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Manufacturers of beginner Concertinas


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Hello everyone, I'm Bernhard from Munich.

 

I signed up for a new account today.I'm going to retire in a few days and have decided to learn a new instrument again. That should be good for the brain cells :)

 

I play a few instruments, but not all of them very well. Most of the time I only play simple folk songs and traditional songs and only for myself at home. So I'm not that big of a musical talent.

 

I want a concertina, probably an Anglo. I just wanted to ask which manufacturers offer usable beginners' concerts and which one should better stay away from.

  • Are Mc Neela (Wren, Swan) Concertinas OK for a beginner?
  • What is to be thought of Stagi?
  • Are there any other manufacturers of usable entry-level concertinas?
  • Here in Germany, 50 - 70 year old concertinas from the former GDR (Klingenthal) are often offered. What is to be made of it?

I would appreciate a few opinions.
Thanks and greetings from Munich

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7 hours ago, Bernhard said:

Hello everyone, I'm Bernhard from Munich.

 

I signed up for a new account today.I'm going to retire in a few days and have decided to learn a new instrument again. That should be good for the brain cells :)

 

I play a few instruments, but not all of them very well. Most of the time I only play simple folk songs and traditional songs and only for myself at home. So I'm not that big of a musical talent.

 

I want a concertina, probably an Anglo. I just wanted to ask which manufacturers offer usable beginners' concerts and which one should better stay away from.

  • Are Mc Neela (Wren, Swan) Concertinas OK for a beginner?
  • What is to be thought of Stagi?
  • Are there any other manufacturers of usable entry-level concertinas?
  • Here in Germany, 50 - 70 year old concertinas from the former GDR (Klingenthal) are often offered. What is to be made of it?

I would appreciate a few opinions.
Thanks and greetings from Munich

Hi Bernhard,

 

i am Joachim from Germany, living nearby Darmstadt.

If you would wish or like, i culd help you a  bit, connecting you with the German Konzertina Forum, where you can find all kind of information a beinnger could be interested to kow.

WE could eventually alsomeet and i could shw you my instrumetns and let you play and we could discuss your issue in calm and in detail.

Wjat kind of Music you would like to start with,maybe mainly Folk ?

Question could be if to star with a 30 b or a 40 button insrument, if used or nw.

I have some expeience I could share with you.

Regards Joachim

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12 hours ago, JoachimDelp said:

Hi Bernhard,

 

i am Joachim from Germany, living nearby Darmstadt.

If you would wish or like, i culd help you a  bit, connecting you with the German Konzertina Forum, where you can find all kind of information a beinnger could be interested to kow.

WE could eventually alsomeet and i could shw you my instrumetns and let you play and we could discuss your issue in calm and in detail.

Wjat kind of Music you would like to start with,maybe mainly Folk ?

Question could be if to star with a 30 b or a 40 button insrument, if used or nw.

I have some expeience I could share with you.

Regards Joachim

After ga ving slept v r it, an after loooking to my colection of Concetinas, I see, I could,  if you, let me a 3 button, cheap , b ut wiorki9ng concertina for some time to sart with it, alloin you t get a feelin you want to go further on.

 

t is called Tina, wood ended, C/G which I bught in Ireland. It is looking good and workig good, similr to the Wren models.

 

I have also Tutrs an CD an online nfo,I culdshar with you.

 

Let me kow it my offer could help you and give you some time o ake a lter mor definitve decsiion.

:) Regards JD

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Hallo, Bernhard,

Congratulations on your upcoming "freedom!" I've been a pensioner for almost 10 jears now, and enjoy having the time to improve my playing. I live near Stuttgart, by the way!

21 hours ago, Bernhard said:

I play a few instruments, but not all of them very well. Most of the time I only play simple folk songs and traditional songs and only for myself at home. So I'm not that big of a musical talent.

That describes me pretty well! My excuse is that I have a good singing voice, and my instruments are mostly for accompaniment, so I don't have to be able to pay them like a virtuoso ...

