Jump to content

Play the piano so which one to buy for easiest entry?


lckt13
 Share

Recommended Posts

Greetings from a brand new member. I play the piano and guitar but have always had an interest in learning to play a Concertina. However, i am older now and the learning curve is steep even learning how to polka!

 

SO, am i better off with a keyboard accordion rather than a button Concertina? if not where to begin since there are so many models. I want to play polkas and zydeco etc.

 

Thanks :unsure:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For that use, piano accordion. They have the chords already compiled under single LH buttons so you can harmonise a basic tune with 6 adjacent keys, and you'll understand the keyboard straight off. You'll be playing in days. They are much cheaper and more common than concertinas.

 

But: they are larger and don't sound so classy.

 

I learnt piano, moved to accordion and then to concertina, so I've been there. I played classical on the piano, the accordion seemed to naturally biass me towards folky stuff; eventually I wanted to have individual bass notes and make my own chords again and serious portability was also high priority, so I went to a duet concertina and am now back playing classical.

 

But I should do some research on zydeco; I think that might be a different type of keyboard instrument again they favour.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For that use, piano accordion. They have the chords already compiled under single LH buttons so you can harmonise a basic tune with 6 adjacent keys, and you'll understand the keyboard straight off. You'll be playing in days. They are much cheaper and more common than concertinas.

 

But: they are larger and don't sound so classy.

 

I learnt piano, moved to accordion and then to concertina, so I've been there. I played classical on the piano, the accordion seemed to naturally biass me towards folky stuff; eventually I wanted to have individual bass notes and make my own chords again and serious portability was also high priority, so I went to a duet concertina and am now back playing classical.

 

But I should do some research on zydeco; I think that might be a different type of keyboard instrument again they favour.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Many thanks from Kiwi Land. i tend to agree on the keyboard.

 

i am going to a jam in the city next week at a store that sells and had jams and gives lessons so i will inquire then. :D

De rien, matey. Trying 'em out is the best idea of all. I'd look at an 80 bass as the best compromise between bulk and versatility, but you may end up with a 120 because there's an awful lot of them about (and people keep their 80 basses)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would you mind explaining 80 bass and 120 bass to a piano man?

 

If you look at the right-hand side of the accordion, it's piano keys. On the left hand side are the "bass" buttons (and chords). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stradella_bass_system has a chart of a 120, and tables explaining what an 80 would look like.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i had six or seven years of piano as a kid and well into grownup-hood started with PA when i fell for dance-based world instrumental folk genres. though i subsequently moved to bisonoric button box and bisonoric anglo concertina, i am currently playing CBA (unisonoric, but with buttons rather than piano keys) slightly more than anglo concertina, which does remain a serious love.

 

but i digress, as always.... :rolleyes: i will put in a word for PA, given your piano bg and your trepidation about tackling wholly-new projects. just be aware that every world folk genre has fenceposts at its parameters. within those parameters, there is surprising room for stylistic differences. but beyond those posts, you are outside of that genre. there are fenceposts for articulation, fenceposts for staccago-versus-legato choices, fenceposts for melodic-versus-chordal voicing, etc. you learn where the posts are by listening, listening, listening, to great music from that genre.

 

for whatever reason, PA players sometimes seem not to be listening and watching for the fence posts, and sometimes make unfortunate choices in their PA arrangements. but it doesn't have to be that way, and here's a couple of examples:

 

irish:

 

cajun (zydeco):

 

eastern european/roumanian:

tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcokvFdGnAk

 

in many folk genres, bisonoric button boxes are favored for dance music because of the feeling of movement and lift the push-pull articulation can add. and it's valid to love that style and that sound. but if PA is more comfortable for you, you can ab-so-lutely play wonderful folk music on it. just remember to learn where the fenceposts are.....same with choosing unisonoric concertina, like EC, over bisonoric anglo, if you end up feeling that it would help the learning curve.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i had six or seven years of piano as a kid and well into grownup-hood started with PA when i fell for dance-based world instrumental folk genres. though i subsequently moved to bisonoric button box and bisonoric anglo concertina, i am currently playing CBA (unisonoric, but with buttons rather than piano keys) slightly more than anglo concertina, which does remain a serious love.

