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Author Topic: Instrument suitable for a beginner.  (Read 5489 times)

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Sebastian

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2019, 07:04:26 AM »

D/G 2 row 3 voice, bass stop and weighs 4.5kg
That's heavy.

Regarding the 2-voiced Hohner recommendations: Yes, a Hohner Pokerwork or Erica (I own one myself) is a nice instrument to play. But in that category I prefer a two-row Weltmeister. They are more or less in the same price range and play more or less equally well, but a Weltmeister has the advantage of a wodden keyboard, limited button travel and an adjustable left hand strap.
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Steve_freereeder

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #21 on: February 20, 2019, 08:19:02 AM »

The idea of calling up someone I don't know at all and being like 'hi I would like to buy a melodeon that I've never played from you for hundreds of pounds'? Almost as scary as the hohner button holes, to me, anyway.

This is (hopefully) one of the real benefits of this forum. The fettlers and traders on here, Theo, Pete (Acorn), Rees, Martyn White, Lester and a few others, really do know what they are talking about, will offer excellent advice and are completely trustworthy.

'Fear no danger to ensue...'
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Squeaky Pete

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #22 on: February 20, 2019, 08:59:52 AM »

I'd vote for second hand pokerwork DG too. I'm still playing mine after 40 years,through its showing its age even more then me.
I tried a friend's Dino DG 3 voice and though it's very nice and very loud I can't feel at home on it.
Likewise I tried his Mory and it felt very strange, heavy and huge though it is clearly capable of much better things than I can manage.
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Poker work DG. Erica GC,
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Steve C.

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #23 on: February 20, 2019, 01:13:45 PM »

I too am in the Pokerwork/Erica tribe.  But don't miss George's f/u post about the sound. 
If you don't like it, you won't play it. Although the D/G is one of the most useful (my first box, still have, still play, Pokerwork bought new in 70's) in terms of sound I do love the lower C/F (just acquired Erica).
So besides tremolo/reed quality, don't forget key...
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boxer

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2019, 01:25:17 PM »

Steve Freereeder's comment about practice and determination hit the nail on the head. 

You'll learn better and quicker on a box that's easy to play, and there's no guarantee that a brand new box will meet that criterion. 

A second hand 2v 21x8 Hohner, with limited key travel and soft springs, is your best bet.  I bought my first Pokerwork in 1973 and I still play one as first choice (although I have other Hohners and other makes too).

The only difficulty is that unless you actually like the box you buy - and the reasons for liking it don't necessarily have to be based on any objective measure - perhaps you just don't like the colour it's finished in, the timbre of the reeds, or the fact that it's a Hohner or whatever - it'll be more difficult to summon up the commitment and effort that Steve describes.  Irrational but true.
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Steve C.

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #25 on: February 20, 2019, 03:01:05 PM »

Reasons why OP should just go out and get a D/G Hohner:
1. Most commonly played key in sessions
2. Most commonly used key in tuition books (English language)
3. Readily available
4. Reasonably priced
5. Often kept as a "forever" box, no matter what else follows...
6. Does not drive one crazy when someone asks to borrow or play...
7. Does not cause conniption if bumped/scratched/beer-sprayed/tea-stained etc. etc.
8. Does not cause anxiety when played outside in the weather
9. Quite light
10. Can be fettled to very, very nice playability for not a lot of money (see #4)
11. Holds value when bought used
12. Easy to fix, get parts
13. Can be had in red celluloid
14. Played by Lester
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Sebastian

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #26 on: February 20, 2019, 04:16:56 PM »

Reasons why OP should just go out and get a D/G Hohner:
Best posting.  8)
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Jesse Smith

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2019, 03:34:09 AM »

Well, this forum has definitely made its recommendation clear! I will pile on and vouch for the Pokerwork; I've been playing about a year or so and searched for one after reading similar recommendations in old threads. They are not as easy to find in the States; I paid the equivalent of about £500, which I think is more than the typical going rate in the UK. But for me it was worth it because I fell in love with the sound of the melodeon from listening to John Kirkpatrick's "Plain Capers" album and so that D/G Hohner sound is very much baked into my entire initial attraction to the instrument.
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Hohner Pokerwork D/G, Hohner one row four stop in C, Hohner Pressed Wood C/F.

Alan Pittwood

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #28 on: February 21, 2019, 09:20:51 AM »

The Erica body with the curved edge on the bass side is more preferable than the sharp right-angle of the Pokerwork body.   For a beginner, anything that makes the instrument more comfortable is likely to lead to more success in the very early stage of learning.

And an (old) Erica in black celluloid is the melodeon to have.
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Hohner Erica D/G.

Rob Lands

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #29 on: February 21, 2019, 11:23:31 AM »

Although I started out with a Salatrelle Bouebe. I now have a fettled Hohner that I play out for dance.  I still love the first box, the action and the sound was and has always been great, I just don't want to ruin it in the wind (and rain).
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Helena Handcart

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #30 on: February 21, 2019, 12:18:29 PM »

The Erica body with the curved edge on the bass side is more preferable ..

