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rth97601

What have I done?

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What have I done?

 

There’s good news and bad news.

 

You may have spent $50 on a nearly unplayable instrument which will discourage you and which you will pitch into the trash ASAP.

 

OR

 

You may have spent $50 on a nearly unplayable instrument which will simultaneously entrance and frustrate you, while possibly alienating your family and friends, lead you to devoting countless hours you don’t have in practicing, draw you into looking at better concertinas above your financial means, and eventually lead you into full-fledged concertina acquisition obsessive disorder and a lifetime of singular obsession.

 

I leave it to you to decide which is the good and which is the bad.

Are you writing that in the Workhouse like me Stephen?

There should be warning labels on these concertinas.

Woe Woe

Al

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So I'm here, on my first post to ask ... what exactly did I buy, and, given that's what I've got coming, where should I start?

 

Thanks to all,and here's hoping I didn't blow $50,

 

Ryan,

I have to add my voice to the choir of those who started with a cheap, 20-button Anglo such as this, and are still pushing and pulling today. :rolleyes:

 

The 20-button Anglo as such is by no means a toy. It is a real musical instrument that was used by legions of less affluent amateur musicians in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and is just as useful for folk music today (and for reenactment of sailing-era seaman's music, it's perfect!)

20 buttons are a limitation only for someone who's accustomed to 30 or more. There's a lot you can do by way of melody, harmony and chord accompaniment - albeit only in a couple of keys, but that is a limitation shared by other folk instruments, such as tin whistles, melodions or chorded zithers.

 

The 20-button is the optimal entry to the concertina clan. Its two rows of 5 a side remain practically unaltered at the centre of the 30-button and larger Anglo, the Bandoneon, and the Large German Konzertinas, e.g. Chemnitzers. When you've internalised the basic concept of pushing and pulling, you can go any of those ways. Or just upgrade to a good vintage 20-button ;)

 

The only qualms I would have would concern the individual instrument you've bought. If its condition is as good as stated, you've nothing to fear. And if it isn't, you have regress on grounds of misleading description of the goods. However, the cosmetic condition looks good, and the fact that it has a case and even a layout sheet would hint at it's having been well cared for.

 

Hoping for the best, and wishing you loads of enjoyment,

Cheers,

John

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Me too! Spent £40 on something similar and within months had decided I needed to upgrade to something with a considerably larger value. I seem to remember I traded in two East European piano accordions and some cash to take me to the next level - I've never looked back!

Samantha

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Me too! Spent £40 on something similar and within months had decided I needed to upgrade to something with a considerably larger value. I seem to remember I traded in two East European piano accordions and some cash to take me to the next level - I've never looked back!

Samantha

Trading in TWO Piano Accordions, no wonder you never looked back.

Al :rolleyes:

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Again, thanks to all for the advice and support! I'll post again when the thing shows up, and I have had a chance to squeeze it a bit. Any recommendations, by the way, on any beginners instructional materials? I'm not a rank beginner, in that I've a few other noisemakers around (banjo, mountain dulcimer, and and assortment of tinwhistles that I occasionally use to torture the cats--they DO NOT like the upper register on the D whistle), but I play almost entirely by ear and have no idea regarding concertina technique, having not even held one before.

 

I'm also in Rochester, NY, if there are any teachers or other anglo players about ...

 

Thanks,

 

Ryan

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Ryan

If memory serves me well, Ted McGraw is an experienced anglo player who is a leading light in the Irish community in Rochester. He has a web site which you can google easily. This might be a good place to start.

 

Tom Ryan

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Any recommendations, by the way, on any beginners instructional materials?

 

My wife plays anglo and found Mick Bramich's book very helpful in the early stages: although the title talks about Irish concertina, she's found it just as useful for our predominantly English repertoire.

 

Here's a link to Mick Bramich's book on mally.com, don't know about USA distribution but I'm sure Mally would ship it over!

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It is just the same concertina model that I bought years ago from hobgoblin.

I bought it because I wanted to know if I could play it, it costed to me aproximatily 50$ too, it worked enough, but with the time some buttons tended to be sticky and I needed to open it when they didn't want to go up.

One year or more later (1998) I bought a 30 buttons lachenal from the late Paul Davies from York and the bastari was enough for knowing that I loved concertinas... but it was a no-return trip to more expensive instruments and hours of joy! ;-).

I still have this concertina (I don't sell my instruments mainly for sentimental reasons!) but I don't play with it at all.

 

Good Luck!

Félix Castro

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What you've done, Ryan, is joined a wonderful group of people who have actually played a concertina and fallen in love with the instrument.

 

And possibly started down the slippery slope of Concertina Acquisition Disease.

 

You are in very good company here :) Definitely let us know your impressions when the little squeezy-beastie arrives!

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Just a thought.....

 

 

The gulf between you with your 20 button and someone with a vintage Jeffries is much smaller than that between you and a non-concertinist.

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Hello All!

 

I am brand new to the concertina world, sort of by accident, and am wondering what I've gotten myself into. I have toyed with the idea of getting a concertina for awhile, but have been put off by price issues, especially since a little lurking on the forums here has shown that the value of a cheap beginner Anglo concertina (as well as the meaning of the word "cheap") is, well, a subject of some debate. Since I'm a humanities grad student (married to another of the same, with a child due in September), money is extremely tight--even the Rochelle Anglo is well out of my range. I had sort of given up on the idea, actually, but I did keep an eye out, since I realized that, even if a cheap 20b is a piece of junk, it's still all I can afford. A couple of days ago I saw a used concertina on e-bay, and, after asking about functionality (I was assured it works and sounds great), I put in a low bid, fully expecting to lose the auction (lowballing e-bay is a nasty habit of mine--items most always go for much more than what I'm willing to pay). But I didn't.

