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I have wanted a concertina for a long time and am looking at various models. I play harmonica and hope to accompany myself if possible. It seems that for recreational playing, drunken sea chanties, cockpit concertos etc, a 20 button C/G may be the way to go. I am thinking of ordering something like a Castiglione Anglo C2A. Any advice would be most welcome.

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I have wanted a concertina for a long time and am looking at various models. I play harmonica and hope to accompany myself if possible. It seems that for recreational playing, drunken sea chanties, cockpit concertos etc, a 20 button C/G may be the way to go. I am thinking of ordering something like a Castiglione Anglo C2A. Any advice would be most welcome.

 

HI Grace

 

Welcome

 

Just an opinion, however, I think the concensus would be that a Rochelle, would be the minimum way to go. Made by : http://www.concertinaconnection.com/rochelle%20anglo.htm

 

Available from a few of the reputable dealers with banner ads here on concertina net. What part of the world are you in. Chances are WHEN you get hooked (not if), you'll like their liberal upgrade program.

 

Thanks

Leo

Edited by Leo
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If you can afford it, definitely go 30 button. The extra buttons give you extra keys, easier sequence of notes and more chords. Plus, you can do everything a twenty button will do. A 26 button anglo concertina (should you happen across one) is nearly a good. A 20 button is quite limiting.

 

There are, of course, other types of concertina as well as the anglo. You might find one of them fits you better. Have a butchers at the Concertina FAQ for more info.

 

Chris

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If you can afford it, definitely go 30 button. The extra buttons give you extra keys, easier sequence of notes and more chords. Plus, you can do everything a twenty button will do. A 26 button anglo concertina (should you happen across one) is nearly a good. A 20 button is quite limiting.

 

There are, of course, other types of concertina as well as the anglo. You might find one of them fits you better. Have a butchers at the Concertina FAQ for more info.

 

Chris

I'd echo what Chris says, but with one qualification -- if you're after doing songs, you might miss the lower notes on a 26 key. I could just about live without the two extras on the right hand on a 30 key. But I'd be lost without the bottom 2 on the left hand. Thing is, I'd go for a 30 unless you're seriously strapped for cash. But realise that you might come up against the limitations of your instrument sooner rather than later.

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If you want to play melody and chords, then the 30 button offers so much more. As a relatively new player (just over a year) I use the "extra" buttons on my 30 key on every tune I play, even in the home key. They are not a luxury, they are a necessity.

 

If you want to play single line melodies with no accompaniment, you will still find that the ability to choose alternative fingerings will make life easier.

 

The 20 button has no advantages over the 30. The 30 has many advantages over the 20.

 

I had a Rochelle. It did the job and inspired me to upgrade.

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I have wanted a concertina for a long time and am looking at various models. I play harmonica and hope to accompany myself if possible. It seems that for recreational playing, drunken sea chanties, cockpit concertos etc, a 20 button C/G may be the way to go. I am thinking of ordering something like a Castiglione Anglo C2A. Any advice would be most welcome.

 

Idon't play anglo, but thats what i first started on, and I read, read, read some more before deciding a 30 button was what I wanted. BUT, don't get one of those cheapo honking 8.5" boxes made in China, that box proved a major dissapointment and was just awful to listen too.

 

I got a german anglo, imitation lachenal, only 20 buttons, that box inspired me to get a good box (I now play duet). although not an english made box, compared to the cheapo chinese its quite sweet.

 

So spend a little more and get something you can enjoy playing. Be prepared for sticker shock!

 

I believe most of the notes on the 20 button rows correspond to the Richter tuning used on many harmonicas. Anglo players want 30+ buttons so they can play chromatically and in other keys. The C# is particularly valued as it affords the player the wonderful and all consuming key of D major.

 

I have a mini diatonic accordion, often I have thought it would be more paratical to have 3 rows and play across them. Most anglo players play across the rows, so more is better, though I admit my horrible 30 button was a bit itimidating at first.

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I have wanted a concertina for a long time and am looking at various models. I play harmonica and hope to accompany myself if possible. It seems that for recreational playing, drunken sea chanties, cockpit concertos etc, a 20 button C/G may be the way to go. I am thinking of ordering something like a Castiglione Anglo C2A. Any advice would be most welcome.

 

Idon't play anglo, but thats what i first started on, and I read, read, read some more before deciding a 30 button was what I wanted. BUT, don't get one of those cheapo honking 8.5" boxes made in China, that box proved a major dissapointment and was just awful to listen too.

 

I got a german anglo, imitation lachenal, only 20 buttons, that box inspired me to get a good box (I now play duet). although not an english made box, compared to the cheapo chinese its quite sweet.

 

So spend a little more and get something you can enjoy playing. Be prepared for sticker shock!