This also has to be weighed against personal preference as to the feel of the bass buttons on the two models - the Erica's smaller, smooth buttons or the firmer feel of the pokerwork 'mushroom' buttons.  For me the bass action on the Pokerwork is more definite and satisfying to play - thus outweighing any disadvantage of the square body. 

Like so many things, this one is a matter of taste. YMMV and all that.
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Tone Dumb Greg

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #31 on: February 21, 2019, 12:21:29 PM »

Reason's for not buying a pokerwork:
1. Their popularity for morris means that they may have been thrashed to the point of destruction.
2. They are often played out in poor weather when other "classier" instruments stay in the bag.
3. I think they are becoming pricier, these days.  When I was looking at buying my first instrument, about 5 or 6 years ago, you could buy a half decent German one, in DG, for a bit less than £200 (note to self, stop  pining over missed opportunities). Now?

Having said that, and bearing other comments in mind, it's still got to be a great way to go. The square body has never been an issue for me. Never really thought about it.
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Greg Smith
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GPS

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #32 on: February 21, 2019, 12:38:46 PM »

The Erica body with the curved edge on the bass side is more preferable than the sharp right-angle of the Pokerwork body.   For a beginner, anything that makes the instrument more comfortable is likely to lead to more success in the very early stage of learning.

And an (old) Erica in black celluloid is the melodeon to have.

My first box was an Erica, and though I no longer own it (it was stolen) or its replacement (which I sold to help pay for my Saltarelle) I still recall it as a comfortable and very playable box for a beginner. I currently own 4 Hohner 2915s (Pokerworks but without the Goldbrand paint finish), all of which I enjoy playing more than 40 years on, so they can't be all that bad......

Graham
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Among others, Saltarelle Pastourelle II D/G; Hohner 4-stop 1-rows in C & G; assorted Hohners; 3-voice German (?) G/C of uncertain parentage; lovely little Hlavacek 1-row Heligonka; B♭/E♭ Koch. Newly acquired G/C Hohner Viktoria. Also Fender Jazz bass, Telecaster, Stratocaster, Epiphone Sheraton, Charvel-Jackson 00-style acoustic guitar and other stuff..........

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Dick Sadler

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #33 on: February 21, 2019, 05:46:57 PM »

Well, no other replies now for over 4 hours so I guess anyone who had a thought has by now replied and thank you all for your comments. It would appear that I need to look out for an Hohner in one form or another. Pressedwood, Pokerwood or Erica. No one suggested that they had just the thing for me and wishing to sell so best now change forum and put out a Wanted ad and see what happens.
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Lester

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #34 on: February 21, 2019, 06:03:42 PM »

PokerWORK, not pokerwood   ;)

Dick Sadler

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #35 on: February 21, 2019, 06:28:34 PM »

Oops,  but have managed to amend my wanted ad. Many thanks as ever.
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richard.fleming

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #36 on: February 21, 2019, 07:26:33 PM »

Reason's for not buying a pokerwork:
1. Their popularity for morris means that they may have been thrashed to the point of destruction.
What's with Morris musicians then? What's all this thrashing?  Not the first time I've heard this phrase used either, by any means. Do you hit them with big sticks or thrash them with handkerchiefs? What sort of musician thrashes their instrument? My button accordions are all between fifty and seventy years old and they are still as good as new. Better, in at least one case. Where am I going wrong?
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Lester

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #37 on: February 21, 2019, 07:31:01 PM »

Reason's for not buying a pokerwork:
1. Their popularity for morris means that they may have been thrashed to the point of destruction.
What's with Morris musicians then? What's all this thrashing?  Not the first time I've heard this phrase used either, by any means. Do you hit them with big sticks or thrash them with handkerchiefs? What sort of musician thrashes their instrument? My button accordions are all between fifty and seventy years old and they are still as good as new. Better, in at least one case. Where am I going wrong?


It's basically no true. We may have to play loudly but melodeons are designed to do that. If a morris musician is thrashing his/her box to get volume or attack they are doing it wrong. I quite happily play with sufficient volume etc using a 1930/40s Pressedwood with its original bellows and it is at no risk of damage.

richard.fleming

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #38 on: February 21, 2019, 07:39:02 PM »

Whew! Thank you Lester, much reassured. The idea of thrashing really hurt my feelings!
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Andy

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Re: Instrument suitable for a beginner.
« Reply #39 on: February 21, 2019, 10:59:14 PM »

Aware that plenty folk will disagree but I'll put in a word in favour of bigger boxes. Will also say that I am a BC / BCC# player which may have some bearing on it. When I first started playing I thought smaller, lighter, easier to play was the way to go. Have since found out that (within limits) bigger boxes are sometimes less effort to play as well sounding better. eg. Comparing Double Ray Deluxe with Regular DR. The Deluxe may be three voice but any increased air consumption is more than cancelled out by the increased bellows volume, it is still by no means heavy and is still very easy to play. All this and, all other things being equal, the Deluxe is not necessarily any more expensive.

Just one persons opinion though.
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