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Conversion from button accordion

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My wife has been playing button accordion for many years but in the last few has experienced severe shoulder musculature pain associated with playing. She's thinking of obtaining a concertina as that might be less physically demanding. Would this be true?  How quickly could she pick it up do you think? Anyone on here gone the same path? I assume the Anglo would be the most appropriate version of the concertina for a button box player?

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Posted (edited)

Are you aware of duet concertinas? She might like that. More notes, low ones on the left, high on the right. Still not too big compared with what she has. But it's the same note, push or pull, which she might not like.

Edited by mdarnton

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Talking of "button accordions" it would be useful to clarify whether it's a "cba" (chromatic button accordian) or a melodeon (diatonic button accordion). The latter might in fact lead to choosing the Anglo, whereas in case of the former one would possibly rather suggest a Duet - albeit everything is highly personal and needs to be tried out...

 

Re the shoulder pain I can affirm that in my case switching from a large piano accordion to (English) concertina has caused the pain to entirely vanish.

 

Best wishes - 🐺

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One thing to beware of if she plays a melodeon (push-pull) and tries the anglo concertina: tunes are generally played in the lower octave on the former but on the latter they are usually played in the upper octave. That means the fingering differs quite a lot. It was enough to put one friend of mine off; though of course lots of people play both without a problem.

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Yes, she plays the push/pull 2 row melodeon B/C. From reading other threads it appears there's no easy way to convert. :(

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Posted (edited)

I think an Anglo would a good choice.  The push-pull nature of the right hand scale will be familiar, and that would be a big help.  No concertina features the bass-note-and-chord pattern she is accustomed to, but this doesn't sound like a big problem.  The left hand side of an Anglo offers a lower version of the right hand schema, so picking out your bass notes and chords would be a new skill, but on a keyboard with a familiar pattern, she wouldn't be starting from scratch. 

 

I'm thinking of a CG 30 button instrument because they are the most common Anglo configuration and would be capable of playing in many keys as can the button accordian. The button accordion has a nice logical plan for locating the chromatic scale, and the Angelo's third row will be new, but it features its own logic. 

Another advantage of an Anglo is it's size and weight.  English and duet concertina both play the same note on push and pull, and while that presents a number of advantages, it requires twice as many reeds and more buttons and hardware for instruments of similar compass. Smaller and lighter would be a particular advantage in your case. 

Finally, Anglos are loved and played by many (well, many concertina owners anyway!) so music, instruction and encouragement is more readily available than in the duet world. 

Edited by W3DW
Edited for clarity

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If she's trying to play Irish Trad playing any concertina besides a anglo C/G will be limiting.   I've had friends who've tried it with an English but switched because they couldn't ornament.  I assume she has consulted with someone medical or musically experienced with her instrument to see if there is an underlying physical or positioning problem.  And I have assumed you have looked into the lighter button accordions out there, some of which are quite good.  So there is no advice there from me.  But I am a flute and fiddle player who started concertina at 54 then set it down for 10 years and picked it up again at 64.  At 66 I am quite happy with my progress.  So the fact that she may be learning something completely different may not be impossible.

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