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Author Topic: Advice please if you would  (Read 1975 times)

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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #20 on: May 25, 2018, 08:32:20 AM »

Hi Andy,
Welcome to the forum!

I seem to have taken an alternative route to melodeon. I played English Concertina for many years before taking on melodeon. There are several on this forum that play both, or have played both. I hope to transfer some of my learning about chords etc from melodeon back to concertina in the future when time allows and my melodeon playing has improved sufficiently.There might not be such a divide between English concertina and melodeon as many think.

If at all possible, try to beg or borrow any or all of the instruments for more than a quick squeeze in a shop and as Theo says, you'll know when something feels right. There might well be Melnet members close that could help.

The comments about price differences of each respective instrument is valid too, your budget might have an influence.

Baz: I went to the Crossroads several times and took a wrong turning  ;)
Shame as I consider the McCann Duet a traditional Devonian instrument!

Good luck Andy!
cheers
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

george garside

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #21 on: May 25, 2018, 08:48:19 AM »

Richard is of course theoretically correct about the semitone (BC etc) boxes being chromatic i.e. having the wherewithal  to play in any key but as Theo has said not many semitone players do that,  some keys being quite buggerous to play.

  Another fundamental diference  is the very limited bass on a standard 8 bass semitone box  .  So as a player of both 4th apart (DG etc) and semitone (BC etc) I think a 4th apart box would best suite Andy.

I will not mention the BCC# on this occasion!!

george ;)
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 09:14:10 AM by george garside »
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MelonBox

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #22 on: May 25, 2018, 08:56:15 AM »

Hi Andy! Welcome to melnet!

May I persuade you in the direction of a Melodeon? I have a brand new online course for absolute beginners that will walk you through the basics, developing your rhythm and coordination control on the instrument, towards learning your very first, simple tune with both hands.

It is suitable for DG melodeon which would be the best start for you with the music you're interested in playing. Andy Cutting is currently reviewing the course for me and I await his stamp of approval!

You can read more about my vast teaching experience and the course here and view the free lessons to get a feel for how the course looks.

If you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to get in touch: mel@melbiggsmusic.co.uk

https://melbiggsmusic.co.uk/course/pick-up-play-lets-get-started/
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nigelr

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #23 on: May 25, 2018, 09:41:43 AM »

Based on your budget and that you prefer the concertina sound to a wet tremolo, why not consider a single voice small melodeon like a Castagnari Lilly, Saltarelle Epsilon or Sandpiper Stint?  They are compact and lightweight.

When I first started, I decided the best bet was to get something "standard" in D/G to see if I enjoyed it and then worry about other systems or upgrades if I decided to stick with it.  I got hooked and have embraced MAD as many others here have  (:)
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Andy Duckering

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2018, 09:43:55 AM »

[quote author=george garside

Which is a pretty good reason not to get that sort of melodeon. But you could go for a semitone-apart box like a B/C or C#/D and then you'd be able to play in any key.

Someone in another place mentioned a B/C box for that reason. Don't seem to be many around though.
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Andy Duckering

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2018, 09:51:37 AM »

I will not mention the BCC# on this occasion!!

george ;)

Fortunately a three row is definitely out George!
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Andy Duckering

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2018, 09:56:56 AM »

Hi Andy! Welcome to melnet!

https://melbiggsmusic.co.uk/course/pick-up-play-lets-get-started/

Hi Mel, we've talked on Facebook! All options currently still on the table. Will see where my heart lies after 2 weeks with the expensive anglo. What ever happens I'll end up with the musical equivalent of hiring a rolls Royce and then buying a Ford Escort......  (:)
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Andy Duckering

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #27 on: May 25, 2018, 10:00:45 AM »

Based on your budget and that you prefer the concertina sound to a wet tremolo, why not consider a single voice small melodeon like a Castagnari Lilly, Saltarelle Epsilon or Sandpiper Stint?  They are compact and lightweight.



To be honest if I could find a Lilly in budget I'd probably bite the owners arm off up to the shoulder.... Don't know the Epsilon or Stint. Am now off to investigate.... Thank you!
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 10:10:16 AM by Andy Duckering »
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MelonBox

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #28 on: May 25, 2018, 10:22:00 AM »

Hi Andy! Welcome to melnet!

https://melbiggsmusic.co.uk/course/pick-up-play-lets-get-started/

Hi Mel, we've talked on Facebook! All options currently still on the table. Will see where my heart lies after 2 weeks with the expensive anglo. What ever happens I'll end up with the musical equivalent of hiring a rolls Royce and then buying a Ford Escort......  (:)

Hey, there's nought wrong with a Ford Escort! ;-) My first box was a £300 Hohner Erica and it taught me very well.