What instruments do you play? I'd say that people who play several instruments, and do it at home just for fun, are musical, even if they never perform in public.

 

The concertina is one of the instruments I've been playing for a long time. My first concertina, back in the 1960s, was a Klingenthal with 20 buttons. I used it like other young people used guitars in those days: accompanying singing at camp-fires, in youth Church services, at parties etc. 

About 10 years later, I bought a small Bandoneon in a Berlin junk-shop. It had almost all its buttons, and was even in tune with itself! This could do everything that the 20-button could - and more, of course. But I never learned to exploit all its possibilities.

I finally moved on to a 30-button Anglo - a Stagi with metal ends. I played this in a folk band for 20 years. It has a pleasant sound that blends well with the fiddle and guitar. Admittedly, I did have to do some work on the buttons when it was new, and modified the air-button, but it was good enough to profit from a new bellows. So it isn't really a standard Stagi. I had no problems with the reeds. They're still in tune after a quarter of a century.

After I retired, I bought my first English-built Anglo, a Dallas-Crabb 30-button. It is better as a solo instrument.

 

So what would I recommend as a starter? Some say, start with the best instrument you can afford. For me, that would be my Crabb, which is no more difficult to play than my earlier concertinas, and sounds better. On the other hand, I got a lot of enjoyment - and use - out of my old Klingenthal. I don't remember it as being difficult for me as a beginner. My Stagi turned out to be a very useful instrument after modification, and it's still going strong.

So any of them would be suitable for a beginner.

 

The Klingenthaler have only 20 buttons, whereas many Anglos have 30. The 20-button concertinas (wherever they were made) only have the notes of two major scales, usually C and G, so you're limited to these two keys. However, if you're playing just for yourself, and can choose the key to play in, that's no great problem. If you want to sing folk songs, you'll find that those you can't sing in C, you can sing in G, and vice versa. And if it's German folk songs you're thinking of, then perhaps a Klingenthaler with its warmer, fuller tone might be better for you than a vintage English-made 20-button.

 

But with Klingenthaler as with all used concertinas, you have to find one that's in good condition. It would certainly be simpler to buy a Wren or Swan, but I have no experience with these.

 

LG,

John

 

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Thank you for the answers!

 

I would like to gather a lot of information before I buy something and of course I know the saying that if you buy cheap, you buy twice. That's why I'm looking for information about which manufacturers offer reasonable concertinas. I'm not interested in the cheapest instruments made in China, possibly even made by children.

 

I know the difference between Anglo, English and Duet, but I'm not yet sure which type of concertina suits what I like to play.

What do I like to play:
A few years ago I took clarinet lessons from a jazz musician. There I learned pieces like "Mack The Knife", "Fly me to the moon", "What shall I do with a drunken Sailor" etc. I enjoy such pieces. But I also love to play simple folk songs or children's songs and give them a little swing and occasionally sprinkle in a blue note (that will probably be difficult with an Anglo, right?). Right now I'm playing these things on a tinwhistle. (The clarinet was too difficult for me. I gave it up again).

 

For this purpose I am looking for a suitable concertina that does not squeak like a cheap toy and does not dismantle into its individual parts after a few years.

 

29 minutes ago, Anglo-Irishman said:

Congratulations on your upcoming "freedom!"

I am not yet sure, whether I can enjoy this new freedom. I'm the workhorse type :)

Regards

Bernhard

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1 hour ago, Bernhard said:

Thank you for the answers!

 

I would like to gather a lot of information before I buy something and of course I know the saying that if you buy cheap, you buy twice. That's why I'm looking for information about which manufacturers offer reasonable concertinas. I'm not interested in the cheapest instruments made in China, possibly even made by children.

 

I know the difference between Anglo, English and Duet, but I'm not yet sure which type of concertina suits what I like to play.

