Author Topic: why concertinas  (Read 39642 times)

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Offline Milady

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #15 on: Tuesday, November 3 2009 03:58PM GMT-1 »
unfortunately i have to struggle with a stagi i got for £470 from hobgoblin when i brought it, i fell in love with a Conner concertina with jeffries style bellow papers, ends and layout but with a £4000 asking price i don't think ill be getting that any time soon (do you know any 13 year olds with that kind of money, i thought not).
I started off with a 30 button Scarlatti Anglo Concertina just over a year ago (mistakenly thinking it was just a small version of a melodeon. lol!)...and recently got myself a nice new Tedrow Anglo Concertina (which I saved up ages for -one advantage to long waiting lists, more time to save). But have been distracted by melodeons as I find its taken a fraction of the time for me to get up to speed compared to the concertina. Which I'm still working at but finding it fustrating.
(You never know in a couple of years there might be my Tedrow up for sale Cohen ;) )
« Last Edit: Tuesday, November 3 2009 04:04PM GMT-1 by ladydetemps »
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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #16 on: Tuesday, November 3 2009 06:45PM GMT-1 »
lol ladydetemps. my first concertina was an Scarlatti concertina but when i had a bit more money i got a stagi thinking it would be a lot better i recently got a better stagi and that was when i discovered the beautiful 4 grand Conner concertina

Offline firebird

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #17 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 12:02PM GMT-1 »
Quote from: Squeezy
but the crucial difference between melodeons and concertinas is that you can have a whale of a time bashing out tunes with a Hohner melodeon which is relatively cheap, but a cheap concertina is the most frustrating instrument in the world.  Not only does a cheap concertina play like rubbish they also sound nothing like a real vintage or hand-made one.

I have to say, having just borrowed Sarah's cheap anglo (a Scarlatti) this is so totally true - especially coming from the melodeon. It really is quite horrible to play, especially in comparison to my old Erica. And the reeds take a long time to sound, making it nigh-on impossible to play quietly  :-\ BUT it's still quite fun - and despite the push/pull pattern being different to the melodeon, it makes a lot of logical sense, so is relatively easy to pick up tunes I already know. Must avoid CAD at all costs though  :D
« Last Edit: Tuesday, November 17 2009 12:04PM GMT-1 by firebird »
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Offline Milady

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #18 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 12:08PM GMT-1 »
I have to say, having just borrowed Sarah's cheap anglo (a Scarlatti) this is so totally true - especially coming from the melodeon. It really is quite horrible to play, especially in comparison to my old Erica. And the reeds take a long time to sound, making it nigh-on impossible to play quietly  :-\ BUT it's still quite fun - and despite the push/pull pattern being different to the melodeon, it makes a lot of logical sense, so is relatively easy to pick up tunes I already know. Must avoid CAD at all costs though  :D
I got so used to the poor action and having to really give it some umpf to get a noise that I was quite surprised when I tried anyone elses and a gentle tap came out so loud. lol! 
When you've finished with it I'm having it converted to D/G so I can play in D without having to learn how to finger it on a C/G.

Whatever you do don't go straight from concertina practice to melodoen immediately after each other, blows your mind....well it confuses me. ;)
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Offline firebird

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #19 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 12:15PM GMT-1 »
I'm sorted - concertina's in the car for lunchtime practise (happily small enough to play *in* the car, unlike the melodeon!), melodeon at home for practise whilst cooking dinner  ;D The fingering in D can't be that complicated? You've got the F#s all over the place, and the C# isn't much of a stretch. I've managed Horses Branle with the Bb easily enough. And we're totally taking over this thread - whoops :-[
« Last Edit: Tuesday, November 17 2009 12:21PM GMT-1 by firebird »
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Offline Milady

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #20 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 12:23PM GMT-1 »
I'm sorted - concertina's in the car for lunchtime practise (happily small enough to play *in* the car, unlike the melodeon!), melodeon at home for practise whilst cooking dinner  ;D The fingering in D can't be that complicated? You've got the F#s all over the place, and the C# isn't much of a stretch. I've managed Horses Branle with the Bb easily enough. And we're totally taking over this thread - whoops :-[
I've only managed to play the scale of D....Not sure how to apply it to tunes...its learning note names thing again...I've really got to work on that.
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Offline firebird

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #21 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 12:37PM GMT-1 »
Practise the scale lots to get the fingering stuck in your head, and then the tunes will follow much more naturally because you'll already have the muscle memory  :) Don't need to know note names - try playing tunes that you already know in G (Speed the Plough) in D instead - like transposing on the melodeon (well, slightly more difficult, but not much).
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Offline Milady

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #22 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 12:46PM GMT-1 »
Practise the scale lots to get the fingering stuck in your head, and then the tunes will follow much more naturally because you'll already have the muscle memory  :) Don't need to know note names - try playing tunes that you already know in G (Speed the Plough) in D instead - like transposing on the melodeon (well, slightly more difficult, but not much).
I've just got the hang of F major...I think, as long as I remember to cross over to the accidental row in the right place. lol! But I've thought I've got it right before...and its turned out I'm in some other key.  ::)
« Last Edit: Tuesday, November 17 2009 12:51PM GMT-1 by ladydetemps »
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Offline firebird

