackie, naturally. After much research I decided I needed a fully chromatic instrument that was well suited for (eventually) complex solo pieces in modern, classical and other varying styles, but could also accompany singing, and I felt the English system was best suited to that.

I'm a fairly good guitar player, mostly Spanish and Flamenco, but a bit of classical here and there as well, but reading music is still a challenge for me. Trying to change that at the present moment.

 

Anyhow. I know this is gonna be a fun experience, one I hope continues for a long time, and I am very excited to get to know all of you over time :)

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Thanks for checking in! They have lots of good advice (and bad puns) waiting here for you.

 

Ken

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Oh, I do love me some puns :D My brother and I are the champs of our family. glad to know I'll be in good com-pun-y here as well XD

 

Seeing all these people starting on Jackies is one of the many reasons I decided to go with one. If it's something I end up loving, my goal is to either upgrade to a Morse or a Rose. Or just skip all that hullabaloo and go vintage :)

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Hi Azaelius,

I am delighted to learn that there will be another English concertina player in San Diego.

I started on the Jackie, too, four years ago.

You are welcome to join the concertina group that meets at my home.

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Mary,

 

Thank you for the invite! As soon as I get to a level of proficiency where it doesn't sound like I'm playing a duck with laryngitis instead of an instrument, you'll probably find me there :)

 

I feel like there aren't very many players of the concertina in San Diego, for some reason...

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As soon as I get to a level of proficiency where it doesn't sound like I'm playing a duck with laryngitis instead of an instrument, you'll probably find me there :)

 

I'm sure you'd be welcome to join them even if you only watch and listen. Lots can be learned that way, and making new squeezableing friends can't be a bad thing. :)

 

Besides, as long as your duck has laryngitis, I don't see where there'd be a problem. ;)

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Hello Azaelius, glad to hear that you puzzled out which system best fits your goals! English defintely offers the chromaticism you seek, and singers like Danny Spooner and A. L. Lloyd certainly backed up their singing with EC to great effect. You also benefit from having several different sizes and pitches, good variety out there. Also the vintage market is priced much lower than the comparable Anglos, so you really can't go wrong with either a good vintage or a good high-end hybrid to upgrade.

 

I started out on an Elise concertina from Concertina Connection (Duet equivalent of the Jackie), and while unpolished it was an affordable and effective way to get into concertina.

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Azaelius,

I do not know how many concertina players there are in San Diego.

Our usual group consists of two English players and four or five anglo players.

I know two more good English players who have played with us once or twice, but not regularly.

I have heard of three other anglo players; one plays Irish trad, one plays for Morris dancers, and one plays for contradances.

There may be others whom none of us has met, but I think you are correct that there are not very many in San Diego.

 

As Jim Lucas said, you are welcome to join us to watch and listen, if that interests you.

 

Best wishes in learning the English. The booklet that comes with the Jackie is quite good. I also liked the Frank Butler tutor which you can download from concertina.com

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I'm a fairly good guitar player, mostly Spanish and Flamenco, but a bit of classical here and there as well,

 

Oh, I was going to mention, a buddy of mine plays classical guitar, and says that he's been having a lot of success interpreting classical guitar arrangements on English concertina. Might be an angle worth considering.

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Yes, welcome to the madhouse!

 

These strange hexagons/octagons/dodecahedrons are extremely addictive. :)

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Little update for everyone, I received my Jackie last night! Played around aimlessly just to see if it would be fairly intuitive, it was not lol.

 

Quickly figured out it would be easier for me to use the book rather than get better on my own, so I get to relearn how to read music! Yay.

 

Only issues besides my own inadequacies were that when it first arrived, there was something rattling around inside, so after a very careful disassembly, I discovered a small nut and washer had come off of a bolt that held on the thumb strap. No biggie now that it's all reattached.

 

The only minor issue I really have is that some of the reeds are slow to voice, all higher notes, and only when being very quiet. If I play with a tad more gusto they voice quite nicely, much to my girlfriend's chagrin XD

 

All in all, with some practice (read:forever) I think this is going to be a very fun hobby.

Edited by Azaelius

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The only minor issue I really have is that some of the reeds are slow to voice, all higher notes, and only when being very quiet. If I play with a tad more gusto they voice quite nicely, much to my girlfriend's chagrin XD

 

 

 

Same as Matthew, I have an Jackie's "sister" Elise, and it is sadly true, that those instruments aren't realy made for gentle, quiet play. My wife also complained a lot when I first started to learn anything on this box and was making a LOT of mistakes over and over again :P

 

But fortunately there is an easy, "non destructive" way to "turn down the volume" on those instruments. Buy a sheet of an EVA foam, press it on the fretwork to mark the shape, cut out and fill the holes in the fretwork (you have to cut rougly, so there is some air leakage around those foam inserts, but they still hold in place). This way you can cut about 20dB, so neither yours or your girlfriend's ears won't hurt that much after your practice :) This solution is very convenient, as you can take out the foam inserts easily if you need to e.g. play in a loud enviroment or for a bunch of singing people and put them back for solo practice.

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Quickly figured out it would be easier for me to use the book rather than get better on my own, so I get to relearn how to read music! Yay.

 

The tutor that comes with the Jackie is handy, but many of us have found Frank Butler's tutor even more helpful. It's designed for the 48 button treble, but much of it would work fine for your 30 button. You can get a free .PDF at http://www.concertina.com/butler/butler-the-concertina-tutor.pdf. You can find copies on Ebay, etc. for a reasonable price.

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