 

I believe most of the notes on the 20 button rows correspond to the Richter tuning used on many harmonicas. Anglo players want 30+ buttons so they can play chromatically and in other keys. The C# is particularly valued as it affords the player the wonderful and all consuming key of D major.

 

I have a mini diatonic accordion, often I have thought it would be more paratical to have 3 rows and play across them. Most anglo players play across the rows, so more is better, though I admit my horrible 30 button was a bit itimidating at first.

While the Rochelle is made in China, they have some pretty good qulity control, so they are a good value.

The Button Box also has a used Ceili available at the moment (or did yesterday), and that's a good instrument. Mr. Tedrow sometimes has a bargain. Both of them usually have Rochelles, and may have used Rochelles available. Both have good service, too.

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If you want to play melody and chords, then the 30 button offers so much more. As a relatively new player (just over a year) I use the "extra" buttons on my 30 key on every tune I play, even in the home key. They are not a luxury, they are a necessity.

 

If you want to play single line melodies with no accompaniment, you will still find that the ability to choose alternative fingerings will make life easier.

 

The 20 button has no advantages over the 30. The 30 has many advantages over the 20.

 

I had a Rochelle. It did the job and inspired me to upgrade.

 

Good quality small and light 20 button does have advantatge over larger, heavier and less well built 30 button. It's cheaper! If you plan to spend your life playing folk music in C,G or D - why bother with accidentals you'll never use? Doesn't seem like cajun players feel a limitation. Somehow my 20 button Lachenal felt better to hold, than all the 30 button instruments I had in my hands. May be it's ergonomics, or weight, but I sold and returned all my 30 button Anglos, but keep the Lachenal. There is enormous cashe of French folk music written and arranged for G/C accordion, no accidentals, most in Aminor - beautiful music! Italian folk is printed out in large volumes, English.

It IS a decision to think about. Remember discussion about what is better, one 30 button (and in what key?) or two 20 buttons in C/g and G/d? Even 30 button Anglo is not really fully chromatic and many keys are just so awkward, they are pretty much unaccessible to most. (Yes, all the notes are there, but chromatism is better judged not by the availability, but by convinience of useage).

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I have been playing for just over a year on a G/D 30 button. So far, I have only played to any significant degree in G major, and I still use at least two buttons from the "bonus row" on the left hand on every tune I play. I sometimes use an alternative fingering on the right hand that strays onto the bonus row.

 

It's nothing to do with accidentals. It's to do with bass notes, harmonies and alternative fingerings.

 

My first instrument is/was harmonica, so I'm well used to working within the limits of a single diatonic row. I have played D/G melodeon, and I own (but seldom play) a single row, so I know a lot could be achieved with a 20 button Anglo.

 

However, the 30 button is hugely more versatile. I cannot imagine now playing my 30 button but sticking only to the G and D rows.

 

The Rochelle is a playable instrument. However, money saved on a cheap instrument is usually money wasted. The Anglo can be a challenge and a torment, so you want one that's nice to own, to hold and to squeeze. You want one you can't put down, not one that you have to remind yourself to pick up.

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While the Rochelle is made in China, they have some pretty good qulity control, so they are a good value.

The Button Box also has a used Ceili available at the moment (or did yesterday), and that's a good instrument. Mr. Tedrow sometimes has a bargain. Both of them usually have Rochelles, and may have used Rochelles available. Both have good service, too.

 

I didn't mean to imply the Rochelle was a bad box: I'm reffering to the Chinese no-names that come up on Ebay.

 

I have never played on a Rochelle, and so I cannot compare its quality. I'm guessing the Rochelle anglo costs more than $150 new? The boxes I'm reffering to are the low priced mass market concertinas, plastic, paper bellows, aluminum action, etc that you can pick up dirt cheap on ebay or some online music stores.

 

Still, I think once you have decided to play a concertina, you will stick with it, may as well get one you will enjoy for many years. If Rochelle's had been around when I first started, I may well have purchased one.

 

But now 3 years later, I have been bit by the vintage bug, though when I win the lottery I will be giving Mr. Tedrow a call...

Edited by Hooves
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I have been bit by the vintage bug, though when I win the lottery I will be giving Mr. Tedrow a call...

 

You mean Mr. Tedrow's are more expencive than vintage???

I had different impression.

 

To Mikefule:

I don't mean more buttons are of no need, but they usually come with weight and a price tag. In which case, like in accordions as well, less buttons at higher quality may win over more buttons with less. Other than that

the more buttons you get, the better you are.

Some drive Rolls-Royces, but some only Mercedes-Benzes.

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It's nothing to do with accidentals. It's to do with bass notes, harmonies and alternative fingerings.

^ This.

 

Don't get a 20 button, you'll be bored fairly quickly, and feel very limited. Playing everything in G and Am gets old very quickly. Yes you can play in more keys I understand, but basically thats it, unless you count C which doesn't suit me very often.

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