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Anyone near South Wales? I realised today that I have only ever imagined what a decent concertina could be, I have never actually experienced one. I had one of the cheapest possible instruments in my teens, then a 50 year break, now I have a 500 pound instrument, I suppose a good beginner or intermediate, but good though it is, I am aware it could be better. I would love to experience a real quality instrument and was wondering if there was anyone close enough and kind enough to allow me a few moments with one, just so I can know where I am headed? I can access the bus route between Carmarthen and Cardigan. Much love, Martin ❤️

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Whilst it is always an aim, or ultimate wish to have that perfect instrument; that always seems out of reach, ( like summit of Everest!).. at the end of the day it's the musician that matters. It's also whose behind the 'bellows' as the interpreter; whatever kind of concertina they own, they are the most crucial thing in the partnership.

I recently read an article where someone actually bought the 'dream' instrument.. and yet it still did not live up to expectations, once they got it.

Then there's another who plays a very much more basic box, and does a good job, anyhow!

The top names ( in concertina) are of course very special, but it's the musician who is the ultimate interpreter of the music itself.

Be happy with what you have got, for now, would be my advice; and build up that friendship with your own concertina first; then see later on what you will do ( in developing or buying or trying out other ones).. 


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You could pay a visit to Marcus Music at Tredegar House near Newport.  They make hybrid accordion-reeded concertinas.  However their prices would be a considerable jump from your £500 beginner instrument.


Look out for Pat Smith, who plays anglo concertina and spoons and gigs regularly with Ned Clamp around South Wales (and beyond).

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Thank you so much for your responses. As a Master Goldsmith, I certainly would not blame my tools, but a bad tool will cost time and fluency, and I would either make such a tool better, or get a better one.  

Having a cheaper instrument will certainly not stop me from making music, and I am actually grateful for the extra struggle it causes, because the music will then come all the more easily with a better instrument. I am grateful for having to work hard on the stiff, paper covered, bellows, for it trains muscle strength, I am grateful for the sore and dented fingers, for they will fly all the easier with a better mechanism, so I have no regrets at all, and I am a long way from being proficient enough to bring out the best from a decent instrument, but I know, in time I will be, and I find that visualising a goal like that, having something to work towards and having a reward to look forwards to when I get there will speed my progress. I am on basic pension, so any financial outlay must be worked towards, so this post is about finding out what it is I am working towards, what does a good instrument feel like? The more real I can make my goal in my imagination, the quicker I will get there 🙂

So, a week and a half from receiving my concertina, and I am off down the pub for an orange juice and maybe a little busking 🙂

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