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Hello from Warwickshire

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wiltshire.moonraker
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Hello from Warwickshire

Post by wiltshire.moonraker » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:24 am

Hello all,

I’m very much a newcomer to the accordion (although have attempted to play guitar & harmonica in the past) but since retiring have been attracted to the idea of taking up the accordion and I recently picked up a 12 Bass Pietro on eBay at a ‘bargain’ price. I was aware that it needed some work but had relatively leak free bellows.

Pietro Image

Since owning it I’ve re-fixed one of the treble pallets and glued one of the black keys back on. I guess the instrument must have been stored somewhere damp because the metal bellows corners are rusted, a few of them severely. My plan is to replace the worst of them to begin with, I’ve sourced some corners from CGM Musical Services but I need to modify them to match the originals which have corner angle of less than 90°. I’ll then clean the rest up and treat with a rust converter.

As you can tell I’m on a steep learning curve, but then I spent much of my working life doing fiddly stuff, fixing car starter motors and alternators!

As for playing it, well that’s a work-in-progress, I can stumble through a simple tune by ear (or read music badly) and I suppose my guitar playing experience helps me to know if I’m playing the right sort of bass note. My difficulty is getting the bass sound right and using the correct fingers for the buttons, you’d think contorting my fingers for guitar chords would give me an edge; there are only two rows of buttons for goodness sake but I get in a tangle if I try to play more than the simple bass note !

I could really do with some lessons to set me on the right road but I haven’t found any locally yet so any advice would be welcome.

Best wishes
Chris

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JerryPH
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Re: Hello from Warwickshire

Post by JerryPH » Thu Nov 03, 2016 3:22 pm

Welcome to the board Chris! Feel free to post pics and vids on the work you've done, that is always appreciated. As for lessons, I am in a different continent so cannot make a better suggestion than do some searching on YouTube, use a little grim determination and have lots of fun practicing. :)
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Soulsaver
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Re: Hello from Warwickshire

Post by Soulsaver » Thu Nov 03, 2016 5:02 pm

Hi Chris & welcome

Sorry, gonna burst your bubble now - If you're interested in learning & you're not a child, do yourself a favour - go get yourself at least a 48 bass, preferably a 72, 80 or 96, or even a 120 if you're average male & not elderly/frail .. if on a budget 1950s or so Hohner/Weltmeister, - keep the pietro (1920/30s!) as a repair practice project if you must... it's too old to be worthwhile to repair & after you've eventually fixed it, too small to be much use to an adult; if you take to playing you'll outgrow it in a couple of months.

Teachers? There's plenty in your locality... look here viewtopic.php?f=26&t=448" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
And gumtree..
Or ask at Accordions of Coventry; or Birmingham Accordion Centre who actually do lessons; Google for accordion clubs and ask there for a referral..
etc
Best wishes
Music Game full rules are on the original (first) post in its thread...viewtopic.php?f=12&t=444" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Chinese Accordion Manufacturers - list post #1 here viewtopic.php?f=25&t=1584" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

b]

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wiltshire.moonraker
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Re: Hello from Warwickshire

Post by wiltshire.moonraker » Thu Nov 03, 2016 9:01 pm

Hi Both and thanks for your welcome and advice.

Soulsaver:

I guess I'll enjoy tinkering with the Pietro as much as playing it and I realise it might be too old and too small for some, but as a comparison try telling that to a Austin 7 enthusiast! :-)

Unfortunately the local links on the Teachers list don't work and Googling doesn't produce a result for those teachers but I'll try phoning a few and visiting the Coventry and Birmingham Accordion Centres.

Regards

Chris

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Re: Hello from Warwickshire

Post by maugein96 » Thu Nov 03, 2016 11:13 pm

Hi Chris,

The little accordion is possibly worth keeping on account of the fact that Pietro accordions were made in Castelfidardo, the Mecca of Italian accordion manufacturers.

You'll find a few videos on You Tube that will show you how to play the 12 bass, but as has been suggested you might want to consider an accordion with a more comprehensive bass set up. I'm not suggesting a 7 row 140 bass job, but 5 or 6 rows gives you a lot more scope.

Be very careful with your proposed bellows refurbishment project. You may know this already, but most accordion bellows are constructed from a type of cardboard, and an instrument as old as your Pietro and showing signs of corrosion on its metal parts, probably won't stand a lot of messing about with the bellows. If you end up damaging the bellows then you would be as well to take the starting handle of your Austin 7 to the accordion, unless you are prepared to spend a lot of time trying to repair the damage. Replacement bellows can be obtained, but there is a lot of work involved in their construction, and it is a costly business. "Relatively leak free bellows", as you have described them, is not a very desirable feature on any accordion, and the fact that you are going to have to alter the bellows corners to a different angle sounds nightmarish to those of us who do not own an Austin 7.

You obviously seem determined to put the little devil right, and that's your choice, but most of us buy them to play them daily rather than as a DIY project. Mind you, there are guys (albeit not that many these days) who work a full week repairing accordions and scarcely get the time to play. Nobody is going to tell you you haven't the right to do that either.

Whatever you do with it, I hope you get pleasure out of it.

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Re: Hello from Warwickshire

Post by losthobos » Fri Nov 04, 2016 7:28 am

Welcome...first accordion I had was gifted me by a junk shop...needed total overhaul..which I enjoyed attempting and after couple of months still had a fair useless box...but playable enough for me to fall in love with the things...crack on my man...who knows where the passion will take you
Right or wrong make it strong...when in doubt miss it out...

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Re: Hello from Warwickshire

Post by wiltshire.moonraker » Fri Nov 04, 2016 8:15 pm

Hi Maugein & Lostobos

Thanks for your advice & encouragement, I started replacing some of the bellows corners today and it was only on number 6 that I encountered signs of a previous repair where the corner of the bellows had been reinforced with tape & glue, so I re-glued it before fitting the new metal corner. Fingers crossed the bellows are still airtight.
Will try to put some photos up in due course.
maugein96 wrote:Hi Chris,
The little accordion is possibly worth keeping on account of the fact that Pietro accordions were made in Castelfidardo, the Mecca of Italian accordion manufacturers.
Do you know where I can find any history about this manufacturer? Curiously it is marked made in Germany on the case.

Image

Regards

Chris

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Re: Hello from Warwickshire

Post by maugein96 » Sat Nov 05, 2016 4:48 pm

Hi Chris,

Googled the Pietro make which came back as Italian. It might be the case that I got it wrong, and if I have sorry about that. Usually one or two experts will come in and correct us if we get our posts wrong, but it hasn't happened here. It definitely seems to have been made in Germany, and was probably part of the Hohner empire, according to further info on Google. A new member has just asked for info on the Pietro make so hopefully somebody on the forum will respond. I'm currently using a kindle fire and can't make a link to the post. Should have brought the laptop with me!

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JerryPH
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Re: Hello from Warwickshire

Post by JerryPH » Sat Nov 05, 2016 6:58 pm

According to this link, Pietros are Italian made. If in the USA or if you have a good long distance calling plan, you could contact them for info about your accordion.

http://www.pietroaccordions.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

:)
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Re: Hello from Warwickshire

Post by JIM D. » Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:50 am

The accordion you have is most likely made in Germany and the Pietro name is not the maker but the model.
Pietro Deiro introduced an accordion in 1920 in the US with a piano keyboard and after that PA's became a US standard and started what we call today as "The Golden Age of The Accordion". US, German, and Italian makers began producing PA's and some of their first PA accordions carried the model name "Pietro".
Owner & Operator "THE FISARMONICA SHOP" Chicopee, MA (USA)

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