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Author Topic: I want to purchase a melodeon and learn how to play it, please help  (Read 6939 times)

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Andrei

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Re: I want to purchase a melodeon and learn how to play it, please help
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2014, 10:44:09 PM »

Andrei,

do you already play another instrument? What is your musical background?

I play a Weltmeister (not a Monika, but a 86w, in C/F) which is my preferred instrument. I don't know why. It just feels 'right'. I have some other boxes, some of them superior to the very basic 86w (and tenfold the price), but none I like quite like this trustworthy work horse. Over the years, my 86w even convinced me to preferre its blunt tremolo sound over the more aristocratic dry sound of those lifestyle-boxes with the posh italian names on it.  ;)

The video examples you like show well played tunes from some very good players. Some of the boxes are wet tuned, some of them are dry tuned. I am quite certain, that the Hohner Erica, shown in the video example you don't like, would sound just as good as the other boxes, if it would be played equally well in a tune (and not to demonstrate just the basic function of a melodeon).

And I don't think you should spent too much money on your first box, because you can't know, what you want, before you have played for some months. (:)

My musical background is nonexistent and I don't play any instruments.

I'm sure you're right about those players, they're experienced and could make any accordion sound good.

Andrei, I've been mulling over your questions and comments as I walked our collie dog today.  If I was buying my first melodeon but knowing what I know now, I'd look out for a recently restored Hohner - Pokerwork, Pressed Wood, Erica or whatever.  I wouldn't be too fussy about the amount of tremelo although I'd probably go for slightly drier than a traditional pokerwork.  The advice about not really knowing what you want or need before you start playing is spot on. If you enjoy it, as I suspect you will, you'll have years of playing ahead to acquire more or different boxes and, if you're unlucky, a mild or severe case of M.A.D.
BTW - how come your English is so immaculate?

I work in the customer service department of an IT company which has a lot of foreign clients. I have to communicate with them in English on a daily basis, so I get a lot of practice. Still, I think 'immaculate' is stretching it a bit.

I've compiled a list of melodeons that have been mentioned in this topic and in other discussions on the forum and sorted them by price in 3 categories according to my budget.

1) Bargain: Hohner 2915/Pokerwork, Hohner Erica, Weltmeister 86W (are the Weltmeisters really made in Germany?)
2) Affordable: Hohner Morgane, Sandpiper Snipe, Weltmeister 516
3) Wooo!: Saltarelle Bouebe, Dino Baffetti Black Pearl/Carnival (these differ only in colour, right?), Mengascini D212, Bernard Loffet Petit, Castagnari Studio

I've read good things about all of them and listened to recordings which all sound good. Lots of options - I have to do more research. I also stumbled upon some G. Verde instruments.

It seems that the consensus is to buy a melodeon that doesn't cost too much, but I'm still on the fence about going for the cheapest option. Wouldn't an entry-level Italian, French or German instrument be significantly better than one from China?
« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 09:31:34 AM by Andrei »
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: I want to purchase a melodeon and learn how to play it, please help
« Reply #21 on: December 21, 2014, 12:13:03 AM »

I've compiled a list of melodeons that have been mentioned in this topic and in other discussions on the forum and sorted them by price in 3 categories according to my budget.

1) Bargain: Hohner 2915/Pokerwork, Hohner Erica, Weltmeister 86W (are they actually made in Germany?)
2) Affordable: Hohner Morgane, Sandpiper Snipe, Weltmeister 516
3) Wooo!: Saltarelle Bouebe, Dino Baffetti Black Pearl/Carnival (these differ only in colour, right?), Mengascini D212, Bernard Loffet Petit, Castagnari Studio

I've read good things about all of them and listened to recordings which all sound good. Lots of options - I have to do more research. I also stumbled upon some G. Verde instruments.

It seems that the consensus is to buy a melodeon that doesn't cost too much, but I'm still on the fence about going for the cheapest option. Wouldn't an entry-level Italian, French or German instrument be significantly better than one from China?

Andrei,
I have a Hohner Pokerwork for sale in D/G. See here:
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,15862.msg196824

It is a modern Chinese-made instrument, but don't be put off by that - it is well made with excellent quality components and it plays beautifully. These days, the Chinese-made Hohners are very good indeed. It is a great instrument for a beginner and it will take you a long way down the melodeon-playing route.
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Sebastian

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Re: I want to purchase a melodeon and learn how to play it, please help
« Reply #22 on: December 21, 2014, 12:33:43 AM »

My musical background is nonexistent and I don't play any instruments.
Interesting. How did you become interested in melodeons than? (:)

Hohner 2915/Pokerwork, Hohner Erica, Weltmeister 86W (are they actually made in Germany?)
The Hohner diatonic accordeons are made in China (someone will correct me, if I am wrong!) except the Corona II Classic.

All Weltmeisters are made in Saxony with the exception of the reeds (imported from Checoslovakia [well either Checia or Slovakia, but I can't remember from which of the two]) and some small parts.

