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reenact12321

What qualifies a concertina as a "singer's" concertina?

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I've been researching a lot of different concertinas and going through reviews, and one shorthand I've seen used regularly to describe the general sound of a concertina is confusing to me.

Frequently you'll see, "It is bright and fairly loud. Not a singer's instrument, but it will make itself heard in a session without being obtrusive." or a similar description. 

My question is, what are the traits that make for a singer's instrument? Volume? brightness?

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3 hours ago, reenact12321 said:

My question is, what are the traits that make for a singer's instrument? Volume? brightness?

 

Rather the lack of both - what you‘re quoting should be read along the lines of: if you‘d want an instrument to accompany your or sb. else‘s singing avoid this one because it will overpower the voice - which appartently had rather been meant to praise the instrument for its power here...

 

🤓

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Exactly what Wolf said.

 

But if you are a singer looking for a concertina, it doesn't mean you have to look for one that lacks all volume and brightness. The first criterion is a pleasant tone - however you define that. Most accompaniments are interspersed with intros, outros, bridges and instrumental breaks, so the accompanying instrument - in this case, the concertina - must be able to hold its own in the area of audibility and expressiveness. And while you're singing the verses, a good concertina can be played quietly.

 

If you have a good voice, the concertina should be good enough to match it. And if you haven't got a good voice, at least the concertina should have, so that there'll be at least something worth hearing! ;)

Cheers,

John

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Exactly what John said.

 

Just about any concertina can be a singers concertina if it is played in a manner to suit the song and the voice.  My E-concer is loud and bright, it's taught me to play quietly when required.  Can I suggest the EC and Duet have an edge in offering the full range of keys which can be useful for finding a key to suit ones voice for a particular song.  But of course the Anglo in the hands of a proficient player can handle a good range of keys, enough for most singers to be able to adjust to.  With my limited ability on the Anglo I'm stuck in C for songs.  The Anglo, I think, is actually better for some types of songs, bouncy songs, than the other systems.

 

But forty something years ago I was advised the EC was the one for singing.  I've never regretted heading that advice.

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I have played the EC for many years and use it strictly for accompaniment.  Starting out with an Anglo many many years ago, I then had dinner with Alistair Anderson before a performance at my local folk club. I was smitten and bought a good learner EC. Recently I had an opportunity to play about eight metal-ended Aeolas.  My own current New Model has solid rosewood ends and I thought the difference between the brightness and volume was very noticeable. I seems to me that both attributes make the metal-ended Aeola shine in instrumental or vocal grouping but for personal accompaniment I will stick with the more mellow New Model.

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Quote

any concertina can be a singers concertina 

   ..............this is from Steve's post.

     The trick (and it is a learned skill,) is to learn to play quietly.

          

Robin

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9 hours ago, Robin Harrison said:

   ..............this is from Steve's post.

     The trick (and it is a learned skill,) is to learn to play quietly.

          

Robin

 

I would tend to object - as to the skill of playing quietly I completely agree, but doing so with my (very loud) model 24 is producing a thin sound, which is quite nice in some cases but not for accompanying the human voice IMO. I would much prefer a rounder and more sonorous sound at a modest volume for that.

 

Best wishes - 🐺

 

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