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Anglo concertina and piano accordian.....


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I started with PA but moved to CBA about a year after. I started learning AC about 1.5 years ago.

 

I don't think playing accordion has helped or hurt my learning AC. It was the same as me learning PA after playing guitar (had to give up due to a problem with my left thumb).

 

Your brain will adapt to different instruments.

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I have moved onto AC after playing piano accordion for years. It is a little odd, but like penta says your brain will adapt to the different instruments. It's a remarkable thing.

 

I suspect you will have less of a problem getting your head around the diatonic-ness and more of muscle-memory tendency for the left hand wanting to control the bellows. A great many AC players tend to use their right hand to move the bellows and keep the left stationary. I haven't tried to fix this myself and I'm not convinced it matters much anyway.

 

Jimmy

Edited by JimmyG
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I’ve played PA for about 7 years now, and began learning the AC two years ago, and I don’t have any bother with bellows direction etc. etc. I think it may be something to do with how different they are to hold and play. It might seem confusing at first, but as Pentaprism and JimmyG have said, your brain should be able to adapt to different instruments.

 

The only thing you should be worried about is being ravaged by hardcore concertinists for turning to the dark side!

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Hi - thanks so much for your replies.    i am a long time AC player of irish trad.  Recently got a Saltarelle B/C button accord.   Also diatonic, it's a great sound and works for nicely irish trad.  But now i want to expand into non-trad music like waltzes, mazurkas, etc. in different keys.  it seems better to get a PA for the different keys instead of looking for a BA that can accommodate many different keys.   but i am still a beginner in the accordian world so maybe i am not seeing something.

 

and, yes, also wondering if the 'change in bellows' between AC and PA would be a problem but you all have allayed my concerns.

 

Bill

 

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I play both.  PA first 

 

It’s, so far, made me think more about my piano accordion bellows use.  Specifically using bellows changes more intentionally and interestingly.

 

Im also more interested in combining chords (and basses) on the left hand in more interesting ways.  End finding new textures. I realised I was very right hand driven and playing lots of chords in the r hand and mostly just the basses!

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13 hours ago, billyboy said:

But now i want to expand into non-trad music like waltzes, mazurkas, etc. in different keys.  it seems better to get a PA for the different keys instead of looking for a BA that can accommodate many different keys.

I'd say so! The RH will obviously do whatever you like. The LH is in a logical system of consecutive fifths, with a third root above, and below their major, minor, 7th, diminished. Any key you are in follows identical patterns. Perhaps pick up an inexpensive one and see how you get on with it?

bassrangev3.jpg.f43f21238e17dd08050e0ecd50eb613f.jpg

I rarely take out a full size 120 box unless I know what I'll be playing ventures into really distant keys or I need the extra range of the RH keyboard. The modern ones are heavy beasts. Depending on how far away from C you want to play, you can use this as a guide to work out how many bass buttons you'll need. Granted it takes a bit of squinting.

 

13 hours ago, billyboy said:

also wondering if the 'change in bellows' between AC and PA would be a problem but you all have allayed my concerns

Yeah you'll smash it, don't worry.

 

Jimmy

Edited by JimmyG
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14 hours ago, billyboy said:

it seems better to get a PA for the different keys instead of looking for a BA that can accommodate many different keys.

I would also consider CBA.

 

I started with PA, then moved to CBA about a year and a half later. If I were to do it again, I'd start with CBA.

 

I think CBA is more "logical" (if there is such a thing) and more compact (this one is definite). Take the Roland FR-1X/Xb for an example. The PA version (FR-1X) had only 2 octaves on the right side, hardly sufficient for anything, while the CBA version (FR-1Xb) has 3 octaves on the right side, sufficient for most if not all of my playing.

 

Also, try the 1-octave jump on a PA and try the same jump on a CBA to see how easy it is.

 

The only problem is that CBAs tend to be more costly, and not as abundant on Craigslist as PAs.

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Hi - again, thanks for the responses.   

 

JimmyG - much thanks for the pic of the bass range.  It really helps clarify things.

 

I am investigating a CBA but a PA seems simpler (as i play a little bit of piano). 

 

I was looking at the boxes on ButtonBox - the "Hohner Bravo III 72" in particular. 

 

Bill.

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I know someone who plays melodeon (push pull) and English concertina (not push pull) so that's similar in principle t o combining piano accordion with Anglo.  I also know someone who plays both Anglo and English concertinas.

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1 hour ago, billyboy said:

I was looking at the boxes on ButtonBox - the "Hohner Bravo III 72" in particular. 

 

Do a search on The Accordionists Forum. It has some comments re. the Hohner (and many others) line.

 

In particular:

 

Mid-Level Small Piano Accordions: Best bang for your buck?

Hohner Bravo 72 Quality?

 

There is a member by the name "JIM D.," who is very helpful. I would contact him before buying any accordion.

