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I'm interested to see how many people here play concertinas of more than one system (English, Anglo, Duet). I've been playing an Anglo C/G for a while now and play mostly Irish stuff on it. I would consider myself, low-intermediate to intermediate level. I think the Anglo is great for Irish music and is able to offer repeat notes to make playing melodies smoothly or for adding in drones and partial chords. I have a few of Gary Coover's books and like the more harmonic style. My Anglo is a Jeffries layout so I have to think a bit for the right hand accidentals but in general in works pretty well. I've been wanting to experiment more with music that is more harmonic with left hand harmony/accompaniment and right hand melody. I am considering getting a Duet concertina.

 

I'm wondering if it's too early in my Anglo journey to add a different system that's completely different. Do many people on here play Anglo as well as English or Duet? Are there many difficulties to overcome in order to do so (aside from finding all that free time ?).

 

Also, with going to a Duet I'm considering the CC Elise. I like the idea of the upgrade program. I used to own a Rochelle and while I thought it sounded great I found it difficult to do quick bellows changes that were required for playing Irish tunes at tempo. I don't think that will be a problem with the Elise since it has the same note push/pull and the type of music I want to play on it isn't folk dance tunes.

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I am in awe of anybody who can play to a decent standard on different types of concertina (Keith Kendrick is a good example).  As for me, I play 80-bass piano accordian and Maccann duet concertina, and even on those two rather different boxes I occasionally get confused, playing completely the wrong note or chord or trying to play something which isn't there.

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I  have played  multiple  keyboards  of  concertina;  after many  years of playing the English  I  added  the  McCann duet  and  managed  the two  without  any  apparent problems  other than  the  dividing of  practice  time.  After  getting on  well with  the  McCann  I  decided to  try  the Hayden.  I  also  got on quite well with the Hayden  and  found  no  problems  keeping  the  English  going  whilst  improving  on  the Hayden  BUT  after  a  year on the Hayden  I   found  it  very  confusing to  pick up  the  McCann.  

 

The  similarity  between  two  Duet  systems  was  , for me,  too confusing  but , the  English  is  so  different  to  all the other  keyboards  that  perhaps  it  does not  clash.

 

Currently  I  still  play  the  EC    but  have  given up the duets  in favour of  the  Chromatic  Button  Accordéon.

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I have played both Anglo and Hayden for a couple of months during my transition between systems, but then have abandoned anglo altogether simply because I found duets more suiting my needs. But I had no problem switching instruments during practice session, as the nature of those two systems is so much apart, that there was no confusioin at all.
But, as years long owner of Elise I must ask - what repertoire exactly are you thinking of? Because the main difference in instrument limitations between anglos and duets isn't bisonoric vs unisonoric nature of the instrument, but the universal range of notes on the anglo vs model specific range of notes on duets - up to a level of "standard" 46 or Beaumont 52 keys you will always desire more, as you will run into many arragements problems. And while Hayden is a great system and Elise is an ok entry level instrument, it is, at it's core, a diatonic instrument dressed up into chromatic outfit. So be aware, from the very start, of the prices and note ranges of upgrade options and check what exact range you will need for your final desired repertoire.

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You have a superb instrument and you have obviously master playing Irish Music on it, but you have a vast range of music available to you ,certainly if you start using the incidentals to create a Duet /Anglo style.

If you get a chance listen to Anglo International which demonstrates the various styles available to you on the Anglo.

Al

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Not by any means an accomplished player.

but I started with Anglo with the intention of doing mainly ITM. 
 

the Anglo just never clicked and made sense to me. I picked up an English and that just made a whole lot more sense to me.

 

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AC, EC & JD (Anglo, English & Jeffries Duet).

 

As I mentioned in a previous post, different tools for different jobs. No problem switching between English and Anglo, but Anglo to Jeffries Duet is a bit rough since they are way too similar in layout and pitch.

 

I think playing different systems is good because it forces your subconscious to work a little harder, and the occasional screw-up can lead to new discoveries!


Gary

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My late bandmate and friend Michael Reid (an early c.net contributor) was an accomplished English player, but caught the ITM bug and switched to Anglo. It took a while, but after a while he became very proficient.

