Informations about concertinas

Informations about concertinas

Hello, I would like to get informations about concertinas used in irish traditional music.
I mean, the style of the concertina (anglo, duet, english), the key, number of keys… Everything !

And could you give me addresses where i can buy it?

Thanks

Re: Informations about concertinas

You can happily lose yourself for hours over at www.concertina.net. Lots of good info there, including links to makers and sellers of concertinas.

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Re: Informations about concertinas

Let’s make it a link:
www.concertina.net

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aaarrrggghhh. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Will, you crack me up. How long have you been posting here, now? *smirk*

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Too long, apparently. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve gone and lost what little aptitude I had….

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LOL. Hey, I just noted that Jeremy’s posts don’t show up in the new comments. What’s up with that, O BD?

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Mattaeus, I second the recommendation for concertina.net.. but to answer your most basic questions… The standard concertina for Irish Music is a 30 button Anglo with C/G tuning.

The most discouraging part of getting interested in concertinas is that you are probably looking at an outlay of $1500 or so for a good beginner’s instrument (The Stagis and the Chinese instruments tend to be leaky with very stiff bellows and often poor mechanical setup and often are not fully in tune). As for where you get them.. well C-net will be the best source for that… odds are you will want to get it from a maker or buy a used one.

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Oop, wait, I just noticed that it was on the next page…has anyone else noticed that comments seem to come fast and furious these days? I can’t keep up!

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Maybe because there are 19677 users to date. Good thing it’s not a chat room! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Pete

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It’s NOT?!?

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Not all Stagi’s are leaky and stiff, and they can make very good first instruments. Mine held me in good stead for two years before I upgraded.

If you buy from a reputatble source then you’re chances of getting a good starter instrument are muchly improved. Hope to see you over at Concertina.net ๐Ÿ™‚

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Wouldn’t a D/G be better suited to Irish music? Fickle lad that I am, I’m looking to buy a beginner’s concertina myself….

Sean Earnest
Camp Hill, PA

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I have heard good Irish on the g/d Anglo. My pal Andy Casserly from Birmingham England can pull gooduns out of that set up.

A g/d is a fifth lower and has a nice sexy growl as well.

That being said, if you want to sound like Noel, you’ll need to start with a c/g.

That, I believe, is the consensus of the concertina cognoscenti.

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A C/G with an accidentals row (third row) gives you all the notes you need for playing in the keys common in Irish music.

One more reason for choosing a C/G is that, as far as I know, *all* of the instructional materials for Irish style are built around it, and all of the workshops expect you to have this system.

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Somebody told me you could only compete in All Ireland with a C/G Anglo.

Not that it’s likely to be an issue for me

*sigh*

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Jeffries, 39 key C/G anglo, metal-ends - top of the range - extremely loud - a snip at only $6,200

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Regarding the D/G concertina.. yeah there are some who play Irish on a D/G concertina but C/G is far more common and therefore all the tutors and likely teachers you find will show you how to play and ornament on a C/G.

Regarding Ptollemy’s arguments about the Stagi… maybe there are some out there that don’t match my description but I have never encountered one. In any case, the difference between a Stagi and the mid range is far greater than it is between say a student button accordion and a really fine accordion.

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Oh my golly, who is that fellow? And why does he behave like this?

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Regarding starting out on a Stagi (30-button model, $700 at Elderly, for example) vs privately made accordion-reeded model (several makers listed at concertina.net, all approx. $1500) there are arguments on both sides.

I started on a Stagi because I was in college, and barely had $700, couldn’t even imagine having $1500. That lasted me 5 years, including a year in a band, but by that point I was getting pretty irritated with it, and re-sold the Stagi, bought a $1500, and got on the 2.5-year waiting list for a $4000 model.

So, what’s the difference? It takes a long time to get the bellows loosened up, it feels stiff and clunky and the buttons sort of naturally don’t move as fast on a stagi as on a hand-made instrument. On the other hand, the first year you play, your fingers are pretty much guaranteed to be slower and clunkier than the buttons.

Oddly enough, I’d say if you wanted to be a master of concertina-ing, or if you wanted to just tinker around and have some fun (i.e. play every instument known to sessions well enough to make an 8-track overdub ceili band), you should get a Stagi, whereas if you want to be your second instrument (i.e. mostly play fiddle but concertina 1/3 to 1/2 the time) go for a handmade one. In the last case, you’ll have a good instrument that you’ll keep for ages. In the second case, you’ll have as much concertina as you need, and in the first case, you’ll be wanting something better than the $1500 model in the long run anyway.

My real advice - go to concertina.net and listen to what the boards there have to say.

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Concertinette, I would say that if you want to be a master concertina player, I would still argue that you should get a the mid-range instruments. A Tedrow, Edgley, Morse, Marcus or Norman may not satisfy you in the long run but there are still several advantages to them.

1. Mechanically they are in general excellent instruments, with bellows and buttons that give very little to the Dippers and Suttners and are often better than vintage instruments. Indeed I have recently had a chance to try both Dippers and Suttners and my Edgley easily keeps up with them and I think the Edgley’s buttons are even faster.

2. I have heard some opinions by some really good concertina players suggesting that playing a Stagi might cause one to pick up some bad habits that will have to be unlearnt later.

3. The Mid range instruments generally hold their value rather well. Although your initial outlay might be as much as $2000, you might be able to get say $1500 back when you upgrade… provided you want to sell your old instrument ever.

Just a final thing for anyone making this decision. The following website contains a number of clips made on Edgley, Dipper concertinas (as well as some made on a minature Tedrow). I would suggest listening to this page to get a good feel for what the mid-range are capable of compared to the high range concertinas.

One last thought.. I started by buying a used Stagi that Bob Tedrow had tried to reform… so it lacked some of the problems that Stagis often do.. that said.. It very much limited my abilities. I made far more progress in playing ability since getting my Marcus and now my Edgley in 6 months than I ever did on the Stagi.. the Stagi almost was enough to make me give up the concertina had I not had a chance to try what a good instrument was capable of.

Re: Informations about concertinas

so Bill,

what is the website with the sound clips?

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Laitch.. that one is a good one.. but it is kind of all over the place in terms of musical style as well as anglo versus english concertinas. The advantage of Tom Law’s site is that you get to hear the concertinas played all by the same person.