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Another "interested In Learning The Concertina" Thread

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Hi folks,

 

I've been interested in learning the concertina for a while now. I like the sound, I like the size, and I love music. I play and sing along to the guitar and mountain dulcimer already, so I am familiar with chords, and I'd like to do the same with the concertina. It seems entry-level concertinas are more expensive than entry level versions of many other instruments, so I've really been trying to do my research prior to parting with the cash. I think I've narrowed it down to the Jackie EC, which the Button Box has for a bit over $400. But the Button Box also has a used Stagi A-48 for $750. The reason why the Stagi speaks to me is because it is 48 button instead of the 30 on the Jackie, so it seems like the Stagi would be more versatile in terms of available chords. But I haven't been able to find any reviews on the Stagi, while there are tons of positive reviews for the Jackie. Ultimately my goal is that I fall in love with the EC and in a few years I "upgrade" to a more professional-level instrument, in which case I would likely still keep the Stagi as a back-up or "travel" instrument.

 

I like to play music that I can sing along to, such as a lot of Dubliners songs, CCR, Dire Straights, Cat Stevens, Van Morrison (easy guitar stuff). I don't play in front of people, other than my poor wife, and my dog and cat. I just love to sing along to the music I play.

 

So can anyone tell me if I should indeed pull the trigger on the Stagi vs. the Jackie?

 

I've been lurking for the past couple weeks and appreciate what I've been reading on the forum and I appreciate any guidance in my endeavor. :)

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Hi folks,

So can anyone tell me if I should indeed pull the trigger on the Stagi vs. the Jackie?

 

Jackie. It's considerably less expensive than the Stagi, better built, and often comes with a generous trade-up policy.

 

When I started (on Anglo), Stagi was the best affordable choice. I wish that the Concertina Connection models had been around then.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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Jackie appears to be the best "for next to nothing" starter instrument. It is great value as are all the Concertina Connection beginner models.

 

When I started there was no such thing and I had to borrow money from my mother to buy a vintage instrument. I recall the look of utter horror at my bank when I wanted to borrow 4x my weekly wage to buy a what ? Concertina...never heard of it !

 

Ah! Those were the days.

Edited by Geoff Wooff

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Thanks for the recommendation, Bob. Would the 30-button Jackie be able to produce most "normal" chords? I find most of the songs I play use G, G7, D, Dm, D7, Dsus4, C, A, A7, Am, E, Em, E7, F, Bm, B7, Bm7.

 

Maybe the better question would be, what chords would not be possible on the 30 button jackie? Sorry if these questions aren't very good, I don't have formal music training, and may not understand what I'm asking even.

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You might also consider making the drive south (greater Cincinnati/northern Kentucky area) to visit me and try out some entree level vintage concertinas. $500-$650 for a properly refurbished Lachenal with decent brass reeds. You are also welcome to try out a few nicer Lachenals and Wheatstones. It will give you an insight of future possibilities.

 

Greg

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Thanks for the recommendation, Bob. Would the 30-button Jackie be able to produce most "normal" chords? I find most of the songs I play use G, G7, D, Dm, D7, Dsus4, C, A, A7, Am, E, Em, E7, F, Bm, B7, Bm7.

 

Maybe the better question would be, what chords would not be possible on the 30 button jackie? Sorry if these questions aren't very good, I don't have formal music training, and may not understand what I'm asking even.

I'm not an English system player, but one of our members recently posted a video that addresses that very question in detail:

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=18023

 

I like Greg's suggestion, though. If I could lay my hands on a playable Lachenal for anything like the price of a new Stagi, that'd be my first choice.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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I started out with a Jackie (last year), it's a great starter concertina. You won't miss those those extra keys for a while and getting just 30 keys under your control will take some time and effort. By the time you feel ready for an upgrade you'll have a better idea of the sound and feel that makes you want to keep playing.

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Thanks guys, and Bob, thanks for the link. I'll take a look at the video later (I'm at work now and shouldn't even be doing this! O.o) And Greg, I'll PM you about your generous offer. :)

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Thanks guys, and Bob, thanks for the link. I'll take a look at the video later (I'm at work now and shouldn't even be doing this! O.o) And Greg, I'll PM you about your generous offer. :)

You're welcome. Quick correction, though; I think this may be the more relevant video.

 

http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=18016

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

Edited by Bob Michel

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Well, I'm using the Button Box to get the Concertina Connection "Rochelle", which I'm waiting on...

 

One advantage is that you can rent the instrument. The rental on that level of instrument is ~$30 a month, paid in three month intervals. So the initial fee would be ~$120 with S&H. I think they're willing to exchange instruments on the rental (within reason), so you can try out a couple of things.

 

As long as you are renting, you will get 1/2 credit twoards purchase of the instrument, with the remaining days of that rental period pro-rated twoards the purchase.

 

For a Concertina Connection instrument from the Button Box you can choose at a later date to exchange it for full purchase price credit twoards an R. Morse & Co. concertina. $425 is not an inconsiquential chunk out of the purchase.

 

Just throwing that out there.

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I'd say you should take up Greg's offer before you make a decision. You're lucky that you live fairly near him,

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Thanks everyone for your advice and insights. I do plan on taking Greg up on his generous offer. Hopefully I'll be serenading/tormenting my wife before too long. I'll be sure to report back which instrument becomes THE instrument.

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Thanks everyone for your advice and insights...

 

Here's my two-penn'orth, from a novice (Anglo) player. Warning: Subjective opinions ahead!!!

 

The cheapest of my five vintage Anglos cost considerably less than either of my two modern hybrids (from the

top end of the hybrid range, mark you), but I probably play it more often. Why? Because there's a great deal

more satisfaction involved in playing a piece of kit which is approximately 100 years old, and is still in good working

order. This may not be regarded as a 'valid' reason for going for the vintage option, but it works for me.

 

I don't think anyone mentioned that previously?

 

If it's within your financial reach, go for a vintage instrument every time...

 

Good luck!!!

 

Roger

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I know what you mean, Roger. A vintage instrument really appeals to me. I find it amazing that so many of the prized instruments are so old. I'm a big history nerd in the first place, so I'd love to have an instrument that has been thru a lot of it. We'll see what Greg has in that regard and what will fit into my budget. :)

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N-thing the "Greg is good people" comments, and getting your hands on a variety of instruments will provide a lot of valuable insight. Plus there might be a Skyline fast-food joint nearby and their chili is most tasty.

 

Also if you visit Greg you can try out other systems of concertina to make sure that English is indeed the system you want (vice Duet or Anglo). There's a good chance your initial instinct is right, but never hurts to try out some other systems. If you have a compatible smartphone, there are also English, Anglo, and Duet apps so you can at least sort of experiment with the different fingering setups on your device.

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