 

but i digress, as always.... :rolleyes: i will put in a word for PA, given your piano bg and your trepidation about tackling wholly-new projects. just be aware that every world folk genre has fenceposts at its parameters. within those parameters, there is surprising room for stylistic differences. but beyond those posts, you are outside of that genre. there are fenceposts for articulation, fenceposts for staccago-versus-legato choices, fenceposts for melodic-versus-chordal voicing, etc. you learn where the posts are by listening, listening, listening, to great music from that genre.

 

for whatever reason, PA players sometimes seem not to be listening and watching for the fence posts, and sometimes make unfortunate choices in their PA arrangements. but it doesn't have to be that way, and here's a couple of examples:

 

irish:

 

cajun (zydeco):

 

eastern european/roumanian:

tp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vcokvFdGnAk

 

in many folk genres, bisonoric button boxes are favored for dance music because of the feeling of movement and lift the push-pull articulation can add. and it's valid to love that style and that sound. but if PA is more comfortable for you, you can ab-so-lutely play wonderful folk music on it. just remember to learn where the fenceposts are.....same with choosing unisonoric concertina, like EC, over bisonoric anglo, if you end up feeling that it would help the learning curve.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

oops!

 

what is PA?

 

remember you are talking to a complete accordion idiot here. thanks :)

Piano Accordion...local slang.

 

... and CBA is local slang for "chromatic button accordion" - as used typically for Russian music and French musette. The keyboard is more compact than the piano keyboard, so at the top level of performance it can be played faster (says my Russian accordionist friend). But in many cases, just hearing an audio recording of a good PA player, you wouldn't notice the difference. With your piano background, the piano accordion would be the obvious choice, I would think.

 

Although ... there are small, hexagonal concertinas with the buttons arranged in two rows mapping the piano keyboard exactly - for example the Jedcertina (devised by my namesake John E. Dallas and built by Lachenal). But its range is very limited - just one and a half octaves. These are rare, because they never caught on, being neither fish (concertina) nor flesh (piano). Even more rare are the somewhat larger Rust System duets, which also have piano-like button rows.

Does anyone here know of anyone who actually plays the Rust System, BTW?

 

So get used to the acronym PA!

 

Cheers,

John

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Apologies if you knew the following already but ...

 

The English system (often referred to on here as EC) sounds the same note on both push and pull. The scale alternates from hand to hand, with the central two rows of buttons the scale of C major and the sharps and flats in the outer two rows in the nearest position to their natural note.

The duet system (MacCanns and Jeffries are names for two of the most common keyboard layouts for duet concertinas) does the same, but with a totally different keyboard layout.

The anglo system plays a different note on pull than it does on push.

 

I would have thought that if you really wanted to instantly transfer your piano skills directly onto an accordion, the piano accordion would indeed be the way to go.

 

However as you asked on a concertina forum, and every time a potential concertina player buys a piano accordion instead Tinkerbell dies: so I'd suggest that either English or duet would be best, even if just purely on the basis of the in-out thing. I'm an English system player so am duty-bound to recommend English. Duet and indeed anglo advocates will be along in a minute to tell you why their system is better.

 

Your choice will also need to be influenced by the type of music you want to play, which feels right when you get the chance to play one, and just how your brain works ...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

For the sake of a contrary opinion...

 

No matter what kind of squeezebox you choose (unless you find one of those piano-keyboard concertina things that never caught on), you'll be faced with learning your way around an array of buttons that are nothing like a piano keyboard. Is the layout of the basses on a piano accordion any easier to learn than [insert favorite concertina system here]? I'm not sure that it is, although I have less experience with PAs than some of the others here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is the layout of the basses on a piano accordion any easier to learn than [insert favorite concertina system here]?

 

Yes, hugely. No comparison.

 

What Dirge said, yes. Here's a picture of the chord layout using one button for a chord.

http://www.jimlaabsmusic.com/images/uploads/accordions/excaliburBassButtonChart.jpg

 

If you were to use an English concertina, it would be needed to use three buttons and construct the chords like these two charts:

 

http://www.concertina.net/images/wm_english_chords_right.jpg

http://www.concertina.net/images/wm_english_chords_left.jpg

 

For Cajun, and Zydeco, these should work

http://www.flickr.com/photos/7323610@N04/with/419741381/

 

Don't know about Anglo or Duet though.

 

Thanks

Leo

Edited by Leo
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...