Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Butttons19

Rochelle Or Something Else? Beginner

Recommended Posts

Hello there,

 

I've been on this site for several years and owned my 20 button anglo concertina, a cheap Scarlatti for around 8 years now. Every now and then I have a real pop at trying to play it and then I get really disheartened.

 

I'm really serious about it this time and have managed to make some good connections in my home town.

 

So, with this is mind, I'd like to get a 30 button C/G anglo - my funds are really, really limited.

I'm learning from scratch. I'm signing up to the online Irish Music Academy to learn and then meeting other potential players once a fortnight.

 

My budget is tight - I can stretch to £300/400 if I start to save a bit more. I know this isn't much, and I will be selling on my 20 button with hard case so hoping to get approx £100 for it.

 

I've look at Concertina Connection Rochelle's that I've heard are much better than 'Made in China' (like mine!).

I wouldn't know whether something had a good sound or not, because I've only ever heard professional concertina players at good Folk events who clearly have amazing instruments.

 

Any ideas? I know this topic has probably been covered to its deaths end!

 

Thanks all

Emma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had a Rochelle. Basic but definitely an instrument rather than a toy. I have played various cheap and cheerful boxes that have been virtually unplayable. The Rochelle is far better.

 

Of course, a Marcus or Norman would be better, and there are plenty of concertinas better than them, but a Rochelle is a good workmanlike instrument and will not let you down.

 

Your only other choice within your budget is likely to be a Lachenal 20. I'm a big fan of these but if you want to play Irish then you will need the 30 buttons.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Heavyweight Boxer (are you really??!)

 

Ooh yes, well I just looked up Marcus...a bit (a lot!) out of my price range for now.

 

I'm pretty sure I'd like to play Irish. Im very excited about this! I started following OAIM with Edel Fox and realised I couldn't find my C sharp...because I don't have one on my 20! So, yes I really need a 30 button.

 

Any ideas about the 'Tina' from The Irish Concertinas?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've also been learning on a Rochelle, and it's a good instrument for the price. I probably wouldn't use it for a solo concert, but I regularly get together to jam with some friends who play fiddle in a dance band, and I find that I can keep up (more or less), and that it actually sounds pretty good. Now it's no comparison to a good hybrid - the Concertina Connection Clover makes the Rochelle feel kind of like a toy - but it's not a toy, and in the hands of someone who knows what they're doing, it can make some beautiful music.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Heavyweight Boxer (are you really??!)

 

Any ideas about the 'Tina' from The Irish Concertinas?

Hi,

 

First, just so you know, "heavyweight boxer" is a title that the forum bestows after a certain number of posts. I think you start off as "Member" and then become something else, then "Heavyweight Boxer" then "Guru" or something. It's just a bit of fun. My forum name is Mikefule, which appears in the dark strip at the top of my posts. (Look for where your own forum name appears.) You are not the first person to make this mistake, and it doesn't matter except you might end up thinking that posts from several different Heavyweight Boxers were from the same person.

 

I don't play Irish. I'm an English Morris dancer and play mainly English tunes in the harmonic style (tune underpinned by chords, basses and harmonies) which means most of what I play on a CG box would be in C or G. Irish players tend to play single line melodies with only minimal accompaniment. This allows them to roam free across more keys, often playing in D or A on a C G box. To do this, they need more than 20 buttons, and 30 is the norm.

 

I personally have no knowledge of either the shop or the brand of concertina you've mentioned, but someone here will be able to help you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I started out with a 30 key Scarlatti, from Hobgoblin, which was fine and I have read good things about the Rochelle. I would say both are probably adequate as far as entry level concertinas go. If you are in London, you could drop by Hobgoblin and try it yourself.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I play the Hayden duet system and started on an Elise, which is the Concertina Connection's intro duet instrument, the duet equivalent of the Rochelle. A pleasing concertina in it's own right, it is designed to be the least expensive proper entry level instrument, and I feel they succeeded nicely.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I concurr regarding the Concertina Connection entry-level instruments. I have tried Rochelles for short times, and own an Elise, as does W3DW. Mine is 3 or 4 years old, and has had (knock on wood, of course) literally no issues. While not on the same level as instruments costing 6 or ten times more, it really does quite well. I also always suggest people might (if they can try one first) be very well-served for a year (or perhaps way more than a year) with an older Bastari/Stagi. I mean the ones that look more subdued and "grown-up" 30 button units. I have two CGs, cost about a hundred and a hundred and a half US. Both play sweetly and easily, with reasonable response, and fast enough for medium ability, I think. So an option might be: find one, for almost the same money you get liquidating the Scarlatti, and have a blast with it while saving for the "real" one later. I moved up to a used Morse Ceili, and while I keep the older ones for spares and loaners, it's my daily player, and I love it.

 

Have a great time.

 

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really do appreciate the replies here - thank you so much.

 

Apologies to Mikefule who clearly is not a heavy weight boxer!! :D

 

So I have looked at the Hobgoblin Scarlatti 30 button (which is where I purchased my 20 button, at Cambridge Folk Festival 8/9 years ago!) and it is a lot cheaper than the Rochelle. I'd like to ideally purchase a second hand restored 30 button, not a Chinese model, but wouldn't know where to start so think its safer for me to either purchase a second hand (ideally) or a new Rochelle or Scarlatti. I think once I've mastered a few tunes and I've really, truly given this a go, I can then upgrade. However, I will look at Bastari/Stagi.

