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Author Topic: Left handed melodeon  (Read 3031 times)

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jonm

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Left handed melodeon
« on: January 05, 2009, 11:51:52 AM »

I've recently borrowed a D/G Erica to learn on. Always interesting, after years on piano box and English concertina. Mostly English folk tunes. It's currently an intellectual challenge to get all the reflexes going not to change bellows direction when running out of air.

I suppose I regard the melodeon as a "sexier" relation of the PA and concertina - easier to lug around than an accordion, they tend to be visually more attractive, easier than concertina to play standing up, plus the price/quality/reliability equation is better than either accordions or concertinas.

As a left hander, playing it upside-down (as I do PA), the only problem I have is the air button, which is inaccessible while playing G key basses. This is not my instrument, so I'm not going to make modifications to move the valve, however, any hints and tips for overcoming this would be welcome.

At some point soon, I shall have to invest in an instrument of my own (I strongly suspect it will be the first of several, as with guitars and other squeezeboxes....).

I have had one "go" on a one-row, which I regard as the most visually attractive. The air valve was slightly easier to reach and once I had overcome the total silence caused by putting it on my knee and closing all the stops (!) ;D, it was fun to play, albeit very limiting.

The two-row in D/G has all sorts of possibilities of smooth runs across the rows and interesting chord voicings with the melody hand and can still be played as a one-row, but an octave higher. At some point, I should also like to explore cajun accordion.

Basically, is there any advice for a first purchase which might help a left-hander? Are there any makes or models which could more easily be ambidextrous? Turn your own upside-down and see how you get on!

All advice gratefully received, thanks.
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Mike Higgins

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Re: Left handed melodeon
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2009, 12:16:32 PM »

I am left handed, I play guitar etc as a leftie. When I started playing melodeon I played upside down but a well known to this site melodeonist of some repute advised me to learn right handed as it is easier to learn from other players, especially in sessions. I took this advice and have never ever regretted it. I can't claim to be an expert but it might be a wheeze to give rightedness a go as it is a new instrument for you.

Best of luck

Mike
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Mike from Ponte Caffaro

jonm

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Re: Left handed melodeon
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2009, 12:44:27 PM »

I'm too far gone as a lefty for that, I've been playing piano box for nigh-on 20 years and I find it easier to pick stuff up e.g. from other guitar players as a mirror image. Horses for courses, basically.
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ganderbox

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Re: Left handed melodeon
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2009, 12:49:33 PM »

As I have mentioned in another thread (much to the disbelief of some!), I know two people who are right-handed but, when they started playing melodeon, found it more natural to play it upside-down so that their dominant (right) hand operated the bass end rather than the treble. They are both brilliant players! I also know another good player who is left-handed but plays it the usual way round.

The logic behind it is that more strength and control is needed to operate the bass end on a melodeon, and so it is done best by your dominant hand. Compare it to a fiddle or guitar, where the dominant hand drives the bow or strums the rhythm, and the other hand frets the strings.

On this basis, I was going to go along with Mike's advice, but I've just seen your last post, Jon, so as with myself it's probably too late for you to change!

Pauline  
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Pauline from Cornwall

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Pete Dunk

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Re: Left handed melodeon
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2009, 12:57:27 PM »

I'm a lefty too but play both fingerstyle guitar and melodeon as a right hander. I did have piano lessons as a youngster though, perhaps that helped a bit; it also helped that in my younger days left-handed guitars were a custom built job so it was learn right handed or play it upside down which didn't appeal much at the time.

I'm sure Theo could move the air valve to the other 'end' of the bass end for you without too much trouble ...
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Stiamh

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Re: Left handed melodeon
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2009, 01:41:01 PM »

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