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How can I? Newbie question.


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Hello, I'm new here. Just signed on today. The forum is quite intriguing. I do have a quandary. I think I'd like to buy a concertina, I have been checking them out on line. However, I'd like to try one out before i take the plunge, I don't want to waste any money.

I live near Tampa Bay Florida. Is there anyone in this area that could help me out? I've asked all my friends, but no one knows anyone who has one.

Thank you.

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We are a pretty obscure instrument in the US and fairly thin in the ground. We do have players in Florida and I expect some will speak up. You might edit your topic title to add the word "Florida" to catch their eye.

 

Welcome!

Ken

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Maybe you will just have to 'take the plunge' and buy a basic instrument  online to see how you go? There loads of places that will stock various types - but need to be also cautious where you look for them just by viewing image alone. And thinking which system you are interested in Anglo ? English? for example. and how many buttons? 20 or 30 or more? People here will no doubt help you on all of this as time goes on anyway - and I hope you will find what you are after soon enough.

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Assuming you were inspired to seek out a concertina because you heard someone playing one, I would suggest you try to find out what kind of concertina it was that you heard (English, Anglo, Duet, Chemnitzer) and focus on looking for one of those. Otherwise you might wind up with an instrument and be disappointed that it can’t conveniently play the kind of music you had in mind.

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Thanks guys. I heard an Anglo first, then an English. An online instructor noted that the English is the easier to play of the two.

Never heard of the other ones.

I won't be playing it on every song of course, but we do quite a bit of Irish folk music. We tried penny-whistle, flute, but nobody could stick with them. We don't have a boudrain, either. I like doing percussion.

Being an ex fiddle player, the concertina does intrigue me.

What do you all recommend for a rank beginner? Anglo or English? Brand?

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It’s good to know that you’re aware of the difference between the English and the Anglo. Don’t worry about the Chemnitzer. In this country it is largely found in the midwest for playing polkas. There are several kinds of duet concertinas (Maccann, Crane, Hayden, Jeffries, etc.) and what they all have in common is that the buttons on the left are an octave lower than the buttons on the right, for playing melody and accompaniment. Unlike the anglo, they play the same note pushing and pulling and are arranged more chromatically. I’m a Hayden duet player, myself, but I’d suggest you stay away from duets unless you have enough music theory to improvise a left hand part while playing the melody with the right.

 

The English may or may not be easier to play (some swear the anglo is), but it will be more familiar to an ex fiddle player. It was designed to play violin music. If you’d like to play stuff you used to play on the fiddle, that would be your likely choice. If you want to play Irish Traditional Music the way the Irish play it, well, they use Anglos. If neither of the above describes your desires, you’d probably do fine with either.

 

I agree with others that you should get the best instrument you can afford. A cheap beginner instrument will work against you and be discouraging. A better instrument will be more rewarding to play and hold its value so if you decide to sell it you’ll approximately recap your investment. Apologies to Simon, who clearly disagrees. He has had many years of happy success with a “starter” anglo, and good for him, but that is not the typical experience.

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If  you  were  at  some  stage  a fiddle  player  and  you are   interested  in playing  Irish music  then  why  not rejuvenate  that...  cheaper to  buy, easier to find  teachers  and    an instrument  right at the  heart  of  the  genre.  Ah,  but    you wish  to  play  the  Concertina , so  I  suggest  you  take up  the Anglo  for  Irish  music. Don't  know  which  is  easier, I  play  the English    but  use  it  for  any  music   I like... including  Irish.

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6 hours ago, Chris Ghent said:

Saying the English is easier to play is just an opinion. The anglo would suit Irish music better.

First point: absolutely. Which kind is easier to play depends how your brain is wired up, which in turn is influenced by what instrument(s) you have played previously. Second point: mostly true. Most people who play Irish music on concertina do play Anglos, but that is mainly because of history and tradition (including availability of teachers) rather than inherent suitability.

 

If at all possible, somone just beginning should get to somewhere where they can have a quick go on different systems to see which makes best sense to them.

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Of course, there's so much button choice also... 20 buttons, 30, 40, etc.. and it's surprising how versatile even a 20 button one can be ( less choice in range).. but surprising how well they can sound; we have someone on this net. site who plays 20 button with great success.

I started on 20 button and yet over those years.. I still managed to find a few hundred pieces of music just for that; then later on moved on to 30 button ( both Anglo types)..and the 30 button gave much wider choice in keys that can be played.

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1 hour ago, Richard Mellish said:Most people who play Irish music on concertina do play Anglos, but that is mainly because of history and tradition (including availability of teachers) rather than inherent suitability

The anglo has an attribute that makes it inherently suitable for dance music and Irish music in particular, something the EC does not have, and that is the ability to create massive attack on notes. This is because it is held in the hands rather than the fingers. 

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1 hour ago, Richard Mellish said:

If at all possible, somone just beginning should get to somewhere where they can have a quick go on different systems to see which makes best sense to them.

 

That is, of course, the question that started this thread:

 

On 11/12/2022 at 7:48 PM, NickieLeah said:

However, I'd like to try one out before i take the plunge, I don't want to waste any money.

I live near Tampa Bay Florida. Is there anyone in this area that could help me out? I've asked all my friends, but no one knows anyone who has one.

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Another way to approach this is to wait for a quality instrument at an affordable price of any kind.  Do your research and play some if possible.  That's how I came by my Jeffries duets many, many years ago.  Geoffry Crabb informed me as a young lad that it didn't matter which system for a beginner.  and I thank him for that advice to this day!

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I did a little craigslist search and the closest thing was a nice looking Lachenal 20 button Anglo in Georgia.  There was also a Wheatstone Mayfair 30 Button EC on a sales site I had never heard of.  I wouldn't recommend buying from sites like this however.  Scams abound.  be patient and ask questions here,  someone will steer you to a good instrument.

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7 hours ago, wunks said:

I did a little craigslist search and the closest thing was a nice looking Lachenal 20 button Anglo in Georgia.  There was also a Wheatstone Mayfair 30 Button EC on a sales site I had never heard of.  I wouldn't recommend buying from sites like this however.  Scams abound.  be patient and ask questions here,  someone will steer you to a good instrument.

Which sales site was that? Curiosity hasn't Hurt this cat - yet!

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The Mayfair came up when I searched "concertina near Tampa Fla." on a site called "shopok".  The Anglo is/was on several city sites in Georgia.  I think I hit Augusta first.  I've had some mixed results with craigslist including a recent Morse in mint  condition and a couple rosewood ECs that looked great but with new pads springs valves etc. would cost about the same as a restored one from a dealer.  If I can't drive to it for a thorough examination I pass.

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