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Beginning player, need purchase advice

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I play guitar and harmonica, and I sing.


I'm looking for an affordable instrument that will stand up to regular performance.


Absolutely looking for whichever system (Anglo or English) that would be best for accompanying singing of folk songs. I do not anticipate playing many instrumental pieces or solos.


Let's say my budget is $300.


Feel free to ask whatever questions will help understand what I'm after.



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Check out https://www.concertinaconnection.com

Wim Wakker makes a hybrid concertina (accordion reeds) in Washington state.

The Jackie is an English or Rochelle is an Anglo.

The retail price is $425 but ask about a preowned instrument. 


I've spent the last year learning on a Jackie.  It has been a very good entry level instrument.  I'm actually looking for an upgrade instrument so if you decide on an English concertina and the Jackie is of interest, private message me. I may be able to make you a deal within your budget. 


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Hi Pete, McDouglas's suggestion of the Concertina Connection Jackie/Rochelle instruments is probably one of your best bets if your budget is fixed in the $300 range - though you'll need to save $125 more in order to afford a new one - list price is $425. If you are anywhere near a retailer who stocks concertinas in your price range I would encourage you to go and try out a few different makes and models though there are precious few concertinas in this price range. You may want to think about whether your goals and the songs you hope to play will fit on a 20-button Anglo instrument (which are limited to the notes of the C major and G major scales) or if you will want to play songs and keys that would require a more chromatic instrument. The Rochelle is a 30-button instrument so doesn't have the limitation of a 20-button, but with some searching you might be able to find a used 20-button Anglo that plays better than the Rochelle.

Edited by lukmanohnz
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Which system is easiest depends on how your brain works. Pete's experience playing harmonica suggests that he's likely to find Anglo easiest, but I'd still recommend having a quick go on an English and a duet if he gets a chance, before committing to one system. They are all suitable for accompanying songs, as demonstrated by various established performers.

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You may also want to take into account the fact that there are a lot more instructional materials available for Anglo than for English or Duet instruments.


Personally, I noodled around happily with a cheap 20-button Anglo for quite a while before shelling out the money for a nice hybrid 30-button.



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On 12/27/2018 at 2:59 AM, Pineapple Pete said:

Absolutely looking for whichever system (Anglo or English) that would be best for accompanying singing of folk songs. I do not anticipate playing many instrumental pieces or solos.

Hi, Pete,

I'm a self-accompanied folk singer myself, so perhaps my experience with concertinas will interest you.


At differnt stages in my life, I've sung more to the guitar or more to the 5-string banjo, and the autoharp has always been an option. But whichever instrument, folk-song accompaniment is always about chords. With the I, IV, V7 and vi chords of the key you're singing in, you can accompany 90% of your repertoire. With my baritone voice, I can sing most folk songs in C, and those that I can't, I can sing in G.  For C, I need the chords of C, F, G7 and Am; for G, the chords of G, C (got that already!), D7 and Em. These are easy chords on the guitar and banjo (and the autoharp has no difficult chords:P) - and they're just as easy on the 20-button Anglo concertina!

You play the harmonica, so you have the basic idea of the Anglo's Richter scale. All you have to do is to learn "chord shapes", analogue to those for the guitar, and you have all you need for simple accompaniments.

If you need further keys, e.g. D or F, you'll need a 30-button Anglo, but you'll have got the idea by then.

One advantage of th Anglo is that a melodic break in a song is easier to play convincingly than on a guitar - this will come naturally after a while.


Go for the  Anglo, say I!




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