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Author Topic: What started you off playing Melodeon?  (Read 10021 times)

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melodeon

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2014, 11:14:17 PM »

I travelled from Monterey Cailfornia to Berkeley California  ( 115 miles one way) to take my first Anglo concertina lesson from Paul Groff.

I had a 38 button Jeffries on permanent loan to me.

Paul felt sorry for me and suggested that I might want to start with a 10 button melodeon.. fewer keys for my addled brain and gimpy fingers.

I bought a sharped Bb typical 1915 ish  4 stopper from Paul and played that box for two years.

Sadly this also came about because at our first meeting...Paul announced he was leaving for a position in Boston/Cambridge. No lessons possible.

I returned the Jefftries.. got more boxes and another Jeffries which I sold to Paul..I also engineered the sale of my loaner Jeffries to Paul.

Been playing melodeons since, owned  around 58 at last count.. most offed   5 remaining.. which includes an 1880s  2 1/2 row  D/G  passed down to me from my GGF.

Thanks Paul

Can I buy back the Jeffries  for a modest profit ? : )
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 04:55:10 PM by melodeon »
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Suppards

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #41 on: October 03, 2014, 06:23:30 AM »

Started to learn the banjo (clawhammer-style) back in 2007 but never really progressed in five years.  Took up the ukulele as an experiment and got on really well with it.  After a couple of years and feeling a little unsatisfied musically I started thinking about taking up another, non-stringed, instrument.  That was January 2014.

This next bit sounds really cheesy but it is perfectly true. One morning I woke up from a very vivid dream which featured a squeezebox. A quick dig around courtesy of Google showed me that the instrument I'd dreamt about was a melodeon.  Found Melnet. Bought Mally's book. By February this year I had bought a box and a couple of weeks after that started with regular weekly harrassments....er... lessons.  I'll never be a great player but I try hard, can play with both hands and know to varying degrees of proficiency about 20 tunes.  I can now appreciate people who are great players and I can entertain my grand-daughter with a few tunes. Maybe that's enough. But only maybe.  I just love playing.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2014, 07:57:25 AM by Suppards »
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Steve
North Yorkshire, UK

oggiesnr

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #42 on: October 03, 2014, 07:32:42 AM »

Lincoln Morrismen early seventies.  Our musician, Pete Arrowsmith, played a B/C/C# 80 bass Paolo.  He sold me one of those East German G/D concertinas, later upgraded to a G/C Lachenal but I still hankered after a "proper" box but funds were limited.

Eventually we had a good summer of shows and fleetingly I had enough spare cash to buy one of the first Dino Black Pearls that Mally bought in which would be twenty or so years ago.

Part of me still wants a B/C/C# Paolo like Pete's but realistically it wouldn't get the use to justify it.

Steve
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gettabettabox

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #43 on: October 03, 2014, 09:21:36 AM »

Started to learn the banjo (clawhammer-style) back in 2007 but never really progressed in five years.  Took up the ukulele as an experiment and got on really well with it.  After a couple of years and feeling a little unsatisfied musically I started thinking about taking up another, non-stringed, instrument.  That was January 2014.

This next bit sounds really cheesy but it is perfectly true. One morning I woke up from a very vivid dream which featured a squeezebox. A quick dig around courtesy of Google showed me that the instrument I'd dreamt about was a melodeon.  Found Melnet. Bought Mally's book. By February this year I had bought a box and a couple of weeks after that started with regular weekly harrassments....er... lessons.  I'll never be a great player but I try hard, can play with both hands and know to varying degrees of proficiency about 20 tunes.  I can now appreciate people who are great players and I can entertain my grand-daughter with a few tunes. Maybe that's enough. But only maybe.  I just love playing.

yet another  ''calling'' to the melodeon church...   (:)    ''you are Erica...and upon this block I shall build my church...''
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Chris Brimley

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #44 on: October 03, 2014, 10:21:36 AM »

Towersey Festival, mid nineteen-seventies, Pete Coe and Roger Watson and the New Victory Band.  Like all my chums at the time, I just had to learn how to do this! - still trying to.
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Phil B

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #45 on: October 03, 2014, 11:12:15 AM »

Listening to Bob Rundle and
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Phil B

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #46 on: October 03, 2014, 11:17:04 AM »

to finish my first post on this this thread  ( I hit the wrong key), " and"  Edwin Spring play in the early 1970's
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Mutt

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #47 on: October 03, 2014, 04:43:32 PM »

A number of years ago the National Film Board of Canada had a short animated film based on "The Log Drivers Waltz."  I was struck by the sound of a certain instrument.  "What is that?" I asked nearly everyone, but no one could say.  Finally, at a local folk club, one fellow announced with confidence, "Oh, that's a melodeon."  "What's a melodeon?" I asked.  He looked confused; he'd never had to explain such a thing before.  "Well, it's a .... melodeon."  The only resources I had to do research at the time told me a melodeon was a reed pump organ, which I'd heard before and which certainly wasn't the sound I was hearing in the film.

Flash forward several years.  I walk into a friend's sweater shop for a chat, and "that sound" is coming out of her CD system. 
Me: What is that?
She: Oh, that's my buddy, Johnny Whelan.
Me: No, what is he playing?
She: (Starts looking up the track description on the CD liner notes)
Me: No, I mean what instrument is he playing.
She: (Confused that she has to explain) That's a button accordion! (This is the USA)
Me: I've got to have that sound.
She: (Rings up John Whelan's "Come to the Dance" CD.)
Me: (Out of respect for her, I buy the CD.)

