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Crossing to a Melodeon?


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After playing concertina for a while I seem to have got the free reed bug now :D and was maybe thinking of getting a melodeon as well...

 

I quite like the idea of learning on a single row to play trad English music on.

 

How hard is it to crossover between concertina and melodeon?

 

The cheapest new I have seen so far is a hohner for £588.44 ... http://www.themusicroom-online.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=645

 

I could just about afford it, but I'm not sure I want to pay that much.

 

Or made in China scarlatti cajun for £249 I like cajun but don't necessarily want to play cajun music

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scarlatti-Cajun-C-Melodeon-Accordion/dp/B000VPDRCC

 

Could that be used to play English or is it wrongly tuned and would just sound 'off'? and with it being Chinese quality build.

 

So any ideas for other good new or s/h brands or places to look for them?

 

thx :)

 

 

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Just did a quick check on your previous posts to see what sort of concertina you play, and find that it is an anglo. The anglo and the melodeon are very closely related and many of us play both, so my initial advice is to dive in with confidence and get yourself a melodeon. However, there are some important issues to consider...

 

Firstly, although you seem to have been looking at the possibility of a one-row melodeon, don't make the mistake of thinking that these are beginner's instruments. They are not. Yes - you can play up-and down the row, and get a tune out of it, but really the one-row melodeon needs playing with a different style/technique which you would be better coming to after some probationary time spent on a standard two-row instrument.

 

You say that you are mainly interested in English traditional music. In that case, without further ado, I strongly recommend getting a two-row D/G melodeon such as a Hohner Pokerwork or Erica. They are relatively cheap and easy to obtain, and importantly, easy to play in terms of action, response etc. The Hohner one-row four-stop instruments which you showed in your post are often very stiff when new. The 2-row Pokerwork or Erica instruments are played by beginners and professionals alike and its sound has become quintessentially associated with English music. If it's good enough for John Kirkpatrick.... etc.

 

The key of your intended melodeon is also important. I highly recommend an instrument in D/G because that's what just about everyone else plays in England, and there is nothing like playing with other people to bring your playing along nicely. Melodeon technique also involves getting to know the interaction between the two rows - it's not just two 1-row instruments stuck together, and at the lower-pitched end of the instrument, you need both rows to give you all the notes used in English music. Playing a one-row instrument in C is virtually guaranteed to alienate you from any other players, unless you intend sticking to East Anglian music and playing only in parts of Suffolk.*

 

I might get flamed for this, but avoid Scarlatti instruments, however cheap they may seem. False economy. No doubt they may have their supporters but the construction methods make them harder to fix any problems which might occur. For a beginner, stick to a standard two-row D/G Hohner Pokerwork or Erica and you won't go far wrong. If your melodeon playing takes off, you can always branch out to other instruments at a later date.

 

 

Edited to add link to a nice 2nd-hand Erica on Theo's website here:

http://www.theboxpla...g/prod_248.html

Theo is a member of his forum and you can buy from him with complete confidence that you will be getting a good instrument.

 

Also, don't forget to look in at the companion forum to this one:

http://forum.melodeon.net/

Lots of friendly people and plenty of good advice.

 

Steve

 

*Make no mistake - I love playing East Anglian music and I love playing in C, but in terms of practicality, I need a D/G instrument as well.

Edited by Steve_freereeder
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What he said.

 

I should add that I came to melodeon after playing anglo (most people seem to go the other way) and found it very easy to adapt. I was playing a tune well enough to play out within a week. Of course, I've spent the following 30+ years learning to play it properly - you should never stop learning.

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Haven't posted in ages, but still alive!

Can I strongly support the views already expresses but from a different angle. I am an English player and also play Cajun accordion, BCC# and BC predominently in English music but have also done TexMex on the BCC#! Get a D/G!!! That's the beast for your needs. A Cajun is tuned to play (at least mostly) a 5th off the base key - i.e. "G" on a "C" box. It can play English, but you're better off playing Cajun on the "wrong" box rather than the other way round. Just my thoughts. Tony. :)

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After playing concertina for a while I seem to have got the free reed bug now :D and was maybe thinking of getting a melodeon as well...