 

Note that the second-hand market of PAs is not the same as that of ACs. Most decent second-hand ACs, in particular those from well-known makers (I'm not just talking about Jeffries, but also Button Box, Concertina Connections, Edgley, ... and the likes), command pretty high prices, in most cases can be up to 80% of new prices.

 

PA second-hand market is full of people trying out and then giving up. The prices are much lower than new.

 

If I were to buy a PA right now, I'd get a used made-in-Italy one from Liberty Bellows.

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I agree with all the encouraging views re playing both.

Caution on the PA:

I have never heard of a former PA player who regretted the switch to a CBA.

Any prior learning advantage from piano would not last not least because the PA and piano are so different.

Compact layout and regularity of fingering of a CBA is likely to be much more positive over time.

If buying new  a Weltmeister is generally considered a better buy than a Hohner.

If buying old then the opposite is more likely.

If not cash sensitive, why not get another Saltarelle:

 

(11) "Empreinte" - Florence Glorion - YouTube

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2 hours ago, arti said:

Any prior learning advantage from piano would not last not least because the PA and piano are so different.

Well, technically speaking, if you can play the piano then you can play half a PA. Then you just need to get familiar with the left hand, which is fairly simple once you get the hang of it.

 

While buying second hand is much more economically friendly than buying new, what I wouldn't advise is getting a PA cheap on eBay. Generally (from my experience) these are instruments that have been kept in an aged relative's cupboard, cellar or attic for upwards of thirty years and have been rediscovered while clearing out the house. They are often leaky and/or out of tune, and would cost an awful lot of money to repair.

Also, steer clear at all costs of the vintage German-made instruments with faux-Italian names like 'Milani', 'Pietro' and 'Paolo Antonio' (pictures below). These are comparable to the German-made 'imitation anglo' concertinas, e.g. poorly made, trying to impersonate better instruments and almost always in terrible condition. They are not worth restoring, and are only really good for decoration. Luckily, like German anglo concertinas, they all look very similar and can be easily identified from photos, and therefore avoided. 

 

Image result for saxony made accordionImage result for saxony made accordionImage result for saxony made accordion

 

 

Edited by Squeezebox Of Delights
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Super interesting thread!

 

I came from years of playing electronic organ and keyboards/synths, rather than piano and found the right hand side of course very familiar because I’m used to no touch sensitivity on the keys so having to express in other ways.  I was also used to the sound because of playing a reed organ as a wee thing :) 

 

And because I was used to playing chords in the left hand the concept of chord buttons was not alien (some keyboards even have those!) I was very used to already doing a lot of chords/harmony in the right hand. 
 

The arrangement of the buttons was the thing I had to get used to of course (though familiar with circle of fifths) but all the chord types were super familiar from electronic organ chord notation. And yes the bellows but somehow that wasn’t a big deal when you realise it’s about phrasing and shaping (maybe violin bowing helped there!)

Edited by Kathryn Wheeler
Typos!
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Chromatic buttons have an extended range in the treble and some sound arguments for ergonomic advantage. Let's not pretend it's much more than that. 

 

No need to reinvent the wheel if you 'CBA' - the piano accordion is more than capable of most things. Very well too. There are plenty of virtuosi to listen to if that's in doubt.

 

I know I'd be more inclined to start playing at my best, and more often, without two new systems to learn at the same time. I'm lazy and prefer making music.

 

If you're intending to become a Bayan extraordinare, playing orchestral arrangements, etudes and Bach's complete organ works, that's a different matter of course.

 

Trade in for a CBA in the future if wanted, but be under no illusion that it'll instantly make anyone a better or more capable player. 

 

Jimmy

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Wow - great input from everyone, thanks!   i am looking at the Hohner PA as my 'first' PA.  Assuming i progress as i did on the AC, then i would upgrade from the Hohner to something else. My AC path was a Buttonbox 'ceili', then an Edgely 'professional', finally a Suttner A2-32.  All were/are absolutely great for the what i needed.

 

for a PA, they all seem to advertise/emphasize on how many bass buttons.   But doesn't how many treble keys a PA have  as equal or even more important?   or am i not seeing something?

 

Bill

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8 hours ago, billyboy said:

am i not seeing something?

 

Hi Bill, my guess (and it's only a guess) is because the size of the whole box roughly correlates to the size of the bass. In addition, people see the range of the bass as a limiting factor in what kind of music they want to play. They tend to be categorised this way for convenience.

 

It's immediately obvious from a picture to see the range of the RH keyboard... Less so with rows of many small buttons 😊👍

 

Jimmy

Edited by JimmyG
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Hi - well, i went ahead with a new Hohner Bravo 72.  it sounds great (to this beginner PA player).

 

it a little bigger and heavier than i thought it would be.   i am still figuring out how to see the bass buttons.   speaking of which, the "C" button of the fundamental bass row is slightly concave, but my guitar callous fingers can't really feel it.  so i am fingering blind so to speak. 

 

any ideas on how i can either see the bass buttons or put something on the "C" button so i can feel it?

 

thanks, Bill

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