I played the CD for 6 months, almost non-stop, and went out and bought a button accordion.  My tastes have expanded since then to include varieties of wet melodeon sounds, and I've gotten frustrated with the melodeon's limitations and gone on to other instruments, but I keep coming back.

To this day I blame John Whelan, but only mostly.
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George Knight
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Nick Collis Bird

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #48 on: October 03, 2014, 04:53:04 PM »

Well George. I don't think it's that smaller world. He can't possibly be the John Whelan of Bourne River Morris in the UK but with that surname they must be related.
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Mutt

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #49 on: October 03, 2014, 07:09:53 PM »

Must be.
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George Knight
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Paul Crook

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #50 on: October 03, 2014, 10:25:43 PM »

I've been playing professionally, mostly on fretted instruments with some accordion, since the early 1990's.

I was invited to join one of my local Morris sides as a backup musician in 2012 for the Spring 2013 season, playing a CBA behind the main musician's D/G. The CBA wasn't quite loud enough to beat the bells for the times I played alone.

Learning the melodeon seemed like a good idea. I borrowed a Pokerwork from the Squire to gear up for the 2014 season, then found out I'd be the main musician. I transferred 40+ tunes to melodeon, and played the Pokerwork for the whole season. It was easily loud enough for Morris, and the bounciness of the tunes was provided "for free" as long as I didn't cross the rows too much.

It's been an intense start, but there's still a lot to learn. I appreciate all the forum members who've put up recordings and videos. Lester's Tune-a-Day has been especially helpful. Thanks, Lester!
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Ebor_fiddler

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #51 on: October 03, 2014, 11:30:57 PM »

I was quite happy playing my fiddle with box players, until .... ! I bought "Stepping Up", things started to niggle, could I afford one of these expensive thingies! Then a grateful government gave me something called a "Heating Allowance" for some reason. So it went on my first box, a D/G Scarlatti and from there things went downhill ...
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My other melodeon's a fiddle, but one of my Hohners has six strings! I also play a very red Hawkins Bazaar in C and a generic Klingenthaler spoon bass in F.!! My other pets (played) are gobirons - Hohner Marine Band in C, Hohner Tremolo in D and a Chinese Thingy Tremolo in G.

Jackhumphreys

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #52 on: October 04, 2014, 10:48:18 AM »

Blowzabella!

Matt Quinn

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #53 on: October 05, 2014, 05:07:10 PM »

By having a father who is not only a melodeon player but also a founder member of both Flowers & Frolics AND Gas Mark 5, it didn't come as a surprise to anyone that I learnt the melodeon. Not my first instrument though, started playing violin aged 5, mandolin aged 14 and then melodeon aged 18. Duet concertina in the last year and a half too...


One day (in the January of 2008 if I remember correctly) I expressed an interest in the melodeon. My dad handed me his D 1-row (since sold to Ollie King of this parish) and said "here's how you play a scale, now off you go". And 'go' I did. I shut myself away in my bedroom (as teenagers do) and practiced the melodeon (as most teenagers don't...). As a result, my playing improved rapidly and my A-level results were shockingly bad.
My dad then gave me an old Hohner Pokerwork of his. Later that year at Sidmouth Festival I bought my first melodeon (first with my own money I mean...), a nice 3 row Hohner Corona II which was owned by Ed Rennie at the time and being sold on Rees Wesson's stall.
My melodeon collection has grown rapidly since then (mainly due to living in Newcastle (for the folk degree) and consequently living a half hours bus journey from Theo Gibb's house. The majority of my current boxes were bought from him.

Since leaving university I have become the Free Reed specialist at the new Brighton branch of Hobgoblin Music. 

Current melodeon collection is at 10 I think.

That's enough from me.

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Theo

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #54 on: October 05, 2014, 05:31:35 PM »

No it's not, not really!
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Theo Gibb - Gateshead UK

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Nick Collis Bird

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #55 on: October 05, 2014, 05:56:46 PM »

Great to hear from you Matt. "Flowers" is where i met Dan in the Empress of Russia in London I let my garage to them mend the band bus. A total disaster. For the van that is .i do remember having a Sunday lunch with Mike Bettisons family on the way back from somewhere. Nick Havell was with us, so was Trevor Bennett, and that wonderful banjo player who's name escapes me. I forget so much these days. Must be an age thing.
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baz parkes

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #56 on: October 05, 2014, 06:11:26 PM »

, and that wonderful banjo player who's name escapes me. I forget so much these days. Must be an age thing.

Bob KIng...I only remember useful stuff... :|glug
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Matthew B

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #57 on: October 05, 2014, 08:19:05 PM »

I forget so much these days. Must be an age thing.

Poor excuse. 

There are many, many other reasons we forget things. 

And most of them are quite a lot of fun.     
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Alan Morley

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #58 on: October 06, 2014, 09:53:19 AM »

I was inspired to buy a melodeon because of listening to John Kirkpatrick's playing on Morris On - the LP from 1972.

It was some years later that I realised that he doesn't actually play melodon on the LP - he uses a button accordion and concertina....

I think that I must have assumed that because it was Morris music, I was listening to a melodeon..
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invadm

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Re: What started you off playing Melodeon?
« Reply #59 on: October 06, 2014, 10:44:51 AM »

All most everyone in my family played diatonic boxes, starting from my granddad, uncles and aunties. My uncle forgot  his club II-B at our house after a wedding party and did not come back to collect it for some time. There was enough time for me to start driving my parents mad :||: :|||: ..  two weeks later I started playing a simple 3 note tunes and never really stop playing since then. I now have a very large collection of Hohner diatonic boxes and a few PA too    and expanding of course  ..MAD..  ;D
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