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Going over to the really dark side


AnnC
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I've heard the call of the really dark side and fancy trying to learn melodeon eyebrow.gif does anyone have any advice on which would be the best one (on a budget) to get ?

I'm used to a 30 button C/G Anglo so would a 2 or a 3 row be easiest to get to grips with?

spyme.gif

Now to duck my head below the parapet

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Just as with concertinas, the first question is "what sort of music do you want to play"?

 

biggrin.gif I play everything from 17th c dance music, Music Hall, English Country dance, some Scottish, a bit of O'Carolan and Finnish/Swedish ....... oh and Morris

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I've heard the call of the really dark side and fancy trying to learn melodeon eyebrow.gif does anyone have any advice on which would be the best one (on a budget) to get ?

Why don't you go over to the
really dark
side and join
melodeon.net
?
:ph34r:

Lots of advice there, I'm sure. And even some concertina.net members. (Is that dual citizenship, or are they a sleeper cell? And if the latter, where does their true loyalty lie? :unsure: :D )

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Why don't you go over to the
really dark
side and join
melodeon.net
?
:ph34r:

Lots of advice there, I'm sure. And even some concertina.net members. (Is that dual citizenship, or are they a sleeper cell? And if the latter, where does their true loyalty lie? :unsure: :D )

 

biggrin.gif I've registered, just waiting for approval and reading the beginners guide in the meantime smile.gif

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Why don't you go over to the
really dark
side and join
melodeon.net
?
:ph34r:

Lots of advice there, I'm sure. And even some concertina.net members. (Is that dual citizenship, or are they a sleeper cell? And if the latter, where does their true loyalty lie? :unsure: :D )

 

biggrin.gif I've registered, just waiting for approval and reading the beginners guide in the meantime smile.gif

 

You will be more than welcome and receive masses of contradictory advice - just like here really :rolleyes:

 

See you over there!

Edited by Lester Bailey
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I've heard the call of the really dark side and fancy trying to learn melodeon eyebrow.gif does anyone have any advice on which would be the best one (on a budget) to get ?

I'm used to a 30 button C/G Anglo so would a 2 or a 3 row be easiest to get to grips with?

spyme.gif

Now to duck my head below the parapet

 

 

I tasted the dark side a few months ago when I bought a Dino Baffetti Black Pearl G/D. I'm really enjoying it, finding the transition from Anglo a little tricky but not too difficult. I've only played it for dancers once, but they really liked the resounding basses.

 

That said, it will always be a sideline for me. I much prefer the greater chord options of the Anglo concertina. The cleaner, more distinctive sound seems to work better when playing with others. I can play in more keys. The G/D melodeon is a wonderful instrument, but limited in many ways.

 

 

I borrowed a Castignari 3 row a while back and didn't like that -- too heavy for someone used to concertinas! The black pearl is comparatively light and pretty easy to play.

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Go for it. Personally I found the transition easy as so many concertina skills simply transferred.

I now find that loads of my repertoire can be played equally badly on both instruments although strangely, some tunes only appear dooable on one or the other.

 

To start with, you won't go far wrong with a Pokerwork.....and to my mind it has a sound that sounds so right when played for Morris.

 

At the moment, I play one of the new Hohner Morgane melodeons...Lovely and not too expensive either. It still has that classic Hohner sound, so unlike the more modern Italian jobs.

 

You don't need a three row....not yet anyway. Remember, the more buttons that you have, the greater the weight that you have to carry. However, some melodeons come with the two top buttons, the two nearest your chin tuned to four accidentals. This can be really useful. Others will have some deeper notes on those buttons. Decide which you think you'll prefer.

 

Good luck,

Phil

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Duet concertinist, fiddler, guitarist and singer that I am, I've been living in several dark places for years. But then I took up the melodeon in September last year...

 

The particular kind that spoke to me then and still does so are the Hohner four-bass one-rows. They're cheap (they're rather unfashionable), yet have a great sound. They also offer the subdominant chord, which you don't get on the four-stop models, and they're light to play - as someone said a little earlier in this thread, the fewer the buttons the lighter the instrument can be.

 

I did vow to stick with the Hohner four-bass one-row on the basis that I found it satisfying and very different from my Jeffries duet tina, but more recently I've decided to use two-rows as well, partly for singing and partly for demonstrating at the country dance music classes we're running at Horsmonden. So now I have a Koch in CF, and Ericas in GC and DG. You can't get much darker than that...

 

Gavin

Edited by Gavin Atkin
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I think every melodeon player I see for the next few months is going to be asked if they will let me have a try of their instrument, with the offer of a pint beer3.gif as an inducement biggrin.gif

That should help me get a good idea of the different makes and which type will suit me best.

Thanks everyone for the advice smile.gif

 

 

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........The particular kind that spoke to me then and still does so are the Hohner four-bass one-rows. They're cheap (they're rather unfashionable), yet have a great sound. They also offer the subdominant chord, which you don't get on the four-stop models,...............

Gavin

 

 

But on the hand four bass one rows don't have the characteristic "grunt" of a four stop.

 

All melodeons are different and to make things more complicated, unlike concertinas, all have at least a pair of reeds per note and the sound will depend on how these are tuned.

 

As you are planning to do, try as many instruments as you can, or as many pints as you can afford! Remember you will generally be restricted to certain keys, usually G/D, without accidentals depending on the instrument, so that is one consideration if playing with others or singers.

 

Probably the most transferable skill is the knowledge of tunes in your head. I don't have difficulty swapping between melodeon and english concertina.

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Ypu said you also wanted to play Morris.

 

That means D/G. Simple as that.

 

So the key system is resolved.

 

Now as to the instrument.

 

I would strongly recommend a used Hohner Pokerwork and made in Germany.

Buy it from a reputable dealer. Theo or Rees Wesson in the UK are straight shooters

In the US.. the Button Box

 

Another option and more money would be a new Hohner Morgane

 

My problem with D/G is the G row will kill a ground squirrel at 500 yards. Much too high pitched for me

 

I just sold a New ( 1 hour play time) Castagnari Hascy only because of the pitch.

 

 

Now that we're done with the D/G

 

I suggest you get a G/C just as the universal Anglo concertina is a C/G the universl key system for a melodeon is G/C

and my preference ( next to a Bb Eb.. not recommended for general use)

There is more tutorial information for G/C than any other system. The first Tex Mex style player used a 2 row Hohner Pokerwork in G/C

NOT a three row G/C/F.. excellent all around key system....

 

For a G/C box get a Pokerwork or get an Erica. Black is rare and my favorite... the Button Box has one now.. again.. get one made in Germany

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Ypu said you also wanted to play Morris.

 

That means D/G. Simple as that.

 

So the key system is resolved.

 

I suggest you get a G/C just as the universal Anglo concertina is a C/G the universl key system for a melodeon is G/C

and my preference ( next to a Bb Eb.. not recommended for general use)

There is more tutorial information for G/C than any other system. The first Tex Mex style player used a 2 row Hohner Pokerwork in G/C

NOT a three row G/C/F.. excellent all around key system....

 

For a G/C box get a Pokerwork or get an Erica. Black is rare and my favorite... the Button Box has one now.. again.. get one made in Germany

 

Jeff, I can't agree with your advice. C/G concertina is universal for Irish music. For English (including morris) you're better off with a G/D because you can play the chords (important for morris). For a melodeon, ( someone may want to confirm this - not my best area) you want D/G for morris so you have the right chords and can play with others. If it's just you playing, the key you play in is up to you. Lots of tutorials for D/G. To me, one of the best for a beginner is Maggie's Melodeon. Jeff, are you an Irish player?

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