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Author Topic: Beginner learning concertina.  (Read 1651 times)

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gm0lze

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Beginner learning concertina.
« on: August 11, 2016, 05:24:53 PM »



I am in the process of purchasing a concertina.Being a B/C melodeon player any advice on type or key of concertina to purchase so as to make the transition less painful. Thanks for any help.
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Lester

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2016, 05:47:19 PM »

From my experience I found the English concertina easy enough to transition to from D/G melodeon. I put it down to it being completely different so I was less confused than when I tried the Anglo. YMMV
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2016, 05:49:10 PM »



I am in the process of purchasing a concertina.Being a B/C melodeon player any advice on type or key of concertina to purchase so as to make the transition less painful. Thanks for any help.

Questions:
1. Do you read music in preference to playing by ear?
Yes - you would probably find an English concertina more suitable or intuitive than an Anglo concertina
No - you would probably find an Anglo concertina more suitable or intuitive than an English concertina, especially given your B/C melodeon experience

2. Do you intend to play a significant proportion of Irish traditional music?
Yes - you would probably find an Anglo concertina more suitable than an English concertina, especially given your B/C melodeon experience. There are many players of Irish traditional music who play Anglo concertina and there is a lot of tuition material out there. However, there's no reason why you can't play Irish music on an English concertina; it's just not so common in that genre.
No - Both Anglo and English concertinas can be used for many types of music - English, Welsh, Scottish, French, Scandinavian, etc...

If choosing an Anglo concertina as a starting instrument, I would recommend a 30-key instrument pitched in C/G. It will serve for all these genres. Don't be tempted to get a 20-key instrument just because they are cheap. You would soon get frustrated by its limitations.

I've not mentioned Duet concertinas yet, but the comments for English concertinas largely apply. 

Hope this helps.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 09:43:23 AM by Steve_freereeder »
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Steve
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xgx

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2016, 08:26:54 PM »

(...) Being a B/C melodeon player (...)

The Anglo might be an easier learning curve given that you're used to push-me-pull-you different notes on the same button.
Just so happens that I have a 22 key CG Anglo for sale  ;D
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Graham

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pikey

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #4 on: August 12, 2016, 08:07:22 AM »

Nearly all the players of Irish music on concertinas play a CG Anglo , across the rows in a similar way to how you play your BC melodeon . You'll need a 30 key Anglo ( 30 plus air button ) , ideally with the Jeffries layout .
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Lester

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #5 on: August 12, 2016, 08:17:45 AM »

Nearly all the players of Irish music on concertinas play a CG Anglo , across the rows in a similar way to how you play your BC melodeon . You'll need a 30 key Anglo ( 30 plus air button ) , ideally with the Jeffries layout .

Why, 'ideally with the Jeffries layout'?  Just interested.
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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #6 on: August 12, 2016, 09:40:04 AM »

Nearly all the players of Irish music on concertinas play a CG Anglo , across the rows in a similar way to how you play your BC melodeon . You'll need a 30 key Anglo ( 30 plus air button ) , ideally with the Jeffries layout .

Why, 'ideally with the Jeffries layout'?  Just interested.

On a 30-key C/G anglo the Jeffries layout normally has a pair of adjacent buttons on the RH third row which play the accidentals C#5/D#5 and its reversal D#5/C#5, whereas the Wheatstone layout normally has just the C#5/D#5. The rationale seems to be that the Jeffries layout is more suited for Irish music because the of the availability of the C#5 in both bellows directions and hence facilitates playing in the key of D. However, the reversal D#5/C#5 comes at the expense of a really useful reversal A5/G5 found on the Wheatstone layout but not on the Jeffries.

The advantage of the Wheatstone layout is that there is generally octave congruence of the accidentals/third row buttons on both sides of the instrument, which is marginally better for playing chordal accompaniments (which Irish style playing tends not to use). It's similar to playing RH chords and octave doubling on a melodeon. I confess to being slightly biased because I play the Wheatstone system and really like that congruence. I don't find the C#5 availability only in one direction to be a disadvantage, but then again I don't play a lot of Irish music. However, I seem to remember reading, or being told, that at least one top Irish player (Noel Hill?) plays on a Wheatstone layout instrument.

In the end, it doesn't really matter too much what layout you have; you learn to work with it, same as on any instrument.
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lachenal74693

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #7 on: August 12, 2016, 11:53:07 AM »

...Don't be tempted to get a 20-key instrument just because they are cheap. You would soon get frustrated by its limitations...

Alternatively, you might find it a satisfying challenge to overcome those (admitted) limitations - I did/do. I have 2x30-button
instruments, 2x26-button instruments and 4x20-button instruments. I get as much enjoyment out of the 20-buttons as out of
the 26- and 30-button instruments. Don't dismiss 20-button instruments out of hand (note: 26-buttons can be a nice compromise,
if you can find one).