 

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I have played Anglo for a very long time.  I picked up duet too because I wasn't satisfied with what I could do on the Anglo in simultaneously playing melody and accompaniment when playing solo.  I started on an Elise when they first came out but I needed to move up from there because of the missing notes on an Elise and because I prefer the concertina reed sound.  That led me to switch to a 48-button Lachenal Crane which I still play (and I still play Anglo too, especially when I'm playing with other people).

 

I think Lukasz raises some very good points about Hayden duet concertinas and where you see yourself going with the duet in the longer run.  I enjoyed playing the Elise and I thought it was a very good instrument for the price, but since I wound up switching to Crane in the end, I probably would have saved a year or two in learning time if my first duet concertina had been a Crane rather than a Hayden.

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Thanks for all the responses!

 

On 6/4/2020 at 10:23 AM, Łukasz Martynowicz said:

[...]
But, as years long owner of Elise I must ask - what repertoire exactly are you thinking of?

[...]

So be aware, from the very start, of the prices and note ranges of upgrade options and check what exact range you will need for your final desired repertoire.

 

I don't have an exact repertoire in mind but I often find myself humming something from a TV show or movie or hearing a song that I'd like to play and then find it's fairly difficult to play on my Anglo due to it being in a strange key like B maj or a flat key. Also, most of the stuff I'm thinking of is something I'd want to play on my own with self accompaniment. While I'm aware this is often possible on the Anglo I'm okay with leaving the Anglo to folk dance music and getting duet concertina (or even a small CBA) for other types of music. Another style of music I like to listen to but find difficult to play on my Anglo are French tunes like this: 

 

 

I can play the melody just fine on my Anglo but it sounds empty to me with out the chords backing it. 


I've checked out the button layout of available notes on the Elise and I can see it's limited but it seems okay for the start and hopefully if it's something I stick with I can do a trade in upgrade to something like the CC Peacock or Morse Beaumont.

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23 hours ago, Alan Day said:

You have a superb instrument and you have obviously master playing Irish Music on it, but you have a vast range of music available to you ,certainly if you start using the incidentals to create a Duet /Anglo style.

If you get a chance listen to Anglo International which demonstrates the various styles available to you on the Anglo.

Al

 

I'm interested in this Anglo International CD set. I've searched a bit but everything seems to be dead links or not for sale. Do you know of anywhere that is still selling this set?

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18 hours ago, Daniel Hersh said:

[...]

I picked up duet too because I wasn't satisfied with what I could do on the Anglo in simultaneously playing melody and accompaniment when playing solo. 

[...]

 

I think Lukasz raises some very good points about Hayden duet concertinas and where you see yourself going with the duet in the longer run.  I enjoyed playing the Elise and I thought it was a very good instrument for the price, but since I wound up switching to Crane in the end, I probably would have saved a year or two in learning time if my first duet concertina had been a Crane rather than a Hayden.

 

This is pretty much exactly my feeling right now. I'm interested in the Elise both because of it's price but also because it is the Hayden layout. I'm interested in the Hayden layout as well as the CBA layout because of their isomorphism. At this stage I suppose it doesn't really matter which layout for a Duet I go with because I don't have any experience with any of them.

 

Thanks again for everyone's responses. For the time being I've downloaded Michael Eskin's Hayden Duet iPad app and will try a few tunes especially trying to stay within the Elise range. This will hold me over while I think things over. Cheers!

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I looked recently on Amazon and both Anglo and English Internationals were still available. Button Box used to be stockists and may possible have some left.

Duet is gradually taking shape ,give it a week or so and four new artists will be on there. The link is available on my last posting but the new players are going up soon.

Al

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6 hours ago, Sean M said:

Thanks for all the responses!

 

 

I don't have an exact repertoire in mind but I often find myself humming something from a TV show or movie or hearing a song that I'd like to play and then find it's fairly difficult to play on my Anglo due to it being in a strange key like B maj or a flat key. Also, most of the stuff I'm thinking of is something I'd want to play on my own with self accompaniment. While I'm aware this is often possible on the Anglo I'm okay with leaving the Anglo to folk dance music and getting duet concertina (or even a small CBA) for other types of music. Another style of music I like to listen to but find difficult to play on my Anglo are French tunes like this: 

 

 

I can play the melody just fine on my Anglo but it sounds empty to me with out the chords backing it. 


