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What is recommended for beginners these days?


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Hello all 

 

You've heard it a million times I'm sure, but I'm looking to by my first concertina, and my budget is £200. I'm looking to play Irish trad so I understand I'd need an Anglo in C/G ideally.

 

I've been looking on eBay at some beautiful antiques, but very reluctant to take a punt on something I know so little about!

 

What is the general consensus for beginners on this kind of budget? I'm based in the UK, so there must be plenty of choice 😄

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Avoid eBay!  Any vintage concertina there for under £200 will need work to make it playable.  I’ve just had an eBay “beginner” concertina brought to me for assessment.  It cost £400 and would have cost more than that to put it right.  The buyer is sending it back for a refund.

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I think you may find it difficult to find a concertina for that price range these days. My own Anglo type I bought way back in 1999, and then at that time ..it was nearly £300; ( 23 years ago!)these days similar models are now sometimes £500 or thereabouts. (Other much desired models by other makers can be even more expensive than this)!

There are however  some sold for near your budget; but I have no idea what they are like. Up your budget a bit more and you may begin to get more choice. There is a music place selling online anglo models, and one particular member of this forum may point you in the right direction?

 

 

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The only other place I have heard of that supplies anglo 30 key concertina ( about £200).. is Gear4music, a musical instrument retailer. As far as I know they have been established for some time now; they have concertina of this type for £199 currently ( may be ex display model). I am NOT a rep for the company ( which is incidentally not far from where I live).. but you can try see their website, and there's concertina on it (looks ok)!

 

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8 hours ago, SIMON GABRIELOW said:

The only other place I have heard of that supplies anglo 30 key concertina ( about £200).. is Gear4music, a musical instrument retailer. As far as I know they have been established for some time now; they have concertina of this type for £199 currently ( may be ex display model). I am NOT a rep for the company ( which is incidentally not far from where I live).. but you can try see their website, and there's concertina on it (looks ok)!

 

 

I've found a secondhand Scarlatti Anglo concertina with 30 keys for £199 - do you think this would be better than the Gear4Music one, or are they likely to be pretty much the same at this price? The G4M comes with a case which is a nice bonus i suppose!

 

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I would not know from direct experience myself, ( about gear4music concertina)..) it depends what you are aiming for; and as I say I am not a rep for the company, but they have been established (gear4music) for a while now, that's all I can say for definite. They sell all kinds of instruments, and the one sold at £199 could be ex- display model ( possibly?).. I can't vouch for how it sounds; it may be good for its price, or not.. but that' s all I could see for your budget!  

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If the flying ducks are essentially hand made. I would probably think those are going to be superior to the mass produced Chinese instruments?


also, I think the CC Rochelle is a good starting point. Also the wren seems to get some consistent good feedback. Not sure if that is in your price range. but I would probably opt for one of these used over a Scarlatti, as they are probably much newer.

 

 

Edited by seanc
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20 hours ago, seanc said:

If the flying ducks are essentially hand made. I would probably think those are going to be superior to the mass produced Chinese instruments?

I've not tried one, but I've dealt with Paul, the proprietor, and I think the short answer is almost certain to be "yes"

 

Alex West

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The Flying Ducks do look wonderful, but there is a lead time of 15 months and I'm very keen to get started. Perhaps one will be my second concertina!

 

Thank you for all the information and the very useful videos. I decided to take a punt on the Gear4Music one, and it is arriving tomorrow. My expectations are suitably tempered, but I'm hoping I can use it to learn the basics of the instrument and get a few tunes under my fingers :D

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I wish you best for your decision now made; I was also looking at the "duck" concertinas, but would also be impatient to begin learning. And I had a look at gear4music ones too now and  again. 

Whatever, if it gets you going, you never know what may be ahead .. and hope to welcome you to the fascinating world of concertina!

Be patient as you learn the ropes, and see what you can achieve.

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6 hours ago, velocitygirl said:

The Flying Ducks do look wonderful, but there is a lead time of 15 months and I'm very keen to get started. Perhaps one will be my second concertina!

 

Thank you for all the information and the very useful videos. I decided to take a punt on the Gear4Music one, and it is arriving tomorrow. My expectations are suitably tempered, but I'm hoping I can use it to learn the basics of the instrument and get a few tunes under my fingers :D


assuming you do well enough with the starter to get a second. It would be well worth it to save up for a GOOD instrument. And not a second starter. As you progress, you will likely find that all of these low end instruments are far too slow. And will likely hold you back. 
 

it is far better to have one capable concertina than one or many lower end ones. It should be you and your abilities that is the limiting factor and not the box. That gets very frustrating and a huge turn off to continued practice and increasing your abilities.

 

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Have you considered hiring a concertina? There are a number of concertina clubs in the UK several of which do hire out instruments to starters (you would have to join but it is quite cheap) and several that provide instruction usually by way of the internet e.g. via Zoom, West Country Concertina Players (WCCP) is one that does both. This way distance is no object and you get to try an instrument for a while before you make an informed decision.

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