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How did you find your way to concertina?

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I came to concertina rather oddly.  I am in a pirate themed band with my 2 sons and an uncle, we've been doing that for some 23 years.  I play fiddle and have for 50 years or so. We started playing all the standard sea faring songs from either side of the Pond, but something was just lacking.  I decided to take up concertina as an add to the band's sound.  Totally not period correct- the Golden Age of Piracy was more then 100 years before the concertina was invented.  But modern ears accept the sound of one as perfectly natural in that setting.  As with fiddle, I taught myself how to play the concertina.  Hours of getting scales smooth, creating little exercises in running triplets and such, and making THEM sound smooth.  I found out how great an accompanying instrument the concertina is, and now a days I use it more for  fleshing out a vocal tune and the occasional solo, but I still keep a couple of concertina tunes in the active song list.  I had been playing a 20 button D/G Stagi Anglo for all those years and just this past week got a new Morse 30 button D/G Anglo, so I can retire my poor, mostly duct tape now, Stagi.  If the Morse holds up 1/2 as well, I'll be willing it to one of my sons!  I hope everyone's concertina journey has been as exciting and pleasant as mine has been.  Keep Squeezin'. 


    Here is an original tune "Flemish the Rope", recorded some 12 years ago, on the Stagi.  Not bad for a $600 concertina, I think. 



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Posted (edited)

Despite being in STEM, I've always been into music; I blame Mom. She has a piano and, while growing up, I'd try playing it for fun. And well, after nearly two decades of trying you're bound to learn to play a thing or two!


Despite living in Brazil − though perhaps because of it, what with the accordion-heavy Northwestern Brazilian music and our Argentine neighbours' Tango − I've always had a strong liking for traditional Irish folk music, reels and jigs. In that same sort of bumbling, do-it-for-the-fun-of-it manner I had with the piano, I ended up buying a tin whistle last year when I visited the UK to look after my grandfather, and have been learning to play it.


Last month I lost someone in my family really close to me, and because we all deal with grief in different and, quite frankly, strange ways, I ended up deciding "you know what? screw it, I'm buying myself a concertina". So I started to do some research into which type, number of buttons, and make of concertina I'd want. Somewhat complicating this is the fact that concertinas are not at all common here in Brazil, so any kind I ended up buying, I'd have to do so from abroad and pay some not insignificant shipping and import taxes. I debated actually making the purchase for some two or three days, but eventually thought "we only live once!" and got the thing. Spent most of the last month second-guessing my soundly unwise financial decision.


It arrived on Monday, and after just a few days I'm very glad to report that my fears were unwarranted − I can already see this little squeezebox will bring me a lot of joy 😁

Edited by GabrielGABFonseca
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I've gotten into Polish folk music few years ago, but the accordions (or the variants popular in 1920-30 in Poland, I don't know the English name – Harmonia) are big and expensive. As it is entirely my hobby and I'm not going to make hardcore, fully historically correct reconstructions of our music I thought concertina checks all the boxes: portable, easier to learn, cheaper, while with sound similar to accordion. I'm happy owner of a Maccan duet for a few weeks now and I'm hooked! Learning goes allright as for now, as I have some background of playing piano for like 10 years. I though that the layout will be nightmare, but for now I'm just transposing everything to C major / A minor, and then it's actually very natural and intuitive for me – at least the right hand. Forming chords in the left seems a bit random to me, but not hard to memorize. Anyway, I really love the sound and learning new instrument, very refreshing!

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20 years ago I was selling a nice 4-key wooden flute.

Bob Tedrow was looking to buy a flute for his daughter and offered to swap me a concertina for the flute.


I said "Sure".  I figured worst case I would just turn around and sell it.


After a few days of complete confusion when it arrived, I found I was starting to be able to put tunes on it and really enjoyed it. 


If Bob hadn't done that there is probably zero chance that I would be playing Anglo Concertina today. It wasn't even in my consciousness as something I would think of doing.  Now it's one of my primary instruments that I play in sessions.

Edited by Michael Eskin
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As a child i learned the accordeon playing, because my uncle did a wanted also. Later i found the bandoneon for me, but it is difficult to learn. (Since then i fight more or less with this bitch.)


Meanwhile i bought just for fun a hohner german concertina and learned it by myself. Then i ordered a great bandoneon (142 tones) at klingenthal und tried to study this monster. At Klingenthal i ordered also just for interest a english stagi concertina, because it seemed to be really easier to learn. The same tone on pull and push ... You know.


Then i sold my 142-Tone-Bandoneon with the option for the customer to give a anglo against. This happened and now i have a nice concertina-connection-anglo, which makes great pleasure meanwhile. (Sometimes more, sometimes less, depends on my constellation daywise ...) Sorry for my bad english. School is over since ... wow 40 years.



Edited by b13
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