 

I quite like the idea of learning on a single row to play trad English music on.

 

How hard is it to crossover between concertina and melodeon?

 

The cheapest new I have seen so far is a hohner for £588.44 ... http://www.themusicroom-online.co.uk/product_info.php?products_id=645

 

I could just about afford it, but I'm not sure I want to pay that much.

 

Or made in China scarlatti cajun for £249 I like cajun but don't necessarily want to play cajun music

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Scarlatti-Cajun-C-Melodeon-Accordion/dp/B000VPDRCC

 

Could that be used to play English or is it wrongly tuned and would just sound 'off'? and with it being Chinese quality build.

 

So any ideas for other good new or s/h brands or places to look for them?

 

thx :)

 

Hi halimium, I have a B/C box you can have a look at if you're anywhere near Birmingham. I don't use it these days since I went over to a CBA.

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After playing concertina for a while I seem to have got the free reed bug now :D and was maybe thinking of getting a melodeon as well...

 

I quite like the idea of learning on a single row to play trad English music on.

 

How hard is it to crossover between concertina and melodeon?

 

The cheapest new I have seen so far is a hohner for £588.44 ... http://www.themusicr...products_id=645

 

I could just about afford it, but I'm not sure I want to pay that much.

 

Or made in China scarlatti cajun for £249 I like cajun but don't necessarily want to play cajun music

http://www.amazon.co...n/dp/B000VPDRCC

 

Could that be used to play English or is it wrongly tuned and would just sound 'off'? and with it being Chinese quality build.

 

So any ideas for other good new or s/h brands or places to look for them?

 

thx :)

 

Hi halimium, I have a B/C box you can have a look at if you're anywhere near Birmingham. I don't use it these days since I went over to a CBA.

 

Thanks but Brum's a bit far from me right now since I have no wheels right now, just for info though my mum comes from Brum :)

 

What really intrigues me about the single row is the four stops & the ability to fiddle about with them for different sound affects, also its often just me playing by myself or with a guitar playing friend.

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Hi halimium, I have a B/C box you can have a look at if you're anywhere near Birmingham. I don't use it these days since I went over to a CBA.

 

ohmy.gif Noooo! Not for English music.

 

That's one opinion I suppose. Remember it is chromatic and, if like me, one likes to play from the written music, without having to transpose, blah, blah, blah.

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Hi, All.

...been "hidin' an' watchin'" for a while but I want to give a tip to Haliminum about the Ericas and Pokerwork boxes: try to get one of the German made ones if possible. Their quality is more to be trusted than the Chinese made instruments, which vary widely in playability.

Have fun

Rob

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C is for caveat

F is for friend

G is for good news

and D for delight

 

The interim trick is to find someone (there are many about) who bought new or near new and then gave up.

That way you can afford two for the price of a new one and get both a DG (such as the Hohner pokerwork) and also a CF (which Steve will also encourage you to do. CF opens up a whole range of good sounds with toons to play alone at home; and of course to join in with the growing number of CF players in UK. CF is a commmon format across Europe as opposed to UK dominant DG ... so, more toons to play around with.)

 

Then when u get ready to move on from the pokerwork, you can rest comfortable in the knowledge you can re-sell it.

 

But why rush? - take the opportunity to try out different boxes. Most people at sessions will not be too precious about letting you having a little try on their machines.

The Shropshire Squeeze folk (RayLangton.com lend boxes for their squeeze days.

There can be big differences in how they feel, weigh, sound, sqeueeze, how much effort needed and how quiet/loud. And when u get to know the variety one will surely turn up on ebay during the holidays when no one is watching and which is just down the road so you can try before you bidandbuy. :)

 

Go The George on Nov 5 and talk to some of the melodeon players.

\ :)

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What really intrigues me about the single row is the four stops & the ability to fiddle about with them for different sound affects, also its often just me playing by myself or with a guitar playing friend.

 

 

On a 1-row 4-stop instrument you can indeed obtain different sound effects through the stop combinations, and it's nice to play around with that for a while, but speaking personally the novelty soon wears off. The main feature of the 1R 4S is its glorious richness of sound when all four stops are selected. There's nothing quite like it!

