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Amy

Which is suitable for me?

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Hi,all

 

I'm new to playing the concertina. It's pretty fun! I love it but I thought I might have mistaken choice. I bought the EC because I wanted to play any kind of genre of music. The EC can be made all notes. However it seems to be difficult to play melody with accompaniment.

I'll keep practicing it but I want to buy an Anglo C/G 30buttons. I'm considering to purchase Rochelle or Wren 2. Both are similar price, quality,has 14days trial. 

I want to ask you some advice that

 

Should I get new concertina or just practice my EC?

Which is better Rochelle or Wren 2?

If I want to play melody with accompaniment, should I get an Anglo which has more buttons or Duet?(I heard Duet is difficult and it costs higher than other concertina)

 

Feel free to reply any advice, thank you !

 

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Hi Amy, welcome to the forums and - it depends 😄

 

I'm playing both systems with the EC being my main instrument. I can tell you that the EC is well-suited for playing melody with accompaniment (contrary to popular belief).

 

So if you're feeling reasonably familiar with your EC you might try to make the next step with this system (it will take some time to be able to do it well, as always). OTOH, if you throughout dislike the left-right alternation of the EC,  go for the Anglo.

 

Best wishes - 🐺

 

Edited by Wolf Molkentin
expanding

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Definitely try to get your hands on an Anglo to see how you get on with that system. If you can borrow one for a few days that's ideal, otherwise visit a dealer or a player who will let you try one for an hour or two. At that stage, to get a quick idea of how you get on with the fingering system, pretty well any Anglo will do, cheap and cheerful, top quality, or anywhere in between. I started with a 20 key East German made concertina: not strictly an "Anglo" at all but the same diatonic arrangement of the notes and I got on with it so I've stuck with that system. Quite soon afterwards my parents bought me a McCann duet, which I dabbled with for a while but never got far with, though I do still have it.

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:D If you're any where near me on the North Yorkshire coast I've a 20 button Anglo that gets lent out for people to try to see if the Anglo is for them ......it's basic but in tune :D

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Thank you for good advice! I need to practice more with my EC and  I'll look for Anglo to try.

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12 minutes ago, AnnC said:

:D If you're any where near me on the North Yorkshire coast I've a 20 button Anglo that gets lent out for people to try to see if the Anglo is for them ......it's basic but in tune :D

Thank you for your kindness, but I live in Canada 😢

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They are two very different instruments with different strengths and weaknesses.  It is perfectly possible to play chords and other accompaniments on an EC.  It is perfectly possible to play smooth fast melody lines on an Anglo.

 

On the basis of careful analysis of what each could do, I chose the EC, borrowed one, couldn't make head nor tail of it in real life, and bought an Anglo — and I've never looked back.  Others really struggle with the push pull (bisonoric) nature of the Anglo and find the EC easy.  A few can play both with equal facility: they can often be found at the crossroads at midnight, negotiating with the devil.

 

Whichever you choose will be a personal matter, but each will present different challenges and both will require hard work and practice until you've started to make sense of it.

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27 minutes ago, Amy said:

Thank you for your kindness, but I live in Canada 😢

If it is New Brunswick maybe we could get together and I could let you try mine

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9 hours ago, Mikefule said:

Whichever you choose will be a personal matter, but each will present different challenges and both will require hard work and practice until you've started to make sense of it.

I know but I want to know which system is suitable for me. I'll try an Anglo somehow and I will decide whether I get an Anglo or not.

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Someone very wise on this site suggested spending a very few dollars on a cheap harmonica to see if you will be able to fathom the in and out of an Anglo.  Sorry I can’t remember who it was (or maybe on the melodeon site) but brilliant advice, IMHO.  If you can, the longer (12 holes at least) Chinese tremolo models are probably more accessible to a real rookie than the ten hole “blues” harps, but either will give you the idea:  inhaling and exhaling give you adjacent scale notes, two per spot, as do expanding the bellows and compressing them.

The “trick” is that the pattern of blow/draw reverses at the top end of a scale, so doh-re-mi etc. is: out in out in out in in out.  Voila. Ten dollars or less, to help decide.

 

My guess is that if you ever got that far (under an hour for most people, I bet) you will take to an Anglo.  If not, and the harmonica takes more than a few days of casual noodling without “getting” that much, then it wouldn’t make a huge difference which you started on;  by that I mean any of the systems will be a possibility, but the Anglo won’t already have a real head start, as it did for me and many others who previously played harmonica.

 

Because of harmonica background, it took minutes to pick out simple tunes with the right hand, and simultaneous harmony notes with left.  Mind you, I don’t read music, or know the names of chords, but can make reasonably pleasant noise with the Anglo intuitively, and better every month.  Another wise one said, “the first thirty years are the hardest!”

 

Mostly, try whatever you can, and something will grab you.  Have fun, and make a joyful noise!

 

Regards,

 

David

 

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I started on harmonica many years ago, although I seldom play it now.  The Hohner Marine Band comes in 12 hole and 14 hole options.  The 12 hole gives you enough headroom to play in the top octave (comparable to the right hand of an Anglo) without running out of high notes on most tunes.  It comes in C or G, so is pretty spot on for general folk tunes.

 

I always found the single-reeded harmonicas far more versatile than the tremolo or octave-tuned ones.

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33 minutes ago, Mikefule said:

I started on harmonica many years ago, although I seldom play it now.

That's how I started, and I got off the mark with my first Anglo very quickly (in hours, rather than days, to the first tune!)

33 minutes ago, Mikefule said:

 The 12 hole gives you enough headroom to play in the top octave (comparable to the right hand of an Anglo) without running out of high notes on most tunes.

This is true. I've just recently taken up the harmonica again, also with a Hohner Marine Band 12-hole. I also have a Hohner Echo Harp 12-hole, 2-sided tremolo harmonica in C/G. This not only allows you to play in two keys, but  is also good for tunes that modulate (e.g. The Ash Grove), and also gets you prepared to change rows on the Anglo, which is much more convenient that flipping the harmonica over to play the other side.:)

 

Cheers,

John

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Please let me scotch the myth about Duet concertinas being difficult; this only really applies to the MACCAN duet. A CRANE Duet is fairly straightforward, and the HAYDEN duet is very easy. The ELISE (Hayden system) duet is of the same quality and cost as the ROCHELLE.

To try out this system find someone with an iphone and they will be able to show you a playable version of the Hayden keyboard on screen.

 

Inventor.  

Edited by inventor
missed out a word

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55 minutes ago, inventor said:

To try out this system find someone with an iphone and they will be able to show you a playable version of the Hayden keyboard on screen.

 

What Brian is referring to is the “Hayden” app from appcordions.com. There are also iPhone and iPad versions of the other systems, as well.

 

See here for information and a link to the App Store (search on the page for the word “Hayden”). That’s me in the video just below.

 

I agree that the Hayden Duet system is quite accessible. While I’m still discovering stuff about it after 30+ years with it, I played my first tune on it ten minutes after Rich Morse first put one in my hands.

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What kind of music do you play? The Anglo is generally considered to be the choice for Irish  music. 

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2 hours ago, David Coultrup said:

What kind of music do you play? The Anglo is generally considered to be the choice for Irish  music. 

 

To clarify that for a newby: the Anglo is a popular instrument in Irish traditional music, the EC less so.  However, the Anglo is also popular and versatile in many other styles.

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