What do I like to play:
A few years ago I took clarinet lessons from a jazz musician. There I learned pieces like "Mack The Knife", "Fly me to the moon", "What shall I do with a drunken Sailor" etc. I enjoy such pieces. But I also love to play simple folk songs or children's songs and give them a little swing and occasionally sprinkle in a blue note (that will probably be difficult with an Anglo, right?). Right now I'm playing these things on a tinwhistle. (The clarinet was too difficult for me. I gave it up again).

 

For this purpose I am looking for a suitable concertina that does not squeak like a cheap toy and does not dismantle into its individual parts after a few years.

 

I am not yet sure, whether I can enjoy this new freedom. I'm the workhorse type :)

Regards

Bernhard

 

2 hours ago, Anglo-Irishman said:

Hallo, Bernhard,

Congratulations on your upcoming "freedom!" I've been a pensioner for almost 10 jears now, and enjoy having the time to improve my playing. I live near Stuttgart, by the way!

That describes me pretty well! My excuse is that I have a good singing voice, and my instruments are mostly for accompaniment, so I don't have to be able to pay them like a virtuoso ...

What instruments do you play? I'd say that people who play several instruments, and do it at home just for fun, are musical, even if they never perform in public.

 

The concertina is one of the instruments I've been playing for a long time. My first concertina, back in the 1960s, was a Klingenthal with 20 buttons. I used it like other young people used guitars in those days: accompanying singing at camp-fires, in youth Church services, at parties etc. 

About 10 years later, I bought a small Bandoneon in a Berlin junk-shop. It had almost all its buttons, and was even in tune with itself! This could do everything that the 20-button could - and more, of course. But I never learned to exploit all its possibilities.

I finally moved on to a 30-button Anglo - a Stagi with metal ends. I played this in a folk band for 20 years. It has a pleasant sound that blends well with the fiddle and guitar. Admittedly, I did have to do some work on the buttons when it was new, and modified the air-button, but it was good enough to profit from a new bellows. So it isn't really a standard Stagi. I had no problems with the reeds. They're still in tune after a quarter of a century.

After I retired, I bought my first English-built Anglo, a Dallas-Crabb 30-button. It is better as a solo instrument.

 

So what would I recommend as a starter? Some say, start with the best instrument you can afford. For me, that would be my Crabb, which is no more difficult to play than my earlier concertinas, and sounds better. On the other hand, I got a lot of enjoyment - and use - out of my old Klingenthal. I don't remember it as being difficult for me as a beginner. My Stagi turned out to be a very useful instrument after modification, and it's still going strong.

So any of them would be suitable for a beginner.

 

The Klingenthaler have only 20 buttons, whereas many Anglos have 30. The 20-button concertinas (wherever they were made) only have the notes of two major scales, usually C and G, so you're limited to these two keys. However, if you're playing just for yourself, and can choose the key to play in, that's no great problem. If you want to sing folk songs, you'll find that those you can't sing in C, you can sing in G, and vice versa. And if it's German folk songs you're thinking of, then perhaps a Klingenthaler with its warmer, fuller tone might be better for you than a vintage English-made 20-button.

 

But with Klingenthaler as with all used concertinas, you have to find one that's in good condition. It would certainly be simpler to buy a Wren or Swan, but I have no experience with these.

 

LG,

John

 

Hi John,

i do not know too many Concertina Players in Germany. Well I know some by name, but not personally.

So, i am happy to read that you ar liv ing in Stuttgart, not too far away from Darmstad.

In Darmstaqdt and surroundins I ama taking part in sessons , whch U would like to make you kjnow, when Coviud allow it again.,

Woud like to take contact with you, perhaps we can shar our good life with the Concertina.

I am  now hav ng Concrtinas for ab uot 20 years, but  did never have time for a regualr playng and learning process.

This year with 73 years i won freedom, and I am fcussd on earning using the OAIM Easy Online Concertina Lessons with teachers land courses for all degress, mainly dedicated to Irish Music.