 

 

By all means try a one row, if you can get hold of one relatively cheaply; they are fun. But be aware that you may find the restricted range and lack of a complete diatonic scale at the low pitched end frustrating, which is where a 2-row instrument scores.

 

Having said all that, I actually have a Hohner 1-row 4-stop in G which is surplus to requirements and which I would be willing to sell for around £350. It's in excellent condition, tuning is good, bellows are sound with hardly any wear. Contact me by Private Message if you are interested.

 

Steve

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What really intrigues me about the single row is the four stops & the ability to fiddle about with them for different sound affects, also its often just me playing by myself or with a guitar playing friend.

 

 

On a 1-row 4-stop instrument you can indeed obtain different sound effects through the stop combinations, and it's nice to play around with that for a while, but speaking personally the novelty soon wears off. The main feature of the 1R 4S is its glorious richness of sound when all four stops are selected. There's nothing quite like it!

 

 

By all means try a one row, if you can get hold of one relatively cheaply; they are fun. But be aware that you may find the restricted range and lack of a complete diatonic scale at the low pitched end frustrating, which is where a 2-row instrument scores.

 

Having said all that, I actually have a Hohner 1-row 4-stop in G which is surplus to requirements and which I would be willing to sell for around £350. It's in excellent condition, tuning is good, bellows are sound with hardly any wear. Contact me by Private Message if you are interested.

 

Steve

 

I would have to sell one of my classical guitars first,but you have me tempted to buy that from you since G is my favourite guitar key!

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C is for caveat

F is for friend

G is for good news

and D for delight

 

The interim trick is to find someone (there are many about) who bought new or near new and then gave up.

That way you can afford two for the price of a new one and get both a DG (such as the Hohner pokerwork) and also a CF (which Steve will also encourage you to do. CF opens up a whole range of good sounds with toons to play alone at home; and of course to join in with the growing number of CF players in UK. CF is a commmon format across Europe as opposed to UK dominant DG ... so, more toons to play around with.)

 

Then when u get ready to move on from the pokerwork, you can rest comfortable in the knowledge you can re-sell it.

 

But why rush? - take the opportunity to try out different boxes. Most people at sessions will not be too precious about letting you having a little try on their machines.

The Shropshire Squeeze folk (RayLangton.com lend boxes for their squeeze days.

There can be big differences in how they feel, weigh, sound, sqeueeze, how much effort needed and how quiet/loud. And when u get to know the variety one will surely turn up on ebay during the holidays when no one is watching and which is just down the road so you can try before you bidandbuy. :)

 

Go The George on Nov 5 and talk to some of the melodeon players.

\ :)

 

They all gave you good opinions,for me it is also easier to play at its full potential a two row using the cross fingering that a single row although at first sight it would seem easier to play.

The instrument depends a lot of the type of music that you want to play, if it is very chromatic,or not, traditional depending which country, etc.

The D/G as they told is fine for english music. I have a D/G that I bought from U.K.

In continental Europe C/F is played more than D/G, i.e. in Germany, and in Spain now for playing along with galician bagpipes, asturian bagpipes, etc.that usually are in C, B flat or D, in these cases I use a C/F, a Bflat/Eflat or a D/G, but another very common key mainly among accordeonists from France, Italy, and in Spain also is G/C, more than C/F, it works well with hurdy gurdys, french bagpipes in G.

I love also the full 4 stop sound and I hope in the future to have a one row melodeon with that sound.

But about accordions I think that all of us love the different type of sounds that different types of accordions, and concertina,could produce depending the type or kind of music.

In the other hand, its better to buy perhaps a vintage hohner made in Germany than a accordion made in China.

My first melodeon was a Parrot,made in China, G/C/F, what is a very common layout for many types os music, portuguese, mexican, etc. I thought that I should play it again because of the three rows, but when I moved to castagnari, saltarelle, and old hohners, I never took it again. The bellows are really bad, shorts, with less air than you expect for playing comfortably, that in melodeons is very important, more even than the air that consumes each reed in my opinion.

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