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #23 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 02:54PM GMT-1 »
Ok, just tried it - D not quite so easy, but not impossible. Bacca Pipes (which you should know quite well by now!) useful for practising the C#  :) It's very left-handed isn't it - I'm not used to playing tunes with that hand! (note to self - Donkey Riding/Frere Jacques on melodeon bass again  ::))
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Offline Milady

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #24 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 04:35PM GMT-1 »
Ok, just tried it - D not quite so easy, but not impossible. Bacca Pipes (which you should know quite well by now!) useful for practising the C#  :) It's very left-handed isn't it - I'm not used to playing tunes with that hand! (note to self - Donkey Riding/Frere Jacques on melodeon bass again  ::))

I can't even play Bacca Pipes competantly on the melodeon. lol!

I like playing in octaves...I find it makes it easier to spot if I've hit the wrong button. ;)
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Offline Fi

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #25 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 05:05PM GMT-1 »
(note to self - Donkey Riding/Frere Jacques on melodeon bass again  ::))

You can also almost play The Coventry Carol on the basses. But this isn't the melodeon thread is it?  ;)
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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #26 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 06:20PM GMT-1 »
i can play the a part of winster gallop in basses and can play part of princess royal in the basses (though i only have a 2 row pokerwork so i cant play all the f sharps :'() anyway topic drift alert!

Can anybody recommend me a good concertina too save up for? I swear the stagi I've got is just designed to annoy me!
id like a concertina with a bright sound (preferably with proper concertina reeds and not accordion ones), with metal ends and with at least 30 buttons plus drone though id love one with more buttons. argh for a concertina like that I'm gonna have to save for years.

thanks
cohen :aemo_squeeze:

Offline tallship

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #27 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 07:50PM GMT-1 »
argh for a concertina like that I'm gonna have to save for years.

Sadly Cohen, that's very true. I've been very impressed in the past by some of the 'hybrid' concertinas made with accordion reeds because everything else is right you see, top quality action that's light and responsive and an instrument that speaks very easily and quickly. Accordion reeds have different characteristics to concertina reeds but that doesn't make one better than the other, they are simply different in tone and complexity of timbre because of the way they are made. I think a melodeon made with concertina reeds would sound distinctly odd!

If I was starting out playing concertina I think I'd rather have a good modern hybrid than a low end Lachenal any day.

Pete.  ;D

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #28 on: Tuesday, November 17 2009 11:41PM GMT-1 »
argh for a concertina like that I'm gonna have to save for years.

Sadly Cohen, that's very true. I've been very impressed in the past by some of the 'hybrid' concertinas made with accordion reeds because everything else is right you see, top quality action that's light and responsive and an instrument that speaks very easily and quickly. Accordion reeds have different characteristics to concertina reeds but that doesn't make one better than the other, they are simply different in tone and complexity of timbre because of the way they are made. I think a melodeon made with concertina reeds would sound distinctly odd!

If I was starting out playing concertina I think I'd rather have a good modern hybrid than a low end Lachenal any day.

Pete.  ;D





Can you recommend any 'modern hybrids' Pete?
all the concertinas I've played with accordion reeds don't have a very desirable tone, there all much more mellow than i would like.

Offline tallship

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Re: why concertinas
« Reply #29 on: Wednesday, November 18 2009 01:52AM GMT-1 »
Can you recommend any 'modern hybrids' Pete?
all the concertinas I've played with accordion reeds don't have a very desirable tone, there all much more mellow than i would like.

To mellow? Crikey, the usual criticism levelled against accordion reeded concertinas is that they're too harsh, the tone is too coloured and they have too much 'bark'. I play English concertina in the English style as it happens so there's a slight shift in the expectations of the player compared with an Anglo player in the Irish style attracted to the playing style of the wondrous Noel Hill who I respect greatly but have no ambition to emulate.

I love Squeezy's style, English on the anglo with a bit of a twist and a slant of his own but he does that on a rather special concertina and he has certain amount of experience and musical flair.  ::)

You say you've tried concertinas with accordion reeds that are too mellow, care to name names? I tried a back to back comparison between a Morse Albion and a Marcus at the Music Room in Cleckheaton and on the day came down in favour of the Marcus. To be honest I think I was taken aback by the sheer lightness of the Morse (it was a baritone model and it should have weighed so much more!) Beauty (and desirability) are very much in the eye and ear of the beholder. A friend of mine has an anglo made by Andrew Norman that he swears is the holy grail of concertinas and it really is very pretty.

I'm hoping Scallyanglo will pitch in here and recommend or at least review Sherwood concertinas. They seem to offer the perfect compromise, mid-priced concertina hybrid somewhere between your Staggi and the modern, famous makers of the day.

Would I care to recommend a particular maker of hybrids? No mate, to be honest I haven't tried them all by any means and none were anglos. Try them all, bide your time. One of these days a particular instrument will let you know it's time to buy, let's hope that when the time comes you have the cash in hand!

Pete.