 

I started with Hohner 30 button Anlgo, which some day has disappeared misteriusly. I thinkn the Hohner is a good starts instrument.

Later I owned a Stagi 30 buttons, with improved action, I liked very muc and had no problems with it.

I know that many people don´t consider the Stagis to be serious instruments...!?

Refernt to this opinion, I am conscient that years ago the Stais had soe prob lems.

I own a Basari 50 Butoon G/D, whih must be ab out 50 years old. I bought oce aboout 25 years ago from USA.

I love it since it has a very special sound, I guess a ew would not have the same.

The G/D tuning I would mor approaite for siningn, that is my feeling.

Stagi has b een overtaken by some yung people, who now under the name of Concertina Italia are going ahead tith Stagis instruments and models.

But I know thay are doing efforts to improve the qualiy, make it constant and they are working on new models. I hae spoken with them and have played some of their insruments, and it is my impression they have really improved and  be a bsolutely recommended.

My best instrument, is Kensinton nr. 017 and to whom want to buy a top model, I wold recommend an actual Kensingtono, wiuch I consider to be one of the best.

Actualy I am payling a first English mayde Vintage LÖachnal restored to a good working condition and I like its sound very muchgh.

20 button, 22, 24, 26 or 30 buttons =

Qith all of them opne can make fine music.

I own some old cholers and Klingnthals, I am working on, for my pleasure and I pretend to to add to a first one a couple of  buttons, so it would allow at least to play thre tunigns C, G, and D.

20 b uttons, 30 or 38 b uttons, can  be too muhc for many  of us... :)

 

Errll , enpough or a first contact !

Hope to meet you in a near futures. If you kike the idea please contact me under my mail conact.

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2 hours ago, Bernhard said:

Thank you for the answers!

 

I would like to gather a lot of information before I buy something and of course I know the saying that if you buy cheap, you buy twice. That's why I'm looking for information about which manufacturers offer reasonable concertinas. I'm not interested in the cheapest instruments made in China, possibly even made by children.

 

I know the difference between Anglo, English and Duet, but I'm not yet sure which type of concertina suits what I like to play.

What do I like to play:
A few years ago I took clarinet lessons from a jazz musician. There I learned pieces like "Mack The Knife", "Fly me to the moon", "What shall I do with a drunken Sailor" etc. I enjoy such pieces. But I also love to play simple folk songs or children's songs and give them a little swing and occasionally sprinkle in a blue note (that will probably be difficult with an Anglo, right?). Right now I'm playing these things on a tinwhistle. (The clarinet was too difficult for me. I gave it up again).

 

For this purpose I am looking for a suitable concertina that does not squeak like a cheap toy and does not dismantle into its individual parts after a few years.

 

I am not yet sure, whether I can enjoy this new freedom. I'm the workhorse type :)

Regards

Bernhard

Hi Berbhard,

with the tunes in mind, you mention here, the instrument should  be certanly a 30 button instrument.

If you do not need the b esg ones and do not want to spend over 4000 US$ and for stgarting with it, my rcommendation would be an APJ, which without saying that SWAN Phoenix and other made b y Irish Concetina Company, would not be also good chices, or valid choices, I would recommmend this ones, because thy are ofg good quality, not fancym functional and elegant, sounding very nice APJ is offering in my opinion and excellent price / quality relation.

:)

And once you stat really, I may start to drema a but a Cncertina Trio, foremd by John, you and me :)

 

By the way I am playing also harmonica and also I hav e to admit that my musical talent, is of a modest level, but I ahve a lot opf fun, and rom time to also persons who listen tpo me, ar also emoted, ...... mostly in session ata late hour, when perople hav e drunk ough Guinness or whisjey and I play sentimenally some Basque Tunes or on or the othr Hymn.... At this time, late, I dare to perform solo, and as said, humidty content in th aeir raises up...

 

Well now I am workng  for learning and improving, perhaps in a future I amy allowed to start to play at abut 11 pm ot 11.39 pm

 

Well, bye !

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