Hello (newbie)

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Dublinesque
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Hello (newbie)

Post by Dublinesque » Mon Jan 23, 2017 9:22 pm

Hi all,
I'm new on the forum (and to forums generally). I'm based in Dublin, Ireland. I took up the accordion in 2015, when I turned 40. I did basic piano as a child, so I had the rudiments of theory and keyboard.
I've browsed this forum a few times, but I was inspired to register by maugein96's recent post about 'What made you want to play the accordion?' For me, I think it was my grandmother's practice organ. To explain: as children, we went to Grandma's house every Friday for piano lessons after school. This was never taken too seriously (to my regret)--except by Grandma! It was our weekly visit. Grandma taught piano and had a baby grand in a converted garage in her house. She had been the church organist in previous years, and she had an upright, simple organ... two pedals to pump air, maybe eight stops or so, and one keyboard. I only got to play with it a few times, but I remember the sound of it and I think the accordion is probably similar.
Also, my partner is French and I've lived in Paris... so how could I not have a thing for accordion music (even if they are not so common in Paris these days). ;-)
Among others, I like music by Richard Galliano and Jacque Pellarin, and I enjoy listening to YouTube renditions of music by accordionists.
After experimenting with a piano accordion--which I recently sold--I took to the CBA. I now have an old Bugari CBA (C system) as well as a Roland FR1-XB.
I'm theory-oriented, so I've been learning a lot about music theory in the last 18 months. I've also been working on my technique (slow progress!!) and working out what exactly I wanted to play, which is a mix of modern accordion and some traditional tunes from around the world. (For what I mean by modern accordion, see Jo Brunenburg's video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_s9dgvFt7Rc)
Best wishes...

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Glenn
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Re: Hello (newbie)

Post by Glenn » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:19 pm

Glad you decided to join the forum. I really hope you learn a lot here and keep us all updated on your progress. Interesting to see you moved to CBA so early. What made you change so quickly?


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1) Ballone Burini 46C (4+5) cassotto (LMMH) 3/3 PA; 2) Accordiola Piano V (5+5) cassotto (LMMMH) 3/3 PA;
3) Roland FR8X; 4) Hohner Vox 4k (LMMH) 3/3 CBA

maugein96
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Re: Hello (newbie)

Post by maugein96 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:40 pm

Hi Dublinesque, and welcome to the forum.

There are a lot of different musical styles here, from folk to classical, and most stations in between. Fascinating that a good number of us came to the accordion by different roads, and quite a few of us from other musical instruments.

We used to visit my grandparents in Glasgow, and they had an upright piano in the livingroom. My grandfather was Irish, from County Tyrone, and he used to entertain us by playing a selection of Irish and Scottish popular tunes, with a twist! He would deliberately play wrong notes just for a laugh and my grandmother used to scold him for it. I couldn't get to grips with the piano at all. Two hands moving in different directions was something beyond my capability, and I still have a bit of difficulty with the bass side of the accordion. I am more comfortable with the guitar where I only have to worry about the left hand. The right hand comes naturally to me after about 50 years on it, whereas I've "only" played the accordion for about 30 years. I never started playing until I was about 30, and felt I had left it a bit late.

Had I been lucky enough to live in France I may have been able to learn from other players, but here in Scotland I was very much on my own with French accordion. Interesting to hear that you lived in Paris, and I listened to the clip in your link to You Tube. That certainly is modern music, and I've been stuck in a sort of time warp with French accordion music. Most stuff produced in the last 20 years or so has failed to reach my ears, as I had a bad accident to my right hand and it took me a very long time to get everything working again. I actually gave up in despair at one point, but got fed up battering the same old guitar tunes out, and started playing again about 3 years ago. The forum has kept my interest alive when I otherwise might have stopped again.

Quite a few forum members have an interest in French accordion of various styles, and some play in bands, although there aren't many outright devotees. I appreciate your interests are more diverse. I had high hopes, but there is no real audience for French musette in Scotland, unless it is part of a wider repertoire, and the wind went out of my sails after I realised that. I still get great pleasure out of playing at home for my own enjoyment.

