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Author Topic: New to Diatonic Accordion  (Read 3219 times)

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Banjopotamus

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New to Diatonic Accordion
« on: March 19, 2011, 04:42:14 PM »

In fact I'm so new I didn't even get my new accordion yet.  Ordered a Roland FR18 'bout 6weeks ago and hope I didn't make a mistake.  I just love the sound of a melodeon.  I love bluegrass, blues and Italian music and am having a hard time finding any music for those genres, any suggestions would be helpful.  I currently play other instruments and can probably use my existing tab and regular notation, but music written for a particular instrument is usually easier to learn.  Any input would be helpful as I'm sure to be overwhelmed.

Banjopotamus
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Peter_T

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Re: New to Diatonic Accordion
« Reply #1 on: March 19, 2011, 11:39:28 PM »

In fact I'm so new I didn't even get my new accordion yet.  Ordered a Roland FR18 'bout 6weeks ago and hope I didn't make a mistake.  I just love the sound of a melodeon.  I love bluegrass, blues and Italian music and am having a hard time finding any music for those genres, any suggestions would be helpful.  I currently play other instruments and can probably use my existing tab and regular notation, but music written for a particular instrument is usually easier to learn.  Any input would be helpful as I'm sure to be overwhelmed.

Banjopotamus


Hello Banjopotamus
Good to see you. Means I'm no longer the newest here, for one thing.

Rather envy you the Roland - being able to play about with voices or indeed practise silently sounds useful.

Brian Peters did a module on blues at Melodeons at Witney last November - it can be done. Worth looking on YouTube and elsewhere - may be referenced as diatonic or button accordion as well as melodeon.

There's the Tunes,  Tune of the Month and Teaching and Learning bits of the forum which has much more than I've managed to look at yet...

It may well have been Brian Peters who surveyed his class and observed that had it not been for the melodeon he might have had  a conventional, respectable career. Perhaps he  also  said that we were by definition weirdos for playing them. So you're in good company.

Whereabouts are you?
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Banjopotamus

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A fresh beginner needing a direction
« Reply #2 on: April 08, 2011, 09:44:27 PM »

OK, I've always loved the button box.  I've never played one but when I saw the Roland FR18 I had to have one, if for no other reason, the versatility.  Now I own one and I love it.  Although it is a bit overwhelming, especially with which keyboard to learn.  When I look at the 12 factory installed tablatures they don't allow me to play some songs (they're missing G-, D- & A7 chords).  I want to play a variety of genres (Irish/Bluegrass/Italian/Zydeco/Blues/etc).
Fortunately the FR18 allows me to add any note/chord to either the treble or bass.  Problem is I haven't figured out the rhyme or reason behind the melodeon layout.  I don't want to learn all the wrong habits.
Any help would be appreciated.

thnx,

banjopotamus
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Stiamh

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Re: A fresh beginner needing a direction
« Reply #3 on: April 08, 2011, 10:56:26 PM »

Problem is I haven't figured out the rhyme or reason behind the melodeon layout.  I don't want to learn all the wrong habits. Any help would be appreciated.

Well, there is reason behind the layout - whether there is any rhyme is another matter.  ;) It seems to me you have landed yourself with quite probably the most confusing introduction possible into the world of diatonics.

I say this because a conventional three-row box - unlike say, a piano, where if you want to play a particular note there is only one key to hit to get it - has a host of different possibilities which can take months or years of careful study to become proficient in.

Add the possibility of choosing multiple layouts and tunings at the flick of a switch and there is a real possibility of your going insane - as a newcomer to the world of diatonics, that is.

I don't know what to suggest, other than to stick to one tuning until you have found your way around it. I don't know if there are good tutorials aimed at people starting with three-row boxes, but there are certainly ones for two-row boxes.

I think I'd be tempted to learn to play tunes on one row first, and when you are comfortable doing that, to move on to two adjacent rows. That will in turn make sense the relationship between two rows, and you can apply this knowledge to incorporating the third row.

But it will be hard to restrict yourself to such an approach with all those buttons, bells and whistles at your fingertips. Good luck, anyway!

 
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nfldbox

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Re: New to Diatonic Accordion
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2011, 11:34:25 AM »

I agree with Steve. I would add to that a decision to try one type of music. The best one would be any that is typically played on a diatonic box: Irish, French, English, Cajun, etc. If you find you really don't like that move to another one. But find one that you can stick to for a while.
The main point Steve makes is one that any teacher knows: where everything is possible nothing is possible. You need to know one thing before you move on to two things. So make a decision about type of music, then choose the layout that fits that, and then see if that is the right one thing to learn. 
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Banjopotamus

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Re: New to Diatonic Accordion
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2011, 05:14:43 PM »

All great suggestions, thanks guys.  I have tried to keep it simple but this thing is so much fun it's tough to keep focused.  I've played a harmonica a bit, so that makes the transition a little easier to understand versus a stringed instrument.  I have no doubt I'll get there.  Are there sites available to go for songs specifically for the melodeon? 
Tucked away in the mountains of Western North Carolina, I have lots of time and plenty of patience.

banjopotamus
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mglamb

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HarpDave

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Re: New to Diatonic Accordion
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2011, 09:27:19 PM »

Hey Banjopotamous,

Nice to meet a fellow blues and bluegrass enthusiast. I'm also brand new to melodeon, and play harmonica along with a bit of banjo. I have a collection of Kentucky Mountain music that might help you. More old-time than bluegrass, but it definitely has accordion on some of the tracks. I'm not sure if it's diatonic or keyboard accordion, but it's diatonic music, so you should be able to figure something out from it. It's called Kentucky Mountain Music: Classic recordings of the 1920s and 30s. I'm not sure how much accordion there is on it, but here's a youtube track to get you started: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWZNmAcLU5Q

I'll try give it a listen this week and see what other accordion stuff is on it.
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MadDogMurdock

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Re: New to Diatonic Accordion
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2011, 09:48:58 PM »

Out of curiosity, where did you buy the Roland? 
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