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Maybe A Stupid Question, But...


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I'm a brand new player. I've been at it for a whole two weeks now.


I bought a 20 hutton C/G concertina ( Hoener) to start out with until I decide if I'm going to pursue this instrument.


My question is this: If I like playing and want to switch to another concertina with 30 buttons, will I be starting all over? Or will I have have the same rows of buttons,one tuned in C and one in G, plus another row.


If a 30 button box has the notes in different places, I don't want to waste a lot of time learnig where they are on this 20 button model.


As you can probably tell, I don't know a whole lot about this instrument, but I like the sound and I know it's particularly useful for Celtic music. I ordered a book from MadForTrad Ltd in Ireland which I hope will help get me started. I can''t wait for it to arrive.


I'm a guitar player and I often attend jams with other players around the area. The problem is, if there are 12 people at the jam, 10 are probably playing guitars.


Enough of this mindless rambling. Have a great weekend everybody!


Cappy :D

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Hi Cappy,

Welcome to the wonderful world of concertinas! We hope you can stay a lifetime.


Most 20 button C/G instruments have the same notes as their 30b C/G counterparts on the two home rows. The 30b instruments add a third row of accidentals and useful duplicate notes. You'll learn lots of fingering and technique on your 20b that is a direct transfer to a 30b.


While a 30b has most of the notes that you will require to play in any key and some important notes to play in "session correct keys" like D and A, don't sell your 20b short. Wonderful Irish players like John Kelly and Kitty Hayes rarely (if ever) used any notes outside of the two home rows even when extra notes were available. There is a lot of good music to be made on a 20 button.


So enjoy your 20 button. Look forward to a 30 button. If you really love a tune and the "conventional key" doesn't set well on your 20b you might consider transposing. (D modal often works where E modal won't) Sometimes the transposed setting has a charm on the concertina that the "correct key" lacks.


Above all, have fun and make good music with the particular instrument that you have in your hands at any given moment.





Edited by Greg Jowaisas
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Thanks, Greg. That's good to know. Actually, I was wondering how to handle accidentals.


I've learned to play a couple songs in C and now I'm working on some G tunes.

Of course, the F# is there on the fingerboard, but what can I do if I encounter another # or b? I guess the third row on a 30 button instrument would be handy.


In the meantime, what do I do? (1) avoid tunes with sharps and flats? (2) Experiment with another substitute note that might work in place of the sharped or flatted note? :blink:


I do believe I'm going to like playing the concertina. So far I'm having fun!!


Cappy B)

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You won't be able to play any other accidentals on a 20 button....except for f# on the G row.

Still, you'll find tons of tunes that you can play either in the key of C or in G.


You can also transpose tunes so that they fit onto the instrument....do you know how to do that?


You'll get a good feel for the instrument by learning the basics on a 20 button.....still, if I were you I'd start a saving plan for the upgrade that you'll need in the future



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