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How Do You People Do It?

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I started out on saxophone as a student and later as a musician (professional). It got to be too much so I gave it up and sold my horns.


Several years later took up concertina just to keep myself going musically. A week ago today I got a beautiful and fine playing new saxophone after 30+ years doing without. I don't think I've racked up more than 2 hours on the tina this week. I won't be able to keep up my skills, let alone improve with just two hours a week. I'm in heaven with the sax and family and co-workers are tolerant for now, but at some point I'll need to return to work, family and concertina and saxophone, and choir, and . . .


The last thing I need is another concertina, especially one with a different keyboard. So many people on this fourm own and presumably play more than one concertina and concertina type. How do you do it? No families? Independently weathly? Homeless with piles of time and 'tinas?



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I don't think I have too many instruments for 40 years of playing.

However the mother of my children disagrees, after my buying a second concertina, an underpriced Lachenal english, intending to sell it to finance an irish bouzouki, then buying the bouzouki before selling the Lachenal !

So now I have TWO bouzoukis, TWO concertinas, ( & guitars, bass, banjo, mandolin, fiddle, mountain dulcimers, a PA system for the band....) and I still haven't re-tiled the bathroom........

I will admit that when I was in full-time work I had little energy to spare and would fall asleep in front of tv more often than I would pick up an instrument. It needed a favourite artist or an offer of money to get me out of the house to a performance. Now I only work part-time the M-O-M-C complains I am always out to sessions, but it is stimulating her to dust off her rusty flute-playing and accompany me.



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I have no idea,. more than about my own situation.

But do not forget we dio what we like and even in some case what we most like

(also perhapsm because aother things we might like more, we have no chance to do it, as oftren as we might like)


Many of us maybe elder and retired.


Some of us maybe young and still not married.


Possibly of us have an higher income than average.


I got aware that relatively many Concertina Players are working with Computers.


Many of us might be more intelligent than average.


Some of us may be on the limits to risk their mariage (occasionally me)


Well, I do not know to answer your question.


My case :


56 years, still hard working, my own business, but not too succesfull for the moment, so in consequence not rich, but I own at present timefour Concertinas, two Anglo, one German and one Chemnitzer, so not really of different system.

In the next days I shakll receive a G/D tuned Concertina, and one more which needs to be restored.


IO am working actually 5 1/2 days - 6 days a week about 10 - 12 hours dayly.


But I almost don view televisonm.


I pñlay the Concertina between 1/2 h to one hour dayly, on Sunday and Saturdays up to 2 - 3 hours.


When envolved in rpoblems with the machines I am building, I must renounce poccasionally to play. But even then, I have one Concertina always with me and

a find a moment, I play a tune for five or ten minutes, just not to forget what I have learned the days before.


I am a slightly advance beginner.


As I said, my family (four children) and my dog occasionalyh are suffering and t may think that I am ill from Concertinitis.


Sometimes I do not eat, ion order to win time for the Concertina.


Actually I am not makling soport as I used to do.


Satisfied with the reply ?


Kind regards


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"So many instruments, so little time" has definitely been a problem for me over the years.


I have played many insturments (including supporting myself teaching/playing Celtic harp, and publishing sheet music for five years), and recently took up the cello yet again (an on-going challange that I *will* master :rolleyes: ), but of all the instrument I have, the concertina is certainly the most fun.


The question of time has never really been an issue for me, as music is my life and what I do. Although I love my day job, employment is basically just something to support my musical habit. :P


I am also very fortunately to be married to a wonderful man who feels the same way, and as we made the very personal decision not to have children, I guess we have a lot more time to devote to music.


Kurt: what type of sax did you get? I recently sold my trumpet to buy my husband a C Melody sax so we could play together. Add that to his Alto and Tenor, and the collection is growing.


Collectively we have: four tin whistles, three saxophones, two Celtic Harps, two electric keyboards, two concertinas, a player piano, a cello, and a set of bongos! (But no partridge in a pear tree :lol: )


A session anyone?


Have a great day,


Edited by Morgana
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With harp and piano, I've found that any tune I've learnt on another instrument will "jump into the fingers" pretty much straight away. With the concertina it takes a little longer, but it definitely helps. :)




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What makes you think we actually play all the stuff we have?


"Homeless with piles of time and 'tinas?" Nearly so. No family yet, but I go to the dances with my eyes open!


Buy most any folks a beer or two at a festival or intensive school, and many will, after the second round, admit that they, like me, have tons of unfinished repair or self-teaching projects stowed under the unused piano at home.


Seriously, I have lived without television for nearly 20 years, which frees a lot of time and about $400-500 a year that cable costs you in the U.S. They should pay me to watch that stuff. I make my own fun. Sure, if/when I get a family or busier job I will play less, but it comes and goes and that is the cycle of life. Having a teacher or a group or a jam to be in always spurs me to do more than I would otherwise.

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I find it hard to play in the between 2 and 15 hours a week range. Once I get past a couple of hours a week I start setting goals and pushing myself to learn and quickly get to 2 hours a day most days. I have a very interesting day job, two kids in school, church choir, scouts, a lovely wife (plays piano and accordion) and several friends and good neighbors, a sister, Mom, Dad. I try to work out some too. So, when I hear about people playing lots of instruments, I project my situation and get puzzled by it all.


I have a mandolin that I spent a few hours a week with for quite a while. It took me too long to be able to play five very easy pieces. Not very satisfying.


Morgana -- I lucked into a 2 year old, very low milage engraved, silver plated, Selmer SA80 Series II. What a horn! No way I can limit that to 30 minutes a day. These things are cheaper than concertinas too. It looks like the 'tina is in for a bit of a rest until I can get in a band or something with the alto.


