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Jack Or Jackie

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I am considering an english concertina and am wondering ...

1. What is a regular english concertina in regards to the jack or jackie labeling ??? Is it in between them or??

2. Can you play much melody on a Jack or is it too low for that??

3. I sing alot and am wondering what is best for that and still want melody lead playing cababilities??

Thanks

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3. I guess that would depend on your vocal range. If you're a baritone or a bass, it should work fine!

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1. What is a regular english concertina in regards to the jack or jackie labeling ???
Is it in between them or??

Jackie is Treble, range from low G (below middle C) to high C two octaves up.

Jack is the same, only octave lower. Not terribly low per se, but it's low quality reeds need special push to start. Not a big deal, when you get used to it, and learn to use it.

It may also need tweaking with reed gapping and adding a spring to big valves, to stop them from fluttering at low pressure.

The difference between "regular" English and the Student is the range and absence of accidental duplicates. If you have Ab, you don't have G#, F# goes without Gb. No big deal. The biggest deal is absence of higher C#, now that's a bummer! But my "new" Tenor in F also doesn't have higher "C#".

2. Can you play much melody on a Jack or is it too low for that??

Higher range of Jack is actually very handy and very good, compared to hihger end of Jackie. You can play "much" melody on Jack.

3. I sing alot and am wondering what is best for that and still want melody lead playing cababilities??

Jack, no quiestions. It's not as piercing, and you can play chords in the midde to upper range. Nice bass in the low reeds. I'd avoid playing chords in the low, don't like that sound, but it's up to you.

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Thanks for the replies.

1.My voice is male and I would call it middle of the road.... When singing with the guitar I generallly play in G but also in D or A if that helps???

2. By regular concetina I mean if i shop around there are english concertinas for sale that are not called jack or jackies just english concertinas... Where do they generally fall in note range of the jack and jackie??

3. So singing with a jackie is not really advised unless you have a high range voice??

4. Anyone know of any sound files or videos of a Jack I can hear... I saw one on youtube once??

Edited by Sawfooter

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1. What is a regular english concertina in regards to the jack or jackie labeling ???

The "regular English concertina" is a treble, which is the Jackie. Older baritone concertinas are actually relatively rare, and they were usually used as orchestral or band instruments, for playing low parts.

 

2. Can you play much melody on a Jack or is it too low for that??

The normal range for playing melody would be treble - which plays in the same octave(s) as a flute or violin/mandolin.

 

3. I sing alot and am wondering what is best for that and still want melody lead playing cababilities??

Most song accompaniments have been done on a treble, and all lead playing. You can play melody on a baritone, but it doesn't have the "cut" for playing lead.

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Older baritone concertinas are actually relatively rare, and they were usually used as orchestral or band instruments, for playing low parts.

 

When did orchestral or band use start? My baritone dates from about 1850 and I suspect that its main use was in quartets and in solo work for its particular voice. I think of the bands as being more like 1880 into the twentieth century.

 

I rather like its mellow voice, but it is a bit too soft for use in a session or a band. But then, mine has german silver reeds-- it was clearly a parlor, rather than a band, instrument.

Edited by Larry Stout

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1.My voice is male and I would call it middle of the road.... When singing with the guitar I generallly play in G but also in D or A if that helps???

I'm not a singer, and can't advice you on that. But I heard singers, (duh) and I personally wouldn't sing to concertina, esp. to high pitched one. Just my taste.

What's wrong with guitar for this purpose? Too big? Learn Ukulele, it's tuned like 4 high strings on your guitar, you don't even have to learn it, only adjust to.

2. By regular concetina I mean if i shop around there are english concertina for sale that are not jack or jackies ... Where do they generally fall in note range of the jack and jackie??

You would find exactly like Jackie, only made so much worse, it wouldn't be adviseable to touch them with a yard long stick.

3. So singing with a jackie is not really advised unless you have a high range voice??

By some strange reason people have perception that high voice would go well with low pitched instrument, and low voice with high pitched. While there is absolutely no data supprting this "idea". Is your guitar low or high pitched instrument? How about piano?

 

4. Anyone know of any sound files of a Jack I can hear... I saw one on youtube once??

I lost mine with the destruction of Mediamax storage.

I'll put them back up on Youtube sometime next month.

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My partner Anne has both treble and baritone English concertinas, and I have both treble (C/G) and baritone anglo concertinas. The reason for this is that both of us use both for song accompaniment. The choice depends on the song, some suit one, some suit the other; however I have to say I usually reach for the baritone first, as I love the way baritone concertinas support the voice rather than competing with it. I've noticed that Anne is the same.

 

I should also say that, when in a session or our Morris band with lots of other concertinas Anne frequently switches to one of her baritones because a) she can hear herself more easily, and B) it enriches the overall sound.

 

Chris

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By some strange reason people have perception that high voice would go well with low pitched instrument, and low voice with high pitched. While there is absolutely no data supprting this "idea".

Agree. As I say, it's the song that dictates the instrument if you have the luxury of choosing, but I still reach for the baritone first, and if I could only have one C/G it would be a baritone. This is one of those "Your mileage may vary" questions, really.

 

Chris

Edited by Chris Timson

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Older baritone concertinas are actually relatively rare, and they were usually used as orchestral or band instruments, for playing low parts.

 

When did orchestral or band use start? My baritone dates from about 1850 and I suspect that its main use was in quartets and in solo work for its particular voice. I think of the bands as being more like 1880 into the twentieth century.

Larry,

 

I was trying to keep my answer simple, and to the point, to try to help Sawfooter to understand the difference, rather than going into all the minutiae of the baritone's origins! :lol: Maybe it would have been slightly better to use the term "classical ensemble", rather than "orchestral", but that's what I meant, and the evidence we have is that it was made to play lower parts, often "tenor" (i.e. viola) ones in octets, quartets, duets (etc.) from the 1840s onwards. The concertina band movement was indeed later.

 

Giulio Regondi's last works (written when he was terminally ill) were all baritone solos (and I have his original manuscripts of them), but this is probably a reflection of the sombre sound of the instrument suiting their nature, and his mood.

 

I rather like its mellow voice, but it is a bit too soft for use in a session or a band.

The baritone is a lovely instrument, but perhaps more as a second (or third) concertina, rather than as your only one to learn on. A treble is certainly more versatile, and useful, and I'd recommend getting a tenor (or tenor-treble) ahead of a baritone any day, but there isn't an inexpensive one available.

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