I've checked out the button layout of available notes on the Elise and I can see it's limited but it seems okay for the start and hopefully if it's something I stick with I can do a trade in upgrade to something like the CC Peacock or Morse Beaumont.


Amelie soundtrack is exactly what got me into duets and most of my repertoire is adapted from accordions. Haydens are very intuitive for typical oom-pah chord progressions and Elise is good enough (although very limiting) entry point for learning to play this kind of music. However, this is also the exact reason why I find available upgrade path problematic - both Troubadour and Peacock from Concertina Connection lack LH A4, which occurs a lot in accordion style oom-pahs (and you will use it a lot on Elise for this kind of music). Personally I find missing a single note out of accompaniment circle of otherwise rich, three note chords utterly annoing and arrangement breaking. So, for me, this cuts down purchase worthy and reachable upgrade options solely to Beaumont. 


If you also consider CBA to be an option, then take a look at Hohner Nova I 49f - this is the smallest free-bass accordion, allowing duet-like countermelody arrangements. Similarily to duets, it has the same button layout for both hands.

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As a “dabbler” in Anglo (about 7 years; suppose I may be almost “intermediate” by now) and Hayden Duet (about 4 years Elise and last 4 months with an old Bastari 46b from the initial run) I can tell you that the Anglo is still my “go-to” for tunes already in my head and (crucially, to my brain) on the home rows.  That’s why I got a G/D, so I could play the “harmonicas in my hands” without missing a beat.

OTOH, the Elise and lately, the Bastari Hayden have opened up so much more:  I can play along with others in keys besides G and D, for example, and can play minor keys (which I know I should have been able to to on the Anglo, but didn’t) and am just having fun with the unisonority of it all.  I will learn more music theory with the Haydens, for sure, and the isomorphic part strikes me every day as genius.

 

For the Elise:  It is, as others say, a good start.  It can’t play in A, if that is an issue, but for 400 bucks it is a really good value sort of “miniature CBA” to get the hang of.  And, I concur in praise of the Michael Eskin apps (I must have eight or ten) and also recommend a program called “MusixPro” by “Shiverware.”  Lets you play so many keyboards, for information and practice:  Hayden, Janko, CBA in both B and C, and so much more.  I use it all the time.  Built-in sounds kind of cheesy, but for me it’s about the fingering for these different systems.

 

Have a great trip!

 

David

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3 hours ago, David Colpitts said:

As a “dabbler” in Anglo (about 7 years; suppose I may be almost “intermediate” by now) and Hayden Duet (about 4 years Elise and last 4 months with an old Bastari 46b from the initial run) I can tell you that the Anglo is still my “go-to” for tunes already in my head and (crucially, to my brain) on the home rows.  That’s why I got a G/D, so I could play the “harmonicas in my hands” without missing a beat.

OTOH, the Elise and lately, the Bastari Hayden have opened up so much more:  I can play along with others in keys besides G and D, for example, and can play minor keys (which I know I should have been able to to on the Anglo, but didn’t) and am just having fun with the unisonority of it all.  I will learn more music theory with the Haydens, for sure, and the isomorphic part strikes me every day as genius.

 

For the Elise:  It is, as others say, a good start.  It can’t play in A, if that is an issue, but for 400 bucks it is a really good value sort of “miniature CBA” to get the hang of.  And, I concur in praise of the Michael Eskin apps (I must have eight or ten) and also recommend a program called “MusixPro” by “Shiverware.”  Lets you play so many keyboards, for information and practice:  Hayden, Janko, CBA in both B and C, and so much more.  I use it all the time.  Built-in sounds kind of cheesy, but for me it’s about the fingering for these different systems.

 

Have a great trip!

 

David

 

Seconded on "Musix" by Shiverware. I use it regularily on train journeys for fingering practice/learning new material without annoying fellow passengers. If you (Sean) are interested in CBAs you can get a hang of the differences in fingering between C- and B-system within the same neat package. One thing though - default orientations are designed for devices lying flat, so trying to hold your phone to mimic concertina orientation doesn't work out-of-the-box, but fortunately you can design your own presets so this obstacle can be overcome. Even on small phone you can fit one entire side of Elise with true "buttons" spacing, thus train your muscle memory for the real instrument.

 

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