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CanadianNewbie

A Newbie With An Old Stagi

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Greetings from cold, snowy Canada.

 

In September, with upcoming knee replacement surgery, I knew I had to do something to keep my mind busy while I was off work recovering. I've felt drawn to learning concertina (I thought it would be an easy instrument to learn - HA!). I successfully procured a nice Stagi concertina online that had been owned by a collector who had numerous concertinas but never really learned how to play; basically, the instrument I got was not only new-to-me, but in immaculate condition (according to the shop I took it to deal with a few sticky buttons). From what the seller told me, I believe the instrument to be from the 1980's; it's labelled "Made in Italy" and so I assume it may be post-12736-0-08664500-1513913509_thumb.jpga reasonable quality of instrument, not a Chinese knock-off. She's a pretty little thing, a 38 button English, that sounds beautiful to me.

 

Prior to buying it, I had been to a local music shop and tried out the only model of concertina they sold, a 20 button Hohner. It sounded so harsh and shrill it almost put me off the instrument altogether, but the desire niggled at me until I bought the used one online.

 

I've read a lot of negative things about Stagi concertinas, and while I certainly know I don't have a trained ear for what sounds good or what sounds like a "real" concertina, I am delighted with this instrument. I think I've made good progress using the Butler book and am now beginning to source out some other music to expand the variety and keep things interesting.

 

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself instead silently lurking.

 

Looking forward to getting to know folks here and to learning from you all.

 

Cheers!

Edited by CanadianNewbie

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Sorry for the pic showing up in the middle of the post. I've tried to edit it, but it keeps going back in the same place. Apparently, I can learn to play concertina but not how to post in the forums!

 

Cheers!

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Welcome to the club! I'm a fairly recent convert myself, learning Anglo on a Concertina Connection Rochelle. I don't know how a Stagi compares, but the main thing I've noticed when trying a "good" concertina is how much more responsive it is. Compared to the Rochelle, a good instrument almost feels like playing air-concertina, there's so little resistance from the bellows. That said, I'm loving the Rochelle, and even after I upgrade I expect I'll still take it out from time to time. Yeah, I have to fight it a bit, but it's a playful fight.

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Welcome, Ms. Ontario! I'm glad to hear that you are happy with your Stagi, and I hope your knee is coming along well.

 

Don't get too excited about the comments you've heard about these entry level Stagis. They can have some mechanical issues, and you have somebody who can sort them out if they occur, so great. If it sounds good to you, it just plain sounds good. Let it take you far!

 

With lots of practice you may some day outgrow it, but for now you've chosen well. I look back with fondness to the Hayden-system Elise that got me started; I hope you'll do the same with your Stagi.

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A common problem with most[*] of the Stagi/Bastaris is that the buttons get a bit floppy and sometimes disappear inside the concertina.

 

This is easily fixed and it is probably worth taking a look inside your box to see if you will be in need of this fix.

 

Around the foot of each button there is little piece of black rubber tubing that slowly disintegrates over time (years).

 

This post has some pictures.

 

You can probably use any kind of thin tubing of the right size, but if you live near a hobby shop then the sort of tubing they sell for model airplane gas engines works well. If you live near Otttawa then the modelling shop in the Trainyards carries DU-BRO blue silicone model airplane fuel tubing, medium (3/32" id.).

 

If (when) you take the ends off then the trick to getting it back on again with the buttons through all of the holes is to do it by holding the body so that the buttons hang down and then offer the end up to the body from underneath.

 

Don.

 

[*] If you happen to have a Stagi with the 'new improved action' then this does not use the little rubber tubes.

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Greetings from cold, snowy Canada.

 

In September, with upcoming knee replacement surgery, I knew I had to do something to keep my mind busy while I was off work recovering. I've felt drawn to learning concertina (I thought it would be an easy instrument to learn - HA!). I successfully procured a nice Stagi concertina online that had been owned by a collector who had numerous concertinas but never really learned how to play; basically, the instrument I got was not only new-to-me, but in immaculate condition (according to the shop I took it to deal with a few sticky buttons). From what the seller told me, I believe the instrument to be from the 1980's; it's labelled "Made in Italy" and so I assume it may be attachicon.gif concertina2.jpga reasonable quality of instrument, not a Chinese knock-off. She's a pretty little thing, a 38 button English, that sounds beautiful to me.

 

Prior to buying it, I had been to a local music shop and tried out the only model of concertina they sold, a 20 button Hohner. It sounded so harsh and shrill it almost put me off the instrument altogether, but the desire niggled at me until I bought the used one online.

 

I've read a lot of negative things about Stagi concertinas, and while I certainly know I don't have a trained ear for what sounds good or what sounds like a "real" concertina, I am delighted with this instrument. I think I've made good progress using the Butler book and am now beginning to source out some other music to expand the variety and keep things interesting.

 

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself instead silently lurking.

 

Looking forward to getting to know folks here and to learning from you all.

 

Cheers!

 

 

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Hi Newbie from Ontario.

 

I'm also a newbie, and wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself.

 

I just bought a cheap 30 Button Chinese Anglo concertina (Bonetti) to learn on while I'm recovering from a bad bout of asthma. So your English Stagi sounds pretty good to me!

 

Harmonica and melodica just don't work that well when you are short on breath, so I decided it was time to buckle down and learn a new reed instrument that was bellows based. A neck and shoulder problem meant that a melodeon or accordion was not an option, so concertina here I come! ..And to those of you who will immediately comment that I should have waited until I could afford something more expensive or buy something I couldn't really afford (for most of us that means charging it...), for now, what I bought is working fine. Reasonably in tune (both to my ear, and to my tuner's ear), all the buttons work, the bellows are leak free, and I can learn the fingering while I have some down time. I checked it out carefully during the return period. Yes it's a little slow and the bellows are stiff. But my playing will be slow for a while too. Will it still work 6 months from now? Maybe not, but I can afford it and play it now, which is what I need. I will upgrade when I can, and keep the cheap one for campfire/outdoor sessions or learning how to do simple repairs. I will also do a more formal review of my cheap anglo for people after I've been playing for a few months.

 

I read a lot of posts on this site before ordering my concertina, and was surprised to see how negative people were about today's Chinese equivalents of the old German mass-produced accordion reed "working class" concertinas...It almost seems as if this is no longer supposed to be an instrument that people without a lot of excess cash are supposed to play. I am new to this, so perhaps I am wrong. I hope so. But if this web-site and Dan Worrall's books are any indication, it may be a new development in the "Social History" of the concertina.

 

As long as your having fun with your new concertina and it fills your needs now, I think you have a wonderful thing going. Will be interested in hearing how things progress.

 

Your neighbor to the South.

 

A Newbie from Buffalo, NY

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