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Arthurdaily

Buying Advice - An Anglo Or English?

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Hello!

 

I have read lots of posts, but am still not 100% sure which concertina to buy! Hence my question to all you chaps and chappettes! I really want to play the Concertina, and love English folk best, hornpipes, shanties and the like. I can't afford a Duel Concertina, as they seem expensive. So am going to buy a Concertina Connection Concertina. But which to get given my love of English Folk, Morris and shanties? A Jackie, a Jack or a Rochelle?

 

Oh, and anybody in the Stockport, England area?

 

Any advice appreciated, ArthurD

Edited by Arthurdaily

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Welcome, Arthur.

 

For the sorts of music you describe, either an Anglo or English concertina might do nicely--certainly neither would be inappropriate--though they don't sound the same. Some people have a strong preference for one or the other. I play Anglo myself, but I don't count myself a partisan; they're both great instruments, each with its particular strengths, limitations and satisfactions.

 

Are there any players you particularly admire, and whose styles you'd like to learn from and emulate? Do you know, or can you find out, the types of instrument they play? That would be a good starting point for your decision.

 

Bob Michel

Near Philly

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A standard answer is that which system(s) work for you is very individual and depends on how your brain works best, etc. Best is to get your hands on some and try them, and in the U.K. that is more realistic than in some other parts of the world (like mine). I hope some folks near you will chime in here.

 

Ken

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There is no right answer to this. They are very different to play and a lot will depend on how well you adapt to the particular method. If you can already read music, the EC is most logical and the buttons map directly to the notes on the stave. Anglos are more intuitive to play. There are several different duet fingering systems but I think an entry level instrument at a similar price to the Jack/Jackie or Rochelle is only available in the Hayden system (the Concertina Connection 'Elise').

 

The EC can play in more keys more easily, whereas for most people the anglo is at its strongest playing in only a few keys. If you want to accompany singing, the EC may be a better choice as it offers more keys, but if you go for anglo you will do best with one in keys which suit your voice. I believe the Hayden duet is also possible to play in different keys.

 

If you can get along to the weekly session at the Harrington Arms at Gawsworth, near Macclesfield, on Friday evenings there are usually one or two EC players and myself (anglo). This is mostly tunes but the occasional song is not frowned on!

 

You aren't far from Barleycorn Concertinas in Stoke-on-Trent which has a good stock of all systems at a range of prices.

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Thank you everybody for answering. As for your question Bob, I like Alex Wade, and so in a way that answers my question - as the videos I have seen shows her playing an English.

 

But, Howard, going to see some 'in the flesh' being played sounds like a good idea - what sorts of times do the sessions start from in Gawsworth?

 

Arthur

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Where are you in England? Scrub that - I've seen it in the earlier posts.

Edited by Mikefule

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Other folks here know the story far better than I, but my outsider's impression is that although the English was primarily a classical/"cultured" instrument and the Anglo the working-man's concertina, during the 1960s folk revival a number of English folk musicians taught themselves the English rather than the Anglo, leading to a likely ahistorical but still lovely playing style.

 

For examples of this, check out the playing of Alf Edwards (who routinely backed up singer A. L. Lloyd).

 

John Roberts (who often performed with Tony Barrand) played both English and Anglo.

 

The Australian Danny Spooner does great solo work singing with the English as well: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DegONENQU8U

 

Louis Killen did a lot of sea songs, and accompanied himself on English: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lkFDumCUYXM

 

 

I started and a number of us compiled a list of musicians known for playing concertina along with singing, without other instrumentation. This thread has a bunch of suggestions as well as some YouTube links: http://www.concertina.net/forums/index.php?showtopic=16036

Edited by MatthewVanitas

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In addition to visiting Chris Alger of Barleycorn music, another even more local option would be to stop in at Hobgoblin Music in Manchester, upstairs in Johnny's Roadhouse music 123 Oxford Rd. They won't have as much knowledge as Chris, but they will have several examples of each on hand you could try out.

 

I see you ask about Gawsworth sessions. If you are interested in a singer's night, I believe Lymm folk club still meets on Thursdays, usually at the Spread Eagle.

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As for your question Bob, I like Alex Wade, and so in a way that answers my question - as the videos I have seen shows her playing an English.

I've just posted a link in another thread to some recent recordings I made of Alex Wade at the Kilve weekend. I confirm that she plays English (well!).

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Hi everybody - thanks for all the replies. I have actually been away for a couple of days... and picked up a Duet instead of either an English or an Anglo. It was a spur of the moment thing after seeing this:

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6F7IL-PjVtc

 

Now it sits on my desk.... my wife has already banned it... damn.

 

However, she's not always here :)

 

I didn't know about the Midway folk sessions -that is excellent info, thank you. And thanks for the links to Alex Wade Paul - beautiful audio clips there.

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I didn't know about the Midway folk sessions -that is excellent info, thank you. And thanks for the links to Alex Wade Paul - beautiful audio clips there.

 

A bit further afield, there is a monthly tune session at the Eldon Arms in Knutsford around 9pm on the first tuesday of the month, ie this tuesday - 5thapril, where you'll usually find a couple of EC players (myself and another regular) plus a few melodeons, fiddles etc.

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