Sorry, I hadn't clocked we had already spoken! Good to meet you again haha
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Castagnari Trilly DG and GC, Castagnari Tommy DG all by Acorn Instruments,
Serenellini 233 Deluxe D/G set up by Steve Dumpleton, Hohner Picoletta Bb/Eb set up by Mike Rowbotham.

Pick Up & Play with Mel Biggs - Online beginners course: https://melbiggsmusic.co.uk/course/pick-up-play-lets-get-started/


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Theo

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #29 on: May 25, 2018, 10:51:25 AM »

If you find yourself drawn to anglo concertina then it is worth considering a 20 button instrument.  You can get a very good quality 20 key anglo for well within your budget, whereas a 30 key of the same quality would be double your budget.  It is limited to a few keys, but you would get much more pleasure from a top quality 20 key than from a mediocre 30 key.

You mentioned that you want to find your "forever instrument".   I think that is impossible.  Many have started with that idea but I don't know anyone for whom it worked.  You want know what you really want until you have been playing for a year or two.   So try to find the instrument that suits you best now, and that will hold it's value so you can change later.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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lachenal74693

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #30 on: May 25, 2018, 11:24:52 AM »

...Although you can get a second hand Hohner Pokerwork or Erica for well under £900 and I believe that could be
a "forever" instrument for many people. Not sure you can get an anglo concertina of that quality for even double
the price, unfortunately...

That's substantially true, of course, but an alternative strategy might be to look for: 1) a good quality second-hand
30-button hybrid Anglo or 2) a 26-button vintage Anglo. Either option is worth considering, but the 26-button is a
good compromise, and is the real message in this post.

Either of these might kick-in at less than 'even double the price' (but possibly slightly more than your £900 budget?).

I'm biassed - I have a second hand Marcus 30-button G/D hybrid, and a Lachenal 26-button G/D vintage sitting right
next to me as I type this! Both of these cost a little more than £900, but like the man said, 'tinas are not cheap.

If you find yourself drawn to anglo concertina then it is worth considering a 20 button instrument.  You can get a very
good quality 20 key anglo for well within your budget, whereas a 30 key of the same quality would be double your budget.
It is limited to a few keys, but you would get much more pleasure from a top quality 20 key than from a mediocre 30 key.

Also true - my first instrument was a lovely 20-button vintage C/G Lachenal (you can probably see the way this is going...).
I eventually decided that I wanted a 30-button, but couldn't bear to part with the 20-button, so I kept it and got the
30-button, and then the 30-button Bb/F semi-miniature, and then the 26-button, ...

Beware of creeping concertina-itis. Once it's got you in its grip, you're finished... (:)
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 12:40:49 PM by lachenal74693 »
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Andy Duckering

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #31 on: May 25, 2018, 11:57:25 AM »

I think the point about "forever instrument" was as much about how I see my financial capabilities moving forward. I'm never (unless I have a rich relative I previously knew nothing about) going to be able to afford a £4k Wheatstone for instance. Perhaps I used the wrong phrase to describe what I meant.

On the evidence of a couple of YouTube videos am very much liking the Saltarelle Epsilon! Don't know about the Sandpiper - there doesn't seem to be any audio out there or that much info to make a comparison. I can find a just about affordable Epsilon.
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Theo

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #32 on: May 25, 2018, 12:05:24 PM »

Audio samples are useful, but in a limited way. 

The feel of an instrument in your hands is at least as important.  How easy it is to play, how it responds  when playing soft or loud and so on.   Most of that is down to the quality of the reeds.  The reed quality is basic in Sandpiper, Sherwood and a range of other partly Chinese built instruments.  Saltarelles much better. You could be very happy for a long tome with Saltarelle, Dino Baffetti, Mengascini, Verde, Castagnari, Serenellini, all of which are genuine Italian built instruments.  Sandpiper and the like are designed as entry level instruments which implies that you are likely to want to trade up later.   Don't be taken in by a bit of fancy veneer!   It's what is inside that counts.
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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MatlockBather

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #33 on: May 25, 2018, 12:58:27 PM »

Andy, If you are based in Nottingham, the Derbyshire playgroup event might be of interest to you.

http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,18193.60.html


Si
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Andy Duckering

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #34 on: May 25, 2018, 01:49:42 PM »

Thank you!
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Andy Duckering

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #35 on: May 25, 2018, 01:54:55 PM »

Audio samples are useful, but in a limited way. 