I'm talking exclusively about Anglos here, I have no experience whatsoever with English concertinas...

Good luck.

Roger.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2016, 11:55:00 AM by lachenal74693 »
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deltasalmon

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #8 on: August 12, 2016, 12:15:05 PM »

So there are no problems playing a 20-key instrument as long as you have 8 concertinas? Good thing they're pretty cheap to come by these days >:E
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Sean McGinnis
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gm0lze

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #9 on: August 12, 2016, 01:08:42 PM »

Thank you for all the above replies.Very much appreciated.
I will be playing mostly scottish/irish music predominantly in the keys of A,C,D,E and G.and i do read music.
I am coming to the conclusion from the above an Anglo 30 button in C/G would be my preferred option.
Would this be a correct assumption.Thanks.
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Stiamh

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2016, 01:26:43 PM »

I am coming to the conclusion from the above an Anglo 30 button in C/G would be my preferred option. Would this be a correct assumption.Thanks.

Yes. That is very much the standard.

If you are ordering a new instrument, or buying a recent instrument second-hand, you have a couple of choices to make.

1) "hybrid" model with accordion reeds e.g. Edgely, Morse - quality instruments but the reeds mean the sound isn't quite the same as a vintage concertina, or a concertina-reeded instrument e.g. Dipper or Suttner. The latter are considerably more expensive and have a longer waiting list but that is probably what you will end up with if you are serious about playing Irish music on the 'tina. Many people start with a hybrid and "graduate" after a few years.

2) layout of the accidental row - small differences between the Wheatstone and Jeffries layouts, for example.

You should really be asking all these questions on the forums at concertina.net, though.

Good luck!
 

lachenal74693

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #11 on: August 13, 2016, 07:46:29 AM »

So there are no problems playing a 20-key instrument as long as you have 8 concertinas?

The main problem is playing them all simultaneously...

It's a disease - I hope I'll be able to go cold turkey when I get to double figures...

Roger
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pikey

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #12 on: August 13, 2016, 01:18:48 PM »

Nearly all the players of Irish music on concertinas play a CG Anglo , across the rows in a similar way to how you play your BC melodeon . You'll need a 30 key Anglo ( 30 plus air button ) , ideally with the Jeffries layout .

Why, 'ideally with the Jeffries layout'?  Just interested.

What Steve said  (:)
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deltasalmon

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2016, 07:12:13 PM »

Nearly all the players of Irish music on concertinas play a CG Anglo , across the rows in a similar way to how you play your BC melodeon . You'll need a 30 key Anglo ( 30 plus air button ) , ideally with the Jeffries layout .

Why, 'ideally with the Jeffries layout'?  Just interested.

For Irish music the Jeffries layout is more beneficial because of the extra C# on the outside row so that you have C# in both directions. Carroll concertinas even offer a custom layout with three C#s on the outside row http://www.carrollconcertinas.com/images/CarrollButtonConfig.jpg
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deltasalmon

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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2016, 07:24:22 PM »

Kensington Concertinas also use the 3 C# layout

http://www.kensingtonconcertinas.com/standard-layout/
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Sean McGinnis
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Re: Beginner learning concertina.
« Reply #15 on: August 13, 2016, 07:56:01 PM »

Nearly all the players of Irish music on concertinas play a CG Anglo , across the rows in a similar way to how you play your BC melodeon . You'll need a 30 key Anglo ( 30 plus air button ) , ideally with the Jeffries layout .

Why, 'ideally with the Jeffries layout'?  Just interested.

For Irish music the Jeffries layout is more beneficial because of the extra C# on the outside row so that you have C# in both directions.

Funny echo round here....  ;)

Quote
Carroll concertinas even offer a custom layout with three C#s on the outside row http://www.carrollconcertinas.com/images/CarrollButtonConfig.jpg
Kensington Concertinas also use the 3 C# layout
http://www.kensingtonconcertinas.com/standard-layout/

Now, in my opinion, that really does seem like over-indulgence and a waste of useful button space. I can't see the advantage of having 3 C#s - you might as well stick with just the unisonoric C#5/C#5 on RH third row button 1, then moving the G#5 down one button to form G#5/D#5 on RH 3rd row button 2, and then you have space on RH 3rd row button 3 to have the very useful A5/G5 reversal. That would give you a sort of hybrid Jeffries/Wheatstone layout.   

It's all very well designing a 'super-special layout' just to suit Irish music, but it renders it less useful for other genres. Concertinas often well outlive their owners and the next owner might not want to play Irish music at all.

Incidentally, Wally Carroll has got all his octave numbers wrong. You need to add 2 to each number on his layout diagram.

I think it is probably time this discussion moved over to concertina.net.  ::)

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