 

Many thanks again - really appreciate the help

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You have a 20 button, youve been playing a while and youre looking to 'step up' so things to consider...

there are PLENTY of Irish tunes available to a 20 button instrument. I play mainly ITM on a 30 button anglo and often wonder why i have all these buttons :-) theres loads of them I never use :)

Have you considered say a 26 button lachenal? theyre often available for much less than a 30 button. Barleycorn Concertinas may be able to sort you out with one.

 

lastly if i was going to buy a 'budget' 30 button I think i would go for the Rochelle. I've played a friends and it was ok. PLUS they have a good reputation and are generally able to be resold. The concertina in your foto may be ok but id definately want to get my hands on one before i parted with any cash.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

HI JimmyM - thanks for you reply. Although I've had this 20button for what seems like forever, I've not actually got to play it much. Mainly lack of confidence and not being able to find anyone in my town or beyond who plays one, enough to get mega enthusiastic about it. But now I have!! And I've found a folk club in my town!! Hooray!!

 

What a good suggestion about getting a 26 button. Id never even thought of that. That would work, right? I just looked up Barleycorn - thanks.

Yeah, I'm starting to think the concertina named 'Tina' is probably not the one, as no one seems to have heard of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

If you're mainly interested in Irish tunes, 26 should be plenty. I've occasionally had use for those last four buttons when playing chords, but when playing the melody line in a jig or reel, they just don't come up. 26 buttons will give you the all-important C#s, as well as D#, G#, and A#, so that gives you all the accidentals, and all you're missing out on are a few notes at the extreme high and low ends of the range that no one plays anyway.

Edited by Mjolnir

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

Just adding my tuppence-worth from the perspective of someone who was in your place a couple of months ago. I had messed around with a borrowed Hohner 20-key for about 6 months which was enough to convince me that I wanted to pursue this. I had a budget of £500 max and it seemed to me to be a choice between an OK 30-key or a better quality 20-key with limitations in terms of C# etc. I went with a Lachenal 20-key from Theo at the Box Place and am really glad I did - it feels like playing a quality instrument to me. Yes, I'm limited but I have plenty to get on with for at least a year or so and, if I do want to upgrade, it will probably hold its price fairly well. And, if I really want to play in sessions in D (nowhere near that stage yet!) I'm not sure that substituting a sensible note for a C# is going to get be thrown out. (In fact, having looked at layouts of 30-key models, it's being able to get a G on a pull and an A on the push that seems most exciting to me at present.)

Edited by Gorwel

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If your budget is really tight and you want a concertina-reeded instrument, you might even be able to manage with a 22 or 24 button, which are cheaper than the 26's when you can find them. But I'd go for a 26 if it's within your budget. For Irish-style playing a 26 should be fine, though not for English style where you can really use the lowest notes on the third row of a 30.

 

HI JimmyM - thanks for you reply. Although I've had this 20button for what seems like forever, I've not actually got to play it much. Mainly lack of confidence and not being able to find anyone in my town or beyond who plays one, enough to get mega enthusiastic about it. But now I have!! And I've found a folk club in my town!! Hooray!!

 

What a good suggestion about getting a 26 button. Id never even thought of that. That would work, right? I just looked up Barleycorn - thanks.

Yeah, I'm starting to think the concertina named 'Tina' is probably not the one, as no one seems to have heard of it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much everyone. Im not looking at 26 buttons online.

I did do a bit more research on the Rochelle and there was some discussion with regards to the physical distance between the buttons. I have very small hands and some said that it was a bit on the 'clunky' side. Although I'm currently using a Scarlatti...so that's pretty clunky I think?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks so much everyone. Im not looking at 26 buttons online.

I did do a bit more research on the Rochelle and there was some discussion with regards to the physical distance between the buttons. I have very small hands and some said that it was a bit on the 'clunky' side. Although I'm currently using a Scarlatti...so that's pretty clunky I think?!

The Rochelle is physically bigger than a vintage concertina but the hand positions and button positions are spaced normally. Some cheaper/lower end instruments have the buttons spaced differently, which is a pain. Playing the Rochelle will feel like playing a normal Anglo, at least in terms of what your hands need to do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm an English Morris dancer and play mainly English tunes in the harmonic style (tune underpinned by chords, basses and harmonies) which means most of what I play on a CG box would be in C or G. Irish players tend to play single line melodies with only minimal accompaniment. This allows them to roam free across more keys, often playing in D or A on a C G box. To do this, they need more than 20 buttons, and 30 is the norm.

 

Mikefule, I hope I am not hijacking this thread, but do you feel a 20 button anglo is sufficient for most English tunes? I don't play the concertina yet (I am learning the D/G melodeon) but I would eventually like to acquire a C/G anglo. Would 20 buttons be sufficient for playing harmonic style arrangements of English tunes, possibly including accompanying songs? My top musical "role model" at the moment is John Kirkpatrick, and I believe he plays a 40 button anglo and makes use of them all! But of course I'm not looking to play professionally or revolutionize the folk world, just to play for my own enjoyment.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this  

×