The feel of an instrument in your hands is at least as important.  How easy it is to play, how it responds  when playing soft or loud and so on.   Most of that is down to the quality of the reeds.  The reed quality is basic in Sandpiper, Sherwood and a range of other partly Chinese built instruments.  Saltarelles much better. You could be very happy for a long tome with Saltarelle, Dino Baffetti, Mengascini, Verde, Castagnari, Serenellini, all of which are genuine Italian built instruments.  Sandpiper and the like are designed as entry level instruments which implies that you are likely to want to trade up later.   Don't be taken in by a bit of fancy veneer!   It's what is inside that counts.

Hi Theo

I understand the limitations of audio samples. They are simply reference points to make a start from. Judging the feel of an instrument is the next stage. Will have to plan some shop visits, although the cheapest price I've found on the Saltarelle doesn't seem to have a shop presence.
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Thrupenny Bit

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #36 on: May 25, 2018, 02:09:43 PM »

Following on from Theo.....
As I mentioned before, I played English concertina, it is a good one and very responsive.
When I chose my first melodeon, a Castagnari Tommy, it was chosen simply because it felt right and was responsive. By that I mean I didn't have to put all my strength into pushing the bellows to get a note from it. I went round 10-12 stalls at the Sidmouth festival, picking up everything in sight and carrying out this simple squeezing test.
I couldn't string any notes together on it, certainly not the start of a tune, but  'it felt right' in terms of balance, weight etc and a sound came quickly when I pressed a button. Having a large festival on my doorstep whilst coinciding with my first attempt at buying was brillaint as I could see and try lots.
Afterwards, presenting this box to my long term melodeon playing friend and explaining my choice he smiled and said ' now you realise that not every melodeon is the same'.

If any festivals are coming up near you over the Bank Holiday, or perhaps a Melodeon.net session, morris event or anywhere where there might be a collection of meldeons, try and go along and chat to the players. You'll hear them being played, and I'm sure people will talk to you, give advice and probably a little squeeze.
We all like to help anyone first starting up, as others helped me, so don't be shy!
Q
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Thrupenny Bit

I think I'm starting to get most of the notes in roughly the right order...... sometimes!

Andy Duckering

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #37 on: May 25, 2018, 02:52:38 PM »


If any festivals are coming up near you over the Bank Holiday, or perhaps a Melodeon.net session, morris event or anywhere where there might be a collection of meldeons, try and go along and chat to the players. You'll hear them being played, and I'm sure people will talk to you, give advice and probably a little squeeze.
We all like to help anyone first starting up, as others helped me, so don't be shy!
Q

Less than 2 weeks to the Gate to Southwell Festival which is very near. Hopefully there will be someone selling melodeons there.
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Andy Duckering

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #38 on: May 25, 2018, 11:10:05 PM »

Hi Andy,
Welcome to the forum!

I seem to have taken an alternative route to melodeon. I played English Concertina for many years before taking on melodeon. There are several on this forum that play both, or have played both. I hope to transfer some of my learning about chords etc from melodeon back to concertina in the future when time allows and my melodeon playing has improved sufficiently.There might not be such a divide between English concertina and melodeon as many think.

If at all possible, try to beg or borrow any or all of the instruments for more than a quick squeeze in a shop and as Theo says, you'll know when something feels right. There might well be Melnet members close that could help.

The comments about price differences of each respective instrument is valid too, your budget might have an influence.

Baz: I went to the Crossroads several times and took a wrong turning  ;)
Shame as I consider the McCann Duet a traditional Devonian instrument!

Good luck Andy!
cheers
Q

Thank you for the kind words. Diverting a little, going on from what you said, how did you find the English Concertina was for playing dance tunes on?
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malcolmbebb

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Re: Advice please if you would
« Reply #39 on: May 26, 2018, 08:09:15 AM »

There is a widely held view that Anglos and melodeons are better for dance tunes as it's easier to get a more staccato punch to the music.
English concertinas and PAs are of course widely used, and many players do get a bouncy rhythm out of them. But a lot of players do tend towards legato mushiness. Certainly some that I play with, I always know when they're playing.
So it can be done, but maybe you need to pay more attention to your playing technique.
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