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I have often found guitarists are attracted to playing concertinas; and wondered why particularly. And also how it affects the use of fingers going from strumming, or plucking the strings to pressing the small buttons on concertina?

I knew someone once, also guitar player, whom also was interested in concertina, and always asking questions about them. Is it because they have their own tablature? 

As none guitar player myself I don't have the answers.. what do you all think? 

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I doubt there's any special relationship between guitar and concertina. Lots of people play more than one instrument, and if you're going to do that you might as well choose instruments which have very different characteristics; which the guitar and concertina do but so do lots of other pairings.


I play mainly duet concertina, but I also play bouzouki, tenor guitar and fretless bass guitar. They are not generally interchangeable; it's horses for courses.


In the past I have also played anglo, English and Crane duet; all at the same time (well, not literally). I gradually reduced to one system largely because there seemed to be no point in struggling with three when to 99% of listeners they all sound the same.

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English concertina and guitar share two things (amongst others, and differ in plenty of ways too!):


1. A lot of mid-19th century guitar music fits on the English concertina pretty well (Fernando Sor etc). Maybe that's because Regondi dominates the idea of what mid-19th century English concertina music is... but at the same time his style of English concertina music does push it to its limits, whilst still suiting it.


2. There isn't a clear division of the hands/fingers into low/high on either instrument. For example, if you played a scale in octaves, then the fingers would jump around - your first finger might be playing the high octave at one moment, and the low octave the next. The only way to get your head around this is to separate out the concept of the notes from the fingers (hard to explain this). On both instruments it's quite an odd feeling at first, but also rather satisfying when you start to master it!

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Guitar in the us and eu.. and possibly everywhere in the world… is probably the easiest to get. In terms of places to buy, options and getting a reasonably playable instruments and spares (strings) at lots of places and cheap prices. Even  a friends brother’s cousin’s boyfriend that stopped playing and wants something you have…like a chain saw…  so probably the easiest obtainable instrument..


 And the resources for learning, teacher availability, books, you tube, your 13 year  old algebra class friend that DOES take lessons. Etc.

the guitar fits into just about every genre of music. So it’s not pigeon holed into a “you’re gonna play jazz/ classical/ country/ Klezmer?” Conversations. It has pretty much been in just about every genere of popular music as a main instrument probably back to @ 1930s with the swing/ big band era forward. And much farther back for many other types.

and anybody that can strum “Smoke on the water” considers themself a guitar player. 

To me, anybody that has an interest in music has probably tried a guitar at some point. And I don’t think it is really all that surprising..


if you were to say the median age of people learning the concertina was under 30…well, then I would be very surprised.



Edited by seanc
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7 minutes ago, SteveS said:

The musical chainsaw is a thing - the Swedish/Finnish band Hedningarna used it good effect 😄

Had not considered the valid musical applications of the chain saw.. but if Phish can do it with a vacuum I suppose anything is possible..



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