Greetings from Honolulu

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EricBarker
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Greetings from Honolulu

Post by EricBarker » Fri Jul 06, 2018 10:33 pm

Professional working keyboard player here (also Trumpet and some drums). I picked up a used PA to do some simple Irish rock numbers in my nightly gig. Getting some of the basics down, but there's absolutely NO ONE who plays accordion on the island as far as I know. Also need some tech work done, and I'm s**t out of luck in that department, unless I send it overseas. But I'm making it work so far.

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Greetings from Honolulu

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Sat Jul 07, 2018 9:32 am

Hello Eric,

Welcome to the forum.

You appear to be in the lead in the competition for most exotic location, though it seems that even paradise has its drawbacks.

Given the absence of accordion repairers, you may consider using artisans with transferable skills. For instance, our cars are serviced and repaired by a very gifted mechanic who, on a couple of occasions, has made minor repairs to one of my accordions. This may not be the perfect solution, though it has merit.

Clock &Watch repairers may also have the skills, tools and natural ability to assist in keeping your accordion in working order. The obvious caveat is tuning, which only an experienced accordion repairer could tackle.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

maugein96
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Re: Greetings from Honolulu

Post by maugein96 » Sat Jul 07, 2018 4:18 pm

Hi Eric, and welcome.

Sure I saw a fairly elderly female accordionist playing at the Honolulu marathon in 2016 (on You Tube), and I would be surprised if there were no accordions at all over your way. Appreciate the lady may have been a tourist or visitor, but it did appear that she was local.

There are several very knowledgeable forum members who I 'm sure could help you with your bass strap issue.

I live in rural south Scotland and had talked myself into believing there were no repairers in the UK who would undertake to work on my French made instruments. A week ago I discovered I had been wrong and there had been a guy 45 miles away for the last 10 years.

Keep looking, even if takes you 33 years, like it took me.

EricBarker
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Re: Greetings from Honolulu

Post by EricBarker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:29 am

I was probably being a bit dramatic when I said "no one" (I actually ran into one of my neighbors who plays a bit). But I guess what I mean is it's not a "thing" here, big enough for there to be a local shop, unlike New England. What Steven says about "finding people with transferable skills" is exactly my thought. I was figuring since my current problem is with the bass strap, taking it to a leather repair person (shoe repair), would make the most amount of sense to me.

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JerryPH
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Re: Greetings from Honolulu

Post by JerryPH » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:58 am

Greetings and welcome!
My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com

maugein96
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Re: Greetings from Honolulu

Post by maugein96 » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:08 am

Hi Eric,

I know what you mean. The "transferable skills" option is sometimes the only way in your situation, and I'm sure I've read about people on the mainland US who also live a very long way from the nearest repair man, and who are obliged to seek assistance from various tradespeople. Mind you, shoe repairers can be difficult to find these days (at least in the UK).

You should be able to overcome most obstacles by asking around, but any work on the reed blocks, especially tuning, will be pretty difficult, and would usually involve shipping your instrument for attention. I know that tradesmen in the US seem to have a licence to print money, and you obviously will have shipping charges on top of any work you need done.

Getting accordions professionally repaired is difficult everywhere these days, but we're still playing them. They say there is an accordion revival these days, but I'll believe that when I cash in my winning lottery ticket.

Good luck!

EricBarker
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Re: Greetings from Honolulu

Post by EricBarker » Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:21 pm

Thankfully the instrument itself is in remarkable working order. One of the individual reeds is out on the piano side (low D mid-register, in one direction), it's actually not much of a problem for the basic rawk I'm doing though! If I was going to record or do something a bit more nuanced, then I'd want to get it repaired. Other than that, the intonation seems great.

My two biggest problems are the strap and figuring out how to mic it in the rock band. We're finding it surprisingly difficult to mic it loud enough to be heard. We are a VERY LOUD BAND. Like, I've played in heavy metal bands that were far quieter than these guys. But it's tough to judge what will cut through and what won't. I also play Trumpet, and as long as I step up to the front of the stage, it's heard fine from the audience. But the accordion is surprisingly buried. Even with a good ribbon mic right in front of me, I don't think it cuts through. I tried attaching a lavalier to the instrument, but I don't think it was working very well either. I honestly don't care that much about quality in this context, but volume without getting feedback. It struck me that maybe a contact microphone would be a good fit. Might sound terrible to a good condenser on each side, but far cheaper and idiot proof. And at 12:30am with 4 beers in me, all of us are idiots!

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Greetings from Honolulu

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Mon Jul 09, 2018 10:53 pm

Hi Eric,

Re: Transferable Skills.

I have had straps repaired by a local Cobbler, who seemed very happy to do something a little different from his normal work. He actually "let in" a new piece of leather, and it was almost impossible to see where it joined the old leather. I seem to remember that he charged me £5 for his services.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

donn
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Re: Greetings from Honolulu

Post by donn » Tue Jul 10, 2018 2:54 pm

EricBarker wrote:
Mon Jul 09, 2018 9:21 pm
I tried attaching a lavalier to the instrument, but I don't think it was working very well either. I honestly don't care that much about quality in this context, but volume without getting feedback.
If two lavaliers would be manageable and a little minor surgery on the accordion isn't out of the question, you might try mounting them inside. Not sure exactly where - obviously, you don't want to put it too close to any one reed, and ideally not so close to the grille that it might as well be outside, but I believe internal microphones are common enough and there might be some clue to be had in photographic illustrations. Just thinking that would shift the input balance towards the reeds and away from the amplified output.

I doubt contact pickups would work, as the accordion case isn't an acoustic member, like you have on string instruments with the bridge, soundboard etc. So you'll get some sound there, but only in the same way that a microphone could pick that sound up too - the case will resonate with internal and external sound sources alike.

If this discussion is of continued interest, might shift it into some relevant topic area on the bulletin board here, where people who have some idea what they're talking about might see it.

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Re: Greetings from Honolulu

Post by dunlustin » Tue Jul 10, 2018 3:10 pm

These:
http://www.microvox.co.uk/accpage.htm
were fairly popular in the UK in the past - don't know if they still are?
And, I've no idea about availability internationally.

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