It seems that the consensus is to buy a melodeon that doesn't cost too much, but I'm still on the fence about going for the cheapest option. Wouldn't an entry-level Italian, French or German instrument be significantly better than one from China?
It is normally assumed, that the build quality from european producers is more consistent, but I am not a neutral observer.  ;)

Of course, I don't know your exact ideas and to select an instrument is something personal, but if I might suggest something, I'd think, it would not be a bad idea to get in touch with someone like, for example, Theo or Mr. Sommer or another trustworthy and experienced accordion 'fettler' to buy an overhauled second hand box. (Minor adjustments can than be executed by any local accordion repair shop.)
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IvanM

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Re: I want to purchase a melodeon and learn how to play it, please help
« Reply #23 on: December 22, 2014, 12:00:39 AM »

All Weltmeisters are made in Saxony with the exception of the reeds (imported from Checoslovakia [well either Checia or Slovakia, but I can't remember from which of the two]) and some small parts.
I suppose the reeds are either from Delicia or Titlbach, both the firms are in the Czech Republic. I never heard about Slovak accordions, Slovakia has long been an agrarian country with little industry, if there existed accordion factories there they had to go bankrupt in the 1990s.
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Andrei

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Re: I want to purchase a melodeon and learn how to play it, please help
« Reply #24 on: December 22, 2014, 10:01:23 AM »

Andrei,
I have a Hohner Pokerwork for sale in D/G. See here:
http://forum.melodeon.net/index.php/topic,15862.msg196824

It is a modern Chinese-made instrument, but don't be put off by that - it is well made with excellent quality components and it plays beautifully. These days, the Chinese-made Hohners are very good indeed. It is a great instrument for a beginner and it will take you a long way down the melodeon-playing route.
Thanks for the offer, Steve, I'll take it into consideration.

Interesting. How did you become interested in melodeons than? (:)
I somehow stumbled upon a couple of recordings on YouTube and immediately liked their sound.

Some more questions:
1) Exactly how loud are these instruments? I live in an apartment block and I don't want to disturb my neighbours that much.

2) I see that there are several keyboard layouts available. Is there a standard one I should look for? If I buy a DVD with lessons or pay a tutor, what's the keyboard layout they'll expect me to have? How will I be affected if my melodeon doesn't have the same layout as theirs?

3) I've found good reviews for the following learning materials:
- The D/G Melodeon: Absolute Beginners, by Dave Mallinson (book & CD)
- The Melodeon Tutor, by Ed Rennie (book & DVD)
- How to Play the English Melodeon, by John Kirkpatrick (DVD)
- Maggie's Melodeon and More Maggie's Melodeon by Maggie Moore & Stan Bloor (books & CDs)
- the Diatonic accordion method volumes by St├ęphane Milleret & Norbert Pignol (books & CDs)
- L'Organetto Diatonico by Roberto Tombesi and Riccardo Tesi (book & CD)
- DG Melodeon, A crash Course for Beginners, by George Garside (book)
- Handbook for Melodeon, by Roger Watson

Which of these would be best for a complete beginner? I also welcome other recommendations.
« Last Edit: December 22, 2014, 02:23:34 PM by Andrei »
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TomBom

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Re: I want to purchase a melodeon and learn how to play it, please help
« Reply #25 on: December 22, 2014, 08:34:27 PM »

3) I've found good reviews for the following learning materials:
...
Which of these would be best for a complete beginner? I also welcome other recommendations.
I am still a learner myself. However I have been playing musical instruments for some 30 years.
 I bought three of the tutor books you mentioned. They all use standard music notation added with numbers so you know which button to press and pull/push the bellows.

Roger Watson: Handbook for Melodeon
I consider this the least useful. Just tunes ...

Dave Mallinson: The D/G Melodeon (book + CD)
There is a lot of information in it: tunes and instructional text, e.g. the four possibilities for position changes of the right hand. The accompanying CD is quite useful.

George Garside: D/G Melodeon. A crash course for Beginners
This is divided in 10 lessons (George calls them workshops), suitable for a total beginner. IMO very well thought out, concentrating on basic aspects, which is a good idea for beginners.

Considerung you are new to playing an instrument I would start with George Garside's tutorial. It is not too comprehensive, there is a focus on basic learning. Mallinson's book would be too much for me. I see no chance to complete this book in under two years.

Thomas
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Ebor_fiddler

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Re: I want to purchase a melodeon and learn how to play it, please help
« Reply #26 on: December 25, 2014, 02:22:47 AM »

Though, to be fair, Mally suggests that 5 years would be doing well for absolute beginners. I have used this, along with George's book, topped up with "More Maggies Melodeon" for the slightly less common improver's stuff. I play a Sandpiper D/g and, at the moment, find this my perfect box.  ;D   :||:
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I'm a Yorkie!
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.

NickF

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Re: I want to purchase a melodeon and learn how to play it, please help
« Reply #27 on: January 19, 2015, 12:36:06 PM »

Pardon me for jumping in; where you're starting from sounds a lot like where I started...
The first box I bought was a Chinese mass produced melodeon - there was nothing wrong with it per se - however I felt it had distinct limitations. After advice from Mel I was thankfully able to exchange it for a Sandpiper (making up the difference in cost). The difference is night and day - the Sandpiper is a delight (:)
What I would add is to recommend asking Mel to give you some tuition - she really is that good! She has been very patient and understanding with me and my unfortunate procrastination habit. Anything you learn from the books will be re-enforced by tuition.
Good luck!
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