You can view and hear my 'tina at:





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Kurt: Great web page and sound files! I had no idea the concertina could do that!


Are the Crane System Duet's expensive, say compared to a AC Norman 30 button Anglo? (Which cost me approx 2,138.43 USD)?





Who really needs to master her anglo before she thinks about delving into other systems :P

Edited by Morgana
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Creole bell is Cool

Have you tried any trad Cajun tunes...


Also is that a Washburn mandolin???


I am partial to the oval hole A models (have also owned f holes)


I owned a dual point A Washburn custom made for Jethro Burns that I bought

from his estate...



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I agree, Kurt's sound files are great...as well, his concertina playing is!


As for the question, 'How Do You People Do It?' -- for me, something more relative would be...how do I get out of bed every morning? I'm not sure...


Meaning, I'm not such an incredible concertina player that I'm actually 'doing,' but, anyway, my excuse for stealing time out of the day (I'm not sure why it's always that) is that my parakeets need to sing. Especially now that it's winter, they need me to play, so they can have fun.


So, you see, I DON'T do it. If I am playing my concertina, there's a dirty dish somewhere or there's a whining cat or something...but, I am excused.


Lately, to play at all is an accomplishment. My skin is so dry that my fingers split and it hurts to even type on the computer sometimes! So, obviously, less concertina time. But, I'm getting good at playing with bandaids or gloves on!

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So, you see, I DON'T do it. If I am playing my concertina, there's a dirty dish somewhere or there's a whining cat or something...but, I am excused.


Ah, but dust is a protective layer... and I know that I won't be lying on my death bed thinking.... "if only I'd done more dusting" :P


Bellowbelle: Have you tried Paw Paw orniment for your dry skin? It has a thick consistancy like vasaline, and I swear by it :)


I have a sign up in my study where I do most of my practise which reads: "It's not how good you are, but how much you enjoy the music"


Cheers all,

Morgana :D

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Hi Y'all:



So many saxophone players playing concertina.


What's this all about............free reeds (yes, they were getting expensive when I stopped playing saxophone)????????????


Yes, I too was once an aspiring saxophonist.

"Classical" saxophone was my main interest.

After 2 degrees in music and having studied with some of the greats, I decided enough was enough. Frustrated, disappointed and who knows why else made me give it all up.

I also played clarinet and a bit of flute.


Now 20 years later I decide my new instrument will be the English Concertina!!!!!!!

No idea why. Just gravitated back to playing via this lovely instrument and proud of it.

Also new musical interests, dance, folk, ballads, etc.

And yes, though I don't see serious classical concertina playing in my future (then again, you never know), I am inspired by Kurt's recordings of the Bach transcriptions.

Amazingly, just the other other evening at my 11 year-old daughter Claudia's school winter concert, one of the chorus' was singing "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring" (better known as "Joy") and I was thinking that that would no doubt sound lovely on the concertina.

Thanks Kurt, for making me correct. Gorgeous!

I want to try that too.


My parents always said that one day I'd have a reason to fall back on my music background.

And boy am I falling.

Last night an audition for the second year in a row for the local town arts festival better known as The Oradell (New Jersey) Winterfest and who knows what lies ahead (again, you never know)

Life is wierd, indeed.


Now to the saxophones!!!!!!


I own:


A Selmer Mark VI Alto Saxophone

A Selmer Balanced Action Alto Saxophone

A Selmer Mark VI Soprano Saxophone

A York Curved Soprano Saxophone

Another curved soprano, with double octave key made pre-1900 in East Germany somewhere. (Can't recall the brand name righ now)


A King Saxello (bet most of you squeezers never even heard of this one!)


Might be interested in some sort of a trade for a nice or interesting concertina if there are any potential tooters out there.

These excellent horns are gorgeous and sadly stting unused in an upstairs closet sadly unused and without desired by many players out there.

Honestly. I have little desire to play any of them anymore, though I have wondered what it would be like to play British Isles genre music on any of them.

That's still a possiblility.

Also, I figured if there is a next non-concertina instrument it would probably be whistles, as the fingerings must be very similar to the woodwinds


Maybe flute.

We'll see.

Right now I'm concertina crazy and lovin' it.

Only wish I could find more time for it.

2 hours a day ain't cuttin' it for me. I WANT MORE!!!!!

Now, I'm trying to figure out how to cut back in time on my real job!!!!!!!!!


So, why so many sax-concertina converts?



Perry Werner


PS: By they way, I am also a former professional photographer and shortly after I started squeezing I realized that one of the 2 or 3 tour de forces and possibly the best know work for "classical" saxophone is Jacques Ibert's "Concertina(o) de Camera"!!!!!!!!!!

All my obsessions wrapped up in one piece of wonderful chamber music.

I love it!!!!!!!!!!

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You've certainly got some nice horms there (and yes, I have heard of the King Saxello - from my saxophone playing hubbie :D )


But no C Melody Sax to play along with the Concertina? :P


So how did the audition go?





(PS Bye Bye Blackbird sounds great on concertina too! B) )

Edited by Morgana
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Impressive, very imporessive !

So many persons doing so much music.

One day we should all meet and and have a big fiest and concert.


Astonished and "maravillado" (marvelled ?) I am about your Homepage, Kurt.


Muy poor old Computer could not support the effort to transmit your Music to me, but only a bit..and I liked so much, that I made two decsions :


To buy a new computer


To perserverte on my Anglo learning but seriouysly consider to buy some day a Duet, perhaps a Crane.


I tjhinkl Jim Lucdsa can give me some advise.


Thank you Kurt !


Kind regards


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