 

So, my concertina should be in the mail at any moment, and the bill has already been paid. Here's a link to the posting:

 

http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewI...em=260385252764

 

So I'm here, on my first post to ask ... what exactly did I buy, and, given that's what I've got coming, where should I start?

 

Thanks to all,and here's hoping I didn't blow $50,

 

Ryan

 

Hi Ryan and all on this forum,

 

I'm new to this (or any forum for that matter!) so apologies in advance for my ineptitude in the medium.

 

Like you I have just purchased a concertina 4 weeks ago just "to have a go". I am in my mid 40's never learned to play a musical instrument, can't read music, but can hold a tune in my head & just about pick it out on a keyboard (one fingered).

 

I hunted around the net for info & discovered this brilliant site.

 

Like you I looked around Ebay but decided to buy one of the branded chinese anglos from a dealer. Now I know some on here are a bit sniffy about these but my reasoning for the purchase was thus-

 

cost -around £100 if I didnt like it or it didn't like me I could sell it on Ebay & probably get half my money back-so no great loss.

buying through a reputable dealer I would have some guarantee and comeback if there were any problems.

Given my lack of musical prowess this instrument would probably be faster than me!

 

Well my Scarlatti 20 button Anglo duly arrived and it's brilliant! I've started out with Mick Bramach's Absolute Beginners Concertina- I've found that really helpful as a music illiterate. I can now just about play a couple of simple tunes and ,yes, family members can recognise them!

 

So have a go it's great fun (well I think so) I already have a jar to put the spare pennies in for a future upgrade!

(I think the tina bug may have bitten!!)

Regards to all

NigeC

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Update! It has arrived!

 

The buttons are loose (they rattle around with a shake) but not sticky, and they don't all depress to equal depths--but they all seem to work. The case doesn't actually seem to go with it, as it's much bigger than the instrument, with no padding of any sort to make up the difference, but that's alright. Judging from the leather straps and the look of the bellows paper, it's not too new, though I'm not sure about vintage.

 

But it makes noise. I haven't done much but make noise yet--I've got meetings this evening and won't really be able to sit down with it until tomorrow evening (red letter day, tomorrow--first ultrasound of the baby in the afternoon, first crack at a new instrument in the evening). I've got a Mel Bay starter book coming (it was $6, so no real risk there), and I'll see if I can get hold of a Bramich sometime soon.

 

Thanks again for all the advice and support, and any more you'd like to offer is always welcome!

 

Ryan

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Update! It has arrived!

 

The buttons are loose (they rattle around with a shake) but not sticky, and they don't all depress to equal depths--but they all seem to work. The case doesn't actually seem to go with it, as it's much bigger than the instrument, with no padding of any sort to make up the difference, but that's alright. Judging from the leather straps and the look of the bellows paper, it's not too new, though I'm not sure about vintage.

 

But it makes noise. I haven't done much but make noise yet--I've got meetings this evening and won't really be able to sit down with it until tomorrow evening (red letter day, tomorrow--first ultrasound of the baby in the afternoon, first crack at a new instrument in the evening). I've got a Mel Bay starter book coming (it was $6, so no real risk there), and I'll see if I can get hold of a Bramich sometime soon.

 

Thanks again for all the advice and support, and any more you'd like to offer is always welcome!

 

Ryan

 

if you're interested in the mike bramich book, you can find it at the button box: http://buttonbox.com/learn-to-play-concertina.html . it seems he has one for 20 buttons, and one for 30 buttons.

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Okay, so ... on playing with it a bit more, I've discovered that there are, in fact, a couple of sticky buttons (but inconsistently so) and I can hear some loose bits rattling around inside, which I imagine doesn't bode well.

 

On the upside, I've managed to pick out a fair, if halting, rendition of "Haste to the Wedding"--I started with that because it's in the right key and I've known the tune for awhile. The in/out on the anglo can be a bit disconcerting, I see, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it in time.

 

Anyhow, I saw the earlier reference to the sticky button repair posts (and I may pull it apart after a bit and see what I can see if the keys continue sticking) but what about the rattles?

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The rattles could be all sorts of things, some easier to fix than others. They could even be loose reeds that have fallen into the instrument -- but if each button plays a note in both directions, then that's not the problem. You'll need to take it apart at some point anyway to fix the sticky buttons, though you might want to buy the replacement tubing that you'll need beforehand (see the document linked from my previous post).

 

Okay, so ... on playing with it a bit more, I've discovered that there are, in fact, a couple of sticky buttons (but inconsistently so) and I can hear some loose bits rattling around inside, which I imagine doesn't bode well.

 

On the upside, I've managed to pick out a fair, if halting, rendition of "Haste to the Wedding"--I started with that because it's in the right key and I've known the tune for awhile. The in/out on the anglo can be a bit disconcerting, I see, but I'm sure I'll get the hang of it in time.

 

Anyhow, I saw the earlier reference to the sticky button repair posts (and I may pull it apart after a bit and see what I can see if the keys continue sticking) but what about the rattles?

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Success!

 

I went by a hobby shop today and picked up some of the specified tubing--the product has been discontinued, but they had some leftovers. I took it apart with my handy brad puller, and proceeded to replace the rubber gaskets, which had dried up and fallen apart--the rattling, in fact, was just loose dried-out rubber bits.

 

I can see that this will never be a great instrument--the machining on the button posts leaves much to be desired and will never be tight enough to prevent the occasional stuck key--but it'll do for a fun beginner's box.

 

Thanks again for the all the advice and encouragement, and thanks in particular to Daniel Hersh for pointing me to the fix-it page.

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