Galliano and his associates did a lot to dust the cobwebs off the accordion in France in the late 90s, although I must confess I had never heard of Jacques Pellarin. I've now discovered he's a great player, and one of many I could do with listening to a lot more. All the old musette standards were fair enough in their day, but they can get a bit samey. The only criticism I would have of the more modern French accordion music is that is a bit heavy on technique, which must surely discourage some potential players? I'm getting the vibe that some youngsters are looking to folk music so that they can learn to play in months rather than years, but I suppose I have sort of lost touch with what is going on in France. Everybody likes a challenge and I appreciate you're into theory, so the modern music seems to be made for you.

I have no experience at all of PA or Roland accordions, and they are in another world from mine. I almost bought a Roland FR1-xb a few years ago, but I had no scope to try one before I bought it with no dealers near me so I reneged on it. Maybe some day.

Enjoy the forum, and don't be afraid to participate in any discussions. Just about everything accordion related (and sometimes not) will usually surface. If it doesn't, just post a thread. If it goes in the wrong place somebody will keep you right.

Stephen Hawkins
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Re: Hello (newbie)

Post by Stephen Hawkins » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:49 pm

Hi Dublinesque, and a very warm welcome to the forum.

I started to play the accordion much later than you, as it was only a couple of months before my 68th birthday that I first picked one up.

Anyway, bloody-mindedness and relentless practice has paid off, and I have now built up a decent repertoire. My roots, as you may have read elsewhere on this forum, are in Folk music, but I also love popular music of the 40's , 50's , and 60's.

Please enjoy your visits to this forum.

Kind Regards,

Stephen.

Dublinesque
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Re: Hello (newbie)

Post by Dublinesque » Tue Jan 24, 2017 12:44 pm

Thank you all for your warm welcome.

Glenn, I went for the CBA out of a combination of theory and laziness. I always admired the bass layout of accordions (circle of fifths etc.) and the CBA treble keyboard just seemed like such a good idea too, in terms of economy of movement and having more notes within easy reach. It appealed to my lazy side too, as it is easier to learn scale patterns, one set of chord shapes, etc. that can all be used in any key. ;-)

maugein96, if you're on YouTube, I thnk Jo Brunenberg has put together nice compilations of accordion music (some modern, some classical and others more traditional styles). He does nice visuals when he plays pieces too. This one ('final closure') does a good job of capturing the lost era of French accordion combined with evocative photos of shuttered up shops: https://youtu.be/gb6uwj-xl8k" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: Hello (newbie)

Post by maugein96 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 4:13 pm

Enjoyed the clip. It's funny how a lot of non-native players have been attracted to French musette, and it has enjoyed a popular following in The Netherlands, as well as in Eastern Europe.

It's sad that the music has dwindled away to nothing, especially in Paris where most of we foreigners tend to make its association. The boarded up back-street shops, wherever they may be, just about sum it up.

However, whilst Paris produced a lot of home grown players, like Emile Prud'homme, and Jo Privat, the "big four" of Verchuren, Larcange, Duleu, and Aimable were all "gars du nord", with the first two on B system, and all but Aimable playing Belgian basses. I have included the lesser known Edouard Duleu, as he was probably my favourite "musette pur" player, even although he was difficult to follow on that Charleroi Do2 B system he played. He collaborated with Andre Astier, and Joss Baselli, and added some slightly more technical material into the musette, without losing the path altogether. Emile Prud'homme was sort of a halfway house between Emile Vacher and Verchuren, and with that staccato attack he put into polkas I often found myself looking for cover from the machine gun bullets!

Tracks like this one by Verchu were what got me interested, but I mellowed down to less "thrilling" stuff later, and kicked out the three voice musette in favour of "americain". That "straight" tuned flute sounds a bit sharp to me when he plays it, and led me to believe his box wasn't standard musette tuned. Aimable's Crosio was much the same.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlWqvHTtlgg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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JerryPH
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Re: Hello (newbie)

Post by JerryPH » Tue Jan 24, 2017 8:22 pm

Ok, that little link just about me tears (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vlWqvHTtlgg" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;), but not for the reasons that one may think. When I was a kid of perhaps 10-11, my father used to have an old 8-track of accordion music. He used to play it often, especially when in the car and we were travelling. That music is ingrained in my memory forever. THAT EXACT song as it is played on that video is a song from that old tape (now long gone). This was one of a group of songs that taught me to learn to enjoy (what I know today as French musette) accordion. To me any accordion in the day was lovely, and to me it was one big jumble of accordion happiness.

This was a lovely memory, thanks for posting it!
My musical memoires blog/website: http://www.AccordionMemories.com

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